I hate to make the new prices the centerpiece of this review, but the increase is so large that it can't be ignored.
First off--I love the bag. Bought mine in tobacco two years ago and have used it daily for work ever since (as well as some travel). It's tough, it's pretty, and the only way I could be happier with it is if it were somehow a bit lighter. It regularly gets inquisitive looks and positive comments. I recently treated it with Chamberlain's Leather Milk, which darkened it a shade or two (not a problem--now it's actually closer to the color I always wanted) and made it softer and more supple. I plan to use it forever.
However--I bought mine for $581. Now it's $810. That's a 40% increase.
For some context: I have a very healthy income. It's not a question of whether I can afford it. I can. But like many of your customers, I'm frugal. I spent two years on the fence, slowly talking myself into such a big purchase. And like I said above, I'm glad I did! But I can guarantee that I never would have made the leap at the new price. Even with the benefit of hindsight--knowing how much I love the bag--I don't think I'd buy it again today. Ditto for my $21 wallet that is now $50. And I was just about to buy my wife the Leather Pouch...but that's now seventy(!) percent more expensive.
To sum up, I'll echo Nick's review (9/27/2016): you make great quality products, and have great service. But you weren't going bankrupt before you hiked prices. 10-20% would be understandable. But a 40-100% increase on everything doesn't feel right; it doesn't feel like Saddleback. It feels like--all your charming rhetoric notwithstanding--you're very deliberately aiming for becoming exactly the sort of "fancy pants" brand you've derided in the past. By price tag, if not by marketing tone.
So, 5 stars for quality, 3 stars for value and recent business practices.
I live in Minnesota and get this back in October of 2015. It weathered extremely well, it's so incredibly durable. It took time to break in, which I kind of liked because it gave it character and I contributed to it. I got a large in chestnut and it's beautiful, I'd get it again but tobacco was a close second choice, especially after seeing it in person in the office. I waited until now to review so I could give a more thorough review. It's still breaking in and I love that about it, it has a nice patina where the metal clamp rubs, and where the bag rubs my side. I'm confident I could have this bag for life if I choose, my only hesitation is that it's so large and heavy that I may opt for something lighter in the future. Also, it's an attractive item for someone to steal and resell as they're very popular online. They're even more at risk of theft now since the price increase, just a thought for those who travel or ever leave their bag in public.
I gave it 4 stars only because I saw the price increase rather drastically (from $639 to $860 for the large), which was a bit disappointing as it was already very expensive. I think overall it was worth what I paid, but I wouldn't buy it at the new price. Last thought is that while it's very hearty and has all the bells n whistles you'd need, mine tends to tip forward (with or without stuff in pockets, in any order), frequently falling over. I find that frustrating as I thought the base would be sturdy enough to support the tipping from the weight of the bag.
Dave, I love your stuff and your philosophy - you're a genius - I know you have a lot of die-hard customers and you'd only have more if you keep the prices manageable!
I circled around this bag in dark coffee brown like a hungry buzzard circling a fresh corpse. It took me 3-4 months to make a decision, and while I wish I could have had an opportunity to see a tobacco and dark coffee brown bag side by side in person, I'm eternally pleased with the latter.
Word of warning to those living in Europe: beware of steep duty and shipping charges. I got slapped with an extra 200 euro duty charge. Surprise! Anyhow, all good though. Love this bag and when you compare what you'd pay here for fine European leather goods, you're still paying a fraction for this beauty. It's also unique and draws much attention away from the fancy Mont Blanc bags. I get loads of compliments and will continue to do so as I break her in.
All in all, diese tasche ist sehr fantastische!
I bought a Classic Briefcase, in Dark Coffee Brown (DCB), in March of 2013. I liked it so much I ended up adding a cable bag, notepad holder, and pouch, as well – all in Dark Coffee Brown. Kept liking it so, I ordered another Classic Briefcase in DCB to give as a gift. Later added a Water Bag, Side-pocket Duffle, and two backpacks, additional pouch, and two gadget bags – all in DCB.
When I bought this bag, I knew that Saddleback had changed the DCB leather. It was clear from the photos that the leather had changed. All my older DCB leather was dyed uniformly dark brown through all the layers of the leather. The new bag only has a brown exterior with bright tan layers underneath, which can be seen in the photos which show bright tan exposed leather edges. I think this was a BAD decision – ignoring the fact that it doesn’t really match my old gear (VERY irritating), the new DCB leather readily shows scratches and abrasions, revealing light tan leather underneath. I’m not anxious for that much character on my bag – the uniformly brown leather is far preferable.
