The Basader Messer Leather Briefcase Review – $315

There are endless designs for high quality leather briefcases and a lot of great options to choose from. In my opinion, this is the best value briefcase considering all the factors. Let me explain how and why.

Basader operates out of Brooklyn, NY and is run by Philip and Elin Antonelli. They first started on Etsy and have done very well on it. In May, 2013 they were the featured store on Etsy in recognition of their quality products.

the beginning

Philip & Elin have a background in design and fashion. Elin worked for Ralph Lauren and Philip worked in the fashion industry in website design. The problem they saw – and many others – is there inherent disposability in fashion products. So, they started designing and built a few briefcases to sell on Etsy. The rest is history. Their products have been a hit and as I have been fortunate enough to experience, they are well designed and crafted. Now you can also buy their products on basader.com as well as Etsy.

As with most great leather products, their construction principles are simple and follow the company philosophy of providing value through design and durability.

the bag

I got the Messenger Briefcase with no divider which fits my 15″ MacBook Pro perfectly. I should say, right off the bat, that I recommend always getting the divider. Without it, your laptop is in danger of being scratched by pens, keys and other objects with rough edges that you may have in the bag. Nevertheless,this dilemma can be remedied by just getting a sleeve for your laptop instead. Also keep in mind that while you can squeeze in a 17” laptop in, the tight will be very fit and I wouldn’t really recommend it considering the “scratch-hazards”; this includes the metal rivets on the interior’s side that would be impossible not to hit when you are trying to fit in a bigger laptop. Maybe that is just me…

I used a SBL Moleskine cover between my laptop and the pens to insulate it from scratches.

Despite the lack of divider, it can still be said that the interior is well thought-of. The collection of pockets inside are very usable, and there seems to be a snug compartment for the usual business necessities such as cell phone, pens, cards, notebooks and a small assortment of paper documents.

sleek styling

Philip & Elin’s collective experience in the fashion is evident in this briefcase’s design. The exterior is a handsome mix of sleek minimalism and old-school vibe. Notice the absence of visible rivets in the facade; this gives it a solid and smooth appearance that just tempts you to run your palms over it . And with such beautiful leather as its canvas, the result is impressive. The Hermann Oak leather that was used for this bag has a strong, deep color and a subtle sheen that’s not tacky but rather, extremely classy.

the build

Overall, the Basader Messenger Briefcase has a sturdy structure. The leather used is known not only for its aesthetic appeal but for its durability as well. Simply put, your prized laptop among other belonging will be well-protected inside. Hefty pieces of this Herman Oak leather are put together with clean double stitching. All of the rivets and buckles used to attach the strap to the actual bag are top-notch, nickel plated brass.

If there is any cause for concern it is where the straps meet the bag. If you are toting this on a rainy day, there is a risk of water seeping in through these gaps. I suggested this improvement to Philip and he enthusiastically agreed it could be improved on. It is neat to handle these products and work with their makers to make them even better. Sometimes an outside eye can spot previously unnoticed details.

comfortable shoulder strap

The shoulder straps do an excellent job at dispersing the load. I can easily imagine lugging this around all day without straining my shoulders. The padded part is also adjustable, ensuring a comfortable fit despite the adjustments in the length. This is something that you need to take into consideration if you are the type who is on the go for much of the day. You wouldn’t want your briefcase to be dragging you down or leave you wincing.

I must say that it is nearly perfect save for one flaw: there is a long “tail” left hanging when the strap is adjusted to be short.

This might not be that big of a deal for some but can be totally annoying for others. However, I wouldn’t count this against such a hardily-made bag with an impeccable design. But then again, this was addressed to Philip and true sport that he is, he promised to look into it and work on an improvement.

Best Leather conclusion

There’s not much to be debated about when it comes to getting the Bassader Messenger Briefcase. Though you might have to get extra protection for your gadgets to save it from scratches and from drops of moisture (should you decide to use it on a rainy day), it is still the best of briefcases at this value because:

  1. It has excellent space.

  2. It has a polished design that makes it a very handsome daily companion.

  3. It is impeccably constructed with excellent quality components.

  4. It is very comfortable to handle.

The only reason why you would consider something else is if you have a bigger laptop or carry more load daily than this bag can fit in. It is stellar.

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