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’


Bryer Leather The Barrel Review – $495

It’s rough being a writer for BestLeather…I’m forced to spend hours scouring the Internet for beautiful leather goods and accessories. It’s tough! I found Bryer Leather on Instagram and was immediately impressed with the quality of their products, and thought it would be a great fit for the BestLeather audience. Bryer Leather decided to send me an all leather version of The Barrel, a weekender bag.

Bryer Leather The Barrel 1


Bryer Leather is a small workshop based in San Diego, California. Their product line includes duffels, wallets, messenger bags, laptop cases, and more. Everything at Bryer Leather is made to order and fully customizable. If you have a specific color scheme, lining type, or want to personalize it at all, they will do their best to meet your needs. As a growing operation, Bryer will do their best to fulfill your custom order within 1-2 weeks.

Thomas Brierton, founder and designer, writes:

Being a San Diego native, surrounded by beauty and natural resources, I was always drawn to the very basics of creating practicable items with my hands. From the time I was 12 and crafted a wooden spoon so my mom had an ‘awesome’ cooking utensil, to the time when I won First Place for fine woodworking when I presented a guitar I built from scratch in the Annual San Diego Fair.  The quality materials that are made available when you have the capacity to understand how to work them is unending.

After feeling I had become a fairly good woodworker, I got my hands on a piece of leather, and from some videos and old books, I created my first wallet. From then on, I knew this was what I had to do; the satisfaction I get when I see something go from a piece of raw material into an impeccable piece with practicality never ceases to amaze me.

Bryer Leather The Barrel 2


The Barrel is constructed impeccably. Double stitched seams and copper rivets hold the duffel together, resulting in a sleek and classic look. The Horween Leather, as always, looks absolutely gorgeous, especially as a duffel. The Horween leather is extremely soft and supple, with a protective waxy sheen.  Bryer did well not to over-accessorize The Barrel, letting the two-toned leather take center stage. The brass hardware and copper rivets are understated and complement the color well. The bag comes with a nice matching shoulder strap held on with a brass lobster claw clasp. The carry handles are double stitched and attached to the bag with a hefty milled D-ring.

Bryer Leather The Barrel 3 Bryer Leather The Barrel 4

What’s so great about this bag is the fact that nearly everything is customizable. The standard Barrel comes as a wool felt body accessorized with Horween leather, but there is an all-leather option as well. The thread comes in black, navy, tan, red, and brown. The $405 price includes a choice between four colors of waxed canvas – tan, navy, charcoal, and olive. Bryer even allows you to choose other liners, so if you have a piece of fabric that’s special to you, or just want something one-of-a-kind, you can get in contact with Bryer and they’ll happily install your very own fabric as a liner. All their items are handmade to order, so I’m sure if you were interested in further customizations, they’d be happy to oblige.

Bryer Leather The Barrel 5


At 18″L x 9″W x 9″T, The Barrel is the perfect size to function, well, as a weekender. I have no trouble fitting everything I need for a two or three day trip. The inside of the bag is open except for two small compartments in the liner, on one side, good for holding small items that you don’t want rolling around. One thing I appreciate about this bag is that the zipper doesn’t go all the way to the ends. That’s nice for certain bags, but for weekenders it gets annoying when your stuff spills out the sides. It’s a small detail that I’ve grown to appreciate!

Bryer Leather The Barrel 8


The Barrel is an excellent choice for a weekender, especially if you are looking to customize certain aspects, particularly the liner. It’s handmade in the USA, using beautiful, high quality materials. The price is high, but the gorgeous Horween leather and excellent construction will serve you well for years and years, especially considering Bryer Leather’s lifetime warranty.

Bryer Leather The Barrel 6

Timberland Winnegance Leather Duffle Bag Review – $375

Winnegance is located on the coast of southern Maine, an area of tall pines and cold winters. Winnegance Lake and Creek are named after a Native American (Abenaki) word for the land bridge they used to portage their canoes across. This allowed the travelers to avoid the rough waters at the mouth of the Kennebec. And it’s after this beautiful but rugged country that Timberland has named their Winnegance Leather Duffle Bag. For good reason too. The product has the same attributes as the climate, both an elegant beauty and a toughness fit for even the harshest weather.


About Timberland

Timberland is one of the larger companies I’ve reviewed a leather product for. Working with them felt a little less personal on the delivery level, but this made no difference in my experience with the product itself, which earned high marks in both quality and usability. Timberland designs its products to match the outdoor New England lifestyle, products stylish enough for city streets but rugged enough for woodland trails.



The Winnegance Leather Duffle is made from 100% cow leather. The inner lining is a smooth cotton, gentle on electronics or other things you might want to put inside. The shoulder strap is made of a more rugged cotton. I’ve been using the bag on and off over the last five weeks, and I feel pretty confident in its durability. The brass brads, the stitching at the seams, and the heavy-duty zipper just make it feel tough, like it will take a lot of wear and tear. It’s more susceptible to scratches than the nylon duffle I used to travel with, but that just gives the leather more character and makes it feel more personalized.



