Best Leather Bags

Having a great leather bag, whether it’s for work, play, or travel, is a great addition to any man or woman’s style. We extensively researched manufacturers across the country to find the best leather bags in a variety of categories that are all made right here in the USA.

Our Findings

Overall, we were very pleased by the plethora of leather bag manufacturers who source their materials and assemble their products in America. JW Hulme and Duluth Pack are two well-respected and well-known companies who we found make excellent leather bags. Jackson Wayne, Copper River, and Frank Clegg are brands that we loved as well. Check out our specific recommendations, more details about individual products, and our research methodology below.

Top Recommendations

Best Leather BagsBest:
Jackson Wayne Leather Messenger Bag & Laptop SatchelBriefcase
JW Hulme Continental DuffleDuffle Bag
Duluth Pack #300 Double Shell BagField Bag
JW Hulme Continental BackpackBackpack
Duluth Pack Mini HaversackField Purse
Copper River Journeyman Sonoma Camera BagCamera Bag
Frank Clegg Elite Tote BagTote Bag

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Below are some additional details about each of our recommendations. We outline a little bit about each of the manufacturing companies, then dive into individual product information, what we liked, and what we didn’t like for each one.

Best Leather Briefcase and Laptop Bag

Jackson Wayne Leather Messenger Bag & Laptop Satchel


Jackson Wayne Leather Goods is a relatively new addition to the industry, but a very welcome one. They make their products with only the highest quality full grain leather, the kind of thick, durable material you would see in products made a couple of generations ago. Now they are bringing it back, and it’s apparent in their Leather Messenger Bag. This is a stylish, functional briefcase or laptop bag that you can rely on day in and day out for work. Since these are handcrafted with high quality leather, no two bags are the same. You may also see some small scars, creases, etc. as you continue to use the bag – these are character marks, not flaws.

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Things we like:

  • Rich character, smell of leather
  • Durable, finished leather interior
  • Easy carrying with adjustable shoulder strap and a “quick grab” strap on the back of the bag
  • Gets better with age

Things we don’t like:

  • Comes out a little stiff, however it gets looser with time

 

Best Leather Duffle Bag

JW Hulme Continental Duffle


J.W. Hulme Co. is a great company that has been handcrafting all of their products since 1905 in their home state of Minnesota, as well as Illinois, Maine, and Tennessee where they have established presences over the years. The cowhide they use in their bags is double-tanned and hand burnished to create a rich, unique color for every leather bag. The Continental Duffle is a great travel bag, perfect for a weekend of carry-on.

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Things we like:

  • Simplistic, no bells and whistles
  • Rolled leather handles and adjustable/detachable shoulder strap for easy carrying
  • Lifetime product guarantee

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Leather Field Bag

Duluth Pack #300 Double Shell Bag


Since 1882, Duluth Pack has been handcrafting their hunting, shooting, and outdoor products in the United States since 1882, starting from humble beginnings in Duluth, Minnesota. The Duluth Pack #300 Double Shell Bag is no exception to that fine craftsmanship, and was a standout when we evaluated outdoor field bags.

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Things we like:

  • Durable canvas construction
  • Lifetime product guarantee
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Easy access front pockets with beautiful leather belt buckles
  • Several color choices

Things we don’t like:

  • If you’re shorter, the shoulder strap can be a little long for you. At the strap’s shortest setting, the bag sits comfortably on the hip of someone who is 5’5″.

 

Best Leather Backpack

JW Hulme Continental Backpack


Another well-made product from JW Hulme, the 643 Continental Backpack is perfect for a day-to-day work carry or any weekend adventure. The cowhide is double-tanned making for a wonderful finish and has a little bit of a distressed look. It fit comfortably for us on a variety of different body profiles, both men and women. The dimensions (12″W x 16″H x 5″D) are just fine to fit most laptops, tablets, or other personal items.

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Things we like:

  • Expandable main compartment
  • Elegant leather buckles for main compartment and front pocket
  • Slightly distressed look to it
  • Lifetime product guarantee
  • Interior slip for laptop or tablet and a zippered interior pocket for valuables

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Leather Field Purse

Duluth Pack Mini Haversack


Another classic by Duluth Pack is their Mini Haversack, a great small field purse with a rugged exterior. This bag is perfect for a small everyday carry or a casual day in the outdoors. Like most of their products, the Mini Haversack comes with the iconic Duluth Pack logo on the front, serving as the anchor for the main leather buckle.

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Things we like:

  • Keeps its shape well, even when fully packed
  • Internal zippered pocket
  • Lifetime product guarantee
  • Easily accessible front compartments for pens/pencils, phone, e-reader, and other small items

Things we don’t like:

  • The shoulder strap is a little short. On a 5’5″ individual, the bag hung around mid torso when worn across body.

 

Best Leather Camera Bag

Copper River Journeyman Sonoma Camera Bag


The Copper River Journeyman Sonoma Camera Bag is a great pick for photographers to hold their belongings on their next photo adventure. This product is literally made to order – handcrafted after you place your order, just for you. The Journeyman is engineered to be extremely durable (we thought so too during testing), and should last you decades.

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Things we like:

  • Plenty of room for smaller items in addition to your camera
  • Water resistant for adverse weather conditions
  • 100 year product guarantee from Copper River
  • Large exterior pockets for extra belongings, not seen on most leather camera bags
  • Adjustable shoulder strap

Things we don’t like:

  • 15 inches, so this bag can be a little bulky if you need to fit into tight spaces or need something to fit flush with your hip

 

Best Leather Tote Bag

Frank Clegg Elite Tote Bag


Frank Clegg Leatherworks is a family-oriented company that has been handcrafting bags in Fall River, Massachusetts since 1970. They are also made to order, right to your specifications – they actually don’t start making your bag until you place the order. This open shoulder tote bag is a great large carry for any occasion, surpassing all of the other competitors we looked at in terms of leather quality, style, and usability.

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Things we like:

  • Full grain leather, unlined leather interior
  • Comfortable shoulder straps
  • Zippered interior pockets for stashing valuables
  • Nine different color options (Cognac featured above)
  • Ages well

Things we don’t like:

  • None

Factors We Considered

Leather Quality

If you want a leather bag that’s going to last, you can’t skimp on quality. Do you ever see product descriptions with the phrase “genuine leather” to describe the material? Well, genuine leather is technically real leather, but it’s the lowest quality leather on the market. Top grain leather is the next level up, and then full grain leather. Full grain is the highest quality leather out there and is the material that the best, most durable leather bags are made of. Full grain leather bags typically come out of the box a little stiff, but loosen up over time. Each bag has its own unique character and ages well over time as it absorbs light, scratches, and life’s natural happenings. We only recommended leather bags that used full grain leather.

Style

Style is always important when choosing your next leather bag, whether it is for work, travel, or just general everyday use. We ran each bag past our entire team and did a lot of research to look for what stylists, other experts, and consumers were saying about the products.

Value

You want to make sure you’re getting the best product for your money. So, we only considered leather bags that passed our expectations of quality vs. price. We hate overpaying for products, and we know you do too.

Functionality

A leather bag that looks good, but doesn’t function well is extremely frustrating. We did extensive research to choose products that operated easily, were convenient to access, fit well to several body types, and much more.

 

All American Reviews

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