The perfect black leather messenger bag for a geek with sensitive skin
September 17, 2013 10:06 PM Subscribe
So I found this black leather messenger bag
, and it meets my needs in just about every way...but I'm wondering whether I can find a better one in this vein for a similar price.
posted by limeonaire to shopping (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here's what I want in a black leather messenger bag:
1. It's basically this exact size, shape, and style (though slightly thicker wouldn't be bad) and has at least this many pockets in roughly these sizes, so it can fit a 13-inch MacBook along with other items as needed, but on most days would just serve as my go bag/purse, sans laptop. It is all black—if there is a colorful logo, it must be removable. It must have a shoulder strap. Having a small zipped pocket inside the flap would be a nice bonus.
2. It has black leather that has been tanned using a formaldehyde-free process, as I'm allergic to formaldehyde and will be covered in hives if I'm exposed to formaldehyde resin or off-gassing on a daily basis. That's one place this bag falls down—the seller was unable to tell me how the leather was tanned. As long as I'm making a wish list, I guess, my ideal leather would not be tanned or colored using heavy metals, carcinogenic dyes, or endocrine-disrupting polymers. (Is it possible to get black leather without some of those things?) Maybe "organic leather" is what I mean.
3. The top flap closes with metal snaps, or if that's not possible, with metal side-release buckles—not magnets, Velcro, plastic side-release buckles, or belt-style metal buckles—over a zipper that ensures my stuff doesn't fall out. This is where both my current bag and the linked bag fall down: My current bag has a flap that uses Velcro (which is coming off/no longer sticking), with no zipper underneath to keep things in, and the linked bag uses magnets rather than snaps on the flap. (I don't want a magnet closure because I'm sick of things getting magnetized—my entire keychain is magnetized right now because I kept a magnetic pen on it for several years—and I don't want to worry about my credit cards getting demagnetized either.) If I bought the linked bag, I would want to have it altered to remove the magnets.
4. It has silver-colored hardware, preferably stainless steel, that won't poison me or irritate my skin. I'd like it to be lead-free, and if I'm really wishing, it wouldn't be primarily composed of zinc or contain hexavalent chromium or other heavy metals, either. I'm not a big fan of aluminum for this sort of application because it tends to be flimsy, wear poorly, and be prone to eventual breakage.
5. It has no plastic hardware, or if it must have some, the plastic is limited to the strap resizer bar and/or zippers (though metal zippers would be sturdier/cooler).
6. It's as light as possible, given the fact that it's leather and has metal hardware, while still adequately protecting my laptop. Some small amount of padding would be nice.
7. It costs $100 or less.
Does such a bag exist, or should I give up and take my chances with this bag (which, with shipping and alterations, would end up around that price)? Or is there an equally sleek bag you could recommend made of, say, nylon that would meet all of my other qualifications? Alternately, if such a bag doesn't yet exist, is there someone out there who could make it for me?
This is truly what I want, so thank you in advance for any recommendations or directions you can point me in!