After a delay because of weather I received the backpack. My husband brought it to me when he was picking me up from work. He knew I couldn't wait to open it. The smell of the leather filled the room. It had some character marks already on it ,so I'll just have to create a fantastic story to go along with the marks. My husband even remarked how well the stitching is and how thick the leather is. I plan on taking it when we go to the dirt track , camping and any other trips we go on. The side pockets will hold my thermos and snacks in one and girl stuff in the other side pocket.
I put one of my favorite lap quilts inside the main compartment for cool weather.even with the lap quilt in it I still have room. I hope they bring the carbon color back in the future. I think carbon and chestnut are my favorite colors. Thank you Saddleback Leather. Your products are a blessing to me. Be blessed.
Front Pocket Backpack
$498.00 to $598.00SKU: #01-20-0003
Free shipping over $75! (UPS GROUND DOMESTIC)
- Dark Coffee Brown now shipping with lighter colored pigskin lining
- Designed for comfort through the long haul
- Perfect for organizing cameras, lenses and gear
- Neoprene lower back padding
- 4 exterior D-rings for lashing tripods and other gear
- Three big, roomy exterior pockets for quick access to stuff
- Space behind exterior pockets for quick stowing
- Wide shoulder straps with removable pads to distribute weight
- Removable shoulder straps won’t dig into your ribcage or love handles
- Utility strap closure to close opening nice and tight
- Body of bag made with only two pieces of leather
- No breakable parts e.g. zippers, snaps, buttons, etc.
- Because of natural oils shade may vary
- Dimensions (approximate size):
- 14” backpack
- Interior: 11” W x 13 ½ (adjustable)” H x 8 ¼” D
- Exterior: 12” W x 14” H x 9 ¼” D
- 5.9 pounds
- 17” backpack
- Interior: 11 ¾” W x 16 (adjustable)” H x 8” D
- Exterior: 12” W x 17” H x 9 ¼” D
- 6.4 pounds
We use natural Markings Equal Inclusion of Exceptional Imperfection Ornamentation
"... Saddleback Leather no longer discriminates against any cow on the basis of age, appearance, lactose intolerance... if the beast has a natural marking or brand, or whether or not they worship the Divine Bovine."
Truth is, sometimes beauty is only skin deep... like with cows. Their poetry is notoriously terrible, but man, their hides are nature's art. We don't believe that flawlessness equals beauty. Beauty is when we're able to see something as it really is.
This is true with humans too. There are lots of quality people who are really beautiful not in spite of, but because of the marks life has given them.
On my first hitchhiking trip in Mexico, Jake, Jimmy and I put on our big huge sombreros, laid our colorful serape blankets over our shoulders and stuck our thumbs out.
I used an old top loading army duffel to carry my stuff because it was the only bag I owned and it was about 2 months before I had my original briefcase made. The duffel was just one big compartment without a single pocket to separate my clothes from the knickknacks that I needed most. It was on that trip that I came to appreciate pockets to separate out smaller things. If only I had had this backpack on that trip. It would be one of my most cherished possessions today.
I bought myself this backpack for myself as a three year gift for becoming a non-smoker. It is awesome. A functional piece of art. I just want to sit here and take a look at it.
Love the backpack, it holds so much and is comfortable to wear-- I am 5'2" female. But wish the tobacco was a creamier color as several items other I have from a few years ago. I don't like the smokiness of the new tobacco and wish I had ordered any of the other colors.
Last summer I took this bag to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. It was absolutely overkill for the six day hike, and carrying the extra weight of the full-grain leather was not especially great for my back. But I ABSOLUTELY had the coolest backpack on the mountain, and knowing some of the scuffs and scars on the bag were from VOLCANIC ROCK is a pretty great way to build memories.
Overall, the bag has been a phenomenal purchase. It's incredibly sturdy, absolutely gorgeous, and has more space and pockets than I know what to do with. I don't always use the D-rings on the bottom, but with a couple of utility straps on hand, they're super helpful. Unless this bad boy gets stolen at some point, I'm sure it'll be something I keep with me the rest of my life.
My only complaint is with what the bag looks like when it's not totally full. When there is nothing pushing it up from below, the top flap goes kind of concave, and makes the bag look a little bottom heavy. Generally, I'll just roll up a Maasai blanket and keep it under the top flap, which makes the bag look like it should. And hey! My Maasai blanket is handy whenever I need it. So that's cool.
All that to say, I'm a world-traveler (26 countries so far) and I tell you without a shadow of a doubt that this bag is PERFECT for staying on the go. I haven't regretted the purchase for a single moment.
