I just got my medium waterbag and wanted to talk about my first trip. In short, it was great. Some things I have found out:
- I fly a lot and my boarding pass is on my phone. I would just chunk it into an outside pocket on my old bag, which obviously isn't a option here, so I got a carabiner and a small nylon bag and clipped it to one of the rings for my phone, money clip, etc, when I go through security.
- I initially used the shoulder strap, but had a fairly long walk to a hotel and fitted the strap as backpack straps. It worked great! As a matter of fact, I think I'll leave them like that. If I don't want to put both arms through it and put it on my back, I can still sling it over one shoulder easily.
- When I got it the finish almost looked dry and there was a powder like finish. I bought some leather conditioner and it's much better. I have other items in Chestnut which aren't like that, so I don't know if that was just a production issue or if they've changed the tanning/finishing process.
- I'm on the road for 3 days and several different kinds of events, but everything fit with space to spare.
It's a great bag and can be used in so many ways, it will definately be one of my main "go to" pieces.
How many times does a person lives? I was told once and I was told we have an obligations as humans to make the best out of this life! this Bag is the embodiment of this concept! just buy this bag and live well and happy! because it's unreal, it's awesome! it's sick!
I own a medium Waterbag in Tobacco. My purpose in purchasing was to have a bag that could be used for 2-3 days trips to see family and for short business trips. This bag will definitely work for such trips. But this bag will also do more. I recently took a week long (seven days) trip to China to visit friends and see the land. Because I wanted to be unhindered, I did not want to have checked luggage and only go with carry on. So I pulled out my medium Waterbag and packed it with seven days worth of clothes (using packing cubes). I cinched the the three straps down and the final dimensions were within carry on guidelines by the airlines. The medium Waterbag fit within every one of the three planes' (ranging from a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 to a Boeing 787) overhead compartments. For some people the only downside will be carrying the bag through the airport. It has a handle and strap. I carried the bag throughout the Beijing airport for three hours when transferring from international to domestic air travel. I was tired at times, but never burdened. If you are looking for a bag to see family for a few days or to see the world for a week, the medium Waterbag is your travel companion.
I struggled for a while trying to decide between this, the duffle bag and possible the front pocket backpack. Without having a store or way to compare them in person side-by-side, I finally got the "go big or go home" attitude and bought this in Tobacco Brown. I was running out of time because I had a weekend trip coming up and I really wanted my new Waterbag for this trip. Being that I ordered it on a Wednesday, I opted to pay an additional almost $50 for the 2nd day air shipping. That was my only mistake! And a costly one! It didn't arrive until the following Monday and I was broken hearted! Please keep that in mind before you pony up for UPS.
Back to the bag... Do not let "Medium" fool you. This thing is massive! I have a waxed canvas duffle bag that I measured to be 20" and I figured this would be a similar size. I was wrong! I think I can fit 3 of my old duffles into this one Waterbag! I'm actually afraid I will struggle to fill it! As everyone else states: it is gorgeous, it is built like a tank, it is a huge piece of leather, but I was slightly surprised that it looks slightly feminine if completely unfolded, standing tall with the sides sticking out. It resembles a womans tote if the sides are not tucked in. Other than that, I am impatiently waiting for my next trip so I can finally use a bag that costed as much as my first car.
I had been hemming and hawing over ordering this bag for over a year. I finally pulled the trigger and couldn't be happier. I got the tobacco medium water bag. It is a gorgeous bag, top notch construction, and something I know I will have the rest of my life. I can easily pack it for a long weekend or a 2-3 day business trip and it has plenty of room. This is my 5th Saddleback purchase but not my last. Great company, great products, and great customer service.
Four months ago I bought the medium Waterbag in tobacco. Earlier that month I had purchased the Classic Thin Front Pocket Briefcase (medium) in chestnut, which is a work of art and is wearing very well. (During that same month I ordered a couple of belts.)
When I first received the Waterbag I was immediately impressed with the tobacco color and, of course, the glorious smell of leather. The bag is expertly constructed as is usual of Saddleback Leather products, and has noticeable substance to it. I can't stress enough the outstanding quality of this bag. I have to admit, at first I was worried that the bag would be too small for my needs. I originally selected the medium size so I can fit it in the overhead compartment on airplanes. But once I removed the insert I was able to stuff A LOT into the bag. Surprisingly, I'm still able to fit an almost-full bag into the overhead compartment. Interestingly, I had to literally punch and shove the bag in, which the bag handled without even a hiccup.
