I started looking for a bag for work several months ago and happened upon Saddleback's website. After reading about the quality of the bags from the website descriptions, watching just about all of Dave's videos, and reading many reviews I decided to buy one. Once it arrived I found it to be exactly as it was described on the website. The leather (mine is DCB) is sturdy, thick, and smells AMAZING. The natural pigskin liner provides a nice contrast. All of the buckles, straps, and hardware are heavy-duty. After examining it I could see why Saddleback gives a 100 year guarantee. As other reviewers have noted my bag was stiff when it arrived, but it has broken in nicely in the last few months. I don't think I'll be wearing out this bag anytime soon.
Now that I've been using the bag for about 6 months I am a little embarrassed at how much I like it. I really like the look of it, feel of the leather, and the smell. It just smells amazing. So much so that I find myself taking a deep sniff just about every time I load or unload it. Bottom line--these are great bags. If you are on the fence about spending the money just do it. You won't be disappointed.
BTW, I ordered the medium notepad holder to use at work and love it too. Looks great and, of course, smells amazing.
This is my third bag from Saddleback. My very first bag was the Classic Medium briefcase. To begin with, I love that bag and I probably got 2-3 compliments a week on it. A number of people have asked where I bought it, and I freely link them the website. Like some of the other reviewers, though, it was very heavy and sometimes impractical for me (I'm a lawyer), and while it was great for long extended court visits or depositions, it was not so good on a daily basis. So on a complete whim, I decided to take a chance at using the Thin Briefcase and see if that would be better for every day use. This is by far the best purchase of a briefcase I've ever made.
Without exaggeration, the minute I opened the box, I loved it. It's exactly the right weight; has enough pockets and openings to store necessary items (the classic is devoid of this) and it looks great. What is the best thing, though, is I can actually carry a Macbook Air and an iPad in it, and the briefcase adds little extra weight. This bag truly is a god-send.
I still love my Classic, and use it whenever I'm in trial and need to carry many bulky items. But this bag truly is worth every penny I spent. I think if you need something that's good for daily use, this is the bag to use.
Thanks to Collette for her suggestion to consider this bag. This bag is BEAUTIFUL. The compliments are flowing indeed. The leather smell is almost addictive. In my opinion, the bag is not particularly heavy, and it has enough room for my Mac (13 inch) and materials. I also purchased 1 matching cable bag for stuff, but the 2 front pockets are spacious for goodies you might have to bring along. This bag is phenomenal and I am beyond pleased with my purchase. I see it is sold out now....I know why.
*4 and 1/2 stars.
When I first opened the box of my thin front pocket in tobacco, I must say I was slightly disappointed at first. I am used to carrying and using the classic XL briefcase, and the way the handle is attached to the bag differs on both of them. On the classic, inside the bag, there is nothing to catch on because the aluminum bar is in between the pigskin and the cowhide, but on the thin briefcase, the aluminum is encased below the layer of pigskin. I suppose it is not that bad, especially because of the warranty, but I just feel that the ergonomics of the classic bag is a little better. The pictures on both reveal what I am talking about.
I got the thin front pocket because my classic XL is simply a ginormous beast of a bag, and there was a lot of empty space in it. Now my thin front pocket is nicely packed full with everything I need and it doesn't look like I am moving to a different state every time I go to church.
The only other thing I have an issue with is the cigar pocket. The buckle is attached to this tiny pocket and basically, the integrity of the entire bag being closed rests on this sewn-on pocket. Just as before, however, the warranty is impressive, and I believe that the quality of the bag will hold up in spite of the issues I have. I also wanted to see a tract in it but didn't.
I once had a job tanning leather for "king Louie the V" myself, and I know that the quality of Saddleback Leather is absolutely of the highest grade. I am pretty hard on these types of things, generally speaking, and in any event, the bag is awesome and I am definitely keeping it.
Just ordered this in the Chestnut color. This will be the little brother to the large classic Briefcase I ordered from SB a couple of years ago. Looking forward to years of service.
Words cannot sufficiently describe my satisfaction with this product.
I put considerable thought into this purchase... quality, flexibility, and price were all considered in my evaluation. I realized that I can either get a piece of crap bag that I will have to replace every 2-3 years, or invest in a top quality one. I chose the latter. I have absolutely no buyer's remorse despite the price tag (which is still reasonable when compared to designer-type stuff). The bag can be worn casually or with a suit--it can even be turned into a small backpack. It smells incredibly awesome. It is a pleasure to use this bag whenever I can, and I am looking forward to decades of service. Thanks for the hard work you all put into this product, and keep up the solid work!
