Admit it. You’ve seen the Saddleback Classic Leather Briefcase and thought to yourself “That is the coolest briefcase ever.” You want it, but you don’t know if you should shell out $600+ for it.
Well, I finally bit the bullet and got one a few months ago. Here are my musings, followed by the first YouTube video I’ve ever done for Philly Law Blog.
Why Saddleback: I am vicious on everything I own, Suits, ties, electronics, you name it. Anything I own I will destroy. Briefcases and bags in particular. I found myself buying a new bag every year because my old one was beat up so badly that it looked terrible. I wanted a bag that would age well, and that I could beat up without it looking stupid. I also wanted a bag big enough to carry my lawyer stuff if need be, like client files, etc. I was sick of buying new bags, because they are like $70 a piece and don’t look good after six months.
And let’s be honest – Saddleback bags look awesome. They combine rugged durability and style without even trying.
Selecting a Size: The medium bag is too small for a trial lawyer, in my opinion. I initially ordered the medium since I am about the height of an average hobbit. But when I received it, I was a bit disappointed. The proportions seemed off, and it didn’t look like the big rugged bag of awesome I was expecting. My wife remarked “That’s a lot going on for a small bag…”
Then, while out at dinner, my buddy looked at me and said “Dude… nice murse.”
At that point, I knew the medium was going back.
There is also a big practical problem with the medium briefcase for trial lawyers – it’s not big enough to fit a legal sized redwell. It’s barely big enough to hold my 13” MacBook Pro, and could not hold my Toshiba Satellite. I ended up returning the medium bag and going with a large. Here is a picture of the two bags side by side:
If you want something smaller, I would implore you to go with the thin briefcase or perhaps a satchel. Leo has the satchel in chestnut and it looks great. He carries around a lot less stuff than I do:
Color: I went with dark coffee brown. Reason? It’s fully waterproofed, and I want a bag that I’m not just going to use for lawyer stuff, but that I can also use when I go hiking or travel. Leo’s chestnut bag looks great, though. I’m not a fan of black or light tan bags. Your mileage may vary.
The good news – it fits under your seat on an airplane. I’ve taken mine on the plane without any issues, and kept it under my seat. I’ve used it as a travel bag, too. It fits just about anything you need, but it’s practical enough to be an everyday carry bag.
The bad news – it’s a bit heavy, especially if you’re a wussy. When I have it loaded up with client files, a laptop, an iPad, a bottle of liquor, and other stuff, yeah, it’s heavy. It’s a also a bit cumbersome. You won’t be able to wear it at your side in tight spaces like the aisle of an airplane.
My bag initially came with screw on clasps that held the shoulder strap on. They came undone at the weirdest times. It was a problem because I fill this bag to the brim, and if I drop it, there is a good chance it will take my Macbook Pro with it.
Saddleback was awesome about replacing the screw clasps with dogleash clasps. They sent me a self addressed stamped envelope. I mailed the strap back, they put on new clasps, and now I have a shoulder strap that won’t come off.
If you want a big bag, this is perfect. It’s beautiful, it ages well, and it’s big enough to carry all your lawyer stuff while still being practical. If you want a lighter carry but love the idea of Saddleback, consider getting a satchel or thin briefcase.
Personally, I love this thing. It’s one of the best things I own.
And now for the video!
In advance… I’m sorry for my Philly accent. It sounds terrible. I know. Shut up.
Update: My first video was terrible. Let’s try this again.