Kodiak Leather 30L Weekender Duffel Review – $340

As a baby we require a diaper bag. As a boy, we need a backpack. As a man, we need a quality leather duffel. A leather duffel for travel is a must have for someone who looks for quality and statement pieces. Although high quality handmade leather bags tend to be on the pricey side, their quality should last a lifetime and even be able to be passed down to the next generation.

Kodiak Leather 30L Weekender Duffel is an exceptionally gorgeous bag, with all the pockets and room one needs for a weekend+ trip. And, in my opinion, is very affordable given the style, leather, design and overall quality. I was very excited to add this piece to my leather collection as my first leather duffel bag. I am now a man.

About Kodiak Leather Co.

Kodiak Leather Co. of Utah is a startup in Lehi, Utah founded by Jared Morse, an outdoorsman who was frustrated by the lack of reasonably priced leather bags that would hold up through all the wear and tear of daily use. This inspired Jared to create Kodiak Leather Co. and our custom leather bags. After finding only the highest quality leather and hardware, he set out to build a bag that would last a lifetime.

Fast Forward 4 Years…
After having 4 successful Kickstarter campaigns, the Buffalo Leather Satchel, The Classic Weekender Duffel, the Sitka Leather Messenger, and the most recent Kobuk Leather Backpack,  they have come full circle on offering a wide variety of travel bags , briefcases (similar to the satchel and the messenger), as well as some smaller, everyday carry items like journals and wallets.


The 30L Weekender duffel is made from a thick top grain buffalo leather and a high grade thread. Premium brass hardware and YKK zippers are used in the bag. The bag is available in 2 leather finishes: antique brown and dark walnut (pictured). The dimensions of the bag are 10″ deep x 20″ length x 11″ height. The bag has 2 zippered exterior pockets measuring 6″x7″. There is also interior side slots for cards, a device pocket and 2 pen holders The interior of the bag is lined with a dark brown fabric liner with an interior zippered pocket measuring 6″ x 9″ as well as side card, device and pen holders. The removable strap is a combined use of quality nylon and leather. In addition to the removable strap there are two regular top handles with a 2 snap closure.


This is a great functioning bag for a weekend or even a longer pack. The zippers are  heavy duty and I can tell they will hold up over time and use. For me, it is just a perfect sized bag fitting plenty of clothes, books, travel gear and even a couple pairs of shoes if needed. I tend to pack minimally so this bag could suit a week’s travel trip for me. If you are one that needs more space, there is also a new kickstarter page for a 45L duffel  as well as a 60L duffel available with more pockets and features as well. The pockets are not that deep which for me is perfect as I won’t feel the need to stuff them and have a hard time finding a specific item. But if you are looking for a wider or deeper pocket, then you may consider the larger option. The side pockets to me are suitable for a wallet, regular sized smart phone, keys, passport and a small notebook or charger even. The inside pocket falls into the same category- not quite wide or deep enough for a toiletry bag or book but enough room for small accessories, change, keys, etc..


As mentioned above, the color and look of this leather is just gorgeous with a more distressed look with plenty of cracks and contrast in the leather. I personally love this look as it looks already as if is an heirloom item and will continue to get that rugged look over time. I also like the fact that the bag is lined with a nice nylon fabric to protect any clothing. Lastly, although a small detail, I really like the fact that their are brass raisers on the bottom of the bag to somewhat keep the bag from resting or dragging on the ground. Most may not see the benefits of these, but I feel it’s a nice detail if not just a style touch.


There are so many options for leather weekender duffels on the market and they range in price based on the intricate work and, or course, high quality leather used. I feel this bag lays somewhere right above the middle ground with the top grain leather, lightweight yet very stylish and functional. And at a reasonable price. Kodiak Leather also features regular promotions and sales so keep your eyes peeled! Check out this bag –here– and use promotion code: ‘ABANACH20’


ColsenKeane No. 217 Utility Bag- $475

Carrying things from A to B is one of the most basic functions we do as humans. Everything from suitcases, shopping carts, cars, trucks, planes, and boats are designed just to move stuff around. For most people’s daily needs there are plenty of options, with many electing to use something as simple as a plastic supermarket bag. If you’re seeking an item with a lot more flair, there is the No. 217 Utility Bag from ColsenKeane Leather.