In fact, that's what impresses me most about this bag - it can take a lot of abuse. I don't purposely abuse it, but I travel extensively and sometimes I can't be gentle. No worries, this bag is built like a tank. I've drenched it in the rain, dropped it, stuffed it in a car trunk, stacked stuff on top of it, banged and scraped it along innumerable walls, railings, and other objects, etc. Nothing phases it. Everything, from the body to the straps to the rings, are all of the highest quality.
By the way, the Waterbag serves very well as a business travel bag. I use packing cubes for my "good clothes" and shoes, and stuff underwear, socks, and tee shirts (all rolled up) in the nooks and crannies. I carefully folded and placed a sport jacket at the top of the packed clothes and closed up the bag. The jacket was well protected and had few wrinkles when I arrived, which came out in a steamy shower.
If you need a versatile, strong, and stylish bag, you absolutely must get the Waterbag.
Oh - My new medium Front Pocket Backpack (tobacco) arrived just this morning. My goodness, what a beauty! Already my daughter tried to steal it this evening, and I've only had it for 6 hours. I had to let her use my Waterbag for her trip this weekend to divert her attention from the backpack. I better get my Waterbag back.
I bought the medium "Waterbag" in tobacco after weeks of researching Saddleback Leather's website, and watching every YouTube video review I could find. Like many of you, I was torn between several models. My research included: "Side Pocket Duffel," and the "Utility Duffel" models.
When I considered my use of carry-on luggage, or weekend adventure bags, I very rarely get into the bag once it is packed. Nobody on the plane wants to be "that guy" who keeps getting up and messing around with the overhead luggage. I usually keep it secure until I arrive at my destination, so I didn't have a big need for accessing side pockets. This is true for road trips as well as air travel. I was quite intrigued by the concept of having a bag that would help to limit: dust, dirt, sand, moisture, and other unwanted environmental elements.
I am able to pack: three to four days worth of business and casual attire, dress shoes and running shoes, exercise clothing, a shaving kit, and still have plenty of room to close it securely. I use packing cubes to keep things organized, and it really makes a difference with efficiently packing the bag and avoiding wrinkled clothing.
With a folding compact luggage cart, I travel with this and a matching large tobacco "Front Pocket Briefcase" with ease. It's a great pair of products to get me through a business week in the city, traveling through airports and other cities, and then out to the ranch for enjoying the weekends. I absolutely love both of these beautiful and tough leather products that serve me well, no matter my location.
It's fair to say some of the comments below around having to adapt one's approach to travel as a result of using this bag are true.
The bag can become quite heavy, it's sometimes frustrating not to have zip pockets to easily stash items and the fact that you have to carry it rather than wheel it does sometimes devoid you of an element of speedy travel.
All that said I still use my bag as much as I reasonably can within those constraints, why? Because the bag is such a fantastically aesthetically pleasing item which radiates quality to the extent that the above irritations are worth bearing for this alone - the bag is also perfectly capacious and durable.
In summary, appreciate the bag for its limitation of not being a plastic box on wheels (which at times can be the right solution) and you won't be disappointed with this product!
The bag is heavy but very well made. After some scratches and wear marks following my first trip, character is building. The bag takes some practice to carry if you want to prevent falling off your shoulder. What I found worked is to place the bag on my shoulder and swing behind my back. Also, when I am on and off trains and planes I simply place the carry strap under the tie straps to keep it from flopping around and use the carry handle. The carry handle is offset to one side which makes carrying with the handle a little awkward; however, it is certainly the way to go in tight quarters or in and out of local transportation like a taxi.
The bag fits into commuter jet and train overhead storage without issue. I had the bag packed 75% full with 2 rolled jeans, 7 rolled shirts, and 6 nights of socks and under ware. In addition, I had a small bag inside for shaver, toothpaste, shampoo etc and 2 plastic 6 x 10 x 1.5 inch plastic containers on top with food and electronic gear.
I have used many bags over the years from duffel to tumi roller. I travel trains, commercial air, car, taxi, and small private planes. This bag will work for in all situations. Each scuff will remind me of a particular trip and I can't wait until it has dozens of marks from the many adventures ahead. Happy travels . . .
My wife has now bought me a large briefcase, wallets, moleskines and now the Large Waterbag. I look at this bag and try to find words to describe it, but it is just singular, incomparable, and may be the finest bag ever made in the history of the world, the crazy thing is, that this is a true thought. One piece of hide.....Polyester thread....huge....secure, flexible, beautiful, there is nothing on the planet that can compare to it, then I thought how could anyone have ever made anything that compares before. The way the straps go down accross the one seam on the bag so that the load is not even carried by the seam is BRILLIANT Dave. I am looking forward to varying how I carry it. It is surprisingly light compared to my Large Briefcase, maybe the same weight but ten times bigger.To make things like Saddleback does, unique leather goods that may be the finest in the history of the world, is significant to our generation. Thank you for bringing this type of quality to our times Dave.
