This is a Tank of a bag, the versatility is sick! it's a gym bag, a weekend bag, a short trip bag, an overnight bag, a luggage bag, i have checked this thing in and took it with me on the plane, i have taken it to the forest, snow, desert, it has travelled with me all over the world in harsh environments and it's awesome! it has started discussions, and debates on sustainability... buy it!
I own a couple Saddleback bags now, and I love them both. After I broke the duffle bag in, it has been a great bag.
But... after traveling all over the world with this bag, I have to caution people that this bag is heavy. That awesome durability comes at a price. If you plan on walking a lot with this bag, take the weight into consideration. 5 undershirts and 5 underware, 3 shirts, two pairs of pants and a toiletry bag, and the bag weighed in at 25lbs. It isn't like a 25lb backpack, it is 25lbs swing around and banging your hip with every step. If I have to walk a long distance, I end up shifting the bag behind me.
A few years ago, I decided that I'd like to have leather bag for carry-on and weekending. So, last year, I ebayed a $100 "hand-made" bag from India. Within a month, the glued together parts were coming apart and my dog hated it because it smelled like a living goat. At that moment, I realized I needed to get serious about my next (and final) bag purchase. Having since discovered SBL, "Serious" meant the Side Pocket Duffel. So:
Construction: amazing. Capacity: perfect. Aesthetic: second to none. The literal aroma of this bag let alone the very site of it makes me want to plan years of travel; It makes me want to find new adventures.
In addition, I love the way SBL does business. It is because of their support of Rwanda and the way that they treat their employees that I am an earned, lifelong customer. Well done, well done.
I've had my black Saddleback Duffel bag for just over 2 years. In that time I've taken it as my checked bag on every trip I've taken; it's been to Nashville, Houston, L.A., SFO, Portland, DFW, Seattle, Nevada. I take it on road trips and over to the GF's house if I have more than a change of clothes to carry. I've used it as a toy bag and a range bag. It gets compliments everywhere, from strangers, friends, baggage handlers, random people on the street or the bus. It's big enough for a week's worth of clothes. If you're not sure whether you want this bag - you want this bag. You'll love it the day you get it, and you'll love it years later. Don't you wish that were true about everything you own?
First the good: You can't hurt this bag. In fact, if it falls off the back of a trailer, the strap gets caught on the license plate, and you drag it a quarter mile on pavement, the worst that's going to happen is you'll rough up the straps and corners and you'll scrape the chrome plating off the main buckle. Trust me on this one--I speak from experience.
Now the so-so: It's not as big as you'd think from the dimensions. Fine for a week in the summer where you don't take too many clothes, too small for a week in the winter.
Now the bad: It's no fun lugging this through an airport because it weighs a ton even when it's empty. If you wear it cross-body, don't bother trying to carry a briefcase. I'm a barbell boy and carrying it by the handle gets old real quick, too. If you're a 90 lb. weakling, admire it at a distance but don't buy it.
This is one of the few Saddleback items you can't turn into a backpack and it's the one that needs that feature the most.
I ordered two large classic utility duffle bags. They came two days apart. One was correct--DCB large utility but the other one was a side pocket duffle bag with the new suede lining. Anyway, wow, the new suede lining is great. I would have never ordered a bag with a suede lining, but I really like it better than the regular lining. I called customer service to report the order coming wrong, but they said I could keep it or return it. The side pocket duffle is about $70.00 more than the one I ordered. It looks like it would be easy to clean too with a damp rag. Anyway, I'll hope you convert all of your products over to the new suede lining. It's beautiful and presents better than your regular lining IMHO.
This is one of the best duffle bags available. At first I thought that the inside was on the tight side compared to the size of my Waterbag. The side pockets more than make up for the difference. I like the compartmentalizing ability of the Side Pocket Duffel. It is the perfect size for a quick weekend trip. I am not sure what the best part of owning one of the Saddleback products is; the smell of the leather or all of the comments that you receive when people see the product. When the bag showed up at the office one of my Construction Managers came into the office and had to give the duffle the detailed inspection, after he left I had a steady stream of people wanting to look at the new luggage. Word of mouth travels fast and the few business cards that were sent with the bag disappeared quickly.
You need to look at the bag as an investment not an expense it will give you a lifetime of enjoyment. And after you get one it will not be your last.
Got my Duffel right before I went on a week vacation. WOW! fit everything I needed for the trip. I did not think I could, but packed right and it all fit and then some.
Bag is really beautiful and it just works. If your needs require a bag for travels, this is it. Go get one.
First off, the pictures do not do the bag justice. It is an absolutely beautiful bag. I received the bag just in time for a trip to the Guadalupe River. The inside seemed a little small when I opened it, but I was able to fit three days worth of clothes along with toiletries and some other random stuff comfortably. I didn't have and problem with the inside pocket like some other people have talked about. It was super floppy right out of the box and pushed up nicely to the side. Even though it got rained on pretty good, everything inside stayed dry and the bag still looks great. The only thing that is kind of annoying is that when all the buckles are undone, it opens if you try to pick it up. Buckling just the front one keeps this from happening. All-in-all, this bag is awesome and I can't wait to use it again. Can't go wrong with it.
