Leather Backpacks – Best Picks 2017

a few months ago

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Why Buy a Leather Backpack?

Do you like products that last for a long time, perhaps even for life? If not, then these reviews are perhaps not for you. Good quality leather is an outstanding material when it comes to longevity in bags and other products.

We have choosen to only review backpacks of high quality here. This is partly because we think that choosing to buy stuff that will  serve you for a long time is good for maintaining the resources of the planet, but also because they are classy and beautiful.

We hope you will find a backpack that suits your needs and wishes here. If there is a bag you think we should take a closer look at and perhaps include, please leave a comment below. Thank you!

More...

Read on, or jump to the bag you want to look at the most by clicking on it in the quick navigation below.

Quick Comparison Table Leather Backpacks

Bag (Click on name for price and availability on Saddleback and Amazon)Size (exterior)WeightWarrantyHolds laptop size up to
Fossil Men's Estate Leather Backpack11.5"L x 5"W x 17.5"H2.15 lbs.1 Year Limited15"
Tumi Alpha Bravo Knox Leather Backpack11.5"D x 14"W x 16"H3.5 lbs.Five Years with First Year Worry Free15"
Squared Backpack from Saddleback Leather12” W x 17” H x 7” D8.5 lbs.100 Years Limited13"+17"
Simple Medium Backpack from Saddleback Leather12” W x 15” H x 7 ½” D4.8 lbs.100 Years Limited15"
Simple Large Backpack from Saddleback Leather12 ¾” W x 17 ¼” H x 7 ½” D5.3 lbs.100 Years Limited17"

Fossil Men's Estate Leather Backpack


  • Exterior​: 11.5"L x 5"W x 17.5"H
  • Weight: 2.15 lbs

Warranty: 1 Year Limited

In a hurry? Go check it out at Amazon straight away for today's price and availability!

  • Made with top grain leather
  • Interior lining 100% cotton twill
  • One padded slip pocket that holds up to a 15" laptop
  • Two smaller slip pockets, one zippered pocket and three pen holders inside
  • One zippered pocket on front of bag
  • Padded and adjustable shoulder straps with mesh on the inside
  • One leather top handle
  • Mesh lining on back of bag (makes it breathable so you don't get all sweaty on your back on a warm day)
  • Nylon zippers that run smoothly

This video is not a description of the backpack, but we think it's quite fun 🙂 Although we definitely believe you are just as classy with the backpack as with the briefcase!

If you like, you can click here to go directly to Amazon and read the reviews!

Conclusion

The more items we ​review from Fossil the happier we get. In our opinion they deliver high quailty and well designed products. This backpack is no exception. This is how one user describes it: "Every aspect of the materials and build are very clearly excellent quality"

Who is it for? The size makes it a perfect daypack, or perhaps your personal item on your flight. It fits men and women equally well (we are not happy with trying to separate what's suitable for men from what's suitable for women, if you like it you like it. And there are small men and tall women).

The only negative review we have encountered had no more than two words to share: Too large​. Oh well.

The leather is of good quality, and will age nicely. Our only problem with this bag is the 1-year warranty. When providing this high quality products, why go low on the warranty? We don't understand that.

All in all though, we are happy to recommend the Fossil Estate Leather Backpack!

Tumi Luggage Alpha Bravo Knox Leather Backpack


  • Exterior​: 11.5"D x 14"W x 16"H
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs

Warranty: Five Years with First Year Worry Free

No time for reading the full review now? Click here to go directly to Amazon for latest price and any available discount.

  • "Reimagined" in leather from the bestselling Alpha Bravo Knox backpack from Tumi.
  • Polyester lining.
  • Two zippered main compartments
  • 15" laptop compartment
  • Also iPad pocket!
  • Interior: 2 media pockets, 2 card holders, 1 zippered pocket, 1 slip pocket, 1 pen holder and a key strap.
  • 2 zippered front pockets
  • 2 zippered side pockets, one has scratch free lining.
  • A pocket at the back with a hidden magnetic snap, for the stuff you need to get to quickly.
  • Padded and adjustable shoulder straps with mesh on the inside.
  • Meshed and padded back of backpack for a cool and comfortable carrier experience (less sweat on a warm day)
  • Webbing top handle with padded peather details.
  • Available in Dark Brown and Dusk Blue.

Conclusion

​The warranty from Tumi with the First Year Worry Free means that during the first year after your purchase they will repair or replace your bag if it's damaged from normal wear and tear or during transit. Thumbs up for that! The next four years the warranty covers defects in material and craftsmanship.

So, is this a backpack for everyone? Actually, we think it is! Perhaps with the exception for a business person who wants to look VERY strict! Then maybe a briefcase is a better choice.

The one negative review we've found had a problem with the seam at the base of the top handle loosening. However, this was of course covered by the warranty.

Apart from that, nothing but happy users in every review we've encountered. If you like the look of the Tumi Alpha Bravo Knox Leather backpack, don't hesitate buying!

