I had ordered this thing a few months ago while overseas and am now in the US; I finally got my hands on this bag today. I can tell you that the video doesn't do this thing justice. It's not the fault of the video, it's simply that this bag looks better, feels better and functions better than you could possibly understand from a video.
I have been using the SBL Messenger Bag for about 4 years now, and my work overseas now requires me to carry more stuff around, but also keep things separated, preferably in different compartments. The layout of the bag is so simple and yet so helpful. The pockets are deep but easily accessible due to the flexibility of the canvas, which is one reason I decided to change over to SBL's canvas line. For those wondering about the feel of the leather backing and straps, I can tell you that it all fits like a glove. It was a genius move to put sturdy leather on the back and let the canvas deal with the items inside. I packed this thing as full as possible, put it on, and still felt nothing but the wonderful absence of stuff jamming into my back. The way the straps are designed fits so well to the human physique, going around the sides of the body instead of uncomfortably squeezing them. Just feeling the canvas in your hands is enough to give you a deep sense of the beautiful balance struck between functionality and durability. Insanely thick, but insanely light. Having now switched over, I can now fit into the canvas pack twice the amount I crammed into the Messenger Bag, and the canvas pack weighs less than the messenger bag. What more could you ask for? If you're looking for a large pack that doesn't weigh much but doesn't give up quality for quantity, this is your bag.
I never worried the quality of this backpack, because I know for sure that all saddlebackleather items have the utmost superior qualities. At first I was still little skeptical if it is gonna abled to fill all my craps from my old backpack. Well, it turned out perfectly packed all my stuff nicely, and I also purchased the cable bag along with this canvas bag, and as expected they work flawlessly together.
Just got bag today and it is a waxed canvas beauty! Plenty of room to easily pack a weekend worth of clothes. The front inside pocket accommodates my IPad Mini 4 with room to spare. The side inside pocket is perfect for my DCB Large Passpert wallet! It is nice and secure in the pocket with no worries of falling out when manauevering the bag. The little "coin" pocket is actually a generous size that I put my little "supplies" in for airline travel; small bandaid kit, , small travel case with ear plugs, eye mask, toothbrush.
The strap leather is very thick and sturdy. The video doesn't do the thickness justice! I can't wait for the bag to mold itself to me like my DCB Briefcase has over the past 7 years!
I thought I wanted the simple backpack. I was moved to choose this bag as the other was sold out. However, after watching another YouTube video I realized that I really needed this bag. It can be compact or spacious, the choice is yours!
Great job Dave and SBL Team!
This pack is awesome in all aspects, from construction to utility to organization. Just like all of the “bags” I purchased from "SaddleBack" the quality is “amazing”. Being from Minnesota, the birth place of high quality canvas packs, i know good quality. Furthermore, the leather backing will help hold the bags shape. Most importantly, if to many “bells and whistles” are on a canvas bag they will collapse over time, not this bag. Please keep the design simple.