The Rustic Leather Replica Mailbag Review this past spring introduced readers to Rustic Leather’s uncompromising dedication to full-grain American goodness. The Writer’s Bag is created with the same principles and is the latest addition to the product line found on their Etsy website.
Out of the box, the first thing that hits you is that fresh leather smell. You can’t really lose this bag because you can just sniff it out. It’ll make whatever room it’s in smell like your favorite leather shoe store or the box to your favorite pair of leather boots. The Writer’s Bag measures 9.5” wide, 11” high, and 2” deep. Made of 2-3mm thick full-grain 4-5 oz. cowhide, this small bag weighs in at 22 ounces. The leather is substantial and rugged – the dark chocolate color is not afraid to show off scratches while taking a beating. Stitching is performed with machine precision using marine grade, UV resistant, polyester thread. Rivets are placed at high tension areas such as edges and corners. The inside is a single compartment lined with a velvety soft suede lining (I wish my suede jacket was this soft). Like the rest of Rustic Leather’s gear, this bag is hand crafted in Texas.
The Writer’s Bag is a deeper version of Rustic Leather’s Shoulder Pouch. The original pouch was created to function as a second pocket on your body for keys, wallet, phone etc. This new bag has a simple, single compartment design with the original function to carry accessories but fills in the niche between a full briefcase or satchel and a thin pouch. In addition to your basic small everyday carry items, it is just tall and wide enough to fit small notebooks, an iPad Air, documents, books, small items of clothing, electronic gear like a Macbook charger, and anything else that you feel like cramming into the 2’’ deep pocket. There are two additional slim pockets on the sides for tall, thin items such as writing utensils, and a large back panel pocket for easy access papers and flat items. The looped flap closure design is also elegant and easy to use – a nice welcome to the endless buckles from all my other bags.
The Writer’s Bag can be used independently with the carrying strap provided, or it can be attached to other items using the snap-on fasteners in the back. These fasteners are bit more streamlined and sleeker looking than the Shoulder Pouch whose fasteners have a push-down handle. While these fasteners snap easily onto other items, it requires a little bit of practice to get used to quickly detaching them from your briefcase handle D-rings for example. First try took me a few minutes, now it takes me a few seconds. I’m sure once you get used to these handleless snaps it will be …..a snap. On the other hand, this bag would be great for travel or crowded areas, because thieves will not easily swipe it off your briefcase or satchel and it is less likely for an accidental bump to knock the fasteners off.
This bag is a simple, no-frills design created for function and durability. The stitching is impeccable and the rivets and raw unfinished edges definitely give the bag a more masculine and rugged feel. The rounded edges and even the smooth handleless fasteners (though frustrating) do add a bit of clean sophistication to the overall look. This particular bag is considered “Rich Chocolate,” although other color options such as “Buckskin Tan” are available if you contact Dave, the owner, through the website. The leather will start out tough and beautiful but will definitely get scratched, soften, and patina over time depending on how hard it gets thrown around. The Maker’s Mark on the back pocket does slightly break up the nice clean look of this bag, but the bag can be specifically ordered without it.
The Rustic Leather Writer’s Bag is a well-constructed durable intermediary between a full-sized satchel/briefcase and a shoulder pouch. Priced at $139 on their Etsy store, this bag would make a great gift for anyone with a taste for American-made leather without breaking the bank or their back.