Recently I wrote an article on how a leather messenger bag can up your style game while still maintaining a modern look. Today we'll be looking at a bag that I know and think is a great value for someone entering the realm of leather upholstery.
When first looking for a leather messenger bag, there has to be a why. Here are some legitimate reasons:
- You're entering a professional setting
- You want to improve your image.
- You want to signal a sense of maturity
All these reasons and more, are great reasons to pursue this look. And if you're just starting out, you probably want to dip your toes in the water before jumping all in. A high end leather bag can cost upwards of $500+. If however, you are looking for the most bang for your buck at the sub $100 level, the Handolederco Messenger Bag is a solid choice.
I've had mine for over a year now using it as my go-to bag almost daily and through rain, snow and sleet its still holding up.
I bought it for $83 and I must say that I have gotten my money's worth with this purchase. At this price point though, don't expect it to be perfect as it is far from. Here are a few points where I think this leather bag is lacking:
- It stains, if you are wearing khakis or something similar, expect the brown dye to rub off on your clothes
- The stitching is lacking, after a year of use, the stitching has frayed in some of the stress points.
Let's start with the staining. Because this is a "genuine leather" bag, it is treated heavily with dyes and other chemicals. This dye then rubs off on your lightly colored clothes when you wear it. It's going to leave a dark brown stain on your clothes, it can however be removed by hand-washing it. The bag will then stain your clothes (again) and the cycle repeats.
Why am I recommending this product then? Because their is a simple solution to this problem. Simply put a leather finisher on the bag like this one. There are cons to it however:
Notice the difference in coloring of the leather between the left and right side of the image. The leather finisher will leave the leather look noticeably sheenier. But it will prevent most of the staining problem.
In addition, because you can apply the finisher on only the "back" of the bag (the portion that touches your clothes when you wear it), it is hardly noticeable to anyone but you.
Although it is not a perfect solution, it solves most of the problem of the bag staining your clothes. And at this price point, you are unlikely to find a bag with leather that is minimally processed.
Moving along to the second issue is the problem with the stitching:
As you can see from the image on the left, some of the stitching has frayed.
Though it does not effect the functionality of the messenger bag, I still think it is still mentioning that it will likely occur with enough usage.
All in all though, I think it is a solid choice if you are looking for a high value leather messenger bag that won't break the bank.
Think of it this way, it costs far less than a North Face backpack 😃
If you're interested in this bag, you can buy it from the same place I did here.
The Takeaway: Moving from a backpack to a messenger bag garners compliments and admiration from your peers. The move however, doesn't have to be a painful one for your wallet. Despite its flaws, Handolederco Leather Messenger Bag is an excellent entry level choice because of its price, durability, functionality and appearance.