I've had the bag for about two months now, and have been using it everyday. This is a followup from my first review and I wanted to share my opinions after a period of constant usage.
First off, the construction is solid. No questions there, this bag is built to last. It is also rather heavy, my assessment of that has not changed.
I would like to dwell a bit on the tobacco colour. It is my opinion that the colour shown on the website is no accurate to the one that you get. I did a fair bit of Google search and I believe SBL in the past had a dark tobacco and a light tobacco colour. I think the one pictured is the light tobacco, while the one we get is the dark tobacco colour. I was slightly disappointed that I did not get the one pictured on the website. It has a light, sandy-beige must-textured brown going for it.
In reality, this bag is rather milk-chocolate brown in colour. It's still ok, but not as striking as you see in the pictures. Also the leather has an interesting quality. I believe the leather used is semi-aniline leather, and on the front of the bag that doesn't get constant friction, you will notice light scratches which will show up a lighter shade of brown, but on the backside of the bag which is always rubbing against your sides/bum when you carry it, the leather is soon polished to a smooth, silky brown.
All in, great bag, but if you get the tobacco one, don't be surprised if the colour doesn't match the picture. I think SBL should update the colour on the website. P.S. I'm a photographer, so my screen is already calibrated with SpyderPro and is showing accurate colours.
- Logo may vary from what is shown
- 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
- Holds up to a 15" Macbook, and most 15" laptops
- 5.5 lbs
Lacks Theft Protection for the phone pockets, otherwise I would like it much better.
all it is said to be, very pleased with the product----I didn't need any of the corner hardware, bit too 'blingy' for me--- so simply clipped them off with a bolt cutter-----perfect bag for me now !
Cannot go anywhere without compliments------honestly-----get them all the time.
I'm a long-time addict of Saddleback Leather: medium briefcase, wallet, Kindle case, business card holder, and now the messenger bag. My family calls it my "murse" or "man-purse" or "man-bag" but they can call it whatever they want because they're clearly just jealous. The new carbon black is deliciously distressed, and triple-testosterone manly. Great product. As usual.
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 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)
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.
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.
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 have owned my Dark Coffee Brown Messenger Bag for almost two years now, and I use it every day. The bag is mighty to say the least, and I still get questions and compliments on it all the time even with 700+ days of wear and tear.
I consider this purchase to be one of my most practical and useful in years. I would like to mention some small issues with the bag, however. For one, the pigskin lining and rivets from the main closure buckle can abrade items placed in the front portion. There is a also an accessory fob with a carabiner like hook on the end that is also a scratching concern.
Because of the bag's considerable dry weight, I would also warn those prone to back pain about overloading the bag. Most people would carry this bag across the torso over one shoulder, and a fully loaded bag can put considerable weight on the lower back.
I have added the large belt pouch to the shoulder strap, making my bag look even cooler and more functional. My only real problem is now I want a saddleback back pack!
I heartily recommend this product to anyone wanting to step up their man cred, those who won't accept anything but the best, and those who love the unique and timeless.
This is a hardy bag-----very heavy and rugged. It really needs to be tossed into a rock tumbler for a couple of days to break it in. Put a Macbook Air and an iPad in it, fits well, but your shoulder is going to crack. Unless your 6'4" and 250 lbs, under 40 and workout, you might consider something else. Otherwise, it's a tough, well made dude and will endure that 10oo years and the next meteorite shower.
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.
Scroll down a few reviews and you'll read that of my brother, Mark. I was shocked at how amazing his messenger bag looked when I saw him open it. I already had a front pocket backpack, but when I saw his, I did some soul-searching. I realized that the backpack was way bigger than I needed, although it was incredible. I sold it (It took one hour on eBay). I bought this bag, and now I feel like my life is that much more complete.
It's not heavy, if you're used to a backpack. Compared to your typical fabric messenger bag, yes, it's a lot more substantial. The strap is comfortable without the pads, the design is perfect, and I'm excited to use it until I give it to my son, as soon as he's old enough to use it, so I can buy a new one.
Thanks for the tax and financial advice, Mark.
I own a small wallet, MacBook sleeve, and a notepad holder. All of them are great, but I didn't have a bag.
