Triple Aught Design Parallax Messenger Bag Review – $315.00

The backpack vs messenger bag debate has been going on for quite some time. Backpacks usually offer more capacity and utility, whereas messengers are more “grown up” and easier to access. In this installment, we take a look at the Triple Aught Design Parallax Messenger Bag, which I think does a great job at meshing the strong suits of both bag types into one cohesive carry option.


The Parallax is composed mainly of a proprietary ripstop nylon produced by Dimension-Polyant, a major manufacturer of professional grade sailcloth. You know those boats that are skimming halfway out of the water piloted by dudes with Rolex watches? Yeah, that kind of sailcloth. It’s essentially a combination 200 Denier Nylon with special X-Ply Polyester tafetta backing, a .25 mil PET Film, which is described as “BOPET (Biaxially Oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate) is a polyester film made from orientated polyethylene terephthalate (PET). BOPET is used because of its high tensile strength, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, reflectivity, gas and aroma barrier properties and electrical insulation.” So, we’re talking about some serious hardware here. The material is inherently water and abrasion resistant.

Measurements come in at 18” (45.72cm) W X 12” (30.48cm) H X 5” (12.7cm) D and the Triple Aught Design Parallax weighs just over 2 lbs empty. TAD spared no expense with the YKK zippers, Fidlock/Duraflex buckles too, the feature list on this pack goes on and on.


Typically messenger style bags fall just out of my usage range, often being too narrow to carry bulkier items. The Parallax Messenger hits that sweet spot of being just big enough without being obtrusive. You can easily fit a water bottle, light sweater, laptop/tablet and bagged lunch in this pack. If you ride a motorcycle you’ll appreciate the underarm supplemental strapping that keeps the bag secure and stows away when not in use.

This bag has tons of pockets and ways to organize your things. It’s definitely fun tweaking it to your needs. The material used for the bag is somewhat loud when handling, vaguely comparable to opening a bag of fiery cheetos. The buckles utilize a magnet to snap into place, then must be slid out – this makes shutting your bag easy but opening it a little more involved, which is what you want – your gear secure.



Triple Aught Design has a very clean, signature aesthetic. No unnecessary  embellishments or gimmicky style ques. The bag is a purely functional tool, which happens to look great. This could work in a number of situations, allowing you to transition pretty seamlessly from casual to business. All of the quality components down to the stitching just give the bag a classic appeal that still manages to be under the radar.

Please TAD Responsibly

















Triple Aught Design is one of the few apparel and gear companies that keep American manufacturing ahead of the competition. Their designs are iconic and have been replicated, duplicated and sometimes downright ripped off by other brands. The real McCoy stands out. Triple Aught Design’s Parallax Messenger uses cutting edge materials and every facet of design has been meticulously thought out. All of this innovation commands a premium price, so it consider your budget and end uses carefully.

Buffalo Jackson Denver Leather Belted Briefcase Review – $374.95

We’re big fans of Buffalo Jackson here at BestLeather. I’ve personally been keeping an eye on them since early 2014 when I got my first pair of Yukon 500 Mile Shorts. They’ve really expanded their leather collection and I’m always running across great products. Today I’m taking a look at their Denver Leather Belted Briefcase.


The Denver Brief is made from full grain cow leather. The model we’re looking at is called Autumn Brown and Dark Briar, hower it is offered in a few other finishes. Nylon thread is used for stitching the panels and we also see antique brass finished rivets located at high stress areas. The interior utilizes a more forgiving suede. The top flap uses leather straps and a heel bar buckle. This bag measures 15.5″ L x 11″ H x 7″ W and weighs 6 pounds. They are handmade in Mexico. If you’re into style and gambling, but not sure what to wear, try following a Style Guide for Gamblers. For players looking to feel comfortable, fit in, and impress other guests, this ultimate style guide for gamblers has got your back.


This bag in my opinion works best when you usually don’t need much else besides the essentials. If you’re in an office and drive a car to work, this bag works. I say that because when you’re in an office and drive you can keep your daily support items in those places (i.e lunch in office fridge or coat in car) and retrieve when needed. This bag will hold a 15” Laptop, a few books, thin sweater no problem. The buckles offer a very solid closure to the bag and they’re adjustable so you can really fine tune how much play you want.

This bag has a open slot on the back, good for quick access to papers or tablets. The interior features 2 compartments separated by a leather divider with a crude organizer. I would really to like to have seen a zippered pocket for small loose items like USB drives or cords though. I do appreciate the leather key clip holder and the smart laptop snap that keeps it secured. The large, padded shoulder strap really makes carrying heavier loads comfortable.


One of my favorite things about Buffalo Jackson’s dry goods in general is that I feel like I’m taking a little bit of the outdoors wherever I go. I could be shoulder deep in New York city, but I feel like I’m hiding the Tetons in my bag. The rich, earthy tones really set off an adventurous vibe. Visually, there’s really not much I would add or subtract. It may be too rough-hewn for a suit and tie occupation but for a student, contractor, or blue collar professional it’s a great balance between style and function. 


With all the pedigrees of a solid bag, Buffalo Jackson’s Denver Leather Belted Briefcase has style and durability. There is a compromise in functionality with the buckles and limited organizer, but those tradeoffs ensure a bag that will last. The price point puts it in a playing field with a lot of other great bags but few in my opinion capture that rustic allure that this bag offers.

