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?”
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.
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!!!!
I got one of the older ones with suede lining, it smells so good I feel like chewing on it ! Got the coffee brown colour because it's dark enough for business and light enough for casual, tobacco brown would look wrong with a navy suit and carbon black would be too formal with a pair of old jeans, this colour goes with most settings as would chestnut. Comfortably takes my lap top and IPAD but doesn't leave much extra space. If you need more room you may want to look at the briefcase or larger back pack instead. I regard it as a replacement for my computer bag
It's the only back pack that I've seen that looks okay in a smart office and I would feel quite comfortable using it in any formal setting. When using it as a back pack it was difficult to put on as the strap pulls all the way through on the side you put on first. I solved this by putting a fastener through two of the holes so the strap can't move back and forward through the central ring.
A little on the heavy side but understandable when you see how strong it is. This bag will definitely be with me for years to come and Saddleback now have another long term customer. I've just order some more smaller items from them and have another order waiting in my cart, I'm also trying to justify adding the new utility duffel bag to my order, it's very tempting !
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.
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!
Ordered messenger bag on line . Could not believe the quality of this product (first class ) when i opened the package .living in australia and traveling the world each year i have see many leather bags but not one would shine a light on the workmanship and quality of the leather .if ur looking for a mid sized leather bag ,look no further this is it /well done to all the people at saddleback ,u have set the standard .
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 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!
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 have a serious problem with Saddleback bags. They're all so good, it's hard to know which of the three I own (Dark Coffee Messenger, Tobacco Large Satchel, Carbon Small Satchel) to use on any given day. I love the idea that this bag in understated. Something this well made draws attention to itself. Don't hesitate. I came to SBL from years of carrying messenger type bags. They may last, but I'm not a bike messenger and nylon is nylon. Do yourself a favor and buy ONE saddleback bag, so you don't have my problem. (If you're asking for my favorite, it's this one, with the large satchel and close second).
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.
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'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 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.
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.
Lacks Theft Protection for the phone pockets, otherwise I would like it much better.
This bag literally changed my life. I have never had it let me down ?????? not once ?????? 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 ?????? 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 ?????? 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.
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.