Man, this is a dang good-looking bag.
It’s the Moore and Giles Benedict Weekend Bag. I’ve owned it for about four weeks now. It has accompanied me on a 4-day and a 5-day trip. So far I’m loving it.
The leather itself has such a cool feel—soft, yet textured. The bag’s design scores high marks for style. It’s also spacious and durable. This is certainly one of the most impressive leather products I’ve seen in a while.
Moore and Giles was founded in 1933 during the heart of the Great Depression. They’re headquartered at Forest, Virginia. They’ve posted some impressive videos on their site that show the leathermaking process and give you a good idea of their concern for quality.
On their site, they list kindness among their key values. Maybe it’s the Buddhist in me, but that goes a long way in my book.
They’re also environmentally conscious. They point out that hides are a byproduct of food sources, so they take what would essentially be a waste product and transform it into luxury bags and other leather goods. It’s a pretty cool take on sustainability.
The Benedict Weekend Bag is constructed from nubuck leather.
Nubuck is an older word that likely comes from “new buck(skin).” Craftsmen create this type of top-grain leather by sanding off the upper (outside) hair-cell layer of the hide. This leaves a luxurious nap of short protein fibers with a soft, velvet-like surface (similar to suede). This buffing smooths out blemishes and makes the leather more capable of absorbing dyes and finishes, which provides for more consistent color across the surface. Because it’s not a full-grain leather, that means some of the scratches and uniqueness of the original hide can be lost, but I found my Benedict to still have tons of character, which you’ll see in the pictures.
The nubuck process is similar to but generally more expensive than crafting suede. It results in a product that’s thicker, stronger, and more resistant to wear, yet still soft to the touch. It can also mean the product is not as resistant to scratches, but I haven’t had any problems with my Benedict bag, no more than other leather products I own.
I upgraded to the Benedict wanting something for longer trips, and it more than met my needs. I packed for a 5-day business trip (including 3 pairs of shoes), and everything fit nicely. It’s big. It also has clasps on each end which you can release to give yourself more room. Then when you clip them back down, the bag becomes the perfect size for shorter trips. I love this adjustability.
The handles are thick and sturdy and feel like they could heft a weight set inside. The shoulder strap is hearty too, and it’s layered for comfort when carrying a heavy load.
The interior walls are lined with pockets in a variety of sizes. I’ve found other bags with pockets that are too big to be useful, but these are just right. I put my toiletries and other accoutrements in them for quick access. It also comes with a gift bag, a drawstring you can put the Benedict inside, which I think makes the perfect travel laundry bag.
The bottom of the bag has a stiff footing that gives some stability to whatever you pack in it. When you lug the bag by the handles, this footing keeps it from flopping and bending so much, which means it’s easier to carry. This also adds to the aesthetic—the Benedict always looks its best.
I haven’t had any troubles keeping mine clean. If yours does need cleaning, Moore and Giles recommends using mild soap and water with a cotton cloth. But it’s recommended to just let stains work themselves out with use.
As far as style goes, this bag is versatile enough to fit with boots and jeans or a business jacket.
The interior is lined with an interesting textile. I suspect it’s a synthetic fabric, maybe vinyl. If so, it should be water and stain resistant and durable against wear (though I haven’t purposefully stained it). It feels papery, is somewhat stiff, and makes a ruffling sound when you move it. It adds body and structure to the bag, so when you pull it open it stays open, and when it’s empty it still stands upright. This makes packing a breeze—it’s easy to access and work with. This also makes it a great container for holding your stuff once you arrive—and not just in transit.
The leather has distinct lines running through it. These vary in size and direction, giving the bag a crude and natural feel. It also means that your bag will have a unique fingerprint.
I ordered the Nubuck Bison Chocolate variation, but Moore and Giles has a variety of colors and finishes. (To find them, just type “Benedict” into the search bar on their site.)
I also got a Moore and Giles Accessories Case which runs at $180. When it’s in your hand, you get a strong sense of its quality workmanship. Like the bag, it’s made with American bison nubuck leather. It is soft to the touch on the outside. The inside is lined with a plush wool, ideal for protecting whatever valuables you want safe from scratches (a watch, for example). For you fishers out there, the wool also makes an ideal surface for hooking barbless flies into. I’m sure there are a variety of other uses you could find for this case too.
The Moore and Giles Benedict Weekend Bag is a fashionable leather piece. The craftsmanship is astounding. Its hardy structure means it’ll outlast competing bags. And its elegant design will draw compliments.
It’s an investment with a high price point, but, especially for a person who travels to earn, it promises a high-value return. I, personally, have been super impressed.