There is nothing I dislike more than the feeling of being disheveled and chaotic when traveling. Investing in luggage that only lasts for years and years, but actually makes traveling easier (and, prettier) is a priority for me.
I love my beloved Away suitcase, but she’s a beast. Almost literally – I have the largest one available, and she’s just not practical for weekend trips. Especially in locations like Europe where cobblestone streets are not the friend of luggage wheels. Enter: Lo and Sons bags. Chic, sustainable and functional travel bags that can take you anywhere in the world.
I brought my two new weekender bags, the Catalina Deluxe and O.G. 2, with me to Denmark and after a long haul flight and several weekend trips around Scandinavia, I’m excited to share my honest Lo and Sons review with you.
Earlier this year I did my semi-annual apartment deep clean and realized my older travel bags just weren’t holding up anymore. As a professional travel blogger, I did put them through a lot! And I needed something better to support our summer living abroad in Copenhagen.
When doing research on travel luggage brands, I knew I wanted bags that were high quality but also functional and sleek looking, along with being sustainably made. And, from a smaller brand if I could find it. We love to support small brands over here at Whimsy Soul!
Lo And Sons Review: 5 Reasons Travelers Adore These Bags For World Travel
Lo and Sons checked all those boxes. I’m familiar with Lo and Sons since I own their Claremont camera bag (read my full Claremont review here.) This camera bag is probably the sexiest camera bag I’ve ever owned. It’s sleek, functional and doesn’t really look like a camera bag, which is great for high-end events.
I forgot they make travel bags, not just camera bags, and they do it really, really well. Here are a few reasons Lo and Sons brand and products stand out among the noise.
1. They Have Every Bag For Every Moment
You can find a bag for every moment here. Large weekender duffles, totes, laptop back, backpacks, wallets, crossbody bags, even camera bags. They don’t sell roll luggage (at least right now) and that’s something that’s really different.
I feel like a lot of travel luggage brands start with hard suitcases and then later transition to backpacks, duffels, purses, etc. Instead, Lo and Sons started with the smaller bags and really perfected them.
Whether you’re taking an overnight ferry to Oslo and need a large travel bag, or flying out for a few work days in San Francisco and need a laptop carry-on bag, or maybe wandering Paris and looking for a travel purse, they have everything you need.
2. Lo and Sons Products Are Sustainable
Lo and Sons strives to produce products with sustainable practices. They use plant fibers as a vegan leather alternative, recycled nylon and recycled and organic cottons. They also have a collection called the Recyeld Poly Collection and every item in this line saves about 31 plastic bottles from entering landfills. Score!
When they do use leather (the Pearl bag is made from Saffiano Leather for instance and others use Nappa Leather ), Lo and Sons works with a tannery that focuses on sourcing hides in an ethical manner but also policies to reduce water and electricity waste. And of course, they have eco-friendly packaging.
You can dig deeper into their sustainability efforts here, but the takeaway is they are doing work on producing products that are ethical and sustainable for the planet.
3. It’s A Small AAPI Brand
Lo and Sons are an AAPI family owned brand. We love to support small businesses here at Whimsy Soul, especially ones that did the unconventional pivot of bootstrapping a whole company and following their dreams to build some of the best dang travel bags on the market.
The brand is named after Helen Lo, CEO and Grandma who, according to their website ” fled civil war [in China] almost became a nun, immigrated to Alabama, fought for social justice, graduated with a Ph.D, and ultimately became a master of reinventing her career.” You should read her whole life story here, it’s really beautiful and has a lot of old photos to look at.
4. They Give Back To Healthcare Workers
During the panny, they started a program to donate Lo and Sons bags to healthcare workers. While they don’t make medical equipment, the team says they “felt a new sense of purpose that our bags could help in just a small way for those putting their own health on the line for their community and country“. So far they’ve donated almost 4,000 bags to healthcare workers.
5. Thoughtfully Designed
At the end of the day, the main reason to love Lo and Sons bags are how each one is so thoughtfully made. They’ve clearly took the time to deeply think about what features are needed in each style of bag to make it the best bag in the market.
The OG 2 bag, for instance, has an internal water bottle holder pocket which is handy because like myself, I think many folks are using it as a carry-on bag. Gotta stay hydrated on the plane! The Waverly 2 bag was designed to be worn 4 different ways so it’s super versatile, as a small bag should be. Expect to be delighted by all the features Lo and Sons bags have.
Lo And Sons OG 2 Review
Ok – now on to doing a deeper dive into my two new travel bags. First, the O.G.2 Bag in the Large size. I’m obsessed with this Lo and Sons OG bag and quickly fell in love with it while traveling around Scandinavia. It’s larger in real life than in the photos, which it’s great since I’m a slight over-packer at all times.