Just ordered it. So I'm anxious to get it. I know it will be great. Because everything I get from Dave's deals always is the best. Thanks Saddle back leather. Be blessed.
I am a huge tobacco fan. That being said, I have been disappointed with the darker tobacco as of late. I tried asking if SBL could "hand pick" my bag to assure that I would receive the lightest one in stock. No such luck! They just aren't capable of doing that at the warehouse. I gambled and received my new FPB in tobacco yesterday. It definitely IS darker than my other lighter tobacco products BUT I have to say that I really do like it. It's right in-between the darker and the light that I am used to. That being said, it's a KEEPER! Thanks SBL for another wonderful product. I've attached a pic of a lighter color dry bag next to my new FPB.
Hiked Chisos mountains in Big Bend national park a few weeks ago. Wore the large tobacco backpack for 30 miles of day hiking. Pack weighed about 30#. Balanced well and the straps never chafed or hurt. Only downside was backpack does get wet from sweating, need to figure out a way to get air circulation between back and pack. Of course got numerous compliments on the "old school pack". Even got compliments from the milligram minimalist backpackers.
Yet another amazing product from Saddleback.
A good friend introduced me to Saddleback Leather a couple of years ago and I have since purchased the front pocket backpack, thin briefcase, round satchel (as a gift), and belt. As I speak I have the leather mat ready for purchase in my shopping cart!
EVERY purchase from Saddleback has been an absolutely great buy! The quality of the materials is unmatched, and I have no doubts that the leather will last MULTIPLE lifetimes. I get compliments on my gear wherever I go, and I'm pretty sure that my family really WILL fight over this stuff when I'm gone. Heck, they're fighting over it now!
I highly recommend purchasing any of Saddleback Leather's awesome products. You will NOT be sorry!
I had seen this bag in one of daves videos where he mentions it was in a testing stage and i immediately wished saddleback sold this because it was the bag i always needed but never seemed to exist. My saddleback classic brief case was stolen out of my car within months of having it and as bummed as i was my spirits raised finding out dave was releasing the bag i wished he sold in the first place this holiday season! I received the backpack this xmas and was thrilled, the design and detail is flawless and the bag can hold even small items securely which is impressive since it is one giant storage with a tie. saddlebacks best design hands down. this bag will be used heavily and i will probably make a video on it. Thanks for releasing the perfect bag saddleback!
My lovely wife purchased the front pocket backpack in Tobacco Brown, as a Christmas gift, and it is everything I hoped it would be!
I travel for work 2-3 times per month, and this pack will fit my clothes and belongings for a typical 2-3 day stint. Also, when not traveling, I will be taking this backpack into the woods on hunting and hiking expeditions several times a year, with no worries at all regarding its durability and usability.
A total side note, but, I recommend picking up a pair of the leather straps, as the D rings on the bottom of the pack work really well for attaching anything from a rolled up jacket, or even a rolled sleeping bag for those overnight hiking trips.
Thanks Dave and Co. for making another fantastic product!
I have had the bag for a little while now, and have already kicked the crap out if a little traveling here in Afghanistan. This thing is built to last and has no problem being tossed around in the rugged terrain that I move around in. It's been kicked, dragged, thrown, crushed, and soaked. It just doesn't give up. I love Saddleback.
I'm an outdoor guide. I travel all the time and needed something that was like a rock off the trails. I wanted something I could take on the plane, pull off for short hikes/backpacks, use to store clients gear, etc. I found it in spades. The FPB is by far my new favorite piece of gear. It is something I know I dont have to keep an eye on for breaking or tearing. It is reliable. The most reliable pack I have ever owned. I look forward to the continued support of Saddleback Products. If you ever make a light weight pack with a hint more padding, I would use it in the field much more!
<3 you saddleback
P.s. Tessa, Betsy, and Kelley Jo are three amazing gals!! ;)
I got this backpack and absolutely love it. It smells and feels so good. I was wanting a leather backpack and wanted this outdoorsy (my own word) look. Looked at both saddleback and king ranch, but I chose the right one.
I received this BP earlier today. Now, granted I own the original Backpack, and I was waiting for the 17 inch version of this front pocket BP, but I had to pull the trigger.
I am going to a festival soon and I wanted this to carry.
It is great and already soft.
I bought the Tobacco Brown (like most of my other pieces).
Feels more broken in already.
I will probably buy the 17 inch when available and tell my wife I bought the medium for her. We will see how that goes.
Once again a great pieces.
Plan to use it forever.
Will use the old backpack as a computer transport and the new one for travel and outdoors.
This backpack has served me well so far in its early infancy. Just in the last two months it has been in Maine, Hawaii, and a splattering of places inbetween. It doubles as a 3 day bag on travel trips, as a book bag for school work, and as an extended cooler for adult beverages.
