J. Panther Luggage Company is one of the most interesting bag makers in the men’s lifestyle space.
While there are plenty of women who love J.P.L.C.’s elegant yet rugged tote bags and briefcases, the brand’s personality hits squarely a space occupied by men who both appreciate stylish functionality and possess a certain sophisticated wanderlust. We have been very partial to their tightly edited collection for several years and are, truth be told, a bit guilty of appreciating that although many people remark on our J.P.L.C. bags, most are unfamiliar with the company.
While many of their bags are hand-built in Connecticut and the company is headquartered in nearby New York City, the brand is perhaps best known in countries like quality-obsessed Japan. Practical yet surprisingly versatile, the RucTote is emblematic of J.P.L.C.’s three-way carry philosophy, a design element present in many of their products. Founder Johnny Diamandis designs his bags to fit the carry needs of walkers, cyclists, and commuters alike. In the case of the RucTote, it can be carried by hand, on the shoulder, or in backpack mode.
As we can personally attest, the RucTote is simply one of the coolest bags we have ever used. In the world of auto metaphors, imagine if a Range Rover and an Aston Martin had a baby and it was a tote bag.
The “Special Fabric Series” is an ongoing collection of signature designs rendered in some very special materials. From deadstock vintage fabrics to contemporary high-performance textiles sourced from around the globe, each version will be exclusive to their online store in strictly limited numbers. This kind of limited run capsule collection is especially noteworthy for such a unique brand known for its tightly curated and expertly produced line.
The first batch includes a version rendered in a deadstock Czech military canvas. This beautiful, moderately ‘neppy’ olive drab fabric was produced in the 1950s for use in tent coverings by the Czech army, and tracked down in Japan.
Coming next – a lightweight version of the RucTote in ripstop Ventile, expected to be out in October 2016. Look for some tactical design tweaks, like storm flaps covering the exterior pockets to keep out rain.
The other limited version is rendered in a gray loden wool produced up until the 1980s by Switzerland’s Eskimo Textile Co. (est. 1854). This fabric is highly durable and naturally water-repellent, yet posses a soft and pliant feel. A batch found its way to Japan where J.P.L.C. sourced it from a collector.