CNN —  

In this era of Instagram-fueled wanderlust and flight deals flooding your inbox, travelers can put some serious wear and tear on their luggage. The founders of Baboon Bags wanted to solve that problem.

“We saw that accessories fell into two camps: those for extreme expeditions — think climbing Mount Everest — or one-dimensional work trips to offices,” co-founder Michael Kushner said in an interview with CNN Underscored. “This left a widening chasm for all who fell somewhere in between: those who sought durable technical gear … with a personality.”

Baboon bags are made of “machete-proof” ballistic nylon, with bright linings that resist dirt and water, and a lifetime guarantee. They’re designed to fit the needs of travelers who prioritize experiences like last-minute flight deals and seeing the world on the fly.

First look: Baboon Backpack and Day Duffle

I took the Backpack ($89; and Day Duffle ($99; on a weekend trip to Denmark for a test drive. Here’s what I liked:

Baboon Backpack ($89;

The backpack expands.
Going away for a short stint usually means you need to cram a lot of necessities into a small space. Think travel-sized toiletries, computer and phone chargers, changes of clothes, you name it. The reinforced padded shoulder strap alleviated muscle stress and the webbed nylon handle was easy to lug. Best of all, though? The backpack appears small at first glance, but it expands to make room for plenty of goods. It has a 22-liter packing volume (16 by 12 by 6.5 inches). It also has an internal foam-padded laptop sleeve and a quick-access commuting pocket on the exterior.

Baboon Day Duffle ($99;

The Day Duffle is structured smartly.
Every traveler knows the instant panic of not being able to find the one thing you need on a trip. It can send even the most experienced jet-setter into full-on anxiety mode. With the Baboon Day Duffle, organization is super easy, thanks to a smart internal structure. I appreciated three easy-to-access pockets for passports, cash and keys, so I never had to worry about locating what I needed, when I needed it. I also experienced unexpected rain in Copenhagen, but the durable water-repellent coating kept everything protected. And if you don’t want to battle airline workers, you’ll be happy to know this pack meets all TSA guidelines and fits in all overhead bins. Its 32-liter volume (10.5 by 10.5 by 20.5 inches) makes it perfect for a weekend getaway.

The colors are bold.
The Baboon Backpack and Day Duffle feature 10 colorways from sleek slate gray to an almost neon blue and orange. When I first opened the box, the bright blue was shocking, but in a fun way. All the bags feature a smart modern design and clean lines.

Right now, Baboon is offering some super fun colorways that feature classic colors on the exterior of the bag and eye-catching prints on the interior. The bold “Dog Dreams” print is available in either black or mint, and in both Go-Bag sizes.

Baboon Go-Bag — Small ($149;

The smaller carry-on is designed for weekend getaways. Perfect for a few days out of town, the small duffle has four pockets and meets all TSA guidelines. Plus, each Go-Bag has flexible straps so it can be worn as a backpack or crossbody or carried as a standard duffle.

Baboon Go-Bag — Big ($179;

This larger 60-liter duffle is perfect for weeklong adventures (and checked baggage). The extra 20 liters of packing room gives you space, while still keeping all the great things about the smaller Go-Bag like its durability and waterproof material.

Why people love Baboon

Kushner told CNN the brand has sold out of every collection since it launched a little more than a year ago. The company’s Instagram is growing strong — at 48,000 followers — and has plenty of rave customer reviews. Here are a few from real travelers, provided by Baboon:

“I had no idea how important it would be to have this bag when I packed it for Dominica. Well, it was wet in the rainforest — who would have known. Our trek to the Airbnb alone required us to zip line over two rivers and hike a few miles. Everyone put their necessities in my bag because it kept them dry and safe, on every outing. Also worked as a great backpack carry-on during travel. Thanks guys!” — Alexandra S.

“This is the best purchase I have ever made (excluding food items)! Lightweight, sturdy, life proof, beautiful, stunning, everything under-the-stars and under-the-moon. I cannot wait until they release their next set, I will be purchasing multiple! Perfect for travel and everyday life. Looks great next to the ocean, pool, my luggage, in my room, in my sunroom, in my trunk, everywhere. Super comfy, easy access and grab, secure, safe. I even throw my speaker in here and play while I walk, sounds awesome. I would 12/10 recommend this to everybody for everything!” — Ashley H.

More bags

The Baboon collection also includes an assortment of bags for any sort of traveler. We’ve compiled more of our favorites below.

The Fanny Pack ($59;

For carrying travel essentials, nothing beats this colorful fanny pack. From a festival to a night on the town, you can keep your must-haves safe and secure.

Go-Tote — Small ($99;

Whether you’re headed to the supermarket or you need a sturdy bag for your adventure picnics, Baboon’s Go-Tote is good to go with you wherever you go. Its large and convenient strap provides easy carrying, plus it has a laptop sleeve that fits up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Go-Tote — Big ($139;

For bigger excursions like road trips or plane travel, the bigger 39-liter tote should be your bag of choice. The bag is super versatile with six external stash pockets, plenty of room for storage and two haul handles, so grabbing it from the trunk or the overhead compartment is a breeze.

Bottom line

If you want to go the trendy yet durable route, Baboon is a smart investment. And for those who seek multipurpose benefits from any purchase, the Backpack and Day Duffle can do double duty as gym or work bags. As the full name encourages: “Baboon to the moon!” Or ya know, to Canada. Or spin class. The world awaits.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.