There isn't much more I can say about the quality of the product that others haven't repeated below. SBL is simply the real deal, enough said.
The only critism I have of the bookbag is that none of the pockets were 'quick' enough for me to access. This isn't a ding against SBL's design, but more something I came to realize specific to my uses. I needed atleast one of the side pockets to be easier to access. Some would argue what is easier to get into than a buckle? Well you come to appreciate the need for faster access when you are driving, walking through an airport, or have your hands full. I know Dave doesn't do custom work, yet I still asked and SBL kindly declined which I was completely fine with. So I decided to search for a local leather smith who was brave enough to work on such a high quality bag for me. I tasked them with modifying the side pockets with "collar cinches". Hopefully the picture below is accessible (SBL please feel free to use it as you wish):
The leathersmith removed the buckles on each side pocket and replaced it with this cinch. It locks down securely, and will not open unless you specifically lift up to unlock. The more you pack into the pocket, the more securely snug it becomes.
Came out exactly as I had wanted. I'll be going overseas in the next few months again and I will try to grab some more shots for you SBL.
I have just received the dream bag - the large front pocket backpack in chestnut. I can't wait for it to look like I've had it and used it everyday for ten years. It's the bag I've always wanted yet I didn't know because it didn't yet exist. So happy with my purchase.
I bought here, but put a review on Amazon...figured I should put the review here too. I bought the, new model, large. The only difference is it is 17" tall, as apposed to 14" on the medium. The bag is OUTSTANDING in quality, craftsmanship, and utility. I'm 65yrs, 6', 200lbs, and have walked to town, 14 mile round trip, with the pack fully loaded, three times (the first two times the bag weighed 30lbs.) The bag is fitting like a glove the more it breaks in. On the third trip to town, overloaded fully as though camping, I threw in an extra 15lbs of lead shot bags from my diving weight belt. The bag, at 53lbs (ridiculous I know, but I wanted to really test myself and the bag,) felt comfortable, riding well on my back. I have to say the bag did better than I the last three miles or so. OK, OK, been a long winter at 8,300ft and I'm just getting into shape. One thing to note, it did get hot between my back and the bag. I doubt, in normal usage, I would ever be carrying 30lbs, let alone 53lbs......I wish I had this bag decades ago. It's an investment, sure, but it will pay dividends in the years to come. The bag is a bit heavy compared to modern material bags, but was easy for me to get used to. I've been using Jandd, Ultimate Directions, and a Gregory, of similar capacity, for thirty years. I doubt if I will ever use them again. Not only will you have a lifetime of use with this bag, you'll be the classiest person out there. It gets folks talking to you, as they recognize the quality from a distance. The fear of the price will quickly be overcome by the smell, quality, looks, and the creaking of the leather, of this functional, tough, piece of art.
I ordered this bag roughly a month ago for a trip I was taking to Costa Rica. First I should start by thanking the numerous people that helped me get it in time for departure. I could go on for days about the customer service at Saddleback Leather.
I got the large backpack in DCB and right out of the box, after being hit with a tidal wave of leathery scent, it fit very nicely. I loaded every pocket to the max and tossed it around in my truck for two weeks at work. Then I let my 2 children load it up with all the toy and abuse the bag for a week. After that it was off to backpack around Central America. The bag worked perfectly and that's where the hidden cost of SBL comes in.... You will want to travel, you will want to take the bag to amazing places, you will want to break the bag in and make memories while you do it... Not to mention you will want to buy a lot more leather
Don't be afraid of taking your bag out and getting it dirty, I climbed to the top of Cerra Chato with it and it was covered in mud, sand and sweat. It still has that wonderful smell.
The extra pockets behind the pockets are great for holding a little point and shoot camera or a water bottle.
My only criticism is that I wish the pockets were riveted into place. The stitching looks plenty strong and all, but 6 extra rivets and there is no possible way the bag could be any stronger.
It's all cleaned up and ready for its next adventure. If you are on the fence, I strongly recommend going for it. If you don't like it, I'll but it from you...
One if by land, two if by sea, three if you'????re counting the pockets on the Saddleback 17"?? Front Pocket Backpack. Here'????s mine (Dark Coffee Brown), paying respect at the tomb of Paul Revere (Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Mass.). This bag is a true patriot. Spend the money. You deserve it.
So right out of the box, it'??s a little stiff. Yet, it loosens-up and begins to conform to your things and lifestyle in only a few days; in less than a week, it already felt like it was well on its way to becoming ??broken in.