Makes The Perfect Carry-On Bag
Ok, a major over-packer, but I really can’t help it. As a travel blogger, on top of clothes and toiletries, I always have to carry on my camera, chargers, laptop and other work tools. But, the large OG 2 can absolutely fit my laptop in the dedicated laptop sleeve, my camera, a book, my bag of chargers/hard drive/ card reader, passport and wallet, my airplane toiletry bag and it even has a slot for my water bottle so it stays upright inside.
And, there’s usually room left over for a few other random things. Like, you could totally make it an overnight bag if you pack light and lean on other travel tools like Cadence Pods to slim down what you’re packing. But, I’ll be using this mostly for business travel, especially since it has a little suitcase sleeve so the bag can slide onto the handle of your roller bag.
You Can Customize The Bag
Another perk is that you can customize it. All of the bags us high-quality nylon, Nappa Leather accents and water-resistant zippers, the latter was helpful when we got caught in the rain in Stockholm. But, you have some choices when it comes to design.
They offer a few style options with different fabrics and colors available for the inside and outside. I went with the black exterior, gold hardware and camel inside. But you can get it in tan, or have a pop of color with a lavender interior and other options to make the bag fit your personal style best.
Pros And Cons Of O.G. 2 Bags
- Sleek design
- Waterproof zippers
- Water bottle holder
- Suitcase handle sleeve
- Laptop compartment
- Tons of pockets for passports, wallets, electronics
- Can fit under an airplane seat as your personal item
- Has a shoulder strap
- Over time it can lose its shape so store this with clothes inside it
- The internal shoe compartment takes up valuable interior space
- No anti-theft locking zippers
- If you detach the shoulder strap, it takes up a lot of room inside the bag.
Lo And Sons Catalina Deluxe Review
Up next, the Catalina Deluxe Weekender Bag! This weekender bag is a WORKHORSE, let me tell you. I got the deluxe in the white canvas, though it also comes in nylon and of course, a lot of different color options.
The Separate Shoe Compartment Is A Gamechanger
The main appeal of this bag is both the size and the shoe compartment. The top main compartment of these travel bags can fit a LOT of stuff and has internal pockets to make packing more organized. We were able to pack almost everything we needed for our trip to Oslo just in the top part of this bag (clothes, toiletries, etc!)
But, the gamechanger feature of this weekender bag is the bottom section. This section comes with a structured padding so it both protects shoes and helps keep the shape of the bag. It’s best for shoes, but you can pack whatever you want in here. I found it handy to layer sweaters in here along with shoes to fill it out and great a “base” for the bag, and I could also see this being good for dirty clothes.
I ended up not really needing sweaters for summer in Norway, but it was good to know that if I ever need to use this in the middle of February and need to pack sweaters and warm clothes again, I can use this weekender bag and trust it will fit.
The Large Vs The Tote
Trying to decide between a Lo and Sons Catalina small vs large? The Catalina Deluxe Tote is basically the mini, tote version of the Deluxe. It has a shoe compartment and top section, just like the large. But it obviously fits less stuff but the pros is it’s easier to carry around.
I think It would make a great gym bag or a weekender bag for 1-2 nights. And, if you’re planning on getting the OG 2 Bag, I don’t think you need that and the tote. Pick one or the other.
The large Lo and Sons weekender Catalina is a bit hard to carry long distances when you pack it to the brim as we did. But it comes with a padded strap and has handles to help offset the weight on your body. And, it can fit literally everything you need, but in one bag. Together, I think the OG 2 and Catalina Deluxe are just the right size for two people on a weekend trip together.
Go For The Nylon
I got our bag in white canvas and while I love the look of the bag, I kind of wish I went for the nylon instead. We were caught in a huge Dansk rainstorm heading to a ferry one day and the canvas material got soaked. It is pretty thick, and only one shirt at the top of the bag got wet, but it did take overnight to dry off.
If you think the weather will be at play when you travel, opt for the nylon over canvas just to be safe.
Pros and Cons Of The Catalina Weekender Bag
- Has a padded shoulder strap
- Has a structured padded base for shoes
- Suitcase handle sleeve
- Folds down when empty for easy storage
- No internal laptop sleeve
- May be hard to carry for petite folks
- Canvas is not water resistant
Where To Buy Lo And Sons Bags
The best place to buy bags is directly on the Lo and Sons website.
Do They Ever Go On Sale?
Yes, Lo and Sons offer seasonal sales, so keep an eye out on their website to buy at your own leisure.
Got your own Lo & Sons reviews to add? Drop them below so everyone can view them.
Got questions? Drop a comment or DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul and I’ll try and help!