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Best Leather Bags Made in the USA

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 made in the USA across a variety of different categories. Check out our findings below! If you’re more interested in styles specifically for women, we also looked into the best handbags and purses made 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 (who we recently interviewed) are two well-respected and well-known companies who we found make excellent leather bags. Billykirk, Copper River, and Lifetime Leather 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 Bags Best for:
Billykirk Schoolboy Satchel Briefcase
Lifetime Leather Tote Bag Tote Bag
Duluth Pack #300 Double Shell Bag Field Bag
Duluth Pack Mini Haversack Field Purse
Copper River Journeyman Sonoma Camera Bag Camera 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

Billykirk Schoolboy Satchel


Billykirk was founded in 1999 by brothers Chris and Kirk Bray in Los Angeles, California. 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 Schoolboy Satchel. 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. Billykirk has a lot of different styles, so make sure to check out everything that they have to offer.

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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 Tote Bag

Lifetime Leather Tote Bag


Lifetime Leather is an amazing company that has been handcrafting leather goods in San Tan Valley, Arizona since 2011. Their classic, everyday tote bag is a great option if you’re looking for something very high quality to last you a long time. It has tons of space and is made with full grain leather, which (as you’ll read below) is the best option when it comes to leather quality. 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
  • Comfortable shoulder straps
  • Zippered interior pockets for stashing valuables
  • Six different color options (Oxford brown featured above)
  • Personalization available

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. The two front pockets (separate from the main compartment) are easily accessible and are great for storing your phone, wallet, or other small items. Each bag also has the unique Duluth Pack emblem, which adds a nice stylish touch to every bag.

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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 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. We found the leather strap to be pretty comfortable as well.

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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 our research), and should last you decades. The strap is easily adjustable and fits comfortably on your shoulder.

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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

Honorable mention (not leather, but still a great camera bag): Domke F-8 Camera Bag


Recap: Best Leather Bags Made in the USA


YouTube Video: How to Find Leather Bags Made in the USA


How to Find Leather Bags Made in the USA

Leather bags are always in and are a classic addition to any look. Whether you are looking for a briefcase, purse, or even a camera bag, leather is a perfect bag material that is durable and fashionable. However, when looking for a leather bag, you should pay attention to the quality of the leather. And if you’re looking for a quality leather bag, it might be worth looking specifically for a leather bag made in the USA. Not only will you be guaranteed a better quality bag, but you will also be supporting American companies and the American economy.

Looking for a leather bag made in the USA doesn’t have to be difficult. But, if you’re unsure where to start, this guide is for you!

What Does “Made in the USA” Mean?

What does it mean for something to be made in the USA? “Made in the USA” is a label protected by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). A company can only use this label if its product is “all or virtually all” made in the USA.

Although it seems easy enough to find an American-made leather bag by simply using this label, there are some gray areas that can be hard to determine what “all or virtually all” encompasses. For this reason, it is also worth doing additional research to really determine whether or not a particular product is genuinely made in the United States.

Check out our article on this topic if you want to learn more.

Materials

The first step in finding a genuine American-made product is to look at the source material used. It is important to research where these materials come from. Of course, if you’re looking for a leather bag, you will need to look at leather. On top of that, you should also research the other components, such as lining.

Lining

People often forget that the lining also makes up a large percentage of any bag. Leather bags sometimes do not come lined at all, but if they are lined, chances are they will be lined with cotton or polyester.

Cotton

Many bags are lined with cotton – a soft, natural fiber that can easily be customized. In terms of manufacturing cotton, China and India are world leaders of this raw material. However, the USA doesn’t lag too far behind and ranks third in cotton production. With the USA producing almost 4 million metric tons of cotton, finding US-made cotton shouldn’t be difficult.

Polyester

Polyester is another popular material used to line leather bags. You’ll often find leather bags lined in a cotton and polyester blend. China is the world’s largest producer of polyester. The United States doesn’t produce as much polyester as they do cotton, but you’ll still US-based companies like the Eastman Chemical Company and William Barnet & Son. They are a couple of the biggest polyester manufacturers in the world.

Leather

When you are looking for a leather bag, the most important raw material to look at is, of course, leather. The USA is a major leather manufacturer, so you shouldn’t have to search too far and wide before you come across a truly American-made leather bag. However, it is worth keeping in mind that good quality leather can also come from other countries like Italy. And more affordable leather often comes from more prominent manufacturing hubs like China.

The US mainly produces cowhide leather, so if you’re looking for something a bit more exotic, you may find it a bit more difficult to find American leather.

You should also look at the quality of the leather itself to ensure that you’re buying a good leather bag that will last you years to come. Specifically, you should be looking for full-grain leather instead of genuine leather. “Genuine leather” is an umbrella term for anything that is “technically leather,” so if you’re looking for quality, that’s not what you’ll want.

Labeling

Researching the materials of a leather bag is a good starting point, but you’ll also need to look at the labeling to determine whether or not a bag is made in the USA. As previously mentioned, the FTC polices the usage of the label “made in the USA.” However, no pre-approval is needed for companies to use this protected label. Instead, it is up to the companies themselves to determine whether or not their product qualifies as being “made in the USA.”

So, ultimately, it is up to the individual consumers to do additional research to make sure they purchase something truly made in the United States.

You should also beware of tricky wording in the labeling of a product. Companies are required to honestly label their products and state where they are made, but some companies will be crafty with their wording to wrongly imply that their products are made in the United States when they are not.

For example, words like “designed in the USA” or “manufactured in the USA” mean that only a part of the production happened in the USA. Another common phrase is “made in America” which suggests that the product was made in North America, which usually means the product was made in Canada or Mexico.

Other Tips

Here are some additional tips to help you find leather bags made in the USA.

Go Online

Companies are not required to label their products in any online materials. But if a product is truly made in the USA, companies will generally market it proudly. So, go online and check the company’s About Us page or individual product pages and look for any indicators. On the flip side, if you can’t find any information about where a company’s products are made, likely, the product is not made in the USA.

American Flag Stickers Do Not Mean American-Made

Just because you see an American flag sticker on the labeling of a product does not mean that the product is made in the United States. The flag on a label is not protected like the phrase “made in the USA,” so take it with a grain of salt.

Call the Company

Call the company to ask where their products are sourced and manufactured. The customer service line should be able to answer this question for you.

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