Lacks Theft Protection for the phone pockets, otherwise I would like it much better.
- Tobacco now shipping with the suede side of pigskin lining
- Low profile for crowded places
- Converts to backpack
- Removable interior divider
- 2 exterior pockets for sunglasses and water bottles. 1 for magazines
- 1 interior pocket for pens and 1 for cell phones
- 8 exterior D-Rings for lashing
- Attached interior key clip
- May cause spontaneous conversations
- No breakable parts, e.g. zippers, snaps, buttons, etc.
- Because of natural oils shade may vary
- Dimensions (approximate size):
- Adjustable strap length: 34 ½” - 59 ¼”
- Exterior: 12 ¾” W x 14 ½” H x 4 ¼” D
- Interior: 12 ½” W x 14” H x 4” D
- 5.5 lbs
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.
I’ve always held that if one truly believes something, then their actions ought to back it up.
So to back it up, my friend Jake and I took the 4 hour bus ride to welcome in the new millennium at El Zocalo (the main square) in Mexico City with millions of others. And boy howdy did that action backing up my belief ever pay off.
There were at least 200 mariachis playing, famous singers singing, the President cheering and enough fireworks to erupt a medium sized volcano. While my friends were chewing their fingernails at home in fear, we were laughing and crying and high fiving with 25,000,000 Mexicans. We were packed in so tight I felt like we were riding the last free rush hour ferry across an urban river in India. And there with pickpockets aplenty. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a more crowded place. It was A-W-W-W-W-W-E-S-O-M-E. By the way, that was the virgin journey of my original bag.
Well, it was that experience that inspired this bag; perfect for squeezing through crowds with the bare essentials, especially when you wear it as a backpack. If you want to forget about what you’re carrying and focus on what you’re experiencing, this is the bag for you.
Extra funny free Y2K story: My friend, Patrick, was in his paranoid friend’s home, who had stocked up all of his canned goods and water filters so he could drink out of toilets after the disaster, for Y2K. The exact second it turned midnight, Patrick was out at the electrical panel and switched off all the power to his house. Everybody completely freaked out thinking that all the hype was true…until someone said, “Hey, why are all of the neighbors lights still on?”
My bag arrived at my house an hour before I had to go to the airport. I literally pulled it out of the box and through it over my shoulder. And, thanks to Dave's easy to follow video, I converted the over-the-shoulder to a BACKPACK for most of my trekking and climbing. We hiked miles everyday (Zion National Park ????badlands of southern Utah). The first day was hot and dry, the next day it rained on us, and finally, it snowed! I wish I could've posted more pics! Through it all, my SBL Messenger bag was comfortable, easy to access, and solid as a rock. Top quality. This is the best quality leather bad I have ever seen or owned. I look forward to many more adventures with this bag.
I received my messenger bag earlier this week, and I totally LOVE IT! I received a ton of compliments on it just walking thru the airport one morning to catch a flight. The leather is so beautiful and smells so good. I know that I will NOT have to buy another bag as long as I live... literally!!!
Thank you, Dave, for creating a spectacular bag!!!!
This is the perfect bag for carrying your LP's, and when fully loaded after a few hours of bliss searching the bins is the perfect weapon to fight off the losers who came too late and want your latest find! Put some hand cream in a side pocket to remositurise those dried out finger tips (a dead giveaway to significant others who know the price of rare LP's)
I wanted a nice bag to replace my tired fabric computer bag. I did a lot of research and really found this to be the best option for me. As noted the bag is not full of compartments, but I use some small canvas tool bags and an old canvas buckshot bag to store cables and chargers etc. I carry my laptop and a notebook along with everything else I need for working and it still closes easliy. It is a little heavy but I need the exercise. The outside pockets hold the Poland Spring bottle and if you wad it tightly the USA Today. I don't want any more space as I keep accumulating stuff. My old bag weighed 20 pounds when I retired it !
I travel on short trips often and have received numerous compliments on my bag, including a fellow at the TSA screening, He sees a lot of bags!
My one recommendation is adding a strap on the back to allow the Messenger Bag to slip over the handle of a rolling suitcase. That makes moving around much easier if you are using both. I purchased a set of the accessory straps for grins and it turns out if you use the large one through the two upper D rings on the back, it works just fine. Dave, for +$400 I think you ought to throw in the strap for the travelers until version 2.0 comes out,.
I wrote the review before but the picture wasn't loaded.
The messenger is not only a great shoulder bag but it is also a awesome backpack.
I'm 5'11" and 190 lb. As attached picture, the chestnut messenger bag looks just great as a backpack for both casual and semi-formal suit.
I highly recommend this bag for mutiple purposes.