I've purchased several SBL products for gifts but this was the first I've bought for ME!! I couldn't be happier with the bag, the construction and quality are top notch. I'm really happy with the carbon color as well! I originally was hoping to get the tobacco color but couldn't pass up the sale price on the carbon and now I want more! Thanks again for your dedication to quality work!
This briefcase fits my requirements for an everyday briefcase. From the house to the truck, from the truck to the office, and with me everywhere in between. I do not physically cary it around every day. But, I could. I did not want a big briefcase. I ordered tobacco, and it was a little lighter in color for my tastes. I applied some Obenauf's LP and this briefcase is beautiful. I ordered my son the thin briefcase in dark coffee brown. They are both excellent choices for someone that does not require a large briefcase. Excellent craftsmanship.
I absolutely could not wait for the Breifcase. I was sooo iinpatient for the bag that I accidently had it mailed to the wrong address (purchased thru Amazon). The team at saddleback was great! They had the bag routed back to my house in days. Can I blame Saddleback for making me lust after the breifcase? Damn you Saddleback!!
As for the Briefacase, It is worth the wait. I can honestly say it does feel like a quality bag. My bag arrived in perfect condition, and the tobacco is stunning! It leather is slightly stiff and looks like it will break in well. The seams were perfect, the hardware top notch, and the extra pockets on the front will come in handy.
I have been looking FOR YEARS to find this bag. After buying a couple of different (and excellent) Saddleback products, this is THE ONE.
While I have enjoyed backpacks and messenger bags to carry my work around, I had been thinking that it was time I tried looking more professional.
The very first time I brought it down to get some work done in a coffee shop, one of the regulars, an elderly woman, jokingly remarked, "Well! YOU must be pretty important! Just look at that bag!" Ha!
The construction and design of Saddleback products is always exceptional, but this bag also fits the bill when it comes to my size specifications.
I can't tell you how grateful I am and how satisfied I am with your customer service as well! Thank you!!
I have been a Saddleback customer for some time (circa 2007). I have three Classic Briefcases in varying colors and sizes. It is a well-crafted piece of art. But recently, Saddleback introduced the Thin Front Pocket Briefcase and I thought it was an intriguing design. But I passed on purchasing it. Then months later I decided to give it a try simply because sometimes I don't need the space of the Classic Briefcase for everyday office visit. So I ordered it in Tobacco.
Jackpot! It is the perfect balance of artful design, functionality and weight. Every cleverly designed pocket is used; cigar holder, front pockets, hidden pockets behind front pockets (I use to carry Glock 27).
I consistently receive compliments on the bag and asked where I got it. Saddleback should give at least 50 business cards with every purchase for customers to hand out during these conversations.
If you are looking for a balanced briefcase, this is your choice. If you already own the Classic Briefcase, you owe it to yourself to add this to your collection.
However, I believe that there could be some improvements. This size of the bag is excellent for the light traveler and everyday use. But it's too small to use as a backpack, I'm not a large man at 5'11" I ordered the carbon black from the Dave's deals page and I can't notice anything misplaced or off with the bag, however the dye for carbon black has changed since my last purchase from SBL, and this case doesn't match the suitcase I have. One feature I would have loved to see on this bag that was on my suitcase, is the rolling metal bars on the buckles, and I know it's gonna take time to break in the leather, but with the rolling bars just makes for an easier transition from closed to open with the stiff leather.
The front pockets are quite handy for keeping yourself organized on the go, but a major draw back is that when the main pocket is closed you cannot access the two front pockets. Inconvenient and handy at the same time?
I've had an SBL Classic Medium briefcase in Chestnut for about 1.5 years and like it alright. Just "alright" because the bag is very heavy when full and the styling is not very modern (the bag is very fat!). I sincerely appreciate the level of construction but since the bag is so heavy I would often still opt for my backpack, which doesn't go so well with the suits I keep wearing. Figured I'd sell it when I got this one, but as any SBL customer knows, it is very hard to part with your well-loved leather. Oh well!