Also I’m not a fan of the new suede lining in this bag, which I was not aware of until I had received it. The Classic Briefcase was lined with smooth, dark brown pigskin which was treated for moisture repellency (it was easy to wipe clean). The new suede leather lining absorbs moisture/liquid spills like a paper towel and shows stains; it also makes it much harder to simply slide things in the bag as it is not smooth like the old lining. In addition, the old lining was stiffer and I liked it because it created more structure for the bag. None of the these changes – the new DCB leather nor the suede lining have been improvements, IMHO. Frankly, given the inconsistency in the look and feel of the DCB leather over the years, I wish I had started out with the Tobacco color.
I bought this bag because I did like having the external pockets instead of the internal openings on the Classic. This bag allows things to be slightly more organized, but it's turned out to not really be a big advantage one way or the other. I think whether one buys this or the Classic is really going to be more aesthetics than function – they both hold about the same – just slightly differently. The exterior side pockets are largely useless as they are bifurcated by a large seam. The side pockets should just be eliminated. I’ve had this bag for approximately 5 months and I've used it every business day since and I notice a lot more fraying on the raw wedges of the leather straps than I have seen on my Classic Briefcase after 3 years of every day use (related to the difference in the DCB leather?)
I like this bag fine, but I still really prefer my old Classic and suspect it will age far better than this front pocket briefcase. The old DCB just looks better and ages better. Given the changes in the DCB leather and the substantial price increases, I suspect this was my last Saddleback purchase. I don't see the value proposition any longer. I’ve lost the enthusiasm - the changes have been a downer.
I now have two of these bags. One in tobacco for daily use and one in black for my job as an airline pilot. These bags have proven to be the perfect briefcases for me. They hold as much as I care to comfortably carry on the personal side and as much as I am required to carry at the airline. Build quality is first rate and the customer service has always been outstanding. I have just decided at this point in my life that it is better to buy the best and only buy it once!
As I write this, the front pocket briefcase is out of stock. Well, that makes perfect sense: no one else makes a bag this well. I'm a Soldier and thoroughly enjoy this bag because it's so much Indiana Jones and nowhere near Wall Street. And Dave is right: it will outlive you.
I spent five years on the fence over this bag. After finally making the purchase, my only regret is the 1800+ days I lived without her. In the last few months, I've traveled several thousand miles and the only fault is with me - I have to fight the temptation to overpack it. Seriously, this bag will fit everything you need to survive indefinitely if you're skilled in that sort of thing. In hindsight, sometimes I wonder if I might have been better off with the medium size, but I figure it's better to have the extra space and not need it than to need it and not have it.
What I love:
- The quality (seriously, a better bag may not be possible)
- The leather aroma
- The packing options (the inside is just two compartments, which means there's a lot of flexibility in packing)
- The outside pockets (the regular briefcase has the pocket inside - with the front pocket briefcase, I have more space to overpack it)
What I've had to adapt to:
- Leather is heavier than other material (you can't have your cake and eat it too - if you want leather, it's heavy, man up and get over it. You'll thank yourself later.)
- I wish I could have seen the bag in person; it would erase all doubt about whether I ordered the right style and size. But I hear the flagship store is in the works!!
Bottom line: stop waiting; buy it; you won't be disappointed.
I usually never write reviews but in this case I felt compelled to write one. I have been a SBL briefcase customer for 7 years. I started with the Classic Briefcase in Large to fit my 15" MacBook Pro. However, for my 5'8" frame I felt a bit conspicuous carrying it around (I travel for a living). So to downsize I went with the SBL thin briefcase in Medium. This was a fantastic size for me (frame wise) but unfortunately I was very limited in what I could put in the bag. After much debate I decided to purchase the Front Pocket Briefcase in Medium. This is the perfect size, it fits EVERYTHING that I want to carry and I don't feel like I'm carrying an elephant to work. Thank you so much for creating this bag just for me. While I plan on purchasing and being a SBL customer for life, I don't intend to purchase anymore briefcases!
