As of late last year I had my eye on a Large Saddleback Leather Classic Briefcases in Dark Coffee Brown. After months of looking at this briefcase online I picked one up. I thought it was time to share my Saddleback Leather Briefcase review with you after using the bag every day now. Not to give away the ending of our Saddleback Leather Briefcase review, but its amazing.
Kicking off the Saddleback Leather Briefcase review
Off the bat there are a few things to note in this Saddleback Leather Briefcase review. In all the reviews I’ve read, people are not sure what size to buy. I am about 5-11 and 175 lbs so I decided to buy the Large. It measures 16″W x 12″H x 9″D and weighs 7.5 pounds. It is not a very light item but as long as you are in good health and aren’t running a marathon with the briefcase you should be fine.
One of my other issues with the bag was that the only way to open it is by using the buckle. There is no clasp that lets you get in and out quickly and easily. I don’t love that the main pocket is designed like this from an ease of use standpoint but it is not as difficult to use as I thought it might be.
Ignoring those issues I just really like how it looks. The Saddleback Leather site says it makes the bag more sturdy and less likely to break. You will notice two smaller buckles on either side of the main buckle that are more decorative. I do not plan on using those but I understand that they are good if you want to slip an umbrella or newspaper in there.
A word on the Saddleback Leather Materials
Everything that goes into the Saddleback Leather Briefcase and their other products is of the highest quality. All of the leather used on the briefcase is full grain leather. If you didn’t know, full grain is the best and most durable leather for your money.
On the Saddleback Leather website they make a point to note that the briefcase is 100% full grain leather since some other brands say their bags are made with full grain leather. This wording lets other brands produce bags with only some parts that are the best quality leather. They suggest that it is the whole product with that wording though. Saddleback Leather also uses marine grade UV resistant thread for the seams and sturdy nickel plated hardware for the metal accents.
Earlier in our Saddleback Leather Briefcase review I noted that its not the lightest bag in the world. The good news is that the shoulder strap has a thick pad on it that helps ease some of the weight. I like this design because it does not slide around in on my shoulder that much. I don’t have giant shoulders and have had the problem with shoulder straps on bags sliding off before. This design seems to really help avoid that problem.
Above is a great picture to show the padded shoulder strap and the back of the bag as well. I took lots of pictures for our Saddbleback Leather Briefcase review when I first got it. I thought I’d share all of those pictures hoping they will help you in your research. It was hard finding many pictures online when I was researching my purchase so hopefully our Saddleback Leather Briefcase review will help at least one person in their purchase decision.
On each side of the Saddleback Leather Briefcase there is a pouch for storing extra items like keys or spare change. The pockets are a little stiff, but I am sure they will continue to loosen up and get softer as I use them more.
There are a few parts on the briefcase where copper rivets are used to give some extra strength to the connection points. These copper rivets are in addition to the heavy duty marine grade stitching holding your bag together.
One small issue I had with the briefcase when I first got it was that the space under the handle was a bit tight. I don’t have huge hands but when I pick up the bag by the handle I had to squeeze my fingers in there. In the time that I’ve had this the handle has loosened up a bit. Recently I’ve noticed it is a bit easier to grab the bag by the handle because it has stretched out a bit. I don’t carry the bag by the handle but it does get use when I put the bag in and out of my car every day.
I’ve included pictures of the briefcase from every angle so I thought I should include this one of the bottom of the bag as well. You can see that the two thinner straps on the sides of the main buckle wrap around the whole bag. There are metal D rings on each corner of the bottom that can be used if you use the shoulder strap to convert the bag into a backpack. I’ve also read that people use carabiner clips to attach the rings to each other to make the bag more compact.
Above is one picture of the only place that the Saddleback Leather logo appears on the bag. I appreciate it when companies don’t plaster their logo all over something. I feel like that takes away from the otherwise great visual appeal of their product. Saddleback made the right decision here because anyone that has ever noticed this bag makes it a point to ask me where I got it. They don’t need to put the logo everywhere because the briefcase sells itself.
