A fresh take on a Saddleback Classic, our Messenger Bag is back in backpack form. The design has been updated and simplified to be more comfortable and stronger than ever.
Made with just two large pieces of full-grain leather, the Messenger Backpack is designed to be lightweight, strong and comfortable. Each area of the backpack that could get stress either has hidden Polyester reinforcement strips sewn in or has a rivet pressed through, or both. This leather backpack is built with only two large pieces of really thick leather to have as few seams as possible, since seams are where all backpacks start falling apart. And then we only sew 5 stitches per inch of seam so as to have as few needle holes as possible. We get joy from making super durable leather backpacks down at our factory in Leon, Mexico. Learn more about our approach to building stuff at Old Mexico Manufacturing here.
We make our leather backpacks out of thick full grain leather, which is the toughest and most water resistant grade there is. The cheaper leather backpacks on the market don't use full grain, but rather top grain, genuine or bonded leather. Let me quickly explain. Leather is like a roof and the grain of a hide is like the shingles on a roof. The grain is about the top 1/4 of the hide. If you take the shingles off, then you'd just be left with plywood and tar paper and it would get holes sooner than later. To save money, most companies shave off the top of the hide (watch how they shave it here at minute 6:30), the part that has all of the grain in it, to get rid of the icky scars and blemishes. That way they don't have to cut around them, like we do, and throw them in the trash. They can use almost every inch of the leather (we throw about 25% of the hide in the trash). They neuter the hide. It's terrible. If they leave a little bit of the grain, it's called Top Grain Leather. If they remove it all, then it's called Genuine or Split Leather.
So we use the really strong leather and then back it with a pigskin lining. The pigskin is actually tougher than the cowskin. We then sew our leather backpacks with only a very thick industrial marine-grade Polyester thread (Check out our thread explanation here) that doesn't deteriorate when the UV rays of the sun hit it like backpacks sewn with Nylon thread do. Perhaps one of our best features we have is our custom 316 Stainless Steel hardware. It can hold up to a 750 lb. bag of cats before it breaks. If your life ever has to depend on a kind of hardware not failing, be sure it's 316 Stainless Steel.
The flap, back, bottom and sides of the Leather Messenger Backpack are all one single piece of leather, folded and sewn to the front panel. This makes for a comfortable and flexible curve along the bottom of the bag that conforms to your body as you wear it.
There are six external D rings for lashing tripods or large rolled schematics and master plans. Two deep side pockets will fit a smart phone and other stuff you need to get to in a hurry. The rolled handle is comfortable and strong. The straps are reinforced with rivets and hidden polyester strapping so they will never stretch or fail. I designed them to flair out at the bottom so they won’t rub on your ribcage.
Inside, the backpack straps are riveted to a super thick slab of suela boot leather. Some say overkill, I say Just In Case. The front and back panels are both lined with pigskin on the soft side for extra strength. There’s a pigskin pocket on the backside that will fit a 15” MacBook Pro and then some. On the sides, there are two smaller pigskin pockets for cords and smaller things. And a key strap for your keys. Along the bottom of the bag, there’s a full-length hidden compartment for stashing passports and cash when moving through rough country.
13" & 15" Macbook Pro laptops (late 2018/early 2019 generation)
All sizes of iPads
Medium Saddleback Leather Portfolio
Water Bottle (16.9 fl oz) will fit in exterior side pockets
Galaxy 9+ fits in interior side pockets
Leather Backpack comes with a 100-Year Warranty
14 ¾” H x 13" W x 4 ¼” D
Weighs 4.3 pounds