Then my brother, who has been keeping track of all my tax and financial advice, decided to pay me in my favorite currency, SBL. He got me the messenger bag in tobacco, which looks absolutely amazing. I think he was more excited than me when I opened it up, and I had to FaceTime the experience. Also, I may or may not have slept with it that first night.
I showed my neighbor across the street, and wasn't even worried when his drool dropped on the bag. He's already got Father's Day, birthday, and Christmas wish lists filled out.
I'm hesitant to take it to church, because I don't want it to distract people from the messages they're hearing. Or is it better to fill the room with that heavenly, inspiring, new-leather smell?
Thanks Dave and team for a great product, and thanks to my brother Ryan for the best gift ever!!
Its a quality product made by a quality American. It is not a quality product made by a Japanese or German. This means that if you like the idea of a Chevy with the LT package and all the fixins- you might like this bag. If you like the idea of BMW or Lexus- other very good choices- you might prefer an Osprey or ONA. I have all three (bags not cars), and use them on a mission specific basis. The leather bag is uber heavy and as such provides some shock absobtion simply by way of padded mass. It is a 2500 diesel pickup. 99% of the time it is 99% more than you need- in every way. The other 1 percent of the time will make you proud to be an American. (btw osprey and ona are both american companies. just go w/ the metaphor).
I am interested to see the reaction I get when I take such a large piece of leather to a yoga class. HA
This messenger bag (tobacco) is just phenomenal. Taking her out of the box impressed me with her substance. This is no flimsy bag. Expect it to weigh close to 5 pounds on her own.
I got the water proofing number three and she darkened up but still kept a beautiful color. I've had several compliments from strangers in the week I've carried her around. I will use this to carry and protect my macbook and all future generations of laptops that she will out live.
Thanks for an awesome product.
I wept the first time I saw her, she was one of the most beautiful things I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. Her gorgeous lines, smooth brown skin, and delightful aroma completely over-loaded my senses. She and I have been together only one monthsâ time, and she has already changed my life. She is my constant companion, partner in both business and pleasure. Men gawk at her and ask me how I happened upon such a fine specimen. Women stare in envy knowing full well that what I have, is far superior to what they possess. I know we will spend the rest of our lives together, my messenger bag.
I have been looking for a good quality bag that would last me a lifetime and look better the more it was used and abused. I wanted it to be completely leather (including the straps), no zippers, or other breakable parts??? Sound familiar????
A few months ago saddleback started showing up in my searches,not sure why it took me so long to find Dave's site, but I did and now I am an addict. Dave is doing exactly what I have been looking for.... Awesome!!!!!
Currently only have the messenger bag in dark coffee brown right now. This thing fits way more than expected. I can fit my laptop, my external USB powered monitor, notepad, power supply, mouse and various cables. It is a little snug but it all fits.
Now just waiting on other items I have been eyeing to come back in stock... is there a support group for saddleback addicts, my wife thinks I have a problem :-).
I bought the tobacco messenger bag for my "one personal item" carry on to keep the stuff I needed to access while flying. This thing fits under almost all airline seats and I still have room to move my feet around. I intended to have it in addition to my regular carry on bag, but I find that I can put enough stuff in the messenger bag to last a week. The last few trips I have taken only the messenger bag and it has worked out just fine. I roll my spare clothes, take quick dry skivvies and shirts, buy a few things at my destination if I need to, and travel really light. I also use it for my day to day murse, so I don't misplace all of the things I am starting to depend on like my iPad, glasses, hearing aids, and meds (getting old).
Although quite a bit heavier than the Timbuk2 bag that it replaced this messenger bag provides a lot more protection for the contents. I don't really use the divider for the bag, but it would be good if I carried papers I suppose. I do agree with other people that say that the outside cellphone pocket could use a flap or something to secure the phone. Anything in those outside pockets is pretty available to sticky fingers or other loss. Like others I have some small canvas bags that I put small items in to keep things organized.
The only problem that I had was one of the loops on the shoulder strap fell off right after I got the bag. A quick call to Saddleback Leather got me a return label for the strap and a new loop riveted on to the bag.
Overall this bag is a really good fit for me.
