If looks were everything, there would be no question about picking up Wilsons Leather Dark Rugged Double Gusset Brief. Dark leather, contrast stitching, and antiqued brass combine to give this bag an appeal that is universal to the modern business world.
Wilsons offers the brief as a lightweight bag to hold your laptop, tablet, and office accessories. With the aesthetic appeal of the bag being obvious upon inspection, the question is whether or not the bag will hold up to the daily demands of the office and the roads you travel on to get there.
About Wilsons Leather
Wilsons Leather is a U.S. leather retailer, selling jackets, belts, shoes, handbags, and gloves. At its peak in 2002, the Minneapolis-based retailer had 763 stores in Canada and the United States.
In 2008, the G-III Apparel Group purchased Wilson’s Leather and E-commerce divisions. Today, Wilsons Leather offers in-season, designer products at their outlet stores. Their online stores offer an even more extensive line of products in addition to increasing brand awareness and improving customer experience.
The bag is constructed of semi-vegetable tanned cow leather sourced in China, measuring 16” x 12” x 4” and is light for its size and construction. It weighs in at 2 pounds, 14 ounces (1.2 kilograms) without the strap or 3 pounds, 3 ounces (1.5 kilograms) with it. The lightness is due in part to the 2 mm thickness of the leather shell. The leather shell is well supported by foam padding encased in nylon between each section of the bag. The foam padding on the smaller accessory pockets is a nice touch.
On the outside of the bag, everything is held together by gold contrast stitching using polyester thread. Antique brass rivets hold down the D-rings (for attaching the carry strap) and one piece of the handle. The other side of the handle is inset into the bag and stitched in place. The zippers are constructed of the same antiqued-brass slides and plastic elements (the teeth) and are non-branded, unlike the traditional YKK zippers found in many of Wilsons Leather products. I would like to see metal elements in the zippers to increase product longevity even with the minor weight increase to the bag.
The insides of the bag are made up of two main compartments and three outer pockets. The small outer pocket has slots for cards, pens, a smartphone, and room for other accessories. The larger exterior pocket adjacent to it is available for slightly larger accessories. The outer pocket on the other side of the bag is identical to this pocket.
The main inner pocket has three large side pockets (5.5” wide by 8.5” deep) for electronics and a velcro nylon strap for securing your laptop.
The last piece is the carrying strap, made of nylon with a sliding leather pad for your shoulder. At the end of the pad, antique brass swivel snap hooks allow you to attach the strap to the bag.
I work in an office and occasionally in the field, so need an all-in-one bag to carry my laptop and various sundries around. This bag does just that. With numerous zipped inside and outside pockets, it was very easy to store and access all of my equipment on the fly.
The adjustable-length canvas strap was nice for longer walks. Even with the sliding leather pad on the strap, keeping the strap crossed over my opposite shoulder was the easiest way to carry it. I was able to access the zippered pockets even with the bag slung over my shoulder, which was nice when reaching for my wallet or phone.
If you need more space, you’ll appreciate the double gusset zip-around for more storage. It adds 3 inches of width to the bag, which is very generous for a bag of this type.
The dark brown leather looks good with almost any business attire. The stitching is even and well done, a must when you use a contrasting thread color. The black zipper elements add a subtle appearance, though antique brass elements on the zippers would fit in well with the sliders.
I like the size of the bag for carrying it around. It’s easily going to fit in the overhead compartment of any plane, though you’ll probably elect to carry it with you considering the cargo it carries.
While you may not find yourself looking at the interior of the bag that much, it bears mentioning. The copper color of the nylon has a nice sheen to it, and the stitching is equally well done. Attention to details like this are what help to elevate a leather product over other designs. Of note, the blue tags around the zippers are there as a protectant and easily removed. I left them on in some photos to show detail in packaging of this product.
The Dark Rugged Double Gusset Brief is a professional, lightweight case that will serve you well in the office and on the road. It is attractive, has plenty of room, and should hold up well in the world of a business executive, college student, or anyone else needing a small briefcase. As I mentioned earlier, my biggest concern is the use of plastic zippers if you’re constantly getting in and out of the bag. Time will tell, though as of this writing, I’ve not encountered any issues.
Considering the price point of $239.99, the bag is a good value for a cowhide leather brief. What I appreciate about Wilsons Leather is that they often have sales on their products, whether you are shopping online or at one of their outlet stores; they tend to have quite a few sales where everything is 40% off online, meaning you could pick the bag up for $149.99 – an excellent deal. In the world of leather briefs, this bag would make a great gift for the young entrepreneur or graduate student.