I have to be honest and say that this is the first bag I’m reviewing on BestLeather, which makes me somewhat of a novice. With that said, I hope my article does ColsenKeane and this bag much-deserved justice. The company, based in North Carolina, has been creating top-notch leather goods since 2010. Most people that saw me wearing the 217 for the first time complimented it right away, a testament to the team’s design skills and craftsmanship. Let’s get into it.

The Utility Bag leather has a gorgeous color and design, which makes each piece unique


When I got the bag, I was immediately drawn to the full-grain leather. That may sound cliche on this blog, but I think this stuff is pretty exceptional. The Utility Bag that I asked for was made out of a veg tanned hide in a unique style called Havana Brown. The color has an absolutely beautiful brown sheen that catches your eyes immediately. The highs and lows that run along the finish are stunning and give it real character. Looking at the pictures that I took, I would say they make the color pop a bit more than in real life, but not by much. The bag comes in a couple of other styles, but you definitely can’t go wrong with this one.

The hides are very thick, adding to the weight of the piece. I wouldn’t call the Utility Bag heavy, but it’s noticeable when sitting on your shoulder. I tend to prefer things that feel durable, so I consider this a plus.

Taking a look at the design shows you just how much ColsenKeane knows what they’re doing. The entire case is made with just five cuts of leather: 1 large piece that forms the shape of bag, the 2 side panels stitched to the main piece, and 2 belts woven along the surface of the bag. Limiting the amount of stitching and separate pieces minimizes the weak points in the bag, which adds to the integrity and strength of the product.

Colsen Keane has been making leather goods since 2010 in North Carolina

The rest of the details shouldn’t be overlooked either. The hardware on the bag- the buckles, rings, rivets- look and feel great, perfectly complimenting the colors of the leather. The handle and shoulder strap are made in the same Havana Brown, completing the Utility Bag’s look. From beginning to end, every aspect was designed with precision and forethought. The leather, stitching, colors, and handles all come together to make one fantastic product.


Given its size (13″ x 7.5″ x 7″ ), I found the Utility Bag most useful when taking a few things to work everyday. My lunch, headphones, water, sunglasses, and some small knickknacks all fit well, with some extra space if I ever needed it. I was also able to use it as an overnight bag on occasion without issue.

My brother is a photographer, so I lent him the 217 to use as a camera bag for a bit. He was able to fit his camera, a couple of lenses, and some other gear in the Utility Bag without hassle. I saw him carrying it around a couple times, and I think it made him look like a real professional. If you’ve been thinking about getting a case/bag that will complement your DSLR, this one should definitely be considered.

The bag can be a great option for photographers seeking a standout carrying case

For what I needed, the Utility Bag was a good fit. I will say that if you’re looking to get it, make sure it’s the right size for you. It’s not really big enough to just toss your average laptop in, and stuffing a few days worth of clothing may be tough. If you want something that can be used a bit more freely, you should take a closer look at ColsenKeane’s duffle bags. They come in the same colors and have a similar design, so most of what I’m saying here will apply to those bags as well.


I know a lot of folks (especially guys) are looking for something to carry a few things around everyday. If you’re anything like me, you want the luxury of having extra space just in case. You might be looking for a bag that you can fit your camera and a few accessories, or to carry some lunch and gear to work. Whatever your needs are exactly, the Utility Bag from ColsenKeane is a handsome multipurpose bag made with incredible quality.

Pad and Quill Roll Top Leather Backpack Review – $319

Who else remembers having a Jansport backpack or LL Bean backpack with their initials on it? That seemed to be the thing in high school, right? Well, now that I’m all grown up, I’m looking for something with a little more class and style — not to mention a slimmer and more chic design, so it doesn’t look like I’m carrying half of my body weight in it.

Well I’m happy to say that I found just that in the Roll Top Leather Backpack from Pad & Quill. It’s handsome yet rugged, minimal yet practical, and really will get the heads to turn (almost like in high school with those Grateful Dead bears or smiley face patches).



