Kenneth Cole Reaction Back-Stage Access Pack
Gbag’s Vintage Roll Leather Pack
Runwell Leather Backpack, by Shinola
Nothing stands the test of time like leather. Like a fine wine, it usually gets better with age and natural fading, making it one of the best materials to invest your dollars and time into. The standard canvas isn’t going to cut it for you; you want something truly extraordinary, something that handles whatever you throw its way. You’re after a leather backpack, my friend; we’ve got the low-down on the top ten on the market, coupled with a thorough overlook of what you should be looking for, and answers to some of your burning questions to find the best leather backpack for you.
The Best Leather Backpacks
Nobody understands style quite like FRYE. Their Logan backpack comes with a glorious glossy finish to it, premiering as a shining example of what all high-quality leather builds should be. Inside, you get interior zipper pockets to organize your inventory. Depending on the load, adjust your shoulder strap to find the optimal comfort range, and keep on moving. The Logan weighs just under 4lbs when empty, and comes with free shipping, and free returns if you find yourself less enthralled than we are. For the classic gentleman look, Logan comes in dark brown only.
Interior zipper pockets
Adjustable shoulder strap
Available in: dark brown
- Model‘Logan’ Leather Backpack
- Weight3.80 lbs.
Fossil is one of our favorite brands when it comes to watches. When they launched Fossil leather backpacks, we were a little more than ecstatic. Coming in at number two, we have this workplace-friendly backpack that’s fitted to hold at least a 15” laptop (vertically), as well as smaller gadgets and items in the interior zippered pocket. Along the top, you get a zippered enclosure to an additional compartment, and the comfort of a breathable mesh backing to alleviate sweat build-up while you’re walking around.
Fitted for 15” laptops
Comfortable and supportive backpack straps
Breathable back to reduce sweating
- Weight2.15 pounds
Filson is a fan favorite when it comes to handmade, custom quality leather. They’re one of the few true grade A leather makers that actually source themselves out of America, and bring that same level of exclusiveness to each one of their builds. You get a mix of internal and external zippered pockets, coupled with a tall body to fit laptops and general electronics. Weatherproof isn’t just a flashy title; Filson’s Weatherproof Leather Backpack comes rain resistant, due in part by the vegetable-tanned American bridle leather construction. Filson is the name of quality, from the straps to the stitching, and everything in between.
Vegetable-tanned American bridle leather build
Water resistant finish
Two-way zip closure + internal and external zippered pockets
- ModelWeatherproof Leather Backpack
Kenneth Cole comes up with some of the most business-friendly laptop and messenger bags to date, and don’t disappoint with their cost-effective leather bag. Travelling through TSA with this is a breeze, boasting an EZ-Scan feature to go through customers as quickly as possible, barring all other regulatory guidelines. You get plenty of internal and external storage pockets, including a padded tablet pocket (works well for a phone or other fragile items), as well as main compartment storage for up to a 15.6” laptop. As the ultimate leather travel backpack, you get comfortable straps, and a handle that contours to your hand for side-by-side carrying.
EZ-Scan feature; TSA-compliant
Holds up to a 15.6” laptop
Padded pocket for tablet, phone, fragile goods
- BrandKenneth Cole REACTION
- Weight3.4 pounds
Breaking in the center brackets of the list, TUMI brings us a sleek, otherworldly design with this ultra smooth umber pebbled leather bag. Fitted to hold onto all of your belongings, including up to a 15” laptop, this bag offers designated carrying space for your keys, cards, wallet, and more. One quick peek inside, and you’ll be in heaven. You get light waterproofing along the exterior, as well as a honeycomb design to the tablet sleeve for added protection against screen damage. TUMI also added an exterior sleeve to slip over your rollaway luggage deployable handle, making this one of the best travel backpacks we’ve ever seen.
Holds up to a 15” laptop
Interior wall pockets with card slots, key leashes, and more
Only weighs 3.4lbs empty
- ModelHarrison – Webster Backpack
- Weight3.4 lbs.
Ted Baker is known for being a cornerstone in men’s fashion, which is why we weren’t surprised when their Men’s Beach model blew us away. This bag is designed for the man who knows exactly what’s going to fit inside of it, which means it’s lightweight and less likely to cause back strain. If you’ve got issues with your lower back, you could always use the top carry handle. This backpack boasts the best of both worlds: all leather on the outside, all polyester on the inside. For a durable bag that refuses to quit, Ted Baker’s got your back.
