"Our British handmade military-chic duffel bags are designed with both aesthetics and practicality in mind and well made to last a lifetime". Inspired by the kit bags used by his grandfather in the Royal Air Force, designer Stephen Caine founded Tombag whilst recovering in a hospital bed, and embarked on his quest to create the globally coveted kit bag with traditional roots and a modern edge that would answer the prayers of discerning men for an understated and functional man bag, at the same time appealing to the fairer sex.
Stephen’s Tombag design is based on 3 key principals – one unique shape, three sizes and an unlimited number of colours & fabrics. These heavy duty bags are durable, using the best components available, and are not only über stylish, but practical and versatile, worn either over the shoulder, across the body or hand held like a duffel. Ideal as a daytime tote or overnighter or as a gym, camping, cycling or team sports bag, the large Tombag is designed to IATA specifications as carry on hand luggage. Based on the traditional ‘top loader’, its main feature is the 120 year old tried and tested solid brass T-bar design used to close the bag. Tombag’s best seller is the waterproof waxed canvas, available in 7 enduring colours. Other fabrics in the range currently include more dressy tweed and limited edition canvas and vintage. Combinations of fabrics can be personalised to your taste, including logo embroidery.
Oxford & Durham Universities and London School of Economics have already added bespoke Tombags to their range of merchandise. Tombags are currently stocked in over 30 UK retail outlets, and this number is growing steadily. In 2014, Tombag’s waxed canvas range featured on London’s Fashion Week catwalk as part of UK designer Liam Hodges’ military inspired collection. Each Tombag is handmade in Eastbourne, East Sussex and the product already has a global appeal.
The name “Tombag” came about from Stephen’s own time spent in the military, where he and his two best friends, Richard and Harold, became known as Tom, Dick & Harry. Aided by his knowledge of fabrics, gained from working at his father’s dry cleaning factory in Cape Town, the Tombag design evolved and the first original cotton canvas prototypes in six colours were ready for sale by May 2013. Since then, Stephen, and a small team of ex-University pals have been gradually growing the business and developing the brand, range and distribution. Prices range from £95 to £145. To see the current range and list of stockists or to order your own Tombag directly from us, visit www.tombag.com.
Above: Centre left is grandfather JFK Caine, formally an officer in the RAF and Stephen on the far right.