Kari and Brian, founders of Pad & Quill, are out to make their mark on the world of eCommerce. Instead of outsourcing their products to the lowest bidder, they have a strict code that they want all of their products to adhere to, which you can read about here. They have a 25-year warranty on their bags, showing their commitment to longevity. From their website:

“We think there are folks out there who have the same sense of awe as we do when they behold a beautiful thing. Who marvel at how a handful of seeds can become a majestic stand of Baltic Birch, that are then transformed, in artisan hands, into a gorgeous, organic product. There are friends who share our sense of adventure and love to have a bag they pull from their closet with 15 years of travel written upon it, and miles to go. Pad and Quill products will never resemble a trinket pulled from a fast food bag.”



The backpack is made from full-grain tumbled American bridle leather, hand-pounded copper rivets, parachute grade nylon stitching, sturdy zippers and solid nickel hardware. A small pocket on the exterior is about 5 x 7 inches and secures with single leather strap and nickel eye. The interior has a large open pocket that can hold up to a 15 inch laptop. There is also a smaller zippered compartment.


On one side of the backpack is a zippered access to the main bucket of the bag,


Their shoulder straps that are adjustable but not removable, along with a leather handle on top of the bag,


The dimensions of the bag are 12 inches wide x 16 inches length x 4.7 inches deep when closed, 25 inches long when unrolled. The bag weighs about 3 pounds empty.


As a medium sized bag, this bag is ideal for a day trip and possibly a minimal weekend. Although deep, The width and depth of the bag restrict it from holding a ton of gear which, in my opinion, is not a bad thing. Simple yet elegantly designed bags are sometimes meant to carry simple and minimal things.

The shoulder adjustable shoulder straps are ideal for shorter and taller people. I am 6 feet tall and my girlfriend is 5 feet tall and the design and look work great for both of us. Of course, Veronica will always say it works better for her!


The quality of this bag is top of the line and very durable. Out of the box, the tumbled leather has a nice broken-in and subtle flexibility to it which is nice since full grain leather takes serious time to break in! Again, the size is great for weekend/overnight travel and the bare necessities.

Being a tall guy, at first I thought the bag to look a little too small for my frame and suiting more to a shorter man or woman. However, I reminded myself that this bag is not a big, burly hiking or work bag but more of an everyday essentials bag. It fits 15″ laptops comfortably and can carry around work or school materials with ease.

One thing I disliked was the the body of the bag being a tad bit narrow and long, making it difficult to take things in and out. Although the side zipper is extremely helpful and aesthetically pleasing, it could be a hair longer to easier remove larger books or articles. But this is the only thing I would change and like anything, I will adapt to this over time where I will adjust to the bag rather than the other way around.



The Pad & Quill Roll Top Leather Backpack is an ideal companion for many occasions, including walks around the city, walks around the park, overnight trips or even as an everyday carry bag. I honestly can’t wait to see how this bad boy ages and wears in! At the price of a little bit above $300 I feel you are getting a good value for a handmade piece of such craftsmanship, design and detail.

Larger or taller men should definitely consider the size and use for this bag as it does not lend to hauling a large cargo. But, in my case, it’s a great thing to downsize the amount of stuff I take with me on a given excursion. In addition, the minimal size and classic color will lend great to any attire, casual or business. Check it out here.


Colonel Littleton No. 16 Document Case Review – $482.50

I’m always a fan of simplicity…with a touch of uniqueness. It seems to me that the designs from Colonel Littleton combine those elements well. Purpose built products with a bit of flair and a touch of “yesteryear” to them. It’s always a pleasure when we get the opportunity to feature one of their products here at BestLeather. Today we’ll be taking a look at the No. 16 Document Bag with Strap, a thin document case with an adjustable shoulder carry strap.