This bag literally changed my life. I have never had it let me down â not once â the entire time I've owned it. We're talking fitting 25 lbs of groceries (including a very unwieldy baguette) without crushing anything or letting anything slip. And that's with 20 more lbs of groceries attached to the incredibly versatile metal ring at the top.
I never quite took to the backpack functionality â the straps can be a bit annoying to handle and the video demonstration is not quite as focused as it could be, so I'm not even quite sure I'm doing it right. But for (slim-framed, short-torsoed) me, notching the strap at the shortest setting is more than adequate to keep the even barely filled (and thus more slip-prone) bag on my back where it belongs while biking.
After hefty amounts of saddle-soaping (and the occasional application of Meltonian shoe polish, which the bag just sucks up), it now has a gorgeous patina and is yielding without being slack. I'm likely to need to have the metal hardware replaced (heavy use has ground out more than half of the metal grommet that latches the strap to the rings), but the leather is still in pristine condition.
And, lest you disbelieve the hype around Saddleback â in the one year and three months I've owned this bag, no fewer than three dozen total strangers have approached me to compliment me on the bag and asked where they could get one. Saddleback of course received my warm recommendation.
Don't spend $400+ on a bag at Barney's or one of those other shitshow retail leather goods places. Buying this bag, in addition to ensuring you'll never _need_ another bag (though they are habit-forming), rewards craft, transparency, and individual entrepreneurship. Buy this bag. Do it. Seriously. Right now.
This bag is amazing. I've had mine for a little over a year and it's still just as fantastic. It's been all over the world and travels extremely well as a carry-on/personal item. As everyone else says, I receive complements on it regularly. I am also a college professor and it meets all my daily needs. I would recommend it to anyone.
My bag arrived at my house an hour before I had to go to the airport. I literally pulled it out of the box and through it over my shoulder. And, thanks to Dave's easy to follow video, I converted the over-the-shoulder to a BACKPACK for most of my trekking and climbing. We hiked miles everyday (Zion National Park badlands of southern Utah). The first day was hot and dry, the next day it rained on us, and finally, it snowed! I wish I could've posted more pics! Through it all, my SBL Messenger bag was comfortable, easy to access, and solid as a rock. Top quality. This is the best quality leather bad I have ever seen or owned. I look forward to many more adventures with this bag.
What can I say, just got it 2 weeks ago and i'm already in love with it. The quality is without equal, the smell is out of this world. The side pocket cannot fit your usual Nalgene bottle, but can fit The small size Kor vida water bottle or the Klean Kanteen 27oz one, and give that nice little touch to the bag. I've always been a fan off leather has a material but this is just on a level above.
Five stars for good looks & solid construction.
For me, the messenger bag is the Saddleback piece with "enough" capacity without being too heavy or too bulky. Construction and materials are very good, and after a month, my tobacco bag is beginning to deepen nicely in color.
Three or four stars for function.
This messenger is well thought 0ut. But still, a thick leather bag like this isn't for everybody. If you are looking for massive organizational capability and lots of zippered, closeable compartments, or you expect to spend a whole bunch of time in the rain, or you really want to save a pound or two, you will be happier with a high-tech fabric bag. Even if you have to replace it every 5 or 10 years.
My Saddleback messenger has so far seen service in all three modes (briefcase, over-the-shoulder and backpack), and in both business and travel situations. I enjoy owning it and I enjoy using it.
I use this bag every day for travel, adventure, and hiking. It holds up like a champ. I feel like Indiana Jones when exploring with it. It is simply bulletproof, and I cannot recommend it enough!
I just received my bag via UPS and was so excited to get home to open it when I saw the tracking that it was delivered. This chestnut colored bag filled the room of the great smell of leather(not some dead goat smell like the cheap leather goods you can find online).
This is the real deal. The bag is very sturdy and the hardware is awesome. I am planning to use this for work or wherever my journey takes me. That is exactly how I feel when I have the bag slung over my shoulder. I did shorten the strap with the plentiful existing holes so the bag rides higher more so on my hip and kidney area than the side of my thigh and buttock.
Everything is perfect! The bag was surprisingly more supple than I thought, my perceived perception from hearing other YouTube reviews. The only downside I have was because I was hoping to find a keychain that I saw in so many review videos. Oh well, I guess I can live with the georgeous bag and 100 year warranty sans a freebie keychain. Thanks Dave and Saddleback leather, you have a new customer for a lifetime.
I purchased this because I loved my thin front pocket briefcase I had ordered a year ago and I needed something to travel with that had a little more space. The Messenger Bag did not disappoint! As with all products here it is of high quality and very good looking - I have received many compliments when I travel about the bag. It has plenty of space, and although I generally carry a Surface tablet, it looks to have enough space to hold a full sized PC. The side pockets are great for stuff some of my smaller things, including my phone. Inside there are two pockets built into the side that are great for holding my pens and other small items, although you have to be careful that they are big enough to not fall into the bottom of them - I think you would have a challenge fishing them out. The color is beautiful and the hardware accents the bag perfectly. Very pleased with this purchase.
