Bohemian Traders Leather Bags Review

Gear bags are a passion with me. I’m always on the look out for something better than what I am currently using. For me, “better” tends to mean a combination of functionality and style. I don’t want to carry the same boring bag that everyone else does, I like to be different. So, I was pretty excited when I happened upon the Bohemian Traders website.

This company offers 4 different leather bags made in Europe, that have old world style and craftsmanship. They were kind enough to send me 3 of their current offerings for review:
the Plumber’s Bag, Prague School Bag and Gamekeeper’s Bag. Let’s take a detailed look at each one.

Plumber’s Bag

Traditionally used by plumbers in Prague, Czech Republic to carry their tools, this all leather cowhide bag has a lot going for it. It is available only in natural un-dyed leather, and in two sizes: letter and legal. The letter size is 14 1/2″L x 6″W x 11″H, and the legal size is 16 1/2″L x 6″W x 11″H.

I was sent the legal sized bag, which easily fit my 15″ aluminum G4 Apple PowerBook with tons of room to spare. If you are considering in this bag for a notebook computer, you will want to put your notebook in some type of protective sleeve though, as this bag is not padded at all.


The interior of the Plumber’s bag is comprised of one large cavity with a thin flat pocket on the back wall of the bag. The pocket is plenty big enough to hold standard sized and
even large format magazines, folders, papers etc.

On the outside of this pocket is a small (7″ x 4.5″) light weight leather pouch with two snaps. This pouch is large enough to store small items such as memory cards, adapters, PDAs, etc.


I really wish the main compartment was divided into at least 2 sections. Just having one big compartment means all your stuff will just lay in a jumble at the bottom of the bag.

The exterior of the bag is simple, which I like. There are no logos, branding, or print of any kind on the outside of the bag. Actually, the only print at all is a Made in Czech stamp on the inside of the flap. A double leather handle that can lay flat against the top flap is located at the top of the bag. A steel band is sewn into the area under the flap. This band helps the bag retain its shape even under heavy use. Although I would prefer a rolled leather handle, I found this handle to be relatively comfortable even when carrying a fully loaded bag. By the way, this bag weighs 3lbs when empty.

The flap is held closed with two buckled straps which are easy to manage. The buckles are rugged, and the straps are flexible enough to allow you to quickly open the bag without wrestling with it.

The shoulder strap is removable, and adjustable. It’s not very long though. If you look
at the picture of me wearing the bag, the strap is at the next to last setting. Only approximately 4 more inches can be added to that length. While the strap is not padded, it is pretty comfortable. The only thing that I don’t like about it, is that it is kind of squeaky. That’s probably due to the fact that the bag is so new
though.

If you are looking for a very rugged, roomy all leather gear bag, this one will definitely fit the bill. At only around $100, it’s a steal!

Price: $99.00 (letter size), $109.00 (legal size)

Pros:
Rugged style
Roomy
Great price

Cons:
Only one main compartment
Not padded

Prague School Bag

Like the Plumber’s bag, the Prague School bag is made of rugged 2.5mm cowhide. Available in one size (14″L x 4″W x 11″H) and in both natural and earth tone, I was sent the natural version.

This bag is smaller than the Plumber’s bag, and as such, makes a better gear bag
than a notebook bag.


The interior has only one main compartment. There are no other pockets located inside or outside of the bag. I think the bag would be much nicer if the main cavity was
divided into two sections.


The flap is held closed with one large buckle, and has a nice handle on the top. Like the Plumber’s bag, it also has a steel band sewn into the opposite side of the flap. The unpadded, adjustable, and removable shoulder strap wraps around the underside of the bag which helps to distribute the weight when carrying it fully loaded.

I like this bag best of the three reviewed, due to its size. It also makes a nice little laptop bag for my Fujitsu Lifebook.

Price: $79.00 (natural), $89.00 (earth tone)

Pros:
Rugged style
Great price

Cons:
Only one main compartment
Not padded

Gameskeeper’s Bag

This bag is the most unique of the three bags reviewed here. It’s name and style conjures images of fur wearing hunters
from days gone by… or, it reminds you of a tootsie roll. It’s a toss up ;o)


Like the Plumber’s bag and Prague School bag, this bag is made of rugged 2.5mm cowhide. Available in one size (15 1/2″L x 7 1/4″W x 10 1/4″) and in both natural and earth tone, I was sent the earth tone version, which has a shinier finish than the natural leather
version.


The interior of this bag has one flat pocket on the back wall. This pocket can hold a standard sized magazine, folders or papers. The rest of the interior is just one large open compartment. Again, I would really prefer that there be at least one divider.
There are also two flaps on either side of the top edges. These flaps kind of
get in the way when you’re trying to insert or remove an object.

This bag shares the same characteristics of the other bags, it has a steel band reinforced buckled flap (2 buckles) and a adjustable / removable shoulder strap.
I think the Gameskeeper’s bag looks a little more feminine than the other
Bohemian Traders bags, and  would work well as a large purse.

The only problem I had with it was that the bottom is rounded, which caused it
to be a little tipsy on a flat surface.

Price: $119.00

Pros:
Rugged style
Great price

Cons:
Only one main compartment
Not padded
 

All three of these bags are made to last a lifetime. The leather is thick and rugged and will
only look better with age. Especially the natural leather bags, which will get a beautiful patina with time. If you are looking for a gear bag that doesn’t look like everyone else’s, these will definitely do the trick.

