I previously had the large version of this bag. It was my travel companion through the UAE and Afghanistan for a year. I loved it. It survived great and had only one scar on it from being stowed in a black hawk helicopter. It was extremely comfortable even fully loaded. It had the old style shoulder straps. It was stolen from me recently when my apartment was broken into and robbed. Unfortunately the thieves had a very stylish transport mechanism to steal my goods and haul them out with.
I just replaced it with a medium sized one, I was very excited to get it because the large I no longer had a need for. The bag is absolutely beautiful. I got it in Tobacco this time instead of Oxford and I am very glad I did. The leather and workmanship are flawless, except...
The new shoulder straps are terrible. While I have no desire to return it because there is nothing else close that compares to it, the new style shoulder straps do not hold up like the old ones. They are nowhere near as comfortable, especially when you are toting around a heavy HP EliteBook, they do not hold their shape and dig in to the shoulders. I cannot understand this design change at all.
For a company that just sent out an email saying they are significantly increasing their prices, I would not have expected this kind of design change. I can see no good reason for it to be the way it is other than to cut corners. The old design was perfect.
And sadly, even if they go back to the new design... I will have this one for life unless it gets stolen from me again. I took off 2 stars because of this and let me explain the logic behind that. The bag is amazing and the bag is beautiful. However the entire function of a backpack is to be able to wear it on your back... comfortably. Cutting back on the shoulder strap design is the worst possible place to cut back on a backpack. The new straps are "OK", but if we are just looking for "OK", we really aren't here looking for Saddleback leather are we?
Front Pocket Backpack
$509.00 to $609.00SKU: #01-20-0003
- 100-Year Warranty, details here.
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. If you’re not happy with your leather, send it back to us for a full refund. As long as you return it in like-new condition there’s no hassles, we promise. Details here.
- Free Shipping, details here.
- Logo may vary from what is shown
- Currently shipping with strap design that is in seen the photos above; video shows discontinued strap style
- 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
- Adjustable 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
I purchased the large FPB in Dark Coffee (after receiving the Classic Briefcase in the same color as a gift and absolutely loving it) and took it for it's first flight a month ago. I got the first compliment from the ticketing agent in the airport, and two more from random people on my way to my gate. The coolest though, was when I was boarding my flight. As I boarded the plane from the jetway, the pilot comes out of the cockpit to say how much he liked my backpack and asks where I got it! As we are chatting, people in first class are listening to our conversation leaning over to look at my bag! How cool is that?! I travel a lot for work and I have to say this was the first time that I ever experienced this. Thanks Saddleback for putting out products that make us look like "rock stars"!
Another great quality Saddleback piece. I just received the medium front pocket backpack in Tobacco to go with my collection of Saddleback products. I would have ordered this in a small size if it were available. However I am happy with the medium size. I am 5'10" and believe that anything larger than the medium would be to large. Great quality piece that gets a lot of compliments!
Originally i was puzzled on what size to get as i was going to be using it for school and my families travels. I got the large and it works amazingly for school and i have yet to use it form travel but sure it will be a life saver there. By far the best $609 i have ever spent totally worth the price!!
This is both a very attractive bag (Tobacco) as well as durable and useful!. Just delivered last week and all ready on a 7 day business trip with the bag. Compliments have been plentiful with this bag. I have the large bag and it's slightly large to fit cleanly under the seat in an airplane. Other than that, I have no problem with this investment. Already ordered the cable bag so I can organize miscellaneous stuff like chargers and such nicely.
This was a quality purchase for a quality bag. I expect this bag to travel throughout the world with me and those behind me!
Customer service has been great as well. I'd like to think I did my homework prior to spending this type of money and the message was clear.....buy this bag! I am a happy customer so far.
After several months of research and trying to justify the cost, I had a little luck at a casino and decided to get the front pocket backpack. I love this bag! I spend a lot of time on my Indian motorcycle and since I don't have saddlebags, this bag fits the bill in every way. A lot of folks say they can't wait for their bag to "break in" and get weathered. Here's a newsflash- get it in the weather..everyday, and it happens quicker than you think.
