Finding a great leather business bag can be a difficult task if you don’t know exactly what to look for. There are so many styles and manufacturers of leather business bag that it’s easy to get confused. The fact is there are just a few important features to be aware of when selecting one, the least of which is style. Let’s go through what constitutes a great leather business bag.
The first thing to be aware of is that not all leather is created equal, in fact there are three main grades of leather, each with it’s own advantages and cost level. Let’s look at these.
Picture if you will the hide of the animal from the side, this hide can be split in two, the bottom ½ and the top ½. The bottom is called split grain, the top is called top grain and the full, un-split hide is called full grain.
- Split grain is the bottom half of the hide, it’s quite inexpensive and has a false hide pattern stamped on it. It’s thin but it is still leather. A leather business bag made of split grain will be relatively inexpensive.
- Next up is top grain. This is the top of the hide with the natural hide pattern on it. It’s still thin but costs a bit more.
- Finally there is full grain. The full hide of the animal is used. It’s thick, strong and expensive. A leather business bag of full grain leather can, and will be, expensive.
Leather, no matter what grain will either be natural or finished. I really wont go too much into this since the finish is more personal taste. Unfinished leather needs to be taken car of though but will, over time, develop a natural patina that is quite attractive. Hartman products are the best examples of this.
After you decide on the leather type and finish you’ll need to look at the construction. There should, without a doubt be double stitching throughout. The strap and handles should also be double stitched and riveted too. The clips and zippers should be of good quality also. Look for YKK hardware; it’s the best you’ll find on leather business bags.
Look at how the bag closes, as well as outside pockets. Many times people think their leather business bag will keep everything dry inside if it rains. The only way this will happen is if the bag not only has a zippered top, but a fold over panel. Outside pockets should also close tightly and securely, especially if you’ll be carrying your cell phone or mp3 player there.
A good quality leather business bag should have interior organization and some exterior pockets too. There’s nothing more annoying than fishing around inside your bag for something that you need right now, especially in the dark.
No matter what leather business bag you get be prepared to care for the leather with proper cleaning to get years of use from it.
The gussets, or side of the leather business bag should be able to expand by a significant amount, not just an inch or so. You’ll appreciate this when you have to carry lots of stuff around.
There should absolutely be a liner inside. A liner will not only protect the leather from anything you put in the bag but also protect your belongings in case the leather bleeds, especially if it gets wet.
If you intend to carry a laptop in the leather business bag make sure there is some cushioning or even a separate compartment for this, and of course, pay even greater attention to how the bag closes to prevent leakage in the rain.
So, to summarize. Look for full or at least top grain leather, YKK zippers, secure closing main compartment and pockets and a quality liner. There should be double stitching throughout and, if the bag is made of unfinished leather make sure there are ‘feet’ on the bottom. For laptop stowage look for cushioning and secure closure.
Filed Under: Clothes and Personal Items