I need a sturdy flap-top briefcase or messenger bag for holding a 15" laptop, books, notepads, and small personal items. I am considering the
, but the prominent role of Bibles in the product demo videos on the Saddleback site is giving me pause. I'm also wondering if a similar price/quality ratio can't be found at a lower cost.
Up to and including what a Saddleback thin briefcase costs (~$500). I want to buy this once
Not nylon; prefer leather or a durable, high-quality, waterproof, easy-to-clean, natural cloth (example 1
, example 2
No bold nylon colors; preferably a dark brown, black, grey, etc.
Look & Feel:
The bag should not give the impression that I wear a suit at work (e.g., not this
). But it should look sturdy, well-made, and relatively subdued and professional.
I prefer real buckles to magnetic clasps. I want a comfortable handle in addition to a good shoulder strap. The handle should be comfortable and well-balanced. I find that a flat handle quickly becomes uncomfortable. A quick-access side pocket is a nice bonus.
I see a wide range of bags on department store websites, on Zappos, and on luggage sites. There is now also a ton of Saddleback knockoffs on Amazon (example
) — I assume they're optimized for their resemblance to Saddleback products in photos, rather than for quality. I am generally unable to inspect bags in person,
since the stores near me don't carry more than a few.
Help me choose the right bag the first time. This bag
is the runner-up so far, but I dislike the magnetic clasp and cloth shoulder strap. This knockoff
also looks pretty good, but I don't know anything about it except that it's a Chinese-made Saddleback knockoff.