The duffle is the ideal size for a carry-on item. It’s a tad on the small side, which I find really helpful in airports and dealing with the overhead bins of even small planes. (FYI, its dimensions are 18.5 by 11.8 by 9.4 inches.) I’m a bit of a minimalist, and I used it fairly easily for a weekend trip (it fit my compact laptop easily too). However, a more typical person might want to carry this along with a backpack or some other supplement. For example, this would sit nicely on top of a larger piece of roller luggage.

The top-haul handles make it easy to carry like a briefcase, and it felt natural to carry it that way. The shoulder strap is comfortable enough to carry it fully loaded across a large airport, which keeps your hands free, but this method isn’t comfortable enough for a day trip or anything too prolonged. The top strap also comes off easily if you feel like streamlining a bit.

The bag has one open-envelope outer pocket, which was perfect for tossing my phone and keys in while I passed through airport security. It has one main inner compartment, the sides of which have three smaller pockets in the walls in varying sizes. These are perfect for stashing toiletries, extra electronics cords, or whatever else you won’t want mixed in with your clothing and other big stuff.



The duffle comes from Timberland’s Winnegance Collection, which includes a matching briefcase, a smaller satchel, and a messenger bag. For some reason, this duffel is the only product in the Winnegance line that Timberland categorizes in their women’s line. Personally, I think it’s because the flourishes at the ends of the zipper make it look a little purse-like. But the leather seems like it could fit either gender easily enough. (They call the color a “sandstone” brown, and I like it quite a bit.) The leather has a premium look, and the quad-stitch detailing give it some extra flare. The design is pretty pleasing overall.


BestLeather Conclusion

Whether you’re more of a city-side, downtown tourist or an outdoor lover, Timberland’s Winnegance Leather Duffle Bag will make a solid companion. It has a straightforward but elegant design that’s hard not to love.





Whipping Post Weekender Bag Review – $350

It’s always exciting to get away for a few days – whether it’s during the week or a quick weekend jaunt, time spent away from the normal routine is always treasured. When it comes to packing for that next adventure it can sometimes create issues. Usually you get stuck between those thoughts of “I want to carry more than my daypack will hold, but I don’t want to take a big bag or suitcase either. Decisions, decisions, right? Fortunately a great general purpose bag was created called the duffle or duffel. Regardless of how you spell it, its origins can be traced back to 17th Century Belgium.



About Whipping Post

Whipping Post was founded by Ryan Barr, who says he likes to “makes useful stuff”. Based in Atlanta, GA Whipping Post creates a host of great looking, rugged, simple functional leather goods. In talking with Ryan about his company, he had this to say:

“I was getting started working with leather and actually started Whipping Post when Dave Munson of Saddleback took me on and mentored me. As I was getting my footing he actually let me work for Saddleback and learn the business. We have different styles, but he’s been very influential. I do all the design work and we do manufacturing in Mexico as well.

The name Whipping Post is actually inspired by the song Whipping Post by the Allman Brothers. In the song it’s actually a metaphor for the way he’s been treated, but I like that a Whipping Post is designed to take abuse. We hope the products we make will be able to take whatever abuse you throw at them and stand the test of time :)”



The Whipping Post Weekender Bag is a classic zip top duffel bag. It’s constructed of 100% vegetable tanned leather, copper rivets, and sports heavy duty hardware (check out that extremely substantial zipper). The leather used on the body of the bag sports a nice copper color and is thick, but soft and pliable. The straps have more of a chocolate brown hue to them and are a thicker cut of leather. Stitching is hidden on the interior and there is generous use of copper rivets at key stress and anchor points around the bag. The d-rings, clasps, zipper, and other assorted hardware all have an antique brass finish to them.



The Weekender Bag is 21″ long x 11.5″ wide x 9″ high and weighs 6 pounds. Those dimensions make it carry-on friendly for most airlines. The main compartment of the bag is spacious. Even at my size, I’ve utilized this bag on several trips spanning 4+ days. So, as a true weekender, you’ll be set as far as pack-ability and space are concerned. The exterior is smooth and features slot pockets on both ends of the bag – ideal for a boarding pass, a book, or your smartphone.


The interior is unlined, keeping it simple. The side pocket is helpful for storing small items that you don’t want to get lost in the large, main compartment. The zipper is large and easy to manipulate. The detachable shoulder strap is easily adjustable and sports a nice, thick shoulder pad. The handles are comfortable even when the bag is fully packed. The handle closure is a nice feature too. The included luggage tag is a great little bonus in my opinion since many companies only offer that as an additional item to purchase. The luggage tag isn’t quite large enough to accept a full size business card, but with a little folding, you can get your card in there for emergency identification purposes.