100% leather exterior w/ 100% polyester lining
Sturdy straps and top carry handle
Lightweight; designed for dedicated storage
- BrandTed Baker
- Weight3.73 pounds
Runwell is one of the most luxury backpacks we’ve ever seen. It’s about more than the price tag; it’s about the quality construction, built of calfskin leather and ultra sturdy zippers. You get somer serious storage with this, and enough space to fit a 15” laptop with a little extra wiggle room. Whether for professional or hobby reasons, you’ll be able to stash away everything you need, and wear it comfortable thanks to the durable leather backpack straps. An additional top carry handle makes this simple when you’re lugging numerous bags in transit.
Rugged calfskin construction
Interior zipper and wall pockets
Fits up to a 15” laptop
- ModelRunwell Leather Backpack
- Weight4 lbs.
Eastpak is a brand that you can never get away from. Once you’ve experienced their excellent quality, you’ll find yourself coming back for more, every single time. They understand that any additional carry item, whether it’s a messenger bag or a backpack, needs to have dedicated storage for a laptop. This model comes with a quilted compartment, designed to protect your most valuable possession from harm. Eastpak also grants extremely low prices in comparison with most leather bags, while still boasting external storage for quick-access items, and a top carry loop made of nylon. From the stitching to the top-grade leather, you’ll have this for years to come.
Zippered front pocket for small, quick-reach items
Quilted carry sleeve specifically designed for your laptop
Nylon carry loop acts as a top carry handle
- Weight2.29 pounds
We’re winding down, but we still have a few aces in the hole. Gbag’s old-fashioned look at the top roll leather backpack brought back a classic that we can all appreciate. You get massive vertical storage when the bag is open, allowing you to store just about any size laptop imaginable. There’s even a dedicated storage space for documents and notebooks, giving you the best of both worlds. They really went to town with the large backpack straps, and quality on the front buckle closure, and leather straps that hang down over the top roll. The best part? It’s the least expensive item on this list.
Adjustable leather straps w/ belted closure
Up to 23” of height when open; endless laptop size capabilities
Document compartments in main interior storage
- BrandGbag (T)
- Weight3.2 pounds
Parting is such sweet sorrow, which is why we decided to save one of our personal favorites for last. Common Projects made the perfect solution for men who want a leather backpack, but aren’t into all the bells and whistles that come with them. This backpack comes with a simple design and comfortable top carry strap, as well as adjustable shoulder straps to contour to your height. Ample internal storage allows you to pack-up a heavy load, and wear it comfortably as you breeze through town. If you’re not sure what your ideal leather backpack should have, keep reading through to our comprehensive buying guide.
Large internal storage
Comfortable, adjustable leather shoulder straps
Excellent for a professional look
- BrandCOMMON PROJECTS
- ModelSoft Leather Backpack
- Weight2.0 lbs.
Leather Backpack Buying Guide and FAQs
With anything leather, you have a few things to consider, from weight to wear, maintenance to usefulness, and so on. Let’s break down why leather is such an excellent material, and show you how to care for it.
Q: How we Chose Our Selection of Leather Backpacks
A: Everything we do at Gear Hungry goes through a long and rigorous process. We don’t just take the key features into account; we look at everything under the sun. Our criteria to select the best of the best is as follows:
- Overall capacity
- Durability of the stitching
- Thickness of the leather
- Empty weight
- Specific type of leather
- How simple or difficult it is to care for that specific type of leather
- Quality of the build
- Brand reputation and rate of returns
You can’t afford to spend money on, and wait for a product that isn’t what you wanted. We can’t afford to leave anything up to chance. After personally carrying these around, we’ve also compiled a list of main attributes to be on the lookout for when you’re in the stages of the purchase process.
Features to Look For in a Leather Backpack
Style - Do you admire a specific stitching pattern? Perhaps it’s all about the color or finish? Either way, leather has its own timeless style, so melding it with yours is all up to you.
Size - Size impacts empty weight, but it’s also going to impact how useful it is. The more leather, the more expensive. The less room, the less viable it is for work.
Weight - How much it weighs empty is going to impact how much it weighs with your belongings in it. Make no mistake, leather is heavy, so you’ll see a blend of about 3lb to 6lbs (on average) of the empty weight on most bags.