This is my second briefcase from SB. The first was a Medium thin briefcase in chestnut -- amazing bag! I love it and still use it. It's sturdy handsome and just plain awesome. However it's pretty small ("thin" briefcase). I started to travel more and need to carry additional items outside of my laptop and a few notebooks. So I purchased the the front pocket in tobacco. This is a beautiful bag but doesn't seem as heavy duty as my thin briefcase. The leather seems thinner -- but its also NOT lined with pig skin like my older bag so that could be why. I was under the impression that it would be. I wish it was. I've received a ton of compliments on it and do find it extremely practical when you have to carry a bit more than a laptop and some files. Im sure with some additional wear and break in it will look just as good as my thin briefcase. Would be 5 stars with the pig skin lining
I had been using a quality attorney briefcase for over 16 years. While still functional, it started showing it's age and had developed some "poor habits." I then purchased the coffee brown large front pocket briefcase. While I was skeptical the quality would meet the cost, I was pleasantly surprised. The bag is build to tank-level performance. I can clearly see this will be the last briefcase I will ever need. Strong, rugged, handsome, and practical-it has it all. Several guys came over in the office and took down the Saddleback Leather name after checking my bag...these bags sell themselves. Great job!
I got the large front pocket bag, or I should say my wife got me the large front pocket bag for my birthday. In short, this bag is awesome! It's got all the bells and whistles you could wish for, it's super sturdy. I get several complements a day on the bag. 90% or more of the comments are about either how great the bag looks, or how sturdy and high quality it is. It's taken a couple of weeks of use for the leather straps to become less stiff, they've reached a point where they feel solid, but are flexible enough to make opening and closing the pockets easy. I'm looking forward to many years of use out of this bag, I'm just going to have to work on lasting as long as this bag will.
I did extensive research when looking for an ALL leather bag. Everyone else’s was just pure garbage! I don’t remember exactly how I came across Saddleback Leather but so happy I did. I looked at everything on the website! I found exactly what I had been looking for: The Front Pocket Briefcase in ALL BLACK!
What finally sold me is when I watched Dave’s Video: How to Knock off My Bag
I went back & forth on the small & large size. I chose the small size (at first). Waited 3-5 days w/free shipping! It came to my house & I opened the big box it came in! Only 2 words came to mind: BEAUTIFUL & BEST I’VE EVER SEEN!!! The fresh smell of full grain leather filled the air around me! I was VERY IMPRESSED. After looking at it ALL weekend (not using it) I kept thinking of ALL of the different things I was going to put in it & use it for. Then I told myself I needed to send it back & get the LARGE size!
Customer service = ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!!
They helped me with the return. I also had my eye on a couple other things so I ended up buying ALL in total: Front Pocket Briefcase (Large/Black), Front Pocket Backpack (Large/Black), The Big Leather Wallet (Black), & 1 bottle of Leatherman’s Milk. I could not be HAPPIER!!! Kudos to the Saddleback Leather Company :)
I'm putting this same review in the reviews of the other items I bought because they all deserve the same praise!!!
I see so many reviews written by people when they just ordered something and they "can't wait to get it!!!!" Well that's crazy. Of course you like it or you would not have bought it. I waited almost two years to write this review because I needed to make sure my opinion was sincere.
I bought this bag in the Tobacco color in August of 2014. I originally wanted to get the darker chestnut color, but when my brother showed me the beautiful patina on his Tobacco Saddleback wallet, I bought the same wallet and this briefcase in Tobacco. Some reviewers commented that the color is a little darker than what is shown in the pictures. This is true but if you look at the videos, the color is consistent with what you should expect.
DESIGN: Loved the design when I bought it. Still love it today. As with any briefcase (or really anything new that you use every day - e.g., a car), there will be some time to adjust to it and how you are going to use all of the features. Yes, you need to open the flap to access the front pockets. Once you are used to this, it's not a big deal. Further, the leather on the flap and the belt have softened so nicely over the past two years (and 100+ business trips) and I'm so used to opening the buckles that I can now open any of them with one hand easily. The pockets on either side of the gussets are a little tight. The leather does stretch, but I still struggle a little bit to get a water bottle in there when my laptop is in the bag. I'm 32 years old and going on 60 so I still get a print newspaper every morning that I read at the office. The external back pocket is perfect for this. The two front pockets are great. I use one for computer cords and the other for pens/pencils/highlighters. I put ballgame tickets in the area behind the front pockets and this is the perfect place for keeping them from getting destroyed. I use the little key chain for my Secure ID token and I may be the only person in my office who has never lost that token as a result. It would be nice if the pads on the shoulder strap had something to better grip on my shoulder because it can slide (especially if I'm wearing a sport coat).