Regarding weight: this is a heavy bag. But, it doesn't feel heavy when you actually carry it on your back. I was stunned by how well it distributes weight. I jam-pack this thing full of books and papers (I'm an English professor at 3 colleges in Boston), my 11" MacBook Air, office supplies, two of the Saddleback Cable Bags (one for cables, one for my pipe), Tums, a Nalgene bottle (14 oz.), food, and other daily junk, but never feel like it's cumbersome or uncomfortable. The neoprene band at the lower-back area is quite the nice touch.
Regarding pockets: Yes, a small water bottle fits in either of the side pockets (I was concerned about this initially). Yes, there is a spot behind the front pocket as well as the side pockets.
Regarding size: Get the 17"????. (Everyone.) The size difference refers to the height of the bag only. I like to line-up the main contents of the bag, and then stack???? other things on top. (You can fit a light jacket in the bag on top of your stuff.)
Other thoughts? It smells like heaven. I must look like a maniac with my nose buried in it. And, as cliche as this remark has become on this website, I am almost overwhelmed by the number of people who come up to me to compliment the bag.
Another great product from the people at Saddleback. I'????m sure that they'll have more of my money soon.
P.S. To Dave (et al.): Thank you so much for the keychain. It was a very nice surprise.
This is a follow up review.
I have owned the pack 3 months and used it extensively (great weekend at New Orleans Jazz fest).
The only complaint is the studs on the shoulder straps will come loose and allow the upper D rings to slip loose. SOMETIMES. Also, the pressure on the studs will cause them to deviate upwards pulling the screw side of the leather strap.
I figured which hole I liked the best. I placed a chicago nut 1/4 inch through the leather and this holds great
I recommend this cheap modifications to prevent rare strap failure. I would recommend to Dave to send a set of chicago nuts to make a long term hold on the upper shoulder strap. Use the lower buckles for smaller length changes like going from shortsleeves to coat wear.
Small modification, big benefit. Just an idea. Take it for what is worth. I use the hell out this bag.
Great quality product! The Tobacco Brown is darker than in the photos, that was one of my biggest worries. The straps are also very comfortable and are highly adjustable.
Here's a video of my full initial impressions of the backpack:
I had contemplated this backpack for a long time, do yourself a favor, buy one.
Plus the customer service is top notch!
Keep up the good work SBL!
After using this bag for college I have noticed a design issue that should be addressed. If the flap isn't buckled down it pulls up when you pick it up. this shows that some of the load is transferred to the flap, if this is the case then the buckle should be either moved from the front pocket where the load is transferred to or run a strap from the bottom of the pack. The front pocket isn't designed for load and I imagine that it will eventually show signs of stress and failure.Run a reinforcement strap from the bottom up to the pocket to where it is now. Either that or move the straps further down from the top of the pack, but this might cause more problems than it fixes.
OK..So I first saw one of these bags in Frankfurt Germany. A customer of mine (American) and I were on the road for a couple of days and he had this fantastic leather bag.. I really liked it and he said I would be silly (you Americans are so eloquent) it I didn't buy one.
So long story short the large front pocket backpack in chestnut brown arrived a week ago and I have used it for my work PC and ancillary "stuff". It gets looks and comments wherever I go and despite some initial thoughts before it arrived as to whether I should have got the one with internal pockets..I am glad I got this one as it is just perfect. I also bought the cable bag and this does indeed get ALL my cables in it.. So the side pockets hold my passport drivers license rubbish and loose change..The front one holds business cards and headphone cables.
I actually like the fact that getting in to the pockets is not as quick as another reviewer liked..It adds to my sense of security. I travel all over Europe and some places I was a bit nervous of a bag being slashed or a zip opened..NOT now..I just think it will add to the stories.
Thanks for the key ting it is my office fob now.
I even spoke with customer service and they were great.
So nice to buy stuff that does what it says on the site.
I finally convinced my husband the front pocket backpack REALLY WAS what I wanted last Christmas, and he caved in and bought it for me. Though he did not consider the price an issue (hey, I'm a really great wife!), he complained that it didn't look very "feminine". I guess he never did get over the fact that I've never been one of those dainty, diamond and lace gals he married the first time around. All I could do was roll my eyes and assure him it was absolutely gorgeous, built like a demon on steroids, and I simply had to have it.
When the box came and I tore it open in a leather-scented ecstasy, he begrudgingly admitted it was a very well-crafted, "HANDSOME" bag . . . but then he just had to point out that it seemed "a little stiff".
I looked him straight in the eye and told him, "Honey, it's just like a good man - you have to love it soft."
I didn't hear anymore complaints after that. And, oh - FYI: not a week goes by that I don't get a compliment on this bag from both men AND women!