Kendal & Hyde Medium Classic Satchel [Prototype] Review – $500

For several years I’ve thought about getting a leather satchel or messenger for myself. However, each time I looked into it, none of the options I saw spoke to me enough to justify a buy…until I saw an ad for the Kendal & Hyde Classic Satchel. The bag I had envisioned being on my side had finally surfaced. Rugged yet undeniably classy and cool, the Classic Satchel is sure to serve well and turn a lot of heads in any situation.

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Note that this review is based off several months with the same late-version prototype of the Classic Satchel in our first impressions review. Differences to the production bag will be noted, and details provided in the first impressions review won’t be addressed here.

About Kendal & Hyde

Kendal & Hyde, based in California and Utah, are relative newcomers to the leather world. They are now on their eighth project launch on Kickstarter, none of which have failed to at least double their pledge goal. Their company was founded on the desire to fill modern needs with classic looks and no compromises.

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Construction

The Classic Satchel is my personal first entry into the leather world. After the aesthetics grabbed my attention, it was time to do some research into what makes a quality leather bag. I quickly realized that Kendal & Hyde were cutting no corners on construction – thick, North American vegetable-tanned leather, solid brass custom hardware, and marine-grade polyester thread (note: prototype leather nor hardware are full production).

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Occasionally the stats on paper seem impressive but disappoint when you experience the real thing. This simply was not the case with the Kendal & Hyde Classic Satchel. Upon first sight, the bag exudes strength alongside its classic look. After a few months of use the strength has proven itself without fail. Production models will only be more sturdy.

Function

The Classic Satchel has many useful features common to bags of its type, but enhanced for the modern user. My favorite enhancement is the laptop pocket. It holds your laptop snug in the center of your bag, surrounded by several layers of leather on all sides and edges – it’s extremely well protected.

The front section’s pockets are great for smaller every day carry items, though besides storing a few papers, I usually don’t use the front area outside of the pockets. The back section isn’t compartmentalized, and is best for larger, solid items (since this compartment will hit against your body when wearing). Because of the divisions in the bag, any single item thicker than ~3” will be very snug, but the bag is overall large and will hold quite a bit.

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Kendal & Hyde offer several add-on accessories to customize your bag to your needs. The backpack straps are great for when you’re carrying a lot of weight or traveling further. The single/triple pockets were intended for Macbook chargers, but I use it for anything I want quick access to or don’t want any pressure on.

The quality of materials in the Classic Satchel also play a big factor in how well it functions. The thick, sturdy leather and solid hardware is strong and makes the satchel much easier to use than cheaper alternatives.

Aesthetic

If number of compliments are the only measuring stick for aesthetic, the Classic Satchel passes with flying colors.

My personal favorite aspect is the patina development on the “natural” color leather. Over time my satchel has developed colors and marks that distinguish it from any other. Kendal designs his bag with this purpose in mind, and it works well – your bag will truly become your own.

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Left to right: 9-16-15, 9-24-15, 11-4-15

Another fantastic thing about the Classic Satchel is the versatility of its look. I’ve yet to find an environment where it felt out of place – from suit to jeans. Here’s where the simultaneously classy and cool look really work in your favor.

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For reference, I’m 5’10” and approx. 165lb

BestLeather Conclusion

The Kendal & Hyde Classic Satchel is strong enough to serve you well for a lifetime and has the looks to fit in nearly any environment. Over time it will become uniquely your own product, whether from customization with accessories or simply from the marks (memories) that will develop on the beautiful vegetable tanned leather. At $500 the Classic Satchel is a fantastic value – and at the time of writing, Kendal & Hyde are still offering a $100 discount to early buyers. Not only is the Classic Satchel a great value, but should last long enough for your children to enjoy too. It is a Buy It For Life product that I highly recommend.

13 Comments

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  1. Much praise heaped on this product! As I am in the market for my own Buy For Life, how does this fare against Basader’s Handmade Classic Messenger Bag with Gusset, which has taken your Best Briefcase Award for two straight years now? Also, how does it compare to White Buffalo Republic? A highlight of your review of their Fairview has a similar mention of compliments abound:

    “I think close to 20 people commented on my bag within the month I had it…and the comments continue to come wherever I carry it. Some of them have pulled me aside while walking into or out of our office. “Nice bag, man!” is what I hear a lot.”

