Far Horizon Traders (FHT) has had some great products reviewed in the past including the Sahara Bag as well as the Ascent Rucksack. Today, we bring to you the Serengeti Satchel Review to complement their wide variety of bags.
The other two reviews mentioned it, and I’ll mention it again – the smell of FHT leather is addicting. It’s not overpowering and it’s not chemical. It’s just enough to lure your nose into taking a nice big whiff from the surface. The Serengeti Satchel is made from 4-5 oz full grain vegetable-tanned leather put together in Mexico. The front straps as well as shoulder straps are lined with a dark chocolate suede and the single internal compartment inside is lined with a brown canvas accented by a leather pocket and four slots for writing instruments or AA flashlights. A heavy-duty YKK zipper closes the top and the double straps on the front flap are held down by aged brass buckles. Brass rivets are also used on the straps.
The satchel measures 16″w x 10.5″h x 4″d. It is more than big enough to fit a day’s worth of work gear including a computer, laptop, light sweater, notebook, and camera. The single external side pocket has a slit-button cover for easy access and most importantly to keep things from falling out. The YKK zippered top is also a welcome security function that lets me forgo buckling down the front flaps when I’m in a hurry. The shoulder strap feels comfortable and the pad has a unique shape, although it could benefit from a little more “padding” besides the additional layer of suede. The large back panel pocket is surprisingly roomy and, due to the suppleness of the leather, really expands out to be able to fit a good amount. The bag itself is not too heavy given the fact that interior materials are mostly canvas.
My favorite part of this bag? This bag is SUPPLE. It’s the perfect balance of soft yet rugged leather. The bag is soft enough to contour to the items you fill it with, but sturdy enough to maintain its shape and stand empty. This is one of those bags you would hold on your lap on a crowded rush-hour subway and end up resting your head on and taking a nap. You really have to hold it to enjoy it. It’s a bear of a bag – tough looking on the outside but cuddly on the inside.
This bag follows the trend of the other Far Horizon Trader bags. It is appropriately named the Serengeti because it looks like it has been sun-tanned, aged, weathered, and well travelled, yet close your eyes and it feels like a new, just-conditioned, luxury bag. The patina is beautiful but not too much that you can’t build your own. Unlike some other rugged-type bags, there are almost no rivets on the bag itself and the inverted seems and folded edges add a sense of sophistication to this item. The color tone is subtle kept consistent throughout even down to the aged brass hardware. One other aspect of this bag is the multiple panels used to create it. The flap, side, front, back, and bottom add up to 12 separate pieces from what I can see. Some may argue that more pieces means more weak points but they do not appear to be in any particular load bearing areas and I actually prefer the aesthetic lines these create around the entire bag.
The Far Horizon Traders Serengeti Satchel is a soft, smelly, beat-up looking leather bag for $249.99 – all reasons why you should feel, smell, and use this bag as often as possible and not feel guilty.