Of Murse And Men: Saddleback Large Leather Classic Briefcase v. Medium Thin Briefcase

We’ve had a few good months at the firm, so the partners decided to get new briefcases. As a result, Leo is going to do a comprehensive post on Lawyerist next week about briefcases.

Until then, here are some musings about my briefcases…

Last year you might remember that I got a large Saddleback classic coffee brown briefcase. I originally got a medium but returned it for a large after a buddy of mine said it looks like a murse.

Apparently I am not the only one who had this issue (no, I did not make this video):

Given that I am about 5’5, the medium sounded like the best fit from the FAQ. However, my 13 inch Macbook Pro barely fit in the medium bag, let alone legal sized red wells. The medium went back and I exchanged it for a large. The large looks much more proportional in my opinion, even on a short guy like me.

About a year later, I have beaten the heck out of the classic briefcase. I use it on the weekends as a backpack, and as overnight bag. It’s my “If I have to go somewhere and bring a bunch of stuff with me, but I only want to bring one bag”, the classic briefcase is that bag.

But is the classic briefcase the best for everyday use, especially in an urban environment? Not always.

There are many times when I’m just carrying a Macbook, an iPad, a yPad, some pens, and that’s about it. On those days, I yearned for a smaller bag that fits better on the subway or a crowded courtroom. As a result, I decided to pick up a Saddleback medium thin briefcase for more of an everyday carry. Here are the bags compared:

Photo on 8-19-13 at 3.26 PM

Medium thin briefcase in chestnut. Yeah, I always look pissed.

Photo on 8-15-13 at 11.01 AM

Large classic briefcase in coffee brown worn by a short fat guy

Verdict? There are many days when having the classic briefcase is a boon. Especially when I need to shove several files and books into my bag and lug them somewhere. But on days where I’m running around the city only carrying a few small things, the classic briefcase is heavy and impractical.

Here is how they compare:

Briefcases 1

Briefcases 2

This is my opinion…

If you want something close to a trial bag, go with the large classic briefcase. You’ll always have enough space for all the stuff you need to lug around, and it looks way better than those stupid rolling ones. It can double as an everyday carry, a weekend bag, or a bag you’ll fly with. Traveling with this bag is great because you can carry it on airplanes and it fits under the seat even when it’s stuffed to the brim. But, it can be big and cumbersome at times. Sometimes it’s more like carrying a gym bag than a briefcase.

If you are concerned that the large classic is too big, go with the medium thin briefcase. It’s about the same size dimension wise as the classic briefcase but much thinner. The classic is about 9” while the thin is about 4”. The thin is much better for traveling on the subway or running around town. It’s perfect for day to day carry if you’re only bringing a laptop and some pads. However, it won’t hold red wells or anymore than a few books.

Next week Leo will have more on men’s briefcases. I won’t spoil it, but you’ll be surprised to learn he didn’t go Saddleback this time around.

9 Responses to Of Murse And Men: Saddleback Large Leather Classic Briefcase v. Medium Thin Briefcase

  1. Leo M. Mulvihill, Jr. says:

    Stop dropping the hard clunky hardware from those bags on our delicate conference table. Philistine.

  2. I do not like the murse, but do not see these as murses.

    • It’s a joke from a few months ago. The medium classic briefcase looked like a murse. I posted pictures of it and everyone made fun of me, then I sent it back.

      Joking aside, the problem is the medium classic briefcase didn’t fit redwells or anything 15 inches in it. That wasn’t functional enough for me. The large is the right side for throwing in all kinds of redwells, books, etc. The point of getting a briefcase that big was to be able to lug around a mobile office if need be.

      The thin briefcase and a classic is the best of both worlds. The thin is more functional for day to day, while the classic is a great trial bag.

  3. What is a murse please? I’ve been in leathergoods for forty years and I’ve never heard of this.

  4. Rachel says:

    Sounds awesome. Love the article!

  5. Anonymous says:

    if anything, i think your thin medium briefcase looks more like a murse than a medium classic briefcase….

    it’s very dainty, it suits you πŸ™‚

  6. Sam says:

    I prefer a medium bag that is not too bulky but functional. I think the Von Baer Magnate Modern Brief Case https://vonbaerbags.com/shop/von-baer-magnate-modern-briefcase/ would suit you.

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