    Thanks!

    • Hey Debby, sorry, but I’m not very familiar with White Buffalo Republic or Basader’s products, or I would be happy to give you a better comparison! If I get a chance to at least look into those products via the web I could follow up with some comparison.

  2. Is this the Small, Medium or Large Bag in the jeans and suit comparison pic? The bag’s relative size to a person would be good approximation of Form and Fit. Haven’t been able to find this anywhere. Thanks.

    • Hi There – thanks for the comment. This is a Medium Satchel (it’s referred to in the title of the article). Hope that’s helpful information for you! Thanks.

    • Sorry the size wasn’t easier to find. I hoped the comparison to my frame would be helpful to would-be buyers.

  3. Watch out for them though. Lots of people (myself included) waiting on bags after paying upfront. Months of little (or misleading) communication. I’d recommend only ordering through the website and paying with paypal. I’m watching the date to ensure I can contest this thing if I don’t see some movement soon. Very questionable practices.

    • @imfb, We have indeed had some tremendous difficulties launching this product due in part to getting overwhelmed with an unanticipated volume of orders as well as late leather shipments and extra slow tanning due to unusually cold winter temperatures, Chinese New Year related delays to replace some hardware pieces that were exhausted from the US Distributors stock, and other manufacturing headaches. We have been shipping bags since December, but it has taken us much longer than we anticipated to get ahead of the orders much to our embarrassment. The good news is that by the end of this month we will be caught up and all pre-production orders will have been shipped and we will have inventory stocked on the shelf for immediate shipping (unfortunately, the $100 pre-production discount offered to those willing to wait will be discontinued.) PayPal or credit card contesting deadlines aside, we will and do refund anyones money should they choose to cancel a preorder. No need to contest it with the Bank or PayPal, all you need to do is contact us and we can issue a refund immediately.

      • Thanks for jumping in here Kendal to address this comment (which appear in slightly different forms on every one of our K&H articles). I’ve already seen many, many satisfied customers posting photos of their bags from you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks for creating such a quality product. These are just little bumps in the road and for those who are willing to take the ride it’s well worth the wait. ~Tim

      • Thanks for jumping in. My biggest issue is the communication, when I’ve handed over a decent amount of money for a bag, I’d like to get reasonably timely, accurate, updates. Your website still says the duffel will begin shipping to website pre-orders in April, while it’s looking like June (or later) based on your recent kickstarter update.

        The thing is, I wouldn’t mind another delay as much if this were communicated. It’s a six week process to tan your leather prior to the bags being constructed, so if you haven’t started tanning yet, you know you’re not shipping the bags in two weeks. It’s ok to say “we have a delay here and we don’t know when it will be fixed.” I would much prefer that to thinking everything is going well until I find out that there has been a problem for months you knew about.
        As it is, I have to check my email, your website, and your kickstarter updates (and I wasn’t a kickstarter backer) and compare the information to see what’s happening with my bag. That’s not a great situation.

  4. I ordered mine last week. A small in natural. I saw the posts regarding the order fulfillment issues and reached out to Matt directly and he assured me the issues have been resolved. I placed my order, which they happened to have in stock, and when he received it he quickly sent a note to the warehouse staff to expedite the shipping. From the moment I placed the order to the moment I received shipping notification, it was about 40 mins. They’re trying very hard, guys. If there are issues, it’s not due to lack of effort. Running a business has it’s ups and downs, but they’re doing the best they can and rolling with the punches. They definitely have my vote of confidence.

  5. Many, many months later and still no product. Don’t be duped. Company was just sold to VC who claims their customer service has been “shut down” for over a month and they are unable to access emails (many requesting refunds). It is unlikely they will get things sorted out soon if ever. Still trying to get a refund for the duffle I purchased last summer. No communication re delays for months and months. This is/was a deeply broken and dysfunctional company.

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