 

Product Information

Price:119.0
Manufacturer:Bohemian Traders
Pros:
  • Rugged style
  • Great price
Cons:
  • Only one main compartment
  • Not padded
  •  
  • All three of these bags are made to last a lifetime. The leather is thick and rugged and will
  • only look better with age. Especially the natural leather bags, which will get a beautiful patina with time. If you are looking for a gear bag that doesn't look like everyone else's, these will definitely do the trick.
Posted in: Gear, Laptops and Gear

16 comments… add one

  • Julie April 20, 2004, 2:46 am

    Post your comments here on the Bohemian Traders Leather Bags Review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/bohemian-traders-leatherbags-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • BBB April 20, 2004, 6:35 pm

    Julie:

    I have a very similar bag I bought in Germany over 20 years ago. I use it daily, and it is still in amazing shape.

    To overcome the lack of a divider inslde, I bought a kind of organizer panel from Eagle Creek. It was a stiff divider covered with nylon, with a slash pocket in the back, and loads of pockets and pouches on the front for pens, phone, PDA, etc.

    It makes (made) a perfect divider. Unfortunately, I just checked the Eagle Creek web site for the name of the product, and couldn’t find it–I hope it hasn’t been discontinued, because it is ideal for a European schoolbag like the Bohemian.

    I did still find Eagle Creek’s padded computer inserts, which I also use in the bag.

    this sort of modular approach, where one can remore the inside dividers if there is a big load to carry, has its advantages.

    –Bruce

  • kolkron September 28, 2004, 1:58 am

    bought the smaller of the two plumbers bags back in june of this year. since i was an over the road truck driver it didnt get much use except to haul dirty laundry from my cab to the truckstop drivers washroom.

    that all changed this fall which i enrolled in 13hrs, 4 classes and TONS of textbooks. frankely i thought this bag wouldnt be able to handle real world use (and unintentional abuse) that my old timbuk2 messenger bag took without so much as a nylon thread out of place.

    but whoa! what a surprise! this bag easliy handles my thick diff. eq. text plus my massive chemistry book. since it only has only one opening it’s released me from the unconscious affliction of “what pocket did i put (blank) in?” or “okay, this pocket on the left is for—, and one on the right is — ”

    even heavily loaded it is surprisingly comfortable. i sling it over my shoulder and i guess its that metal strip at the bottom, but the bag holds its rectangular shape and sets evenly across my back.

    ive only used it since aug. 28 (start of fall semester) and it already has a nice brown coloring to it and of course the bags uniqueness and the many complements i get from it is also nice. its kind of anachronistic i think to want and use a one opening leather bag with no pockets, buts its also satisfyingly simple or elemental if you guys get my drift.

  • Julie September 28, 2004, 2:14 am

    Kolkron:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences so far with the bag you purchased. Although I really like the rustic style of these bags, I ended up putting the ones I reviewed on eBay because they were just too heavy / bulky for me.

  • kolkron October 1, 2004, 12:04 am

    im curious did you get a good price for the bags you put up on ebay?

  • Julie October 1, 2004, 12:28 am

    kolkron:

    I don’t even remember now. We usually start items at half price. That’s probably what they sold for…

  • willis February 3, 2005, 4:39 am

    Bought one of the plumber’s bags based on this review and it’s a wonderful bargain. Is anyone aware of a similar product to the one BBB described above? Would dearly love to add some organizing features to the inside for PDA, ipod, assorted cables, batteries, etc.

  • mark October 22, 2009, 2:50 pm

    Looks like this company is no longer. If they are still making bags are they under a new name?

    Thank

  • Paulette Will March 23, 2010, 10:54 am

    Bohemian Traders still has a current inventory of the Czech Gamekeeper’s Bags. You can reach us at 612-870-8178 or e-mail us at pcwillova@earthlink.net or klimovicz@volny.cz.

    Paulette Will
    Ivan Klima

  • Interested February 9, 2011, 8:49 pm

    When I try the bohemian bags site I can’t see anything but links to other sites – nowhere to get these bags??

  • Michael October 26, 2013, 9:37 pm

    Hello,
    Nice bags!
    Is the company still in business?
    Where can I purchase these bags?
    Thanks,
    mj

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 26, 2013, 10:36 pm

      @Michael That company has long been out of business. That was a review from 9 years ago. You might try searching Etsy for leather bags. I’ve seen similarly looking bags there.

  • Michael October 30, 2013, 7:13 am

    Thank you Julie for the information. Actually, I have found great designs and good quality with the Belgium company Ruitertassen.
    Their bags have a continental classic look. You might as well like them.
    The link:
    http://www.full-grain.com/vintage-leather-satchel-bag.htm

  • Paulette Will or Ivana Klima December 12, 2014, 8:35 pm

    Bohemian Traders still has a limited supply of the genuine Czech leather Gamekeeper’s Bags in maroon and natural. Close out price of $88 plus $15 shipping and handling. Make check payable for $103 to Ivana Klima, 2816 35th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404 Call 612-8780-8178 for further information or e-mail pcwillova@earthlink.net or klimovicz@volny.cz We will ship anywhere in the US.

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