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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2012
Color Name: Chestnut
I love the Saddleback tagline "They'll fight over it when you're dead"! and it's true! If my grandfather had left one of these I'd be the first in line for it! In a world where everything is diminishing in quality and businesses feel it doesn't pay to make things for life, this product stands out as an extraordinary exception. The leather is beautiful and tough while the stitching is like that of a horse saddle. It is clearly made to endure years of rough treatment. If you're considering getting one there are three factors to take in to account (I haven't mentioned quality because that's something you will never have to worry about... it's guaranteed for 100 years and as they tell you on the Saddleback site "you'll understand why when you see it"):

1. Price
2. Aesthetics
3. Practicality

1. Price - It's just a matter of whether you can raise the money to buy it or not. If you can, then do it. It'll pay for itself after the first 3-4 years. I was literally going through a bag a year before buying this briefcase, and I wasn't even using my bags that much! I'd take it to work in the morning and return home after work. My commute was only 30-40 minutes. After getting my saddleback I still continue looking at other bags, whether in shops or those that belong to my friends, and they all look inferior in comparison! The interesting thing is that whenever I've seen a briefcase that I like, it's always significantly more expensive than this one (Like TUMI for instance).

2. Aesthetics - I happen to think all leather looks better in brown. Specially when it wears. I would have preferred a dark tan color I think. I felt the chestnut looked too red and the tobacco brown was too light, so I got my briefcase in the dark coffee brown. It is truly a beautiful case to look at. Like something they would have made in the wild west. The back, and the flap on the front are from one big piece of leather. It's very impressive, because I know the larger a piece of leather is, the more expensive and rare it becomes. The leather scratches very easily. You can literally scratch it with your nail. I almost want to scratch it deliberately and wear it in quicker, but I haven't. I get compliments on it all the time. It's not a corporate look. But otherwise it would look great anywhere. No zips and no more panels and stitching than is absolutely necessary. When you recognize the beauty in its simplicity other bags appear too busy, or gimmicky and often cheap.

3. Practicality - Ok yes it's heavy. If you get the standard one which is lined with Pigskin, it weighs 4.25 pounds (2 kg). May not seem like a lot, but it depends on whether you're the type who crams everything possible in to the space available, or if you're economical with what you carry. Bottom line is you don't really want to carry it for hours on end. It's not really a back pack, even though you can configure it to become one. The size for the Medium or 15" is: (38.1 cm) Wide, 11 ½" (29.2 cm) Tall, 4 ¼" (10.8 cm) Deep. I put my 15" MacBook Pro in to it without a sleeve. In the other compartment I can fit a large planner/agenda, Computer charger, Kindle and pen case and iPhone cable. There's room for more but I try not to stuff it. The strap is very very sturdy (I might even say too sturdy) and very long. Definitely too long for my liking. Also there are a lot of rings (a total of 11). I know the rings and the long strap are all there to accomodate the backpack configuration, but I know I will never use it as a backpack so I'm half tempted to shorten the strap and remove some of the rings because I know that would make the briefcase significantly lighter. But as yet I haven't mustered the courage to do it, since it would be an irreversible alteration!

Overall....I love it! I wish I had got it ten years ago. Would have saved a lot of money and by now it would be worn and look even better!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2013
Color Name: CarbonVerified Purchase
This bag is easily the nicest bag I've ever owned. I went with the Carbon Black and it looks great. The stitching is perfect, the leather looks great, it feels very sturdy, all the metal work looks great. The shoulder strap is surprisingly comfortable even on long walks. The bag feels a little stiff, but I've only had the bag for a few weeks and it hasn't begun to get broken in yet. When they say your grandchildren will fight over it when you're dead, they aren't kidding. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Definitely yes. I used to go through a backpack every eighteen months to two years, and I wasn't buying cheap bags. I was a little leery of buying a bag without seeing one in person, but it looks great and exceeded my expectations.