USE: Is it a little heavy? Yes. Do I notice anymore? No. People pick up my bag all the time and comment on how heavy it is, but (1) I always carry a lot - and this bag facilitates that and (2) Too may people are used to carrying these wimpy little light weight bags and I've never had one that lasted more than 1.5 years - hence my decision to buy a bag that may last me the rest of my career. The bag always fits below the seat on any airplane (and I've been on over 100 since I've bought it) and the outside pockets can be convenient for pocket items that you need to remove when going through security. I've never felt the need to use the backpack option.
WEAR AND TEAR: Mostly nothing but the good kind. I will say that because Saddleback doesn't paint or seal the edges of their leather (and I fully understand and appreciate why) the leather on the main belt used to seal the flap has frayed a bit on the edges. It's not enough so that anyone notices (except me of course) and it's not even a problem. I could just see some people complaining about that. I love the fact that it looks well-worn and the leather has softened beautifully over time. I always carry the bag with the front pocket side away from my leg and, as a result, the inside has been worn a little more and has developed a beautiful dark patina. I'm looking forward to the rest of the bag aging similarly.
Overall: Very satisfied. I was never tempted to return or replace this bag - not a single time in two years. I do get a lot of compliments, but that shouldn't be the reason you buy it. If it is, you're making a mistake. Like any briefcase, it's not for everyone. But if you're looking for a briefcase that looks great and won't need replacement, and you can handle the other factors discussed above, this is an amazing buy. It has met every expectation I had.
After staring at the front pocket briefcase in dark coffee brown on the website off and on for about a year and a half, I decided to treat myself for my birthday. So I put the bag in my internet basket and proceeded to check out, and a few days later it was at my door. And I swear I heard the leather angels sing when I opened the plastic bag, and all doubts about making the purchase quickly faded away.
Initial impression of the bag...... its an absolutely beautiful bag, oh and the smell was dare I say it.....heavenly. The stitching is spot on, and the fit and finish of the entire bag is excellent. The leather is stiff in the corners, but with the layers stitched in the corners its to be expected and a very minor concern and will work itself out with use. And I may or may not have taken a rubber mallet to the corners to help loosen things up.....LOL
I have had the large front pocket briefcase for about 8 weeks now, and it has more than enough room for all my office items including my laptop, chargers and other items that I may need to carry in or out of the office or on a trip, and there is plenty of room left to put a change of clothes in for a quick overnight trip if the need arises.
If you are on the fence about getting a Saddleback bag, I can't recommend their stuff enough. It is very well constructed and worth the investment, as this bag will last you forever. And if you jump into the Saddleback pool, be prepared to answer questions and receive numerous complements about your awesome new bag. This was not my first Saddleback purchase, and most certainly will not be my last.
I will admit, I was worried when I decided to purchase this briefcase. It's not an inexpensive item, and I was wondering if it would live up to my expectations, considering the price. All I can say is, wow. The quality is amazing! If you're on the fence about this briefcase, buy it. You won't be disappointed.
I have purchased other Saddleback Leather products over the last few years. That said, I am not a new to this company, reputation and love for serving other communities around the world. I received my new Front Pocket Briefcase yesterday. This has been a year long journey for purchasing this bag and the anticipation and week-long shipping wait is over! Once I opened up the box the smell of beautifully crafted leather was like no other. Needless to say, I received a perfect long-awaited briefcase which meets and exceeds every expectation for my personal/professional needs. I will be a Saddleback Leather product connoisseur for life. Grace and peace to your organization.
I am a recent college grad and this bag was given to me as a graduation gift. I have been wanting one for a few years and was elated to finally receive one. When I first got the bag, it was VERY stiff. However, that is to be expected when dealing with such high quality leather.
After having the dark coffee brown for about a month, I have noticed a few things. The leather has slowly become more flexible, especially around the shoulder strap and the main straps for the pockets, and it has also acquired a few nicks and scratches from daily use (which only makes it look cooler). It has been lightly exposed to water (walked through a light rain, as well as a glass of water accidentally poured on it), but the leather shows no sign of the water. It will take some time for the bag to be completely broken-in, but I have the next 100 years, so I'm not in any rush.
I am an avid fan of Saddleback and this bag seals the deal. I highly recommend it to anyone. I am thankful for a bag that I will be able to one day give to my kids/grandkids that will come full of the stories and places that it has traveled with me.
