I’ve never really been a luggage guy. A stiff nylon box with wheels attached to it, no thanks. You obviously can’t deny the convenience of a roller, but sometimes you just have to do things differently. When it comes to a weekend jaunt or an overnight business trip, duffles reign supreme. Finding that precarious balance of style, function and build can be tricky. I think I found a solid candidate however, Buffalo Jackson’s Jefferson Leather Duffle.
The Jefferson Duffle is made up of full grain leather, the wax finish and vegetable tanning process provide for a “pull up” effect which is the way the leather seems to darken or lighten when handled. The interior features a largely cotton lined interior in a herringbone pattern. We see YKK solid brass zippers as hardware. Along with the double grab handles, the Jefferson also has D rings which you can attach the included shoulder strap for handling heavier loads hands free.
There’s a scene in the classic romcom, Joe vs. The Volcano where Joe visits a high end luggage boutique and a very passionate, somewhat eccentric salesman excitedly expounds on the features of a certain steamer trunk. I could totally see this duffle in that shop. The Jefferson has just about everything you need, and not much else you don’t. My favorite feature is hands down the shoe compartment. Segregating shoes or dirty laundry is crucial for me and not having to carry a plastic bag is nice. There’s plenty of space, bordering on too much – if you were to pack this bag it would not only be heavy (The bag weighs a few pounds empty) but somewhat cumbersome. I would really have liked a small slotted pocket on the exterior for quick stashing of small essentials like phones, wallets or keys. This bag shines as a weekend get away bag or as a classy gym bag.
The classic design of the Jefferson seems to handle any scenario with finesse. I could totally see a hot shot business exec toting one into the country club locker room, yet could also see a blue collar guy throwing it in the pickup for a weekend camping trip. One of the absolute best things about leather is the fact it will look better with use, it will develop character and you’ll come to treasure it. So don’t be careful, throw it around and use it! The thick full grain offers a very appealing presence, this bag is like a puppy..people will comment on it..to a fault.
Buffalo Jackson’s Jefferson Leather Duffle does a great job of blending modern features with old world craftsmanship. The hefty price tag is definitely a hold up. You can get something just as durable in a non leather material for a fifth of the price, but you’d be hard pressed getting this aesthetic. The shoe compartment is a major selling point but the heavy weight of the bag is something to consider. All things considered, it’s a high quality bag that will not only perform, it will do it looking stylishly. As the great Deion Sanders put it, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good.”