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!FALSE ADVERTISEMENT! Read for quick lesson in quality.
on January 24, 2015
A quick lesson: There are three main grades of leather that are extracted from a hide (not including bonded leather)...
Full Grain - This comes from the outermost layer of the hide and includes all of the grain (hence the name). Some characteristics include noticeable markings of the animal like scars & wrinkles, a tougher and more durable feeling texture, a tendency to develop a nice patina and age well with time, and a slight water resistance. This is the best leather that money can buy, and this is what this bag is claimed to be!
Top Grain - This is the layer removed from the outermost layer of the hide. The top layer of the leather is sanded and shaved off. Gone are the typically noticeable markings that might have been present in full grain leather. While this leather is still somewhat durable, it no longer contains the strongest fibers, which is why this grade typically does not age as well. This is slightly softer than full grain leather, and it has a much more uniform surface.
Genuine Leather - This is one of the biggest shams in the industry as it fools many consumers into thinking that "genuine" denotes high quality. This is far from the truth. This leather is what is left after the better parts of the hide have been stripped off. All that is left is the weakest corium layer of the skin. This material is imprinted with fake wrinkles and pores to resemble higher quality leather. Genuine leather is generally soft to the touch, highly water absorbent, easily damaged, and it ages horribly.
A quick review: I was very excited at the prospect of finding a supposedly high quality full grain bag that seemed to fit the style that I was looking for. When the day finally came to unbox my soon to be carrier of important business, I was immediately let down by what my hands felt. Why is this so soft? Please don't let it be.. And there it was, staring me right in the face. A big tag: "Genuine Leather." You got me good Kenneth Cole. At least Samsonite's bag (also made with the same cheap leather) didn't make blatantly false claims about their product. I've attached pictures to show to tag, damage upon arrival, and shamefully hasty build.
Pros - Looks good from a distance. Well padded. Many usable pockets.
Cons - Cheap materials (genuine leather, weak alloy for fasteners, weak zippers, frayed threads on stitching). Cheap build (single stitched, no rivets on stress points, folded in or covered up edges to hide the low quality leather.
TL;DR This product is a farce of low quality materials and cheap build. It's disappointing to see so many positive reviews for a knock-off. Please up vote this review to help others who might potentially waste their money.
*Update May, 2015: When I first made this review, I contacted Amazon about the misinformation regarding this product. Seems they haven't changed anything.