So I bought the Thin Front Pocket Briefcase to try out a more modern briefcase look and function. I was hoping the weight would mean that I actually take a briefcase out for the day. It is about 1.5lbs lighter than the classic medium, which I unfortunately don't notice much. But this bag is pure gorgeous! It is the most slim of all SBL briefcases yet will still hold a lot of goodies thanks to the extremely useful front pockets. The interior holds a lot too don't get me wrong. I don't care so much for the cigar pocket actually (too deep and skinny to reach into), but the other two side pockets are really outstanding. If you don't care about having a slimmer briefcase, I'd be willing to bet the standard front pocket briefcase would be perfect for you--it strikes me as the perfect compromise between the classic and this one.
I'm positive that this brief will age just as well as my Classic. I am also extremely pleased with the new version of the pigskin lining. It is outstanding!! The lining looks great and is super soft. Don't hesitate before making this purchase, you will fall in love.
I bought this briefcase as a Christmas present for my boyfriend. WOW. What a work of art. It is quite a handsome, well-made bag. The craftsmanship is apparent. I was hesitant at first to purchase the bag because of the price, but I think it's worth it. It looks great, smells great, is big enough for his 15-inch laptop, and looks like it will last a lifetime. I can't wait for Christmas now so I can see the look on his face when he opens it!
So after two years of dreaming of owning one of Dave's bags, my wife and in-laws finally forced my hand by purchasing me gift cards to Saddleback for Christmas - I guess they must like me! So, after Christmas I waited for the Thin Front Pocket Briefcase to become available in Chestnut (they were all sold out in December) - checking my phone multiple times a day to see if the magical "in-stock" phrase had yet appeared... I was so psyched when one evening I checked the site and the "in-stock" was there that I interrupted dinner just to get my order in!
Upon arrival, just WOW! I have the Chestnut padfolio, so I was aware of the incredible quality of Dave's products, but I wasn't prepared for the pure beauty of the bag as I opened it up on my desk at work. Immediately, a few coworkers began ogling it and asking about its origin. (Referrals coming your way Dave at no charge ;) )
Later on in the day, I started the migration from my well-worn briefcase to my new leather beauty. As I made the transfer I started to realize just how much stuff (even after paring it down) I had to keep with me on the regular. As such, despite my previously-held thought that I was a pretty simple guy, I am going to be returning the thin front pocket briefcase and exchanging it for the standard front pocket briefcase.
The bag has sufficient room for the true minimalist - it fit my small laptop, tablet, kindle, one 1/2 size moleskine notebook and the laptop charger in the main compartment, but that was the max one could fit in neatly. So if you're one who keeps it super simple, this is the bag for you. The front pockets DO allow plenty of room for extra storage for tech accoutrements, an additional moleskine, cigar, cell phone or phablet - I just have a tendency to need to carry 2-3 file folders throughout the day and occasionally I throw a good ol' fashioned book or my bible in the main compartment, so I need more large-compartment storage space.
Bottom line, the bag reinforced my already-held opinion that Dave's stuff rocks, I just need the bigger main compartment. I can't wait for the new bag to arrive, as it will be one that will serve as a great wingman well beyond my time on the earth!
Thank you Dave for making such great products, they will be in my family for years!
As I print out the shipping label for this bag, a part of me feels like I'm returning a long lost friend despite only owning the bag for a week. However, I'll be short with my review.
Pro: There is a sense of liberty with the bag; it begs you to leave scarred and embed your story onto it. Therefore, I never had to worry about being "gentle" with it despite the bag being over $600. No other bag is as freely masochistic. In addition, the bag has ample room for holding normal things like laptops, journals, books, but it could also hold a plethora of other items useful in navigating the world. In terms of quality, the bag is extremely well-built, but I do have to admit that some threads started lo get loose. Yet, this is nothing some light scorching wouldn't solve.
Con: Expectedly, I might complain about the weight here, but when you're buying THIS much leather, weight is simply part of the equation. Therefore, I could have gotten used to the weight but one key flaw prevented me from keeping the bag as well as giving it 5 stars. When converted to backpack mode, the bottom seam of the bag literally dug into my lower back which made it incredibly painful to wear the bag comfortably as a backpack. It would be absurd to fully fill this backpack and wear it without being able to wear it as a backpack painlessly. In the end, this was the major reason I returned the bag.
I am rating this brief with five stars because six are not available.
I really love this bag. I love the way it looks, I love the way it smells and perhaps most of all, I love the way it sounds; the way thick leather pieces collide when the bag is opened or closed...the way the straps sound pulling through the buckles...the harmony of all the parts as I throw the bag over my shoulder...sublime.