The side pocket fits a kindle or iPad easily, or a thin book or legal pad. The main section of the briefcase has one section that fits my 15" Retina MacBook Pro lengthwise snugly, but not so tightly that it is hard to insert or remove the laptop - it would easily fit a regular MacBook Pro or other thicker laptop. I was a little concerned that the bag might be too heavy, but while it feels substantial, it hasn't been too heavy to carry for long distances - I sometimes carry mine about 3/4 of a mile each way to and from the train station with a laptop, charger, miscellaneous cables and umbrella in the bag.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2014
Color Name: Dark Coffee Brown
This bag has been everything I thought it would be and more. I literally cannot say enough good things about it. It is heavy-duty but fashionable, casual enough but still business-y, big enough to hold my stuff but not too large. On a daily basis, I carry in my bag (I got the medium one, mind you) my 11" MacBook Air, my iPad Air, a journal with 8-1/2" x 11" sheets, my bible, whatever book I'm reading, my glasses case, headphones, a few pens, eye drops and a glasses/screen cleaning cloth - that's quite a bit of stuff!

A few caveats for those of you who are still on the fence about this bag.
1) I can't state enough how heavy this bag is. It is heavy. This ain't your baby sister's school backpack or purse; it's a freaking big, heavy, thick chunk of cow hide that looks extremely handsome. Bottom line, be ready for your shoulder to ache a bit if you choose to carry it for an extended amount of time.
2) Because of the type of leather that is used (full-grain), it scratches and scuffs quite easily. This may or may not bother you, but it is something to keep in mind. It is real, good quality leather, so it is going to wear and tear just like real, good quality leather does.
3) If you haven't yet, I would beg you to check out Saddleback's official site at www.saddlebackleather.com. There are tons of good videos and writings there ranging from telling you all about why they build bags the way they do to showing you what the bag looks like on a person (the person in the videos is Dave, the creator and owner of Saddleback Leather, who gives you his specific height and weight to help you get a good idea for how big your bag is).

All in all, this is a fantastic bag that you will (obviously) pay a pretty penny for. I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you that for me, it was worth every penny.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
Color Name: ChestnutVerified Purchase
Amazon was prompt with their service and the shipping -- even though I was living in Alaska! The bag is amazing, and I take it to work and everywhere else with me every day. Quality is excellent, and I'm buying more saddleback products as soon as I can save up for them. Would recommend to more people.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2011
Color Name: Dark Coffee BrownVerified Purchase
It's an incredible bag, the only things I'd want people to know before purchasing are the following.

The bag itself is heavy. I bought the next size down and it fit the 15in MacBookPro more snugly then I would like, so I replaced it with this bag.

Since these are handmade, the centerpiece of leather separating the two compartments is slightly too wide causing it to bend rather than pulled taut.
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on March 25, 2015
Color Name: Tobacco
I've had this incredible bag for over a year now and I'm more pleased with it every day. I will pass this on to my granddaughter and they will literally fight over it when I'm dead. Highly recommended, and despite the price I feel it was TOTALLY worth it. I found MUCH more expensive bags that were more about form vs. function and that's not how I roll. I got SO sick of going through (cheaper) bags every few years. I will NEVER have to replace this bag! It just gets more awesome looking at it starts to get that slightly weathered look--but there are no zippers to break, no velcro to deteriorate, no lining to tear out, no cheap hardware to snap, no plastic to degrade from the UV, etc.. I've only treated it once with the recommended Chamberlain's Leather Milk, but it's still supple and breaking in nicely. VERY pleased with this purchase!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2013
Color Name: Dark Coffee BrownVerified Purchase
I love this bag! I have only had it a couple months, but there is no bag I've ever found that compares. You won't be disappointed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2012
Color Name: Dark Coffee Brown
This was perfect for me, high quality leather, just the right size for laptop plus ipad. this company has legendary customer service and support as well. I would highly recommend giving them a try.
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on May 13, 2014
Color Name: Dark Coffee BrownVerified Purchase
My husband loves this bag and gets a lot of compliments on it. It is handsome and sturdy. The buckling strap in the front was very stiff and hard to buckle when it was new but it is pretty well broken in now. The only thing I don't like is the metal rings on each corner of the bottom. Not sure what those are for?
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on January 9, 2015
Color Name: Dark Coffee BrownVerified Purchase
Saddleback knows how to make a messenger bag. Looked at many alternatives. Decided it blew away the Frye comparable bags in terms of quality. Company is a pleasure to deal with. This is a substantial messenger bag. It is not light so if that is your major concern look at Will
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