Pad and Quill Roll Top Leather Backpack Review – $319

Who else remembers having a Jansport backpack or LL Bean backpack with their initials on it? That seemed to be the thing in high school, right? Well, now that I’m all grown up, I’m looking for something with a little more class and style — not to mention a slimmer and more chic design, so it doesn’t look like I’m carrying half of my body weight in it.

Well I’m happy to say that I found just that in the Roll Top Leather Backpack from Pad & Quill. It’s handsome yet rugged, minimal yet practical, and really will get the heads to turn (almost like in high school with those Grateful Dead bears or smiley face patches).



Kari and Brian, founders of Pad & Quill, are out to make their mark on the world of eCommerce. Instead of outsourcing their products to the lowest bidder, they have a strict code that they want all of their products to adhere to, which you can read about here. They have a 25-year warranty on their bags, showing their commitment to longevity. From their website:

“We think there are folks out there who have the same sense of awe as we do when they behold a beautiful thing. Who marvel at how a handful of seeds can become a majestic stand of Baltic Birch, that are then transformed, in artisan hands, into a gorgeous, organic product. There are friends who share our sense of adventure and love to have a bag they pull from their closet with 15 years of travel written upon it, and miles to go. Pad and Quill products will never resemble a trinket pulled from a fast food bag.”



The backpack is made from full-grain tumbled American bridle leather, hand-pounded copper rivets, parachute grade nylon stitching, sturdy zippers and solid nickel hardware. A small pocket on the exterior is about 5 x 7 inches and secures with single leather strap and nickel eye. The interior has a large open pocket that can hold up to a 15 inch laptop. There is also a smaller zippered compartment.


On one side of the backpack is a zippered access to the main bucket of the bag,


Their shoulder straps that are adjustable but not removable, along with a leather handle on top of the bag,


The dimensions of the bag are 12 inches wide x 16 inches length x 4.7 inches deep when closed, 25 inches long when unrolled. The bag weighs about 3 pounds empty.


As a medium sized bag, this bag is ideal for a day trip and possibly a minimal weekend. Although deep, The width and depth of the bag restrict it from holding a ton of gear which, in my opinion, is not a bad thing. Simple yet elegantly designed bags are sometimes meant to carry simple and minimal things.

The shoulder adjustable shoulder straps are ideal for shorter and taller people. I am 6 feet tall and my girlfriend is 5 feet tall and the design and look work great for both of us. Of course, Veronica will always say it works better for her!


The quality of this bag is top of the line and very durable. Out of the box, the tumbled leather has a nice broken-in and subtle flexibility to it which is nice since full grain leather takes serious time to break in! Again, the size is great for weekend/overnight travel and the bare necessities.

Being a tall guy, at first I thought the bag to look a little too small for my frame and suiting more to a shorter man or woman. However, I reminded myself that this bag is not a big, burly hiking or work bag but more of an everyday essentials bag. It fits 15″ laptops comfortably and can carry around work or school materials with ease.

One thing I disliked was the the body of the bag being a tad bit narrow and long, making it difficult to take things in and out. Although the side zipper is extremely helpful and aesthetically pleasing, it could be a hair longer to easier remove larger books or articles. But this is the only thing I would change and like anything, I will adapt to this over time where I will adjust to the bag rather than the other way around.



The Pad & Quill Roll Top Leather Backpack is an ideal companion for many occasions, including walks around the city, walks around the park, overnight trips or even as an everyday carry bag. I honestly can’t wait to see how this bad boy ages and wears in! At the price of a little bit above $300 I feel you are getting a good value for a handmade piece of such craftsmanship, design and detail.

Larger or taller men should definitely consider the size and use for this bag as it does not lend to hauling a large cargo. But, in my case, it’s a great thing to downsize the amount of stuff I take with me on a given excursion. In addition, the minimal size and classic color will lend great to any attire, casual or business. Check it out here.





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