Initially I was concerned about the brief's depth. I thought it could use and extra inch or so and an interior divider (I would still like to see this option). But after traveling with it quite a bit in the few weeks since it arrived, the depth has not been an issue. (Without lots of room to spare, it travels with a MacBook Air, an iPad (both in Saddleback covers), a Kindle, two notebooks, two thin'ish file folders, an umbrella and various odds and ends (love the pen holder and hidden pockets).)
Be prepared to talk about this bag, lots of folks will want too. This brief screams quality and mixed with superlative design, it does not go unnoticed.
As a NYC businessman and someone who travels constantly- wishing he was Indiana Jones- I knew this would be the perfect purchase. I bought this for my husband for Christmas 2013 and he absolutely loves it. I research many sites and I truly feel that this is the best in class. The company was very helpful and responsive when helping to select the perfect bag.
We went with dark coffee brown which is very versatile.
Highly recommend this bag. It's worth the investment.
This was the second bag that I got from Saddleback Leather. The first bag I got was a medium round satchel. I loved the quality of the first bag I got; but it was just too small for what I needed. (My wife also thought it looked like a purse)
So, I sent the satchel back and ordered this bag. I almost made the mistake of getting the thin briefcase; but, I am SO happy that I got the thin front-pocket briefcase!
This bag is a great size to carry around everyday. It is very functional with the two front pockets (and the two "hidden" pockets behind the front pockets) From the moment the shipping box was opened, I could tell this was a well made bag. It is strong and each piece of the bag carries that substantial weight of quality.
I did a TON of research online about bags before I purchased a Saddleback Bag, and this is the only choice for anybody wishing to purchase a bag that they can count on and love. It is my LAST bag!
I bought this bag because I was looking for something a little lighter than my Classic Bag. This fit the bill and then some. What a great style and bag!
Got my Dark Brown Bag and it is perfect for me. It is lighter than my old Classic Bag. It still has plenty of room for all I carry. It seems a little softer and will break in perfectly
I just checked my order history and my SBL Thin Front Pocket Briefcase in Tobacco is almost ready to celebrate its first birthday. SBL leather lives in like reverse dog years, or something...seems to take forever to get majestic and worn and patina'ed, but, on the other hand, you buy a new SBL piece and set it next to your old one, your old piece is like, whoa! Way more broken in.
Dave needs to teach us lessons in leather patience. Please, Dave, hurry up on that! :D
Anyway, I still love this bag. Today it carried home my 11" MacBook Air (in it's SBL sleeve) for the last time and the newest Apple to the family, a brand spankin' new 13" Retina MacBook Pro PLUS two rMBP chargers. A whole lot more crud and weight than normal - but Dave builds them to expand like it's Thanksgiving afternoon. (Or if you're not Amurican, like it's the afternoon on some national holiday that has become entirely focused on eating vast quantities of food while gathering in large and unfortunately most likely dysfunctional family groups - whoever you are, your country has at LEAST one of these holidays. :D)
My honest only detractor on this bag is the key fob thing - I have the main cavity of the bag absolutely packed almost every day (this bag replaced a quite old Coach briefcase) with a Mac laptop, iPad with Smart Cover, Moleskine (uncovered) and my recent upgrade, an SBL cable bag for my cable-y bits, and the key fob just kept getting in the way. As a lady type person, I usually carry my keys in my handbag (oh hi there, SBL Tablet Bag - which, by the way, looks FANTASTIC carried with the SBL Thin Front Pocket Brief), so the fob in the brief was really kinda not necessary. Not wanting to cut it out, I simply tucked it in the pen pocket right beneaith it and the leather fob strap has since molded against the interior wall of the brief and is no bother - never catches even when I'm cramming stuff into the main cavity, like today. In the opposite side pen pocket is the SBL card wallet holding my business cards and doing that mighty well, I might add.
I wish I could show you guys pictures of the places on this bag where the leather is FINALLY starting to show some age and patina. But trust me - it's loverly.
Oh and FWIW, both the Apple 45W and 60W laptop charger bricks with their cables wrapped up fit just fine in one of this bag's front pockets - I even keep my Harman/Kardon earbuds in their case in the same pocket tucked in above the charger AND a Slitherin house pin on the pocket lapel of this pocket with no problem.
