What is the Best Leather Satchel?
A leather satchel is a bag made from tanned animal hide and classically carried in the hand, but is coming to increasingly be worn over the shoulder, with an adjustable strap. Satchels are typically closed at the top by a large overhanging flap. Satchels have been used for centuries and became a popular fashion accessory in England during the 17th Century. Traditionally, satchels have been used to carry light to moderately heavy items, such as papers, books, and small personal items. Today satchels are frequently used to carry laptop and tablet computers.
What are the Features of Leather Satchels:
Unlike the more common hard-sided briefcase, satchels have soft sides without any internal supports. The traditional English-style satchel is a functionally simple design that features a generous main pouch with a large front flap that closes over the top of the bag. The flap may be fastened buy a buckle, strap, tie or clasp. Some satchels have a zippered-style closure, but this is not a feature found on a traditional-style satchel.
Variations in satchel design include single and double interior pockets with some satchels having smaller pockets on the front, either under or on top of the main flap, or on one or both the ends of the bag. These smaller pockets are designed to carry various personal items such as makeup, snacks, keys, wallets, cell phones and bank cards. Each individual outside pocket will generally have a separate fastener, to keep the pocket closed. Shoulder straps are usually adjustable and may be removable. Some satchels, usually the women’s models, have handles added to the top of the bag, so it can be carried in the hand like a purse.
Leather satchels may be made from various types of animal hide, such as cow, pig, ostrich, and kangaroo. Satchels constructed from the more exotic leathers, like ostrich and kangaroo, are lighter in weight, because the leather is thinner, but are almost always more expensive than satchels made from traditional cowhide. Ostrich skin is a popular choice for the more expensive satchels, as ostrich leather is very lightweight, strong, durable and especially attractive. Satchels are also sometimes fabricated from leather made from wild animals, such as buckskin, or deer hide.
Who Would Use a Satchel?
Satchels are useful for anyone who has to regularly carry items for work, school or travel, but may not like the style or functionality of briefcases or backpacks. Satchels can be used as a book bag, messenger bag, as briefcases and computer bags. Satchels are highly popular with bike messengers, as well as those who commute to work or school by bicycle, because the adjustable shoulder straps makes a satchel easier to carry while riding.
Why Use a Satchel?
Satchels are roomy, but structured, and can hold everything a modern styled briefcase, backpack or large handbag can, but have a timeless elegance that more traditional bags lack. A satchel can hold everything you need for a day at work or school or a short trip, without it looking like you are permanently leaving town.
Best Brands of Leather Satchels
Phillip Lim, Akris, Alexander McQueen, Jason Wu, Jill Sander and Jimmy Cho are some of the top brands of satchels, sold by high-end retailers, and cost upwards of a $1,000. However, you don’t have to drain your bank account to buy a quality leather satchel as there are many excellent bags made by well-known manufactures, such as Samsonite, Tommy Hilfiger and Visconti, that can be had for a much more reasonable price, often for just a couple hundred dollars.
The Top 3 Leather Satchels
The Samsonite Colombian Leather Flapover Case measures 5.5 inches deep x 16.5 inches long x 12 inches high and weighs in at just a mere 3.9 pounds. The satchel is made from genuine cowhide and is hand washable. The Samsonite Flapover has an organizer under front the flap to holds business necessities, a rear compartment that offers plenty of room for papers, files and small books and the main compartment will hold a 15.6 inch laptop computer. The case has an adjustable, and removable, padded leather shoulder strap.
The Visconti Oiled Leather Messenger Shoulder Bag, model16071, has a beautiful distressed oiled-leather look and is made of genuine cowhide. The Visconti weighs in at only 2.1 pounds, measures 10.2 x 10.6 x 3.5 inches and comes in either brown or tan colors. The bag has an adjustable leather shoulder strap, a magnetic closure on the main front flap, an inside main zippered pocket, 2 inside slip pockets and zippered front and rear pockets. An inside middle pocket can hold a 10-inch netbook or tablet computer. The bag is lightweight and its strong seams and rugged zippers make the Visconti Oiled Leather Bag a versatile choice in a stylish satchel.
Leyden and Sons Leather Company Original Messenger Bag is designed to naturally wear to take on the distressed look of well broken-in shoe leather. The bag is 100 percent boot-grade leather, inside and out, having a plush suede interior and front flap linings. The bag is large, measuring 18 inches long x 6 inches deep x 13 inches high. The bag weighs in at 6 pounds 13 ounces and is able to accommodate a 16.5 inch laptop. A neat feature of this Leyden and Sons Bag is it easily converts to a backpack by a simple adjustment of the 20- to 28-inch contoured leather shoulder strap.