I purchased the messenger bag on Dave's Deals for a steal, and after 6 months of daily use I still can't figure out what's "wrong" with it. I use this bag as my diaper bag, and while it's heavier than others, the quality is superb. I can easily fit both cloth and disposable diapers, wipes, sunscreen, extra clothes for the baby and his brother, snacks, and water bottles for my toddler and I. The only tricky issue with the bag is trying to get the buckle undone in a hurry while carrying a baby. I've taken to just hooking the first hole without feeding the strap through the buckle so I can get in and out quickly.
Functional AND beautiful! I get stopped EVERY TIME I wear the bag (and my baby! ) and people always want to touch the beautiful leather. I love knowing that this bag will last long after I send my boys to college with it, and that we're supporting a great family business and a great charity by purchasing with Saddleback.
My father-in-law was raised in Leon, Mexico and is from a leather-trade family. Every time he comes to visit, he wants to get his hands on my Saddleback bags and spends over an hour talking about the quality of their design, materials, and construction. I've made a Saddleback convert out of him as well!
I got the messenger bag in black from Dave's Deals. No idea what the flaw was with it except maybe a couple of scratches which it would have gotten anyway. Got this as a mid-size option between my large classic briefcase and my medium round satchel. I'm really happy you guys brought back the proper black colour instead of that horrid scuffy carbon colour, now all my Saddleback products match and my black pouch can move happily between bags, clipped to the front with my headphones and coin pouch in it.
I was a bit dubious of the lighter coloured pig skin lining. It looks striking in the photos but I could imagine it getting very grubby over time. I was pleased to find when I received the bag that the lining is not as pale as it appears on the website. Its more of a natural leather colour than a bright beige colour. I have noticed though that after carrying some coloured paper file folders home from work, some of the blue colour has rubbed off on the lining. I wiped most of it off with a damp cloth but some remains. Eventually this won't be much of an issue, it's just the usual when you first receive a beautiful new expensive item - the first few marks and scuffs are heartbreaking, then you get over it :)
The messenger bag works great as a backpack, far more comfortable than my other Saddleback bags when worn this way.
One thing I have always wondered with your bags though, the website states the exterior side pockets can be used for water bottles, you guys must have tiny water bottles over there, because I've never been able to fit one in!
This was my first purchase from SBL, I've been waiting a while to take the leap, and I'm not disappointed. I originally purchased the Rounded Satchel but upon receiving the bag I noticed there was no way it could hold a 15" laptop. I took a gamble on the messenger bag and won, it fits beautifully. I like Dave included a spacer, which is important because I'd hate to scratch my laptop. A little small interior, but again that's to be expected, this isn't the Classic Briefcase. This is my everyday work bag and it fits the bill, I can't wait to go into downtown NYC and convert this into a backpack!
While I am only a little over a week into my new Messenger Bag in Chestnut, all I can say is what an amazing product. Slightly larger than a medium satchel, but not so large is to seem like/feel like a briefcase. The perfect amount of space for a mid-size laptop, work files and the usual accessories. This will be my EDC except on those days when I need a slightly larger bag to accommodate multiple laptops, etc. I'm looking forward to the Tobacco color coming back in stock so that I alternate.
I'd give it 5 stars, but I've not had it long enough to see how it will break-in/wear over time.
I got this off Dave's Deals for a 15% discount in 2013. I still have yet to find out what was wrong with it, and it's been well over 2 years.
I loved this bag in the beginning, but soon found it was not "the perfect bag" for me. I ride a scooter, and this bag was great when used as backpack while riding, but too bulky to fit in my underseat storage compartment. Actually, I could in fact cram it under there, it was just inconvenient. I also noticed it was bit heavy for everyday use for my taste. Overall I realized I needed and wanted a smaller bag. But, I must find an excuse to glorify this bag anyway, because it's still well-built and gorgeous. I used it as weekend bag for a church retreat, and being somewhat a tomboy I didn't care to pack much, but the following fit in there with aggressive encouragement: 2 pairs of jeans, 3 shirts(using a roll-up method), 3 pairs of socks/thunderwear, a slim travel case with a toothbrush, paste, mascara, chapstick, travel-size face cleanser, washcloth, a pair of flipflops in one outer pocket, and a sunglasses case in the other. With some rope, I secured a rolled up sleeping bag to the d-links underneath. it. was. AWESOME.