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Colonel Littleton is a small operation out of Lynnville, a Tennessee town about an hour south of Nashville, home to a whopping 327 residents. The Colonel started out by selling vintage cufflinks in 1987, which sparked an interest in creating unique, heirloom items. Now, 28 years later, Colonel Littleton makes bags, belts, hats, wallets, knives, cologne, and more, all with a unique Tennessee flair. Colonel Littleton has amassed a pretty dedicated following over the years, in part because their products have a unique, nostalgic feel, but also because their products have proved to be extremely well-crafted. Over the past two years, we’ve reviewed quite a few Colonel Littleton items and found them all to be top-notch. You can read the archives of our Colonel Littleton reviews here. You can also watch a short video about the Colonel Littleton story here.

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This document case is made with Colonel Littleton’s dry-milled full-grain American leather, which is always very soft and flexible. The bag is around  12”H x 17”W x just 1.5″ deep, making it quite thin but leaving plenty of room for legal and standard sized documents. While not made as a laptop bag, you could feasibly fit a MacBook Air or similarly thin laptop or tablet in a pinch. The inside of the bag is unlined, leaving a soft grain on the inside. Expect a few little pieces to come off at the beginning until the grain smooths down a bit with use.

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The bag is closed with two solid brass snaps, attached to leather straps that circle the entire bag. There are two snaps on each strap, allowing for some expansion to the bag when you need to load it up a bit more than usual. There is a copper metal tube (common to many Colonel Littleton bag designs) that runs across the back of the bag. The leather padded handle and shoulder straps are attached to the tube, which is held onto the bag with brass rivets. This gives the bag a strong backbone and helps keep the bag flat when storing documents.

The shoulder strap is adjustable from 34.5 inches to 42.5 inches, and can be removed via brass pegs if needed. Colonel Littleton offers a strapless version of the No. 16 Document Bag if you feel you don’t need a strap. However, the strapless version doesn’t have the copper tube or carry handle, though it is $200 cheaper.

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For me, this is a great bag to use for local meetings and outings. It’s easy to grab this bag, drop my laptop in, throw my journal, notes, earbuds, and a couple of pens into it and take off. To date, that has been the primary role of this bag. It’s ideal when I don’t need to carry a full mobile office with me. I don’t foresee myself carrying this bag on multi-day business trips. In my opinion, it’s simply not designed for that purpose. My No. 40 Campaign Bag is a much better choice for those occasions.

A side note – my No. 16 Document Bag came with one of the Colonel’s full size No. 18 Portfolio legal pads in it. I’m forever changed on my choice of legal pads now. You can get 3 of them for only $13.50, which I consider to be a great deal.

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The No. 16 Document Bag is very eye-catching, and has that nostalgic flair that Colonel Littleton has mastered in their product line. This bag is the Saddle Tan color, but it also comes in brown and black with brown trim. This is a document case, so it lays quite flat against the body. So far it’s functioned perfectly in meetings, and makes a very good first impression. As with most Colonel Littleton products, you can have your initials engraved on the metal plate for a small fee of $9.

Expect to get stopped frequently when carrying this bag. It always catches people’s eyes and incites questions. I’ve even had a couple of folks ask if they could touch it and hold it while I was working from one of my favorite local coffeehouses (shout out to Strada Caffe’ of Coeur d’Alene!).

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The No. 16 Document Bag with Strap is yet another impressive product from Colonel Littleton. If you’re looking for a simple document case for meetings, this is an excellent choice that will serve you well and certainly get noticed wherever you go. It’s a pleasure to carry. It’s easy to use and access. The leather is superior and will age well with time and use. In the months that I’ve had my Document Bag, it has already started to darken a bit. It’s definitely a Buy It For Life item that you’ll appreciate the entire time you use it. Then, when you’re done you can pass it on to the next generation.

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OliverGé Metropolitan 505 Review – $1,280

If you had to have one bag for the rest of your life, what would you get? For most of us here, this is a near impossible question because there are so many great, quality leather makers out there, but after spending a month with my OliverGé Metropolitan 505, I can confidently say that this would be a major contender. Its sleek, minimalist design, impeccable quality, and impressive versatility make this bag a dream.

