Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Getting Started with Jon Hart

A friend, Lori Quarles, sent me an email asking me for my recommended items to start a collection of Jon Hart luggage. I was thrilled to answer her request, because Jon Hart is a line I love to sell and feel is a wonderful value. I have Jon Hart bags that I purchased in college, over 15 years ago, that still look fabulous.  This line is crafted with pride in San Antonio, and in my opinion it is far superior to soft fabric luggage like Vera Bradley for overall durability.  In response to Lori's question, here are some of our favorite Jon Hart pieces and why!

Getting started:

In my opinion, the best place to start is the "daytripper-overnighter-weekender" family. These three bags are $167 to $237 in price range (2014 prices). The construction is similar within the family, but the sizes differ. You can view dimensions for all of these bags on

Daytripper: I personally have the daytripper in black, it is a staple.  Most of the time, my "essentials" live in the bag and I keep it packed in my closet.  If we are just going to spend one night at my in-laws for example, I add a few articles of clothing like pajamas and a change for the next day and that is all I take. If we are going on a longer trip, like to the beach, the daytripper becomes the bag that all of my bathroom essentials go in - curling iron, hair dryer, makeup, shampoo, etc, and separately I pack a larger bag with clothes only (typically the steamer for me).

When flying, the daytripper is my perfect carry on. I have never found a seat that it will not go under or an overhead bin that will not hold it.

The overnighter and weekender are both fabulous alternatives to the daytripper. These two bags both have an exterior pocket which many people might find helpful, in addition to more room. Carter White Hood swears by the weekender (the largest bag) and while I do not have one, I do feel like if it was not completely stuffed you could probably fit it anywhere needed on an airplane. The overnighter (middle size bag) is Bethany's favorite because it fits her ukulele!

After seeing all the bags in person, I probably would have still chosen the daytripper as my choice from this family because for a while I was flying a good bit.  But if you are more frequently doing car travel one of the other bags is probably going to give you considerably more packing room.

While we do occasionally sell the daytripper-overnighter-weekender family for men, most of the time these pieces appeal to women. I will outline men's pieces separately.

Tyler Tote
Sally North who worked in our store always loved the Tyler tote.  Jon Hart has a variety of totes, but the Tyler one stands out because it has a zippered top, and small side pockets.  The tyler tote is a great item to have in your collection. If you have the weekender for your clothes and shoes, the Tyler tote is a great bag to put your bathroom items in.  It's great for car travel.  The zipper in the top folds flat to the sides when not in use. That is convenient, but it does mean that if you had the bag zipped some smaller items could slip out the sides where the zipper does not meet. For my use the daytripper is better because I am likely to turn it upside down or on it's side in the airplane, but if you travel more in the car then this bag is going to be great for you and it has a very polished lady-like look. You could use it to get your toiletry items into the bathroom when you travel, but then if you empty it you could carry it down to the pool or beach as well, so that is one reason this bag is probably on my list of future bags to get.

Bigger items:
I have the steamer (shown above) and it holds a considerable amount of clothing.  It is my supplement to the daytripper when we go to the beach or on a long car trip. Makeup and little things go in the daytripper, and clothes and shoes go in the steamer. It does not have a lot of pocket dividers, but I find that allows for the maximum amount of clothing to be enclosed! 

Large Wheels
The wheels collection was added since the time I bought my steamer (over 15 years ago!) - so I will concede that my steamer is pretty heavy when it's loaded down and there are times when I wish it was on wheels!  It just depends where you are going, if you are just staying in a hotel or somewhere that a rolling cart will be available to take your luggage to your room a heavy steamer is not a big deal.  But I would not want to drag it through an airport. Enter the wheels group. Jon Hart, knowing these bags will incur some wear and tear when handed over to the airlines, now includes a clear cover with the bigger pieces to protect them.  We have many customers who have had these and love them!
There is a small carry on size, a large wheels, and a super wheels.

Medium Square Duffle
Joe Duffle
These two bags are ones that some women like but that men seem to like too.
The one on the left is the square duffel. We have the medium size in the store for you to view, and it is our best selling size, but there is a large and small too. It has lots of exterior pockets which allow for organization, but that takes up some of the clothing room. That is why we think this is a better bag for a guy.  You could probably squeeze the medium square duffle under an airline seat or in an overhead bin, assuming it is not completely filled. But if it was filled to the max it might be tough.
The bag on the right is the Joe Duffle. There are three sizes in the duffel bag family, and this is the largest. It is a great value, and because it does not have a lot of exterior pockets or interior pockets, it will hold a surprising amount of clothing - all be it all thrown in the one compartment.  But isn't that how most college and high school guys pack anyway? It is a good space saver in the back of the car with it's long skinny shape.

Makeup bags:
Makeup Case
Travel Kit
Clear Shag Bag

People are hard on makeup bags. The Jon Hart ones are very durable. The standard ones do not have a wipe-out liner, but we find that it's easy to wipe down the coated canvas interior. The grande (top left) is the top selling size, and it also has a smaller sister called the "chico." The "makeup case" is the red oval bag with the handle.  It is great for various toiletries or a considerable amount of makeup. It too has a smaller sister called the "mini makeup." People love the fact that the lid opens up and it is easy to access on the vanity. Because there is concern that the interior of the makeup bag is not plastic, the company has introduced a clear shag bag that we are excited to see an have a sample of coming for the show.  We think this will be great for full size shampoo bottles and just the convenience of being able to see at a glance what's inside. I should mention that the grande and chico smaller bags also come in a clear material that are airport approved.  I personally also have the "travel kit" which is the rectangular red bag shown on the bottom left.  I do love it for makeup because it is not as deep as the makeup case so I feel I can see my stuff easily.  But it is pretty big, and probably not something you would always take with you. Some people worry that it does not have a plastic lining that you can wipe out, and it does get a little dirty but I don't let a lot of other people see my makeup bag so it doesn't really bother me.

Other notable pieces we have ordered over the years that we like are:
The boarding case - a small bag that rides on the top of your rolling bag.
The bible cover - my favorite guy's gift!
The zippered agenda - a great planner and the company offers refills each year.

I get asked frequently what the best colors are for Jon Hart - ones you "will not get tired of."
The funny thing is that it completely differs for different people.
Brandon Kennedy has the hot pink.
Summer Adams has the Aqua blue.
Vickie Lynn Adams has the lime.
Most guys like either saddle, espresso, or black.
Carter Hood's favorite is French Blue (a lighter navy color).
Claire Frascogna has Navy Blue.
I have a mix!  My daytripper is in black, but my original bags are in red and I still love them!

I really think you can not go wrong.  You can mix and match your collection, or keep it all consistent.
We know you will love it as much as we do!


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