Saddleback Briefcases are top of the line, but they're not for everybody

A Saddleback Briefcase is a classic among leather items. Their design is so popular, durable, and attractive, that several other companies offer imitation pieces. Saddleback Leather uses only full-grain boot leather in their products, which carry a 100-year warranty. Saddleback’s motto is, “They’ll fight over it when you’re dead,” which should give you an idea of how special these bags are. The people who make and sell these bags are passionate about them. They’ve created a whole community of bag-loving people, who seem to revel in the old-timey atmosphere of a good leather bag.

They Aren't Cheap

The first things you should realize if you’re thinking about getting yourself a Saddleback Briefcase is that it’s an investment. It’s not like going to the store and spending sixty bucks for a generic backpack; you’re going to spend about $500 or more for the classic Saddleback Briefcase. But like I said, it’s an investment. This bag should last you the rest of your natural life. You’re not supposed to ever buy another briefcase again.

It's a Backpack, Too

One of the tricks for which the Saddleback Briefcase is famous is the ability to quickly transform your briefcase into a backpack, so that instead of carrying it over one shoulder like a messenger bag, you can slip it through both arms the strap and carry it on your shoulders like a backpack. This is a neat little trick that they accomplish using many steel rings attached to the bag.


But nobody’s perfect, and neither is any bag. The most common complaint about Saddleback Briefcases is their weight. Because they’re made with such heavy-duty materials, including lots of thick leather, they weigh in at 6.5 to 8 pounds per bag, depending on the size. Now, that might not sound like that much, but keep in mind this is just the weight of the bag itself; whatever you put inside is going to increase the weight further. Throw in a laptop, power cord, mouse, maybe a few books, a bottle of water—and now you’re carrying around a dozen pounds on your shoulder. And though twelve pounds might not sound like much, it adds up over time!

So keep weight and size in mind. If you’re a smaller person, buy a smaller bag; if you’re especially petite, you might want to look into some of Saddleback’s other bag types. In addition to the classic briefcase, they also have a thin briefcase, satchels, a tote, a messenger bag, and a duffel bag. The satchels and messenger bag are probably your best bet if you’re looking for a lightweight alternative.

A Downside...Or Is It?

Another complaint that customers sometimes make about their Saddleback Briefcase is that it acquires scratches after use. This is true, but if you ask a leather aficionado about this, they’ll tell you that it’s actually one of full-grain leather’s best qualities. They refer to the process of a leather bag acquiring new scuffs and scratches as “breaking it in.” These marks add character and uniqueness to the bag. In time, they might become one of your favorite qualities of the bag.

So, while they're not for everybody, a Saddleback Briefcase can end up being one of your most beloved possessions. It’s heavy and expensive, but it’s tough; it has attitude. It’s the kind of bag Indiana Jones might wear.