Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review: The Leather Satchel Co.

I got my bag a few days ago and I love it!  Here's the full story:

I had wanted a leather satchel after stumbling upon an image of one by chance (namely, the neon line).  I first stumbled upon the Cambridge Satchel Company and later discovered the Leather Satchel Co. on Amazon while searching for more satchels (I had been in the market for a very, very long time, haha*).  I'm not quite sure which company came first or anything, but since the Leather Satchel Co. had the neon colors that I wanted at a cheaper price I went with them.  (They also offered a guarantee, something that I did not see with the Cambridge, though I didn't necessarily look around for it so I may be wrong).

*I should say, I had been looking around at/for satchels for MONTHS.  I compared the Leather Satchel to the Cambridge to random stuff on ebay and spent months trying to decide what to do because I am indecisive and spineless.

The Leather Satchel Co. sells bags on Amazon but since I wanted a few customizations I worked with them through their site.  I will say, they were always very polite and helpful (even after I sent countless annoying emails full of questions) and answered all my questions fully.

I did run into two problems:

1. Their website seems a bit disorganized.  There are really no links on the first page so I had to do a google search to find the many pages they had up (that were full of pictures and information).  The website itself is great, very detailed and clear, I just wish it were all linked together a bit better!

2. As said, their customer service reps are awesome, but there was a bit of a time wait between emails.  I did have some issue when I had confirmed that I wanted a bag but nothing was sent to me (no invoice or confirmation) for a couple of weeks after that until I sent an email.  So, things may be a bit slow on the email front, but they were very nice.

3. There seems to be a few/quite a few loose thread ends but the stitching itself seems pretty secure.  I guess I'll have to wait and see on this one but I do have the guarantee. 

The bag shipped to me very quickly too!  I did pay for shipping since it came from the UK but on Amazon the bag ships free (though without customizations).  I was really surprised to get it when I did.

My first response upon opening the packaging: "OH HOLY FUCK" (in a good way, it was awesome!).
The bag is crazy, ridiculous bright!  I was a bit worried that it would be a watered down kind of neon but hell no, it is shocking bright.  As they said, pictures do not do it justice, it is really, really bright.

Another surprise: the leather is really nice too!  I had read some reviews on the Cambridge satchels and some said they found the leather rather stiff at first, which I have not found to be of issue.  The leather holds its shape very well, but I have found it to be nice and soft.  This was (after the color) my biggest concern since I really don't like stiff, hard leather but I really like this and I am a sucker for nice, soft leather.

I got the 15 inch because I like to carry a lot of crap around with me and it all fits really well.  I will say that I kind of imagine the smaller ones looking a bit more "stylish" (at least, or especially, for the neon colors) but I'm happy with the size myself.

As for customizations, I got a handle on the top and magnet closures instead of the buckles.  I had read a review (for the Cambridge, I believe, but w/e) that the buckles can be a pain if you want quick access to stuff which is something I need, and the handle is really convenient too.  

When I wore it out to the mall I got tons of compliments, with people literally stopping me to tell me they liked it, to ask where I got it, and to remark on how eye searingly (in a good way) bright the color is.  I can't recall the last time any accessory of mine got this much attention.

So I will say, if you are considering getting one of these, go for it.  I do think it is totally worth it. 

As to how this compares with the Cambridge company, I can't say as I've never touched any of those satchels, but I am very happy with what I have.  If I were richer I'd buy a bunch in different colors but my Western style "poverty" won't let me.

*Note: I wasn't paid for this, I bought it with my own hard earned money.  It cost about $175 or so (for the bag plus customizations and shipping).

UPDATE:  I took some more pictures, and I plan on putting more up as well after this:

 The one above was taken in an aquarium, hence the darkness.  It looked really cool, especially in contrast to the blue and cool toned surroundings.

This is the satchel in natural light.  It is extremely bright.  Other than the red sweater I tried to stick with a dark and neutral clothing palette, the contrast works really well. 

Funny enough, one thing I'm really excited about is what little picture I want to put in the card/ID holder.  I don't just want my name or anything, I want a picture (a neat way to display art on the go, amirite?) but I want to find something that doesn't clash too much with the neon...we'll see!

 Some Issues That Have Arisen: 
It takes a while to give a really good review of things.  
One issue I noticed after I started to use it was that the area where it folds open is already starting to show some wear.  I really hope this doesn't become a major issue because this is something that is definitely worth sending the bag back (for repairs!) for.  I don't use it every single day but I noticed the wear starting after about a week.  I'm not sure how to feel about that.
Another "issue" although far less stressful is that of the little loose threads (of stitching) everywhere.  Not a big deal, but noticeable.  I also wish that the thread itself had been dyed the same color as the satchel as it would have created a more uniform appearance but again, not a big deal.  
There is also some grime/discoloration/I'm not sure in one area of the bag (the upper part of the back) that didn't seem to go after even after cleaning.  I cleaned the bag today and most dirty spots wiped away easily but that area didn't, I'm not sure why.  I will clean it up more soon and report back.  
 Here is a picture of some of the wear that I'm talking about (along with one of those loose threads). 


  1. I love this review! I've been hemming and hawing over getting a satchel from them for a while, so having an account that actually covers problems and little details instead of the standard "oh my god the wrapping is so cute" seriously helps. :D

  2. Hey, I probably commented wrong but thanks so much for the reply, I'm glad you liked it and I hope it's helpful! :D

    1. It really is! I've ordered a custom one from them in chocolate brown x vintage champagne, hopefully I get it by February. :D