Squared Backpack from Saddleback Leather


  • Exterior​ size: 12” W x 17” H x 7” D
  • Interior size: 11 ¾” W x 16 ¾” H x 6 ¾” D
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs

Warranty: 100 years (yes, it's true!)

A few words about Saddleback Leather...

There are some things you need to know about this company and their products. It all started when Dave, founder and owner, wanted a leather briefcase so well made that "my grandkids would fight over it while I was still warm in the grave". He got one. And the rest is history, as the saying goes.

The hides used by the company all come from cattle raised in North America​ for their meat as well as their hides.

When manufacturing the bags they have a few fundamental principles: use as few leather pieces as possible, have no breakable parts on the bags, and use the best leather quality possible, full grain. When stitching pieces of leather a marine-grade polyester thread is used.  This is the kind of thread used for ship sails.

Altogether this results in products of extreme quality, but perhaps not for everyone. They do carry some weight, and needs breaking in before they get soft and flexible.

If you can live with that, you have a friend for life.

SaddlebackLeather

This video is one of a whole bunch they have made about their bags and their thinking. You can find the rest of them on the Saddleback site.

Alright then, let's take a look at their backpacks, starting with the already introduced Squared Backpack! (If you want to go check it out on the Saddleback site right away, just click on the picture below!)


  • Inspired by our Original Backpack
  • Pigskin suede lining
  • Comfortable, padded, rounded lower back edge
  • Exterior pockets have pockets behind them to tuck in oversized items
  • Comfortable shoulder straps that evenly distribute weight
  • Currently shipping with strap design seen in photos on site; video shows discontinued strap style
  • Large flat front pocket fits 13" Macbook Pro
  • Main compartment holds up to 17" laptop
  • Open interior (no divider) for maximum storage capacity
  • Extra D-Rings for lashing tripods and blankets to outside of pack
  • No breakable parts, e.g. zippers, snaps, buttons, etc.
  • Because of natural oils shade may vary
  • Available in: Tobacco, Dark Coffee Brown, Chestnut, Black, Walnut

Look at the video for a colorful presentation by Dave himself 🙂

If you like, go check the Squared Backpack out right away by clicking here.

Conclusion

​We have looked especially for the negative user reviews, because we want to give a true picture of what people think about this backpack. Admittedly, the negativities are scarce. Out of the 69 reviews we've found, only two have given a one star rating (first it looked like four users, but three of them turned out to be the same buyer...), and they were dissatisfied with the weight and the fact that he or she could not buckle the side pocket when putting in an item one inch taller than the pocket.

The weight is what it is, only you can decide if it's a concern or not. About the side pocket issue, well, maybe that item should go in the main compartment instead?

The only two-star rater we found wanted the Saddleback company to replace for free the prong on the main buckle after it had gotten jammed in an overhead bin. The 100 years warranty is awesome, but it does not cover accidents happening to their bags. We're sorry, but there you are.

Apart from this, we have 64 very enthusiastic users out there who have rated their purchase with four or five stars. We feel confident saying this bag is a safe investment. ​


Simple Backpack from Saddleback Leather


Medium Size

  • Exterior​: 12” W x 15” H x 7 ½” D
  • Interior: 11" W x 14 ¾" H (adjustable) x 7" D
  • Weight: 4.8 lbs

Large Size

  • Exterior: 12 ¾” W x 17 ¼” H x 7 ½” D
  • Interior: 11 ¾" W x 17" H (adjustable) x 7" D
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs

Warranty: 100 years (yes, it's true!)

In a hurry? Then click here to check out the Simple Backpack on the Saddleback site at once.


  • Pigskin suede lining
  • Simple and strong lighter-weight design perfect bucket bag to carry it all
  • Removable utility strap to close bag tightly under the flap
  • Two exterior side pockets to separate the small stuff
  • Open pocket behind exterior pockets for poles, maps, or an umbrella
  • Flat ergonomic shoulder straps help with weight distribution.
  • Adjustable shoulder straps from both ends, won't dig into your ribcage or love handles
  • Wide main flap keeps rain and dirt out
  • Neoprene lower back padding for extra comfort
  • Body of bag made with only two pieces of leather
  • No breakable parts, e.g. zippers, snaps, buttons, etc.
  • Because of natural oils shade may vary
  • Available in: Tobacco, Dark Coffee Brown, Chestnut, Black, Walnut

Conclusion

​Like with the Squared Backpack it's not easy to find negative opinions about this bag. Of the 74 user reviews we've read, 64 have rated the bag five stars, and six persons have awarded it four stars. That leaves us with four more or less negative judgements.

So, let's look at them! The single one-star rating was due to the user picturing the bag smaller than it actually was on delivery. One user considered it too epensive, and also experienced that "Straps will dig into the sides of your torso", and another one found it to be not as breathable at the back as wished for. However, this person is happy with the other 12 SBL products he or she owns 🙂

If this is the bag for you we truly cannot say, but we love it because of its outstanding quality and, yes, simple design. With the words of a completely happy user: "This backpack rocks, and there is nothing you can't do with it, and no place you can't take it. It works if you are backpacking to a new rock climbing spot or carrying your laptop to Starbucks to study."

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