Review: Saddleback Leather Thin Briefcase

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We covered Saddleback Leather’s products last year and we thought it would be fun to bring these guys back on stage one more time for an encore. As you can see from the images, these are, in a sense, your grandpa’s bags. They are made of thick, old-world, heavily-stitched leather and feature heavy duty hardware, delicate pigskin lining, and a lot of polish. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say you’ll hand this down to your children, the leather in this thing is so thick and luxurious there’s a good chance they’ll be able to eat it if they ever run out of food in the wild.

Saddleback Leather Classic Thin Briefcase

Type: Briefcase
Dimensions: 17″ x 12 ½” x 4 ¼”
Pockets: Main compartment split into rear laptop area, front “paper” area, rear slip-in pocket, front small pocket. Small item pocket with key connector
Features: Features: Handsome leather body, heavy hardware and stitching
MSRP: $411
Product Page


Style
Look at that rich, creamy, potentially-Corinthian leather. When you open this bag, you can smell it – the polish, the shine, the metal hardware clashing with the tannin. It’s like opening the door of a new car.

The bag has a large center compartment, separated into two by a thin sheet of leather. You can stick a full-sized laptop in here with room to spare and all of your legal briefs in the other pocket. It does’t expand as much as I’d like – it’s more of a briefcase size than an actual “bag” – but I fit a Macbook Air and two ereaders along with headphones and a power cable and it didn’t even look like it was full.

You’re going to have decide if this bag is for you. It’s very polarizing. Either you like the “Hemingway At The Harvard Law Library” look or you don’t.

That said, this huge bag is just that – huge. It’s heavy and thick and quite handsome and will hold almost any laptop with aplomb.

Who is it for?
Are you a corn-fed midwestern cowboy lawyer? The most interesting man in the room? One of those dudes who inexplicably makes a lot of money and has lots of planes and guns but no one knows what you do for a living? This briefcase might be for you. It’s definitely an investment in both time and energy to buy and carry this fairly heavy bag but it will last you a lifetime – or at least 100 because that’s how long the warranty lasts.

Do you want it?
At $411 it’s a pretty tough sell, but Saddleback makes some handsome bags. It would make an excellent graduation gift for a young businessman in training who doesn’t want the square-corner style briefcase yet needs to appear serious. I would like to emphasize that this isn’t a good “traveling” bag (although I’ve travelled with one before). It’s a bit heavy on the shoulders and tends to weigh you down. If you’re in and out of cars, planes, and trains in your travels, however, this is the bag for you. Drop in a jar of Grey Poupon and you’re set.

This is a lot of bag for arguably a lot of money, at least when compared to the other bags in this round-up, but it may be worth it if the style, size, and pockets suit your needs.

Product Page

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our Bag Week 2011 reviews.