I told you you'd want pictures. Dave, how about you get the web monkeys to let us add pictures to our reviews? :D
I owned and used this bag for a year. It is a beautiful bag and I got lots of compliments on it, but over time, I found myself leaving it at home more often than not. If you're sure this bag is what will work for you, then it's a great purchase — but I found it less versatile than I expected, and it was not the right bag for me. Here's why.
As a teacher, I found myself needing papers, binders, dry erase markers, etc. from the bag repeatedly over the course of a day. Because all of the pockets have buckle closures, this became quite the hassle unbuckling and buckling things over and over. Perhaps it would be better for someone who only needed to access the contents a couple of times a day.
The bag is also very, very heavy. A friend picked it up once and commented on how heavy it was — in fact, the only thing inside was a Macbook Pro. Again, as someone who has to carry the bag around a lot, it became quite tiresome, and I did have shoulder pain if I carried it for too long. There are also more thick metal rings attached to this than anyone would ever need, which makes it clink and surely just adds to the weight (both visual and actual). The waxed canvas zip-top briefcase that I had before was much lighter, and I could carry a small computer and papers without much difficulty. Not so with this bag; taking it anywhere felt like an event.
The strap was odd — I wanted the bag to rest higher on my back when strapped over my shoulder, but when I adjusted the buckle on the strap, the leftover strap was far too long and flapped around awkwardly. So I never could wear it comfortably as I liked.
I was considering selling it, as I am sure it would be right for someone. But just as I was about to do so, a friend's car was stolen with this bag in the trunk. It was unfortunate, but I won't lie, I was sort of relieved.
After talking to Rene about this particular bag. I realized this is the size for me.
The Classic would be to big.
I use it more because I want it not need it. I haven't put it down, even if its to go to the store, out to eat or some times from room to room. My family think I'm nuts, they don't understand its just cool to have all your stuff with you, plus the leather, look, feel smell is awesome. I carry one of those long leather multi card wallets that holds cash many cards and receipts, one of Daves, tobacco cable bags,(in the cable bag), I usually carry a nice sized leather man knife, surefire flashlight, a few cables for the iPad and phone a sewing kit (just because i can) lol.. my wife had one probably from a hotel. A nice magnifying glass the kids got me years ago, a nice nail clipper and a hard case to put my Montblanc Pen in when I am not carrying in my shirt that day. Then either an IPad2 in a life proof case or if I wanted to I could take the 13" Retina Macbook Pro. I use it both as a back throwing one strap over my one shoulder, some days and some days I use the regular over the shoulder method as shown on website.
I could really cram it full and strap it down if i wanted to take both iPad and computer, but I like the thinner look.
I bought it in carbon just before they ran out and love it. I am in Miami, was using daily for a few months to go back and fourth to work at the car dealership. I am taking a trip next week to Colorado, I am looking forward to using it on as a carry on to take all my mac stuff and I have a small roller case to pack my clothes and stuff, I don't need for the plane ride. I forgot to mention my Baby Glock fits nice behind the front pocket or if not carrying I roll up my iphone cable and slide it in there, for quick access. In the pockets I cary a small hard cover Journal and on the other side I keep 2 eye glass cases 1 for my daily glasses and one with my Ray-bans. The key strap is cool and I also carry a small cheapy pleather notebook until I can afford to purchase Daves Small Black Notebook.
I also purchased another cable bag in DC to keep my cables and converter, as well as a slim T1 external hard drive for Time Machine back ups, when I need to take my computer.
The bag does it all, not to mention I have a blinding tactical flashlight by surefire that I keep in the cigar slot for additional protection. The two inner side pockets are great for stylus, pill holder to keep some Motrin in, and a pair of clip-ons for my glasses. Bye the case if you are like me you will love the quality and luxury of having nice leather from saddleback. They are saved as my homepage. I want the duffel, a belt and a notebook holder in small for now,
I just recently received my thin front pocket briefcase, in the new black color, and it is exactly what I had wanted. I am a retired law enforcement officer, now working for a private investigations firm, and it is perfect for carrying the various items I need on a day to day basis, including my Microsoft Surface Pro, power adapter, and accessories; voice recorder; flip cam; file folders, and other items...you name it, it works! The front pockets are great, and the hidden areas also come in very handy (flashlight, etc.) The key holder is great for holding USB thumb drives. The workmanship, as with all Saddleback products, is superb, and the new black color can only be described as gorgeous! I would recommend this bag to anyone, no reservations. Thank you, Mr. Munson!