I ordered the medium tobacco waterbag and fell in love with it! This is by far one of the nicest leather bags I've owned. Going on a short 2-3 day trip, this your go to bag. Going for a longer trip, the large waterbag is for you. I even purchased the larger waterbag for those longer trips. You will not be disappointed! It's sturdy and very well made! Worth every penny! Everytime I am on the website and see this bag, I want to buy it even though I own both. :)
I travel for work, man do i travel light. I work in the film industry, and traveled to Singapore for 35 days with only the Waterbag. held, 1x pair of heavy duty steel toe sneakers, toiletry bag, 8x Tshirts, 6x lightweight Columbia work shirts, 1x pair of Jeans, 4x pairs of shorts, my lightmeters, laptop and chargers for phone etc...
I had room to spare. Even came back with a snorkel, chinese cookie tin, and an additional shirt. Best thing about the waterbag, is that you can compress it to remove air, then strap it down to keep it dense, but small.
I even re-rigged the carry strap, and handle so it hangs more like a ruck sack than traditional duffel, without being quite a back pack.
the only negatives are that it can take a while to get it open if you need to get something on the plane, and that if packed super tight ( like if you squeeze all the air out and its relatively small) you wind up with terribly long bits of strap that can snag on things, and be potentially annoying to the people in the aisle as they get whipped across the face. I tuck them back into the retainer loop, but that almost guarantees it will get caught on the seat arm rest in the plane. need to figure out a solution for myself.
That said... Now I Kind of want another large sized one.....
I've had my eye on this bag for about a year now. With an African trip coming up I felt it was prime time for a new purchase. Sadly, both sizes of the Tobacco Waterbag were out of stock. While on the page ready to purchase the Utility Duffel, I thought, eh what the heck, I'll check the status of the Waterbag today just to roll the dice, you never know. Lo and behold, the medium was in stock in tobacco flavor! I immediately maneuvered a remove-and-add and waited a few days for it to arrive. This is my second SBL purchase, the first being a DCB Thin Front Pocket Briefcase, which I adore. The tobacco is gorgeous, and the build exudes superlative quality. I have no doubt this will fit over a week's worth of clothes and sundries. I'm also confident that it will last a century--it's a rugged piece that is sure to endure years of use and abuse. The multiple configurations and size make for a very versatile piece that will be your favorite bag in no time. Stop waiting and deliberating, it's worth the extra money, you'll never need another similarly sized bag in your life! Also, it's true, just looking at it is enough to give me a dose of wanderlust. I'm in love!
The most versatile bag that I own and also hands down the most beautiful. At first, I thought this bag was too small when I received the medium in the mail. However, after packing it with 4 pair of jeans, 5 shirts, shaving kit, sweatshirt, shoes, etc. I was suprised I still had room for more. The straps act as compression straps allowing you to tightly pack all your belongings. I prefer to completely remove the liner, I've found it can carry more and is more comfortable when wearing as a backpack. The bag has a different look depending on how you close it, it's fun to find your own way of closing it depending on how much stuff you have in it. The smell of the leather is incredible, you will not be disappointed. The bag in chestnut has more of a classy look and less likely to show scratches than the tobacco, it just depends on what you like. Personally, I would like a Waterbag in all three colors but that would be a little outside my budget. Buy it, you'll love it.
I got the medium waterbag (finally after much hinting) as a gift. The video says it "May" cause envy. The word "may" is totally misused. I love this thing. It gets compliments from other travellers and even the air crew.
Most of my trips are weekend trips where I only need a carryon. This fits the bill perfectly. The expandable size sometimes is a pain as I pack it up too much and with regulators, dive lights and cameras, it becomes to heavy, so I have to give something to my wife.
It is sturdy, I have misused it as we take it on diving trips (only 2 so far), and while it isnt water proof, I used Chamberlans #3 on it and it has kept my stuff dry through the odd splash and drip.
The tobacco color also looks great and any abuse adds to the travelled look of the bag.
Thanks for a great bag.
....to wait. So many said just buy the bag, but it still took me 2 years to decide.
I have a medium DCB that i use as a carry on. It has passed through JFK, Syracuse, Frankfurt, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Surabaya airport check in and security with zero problems, and yes it slides into the overhead bins with ease.