I would have to agree that a bit longer straps would be nice but I solved that problem by putting on a passenger seat and now the bag rests perfectly with hardly any weight on my back or circulation cut off to my arms or hands.
I even personalized it some by fastening an "Indian Motorcycle" concho to the main pouch strap- looks great and some of my Harley friends are asking where they can get one.
If they ever peel me off the pavement, I'm confident this bag, with its superior quality and craftsmanship, will be in great shape to give my son. Keep up the great work Saddlebag, you have a customer for life!
Yet another amazing product from Saddleback.
This bag is just incredible! I received this backpack as a Christmas present this past year and then took it to Japan with me on a orchestra tour! It stores everything I needed and still had room for more. I have the large size and even when its fully loaded it never hurt mu back our shoulders because of the weight. If you are not used to carrying a backpack you will have to get used to it but if you are used to carry a backpack on a daily basis it shouldn't be a problem! Once again this bag is amazing and Dave and the entire Saddleback team rocks and are always raising the bar!!!!!
Hello out there,
This is my fifth SB piece and I am just as blown away with this bag as I was with my first one. Just a little heads up to all the fun sized brothers and sisters out there... the LG size is huge...I needed a big bag so I was very pleased ....I am 5ft 3in so just thought I would share that "little" chestnut;) And I am very proud of the fact that every time I open my new SB bag I am reminded of the greatest truth ever .....Our Lord and Savings Jesus Christ. I love the little books of Hope thanks Dave.
My wife bought me this bag for my 50th birthday. I absolutely love it! Goes great with my Saddleback briefcase which I've had for many years. This is now the 3rd bag in the family and we just love every one of them! So does our Golden Retriever!
This bag is ENORMOUS! The tobacco is gorgeous, the functionality is well thought out, and the bag is clearly well made. This is item number two for me...plenty more to come.
After much deliberation, I took the proverbial plunge and got the medium carbon front pocket backpack. I LOVE IT!!! It's larger than I imagined, so the large must be huge. Several people have commented on the empty weight of this bag. It's a little weighty, but nothing significant in my opinion. The outside pockets are GREAT. The knickknacks have a place to go, freeing up the main compartment for the big stuff. A LOT of stuff can fit into this beautiful bag! Clothes, computer, and certainly anything you would need to travel. Within 24 hours I got my first complement on this bag. I'm pretty sure it won't be the last!
Took this hunk to Israel, pockets perfect for electronics, front pocket for Bible and journal, comfortable leather straps and hooking all manner of travel-phanalia to the D rings. Versatile! Classiy! Mine is Tobacco.
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!
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 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.
Quit reading these reviews ,choose a color then buy the bag.You're only wasting time and the sooner you order it the sooner you can drool over it in person!!
I stumbled upon this website by chance and spend HOURS staring at all the incredible bags. My wife had told me I needed to get a replacement for my computer bag that I used for school, BINGO!!
I ordered the large pack in chestnut as it reminded me of the saddles that we had on the farm when I was growing up. It was there that I discovered the value of a well-made piece of leather and how long it could last if properly maintained. Upon opening the box all the memories of the saddle shops I went into as a kid came back to me.
I've only had the pack a couple days and used it for the first time today to bring back some school books to the college library. I received a half a dozen comments on the pack and I could already tell the difference while carrying it. It makes a statement:
I know the best things in life aren't always the next passing fad,but quality craftsmanship that will stand the test of time. I am not a follower, but a leader blazing my own trail and have the gear to do it with!!!
As far as the weight is concerned, well it's lighter than all the other packs you'll have to buy over the years to equal one of these. This pack is a workhorse!!
My wife made a comment when she saw it about it looking like an expensive bag and asked how much. I said yes it was and a lot, but it's the last pack I'll ever buy. That's not to say that I don't have my eye on the duffel bag!!
This pack is so nice that I don't know if I should use it and show it off, or hang it on the wall like a work of art.
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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.