I wanted this bag for quite some time, I just couldn't bring myself to buy it. I spent weeks reading every review online. I watched every YouTube video imaginable. I visited this website several times a week hovering over "Add to Cart", I just couldn't do it. If you're reading this, you're probably like I was. You're agonizing over spending so much money on a briefcase. You're wondering if it's worth it. You have doubts, and that's understandable. Allow me to put those doubts to rest.
There are no words to describe how nice this bag is. There is nothing anyone can say that will prepare you for the moment you first lay eyes on it. The materials, the craftsmanship, the look, the fit and finish - it all screams quality. It's got enough room to carry nearly anything you could possibly need only a daily basis, and it looks gorgeous doing so.
Regardless of how high your expectations are, this bag will exceed them. Aside from my car and my house, this is easily the nicest thing I own. Every day you spend thinking about it is a waste. Just buy it. You'll be so glad you did.
Like many of you I spent months and months lurking on the site before pulling the trigger on this purchase, I even ordered a wallet just to see if the quality of the leather was really there before I considered the much more expensive front pocket briefcase. I can honestly say after receiving my dark coffee brown front pocket briefcase that I'm more than satisfied with this purchase. I literally spent an hour looking over every single stitch, rivet, buckle and every single inch of leather trying to find something wrong with it and I couldn't. Dave and his team clearly do a good job with quality control with these before they go out the door, the product I received is absolutely perfect, inside and out. I found two really nice scars that are very light but really add nice character to the bag. The absolutely only negative thing i can say about the bag is that out of the box it smelled a bit of chemical dye or something, but it's obviously from the coloring and is wearing off after a couple of days. At the office I had many people in the elevator eyeing it, it's just such a high quality leather bag that it's hard not to notice it. I bought a nice caribiner that I attached to one of the rings and I'm using it to carry a water bottle and I've already put the bag to really good use. For me, it's the perfect size, not too big and not too small. It fits my 17" HP laptop although I have to squeeze it in a bit.
Overall, excellent product that will clearly last many many years. My 5 year old daughter saw it and asked if she could have it, I told her when she graduates college and gets her first job she can have it. I"m that confident it'll be in good condition even then. Plus, it's a bonus that the company has a cause and morals that they're committed to. I feel good knowing that Dave and his wife are not just greedy owners and they give quite a bit of money away. Regardless though, if you're on the edge of deciding whether or not it's worth it, I personally think it is. It took some convincing to get my wife to be OK with me dropping this kind of money on a briefcase but after she saw it and learned about the warranty she's come around. She jokes that I would sleep with it next to us in bed if I could and she's probably right..
I was first introduced to Saddleback in early 2008. A colleague of mine at the time had bought a briefcase and brought it into our offices. I was in love. Finally after years of dealing with "pretty" but badly constructed briefcases I thought "this was it". I had planed on buying one but my business partner and I had to move our company and I thought it prudent to wait until that had been completed. Unfortunately right after we moved our staff and our equipment the economy crashed. After having to fire our staff of twenty-five and closing our doors forever, my wife and I had to declare personal bankruptcy. Needless to say a new briefcase was out of the question. But I never forgot about Saddleback. About once a year I would go back onto the website and see the new products. I would follow the travels of Dave and his family and see what new adventure they were on. And always in the back of my mind I would think "someday I will get me one of those". Well after eight years I was now finally in a position again to purchase one. Now, I tell you all this so that you understand that this review is truly personal for me. And though to some I am sure that a grown man fantasizing about a briefcase like a eight year old boy would fantasize about a life size X-wing fighter is a bit silly. But to me getting this briefcase.... my briefcase was important. I must say that after years of thinking about what I had seen eight years earlier it would have been easy to have been disappointed if the case wasn't everything I remember. But you know what, it was! I tracked the UPS shipment (the UPS app sucks by the way) and when I was informed that it had arrived I raced home. I did have momentary heart failure when I saw that the box sitting at my front door was open. Thank god everything I ordered was still inside and the case unharmed. The tape used had failed and half the box was wide open. But again it was all there. Once I took out the case I new immediately that not only was it as good as I remember but after eight years it was even better. All I can say is its gorgeous. The first thing I noticed was the smell. The smell of true leather wafted thru the air and "it was good". The next thing was the color. I sat it down and took a step back. The color was beautiful. I had purchased Chestnut and I was glad I did. Finally the construction. This case will last me the rest of my life and I have no doubt that my now seven and nine year old kids will be fighting over it years from now. I have had the thing for less than 20 hours and my seven year old daughter is already asking me if Saddleback makes a kids size. And if anyone still has any doubts. I got up this morning, transferred everything out of my old case to my new one, took my kids to school and am now sitting at a coffee place at the world famous farmers market in Los angeles. While I have been sitting here drinking my coffee and trying to write this review at 8:30 in the morning more than four people have come up to me and have asked me about the bag. Not kidding. Its no joke. Everyone from the guy making my coffee to a group of tourist walking by. All of them saw it and wanted to ask me about it. Dave, you and your family do good work and I will be proud to carry this bag for the rest of my life. Thank you!