Solid leather duffel bags are awesome in my opinion. I think the Whipping Post Weekender Bag is particularly attractive with its combination of two leather colors, copper rivets, and the antique brass hardware. It’s simple in design, but it turns heads and draws attention. So far, on both of the flights that I’ve taken with this bag, it has been commented on and had questions asked about it. It looks good on your shoulder and it’s capable of being carried cross body too. Ideally, I’d like to have it sitting in the backseat of a fully restored Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser, or perhaps a Land Rover…just about any kind of classic, cool looking automotive or truck will do. I need to work on adding that component. I have the cool bag…now I need a cool vehicle to match, right?



If you’re in the market for a great all around bag, the Whipping Post Weekender Bag will be hard to beat. Built with quality components, great looks, and utilitarian purpose, it will easily become your “go-to” bag when your next business trip or adventure comes calling. It’s competitively priced at $350 and in my opinion, worth every penny. The bag will get better looking with age and use and perform without issue for decades to come.


Floto Imports Parma Edition Duffle Review – $549

Italy and leather go together…it always has been that way. Even today some of the best, most sought after leather fashion pieces, accessories, footwear, bags, and briefcases originate in Italy.


About Floto Imports

Floto Imports was established in 2003 and is based in Brooklyn, NY. All of their products are manufactured in Italy with the philosophy, “older is better”. According to the Floto website, “Our mission is to refine old world craft methods to produce pieces that are superior to mass-produced luggage. Top grade Italian calfskins and natural, vibrant fabrics come together to create timeless and iconic styles.”

I had the privilege of discussing Floto Imports with Joe Floto and we decided to feature their most popular duffle, the Parma Edition Duffle. You will also be seeing a review of Floto Imports Roma Duffle in coming days.



The Floto Imports Parma Edition Duffle features Floto’s Parma leather, which is tumbled in cognac dye for 24 hours and then dried for 30 days and receives no further tanning. The result is a soft, attractive leather that darkens as you use it, much like a baseball glove.

The duffle is 11″ h x 10″ w x 21″ long. It’s ideal for carry-on usage when flying and meets airline standards. The hardware (rivets, feet, handle components, and strap attachments are polished stainless steel. It sports a Riri stainless steel zipper, an adjustable 42” shoulder strap, thickly padded handles, and heavy-duty khaki colored stitching.



The Floto Imports Parma Edition Leather Duffle is an excellent quick excursion bag. In spite of using heavy leather, Riri zippers, and heavy duty hardware, the bag itself is only 4.5 pounds. It’s nimble, yet surprisingly roomy. As I’ve mentioned in other reviews my clothes are all large in size. During my first test trip to Northern California with this duffle, I was able to easily pack the following:

  • One pair of size 12 boots
  • Two pair of Levi’s
  • Two pair of shorts
  • Three polo shirts
  • Two button down dress shirts
  • One t-shirt
  • Four pairs of socks
  • Four pair of undies
  • An extra belt
  • TSA–sized toiletry bag

The duffle still easily had room for another pair of shorts or a couple more shirts if necessary. It was certainly not jammed packed at all.

The design of the bag and the way it zips open makes it very easy to load and unload. It stays open with ease, which is a nice feature in a duffle thanks to the gusseted design. The zipper feels excellent (it’s a Riri!) and the Floto branded zipper pulls fit well in your fingers and feel nice due to their weight.


The thickly padded handles are really nice. Carrying this bag was not a chore at all. The shoulder strap is a little lacking given the superior construction and aesthetic of the bag. The strap itself is short – but that may be in part due to my stature. I was able to adjust it to the longest setting possible and comfortably shoulder the bag and cup my arm around it without issue. If the included shoulder strap creates problems for you, then consider upgrading to Floto’s Grande Strap, which looks to be much more robust.



The cognac color of the Parma leather is very easy on the eye. Add into that the thick, khaki-colored, contrasting thread, heavy-duty hardware, and Riri zipper and you’ve got a very luxurious looking combination. The interior fabric choice is great and lends itself to keeping the interior light, making it easy to locate items within the bag. The interior side zipper pocket is spacious and nice to have for storing delicate or small items.


Joe mentioned that this is the bag he routinely carries with him on his trips to Europe. He’s carried the same Parma Duffle for five years now. Below is a picture of his bag in Paris after being treated with R.M. Williams Saddle Oil. You can see that the Parma Edition Duffle will definitely age well, darken, and develop a beautiful patina.


Another important tidbit to remember stated by Joe is that Lexol and spray on type conditioners do not work well with Parma leather. He definitely recommends using R.M. Williams Saddle Oil or another similar product.




Overall I’m very pleased with the performance and classy appearance of the Floto Imports Parma Edition Duffle. Its carry-on size, roomy interior, excellent leather, and high-grade components add up to making it a solid choice in the crowded leather luggage/travel bag market. The $549 purchase price shouldn’t scare you off at all as it is a long-term investment that will more than satisfy for your travel needs for decades to come.