I bought this bag six months ago or so as a self-present. I've been getting compliments on it -- in airports, at work, in coffee shops -- since.
What I like most is that it is really built to last. The quality of the craftsmanship and the thought that went into making a nearly indestructible product makes me feel smart every time I fling it over my shoulder. It fits my Dell (I know minus points, its from work) like a champ; I toss a notebook, chargers, pens, etc., on the other side of the divider; and put magazines (print!) in the outside pouch. And, this is silly but really interesting -- the key holder strap is actually easy to use and is secure. I can't tell you how many backpacks I've owned where the key holder thing was a total pain to use.
Keep up the good work. Can't wait until I figure out what I'm buying next.
This is a very professional looking bag. It looks tough, too, and certainly feels tough. I got the tobacco leather Messenger. Dave (the owner of Saddleback) is correct in saying the leather his company uses does tell a tale. My bag has a rather distinct scar on the front flap that really looks like it was made by a barbed wire or something similar. It's pretty cool to look at. That's one of the reasons I went with tobacco - it just feels like all those features are more noticeable in the light color that is tobacco.
I also felt that tobacco would scuff up easier during everyday wear and tear. I seriously cannot wait for this bag to wear in. Granted, I'm not hiking Kilimanjaro but it's bound to take a "big city" hit or two during a subway ride.
That said, watch the video associated with this bag - Dave clearly talks about dimensions. My MacBook Pro 13" model fits rather nicely in there. My Lenovo 15" that I carry for work everyday does jut out the top about an inch or so. Doesn't bother me any and the front flap closes just fine (latches in at the 2nd or 3rd hole from the bottom). The top of the bag does sit at a slight angle with the 15" but, as I said, it really looks fine to me. I carry it along with my iPad Mini housed in Saddleback's Bible cover (with closure).
Also keep in mind, there are no pockets or anything inside. It's just a big hole with a divider in it. For those of us who carry a lot of little things, it may be best to invest in a cable pouch from Saddleback. It'll keep all your stuff in one spot. I suppose you can use another container, too.
As others have mentioned, the bag is heavy. It feels solid. But it looks awesome. It truly has that "last bag I'll ever buy" vibe. I first thought, since it's not the cheapest thing out there, that I would baby it but I've now decided against that. I want to use this and use it well. I won't abuse the bag but I won't pamper it, either.
I got a chestnut Messenger Bag, I love it! I have to keep an eye on it at work, covetous eyes. The leather is beautiful and smells great!
A bit bigger than one might expect. I sat in front of the computer with a measuring tape trying to get an idea of how big it was, I do not know how many times. It was bigger than I pictured, which is cool. I like the product because it is simple and rugged. I have several other bags from SBL, but I think this is the best thing a person can buy from this company for the money. Nothing this cool is as low cost.
The only thing I really wasn't insanely excited about was the handle. It seems like it could have been rolled and riveted tighter, but it is completely functional. I just would have made it tighter.
In any event, it is very comfortable as a backpack as well as a messenger bag. It also looks good strapped to a motorcycle or a bicycle. I do both.
Fun. Big. Affordable. Jesus saves.
Bought my bag back in July of 2012. figured I'd write a review that can give people some input based on a long term review. Currently use my bag to carry my work laptop, notepad holder (Not SBL's), eagle creek 1/4 pack for cables and stuff. The bag is still a little stiff on the sides but the corners and flap open up a lot easier. This bag goes from home to car to office and then back most days. Mine doesn't have a lot of scratches but ones that are there are all due to my nails or hitting the car door when I throw it in the back seat.
I have cleaned it every 3-6 months. I use the bag everyday and it has been on trips with me to Scotland, Houston TX and New York. held up great! It finally got a coating of No. 3 water protection. Didn't change the color. (Coffee brown) This leather absorbs leather milk like crazy! It loves the stuff. Next purchase will probably be a Front Pocket briefcase due to the need to carry more stuff. And I feel it will travel better then the messenger bag.
Bottomline: Durable and worth every penny! LOVE IT!
I purchased the messenger bag in chestnut a few weeks ago to use on a field trip to the Gettysburg Battlefield. The bag was a little larger than I thought, but that worked to my advantage. I was able to fit a USGS topo map in a map case, a pair of binoculars, hand held GPS, small water bottle, a couple of Field Notes notebooks, small LED flashlight, multi-tool and assorted pens and pencils.
I purchased it from Dave's Deals with the 15% discount. The "defect" if you will call it that, is a scar on the front flap. I think the scar adds character to the bag and I absolutely love having it. At least I will absolutely know it is my bag if I ever run into anybody who has a Saddleback Messenger bag in chestnut. Do not be afraid to purchase something from Dave's deals. The qualilty of the product is still the same and I know this bag will last me for many, many years.