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

Wilsons Leather Black Rivet Distressed Leather Duffel Review – $350

You travel the world, making your mark wherever you go. You look good. Is that enough, or do you want to look damn good? As I wrapped my hands around the handle of the Wilson Black Rivet Distressed Leather Duffel, I had answered my own question. The genuine leather exterior with contrast stitching, accented by distressed metal hardware had me looking for an excuse to plan my next overnight business trip.


About Wilsons Leather

Wilsons Leather came about in 1986 as the merger of Berman’s Buckskin, founded in 1899 when fringed buckskin shirts and jackets were de rigueur, and Wilsons House of Suede and Leather, made famous in the 1940s for its suede and leather apparel. The Melville Corporation merged the two companies into Wilson’s Leather in 1986. Today, after a series of acquisitions and brand name changes, Wilsons Leather products can still be found online and in its outlet stores across the United States.


The Wilsons Leather Black Rivet Distressed Leather Duffel is crafted with cow leather weighing a mere 1 pound, 11 ounces and uses a semi-chrome tanning process, giving the leather a soft, supple feel. The dark brown leather is complemented by contrast stitching and antiqued brass hardware on the padded leather handles and removable nylon carrying strap.


Turn the bag over, and you’ll encounter the same antiqued brass on the protective metal feet riveted to the structured base. At 21” W x 11” H x 10” D, there is plenty of space for two to three days of travel in this carry-on bag. It is just under the FAA guidelines of being less than 45 inches in total dimensions for carry-ons, so its sizing is perfect.


The interior is constructed of a black rip-stop nylon featuring a zip-across pocket and organizer panel with a cell phone holder and four slots for bank cards. The cell phone sleeve held my wife’s Galaxy S3 phone, but will not fit phones much larger. The zip-across pocket neatly holds any extras you’ll need for a two or three-day trip.




Function and Aesthetic

The Black Rivet Distressed Leather Duffel is sans doubt your go bag. If you need more space than this bag provides, it means you’ll be checking a bag at the airport. Sling the bag over your shoulder, and you won’t get uncomfortable with the leather-padded carrying strap. The two leather carrying handles are well-stitched, and afford another way to carry the bag. The hardware is heavy duty, so you won’t have to worry about the bag coming apart. The darker brown leather goes well paired with most any color, and stands outs by its looks alone.


I didn’t use the cell phone pouch or credit card pouch much, as I keep those items in my wallet or in my pocket. They might have been better replaced by another zippered pouch, but you may still find them useful when you’re in a hurry.



Distressed leather is very popular for a reason – it is beautiful when crafted well. The Black Rivet Distressed Leather Duffel exemplifies this beauty in its masculine appeal. Unsolicited compliments are common when I’m carrying this bag to and from my downtown office. It retails for $350 and is worth every penny, but you won’t be paying that much for it. It is $169.99 through Wilson’s Leather online, and if you happen to live close to a Wilson’s Leather Outlet store, you may find it for even more of a steal than that.


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.