'Stealth' Black Travel Packs Look Sharp, Cost a Lot

Los Angeles-based Ignoble is a two-person boutique shop that produces small runs of pricey, “noir”-inspired travel goods.

The brand makes five pack models, all of which are super stealth and blacked-out.

I got the Cora Classic and Marion Tombs models this winter and took them on a pair of cross-country road trips for a test.

ignoble pack.jpg

Ignoble pack

The packs, which are hand-assembled in small runs, got the job done. Tough nylon construction and plenty of space (the Cora has a 36-liter capacity, the Tombs has 29) made the packs great for travel.

Both have a large main compartment equipped for storing a laptop and more than a few days worth of clothes and goods. The Cora has an adjustable top and draw-sack that makes it better for storing and balancing a large load.

The Marion is a lighter bag that is faster and easier to access given the main compartment’s large wraparound zipper and a handful of zippered external stash pockets.

Ignoble Marion and Cora.jpg

Ignoble Marion Tombs Backpack (left) and Cora Rucksack

When I haven’t been traveling, the packs have both proved more than adequate for daily bike commuting and easy hiking as well.

The packs both passed the test in terms of functionality and looks, but as far as pricing I was a bit floored. $200. For each.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually willing to pay more for made in the USA products, especially when it’s a small shop. But holy smokes. $200 is tough to justify when I could get the same functionality in a pack that might not look as cool, but is less than half the price.

ignoble.jpg

Another Ignoble model, the Lorna Case Backpack, can be carried like a suitcase or worn as a pack

Here’s what one of the company’s owners had to say regarding the price: “The pricing is a function of the low volume of bags produced and the premium production method used to bring the products to market. We’re a tiny company of two making men’s bags that we feel very passionate about, and backing them with a lifetime warranty. They’re boutique products targeted at consumers who appreciate the unique style, utilitarian functionality, and made in the USA pedigree we have to offer.”

There’s no question Ignoble has a very niche audience. For the average traveler, there’s not much reason to drop 200 bucks on a travel bag that’s technically comparable to bags that cost half as much. For someone who digs the stealth look and has some coin to spend on travel bags, Ignoble checks off a few key boxes and might be a fit.

—Patrick Murphy is an assistant editor.

Comments