My longest single trip so far was 4 workdays and a travel only day. 4 shirts / 4 ties / 2 trousers / 1 jacket / underwear etc. / a few t-shirts/ dopp kit / laptop charger / shoes and it is not even half full so i am very confident this will be my last bag purchase as a long trip for me is 10 days max. Rolled shirts came out looking relatively fresh and crease free.
The 3 straps are still a bit stiff to open the bag quickly, so i also bring along my messenger bag for anything that needs to be scanned separate in airports and for use as an office day bag. This combination is leading me to think i no longer need the large classic briefcase! Maybe i will sell it to raise funds for a thin front pocket briefcase.
I took the shoulder straps off and use a folding trolley as waterbag transport through an airport, then i just use the clip-on handle from the gate to the plane. It is no heavier than the Delsey trolley bag it has replaced and is easier to get into the overhead bin.
Yes people will look at your bag and want to ask questions. I got used to this with my first classic briefcase and use whichever standard procedure applies to the look of the person approaching or my mood of the moment 1. Scowl darkly 2. Smile and look friendly.
I had a few moments deciding on colour and almost sent the DCB back for a tobacco (i am all DCB except for a tobacco wallet and note pad holder) but the usual great Saddleback customer service gave help, advice plus some extra unexpected assistance which quickly helped me decide.
Any company that will take the time to send you a personal message for ordering one of their products and let you know that a large portion if the proceeds go to charity is truly unique. The Waterbag is outstanding and the craftsmanship is second to none. The pictures on the site do not do it justice. I couldn't be more pleased luggage that has this much flexibility is rare and extremely hard to find. It has a deceiving look about it and will hold a lot more than one would expect; it easily holds a weeks worth of clothes with room to spare.
Awesome product and highly recommended.
I struggled between a classic duffle and the waterbag. I went wild and based on one of Dave's reviews saying the waterbag was his favorite I got it Remove the box it comes with and you can roll the bag up for the small airplanes that gate check luggage and fit overhead. Also you can load this bag up with over a weeks worth of clothes and toys more than a hardcover roller bag. The last carry on bag I will ever buy.
This is the second SLC product I've purchased, the first being the Large DCB Laptop bag in 2009. When I made that purchase I knew what I was getting, a lifelong laptop bag that had no compromises in workmanship or materials. I've received more compliments on that bag than anything else I've ever owned. The Medium Waterbag is just incredible. I can't wait until it's as worn in and weathered as my other bag, because they really do get better with age. I look forward to purchasing the hard luggage suitcases in the very near future and frequent the website weekly to see if something new is coming out. Dave - Would love a laptop sleeve for my 13 inch slim laptop to go with everything else I have should there be considerations for new products.
Large Tobacco waterbag. When this bag arrived, I was so excited and couldn't wait to get it out of the box. The materials, construction and finishing that typifies SBL were immediately apparent, and the smell gorgeous! As soon as it was fully unpacked and all of the packing materials cleared away,I had another look. As it is an 'unstructured' bag (by design) it sort of flops around when empty, looking a bit clumsy and sad. However, when you start to pack it with your stuff, it really starts to awaken and look like the exceptional piece of design that it is.
I can pack this out with as much clothing and stuff as I need to last me a good couple of weeks travel and still easily roll the top over and synch the straps down - I don't tie it too tight as I carry some breakables, but it goes over very nicely. I am experimenting with folding the tops in rather than rolling it (buckle side fold over the top and strap side over the top of that - tucking the ends in) which seems to work really well.
I am just under 6 ft, and the large bag is very comfortable. The only thing I miss is the option to change it into a backpack like the medium one, however potential loads would perhaps strain and stretch the leather too much (I am sure Dave has thought of this already!)
Overall a great piece of design and of luggage. I can't recommend this highly enough. If you are wavering over the smaller duffles and this bag - I suggest you get this one. There are enough buckle holes in the strap to really wrap this up around whatever you put in it.
Great bag, great quality - keep them coming guys!
Another SBL product - the fourth, most expensive, and by far most beautiful to date.
Just incredible - first off, the flexibility to reduce this bag so much and expand it as needed will be key in travelling with my wife, who regularly finds something on our travels that needs to come home.
What others say is true; you will be duly noted in a lobby, on a train, or in an airport with this bag. Based on the number of high end automobiles at the entry, I'd guess the doorman at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel probably see a fair amount of beautiful bags and they certainly took the time to admire and comment on my Water Bag.
