It seems that almost everything these days is jammed packed with multiple features. If a widget doesn’t perform umpteen different functions, it just isn’t good enough. Personally, I find that tiresome at times. So, it’s really refreshing to find a product that keeps it simple and does a job well. And, if it looks good while doing it…well, that’s icing on the cake.
About Stock & Barrel
Stock & Barrel is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Parker and Whitney Lichfield. With all of their products handmade in Ogden, Utah this duo hopes to revitalize a sense of adventure with each of the products they create. They work hard to reinforce their own “Carry Well” mantra. According to Whitney, “The idea of carry well is to surround yourself with things and people that are important to you. We believe that carrying quality products enables a more quality life.” And, from what we can tell, they’re doing a great job of providing those quality carry products.
The Stock & Barrel No. 32 Minimalist Satchel is a thing of beauty. The leather is sourced within the United States and is fully struck through (dye permeates through the entire hide). In speaking with Whitney about Stock & Barrel’s construction process, she had this to say, “We roll out the hide, trace the pattern, cut out the pattern, rivet, punch, etc., and then hand-stitch everything. At this time we don’t have any heavy machinery, we love the look of the hand-stitched, rugged, simple look. We aren’t opposed to machinery though and if demand continues to grow like it is machinery will be our next step!”
The leather is thick and has a nice pull up affect to it. It should develop an awesome patina with time and usage. Along with the great leather and exposed hand stitched seams, they utilize brushed stainless steel hardware, which I appreciate. It’s not flashy and allows you to focus attention on the bag as a whole.
In keeping with its minimalist name, the satchel has just one compartment. It will easily hold a 15” laptop, your iPad, charging cords, and various accessories with ease. Its 15.5″ x 10.5″x 3″ footprint is deceptive…it will hold a lot! One thing that I really appreciate is the “rain flaps” it has on the sides. Living in an area where it rains and snows frequently, it’s important to have a satchel that keeps your precious, expensive electronics dry. And the Stock & Barrel No. 32 Minimalist Satchel definitely does that thanks to this nice design feature.
The main flap uses a tuck-in closure to stay shut. It’s simple and is just another feature that adheres to the minimalist approach. No zippers, straps, buckles…just leather – really nice leather.
The shoulder strap is the only component of the bag that requires the use of hardware. It attaches to the satchel with D rings and lobster clasps. The strap is adjustable and wide enough that you don’t need a shoulder strap (keep it simple…remember?).
The thick, exposed thread and brushed stainless steel hardware when combined with the heavy leather create a visual feast for the eyes. With no pockets or hardware in the way, you’re immediately drawn to just the leather, which looks fantastic. The simplicity of the design definitely catches people’s attention. In carrying this bag on a few trips to a couple of my favorite coffeehouses and to church, it always elicited questions and comments. The vintage brown color is great too. It’s not as light as a natural vegetable tan finish, but it’s not a dark brown color either. “Vintage” is definitely an accurate descriptor because the leather appears to be old…”pre-patina’d” so to speak. But, what’s great is that you’ll definitely be able to develop your own unique patina with time and use on this satchel.
The Lichfield’s are definitely creating high quality leather carry goods. By using top quality leather, handmade attention to detail, and minimalist design features the No. 32 Minimalist Satchel is a stellar choice. At $345, it is reasonably priced – especially considering the fact that it will allow you to “carry well” for many, many years and then you can give the bag to one of your kids or grandkids so they can continue to use it.
*Be looking for another review coming soon for some of Stock & Barrels accessories (yes, the same ones seen in some of these pictures).