I think I’ve covered everything about the outside of the briefcase so far in our Saddleback Leather Briefcase review. Lets take a look at the inside of the briefcase now. The above photo is the inside of the brand new empty bag. I was nicely surprised when I saw that there was matching Saddleback Leather key chain attached to the inside of the bag. They key chain was free or maybe just part of the price of the bag.
Lots of pockets
The briefcase is divided into two large front and back pockets and the front section has four smaller pockets. Two of the pockets are attached to the middle wall and two smaller pockets are on each side of the front section. On the inside of the front flap you can see all of the rivetsthat hold the handle on. In this picture you can see the shape of the metal bar that runs across the top of the bag to help hold the handle on.
Whats in the bag
In every other Saddleback Leather Briefcase review people want to know what will fit in this bag. Here is what I carry on my daily trip to work.
- Laptop with 14″ display measures 13″ x 9″ x 1 1/2″.
- Letter size Levenger Circa Notebook with 1″ rings.
- 1 black pencil case above the laptop to the left of the Levenger notebook.
- In the divider pockets I’ve got my personal blackberry on the left and work blackberry in a case on the right.
- Inside of the pockets I have a pack of Moleskine Index Cards and Moleskine sticky notes which are 1/2″ thick and a few pens clipped inside.
- In the front pocket I have a Junior Size Levenger Circa daily planner and another pencil case. There are also some pens clipped into the side pockets. In this picture the front pocket is the on the top.
With everything in there, I still have room for more in the front pocket. I was able to fit a few packs of tissues, a bag of cough drops, and a bottle of cough medicine with space. So whats the point of a Saddleback Leather Briefcase review and lots of pictures without one for a size comparison?
A common question I’ve seen on many Saddleback Leather Briefcase review was the size question. The bags come in medium, large, and extra-large. I went with the large based on my laptop size and my height and weight. I think the large was definitely the right choice for me. I’m 5′-11″ and about 175 lbs, the bag seems to be a good fit for my size. It is probably a hair on the large side for me but nowhere near the point of looking silly.
Keep in mind that it fits everything inside that I mentioned above which was the real critical point for me. I had some difficulty selecting one of the three colors that they come in, but decided to go with the dark coffee brown. I think it looks just as great in person as it did on their site. There are plenty of other Saddleback Leather Briefcase reviews online so if you need specifics on another size I’m sure you can find that.
As it relates to our Saddleback Leather Briefcase review, one thing that doesn’t photograph is the awesome leather smell. It has that rich leather smell that fills the room or my car when I have it with me. It is a nice reminder of the awesome quality of this briefcase.
As you can tell from the length of our Saddleback Leather Briefcase review I really love this bag. I’m so happy that I waited to get it instead of settling for something else. I think that ANY other bag would have been settling for second best. This bag is one of those things that I actually look forward to using every chance I get. It’s a real feat for an item that doesn’t connect to a wireless network or plug in.
Wrapping up the Saddleback Leather Briefcase Review
At over $500 nobody will ever tell you that this Saddleback Leather Bag is cheap. As their marketing and their 100 year guarantee suggests, this is the last bag you will ever need to buy. You won’t find better quality anywhere as far as I’m concerned. If you are in the market for a new bag or any leather products hit the Saddleback Leather Company site. Whatever you buy is going to be awesome if it comes from them. Hopefully this is not the only Saddleback Leather Briefcase review you will find to help you make your purchase decision.
If you made it to the end of our Saddleback Leather Briefcase review and think they may be too expensive for you, there is another option. Visit the Dave’s Deals section of the Saddleback Leather site for their list of sale products. These are items that have minor imperfections but are still of the highest quality.
Saddleback Leather Briefcase Review One Year Later – Update
Check out our Saddleback Leather Briefcase review update one year later to see how this bag held up. It takes a look at the bag after daily use for over a year. It’s one more Saddleback Leather Briefcase review that you should read as part of your buying decision. Once you decide to buy yours head here to grab it.