Just received my bag very happy with it and I'm already receiving compliments and folks are asking where I got it. Very happy with my purchase, I certainly recommend it. I great for my daily use and fits my Mac Book Pro 15' and a 4th Gen iPad, my note book and computer cables and more. Bag is beautiful and feels very strong and well built. I'm looking forward to traveling with it soon. Thanks Dave!!
I own several of their products: large classic briefcase, large notepad, large wallet, iPad Air Case, iPhone 4S case, Moleskin Cover, and I most agree with a recent comment posted on this site, the leather quality is not the same, even the color and feeling of it is different. Something to look into it!
My wife surprised me for our 4th year anniversary with this briefcase, we both laughed when we exchanged gifts because I got her the long trifold wallet. The quality of the briefcase is outstanding, the chestnut color is rich. My only two complaints, I’m short and in order to use the strap I would have to cut the end off the strap because the leftover hangs out way too much. I’ve decided not to use the strap because I don’t dare cut such beautiful leather. Second complaint is that it’s been 4 months and it still leans forward. When I took it out of the box it seems it had gotten “squished” at the bottom and since it leans and tips forward. I fill it and distribute the weight to prevent this but it still happens. I love this briefcase and I’m looking for years of service from it.
I recently had to retire my beloved briefcase after nearly thirty years of service. I had heard about Saddleback's reputation for quality but had not seen any of their products "in the flesh." But I ordered the front pocket briefcase, in tobacco brown, based on the website photos and descriptions.
This is a stunning example of the leather worker's art, beautifully designed and crafted; equally at home on a construction site as well as the boardroom, it will enhance a pair of knockabout jeans and work shirt as much as your best suit.
At under $600 this briefcase is a bargain. I don't think its equal exists - at any price!
Buy one. You'll thank me.
Yesterday, I received the Front Pocket Briefcase in Chestnut and am in the process of breaking it in. The bag was on Daveâs Deal at 10% off but like many I could not spot any major manufacturing fault immediately. May be, I will need to try harder! Below are the first impressions.
First of all, the color choices offered by Saddleback is excellent. I wanted a color that could go well with both black and brown shoes, along with the accompanying attire. This meant that I had to choose b/w Chestnut and Tobacco colors. Chestnut color is relatively more formal so went with it. I must say that the bag looks stunning in it and would go nicely with a suit as well.
Many reviewers have touched upon the bagâs built quality so will not go in to details but will acknowledge that that the built quality is excellent. With the built quality positively crossed out, letâs look at the functional aspects of the bag.
Starting with the outside, the front pockets are very useful. I havenât used the bag outside but from the comfort of my living room, in my initial trial, I could easily put a slim laptop charger in the front pocket. I can see myself using the âcigarâ pocket as well to stuff things such as pens. In the side pockets, I could fit a small relatively slim water bottle. The back pocket would be useful to keep magazines and documents that you would need to access quickly.
The interior is divided in to two compartments, letâs call them front and rear. I could fit my 12.5â X230 Thinkpad laptop in its sleeve in the rear compartment snugly. With the laptop in, there could be enough space to fit an iPad or a notepad. In the front compartment, I would fit in a fat letter-sized portfolio. The two side pockets in the front compartments had to be tucked in before I could slip the portfolio in. With the portfolio in, one could slip in a few slim articles like a notebook, notepad, diary, etc. The front compartment also houses a key holder which comes with a Saddleback keychain. The strap and the handle appear to be well built and comfortable. Please note that the bag is still not broken in.
As for the areas of improvement â may be more attention to details. A couple of rivets on the handle are of different color. Other suggestions would be to offer options to a) not have the internal divider (However, I do admit that I do not know how removing the internal divider would affect the structural rigidity of the bag), and b) internal side pockets.
And yes, the bag is heavy. But I feel that I am getting a little used to the weight. For those seeking a slimmer and lighter alternative, there is the thin front pocket version.
Overall, I think this could be a brilliant every day office bag that allows you to carry the laptop and other necessary documents, notepads, etc. in style!
