LederMann Bridle Leather Briefcase review

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Being a techie junky, I’m always on the lookout for a good satchel or briefcase-type bag to carry all of my gear.  I’m a computer technician, so something sturdy and roomy with lots of pockets is something I always need for work. I was given the chance to review the Bridle Leather Briefcase from LederMann recently, so I jumped at the chance. Does it meet my expectation for a nice quality satchel to carry my laptop and other trinkets in?  Let’s take a look! 

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.

When I first opened the box, I removed the large briefcase from the dust bag that it comes in.  Measurements of the bag are 16″W x 12″H x 6″D.

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At first, I didn’t really think that it was leather, as advertised – full grain bridle, buffalo skin leather, with thickness of leather used: 6oz – 7oz (2.6mm thickness). There is no distinct leather smell that I’m used to with my other bags.  There also is no leather feel, but a more plastic, waxy surface.  The outside of the bag is quite smooth, but not pliable.

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I do like the details of the bag.  The hardware fittings are black gun metal.  The stitching around the bag is heavy-duty nylon thread.  The inside of the bag is a striped polyester pattern, which I think is quite handsome.

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Gunmetal rivets.

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Buckles and strap hardware feel sturdy and heavy.

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Super sturdy, thick handle.

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I noticed that the inside part of the strap is suede, which rested well against my shoulder. There are plenty of pockets, as well as a key strap that is attached to the inside of the bag.

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The inside had tons of room for a 15″ laptop, iPad, and any other electronics and paperwork you might carry around everyday.

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When I lifted the bag I noticed how heavy it was!  I tried it on and realized how low it sat on my body.  I’m 5’4″, and the adjustment on the strap was at the shortest hole, and it was still not at a comfortable level for me to carry it.  This seems that the bag was meant for someone at least 5’8″ or taller.

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The shape of the bag is very sturdy, and the size of the bag is quite big. I was able to fit my Lenovo Thinkpad T400 with extended battery, along with all of my extra gear such as portable hard drive, wallet, CDs, and random smaller items.  After packing my work-day’s gear, the bag became extremely heavy.  It was so heavy that I didn’t enjoy walking from my car to the office!  It’s not practical for everyday use with all of my usual gadgets.  I normally carry a leather messenger bag with the exact same contents and don’t feel as much strain. Overall, my impression of this bag isn’t the best, simply because I’m not convinced it’s actually leather, although it’s advertised as such and has a “genuine leather” tag stitched inside.  It’s extremely heavy, which is a bit of a downer and just doesn’t have the leather smell, feel, or pliability of other sturdy leather bags I’ve owned.  Their website does advertise that it’s full grain bridle leather, made from buffalo skin.  Perhaps I’m just not used a bag made of this material.  The bag also was very good in the recent rain and bad weather we’ve had in New York.

The LederMann Bridle Leather Briefcase retails on their website for $369.00 USD.  They have free shipping to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, New Zealand, Poland, Taiwan and many other countries.

 

Product Information

Price:$369.00
Manufacturer:LederMann
Pros:
  • Very roomy
  • Sturdy build
  • Resistant to water
  • Stitched well
Cons:
  • Very heavy
  • Waxy feel
  • Not pliable
  • Expensive
Posted in: Bags, Reviews

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • RainyDayInterns June 17, 2013, 11:24 am

    The cons you have listed are the very reasons why we have stopped considering leather satchels/cases for everyday use. There is no denying that they look fantastic, are rugged, and makes for a nice contrast to the tech gear. However, the biggest downside for us is the weight. When the bag weighs more than the gear it carries, then something is amiss.

    Tom Bihn bags are still tops for us when using at the weight-to-performance ratio as a metric.

    1
  • Ian Lim June 17, 2013, 9:24 pm

    At one time I NEEDED to get a Saddleback Leather Medium briefcase :) Scrimped, saved and paid (including the not so nice shipping charges to Australia) . Lovely bit of leather kit but at 6.5 pounds (2.9 kg) empty had the same issue as you. It was just TOO heavy for everyday use even before you loaded it up with your EDC :(

    I note that the LederMann shows as 4.5lb, so it’s a lightweight in comparison :p .

    Perhaps we all have to toughen up or start working out more :)

    2
  • Elizabeth Rodriguez June 18, 2013, 8:50 am

    @Ian Hah, I did think that too! Maybe I just need to hit the weights :D No, but really, dragging it out of the car was a hassle!

    3
  • Cyclingman June 18, 2013, 12:21 pm

    No coincidence that a prior comment references Saddleback Leather. LederMann seems to be a blatant ripoff of Saddleback. Just look at the respective web sites: same colors, same layout, same folksy tone, not to mention closely related product lines, designs, & features.

    Now, I’m all for competition – I have leather bags from Saddleback, Whipping Post, and ColsonKeane, and nylon bags from Tom Bihn and others. But I think outright copying devalues originality and craftsmanship, and should be called out.

    4
  • nathan June 20, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Good day, I see many good reviews on SBL bags but they seem very pricy to me. I come across many similar competitors other than LederMann selling similar designs and product lines. There are no copyright or patent protection on the style / design of the bag so anyone is free to produce them in a similar fashion. I believes using suitable color and theme to match the collections or items they are selling is good move instead of rainbow color website to sell vintage style rugged collection? Look at the quality used on their bags as advertised on their website, it’s a good buy with the price!

    * just my humble opinion.

    5
  • Natasha July 27, 2013, 4:00 am

    I have the same LederMann Bridle leather briefcase, and I am using it since last one month. I don’t agree that it is not an ideal bag for everyday use. I am using the same bag for one month and I feel that nothing can get better than this when it comes to everyday use. This bag means a lot to me, and I cannot think of a day without it. It allows me to carry everything, from my laptop to office documents and other random things. It has a sturdy leather handle, which makes it even easier to carry it. It even has a shoulder strap which makes it convenient for me to walk with this bag. I have used various other bags in past and always had issues with the low quality shoulder strap. But with my LederMann Bridle leather brief case, I have no such issues. The stitching of the bag is truly amazing and it gives the feel that it is one of the major reasons behind the durability of this briefcase bag. This bag gives an amazing feel of high-quality premium leather. And regarding your doubt whether it pure leather or not I must say that this bag is made from high quality thick leather. Since, I have a small leather business, so I know what a high quality leather is. I am glad that they have not compromised on the thickness and quality of leather because this is what makes a bag more durable and perfect for heavy duty use. I second that this bag does well in the rain and I think this is what most of us want. And as far as the design and look of this briefcase bag are concerned, believe me, I have received many flattering comments from my coworkers, and they actually envy me because I own a thick high quality leather bag which is stylish and good looking at the same time. In a nutshell, it is an ideal heavy duty bag made from high quality thick leather which allows me to carry everything to my office.

    6

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