No need to mention quality, we already knew it would be there. When I received the duffel I was worried due to the size but needless to say I still impressed myself on packing. Crammed 4 days worth plus a winter jacket along with SB's travel case and still had the side pockets remaining which I filled since I'm going away for 2 days. Why limit yourself when you have plenty of room, right?? Highly recommend this and all their other items which I'm accumulating has I type. Wow,wow,wow is how I feel, very impressed.
I recently purchased not only the classic briefcase but also the matching Side Pocket Duffel. This is a piece of luggage that I have no idea how I have lived without until now. (Where have you been my whole life!!!) My normal business trips are of 2 to 4 day duration. I can pack casual clothes as well as three suits in this incredible bag, and I am not a small guy. Granted I may need to have them pressed upon arrival however this is the only bag i use now. Side pockets are ideal for toilet kit and back slot is fantastic for newspaper/ mags/ ect. for easy access. Durable? Uh yes! I actually had it run over by my wife in our driveway (that is a story much too long for this post) and it did not skip a beat. Actually the scuffs it incurred actually improved its appearance. I would suggest any owner run over it several times just for appearance. Buy it now, close your eyes at the price tag and just buy it...now. You will not be sorry. BTW, the inside pocket is not as intrusive as previous posts have reported, at least for me. I can see the utility of it if i use it for vacations etc. They are not kidding, Dave makes these to last, forever. BUY IT NOW,
This bag is absolutely beautiful. I've had quite a few compliments on how the bag looks, which is great. But I love it because of the versatility of it. I think it is a perfect bag for a weekend trip. It's awesome. Thanks Saddleback!
After a heart-wrenching week of making a decision, I settled on this bag for my new (and likely last) luggage purchase. It was between the suitcase, the waterbag and the utility duffel. I decided on this one for a handful of reasons, primarily the side pockets and the fact that it'd easily strap to the tall sissy bar on my Harley; for them long rides out of LA. (Full disclosure - I'll still probably wind up getting one of the suitcases anyway; they're just too pretty)
Its first journey was to Hawaii; complimented by my Saddleback thin briefcase. Within 10 minutes of being inside LAX, I was getting compliments on them. One fella at the security checkin stopped me - I thought, oh great ... here we go - only to be asked "Man, that luggage is amazing. What is it? All I ever see here is Louis Vuitton and such."
"Well, it's Saddleback - the best damn leather ever."
The size is absolutely perfect for me. I generally travel light, but was able to easily fit a week's worth of shorts and shirts and the like, my golf shoes, bathroom stuff and other items. The wraparound design of the straps is perfect as I was able to fit more stuff bought on the trip (including a couple pounds of delicious Kona Coffee beans) and just wrench it all together; fitting perfectly in the overhead bin on the plane.
If you want a simple design that just WORKS; can't go wrong with this bag.
I love the look of this bag and how rugged it is. I throw it in the bed of the truck and beat on it pretty hard. When mine arrived I was wondering how I would like it. As time has progressed I have found good and bad uses for this bag. Do to its size it is obviously not a bag for long trips. I initially purchased it as a weekend bag anyhow! for that is about as many days of clothes I can stuff in it in every possible place!. I am not fond of the sleeve inside the bag but have used it on occasion to keep things separated, even though I have considered removing the separating sleeve pocket. I am 6'8" (throwing this in because all Dave's videos state he is 6'2") and packing enough pants and shirts for more than 3 days is impossible, with other needs for a weekend but it was not designed for that! like I said I use it for a weekend bag, small and light even stuffed with all I need for a 3 day trip, and it still fits as a carry on in most cases! overall I love this bag! like I said I beat on it pretty hard bouncing it around in the truck going where ever the road leads. I even had extra gear in this bag earlier this year on a fishing trip! I want to thank all the folks at saddleback for building me one of my longest lasting pieces of luggage, since I first started traveling. I have had this bag almost since it first appeared on the website! I also want to thank them for the great design of this bag. The outer pockets give me a place to keep the dirty stuff from the clean! its a great design! Hope everyone else who has purchased this likes it as much as I and hope there bag gets to see as much air miles as mine.
The side pocket duffel was my first piece. Then came the older model square backpack with the toggle fasteners on the side. Then a dopp kit. Then a wallet. Then a gadget sleeve. Then the old bull belt. Then I purchased a side pocket duffel for a gift to my son...then a dopp kit for a gift to my neice as her future medical bag for housecalls...more symbolic and supportive than anything else (she was 9 years old at the time) but you get the point. Then I recieved the gadget bag as a gift. So yeah...I'm a big time fan. Whenever I travel, no matter where I am or which piece I'm carrying I always get at least one "woah, neat bag, where did you get it" question. So I refer them to SBL!...actually...sometimes when I travel I loop the strap of the dopp kit or gadget bag through the D rings on the backpack and make it a modular system of sorts. I've also used the backpack straps on the duffel too so there are lots of configuraions you can make up for yourself.
