Thursday, July 31, 2014Mostly Cloudy 21°C
Fashion & Style

The top 10 luggage stores in Toronto

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / February 4, 2014

Luggage TorontoThe top luggage stores in Toronto will have you ready for takeoff, no matter how far away your destination or how long your stay. There's cute carry-ons you can throw in the backseat for a weekend road trip, giant backpacks perfect for touring the world's greatest hostels, or massive, death-proof suitcases that will hold up, even as you play chicken with the airline's weight limit.

Department stores like the Bay tend to be the first shop, but there are plenty of non-chain options that will either help you save some cash, invest your luggage budget wisely, or just let you stand out from the sea of black rectangles on the baggage carousel.

As you might have guessed, Yorkville (home of all things high-end and boutiquey) is the city's hot spot for specialty luggage boutiques. But for the bargain-hunters, there are a few mom-and-pop options scattered around the city that might offer a solid deal. (More cash for souvenir shopping!)

Here are the top luggage stores in Toronto.

The Travel Stop
This Yorkville boutique recently logged 30 years of selling all manner of luggage and travel goods. There's all sizes of suitcases and bags from companies like Briggs & Riley and LeSportsac; in case your needs are a little more unusual, also toilet seat covers, anti-motion-sickness wristbands and natural nausea remedies. (And international power converters. Seriously, don't forget those.)

Taschen
Not to be confused with the art-book publishers of the same name, Taschen is a small Canadian chain of luxury luggage shops with locations on Yorkville and Cumberland. True to the name (German for "bags"), they focus on well-crafted, mid-to-high-end pieces from the likes of BREE and Mandarina Duck.

Betty Hemmings Leathergoods
Another Yorkville travel-goods destination, Betty Hemmings' selection of briefcases, bags and suitcases includes some great pieces for vintage lovers with modern needs (because nobody wants to haul a huge, heavy suitcase through an airport by the handle, no matter how good it looks.) Brics' canvas-and-leather duffel bags come with wheels and a handle, and Globe-Trotter's leather-detail suitcases are made out of a durable vulcanized material.

Evex
Evex is a discount luggage business with stores in Thornhill and Mississauga, but their product offerings are anything but cut-rate; they're known for offering the kind of discounts you just won't find downtown on quality brands like Briggs & Riley and Samsonite. They're also licensed repair centres for the brands they carry, making fixes right on the premises.

K Jamson
There are a handful of K Jamson stores scattered around the GTA, including downtown locations in the St. Clair Centre and Brookfield Place. They offer one of the widest brand selections on this list, running from A (Aoking) to Z (uh ... Victorinox). If you find a better deal on one of their pieces online, K Jamson says they will "do their best" to match or beat the price.

Tumi
The New Jersey-based brand, known for their nigh-on-indestructible luggage, opened a boutique in Yorkville (where else?) last fall. When we say indestructible, we mean it: Their Tegra-Lite collection is made of an ultra-lightweight polymer used in race cars and protective NFL gear. None of this means a budget-friendly bag (carry-ons start at about $250), but if you're willing to make an investment, you'll look cool strutting down airport moving sidewalks for years.

WANT Passport
Got a little time to kill at Billy Bishop? Spend a few minutes ogling the glorious gifts and travel gear at this shop (fun fact: it's the only retail store on the Island). It bears the name (and the gloriously minimalist bags) of WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, the award-winning Montreal accessory design duo, who guided the vision and stock selection for the store. The selection's rounded out by travel-ready luxury odds and ends like soy candles and cashmere socks.

Rimowa
Those with big luggage budgets spend a day could do some killer comparison shopping near Bay and Bloor -- but Rimowa is a strong contender for that $500-plus you were planning to spend on a new suitcase. The German company sticks solely to hard-shell suitcases, engineered with their trademark grooves and painted in irresistible candy hues and metallics.

