PRODUCT REVIEW UPDATE -
It is now nearly a year that I've had this wonderful bag and I have had the opportunity to use it at least a dozen times since purchasing it. The bag is still in excellent shape and is frankly, getting better with each use. It's leather has developed a soft, almost buttery hand while the color has remained consistent throughout. The interior canvas has likewise performed according to expectations and remains in great - nay, almost new condition. The handles are still firmly attached and sturdy. My initial concerns over the plastic zipper have so far proven unwarranted, as it remains in good working order and seems to hold up to the stresses of a sometimes over-stuffed bag well.
The only complaint I'd like to lodge with Floto is about the strap. The strap works well and is durable, but it is very uncomfortable for a bag of this size. I think that it is better suited for a smaller shoulder bag of some kind, but not a duffle that can easily pack 20 Lbs. of essentials for a 3-day jaunt. Floto is obviously aware of this concern because they sell a "Super Strap" as an accessory. My advise to Floto is that they should think a little bit more about their customers upfront and provide the correct strap for the job from the onset, even if it increases the price point a bit. That being said, my advise to the consumer is this: order the Floto Super Strap at the same time you order the bag. This will save you some discomfort and frustration in long security checkpoints and lines at the airport, etc.
Esthetically, the bag is an head turner. It gets tons of looks of admiration from other airline passengers, baggage porters at hotels and random passers by. It fits neatly and easily into the overhead compartment on planes, trains and buses. It fits in the boot of even the smallest cars and always comes out looking as stellar as it did going in.
Overall, I am very happy with this purchase and I feel confident that I will continue to enjoy this bag for years to come. The price IMHO continues to be a bargain, even after you figure in an extra $50 for the very much needed Super Strap. Because of this, I think that my initial rating of 4 Stars remains accurate.
The bag still isn't a Gladstone, but I really don't care much about that anymore because now I carry a Floto...