I had buyer's remorse when I first bought this. Almost $600 for a briefcase!!! A year later, numerous trips for both personal and business - I can't live without it. I got this bad-boy in medium. Perfect size in my opinion - can easily pack it for an overnight trip. Day-to-day use it will hold practically everything you need. I've carried my laptop, DSLR camera and a couple lenses, used it in "back-pack" mode (pretty comfortable actually). You will get compliments on it - men & women.
This thing is pretty indestructible - the hardware is solid and the leather is so thick, the interior of this bag is of better quality than the exterior of other leather bags.
Oh, the buyer's remorse goes away once you open the box and smell the leather and see the quality of what you purchased.
I wanted to wait a year to review this product to get a good feeling of how it would integrate into my daily life. And it has become completely integrated. Whether I use it as my personal item on a plane while traveling, to using it for work every day. The best part about this thing is that I'm still getting at least one to two compliments a week.
My favorite part is that it seems like no matter how much stuff I try to fit in it, there is still room to fit more. When traveling, I fit two laptops, an iPad, over-the-ear headphones, medication, my 3-1-1 liquids bag, journal, all my charging cables and a book.
This bag has already served me very well and I couldn't imagine life without it now.
I was hesitant about buying this because of the price and especially all the extra rings on the bag (used when you want to make it into a backpack) but I took the plunge. At 6'2" and I went with their recommendation of the large bag. At first I was certain I made the wrong choice and that it was just too big, but I decided to give it a week. Bought it late January and now it's mid-March, so obviously I adjusted well and now I can't imagine going with a smaller bag.
Construction is good and it's held up to the rain very well (not that I expose it to tons of rain, but enough to want to wipe it down when I get into the office). It is heavy even empty and that took some adjusting to as well, but that weight inspires confidence in the overall durability.
The extra front pockets are a necessity for me, I wouldn't buy a bag without them. I needed the extra ability to organize a bit more that I just couldn't get without the pockets. The cavernous center pockets don't make for easy organization of all the small modern necessities.
Get ready for lots of comments from people who want to buy one for themselves. I let them check out the bag and I see the gears working in their heads on how they can justify it. I did the same thing looking at a friend's bag and it took me 6 months to convince myself to buy it.
It's all psychological I know, but it's nice to finally have a bag that says "adult" instead of the ubiquitous nylon backpacks and computer bags people have been using since high school. It's own little right of passage if you will. Most people won't notice or care, but the ones that appreciate and notice the finer details will. Like wearing a suit instead of jeans and a t-shirt, the bag just gives the owner more presence. Silly? Probably, but people are inherently silly and fickle. In the end, it's one of those purchases I'm just glad I made.
Absolutely love this piece of marvelous leather. Great build,quality,and function! Will definitely purchase one for my kid when he goes to college!!!
After months of debating; I finally decided to pull the trigger and by this briefcase. I have had this briefcase for almost a year now. I went with the Medium in Tobacco hoping it would hold my laptop and I was pleasantly surprised. It fits like a glove. For those like me who were wondering my laptop is 14 3/4 width by 9 7/8 height. This is a 17 inch laptop. As stated by many others the bag is a little heavy but that is to be expected by the high quality craftsmanship and materials. One thing I would like to mention is when you open the box it just smells of high quality.
This bag is made to last several lifetimes. Very sturdy build quality. But this lends it to be a bit heavier than I would like and not as aesthetically pleasing as it could be.
It is definitely very versatile. Two big pockets in the middle are great for the main stuff you need to carry. But what is overlooked is the two side pockets that protrude from the side of the bag and are always accessible - great place to store wires, headphones, etc. and other things you need access to all the time. I use the two front pockets to store things I will rarely need to replenish, like business cards. The gaps behind the front pocket are very useful as well for things like gum, etc.
I just wish the bag were a little lighter.
Otherwise, it is a beautiful piece of leather that will last me a lifetime.