There comes a time to take the leap from a nylon messenger bag to a quality leather piece that excels in both form and function. If you search for “best leather bag” in Google, the first hit will be the Saddleback Leather Company website– and for good reason. Saddleback Leather (SBL) is a Texas-based company specializing in full-grain, fully tanned leather goods designed to last a lifetime and beyond. This is an online company whose commitment to well-made leather products have earned it a cult following among the style and leather forums across the internet. Today I’ll be taking a look at their Large Leather Satchel.
CONSTRUCTION & AESTHETIC
Saddleback uses full-grain chrome tanned leather, all fully dyed. This particular satchel is in their Black color, which is a darker version than the Carbon color they used to use. The satchel also comes in Chestnut, Dark Coffee Brown, and Tobacco. The leather, as always with Saddleback, is extremely high quality and sturdy, getting softer and more supple with age. You can learn a bit about the leather Saddleback uses on their website.
Some bags have seams at the edges of the bottom, or a seam down the middle of the bottom, which binds multiple smaller pieces of leather. But each seam is a potential weak point, which is a problem for someone who wants their briefcase to last a lifetime. Saddleback’s Leather Satchel is made up of only two main pieces of leather: the front flap going around all the way down the back, and the front panel. The edges are rounded to accommodate this design.
To further strengthen the bag, all seams are double-stitched and the stress areas are reinforced with copper and brass rivets, as well as hidden polyester strips. The hardware is nickel-plated brass and can hold up well against any abuse you’d give it. I appreciate that this satchel has only one strap and is relatively minimalist with the hardware. I think it has a simple and classic look while still maintaining the hefty “Saddleback” look. I’m not always a huge fan of their products that have tons of pockets and jangly bits, so I think this satchel strikes a nice balance.
A large ring at the top of the bag allows you to convert the satchel into a backpack if you so choose. Just detach the lobster claw clasps from the sides, run the strap through the ring, and reattach to the smaller rings at the bottom. There’s even two shoulder pads to keep you comfortable. Of course, using such thick and sturdy leather means the bag weighs about 5 pounds empty. This isn’t terribly heavy, all things considered, but it will be an adjustment if you’re not accustomed to carrying around quality leather bags.
The bag features a two side pouches and a slim pouch that runs across the back for quick access. The inside of the satchel has two small phone or pen compartments, a key fob strap, and a sleeve for an iPad, book, or notebook. You can also fit an 11″ MacBook in the sleeve. A 13″ MacBook or other laptop can fit in the large pouch. At 14” W x 11” H x 5” D, the satchel is a nice in-between size. Not too bulky, but has plenty of room to fit what you need to run to a class or a meeting.
This satchel comes in two smaller sizes. The small is 10” W x 9” H x 4” D, for $308, and the medium is 12” W x 10” H x 4” D, for $378. I imagine these sizes would function well for ladies as a purse, too.
The Saddleback Large Leather Satchel is an excellent choice for an everyday carry bag. It is spacious and functional without being bulky. The hefty leather, strong seams, and sturdy hardware will outlast you and all the items you put in it. Its simple lines and classic color means this leather satchel will never go out of style.