This is by far the best bag I ever bought. I debated with myself several weeks about paying this much for a bag. It is worth every single penny if your hesitating don't you will be very happy the quality and craftmanship put into this lovely bag. I will be ordering more pieces!!!!!!!!!!!
The quality of Saddleback Leather astounds me everytime. I can't get enough of the smell, look and feel of each piece I own (thin classic briefcase and side pocket duffel). A couple things to note on this bag:
1. It's not extremely large. I just recently travelled to CA for an extended weekend and it was my first time actually traveling with this bag as my main piece. It turns out that you can pretty much fit 2 pairs of pants and 4 shirts (you have to fold the dress shirts up pretty small/tight as well) into the main compartment of the bag, a handfull of socks and underwear in one side pocket, and an extra set of tennis shoes/sandles in the other side pocket. That's not a ton. However, I can vouch for the duffel fitting in Southwest and AirTran's overhead compartment. So, as a carry on, this is pretty wonderful.
2. Like most reviews, I'm not too crazy about the inside flap pocket. It seems to get in the way and I can't really find a reason where I would need it. I hear about cutting it out, but that scares me...
3. When I received this bag, I went on a quick 2 day roadtrip to AZ. Upon walking my bag to my Hotel, the entire top handle fell off! It turned out the rivets weren't secured properly and the handle just couldn't stay connected. As disappointed as I was, I sent the bag back (completely under warranty of course) and got to deal with some of the absolute best customer service I have ever experienced. So, even though it took awhile to fix, it was completely free and the people were just wonderful.
Anyway, hope this review helps! I definitely love this bag for what it should be used for: a weekend duffel.
I own several Saddleback pieces, and will own several more before I'm done. This bag is awesome. Extremely rugged and beautiful. My only negative comment would be about the inner back pocket flap. Too stiff and takes up unnecessary space because it doesn't fold up out of the way easily at all. I used a razor blade and, with a steady hand, removed it. Now the bag is perfect for me.
This bag is constructed very well like the rest of their products. My two complaints would be that I tend to fly southwest and it doesn't fit well in their overhead compartments. Also I'd rather it not have the big inside pocket. They say it will fold up against the side and get out of the way if you don't need it but I find it very obstructive. If I ultimately keep the bag I might think about cutting that flap out.
I am real picky and a quirky perfectionist! I bought this bag at a 25 % discount and the only thing I can see is that possibly the top cover on one side drops less then a quarter inch lower on one side. Which will disappear onece packed. It adds a special personality to the bag. I noticed this after turning the bag around and around up and down. I was SEARCHING for a defect! For $165.00 discount I am exstatic about my purchase.
This bag does not fit as much as I expected. I can usually make it work for a weekend trip, but anything longer I need at least one other bag. It's heavy, like all Saddleback bags, but that comes with the territory.
I love everything else about it. The side pockets are great. I feel like I could drop this thing out of an airplane at 36,000 feet and go find it, completely intact, when I land.
I bought dark coffee brown.
My first Saddleback piece was a Medium Waterbag in Tobbaco Leather. I fell in love with the heavy duty construction and soft leather. Great Bag and I am not sure it can be topped.... except by the Duffel Bag. I was looking for a duffel bag with side pockets for my frequent travel on airlines.. I called Customer Service and talked to a very nice lady who told me it may not fit in all overhead compartments. I ordered it anyway as I thought it would come close to fitting in the overheads and it had side pockets which was a huge plus when traveling.. I ordered the large Duffel in the New Tobbaco Leather.
It arrived and it was beautiful. Wonderfull tough construction and a perfect size for me. I filled it up easily on my next flight with room to spare. This bag easily fits in the overhead bins i used ( JETBLUE).
The best part of my "saddleback experience" was when I was leaving the plane and getting my duffel bag from the overhead bin. People just starred at my bag. A man asked if I would get his LV bag from the overhead which i gladly did. ( can you believe it ... a friggin man with a Loius Vuitton bag!! LOL) he looked so out of place. As I got off the the plane and walked to the terminal, the LV man caught up to me and asked me where I got my leather bag from. I proudly told him "Saddleback Leather.... buy once...cry once" . I wouldn't be surprised if i converted him to a real man's bag.... Saddleback leather
I often travel with my duffel and matching classic briefcase. I get compliments on them every single time. It's a beautiful bag that's made very durably. The only issue I have is with the stiffness of the inside pocket. I don't use this pocket and the stiff leather doesn't easily fold flush with the side to be out of the way. Creates a small amount of unusable space for the way I use the bag.
I have used my duffel 5 times with no problems at all. Takes a little time to buckle up for travel. And it's not light. I knew that going in. I would recommend it to a guy or lady who likes a traditional, understated, simple look. The duffel fit the overhead on a Delta MD80. It fit under the seat on a smaller regional jet.
Wow... What a fantastic duffle bag! Thanks to my wonderful sweetheart for this Christmas gift! I have been shopping for a duffle and without a doubt Saddleback is the best! This is the ultimate bag.... all leather, rugged, no zippers and opens fully at the top. Just got it, but would highly recommend this duffle! Yes, my kids will be fighting for this starting tomorrow... and long after I am gone! LOL Thanks Julie!