Be advised that this monument to testosterone is not to be used by most women traveling without a gent. My wife fill this monster fairly high on a solo transcontinental flight, found herself with a 45 pound behemoth without wheels and was surprised she couldn't get it around like her purse.
All this said - it belongs in a category with a 7 Series BMW, with a Jaeger-LeCoultre watch, with a Burberry trench coat. Except that it is all that, and something that fits on a safari and is actually "cheap" for what you get. Honest. Just buy the darned thing and give yourself the treat of a lifetime.
PS: At this point, I am a confirmed Dave's Deal guy. The standards at this company are impossibly high. Currently I am waiting for someone to tell a joke while putting together a Medium Chestnut Simple Backpack.
Love, love, love this bag. I bought the medium in chestnut about 18 months ago, and it has served as my go-to bag for my travels in the states, around Europe, and Central America. I often use it in back-pack mode when it gets a little heavy to carry by the handle (never been a fan of single shoulder straps). I love the fact that this bag actually makes me think about what I really do and do not need for my travels, and makes me put back all the spurious or unneeded items.
I used the tall liner at first, then went to the short one, now I don't use the liner at all. I am sure there are some who always prefer to have the liner in, but I have found the bag to be much easier to handle without, and it also drops a few ounces off the bag. I get plenty of comments on it, and there is no shortage of admiring glances, either.
It fits perfectly fine in the vast majority of overhead compartments, and I have only had to do planeside check with it one time (puddle jumper - no way it would fit).
Overall, I would say that it is without a doubt the best carry on bag/duffel I have ever owned, and I seriously doubt I will ever have another. Thanks SBL for making what you make and doing what you do.
Large Waterbag in Coffee Brown: Gorgeous leather, impeccable finish, HEAVY DUTY craftsmanship. Here are a couple of observations:
Heavy? I've seen several reviews on this topic. Are these a little heavier than a nylon bag? Of course they are! They don't grow cows with thicker skin on this planet, than the leather used to make these products. Is this product going to last longer than a nylon bag? Of course it is! Have you seen a nylon bag with a 100 year warranty? If you want super light, go buy a nylon bag. If you want to top quality leather and people to notice your luggage, buy Saddleback.
Travel bag? I've got the large Waterbag and would not recommend using it to travel if you've got to carry it too far. This is a quandry I had to think through. The large Waterbag is soooo big, you can put soooo much in it. I use mine when I am driving to a travel destination, not flying. If you fly a lot, and want to carry it on the plane, I would recommend the medium Waterbag. Just my opinion.
The large Waterbag is a very versitale bag with an antique look. I've had several people tell me it looks like an old time stage coach bag. Hope some of my observations help.
PS. Love the booklet pointing to the only way of Salvation: Jesus Christ the Righteous!
I bought the medium tobacco water bag as luggage for the back of my sidecar rig. It fits the rack really well, straps down nice, keeps the dust out, and looks good. Most of the luggage that I looked at just didn't look right for this application and I figure that if leather is good enough to protect me it is good enough to protect my stuff.
I couldn't find my roll around bag for a trip to Europe a few weeks ago so I grabbed the water bag. My wife said it would be too heavy and wouldn't carry enough. I'm smart enough to know not to say that she was wrong. Most of what I needed fit in the messenger bag that I use and the little that I did put in the water bag was her extra stuff. The bag rolled up pretty small and it fit in the overhead compartment just fine.
We have a deal when we travel: a winery for her, a battlefield or cemetery for me. For the return trip I checked the water bag with all of our dirty clothes and 8 bottles of champagne and was still under the 23 kilo limit. Despite a few more "character marks" on the bags from handling the wine made it without a problem because of the protection of the leather. Going through customs the only comment that was made was "nice looking bag, welcome back to the US".
BTW, if you travel to where there is a US military cemetery try to stop and pay your respects. One of them that I visited a couple of years ago had only two US signatures in the guest book in the previous 12 months. You will be rightly humbled by the experience.
My 8th purchase from Saddleback, got my large chestnut waterbag off of Dave's Deals.
Beautiful patterns and wrinkles with couple of scar marks that gave lots of character and uniqueness, right off the bat.
Definitely a conversational piece.
Love the quality of the piece so much, I ordered a large chestnut suitcase to match as my travel set.
The only con, it is bit heavy.
The other reviews mention two liners, one small and one tall which are 4 sided.
Mine came with only one, that has support on 2 sides. They must have changed the configuration. Anyways the liner works well, as it reduces the overall weight.
Highly recommend this bag for its form and function.