Buffalo Jackson Denver Laptop Messenger Bag Review – $299.95

It’s almost a symbolic rite of passage, the messenger. As a boy you’ve got your trusty backpack, filled with indispensable necessities like peanut butter sandwiches, Hot Wheels and maybe some homework. As a man, you might have passed that pack down and taken up a new method for carrying the tools that you need in life, and for many guys that is the quintessential messenger. Buffalo Jackson’s Denver Laptop Messenger Bag is one such example, and we’ll take a look to see if it merits such a respected position in your life.


The leather used is semi vegetable tanned, top grain cow leather. This gives it a smooth finish with a nice pull up. The bag is manufactured in Mexico. The leather is definitely on the thick side, so you will have to work at it before it rewards you with pliability. I would have liked to have seen double stitched rows along some of the leather panels, especially the bottom.

The hardware is really top notch and meets my Triple B Criteria: Big, Beefy and Brass.

Antique brass hardware is used throughout including the shoulder strap D rings and handle strap. A turn lock closure secures the main flap over the interior compartments and the back side features a zippered slotted pocket. The interior lining is soft suede which is a forgiving surface for delicate electronics. The dimensions are 16″ L x 11″ H x 4″ W and the bag weighs in at just under 5 lbs.


The Denver has no problem executing its purpose in carrying your laptop. The thick leather in conjunction with the padded interior shields your laptop  from bumps and drops. Light rain is no issue and the flap closure of the bag means quick and efficient retrieval. Probably my favorite aspect is that the bag is self standing and with the orientation of the pockets, sitting down and bending to get items is a breeze. As the bag continues to break in, it might not stand as well but then you’re rewarded with a more comfortable carry as it will be less rigid.   Adjustable shoulder strap provides a great fit and the metal D rings that attach the straps are ideal for attaching carabiner key chains. With a laptop in the bag I was still able to fit in a bag lunch, light sweater and water. The Denver definitely functions as well as any messenger.


This is a good looking bag, no doubt.  It has that effortless Paul Newman vibe of exuding cool without trying. Some bags seem to yell, “Look at me, I’m from an overpriced designer!” Whereas the Denver is appreciated in a more subtle manner. The bag for me at least, teeters on the edge of casual business. I see it as a great looking option for students or those who need a carry option that can transition from the field to the office. The brass trimmings are what really do it for me, they give the bag a rustic, rugged vibe. The leather is very prone to scuffs which in and of itself is not really a bad thing as it adds character over time.

Turn lock clasps are infinitely superior to magnetic closures. You sacrifice half a second in opening them but the security more than makes up for it.


Buffalo Jackson’s Denver Messenger is a solid bag, inside and out. The materials are durable and the craftsmanship shines. The 299.99 price point is about ballpark for bags in this quality range. I particularly like the rugged aspects of the bag and the adventure vibe I get from it. If you’re the type that likes to buy the best and only cry once, I’d tell you to consider the Denver.

First Impressions – Rugged Material Messenger Bag

Recently I reached out to the good folks at Rugged Material. Having successfully funded and provided goods through a Kickstarter campaign, I expected great things. I think it is fairly understated to have the ability to speak directly with the founder of a staffed company as a first-time customer. I got that experience from Tyler Condie, the founder of Rugged Material. He’s surrounded by a great team of folks dedicated towards designing and making goods guaranteed for life, and proudly made in the USA. Tyler was kind enough to send in a pull-up brown messenger bag that I’ll be giving my first impressions on, with a long-term use review in the future.

The Rugged Material Messenger Bag is a merge between the classic messenger design with modernized, rugged construction. The exterior of the bag is constructed of four major pieces of full grained oil-tan leather, with additional belt straps and a front pocket which bears the laser-burned logo. A polyester thread is used that is UV-resistant and also resistant to breakdown from leather creams and conditioners. Nickel-plated brass hardware is evident in the rivets, d rings, and handle. The closures are constructed of matte finished aluminum slide release buckles. The outside dimensions of the bag are 16.5″ x 5″ x 13″.

While the bag is definitely rugged, it has some formal finishing. The rounded corners on the leather as well as the attention to detail played on the stitching of the entire bag and the handle make solid statements.

The strap is the epitome of ruggedness – substantial full grain leather with nylon webbing (think seat-belt) stitched to the backside to prevent stretching and sustain heavy loads. This webbing is also implemented in the d-rings for the shoulder strap attachment as well as the handle. Adjustment of the strap is simple using tri-glide keepers and the bag can be worn on one shoulder like a briefcase or cross body like a messenger. The width of the strap is 1.5 inches, not too thick to look overbearing on a person of smaller stature and expandable from 36” to 59”.

The interior of the bag is nicely lined on the front and back with a black pigskin leather. This adds rigidity to the bag as well as it is a durable, easy to clean surface in case of spills. I do wish that a piece of pigskin coated the bottom of the bag, but that may add too much construction/rigidity if stitched in. A removable piece of pigskin would be nice to prevent spills to the bottom as well as stash extra bills or small documents under. The pockets hold a cellphone, most 14 inch laptops, and a full sized iPad or similar tablet. The front pocket could easily hold document folders, receipts, and other small items.


After handling this bag initially, I can say that the Rugged Material Messenger Bag is one of the bags I wish I’d had to get through undergraduate and graduate studies. At $295 it is very competitively priced among bags of the same dimensions and quality. Being a direct-to-consumer company, customers are not hit with the additional costs associated with outsourcing production from companies that choose to only design their products. Going along with their motto, their bag is USA-made and guaranteed for life. The bag  is also set to handle the working environments I am in, so I am looking forward to giving it some long term use and following up on its durability and function.