Moore & Giles Carlton Courier Bag Review – $610

There are tons of messenger bags on the market, and sometimes it can be tough to choose one that stands out as your style. An easy way to make your bag stand out is by selecting a unique leather. Moore & Giles has done just this with their Carlton Courier Bag made with American Bison leather.

Moore & Giles Carlton Courier 6ABOUT MOORE AND GILES

Moore & Giles has been firmly entrenched in the leather industry since it was founded in 1933 in Lynchburg, VA. Currently, Moore & Giles employs more than 70 people in its headquarters in Forest, Virginia with representation in every major metropolitan area as well as strategic partnerships in England, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Moore & Giles designs and develops luxurious natural leathers for leather upholstery, residential leather, hospitality leather and aviation leather. In 2007 they also introduced a collection of luxury leather bags and accessories as an additional avenue to showcase their leathers.

We’ve reviewed quite a few Moore & Giles products including the Bray Sportsman Duffel, Donald Dopp Kitt, and Brennan Rucksack. A few weeks ago, we published an interview with Thomas Brennan, one of their product designers. You can read the interview here. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Carlton Courier Bag.

Moore & Giles Carlton Courier 3


Moore & Giles beautiful bison leather is really the star of the show here. The natural wrinkles and striations of the bison hide set it apart and give it a very luxurious look. The leather is supple, yet sturdy. The bag also comes in a slightly darker cowhide called Titan Milled Brown. Each bag comes with a monogramming option, located at the top of the exterior pocket. The leather is absolutely perfect, and will require some maintenance to remain supple and scuff-free. We reviewed Moore & Giles proprietary leather conditioner here, which works very well on this bag. We’ve reviewed quite a few other leather conditioners, which you can read about on our “Leather Care” tag.

Moore & Giles Carlton Courier 8


The Carlton Courier measures in at 15” x 10” x 4”,  slightly smaller than the average messenger bag. Its compact inside space is maximized by several zippered pockets:  a small pouch on the front, a slim one on the front of the inside, and a large pocket that stretches the whole back of the bag. The rest of the bag, between the two interior zippered pouches, is totally open in the middle, leaving room for books, tablets, notebooks, or a 13″ laptop.

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The edges are all trimmed and finished nicely, and the inside of the bag and the top flap are lined with Moore & Giles classic fabric liner. Despite the thick leather, the messenger bag stays fairly slim, and doesn’t get bulky even when full.

Moore & Giles Carlton Courier 7

The Carlton has the classic, buckled double strap look, but with a convenient twist — you won’t have to fiddle with a buckle every time you want to open your bag. Instead of traditional heel bar buckles, hidden slide locks fasten the straps for quick access with the press of the button. The slide locks don’t feel cheap or easily breakable, making the tradeoff from heel buckles feel less scary. They also hide very well under the buckles, and no one will ever know the difference.

Moore & Giles Carlton Courier 1

The strap is attached to the bag with D-rings and a lobster claw clasp, and the thick padded strap is unusually comfortable. These straps are removable if you prefer to carry it as a briefcase, and the top handle is sturdy enough to do so.

Moore & Giles Carlton Courier 2


The Carlton Courier Bag is a traditionally styled, compact messenger bag set apart by its thick, beautifully finished American Bison leather. American Bison leather is always quite pricy, so $610 seems a fair price for such a large amount of high quality leather. Moore & Giles continues to make classy, well-constructed items for the high-end buyer.

Moore & Giles Carlton Courier 4


Submit a Comment
  1. Great review, thanks for sharing. Is this the bison model you have pictured? It looks very reddish in the photos while the Moore&Giles website has a much more brownish color for bison.

    • Hi Phil – yes, it is their American bison bag. It did photograph with a more reddish hue out in the sun. Beautiful bag!

  2. Would you consider Moore and Giles bags durable? I am looking for something that will last me for years

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