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From the very beginning, I could tell that this bag was built to last, but that’s not to say it is over built. The exterior is made with just three pieces of full-grain vegetable tanned leather, the interior is lined with gorgeous calfskin, and everything is saddle stitched together by hand with durable polyester thread.

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Everything is masterful done. The stitching is evenly spaced, the burnished and dyed edges are some of the best, and the lines of the bag are crisp and clean, but don’t take my word for it. Check out the master at work in the video below.


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The 505 has everything you need and nothing you don’t. I can say that with confidence for several reasons. First, the base design will easily carry most everything that anyone would need on a day-to-day basis. I haven’t had any problems fitting various reference books, files, and magazines into the bag along with my computer. However, when packed with a day’s load, there is little room left.

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Secondly, the 505 is customizable. Part of the beauty of buying a bespoke bag is getting it tailored to fit your personal needs. If you need a pocket to carry your pens or charger, you can add them. If you want a compartment that will snuggly hold your computer, Olivier, the owner and craftsman behind OliverGé, will gladly take the dimensions and make a pocket for it.

For me, I typically walk to work so I added a shoulder strap to mine and I got to say, it’s extremely comfortable. The strap is made of a sturdy canvas and has a nice thick shoulder pad that broke in nicely after about a week and a half. On top of that, the bag itself is quite light for what it is (about 3.5 pounds) so even if I have it packed full, it doesn’t feel like a ton of bricks. I also, got a separate slot for my computer, which fits tightly into the slot.

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The only issue I have run into is that it has a hard time standing on its own. This is due to the fact that the front, bottom, and back of the bag are all made of the same piece causing the bottom to be round. It hasn’t really been a problem though, since I always can just lean it against my desk or lay on top of the desk to pull things out of it. This is a small issue, but nothing that would cause me to hesitate buying this bag.

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This is one good looking bag. There are very few leather bags out there that can transition nicely between casual and business use, but in my opinion the Metropolitan 505 does this with ease. The minimalist style keep it from looking too much like an adventure bag, but also steers it away from the classic boardroom briefcase look. OliverGé has created a daily wearing bag that stands out among the rest with a unique look. It maintains the classical briefcase look while adding a bit of personal flare through the belt strap.

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Typically I prefer not to have belts flopping around on my bags, but having one as the central strap really adds charm and makes this bag a winner in my mind. Not only does it function just as well as any lock or sewn on buckle found on traditional briefcases, but it breaks up the monochromatic, formal style without overdoing it. Of course if you want a single color throughout, you can get that too.

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Once again, OliverGé bags are bespoke, giving you tons of options to fit your needs; including the way you want the bag to look. Olivier hand selects all of his leather from some of the best tanneries in Europe and then dyes and finishes them himself. You can request different waxing and oiling if you want it to be more rugged or glossy. You can even ask to get it “aged” where the bag will have a nice patina right from the start.


The Metropolitan 505 is truly a versatile and great looking bag. If I were to only have one bag from here on out, this would be it. I can use it when traveling to carry a few books and a computer without adding to much weight or looking like I belong in a law firm and I can take it into a business presentation without looking like I belong on an expedition. It simply fits its surroundings perfectly without losing any functionality or durability.

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The big question is whether or not the Metropolitan 505 is worth its price tag. I can tell you with confidence, yes. This is an expensive bag, no doubt, but it is handmade exactly to your specifications by a true master craftsman who uses some of the best leather around. When I requested a shoulder strap, Olivier asked for my dimensions so that the strap would fit me perfectly and it does. Having a bag that has everything that you want in the color and style that you like and that is made to fit you is true luxury. Pair that with the lifetime guarantee and I would almost say that this is a value.

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If you are in the market for a briefcase, but want to be able to use it outside of work, I would highly recommend OliverGé. Getting a bespoke bag is a rare experience, but it is a lot of fun and at the end of it all, you receive a bag designed for you and your lifestyle that will last you a lifetime.

Check out this bag and other great gear from OliverGé at oliverge-leather.com!

