When I went looking for a briefcase a few years ago, I had a few criteria. First, it had to be quality leather. When I first started looking I didn’t know very much about leather, but I did know I didn’t want something that would feel flimsy and cheap. Second, it had to be within my price range. That is, my combined Christmas money from that year! Third, it had to fit a 13″ MacBook—since that’s the size I have tended to gravitate toward in my last few computer purchases. Fourth, it had to be able to convert to a backpack, if needed.
I scoured dozens of websites looking for just the right bag. Some were too expensive for my budget. Others felt too cheap. Some were the wrong dimensions or size. Many of them had some of the qualities, but not all.
Then I found Rustic Leather. Their Medium Briefcase in “rich chocolate” color fit exactly what I was looking for. And two years later, it’s still serving me well. Rustic Leather’s products are made right here in the good ol’ US of A. Texas, to be more precise. Being American-made wasn’t on my list of top four must-haves, but that’s certainly a plus.
I mainly use the briefcase for—you guessed it—carrying books and papers back and forth from work. Its depth is just right: 6 inches (minus an inch because of double-stitching)—meaning I can carry my MacBook alongside a thick book several hundred pages in length. And there is still room in the front where the interior pockets and pen loops are for another book or two, if you choose.
Since two shoulder pad sleeves are included, and I only use one for my shoulder, I just scrunch the extra strap up inside the one I’m not using at the bottom. I removed the two front straps, since rarely do I need to strap extra items to the front. But if you like the look and/or functionality, they won’t add much weight to your shoulder. Speaking of weight, at 4 lbs, 11 oz, it’s just the right weight.
The leather itself is 100% full grain 4-5 ounce boot leather. After 2 years of using it nearly every day, I still love its rustic (no pun intended) look. The lining is suede and still feels as soft as when it first arrived in the mail. I have experienced some threads coming loose along where the shoulder strap rubs against the bag’s flap, but that’s nothing a seamstress can’t fix. The shoulder strap is quite long, perhaps helpful for a taller person.
Not only do I get compliments nearly every time I take it into public, I find it infinitely valuable to my day’s work (and play). My Rustic Leather Medium Briefcase is both beautiful and useful. And, at $349 it’s a fairly viable purchase – especially considering it’s made in the USA and is a durable choice that will look great for many years to come.
~ Dustin Battles, Guest Contributor