A few months ago my parents discovered an old army bag of my grandfather’s stashed up in the garage rafters. The date stenciled on the dark olive canvas was 1941, and besides the overwhelming connection with my grandfather that I felt with this bag, I was inspired by the great design and quality material – It had truly survived the test of time. This discovery made me realize, as the old saying goes, that they just don’t make things like they used to. Well, except for the team at Saddleback Leather Company.
Men are pretty limited in what accessories are available to us, and for this reason we need to make smart decisions about what to buy, and more importantly, what will last.
Bags are one of these key pieces.
Sometimes it’s fun to have a few bag options depending on your needs; perhaps for a weekend getaway, a business trip or outdoor adventure. For a recent trip, I needed something that combined all three of these travel options. I was headed to Lisbon for a few days for city sightseeing, then off to the mountains of Portugal for some rustic camping. The bag I packed needed to be something that was easy to travel with throughout airports and hotels, yet something that could take a beating as I ventured into the wild.
Not Your Typical Duffel
I selected the Rolled Waxed Canvas Duffel Bag. Available in two sizes, I opted for the medium. This is the perfect go-to bag for the guy that is looking to pack for a weekend trip to a five-day trip, as the top flap can be adjusted according to how much you pack in it. While other similar bags seem to have a handful of interior pockets, often confusing me as to what to put in them, this bag has just the right amount of separated storage. The large interior pocket was perfect for my laptop, and a few outside pockets worked well for the things that I needed easy access to.
My past experiences with duffels have been that they don’t keep their shape and can be ridiculously awkward to carry or simply to set upright. Not Saddleback’s duffel – I was pleasantly surprised with the thick leather pads on the back and bottom of this bag which gave it a more structured look and made hauling and setting it down on the ground easier. There is also a top grab handle or a removable canvas shoulder strap. How about that for options?
As for the material, Saddleback was correct in saying that this bag is “a dependable workhorse bag built for constant abuse.” It’s built of 24 oz waxed canvas (from Scotland) which is water resistant, and after only a few days of use the bag starts to develop an amazing patina which adds to it’s charm and uniqueness. And while the material is extremely rugged, there are a few added details that give it a dapper polished vibe – like the full grain leather straps and solid copper rivets.
I have a trunk full of items my father kept for me. Minus his red velour tracksuit, he did an awesome job in selecting which items to pass down; His plaid hunting jacket, a navy peacoat, some wool flannels and even some denim. I get a nostalgic rush whenever I use one of these treasures.
Now that I have my own family, I try to continue this tradition by buying items that will stand the test of time, in both quality and design, in the hopes that my children – and even their children – will be able to enjoy them. Saddleback offers a 100-year guarantee on their items because they know what they offer is really that good. You are not just buying a bag for yourself, you are breaking it in for future generations. And that’s pretty cool.
And to the guys that are more concerned with bag aesthetic, Saddleback has you covered. Get ready to have some (interesting) conversations with complete strangers approaching you to ask where your bag came from. In a matter of a week, I received six complements, two of which turned into what felt like me giving a sales presentation on why they should invest in some Saddleback! To the guy at the Minneapolis airport that said he was going to buy this bag immediately after our conversation, I hope you did.
You probably should too.
And to my future grandchildren, and great-grandchildren – You’re welcome.
To view the entire Saddleback Leather Co. line, visit saddlebackleather.com
Thanks to our sponsors Saddleback Leather