My bag arrived on a day I was flying out to work in Canada's north. At the airport a guy in line said, "that bag looks military grade, it looks like it'd last 100 years!". I told him that was the warranty.
It IS heavy, but it carries well. The wide strap makes it comfortable. It IS minimalist - mot much in the way of pockets etc but I purchased some canvas bags of different colours to organize iPhone cables, iPad cables etc. It's easy to find things that way and I don't collect junk.
I thought the top handle was excessive until I had to pull the ag out from under a small airplane seat and bend over to almost cawl out of an 8 passenger bag. The handle made that much easier.
The leather is phenomenol, the rivets nd stitching are excellent.
There is one weak link. On the side the sin strap is attached with one rivet and a small piece of stitched leather. The stitching WILL fail there and then the rivet will eventually pull through. There could have been interior reinforcing, wider leather, and/or extra rivets for that main attachment. It will probably take to 10 years before that happens but it probably will. For that reason it gets 4 stars. I'm going to enjoy those years and enjoy watching my bag break in beautifully.
I have absolutely no problems recommending this bag to anyone that would ask me about it. Being as it's a messenger bag, obviously you won't be able to pack it as full as you'd pack, say, the classic briefcase. For some people that's a plus, for others it's a minus. It suits my purposes perfectly well.
On my day-to-day for school, I tend to load it with the larger-sized notepad holder, a large moleskine (covered in the moleskine cover), my iPad (in the iPad gadget sleeve), some pens, a graphing calculator, a few cables in the cell-phone pocket, and a textbook. I thought I'd probably get rid of the divider or use it for something else at first, but I've found that I keep it in because it's ridiculously convenient when I'm pulling out the notepad or the iPad. My bag isn't bursting at the seams with this amount of stuff in it, but it isn't exactly roomy. For me, on my day-to-day, it's a perfect fit.
I got the tobacco color, and it's absolutely gorgeous. Even after just a few days of wearing it, the leather that rubs up against my side is starting to develop a bit of a shine, which I'm extremely excited about.
If you're like me, and your day-to-day carry needs are similar to what I described, go ahead and pull the trigger on this one. It's a bag you won't regret buying.
I was scouting on Dave's Deals a few months ago for a thin briefcase but it took me a while to decide on whether I should buy the one that was in there. I was disappointed when after a few hours, the bag that I was eyeing was gone. I went to check again after a few hours and I found a Chestnut Messenger Bag. This time, I did not hesitate and bought it right away. I got the bag in 4 days and I was surprised at how good looking it is. It looked bigger than in the video, but I guess it was because Dave, who was 6 feet tall, who modeled it. The leather is so supple and I can see the excelent craftsmanship despite the fact that I got it from Dave's Deals. It is a good conversation piece. In my most recent trip, people would actually stop me at the airport just to complement it. The fact that it converts to a backpack is great because it does not have to dangle on my side as I run to catch my flight.
I know Saddleback fairly well and had a couple smaller items from them before buying this bag. But I was still pleasantly surprised at just how overbuilt and durable it is. It is noticeably heavier when you first pick it up, but once you have all your stuff in it and are carrying it around, you won't notice much difference to any other bag. The leather can be prone to scratches, but that just add character in my opinion. Overall the best (and probably from now on the only) bag I own.
I read about Saddleback in one of those Airline magazines while traveling god knows where and was intrigued. I had been looking for a thin, vertical messenger bag since the untimely demise of what was my favorite bag ever (vertical messenger bag from Kenneth Cole which was perfect for me until it self destructed, literally, after only about 6 months use). After taking a look at the Messenger Bag from Saddleback I asked Santa for it for Christmas. The bag is awesome, the construction is great (sure it is a little heavy but it is a man's bag) and it is exactly what I have been looking for. I'm in my early fifties with a good 10-15 years or so before any thought of retirement but I already know I'll never need another bag or briefcase. Oddly enough my daughter is majoring in Accessories Design including hand bags etc. and is interning at Kenneth Cole right now and is extremely impressed with the bag, its design, the quality of the components and how its put together. I'm a huge fan and would highly recommend this product to anyone although I do like standing out from the crowd which this bag helps me do.
Leather messenger bag that holds up to a 15" laptop. Good as a shoulder bag, crossbody, or backpack.
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?”