I love this briefcase! Easily the best purchase I've made all year. Great craftsmanship and quality material. In the last 4 years I had a nylon computer briefcase for my work computer and files for work, and 1 very good back pack for my school books. On the nights I had class, I had to lug both bags with me (big pain in the neck). Well, when my computer briefcase finally gave out, I had the perfect excuse to buy my SLB Front Pocket Briefcase. I couldn't be happier. I can fit my work laptop and my personal mac along with a work note pad, binder, 2 textbooks, a school notebook, and 2 laptop chargers with room to spare. It does get heavy but the shoulder strap is very comfortable. I'm looking forward to see how the bag breaks in.
The bag itself was very nice- well made and sturdy. Customer service was helpful as well.
Unfortunately, the reason I had to contact customer service is that the pictures online of the tobacco color are quite misleading. The bag looks nothing like the pics. The color is actually something like dark coffee brown or chestnut (WAY darker than the pics). I initially thought I was sent the wrong color but was told 'tobacco is running really dark now.' I understand that this is natural leather, and colors and markings can change slightly cow-to-cow. This, however, seems to be a real quality control issue. I have had no similar problems with high-end leather bags I have purchased from other companies. The colors are not even close- certainly not just a bad picture. It may seem petty, but if I'm going to pay $600 for a bag, I want it to at least somewhat resemble to pictures online that I agreed to buy the bag based on. It was so different I just ended up returning it. A shame, because I liked the bag (just really not the color).
First, a few notes about the bag that I could not glean from the description and pics.
- The front pockets are not lined with pigskin
- The external side pocket is cut so there is no hole in bottom the pocket. It is intricately/expertly cut to fit around the center divider.
- The internal pen pockets are more like the Thin Briefcase than the Classic Briefcase. If you are unfamiliar with these, it means you can only fit pens in them. Your iPhone will not fit in them, likely even when the bag is broken in. They are small.
- There is no hidden compartment at the bottom of the bag.
- The pics you may have seen of a concealed firearm sticking out of the top of the front pocket is pretty realistic for how far the firearm will fit behind the front pocket. My Springfield XD40 Compact still has the whole grip sticking out. But, it fits perfectly in the actual front pocket. Unless you have a tiny firearm (smaller than normal Glock or Springfield compact firearms), it will likely not fit completely behind one of the front pockets.
Comparison with other bags:
So, this is my 4th SBL bag (XL Classic BC, Front Pocket BC, L Round Satchel*, L Thin BC* ). The Front Pocket BC is a good middle-sized bag between these. I listed the bags in order of what I can fit in them. The Satchel is awesome for a day bag for travel and outtings, but I like the divider and front pocket options for daily carry to work. The XL BC is too large for daily carry, but is awesome when you need more space and perfect for trips. The Thin BC is my least favorite, and I sold it after a couple of weeks because it was just too small. If it didn't have the divider in it, it would have been useful, but no different from the Satchel, really.
This is typical SBL quality. This is my first Black SBL bag, which I needed because of dress code requirements (only black bags). The leather is much like recent DCB leather. It feels a bit stiff out of the box, but will surely break in like the other bags. My 3 year old DCB XL BC is like butter, now. It's actually less stiff than the last DCB bag I bought new.
This is my first experience with the lighter pigskin lining. It feels more like leather than the tough and smooth dark pigskin in my DCB bags. I like it. I was concerned that you'd be able to see the layer of light leather on the seams, but they do not show up. Moreover, the light pigskin makes it easier to see things in the bag. This lighter pigskin feels a bit like the new Tobacco leather.
The main closure on the front appears a little awkward being on an unlined flimsy cigar pocket. If there is an issue with that, I will come back and update my review.
I was very glad that my HP Pavilion DV6 laptop (15.6" 16:9 HD screen laptop) just fits in the back divider of this bag. It will not fit in the front without cramming it into the front because of the pen pockets.
Overall, I am very pleased with the bag design and the leather quality. Another great Saddleback Leather product!
* I have since sold these bags. I kept the Satchel for 2 years and hated selling it, but I needed $$ for this work bag. The Thin BC was quickly sold, as it was much too small for me.
No keyring in this one (no big deal for me, since I have a two from previous purchases.) Also, there was not a copy of John's Gospel in this bag. I encourage SBL to keep sharing John with new customers, as it is a great testimony for why they do what they do.
This bag is great. Perfect size. Great materials and craftsmanship. Just perfect. I can load it with a lot of stuff and not be afraid the strap will give up. A 15 inch regular laptop fits snug on the sides.