NOTE: Dimensions are for the outside of the bag. Interior dimensions are ¼” (0.6 cm) less to account for stitching at the seams.
Pigskin lined - 5 pounds (2.3 kg)
This item is currently shipping with the shoulder strap clasps pictured
Thick double zero continuous filament polyester marine-grade industrial thread
Hypoallergenic 4-5 oz. (2-2.2 mm) thick chrome tanned leather
Stout rivets at all stress points
Thick vertical leather seams to absorb the shock from an impact or a fall
Can be converted to a backpack with included shoulder strap
Handle riveted to metal bar for stiff upper rigidity
Shoulder strap is adjustable from 36" (91.4 cm) to 59" (150 cm)
Tough pigskin lining. Pigskin is the second strongest hide in the world, second to kangaroo.
How can I get my spouse to understand that I need this?
Here's your rationale: Buy the best, cry once. It's all about the cost per year. In college, I bought a pair of very expensive shoes for my job as a waiter. I couldn't afford them, but I bought them anyhow. They were really light and comfortable and took me through two years of waiting tables and one year as a limo driver and another year of occasional use. And then they still looked good for a month of Sundays. Cost per year was about $25. Most of the other waiters bought a new pair of $55 heavy and uncomfortable shoes every 6 months because theirs wore out and looked ratty by then. One of the principles the successful in the world understand is this: If one buys quality from the start they save money. Don't be penny wise and dollar foolish. This will be one of the most savvy investments and inexpensive leather pieces you'll ever have. And remember, you must truly love yourself before you can love others. A couple of other things to think about you'll be more popular. Everybody isn't buying one. I'll invite you to my birthday party. What's wrong, you chicken?
Which color should I get?
Pick the one that fits who you are. I've observed what the bag owners tend to be like based on the color they have chosen over the years. The category below that fits you best is probably the color you'll enjoy most. Remember, your first inclination is usually the correct one.
Tobacco Light Brown (Sanguine)
Laid back and casual
Likes old Land Cruisers
Creative (enjoys writing)
Loves big dogs
Never met a stranger
Lots of random thoughts
Loves the outdoors
Only wears clothes because you have to
Carbon Black (Phlegmatic or Choleric)
You look good in a thick black leather jacket
Rides a cruiser type motorcycle
Wear thick black framed glasses
Drives a Volvo or Saab
They know your name at the coffee shop
Sci-Fi is your favorite genre
Are very interested in Oriental culture
Prefer cats over dogs
Loves modern contemporary style square furniture
Chestnut Reddish Brown (Choleric or Melancholy)
Belongs in a Mercedes Benz or Jaguar
Classier than most
Has excellent taste in dressing and decorating
Great sense of humor
Smokes a pipe instead of a cigarette
Appreciates the finer things
Dark Coffee Brown (Phlegmatic or Choleric or Melancholy)
Loves the outdoors
Is the best friend of many people
Reads a lot of books
Loves big dogs
If you still aren't sure, then just buy all four colors.
Are the animals tortured before they are slaughtered?
Absolutely not ! With some pigs we do use waterboarding and sensory deprivation techniques previous to slaughtering them, but the cows do not require any special handling.
Where can I see one of the bags in person?
I don't have any of the items in stores and we're not big fans of folks coming to our home in San Antonio because of the weirdo factor. My sister, Patricia and her husband (my Chess and Scrabble nemesis), send out the leather from their place near Ft. Worth, Texas, but again, because of the weirdo factor they're not set up to show either. If it helps, everyone tells me that they look better in person.
How much do they cost you, Dave?
Well, I lived for three years in a $100 a month apartment in Mexico with no hot water, because of these bags. My dog, Blue, and I drove for thousands of hours all over the North American continent because of these bags. I had a crooked Federale sent to kill me because of these bags (I convinced him that SeÃ±or Alarcon would never pay him) and we became friends). I've shed gallons of blood and tears and sweat and at least a quart of other people's, because of these bags. I've slept in my car or on the rack of my old Land Cruiser at least 150 times because of these bags. I've lost weeks of sleep and have gone hungry for days because of these bags. I was broke for years and even had to trade two of Blue's little puppies for a month's worth of tacos in order to eat because of these bags. I've been detained by who knows how many Mexican police because of these bags. I've thrown away thousands of dollars and made hundreds of mistakes because of these bags. I've been stolen from, taken advantage of and robbed because of these bags (they even stole Blue once, but I got him back). All of these things and more have happened to me because of these bags. They cost me a lot.
Others also liked
I received my messenger bag earlier this week, and I totally LOVE IT! I received a ton of compliments on it just walking thru the airport one morning to catch a flight. The leather is so beautiful and smells so good. I know that I will NOT have to buy another bag as long as I live... literally!!!
Thank you, Dave, for creating a spectacular bag!!!!
My bag arrived at my house an hour before I had to go to the airport. I literally pulled it out of the box and through it over my shoulder. And, thanks to Dave's easy to follow video, I converted the over-the-shoulder to a BACKPACK for most of my trekking and climbing. We hiked miles everyday (Zion National Park badlands of southern Utah). The first day was hot and dry, the next day it rained on us, and finally, it snowed! I wish I could've posted more pics! Through it all, my SBL Messenger bag was comfortable, easy to access, and solid as a rock. Top quality. This is the best quality leather bad I have ever seen or owned. I look forward to many more adventures with this bag.
This is a hardy bag-----very heavy and rugged. It really needs to be tossed into a rock tumbler for a couple of days to break it in. Put a Macbook Air and an iPad in it, fits well, but your shoulder is going to crack. Unless your 6'4" and 250 lbs, under 40 and workout, you might consider something else. Otherwise, it's a tough, well made dude and will endure that 10oo years and the next meteorite shower.
One of the best bags money can buy- BUT
Great bag had it for about 2 years. One of the best bags money could buy. And I will buy more from SBL.
The pigskin is coming off from the cow-leather. e g bubbled interior pigskin. This is the biggest problem for me sense this brings down the high quality feeling of the bag. And I guess I can't get it repaired or change the product sense this is something that has appeared over time.
The stitching is being worn away from where the bag rubs against my hip/clothes.
I had no plastic-thing in my handle, not so much of a problem sense I just made one in wood instead.
I also which that you could buy this bag without some of the D-rings.
But I still love the bag, and if not for the stitching and bubbles it would get 4.5 stars from me. And I will still buy more products from SBL.
Bag of all Bags
This bag is amazing. I've had mine for a little over a year and it's still just as fantastic. It's been all over the world and travels extremely well as a carry-on/personal item. As everyone else says, I receive complements on it regularly. I am also a college professor and it meets all my daily needs. I would recommend it to anyone.
I have owned my Dark Coffee Brown Messenger Bag for almost two years now, and I use it every day. The bag is mighty to say the least, and I still get questions and compliments on it all the time even with 700+ days of wear and tear.
I consider this purchase to be one of my most practical and useful in years. I would like to mention some small issues with the bag, however. For one, the pigskin lining and rivets from the main closure buckle can abrade items placed in the front portion. There is a also an accessory fob with a carabiner like hook on the end that is also a scratching concern.
Because of the bag's considerable dry weight, I would also warn those prone to back pain about overloading the bag. Most people would carry this bag across the torso over one shoulder, and a fully loaded bag can put considerable weight on the lower back.
I have added the large belt pouch to the shoulder strap, making my bag look even cooler and more functional. My only real problem is now I want a saddleback back pack!
I heartily recommend this product to anyone wanting to step up their man cred, those who won't accept anything but the best, and those who love the unique and timeless.
The best bag money can buy
This bag literally changed my life. I have never had it let me down â not once â the entire time I've owned it. We're talking fitting 25 lbs of groceries (including a very unwieldy baguette) without crushing anything or letting anything slip. And that's with 20 more lbs of groceries attached to the incredibly versatile metal ring at the top.
I never quite took to the backpack functionality â the straps can be a bit annoying to handle and the video demonstration is not quite as focused as it could be, so I'm not even quite sure I'm doing it right. But for (slim-framed, short-torsoed) me, notching the strap at the shortest setting is more than adequate to keep the even barely filled (and thus more slip-prone) bag on my back where it belongs while biking.
After hefty amounts of saddle-soaping (and the occasional application of Meltonian shoe polish, which the bag just sucks up), it now has a gorgeous patina and is yielding without being slack. I'm likely to need to have the metal hardware replaced (heavy use has ground out more than half of the metal grommet that latches the strap to the rings), but the leather is still in pristine condition.
And, lest you disbelieve the hype around Saddleback â in the one year and three months I've owned this bag, no fewer than three dozen total strangers have approached me to compliment me on the bag and asked where they could get one. Saddleback of course received my warm recommendation.
Don't spend $400+ on a bag at Barney's or one of those other shitshow retail leather goods places. Buying this bag, in addition to ensuring you'll never _need_ another bag (though they are habit-forming), rewards craft, transparency, and individual entrepreneurship. Buy this bag. Do it. Seriously. Right now.
Lacks Theft Protection for the phone pockets
Lacks Theft Protection for the phone pockets, otherwise I would like it much better.
Great for a backpack, too!
I wrote the review before but the picture wasn't loaded.
The messenger is not only a great shoulder bag but it is also a awesome backpack. I'm 5'11" and 190 lb. As attached picture, the chestnut messenger bag looks just great as a backpack for both casual and semi-formal suit. I highly recommend this bag for mutiple purposes.
Exactly What I Wanted
I wanted a nice bag to replace my tired fabric computer bag. I did a lot of research and really found this to be the best option for me. As noted the bag is not full of compartments, but I use some small canvas tool bags and an old canvas buckshot bag to store cables and chargers etc. I carry my laptop and a notebook along with everything else I need for working and it still closes easliy. It is a little heavy but I need the exercise. The outside pockets hold the Poland Spring bottle and if you wad it tightly the USA Today. I don't want any more space as I keep accumulating stuff. My old bag weighed 20 pounds when I retired it !
I travel on short trips often and have received numerous compliments on my bag, including a fellow at the TSA screening, He sees a lot of bags!
My one recommendation is adding a strap on the back to allow the Messenger Bag to slip over the handle of a rolling suitcase. That makes moving around much easier if you are using both. I purchased a set of the accessory straps for grins and it turns out if you use the large one through the two upper D rings on the back, it works just fine. Dave, for +$400 I think you ought to throw in the strap for the travelers until version 2.0 comes out,.
I use this bag every day for travel, adventure, and hiking. It holds up like a champ. I feel like Indiana Jones when exploring with it. It is simply bulletproof, and I cannot recommend it enough!
Handsome & durable
Five stars for good looks & solid construction.
For me, the messenger bag is the Saddleback piece with "enough" capacity without being too heavy or too bulky. Construction and materials are very good, and after a month, my tobacco bag is beginning to deepen nicely in color.
Three or four stars for function.
This messenger is well thought 0ut. But still, a thick leather bag like this isn't for everybody. If you are looking for massive organizational capability and lots of zippered, closeable compartments, or you expect to spend a whole bunch of time in the rain, or you really want to save a pound or two, you will be happier with a high-tech fabric bag. Even if you have to replace it every 5 or 10 years.
My Saddleback messenger has so far seen service in all three modes (briefcase, over-the-shoulder and backpack), and in both business and travel situations. I enjoy owning it and I enjoy using it.
I read about Saddleback in one of those Airline magazines while traveling god knows where and was intrigued. I had been looking for a thin, vertical messenger bag since the untimely demise of what was my favorite bag ever (vertical messenger bag from Kenneth Cole which was perfect for me until it self destructed, literally, after only about 6 months use). After taking a look at the Messenger Bag from Saddleback I asked Santa for it for Christmas. The bag is awesome, the construction is great (sure it is a little heavy but it is a man's bag) and it is exactly what I have been looking for. I'm in my early fifties with a good 10-15 years or so before any thought of retirement but I already know I'll never need another bag or briefcase. Oddly enough my daughter is majoring in Accessories Design including hand bags etc. and is interning at Kenneth Cole right now and is extremely impressed with the bag, its design, the quality of the components and how its put together. I'm a huge fan and would highly recommend this product to anyone although I do like standing out from the crowd which this bag helps me do.
Just big enough
What can I say, just got it 2 weeks ago and i'm already in love with it. The quality is without equal, the smell is out of this world. The side pocket cannot fit your usual Nalgene bottle, but can fit The small size Kor vida water bottle or the Klean Kanteen 27oz one, and give that nice little touch to the bag. I've always been a fan off leather has a material but this is just on a level above.