Moore & Giles Donald Dopp Kit – $155

A dopp kit is a small bag made for carrying a razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, clippers, scissors, deodorant, and other toiletry and grooming essentials.  It can be made from leather, canvas, vinyl, cloth, or other similar material.  The name “dopp” was unfamiliar to me prior to my interest in fine leatherworking. The name derived from Charles Doppelt, who immigrated to the United States from Germany and set up a leatherworking shop in Chicago in the early twentieth century.  He introduced a small bag meant to carry toiletries, and had printed the word “dopp” on each of these bags.

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Dopp kits became popular among Chicagoans, but when the United States Army adopted these bags for World War Two and had one made for each enlisted soldier, they became nationally known and recognized.  After the Second World War, it became popular to purchase a dopp kit for a young man as a symbol of reaching adulthood, and those bags were often passed down from father to son, a testament to excellent craftsmanship and tradition.

Moore & Giles of Forest, Virginia, makes a dopp kit that can be handed down from generation to generation.  The Moore & Giles Company has been producing fine leather since 1933.  Their principal product to this day is finely tanned leather made for a number of industries, including the high-end hospitality industry and the commercial and residential interior design markets, among others.  Producing other fine leather goods such as dopp kits, rucksacks, and messenger bags became a natural extension of fine leather tanning.  BestLeather has had the opportunity of reviewing one of these fine leather goods, their Donald Dopp Kit.

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Moore & Giles Donald Dopp Kit is made with their Brompton line of leather.  This is leather that has been vegetable tanned and drum dyed a deep dark brown, then finished with hot waxes that highlight the leather’s natural grain.  The result is a beautiful, antique look with a fair amount of sheen.  This antique look is a very nice feature and lends a sophisticated air to the bag.

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The leather is 1.0 to 1.2 MM thick, which equates to approximately 2 1/2 to 3 ounces thick.  It is not boot thick leather, but I do not think that is necessary for a dopp kit which is meant to be carried within another bag.  The leather feels fairly thin, but it is robust at the same time.  It is fairly rigid, especially for a thinner leather, which is common with vegetable tanned leather.  As a result, the bag keeps its shape well, without any internal structural support.


One of the first things that caught my attention when I opened the Donald Dopp Kit was the space the bag had.  Most Dopp Kits are tall and narrow.  The result is a bag that can be more difficult to dig through and find what you need on a trip, especially if the dopp kit is full.  The Donald does not have this problem because the bag is wide open; there is ample space for all of your toiletries.  On a recent trip I was even able to get my long sonicare toothbrush in without collapsing it.  The bag measures nine inches tall by eight inches wide by three and a half inches tall.

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The inside of the bag is made with an Italian, waterproof jacquard so that you can clean out any spills with ease.  Moore & Giles also went the extra mile and treated their size 92 polyester thread so that it too was water repellent.  The leather is similarly finished in a way that water is naturally repelled.  The result is a product that will not mildew or easily stain, and that is a snap to clean out.

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The Donald Dopp Kit is made from just two pieces of leather.  The first piece travels from the bottom of the bag up the back to the top flap.  The second piece wraps from the side around the back to the other side.  Using as few pieces of leather as possible to construct a bag is a good sign, and means that the bag is designed to last.  In general, the fewer the seams the better, as the seam of a bag is the weakest link.

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The Donald also has a leather bead sewn in where the two pieces of leather meet, and which runs along the perimeter of the bag.  This gives the bag a higher level of finish and adds some depth to the dopp kit as well.  Similarly, the Donald has an all-leather carrying strap on the back of the bag which is both useful of course, but also aesthetically pleasing.

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On the inside of the Donald is one large space, but also contains two zippers.  The first is on the inside of the top flap of the bag and has a fairly large pocket lined with the same Italian jacquard.  The second is on the inside of the back panel, with a smaller pocket with the same waterproof lining.  I liked this design because it gives you one large space for the majority of your items, but a couple of zippered pockets for those items you do not want to mix.


The Donald Dopp Kit from Moore & Giles is a bag that is excellently constructed and smartly designed.  It is crafted from premium leather at an attractive price point.  It is made to last generations and is the perfect bag to carry on the tradition of handing down your dopp kit to the next generation.

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