Top positive review
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One Of The Better Lower-Priced Briefcases
on May 31, 2010
I bought this bag 10/09 for $34 + shipping. I always used it five days a week, sometimes loaded, sometimes not. I have updated this review over time to give readers a better idea of the product's durability.
The zippers were "sticky", although these becomes somewhat less of a problem with time and use. The leather, somewhat stiff, gets softer with time. The shoulder strap that came with it had a shoulder pad that was below par in my estimation, and I am glad I saved the strap from a previous bag for a comfortable shoulder fit.
As I have stated in other briefcase reviews, in my humble opinion, this briefcase has the best configuration of pocket space: two briefcase-wide internal deep pockets, a briefcase-wide rear outer pocket, and in front, four pockets, 2 by 2, arranged in a 1/3, 2/3's ratio of width. The two 1/3-width pockets are great for things that require quick access, the bottom 2/3 pocket for pens and similar items, and the big front pocket for your wallet and other items.
After seven months of use I encountered the first problem- the inner lining to the bottom-front left pocket had torn. My set of keys fit in the pocket, but it was a snug fit. Additionally, the front upper small pocket recedes behind the one below it. This creates additional stress on the lining of the lower pocket, and the lining tore. Now the 2 pockets are connected and free-flow into one another. This constitutes a daily annoyance. The top pocket should bottom out where the bottom pocket started, and/or the stitching should be reinforced.
After 11 months, one of the zippers handles broke off to one of the briefcase-wide internal pockets, but the two internal pockets have two zippers, so I can still close (and therefore use) the pocket.
The bag's construction held up until 1 year and five months, when one of the hand straps snapped off. I was loading it with books for some time, and if the shoulder strap had been adequate, I wouldn't have had to use the hand straps when I didn't want to.
They should get real with the list price (it should be $39.95 instead of $89.95). Nevertheless, when priced around $30, (for me, shipping was another $10) it's a very good deal.