This suitcase is beautiful, elegant, and functional. I recently traveled with it and found it perfect for my needs. This bag is not a quick in and out to unzip, grab items, and rezip, like most carry-on luggage; it is not meant to be that kind of bag however. It is not as fast to get in and out of as Saddleback briefcases; understanding that, it is not a problem for air travel. It opens and closes by unbuckling the center buckle, removing the carry strap, sliding the two side straps out of the side rings, pushing the rings through the leather holes in the side, then pulling the bag open; reclose the bag in reverse order. To open, takes about 20 to 30 seconds, but may feel awkward at first; closing the bag, about the same time. After a few times, nothing to it. Awkward to hold up a line of passengers in an airplane aisle while they are trying to board if you are retrieving items from this bag. I have an iPad and other small items out of the bag and in a mini briefcase or a small packing cube before I board so I don't have to do this. This carry-on bag fits easily in the overhead compartments for most commercial jets, haven't tried it on smaller planes yet, might have to gate check on some. I didn't try under the seat in front of me. If it did fit under the seat, I would have nowhere to put my feet but straight down, might be ok for a smaller person, not for me. Easy to carry with the shoulder strap. If too heavy for some, this would easily strap onto a portable lightweight folding luggage cart, such as that available through Amazon, and even the large suitcase will fit on one of these folding carts. I prefer to carry it, but can appreciate the cart for longer hauls or if I'm traveling with two suitcases, a briefcase, and this carry-on. A small luggage cart can be folded and placed in a plastic bag and then inside the suitcase as well. I have this carry-on suitcase in black, I like the contrast with the vegetable tanned leather. I have other Saddleback items in other colors, tobacco, coffee, chestnut, and carbon. The body of the suitcase leather is quite stiff and holds its shape. This suitcase holds everything very securely when it is closed. Several other passengers at the airport and on the plane often offer unsolicited praise on this and my other Saddleback items, usually ask me where I got it so they can look and maybe buy for themselves. I do not consider Saddleback items to be particularly expensive given the quality that goes into them. Compared to cheap Chinese copies, maybe Saddleback seems expensive, but I have had cheap Chinese bags years ago, they tear, break, and are throwaways; even if they have a warranty, it is not worth the hassle and shipping to try to have them repaired or replaced. After discovering Saddleback, I never again considered purchasing another cheap, low quality bag. Leather suitcases and other items from other "designer" companies typically cost several thousand dollars per item, many times more than a Saddleback item; but I prefer the look and feel, build, quality, and durability of Saddleback items to any of other, far more expensive, designer brand items.
This bag was given to me as a birthday gift. It arrived today and it blew my mind. I was taken aback by the quality, craftsmanship, and overt manliness of the bag. In fact, I am surprised that a dual-sided axe and a timbershare are not prerequisites to purchasing this bag. The sizing is perfect, and the two-tone design makes a definitive statement. I'm actually looking forward to my next trip! Thanks Saddleback
This is my ninth piece of Saddleback leather in chestnut, and (as always) it does not disappoint. The leather is gorgeous, the construction is solid and it looks fantastic--all things I have come to expect when it comes to SBL products.
The thing that surprised me was how much I could fit in this thing. The space factor was my biggest hesitation in taking the plunge on this piece, but I'm glad I gave it a shot despite my reservations. With very little effort, I packed more than a long weekend's worth of clothes, in addition to my medium travel kit.
For longer trips, particularly when I won't have access to laundry facilities, a larger bag is definitely going to make more sense, but for long weekend getaways and work conferences, this is going to be my go-to from here on out.
As with any Saddleback product, this is well constructed and aesthetically appealing. You will get compliments on every flight/trip you take.
For context, my other Saddleback luggage is the waterbag. What you should know about this product before you buy it is that you have to remove the strap to open and close it, and you've got to get the "top" around the strap loops each time you do so. Additionally, there is no "hinge", it's simply stitching holding the two pieces together (very thick, durable stitching, but fiber none the less).
If you can live with that, you're going to love this soft sided carry on. It took me some getting used to, but now that I'm two months in (purchased in December 2015) the luggage has loosened up, and I'm quite adept at opening and closing it.