Color - Leather comes in numerous colors, but the more rich or abnormal the color is (anything that isn’t black, brown, or tan), the more costly it’s going to be. Dying leather comes at a great expense from a lengthy process, and that will reflect in the cost.
Leather Type - There’s calfskin, faux, top grain, split grain, bonded, full grain, bi-cast; the list goes on and on. Depending on which type of leather your bag is made of, it might require different steps to care for it, and will definitely impact the cost.
Capacity - Buying a bag without enough capacity is pretty foolish, but it happens more often than you think. Take a look at the actual dimensions instead of estimating if your items will fit or not. If you’re going to use it for work, see how many inches tall the interior is, so you’re not left crushing your laptop in the bag just to make it fit.
Q: Why Should I Get a Leather Backpack?
A: Leather is sturdier than just about everything else. We’re big fans of materials like paracord and ripstop nylon, but those heavily rely on one principle: cover the weakest link. If you get one tear into an item like that, you can just rip it the rest of the way. With leather, even if you get a hole in it, it’s still going to be just as difficult to continue damaging. You’ll sometimes see leather items with patches in them, but you never see a nylon backpack with patches. Leather is built to last, even if it endures a few battle scars along the way.
On top of that, leather is also excellent to protect important electronics from damage. When there’s only a thin veil between your personal items and the floor of the train, or the pavement of the carport when you’re trying to get to the elevator, drops are disastrous. Leather is also naturally waterproof (to some extent), so you won’t have to worry about sudden rainfall if you’re out on the town. Just pull the flap over the top, and keep on keeping on.
Leather also looks pretty damn epic when it ages. It never looks worn down or worse for wear; it looks vintage. It’s a style all its own, and generally regarded as showcasing class. They don’t put cloth seats in a Mustang or Camaro anymore, right? It’s all leather, because it’s an elevated style.
If you want a fabric that can breathe, leather’s the go-to. It takes some serious dedication to even try and build up mildew or fungus in a leather bag. Look at your wallet for instance. We’re willing to bet that it’s made of leather. When was the last time you had it in your pocket all day, and pulled out a debit card with mold on it? Never. Besides, who doesn’t love that new leather smell?
Q: Can You Wear a Leather Backpack to Work?
A: Leather backpacks aren’t inherently seen as unprofessional. If you’re in a nine-to-five, corner office with a view job, you’ll be better off bringing a messenger bag or a briefcase (which we also have guides for). Based on what you do, and how much of a hard-ass your boss is, you’ll have to make a judgment call. If you have a more relaxed work atmosphere, and you feel like it’s a constant blend of corporate and casual, then you should have no problem. Leather bags are great to protect electronics from harm, and a viable option if you have the right workplace environment.
Q: How do I Maintain a Leather Backpack?
A: Leather care is something that’s relatively simple, but if you don’t pay attention to it, it can be rather catastrophic. Taking care of your leather items requires a good leather cleaner, and a dedicated rag. Let’s break down the process.
- If this is your first leather item you’ve ever owned, you’ll want a good leather cleaning brush. If you don’t already have one, we recommend this one. Apply the specific package recommendations of solution to your brush, without letting it drip down to the bottom of the bristles. It’s not going to do any good there.
- Gentle brush in vertical straight lines. Since leather backpacks have a lot more areas and intricate stitching, you’re going to take your time on this step. Be sure to gently get in between stitching to clean out any built-up grime or debris from items in your bag. Begin with the outside, and if possible, flip the back inside out to clean the interior.
- You’ve cleaned most of the bag, but it’s not done yet. Apply the proper amount of product to one of your rags, and begin going across the bag again. With the rag, you’re able to go a little harder to get stubborn, stuck-in spills and debris out. By the end of this, you should have a completely cleared-out and clean bag. The pack we recommended has six rags in total, so you should have one that’s dedicated to drying the bag, as well.
- Either use that additional rag, or the dry part of your current one, and begin going over the bag to remove the cleaner. You don’t have to be too abrasive, because it’s not going to degrade the bag over time if a little is left inside. Once it’s dry, you only have a couple of steps to go.
- Apply a leather control cream to maintain your leather through the next few months of wear-and-tear, so it’ll be a lot easier to maintain. Applying the amount that the package recommends, you’ll then work it into everywhere.
- Last, hang your leather up in an area with plenty of air circulation. If possible, put it in a room and create a cross breeze by opening two windows on adjacent walls. This gives the cream time to set in, and protect your bag from future damage.