Te Koop
This Queen St. staple is low on heavy-duty luggage, but high on the trend factor -- here's where to grab a Barbour duffel bag, Herschel carry-on, or Fjällräven backpack. Prices aren't incredibly low, but the brands they offer have a rep for being well-made while still having plenty of cool cachet. In short, it's the perfect stop to gear up for a weekend getaway.

The Monocle Shop
This gents' lifestyle shop on College has everything you need to be a well-dressed man about town - including a stylish weekend bag. The selection is mostly made up of rugged-yet-refined nylon and twill messengers and duffels from Japanese brand Porter, in a range of sizes (to hold your raw denim and Barbour jackets).

BONUS

Europe Bound
Europe Bound is a little less 'jetting off to Paris', a little more 'roughing it with a tent and a miniature stove' or 'backpacking through Europe'. But the outdoorsy, rugged focus of this GTA chain (on Queen East, King West, Front, and another in Oakville) means you're getting something durable and functional for your cash, like their line of Eagle Creek wheeling suitcases. (Then stock it full of headlamps and tarps.)

Piquadro
If your brand of jet-set style skews more toward Milan, Piquadro's colourful, streamlined pieces will be right up your autostrada. The Italian brand's first-ever North American boutique, stocked with high-end, European-inspired bags, briefcases, backpacks, and other plane-ready gear, opened two years ago in -- shockingly -- Yorkville. (Fun fact: Piquadro is the official outfitter of Italy's Formula One racing team!) As with Tumi, though, bargain hunters need not apply.

What did I miss? Add your favourite luggage store to the comments below.

Discussion

10 Comments

Cameron / February 4, 2014 at 02:58 pm
user-pic
It's not so much a luggage store per se, but I want to put in a good word for Crumpler (and not just because they're from my home country!)

Their messengers are fantastic for carry on! They also have a bunch of other sized bags.
I've been using this: http://www.carryology.com/reviews-2/road-test/bag-review-crumpler-spring-peeper/ (except in large) for all of my fairly extensive travel needs and it's easily the best bag I've ever owned, and will likely be the last large bag I ever need to buy!
At a local mall near you / February 4, 2014 at 03:35 pm
user-pic
Winners!
george replying to a comment from Cameron / February 4, 2014 at 04:05 pm
user-pic
Totally agree about Crumpler...for camera bags/laptop bags they are my fovorite. For biking around YNOT bags.
Chester Pape / February 4, 2014 at 04:20 pm
user-pic
However, Crumpler closed their Toronto store on Sunday so you can only get Crumpler bags online or through dealers (like Vistek for Camera bags)
David C / February 4, 2014 at 05:18 pm
user-pic
Not a luggage store BUT I am looking for a good leather bag repair shop! Any ideas out there?
alir esfahani / February 5, 2014 at 12:14 am
user-pic
Piquadro? I was under the impression that they have closed their toronto store last year.
Q / February 5, 2014 at 11:34 am
user-pic
La Borsa in Bayview Village has been around for many years and has great quality Italian luggage and purses.
Jennifer / February 7, 2014 at 09:04 am
user-pic
Just Bags at Lawrence and Bathurst has a great selection of bags and accessories for all travel. Staff is knowledgeable and friendly also.
Rob / March 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm
user-pic
Just read your "Top Store" article - do NOT be fooled by what a "discount" price may be. Many of these retailers mark their prices up higher to give you the perception of a discount. Shop "border" towns to Toronto like Kingston or even Ottawa - the savings are often worth a whole weekend away. AND - as for warranties, DO NOT GET fooled by these either; warranties only cover manufacturers defects and/or poor workmanship and not what the common carrier will do to your bag. There are only a few brands that carry unconditional lifetime warranties. as for us - we found as better selection at Bagot Leather Goods in Kingston and offered to deliver to us on their next trip to Toronot if we did not have enough room in our car - that is SERVICE!!!
Mark / May 15, 2014 at 04:16 am
user-pic
Tumi is great one!

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal