I love the briefcase. I have had it for about 10 months now. My only complaint is that it tilts forward. It bothers me because you can't appreciate its full beauty when it does this. Is there anything that can be done to prevent or have the full grain unlearn this tilting?
I went to NY for a trip and order this jewel and got it delivered to my hotel, ever since I' ve been getting compliments for it all the time... the bag is everything you see in the website and much more, do not even think its pricy because there is no match for saddleback.
If you think xl is too large, it is not for me I'm 1,97m tall and the bag has the right size, it allows me to go to court and to class and there's room for everything in there: legal papers, books, laptop, clothes, etc.
Customer service is out of this world just like the leather products they made.
If you live the kind of life where you depend on a bag, get one of these
My wife bought me the large dark coffee brown briefcase when I headed out into the private practice of law after an almost 8 year stint as a government attorney, a job that I loved. She gave me the briefcase with a kiss and said "good luck." My wife has unrivaled taste. For over a year now, this bag has been my constant companion to work, on the road and back home. It now bears the marks and wear of my efforts for the past year. It is sturdy and strong, humble and proud. This bag will be by my side for the rest of my life. Thank you, Honey.
This bag is hands down, the nicest bag I have ever come across. I use it for work, storing my laptop, iPad, accessories, as well as important documents. On the weekends, it makes a great carry-on or overnight bag for trips. I have received a million compliments and questions about it. I have owned mine for over 4 years and it barely broken in, but just keeps looking better and better with age.
I recommend Saddleback to everyone who asks me about my piece.
This is one of the coolest things I have ever owned. The quality is amazing. Everyone asks about it. I cannot explain how impressed I am.
I bout the tobacco color, because the dark coffee was out of stock and I needed a new bag ASAP! Mine is the largest of these bags and I can fit to 17" laptops no issues along with the other items I need for work. I am a robotics integrator so I carry a lot of small electronic devices, and I have no issues carrying everything I need. Also now that it is finally starting to age a little it looks better than when it was new. This bag really needed to be broke in!. it still has a ways to go, and it will still stand on its own! I am very fond of this bag and everyone everywhere gives me comments on it, at work airports and everywhere else I have traveled. I also empty my work stuff and use it for passports and cameras when I go on vacation! it has proven to be very versatile and useful. I have been stopped several times while traveling just so people can ask about this bag, and my co workers wander why I got such a large bag, it is simple because I can fit everything into one bag. It does however get extremely heavy with 2 laptops chargers, cameras, external hard drives and much more! I still think the dark coffee brown is a better color, but I am very happy with my choice of the tobacco, and mine is the old tobacco not the newer one. However I would not give it up for anything it has been proven to be the best bag for my laptop in my 8 years in this job, and I have went through everything else!
This is my first Saddleback purchase .. but definitely not my last. This is the best constructed and best looking bag that I have ever seen and I am more than happy with my purchase. Bad thing is, this may have become sort of an addiction with me as I am constantly looking on the website for what I want next. Dave, when are you going to start making boots and my GF wants a conceal carry purse
I use several SBL wallets daily but my messenger bag and I just didn't click. It's a big square without much depth so it doesn't always fit under the seat in front and doesn't carry much gear. Great looking bag, no doubt about it, but not that great. So I went back to using a nylon bag I got for free at a trade show but that ain't me either. After looking at all the non-SBL options I could think of, I kept coming back to the site, and eventually decided I'd give the classic briefcase (DCB/Large) a go.
I didn't have high hopes, to be honest, but I'm so glad I ordered it. The large classic briefcase is TOTALLY me. Despite being heavier than the messenger bag I have already taken it on several business trips stuffed full of clothes and equipment and I had no trouble lugging it around. Because it's more rectangular and amenable to being compressed a little heightwise, it fit even under the aisle seat where legroom is restricted by the seat support. I walked through a couple of thunderstorms with it and everything inside stayed perfectly dry even though I was wet through. The size is just great for me, it holds a lot of gear, the interior pockets are perfect for holding the SBL passport wallet and the exterior pockets easily fitting a soda with no squeezing of the interior contents.
Another thing - the whole 12 months I have had the messenger bag I've only ever received one compliment. I've had the briefcase for one week and I've had a dozen comments already.
Please note that I am in no way affiliated with Saddleback. I don't know these people and don't care to know them either, but what I do know is that this product is extraordinarily good value. During my search for a new bag I was handling Italian leather with a $4000 price tag, but they felt flimsy and dull compared to this SBL briefcase. I know they're not for everyone but I can honestly and objectively say that all the positive reviews you read are right on the money. It really is that good.
I got my extra large briefcase over a year ago and I can tell you one thing (or maybe 2 or 3 things...) the extra large is large indeed. If you have any qualms about size, this thing is BIG. It's heavy when loaded and it will make the smaller framed person have to stop and rest on a long walk through an airport, or wobble under the weight. So, if that's an issue, get a thin briefcase or get a smaller size.
It also will have issues fitting under an airline seat. You've got to break it in in order to fit it under a seat. Before it's soft, it's pretty stiff and requires some good use to break it in. So, those warnings are in order.
I am 6'3", 230 pounds and can handle one, and I love it. I call it the elephant and it's the best quality piece of gear I've owned and I have had a few really great leather articles (an 80s Reunion Blues electric bass gig bag etc...) So, whatever you've heard, it's true - these things are monsters and are built to just keep on going. After a year of use of mine, it's still got a ways to go to even look used...
So, I personally feel it's worth every dime. Their customer service is great too. I had a broken rivet and they were all over themselves fixing things and I really feel they stand behind their products and their guarantee.
The bag is even more magnificent than I had anticipated. After seven months of obsessively checking the Saddleback Leather website, reading every review of both this and the front pocket briefcase (and every other item Saddleback item in existence), and fanatically refreshing the Company’s Facebook page, I finally pulled the trigger. I could not be happier with my decision.
The medium size fits me perfectly (5’8” – 170 lbs). Like others have said, the bag has some weight to it, but it doesn’t bother me. My previous leather bag, which I purchased at some tourist trap in Florence, weighed next to nothing. This, as it turns out, is because it was really made of some cheap vinyl garbage. Thank you, Dave, for YouTubing some sense into me. You are the Morpheus to my Neo.
All of this goes without saying, but I will reiterate a few things. Firstly, the fit and finish on the bag is impeccable. The leather is rich, thick, and seemingly bulletproof. Secondly, it radiates masculinity in a way that diminishes even my own. Thirdly, I have been totally unable to locate the alleged “blemish” that prompted the 10% discount.
If you are considering buying one of these, do it. If you are concerned about the cost, don’t be. You will have no regrets once it arrives. The worst part of the experience is having to check the UPS tracking website 58 times an hour; breathlessly wondering if some brute is mishandling what will shortly become your most prized possession.
There are two common questions we all had or have about SBL bags: which color and which size? It seems most of us are able to decide on a style (classic briefcase, thin briefcase, satchel, etc.) rather easily (some just buy one of each!) but the color and size, at least on the first purchase, seem to be major points of contention. I certainly won’t pretend to be the definitive answer to such a subjective and personal (and expensive) decision, but I will wade in and share my own thoughts and experiences.
I, like most people, lurked around the SBL site for months before finally pulling the trigger and buying something. In 2012 I finally purchased my first bag: a large chestnut classic briefcase. The moment it arrived I was blown away by the quality, even though I expected nothing less from all of the countless photos and YouTube videos I had poured over in my research and quest for the “perfect SBL bag.” I was, however, pretty unsure about the size (large) sitting in front of me. I’m 6’0” 195lbs and this thing was BIG. I threw my reservations aside and promptly loaded it up with my MacBook and other tech essentials and took it on a weekend trip. When I returned home I still felt the same way: it was just too big. My wife very much agreed.
The bag was gorgeous, but as an everyday office commuter it looked like I was carrying a suitcase over my shoulder. I’ve read plenty of reviews by several like-sized people who say a large is fine, but I quite frankly felt silly wearing it. For a weekend bag it would hands down be a perfect choice, but for an office bag (a briefcase as it is designed) a large was just too much.
Since I had now used the bag I wasn’t able to return it, so it sat for a couple of months. Eventually I found someone looking to trade their large thin chestnut briefcase for a large classic. I made the trade and I was much happier with the thin as an office bag, but I never had the same smitten type of love for the style the way I did for the classic. I had also decided chestnut was just not my color as the red content of it gave a bit of a cowboy look. After a few treatments with Chamberlain’s Leather Milk the color darkened a bit and it didn’t seem quite so red. I was happy enough, but the classic briefcase still called to me…
SBL changed their tobacco (and carbon) colors in the past year or so and I found my least favorite color was now the epitome of perfection! This, coupled with the lust for a classic briefcase, led me back down the rabbit hole that is Saddleback Leather. I knew for certain a size large would not do, so I began considering the medium. Looking at my daily use I realized a medium would do just fine. I carry a Dell Latitude E6440 “14 inch” notebook for business (company issued) and it fits perfectly with plenty of room to spare. I was also recently robbed of my 15” MBP by my wife and forced back to my 13” MacBook, so the medium also made sense for personal use when not carrying the Dell. I received my bag on Friday and I could absolutely not be happier. The size is perfect and the color is phenomenal. I have finally found the perfect bag to accompany me through life!
Thank you Dave and crew for continuing to make such a tremendous product!
On at least two previous occasions, I have bought briefcases or bags that I thought would meet my needs. Though they met my initial needs, they needed up being not big enough because I either underestimated what I needed to carry, or got additional responsibilities which required me to carry more stuff. As a result, I had to get another, larger bag.
With such a big investment, I figured I should go big rather than be disappointed that it would be too small once I started using it and ended up getting the XL bag in Chestnut. While the medium might have served my needs, I saw some YouTube videos where the reviewers were saying that they probably should have gone up to the large. I was lucky because I found it on Dave's Deals (that particular weekend, the same bag in medium and large were also available).
I just got it today and opened it up. To say I was shocked at the size would be an understatement. This thing "looks" about 20% bigger than I thought it would be. The amount of storage room is incredible. The product is extremely sturdy and well-crafted.
The reason I bought this bag was because I will be attending a short-term, full-time professional program this Fall at a area university and felt that I needed to present a more "professional" look for the course. (That, and the time in the course will allow me to break it in before returning to work so the bag won't look like a "graduation present".) I can not only haul around my books and materials, but just figured out that I should have more than enough room to carry my lunch and snacks on a regular basis along with an umbrella, jacket, and gloves for those occasions that require it.
The only real downside I can see of owning this bag is that it might aggravate my back issues because of how much it can hold (not to mention the 7+ pounds when it is empty.) I also don't think it would function well as a backpack, even for a short time, but I never seriously considered it a factor when making my decision anyway. It is a bag that will last me the rest of my life. I am looking forward to enjoying the journey.
No, seriously, this will be your best if not last bag. Bought the medium Chestnut as a present for myself because I got the graduate program I was hoping to get into. Fast forward a summer and I've lost count of the compliments I've gotten. The bag is now broken in beautifully and covered in scratches from the adventures we've been on together. From interviews to boats to carting around items for three kids, the briefcase does it all. It's big enough for me to fit an entire class day's worth of books and notebooks but small enough to cram under my legs when sitting in the front seat of a car. It holds up beautifully in downpours and salt water alike, though I recommend rinsing the bag with fresh water if the latter gets on it. The straps have indeed served me as a belt on more than one occasion.
There is just one big "con" to this work of art. As zillions of other reviewers say, it is indeed HEAVY. I get an achy shoulder if I walk a few miles with it fully loaded, and I'm 6'1" and pretty fit. I read on someone else's review somewhere that this bag will make you remember why you want to carry anything, and that's absolutely true. Backpack mode is great but you have to sort of shimmy around to get the bag seated evenly. After that, it's fairly comfortable to carry around.
Buy it, you won't regret it. And you'll look like the classy bad ass that you are.
I discovered Saddleback during an internet search looking for high quality leather bags. I had been looking on eBags, but despite some expensive bags, I didn’t see anything that would differentiate itself from the existing leather briefcase that was sitting next to me, frayed and disintegrating.
I must admit that at first seeing the price of the bags, I wasn’t going to seriously consider purchasing one. I stayed on the site more out of personal interest in the owner’s story, and his somewhat zany approach to selling through the use of story. I was soon hooked. And here’s why….
If you’ve ever seen the TED Talk by Simon Sinek, “Start With Why,” then you’ll understand where I’m coming from. The bags were inspired and created with a “why” in mind, and it is effectively communicated throughout the site. Further, it is effectively demonstrated in the quality of the product (something I can now attest to). Aside from the utilitarianism of just desiring a functional and long-lasting bag, those that should consider this, are probably asking themselves, “What happened to the days when family heirlooms were the normal purchases of yesteryear that just never quit and never got tossed out?” Let me give an example: I have a 65 year old ToastMaster toaster that I inherited from my long-since passed away grandparents. It was a wedding gift to them. It’s a gem. It works wonderfully. And it wasn’t created as a high end luxury item under the pretense that it would last forever. It just lasted forever because it was well made and well cared for. And now I have it. Simple as that. I requested that toaster from the family estate, and I was fortunate to get it.
Perhaps it’s a stretch to position something proactively as a generational heirloom, but in a world where everything is continually mass-produced, and easily and quickly replaced, it's refreshing that someone has decided to take a decidedly different approach. A well crafted piece that is thoughtfully designed, rugged, and made in such a way that it pays a decent wage to the person whose hands made it is indeed a novel concept today. And the more time I spent on the website, the more I felt obliged to purchase this bag. I don’t know if anybody will fight over anything of mine when I’m dead, but I’d give this bag a better chance of it than anything else I currently own.
Now on to the bag, itself.
It was quite heavy…as was expected. This is not a detraction, just an observation. I bought the large size because I was looking for a workhorse that could handle the gear I take with me when I travel. This usually involves a laptop and charger, an iPad, various toiletries, and a varying amount of paper in a file. Oh, and a stainless steel travel coffee mug. This bag fits the bill.
I know you’re expecting me to say that I got all kinds of immediate complements on the bag. But it’s true. The very first day that I had it I got no less than 5 separate complements around the office. It’s truly an attractive bag and a bit of a conversation piece. I have to admit here, though, I’m a bit sheepish about admitting to anyone how much I paid for it. I just don’t strike myself as enough of a high-roller to spend this much on a bag. But there you have it…
I bought one of Dave’s Deals…a 10% off piece. After careful inspection, I couldn’t find one flaw. I’m not sure if it was a mistake to send me this one, or if I’m just not familiar enough with what it should look like to know the difference. Bottom line: I’m extremely satisfied.
A couple of minor cons.
I’m a short guy, at around 5’7”. I think the shoulder strap, if fully extended, would have the bag dangling at my ankle. In order to adjust it properly I have a tremendous amount of excess strap just hanging down the side of the bag. This is fairly minor, and it is probably the trade-off for being able to convert it into a backpack (a nifty feature, to be sure).
The cup/bottle holders on the side could be just a tad more accomodating. Most water bottles and travel mugs seem to be around the 3 to 3.25” inch diameter range. And that’s a real stretch here. I am able to get my stainless steel mug in there, but it’s not an easy task. On the plus side, no one will be mugging me of my coffee! I’m hoping that after much use it will stretch out a bit.
A final note.
I’m an impatient person. I’m the guy who's tempted to buy something “distressed” so that it has that worn in feel. Because I sense that things that are worn in have more intrinsic value. I’ve contemplated this recently, and I look forward to breaking this bag in over many years; not through artifical means or overly hard use. I think it is in the use of the bag itself that it’s value is obtained, and it’s signs of wear are simply the outward manifestations of many years of loving use.
Thanks, Dave, for a truly remarkable product. And thank you, as well, for your passion and your ministry.
I own an X-Large version of this wonderful briefcase. I love it. I have clients, partners and family and friends express near awe over it with each sighting. It really is a pretty cool bag and the customer service I experienced returning another product for full credit against this bag was even better than Apple!
And it's quite pleasurable but a bit heavy THOUGH I knew that. Few will tell you it's the best looking bag they have ever seen but it's a lot more. Its terribly functional. The small two pockets attached to the center partition hold my fat credit card laden wallet (saves my pants), work badge, pen, 1.75x glass readers and calculator, all within a few moments availiability anywhere, even with the strap on shoulder. The thick leather lap always seems to drop down nicely against the bag's front side without having to buckle it. A valued feature for easy access. Next , the inside front main pocket. This is used for sunglasses and tons of other stuff like a multipurpose tool and tiny LED light. Impressive space. The inside back main pocket is used for a good 3" thick of files, to-do lists and magazines. The outside end pockets each hold a disposible rain parka, one for me and one for my friend being discussed here.
You need to understand this bag is easy walk-off prey at the urban supermarket and to address that, an improvised (purchased separately) two hook leash system with rope has been devised to hook one of the bag's rings to the food cart. They won't know it's there...
One bit of minor concern is that the side strap hooks are rubbing both sides of the leather flap even with the round ends of the strap hooks turned out. In this configuration the strap hook's latch mechanisn just misses the top edge of the flap, my only concern here is the strap hook accidently disengaging. Some permanent leather wear after several years at these two locations is expected, not a killer for overall functionality.
Overall an absolutely great buy with it becoing an intergral part of my everyday work existence. What price for that excellence, eh ? My daughter is getting the same for her college graduation after she saw mine, its already hidden in the barn. I just wish that a future special edition be made with a few of those extra rings absent for those that do not intend to backpack the world, in other words "KISS". Of course, Saddleback will need to provide me with the 1st one to test out...brown large please :) .
I finally was able to get the XL briefcase and in my favourite colour as well. The XL has been my everyday carry to office. Despite it being the biggest size, it looks fine in backpack mode for my 5"5' frame. It is also not that much heavier than the large or the medium. Definitely my favourite bag next to the small briefcase.
Would I recommend this product? Definitely a must for SBL fan.
Just received my bag. Firstly, I will start with something that has been said in virtually every single review â This is a beautiful bag. The quality of leather, the design, the craftsmanship, the stitches, the d-rings, the two straps on the front that give it such a complete look even though they are not likely to be used muchâ¦ are just a few things that make it a truly beautiful bag.
Secondly, I would also like to walk through my decision process â in case it helps other potential buyers.
(1) Whether to buy this bag or not â Easiest of all decisions. The bag is beautiful and the moment I saw it in pictures and Daveâs videos I knew I had to have one of these. The only two questions that I came across in other reviews/videos and made me think for a bit were (i) lack of pockets - I felt that there are already 9 pockets/compartments in the bag and which are more than sufficient for me to organize my stuff. This bag can potentially have some pockets covered but I guess it is what it is. I am probably going to get 1- 2 extra pouch/cube for better organization(ii) why so much money for âjust another bagâ but then I know that this question can be asked for just about everything and every price point. This is a product which is definitely more than just fulfilling the need for carrying stuff from-to office. I personally feel nice about owning a high quality product
(2) Which size is appropriate for me â A relatively difficult decision and required some involved thinking. Couple of things I did to decide on this - (i) Compared the dimensions of my current laptop bag with the three sizes M/L/XL; (ii) watched numerous videos on YouTube and read comments on those videos e.g. some people bought XL but had second thoughts that it is too big, someone bought M but had concerns that it doesnât fit legal size folder, etc. ; (iii) took a judgement based on weight. In my opinion after about 20 lbs of weight on shoulders for a long time, things start getting into the âlast straw on camelâs backâ zone so I didnât want to add avoidable weight; (iv) overall look based on my body frame. After weighing these factors, I decided on size L
(3) Which color should I buy â The toughest of all decisions because the bag looks awesome in all the 4 colors. I started with systematic elimination â (i) In general, I am not a very off-roader kind of person; (ii) my job requires heavy travel and being in meetings with senior Directors and VPs so I didnât want to project an unnecessary and false Indiana Jones (although I like Indiana Jones movies a lot) type image so I decided to drop tobacco and carbon colors. Now, between DCB and Chestnut, I just went nuts. Read reviews, looked at videos â didnât help much. So, I made a small investment for my big investment â I bought a DCB wallet. Absolutely magnificent wallet and almost decided on DCB. However within a month I noticed that it captured scratches very easily. Although I like the fact that as leather wears, it shows character and has stories, I didnât really want my bag to start showing character from 1st month itself, especially when the expected journey is 100years long and didnât want the bag to capture every short story like getting scratched by nails etc.. Eventually, I decided to buy the Chestnut color. After I received the bag, I am glad I went with this choice
(4) Money to buy the bag â difficult not from the perspective of being âcomplexâ but took the longest simply because of the amount of money involved. Something or the other kept coming up and every time I ended up comparing the need for a $600 bag to the need to replace $250 microwave, or a new $350 furniture for my daughters, or a long overdue $400 patio furniture and what notâ¦ and my bag kept getting delayed because of the guilt of comparing the need for a bag with other more essential things. Anyhow I kept patient and eventually after a couple of months things stabilized (or I felt so) and the purchase was approved by my wife. Yay!
In market research sometime we ask respondents about which celebrity comes to their mind when they think of a particular product, or company or whatever. If someone were to ask me that question about this bag, I would say â Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt because it is a good combination of ruggedness and style.
Anyhow, regardless of how long it lasts and what my kids plan to do with it after Iâm gone (fight over it to keep it or fight to have the other kid take it), I know for sure that I am going to enjoy every moment with this bag. Thank you Dave for making such a nice bag and Thank you wife for approving to buy it.
I've had my bag for about a year and (God willing) I have a long way to go yet. My Saddleback is not simply a briefcase; it's my "battle bag". Packed within I hold office where ever I go, do my business on the fly; when I pluck it down, it says "this is the main headquarters." When I've gone to meetings and/or 'work situations', I've pulled out more 'hat tricks' then several hockey championships from the bag. Now, when I hit the road I simply load up my bag and go out the door knowing that when I arrive, I'll be ready for business.
Slight caveat: these bags are heavy and they're not for everyone, but speaking as one whose gone through business bags / briefcases like some folk go through kleenex, so far what Dave Has Wrought kicks some major butt. Besides, I always could use a decent workout.
Now, the only thing I have to do is get my bag branded so that when I leave it on the conference table, and go about the board room chatting it up, my enemies (and their attorneys) will tremble with fear and my allies stand in confidence as I give out my infamous trademark laugh and watch more suckers eat the bullet and get dragged out - to 'suggested retirement' or simply court ordered time.
I may not have a horse and a gun, but with my Saddleback bag, I still can tame the wild east.
Keep on rocking, Dave!
PS: love your video regarding knockoffs; brilliant!
I struggled when I was searching the web for a good comparison of the large and the XL classic briefcases. I was stuck and had no idea which to get based on the size difference. I didn't want the XL to be too big but also wanted to ensure that I could carry everything that I needed in the Large. To solve my problem I ordered one of each, luckily both popped up on Dave's Deals within a few days of each other.
I'm 6'1" 205lbs. So I'm not a small guy by any means but I definately wouldn't call myself hercules either. The large is honestly a great size, there is no reason you could not carry everything you need in this bag. My issue with it mostly has to do with the laptop situation. I love Dave and all of his products but I do not think he will ever convert me to being a Mac computer guy. So because I use a PC I'm always in this weird gray area for his different sizes. My 15.6" Dell fit snugly and securely in the large but I like to keep my laptop in a case or sleeve so the large wasn't quite wide enough for that.
When I first saw the XL I was a little worried, it looks quite massive upon first glance. People complain about it's weight, lets be honest here guys is the large like carrying a feather around? Negative. The weight difference between the two really isn't that much when empty, the only time it becomes a problem is when you load the XL as much as possible. One thing I didn't realize would be so nice about the XL is that extra inch of height that it gives you, it allows my to keep my medium notepad holder in there vertically instead of having to lay it down horizontally. This gives more room to carry other things.
For those of you who are back and forth between these two sizes here is what I would tell you:
1. If you travel a ton with it and need to carry more than just into the office or from the house to the car the XL may be too big and bulky.
2. Figure out your computer situation and use that to help you, especially if you want to keep it in a case.
3. I can't speak for those of you who are shorter than I am but the XL does not look too big on me in my opinion, so don't worry about that. It's not about what it looks like on you anyways, its about how functional it is and how sexy the bag is no matter what size/color you get.
I decided to keep the XL and could not be happier with it, whichever one you decide to buy you will enjoy so go ahead and pull the trigger already!
What a bag! Oh what a bag! I am now the proud owner of a medium tobacco classic, and boy does it feel good. And the smell... oh what an aroma! I might just stick my head inside the confines of this work of art for another whiff or three.
Size wise, it suits me very well; I am a 5 foot 8 male with an athletic build.
A note to any one from New Zealand considering purchasing one; be prepared to wait close to a month for it to arrive, and you will have to pay customs fees, which amounted to nearly $150 NZ :(
I am looking forward to taking this bag not just to varsity, but around the world along with my old SB passport wallet.
i have received tobacco briefcase it looks wonderful, well built as usual.
i have to wait for the test of time :)
I bought this bag in Dark Coffee Brown color and large size somewhere between 3 and 4 years ago. It's a fantastic bag, and it holds up really well.
My bag is still somewhat stiff in its body, but I haven't really stretched it. I can travel for about 3 days with just this bag (taking a laptop, clothes and even a pair of dress shoes) if needed, haven't done it a lot. Some people mention the leather cracking on the back of the flap, I have this too, but very superficial. The best way to combat this is to put a ton of that leather milk product on. I might try my "Le renovateur" shoe leather treatment which does wonders on beaten up shoes. But it's not bad, but on my next SBL bag I'll slap a bunch of treatment on the flap before I start using it.
This bag got me tons of compliments. A lot of TSA people like it too. I always mention the 100 year warranty and people are amazed. When I just got it, it was all pristine. First nick in the leather got me a bit annoyed, so I can fully recommend just taking your keys and making a scratch on the flap yourself. Like a new car, just scratch it, the first little thing is always the worst, so just get it out of the way! Then rub it, skin grease is supposedly a good thing for leather too.
In every day use, going to the office, it's a bit big actually. I'm considering the classic messenger for this. It can hold a ton and it's bulky too. Nevertheless, I like it.
Bought a 10% off DCB bag a few weeks back and just got back from a road trip. I wanted to field test it before reviewing it.
Firstly, I would highly recommend that you buy off Dave's deals - the blemishes are very minor and probably something you will put on the bag within 1-2 weeks of use anyway.
I was debating between DCB and Chestnut a lot. The first bag that appeared on Dave's deal was a DCB and I jumped at it. Funnily enough a Chestnut showed up the next day. :-)
I like the DCB, it looks very sober and regal. Classy without attracting too much attention to itself.
The leather is of very good quality and looked tough as nails. The construction looked very solid too.
The bag is heavy but after a few days of using it, the weight becomes less of an issue. For reference I am slim built - 5'11" and 160lb.
Also when I travel, I use a wheeled carry-on bag and attach the briefcase to it. Thus for long hauls (airport walk through), my shoulder gets some respite.
The bag is still tight as the leather is new, but will free up some more space in time. There is a pretty impressive amount of room in it.
I got a lot of compliments on my trip and at the office. People love it.
As do I. Fantastic bag - well worth it!
What can I say? It is a big, heavy bag. It is sturdy and it can carry a lot. It is very handsome to my eyes.
After years of using a variety of ballistic nylon bags, I found that a common problem was that the material eventually wore out. Oftentimes, handles would snap off, the sewn thread would unravel, and the protection of my laptop and other equipment would be less than adequate.
With this bag, assuming that we do not get to the point where snipers are shooting at briefcases on the streets, I do not see how I could damage my stuff. This bag, in addition to being very sturdy, also offers what you could call crumple zones. Its shape offers a lot of give and absorption.
Another feature is that the central carrying handle is offset from the central vertical plane of the bag. At first glance, it appears to be done to allow room for the massive loop at the top. What it also appears to do is to allow the bag to establish a new balance point so that the hand never gets caught between the top ring and the substantial handle. It works. It is easy to hold the handle with no pinching. Somebody really did their homework in designing this briefcase.
Overall, this bag is extremely overbuilt and I have no doubt that it will outlive me. I am very satisfied with it and I highly recommend it to anyone. As a last point, the weight seems to disappear after a short while. It is quite comfortable to carry and it easily conforms to the body.