While I’m a fan of standard briefcase designs, it’s refreshing to see one with a unique take. Buffalo Jackson’s Jefferson Briefcase diverges from the typical buckle closure to favor a two-compartment bag that’s a great option for a slim laptop carry.
About Buffalo Jackson
Buffalo Jackson Trading Company is the story of the Rugged Gentleman™, a flesh and blood character defined by the values of grit, honesty, pride, and character.
Founded in Colorado in 2009 and currently residing in North Carolina, Buffalo Jackson is a brand inspired by the great outdoors. Their aim is to bring quality products that keep us connected with the rugged wild that we came from.
Leather & Construction
The Jefferson is made of full-grain vegetable cowhide with a pull-up finish. The leather is thick and assembled to have a semi-rigid structure. The outermost seams are all turned inward, protecting the threads and giving a very streamline look to the bag. Internally the bag is lined with a durable cotton/poly material in herringbone. Construction is of high quality with no notable concerns.
Hardware is brass, a good balance of strength and low weight. Two thick handles make carrying by hand easy, and an adjustable strap with pad allows for shoulder carry as well.
The Jefferson is made up of two compartments, symmetrically placed on either side with their own zipper. Both sides have a laptop or tablet compartment against the inner wall. On the other side are smaller organization pockets. Documents or books could fit between.
This alternate take on the briefcase does solve what I personally think is the biggest issue with the typical flap and buckle design: being able to pick up the bag quickly at any time. With the flap, you have to close the buckles before picking it up by the handle. Otherwise you’ll awkwardly pick up the flap and the bag hangs open. The Jefferson’s handles are attached to the sides of the bag where you can grab them and lift anytime, even with the zippers open.
The zipper does have its drawbacks. For example, I found myself using my hand to protect the zipper-side of my laptop as I pulled it in and out. Otherwise the zipper brushes against my laptop and I was nervous about scratches. Also, the zipper on my Jefferson was very sticky and caught frequently. I’ll definitely need some waxing to smooth them out. This may not be the case for every Jefferson produced as YKK zippers are usually reliable.
I think the best use case for the Jefferson is as a daily laptop bag. It’s compact and convenient to carry while still having room for more items. It can open and expand a bit more than you might think–I was able to fit about 2″ (5cm) of books or other semi-flat items in either side before it became difficult to close. The Jefferson is conveniently sized to be a perfect “personal item” on most major airlines.
The Jefferson is a beautiful design to show off the polished, pull-up leather it’s made with. It gives off a vintage vibe in a way that doesn’t ever seem out of place. I’m a huge sucker for pull-up leather, and it really pops on the Jefferson. The variations and gradients reflect the light just right. You’ll be very proud to carry this bag into the office and probably get a lot of compliments along the way.
If you want a leather laptop carry but need to keep it minimal, the Buffalo Jackson Jefferson briefcase is a great choice. The zipper compartments are a unique feature for a briefcase with their pros and cons. It’s quick and easy to grab and go every day and can hold a fair amount of extras. It’s well built with gorgeous pull up leather. The price is around what you’d expect. The Jefferson is a great slim carry option that should last for decades.