The RK Vintage Cross-Body Messenger Bag is one of the lowest cost leather bags out there. If you are searching through Amazon looking for a leather laptop bag, you’ll likely run into it or some variant. Not surprisingly, it has many of the failings you would expect from a $50 bag.
Materials & Construction
The bag is made from goat leather, with a lime green fabric interior. Yes, you read that right. The interior is all lime green with brown stitching. The leather quality leaves much to be desired. It is advertised as “Genuine Goat Leather”, and the outer shell does seem to be goat leather, but it is poorly made and maybe 1mm thick. It is a very thin coating over the fabric material of the bag. It also somehow manages to be incredibly flimsy and incredibly stiff at the same time. An impressive dichotomy to be sure, but not a positive one. There is brownish/gold stitching around the bag, which is also fairly feeble. Several strands have come undone over the course of using it for this review.
It is also worth noting that when the bag first arrives it smells pretty bad. The smell will fade over time, but your first thought will be “Yeah, I could see this being made out of a dead goat”.
The bag works at the very basic level of being able to carry things. However, even in that regard it leaves much to be desired. The bag has one large compartment that is covered by a flap, and then a small, flush zip compartment on the back. The large compartment has 4 separate sections to it, but because of the flimsy nature of the bag, the separation really only helps you if you have folders, notebooks, or other incredibly thin items. Otherwise all the items just smash together anyway, regardless of which pocket they are in.
The clasps that hold the main flap closed are magnetic, and are probably about 50/50 in their efficacy. While the magnets don’t always stick, the flap is generally pretty good at staying closed just by the force of gravity.
The carrying strap works fine and it has quite a bit of room for adjustment. I wish that there was a way to have a smaller top handle so you could carry it in your hand instead of just over your shoulder.
The last major issue with this bag from a functionality standpoint is that the bottom is just as thin as the rest of the bag. There’s no padding, and since it is marketed as a bag for laptops, that is a big problem. It makes you have to set this bag down extremely carefully anywhere you put it to avoid damaging the laptop inside.
At first glance, the bag doesn’t look bad. It does have that kind of leathery look to it that can make it look fairly classy. However, over time the plasticky coating put weird creases and wrinkles in it that you wouldn’t find on real leather. Then it just looks like old wrinkley plastic.
As the bag aged, loose threads became common, and much of the interior was discolored with black smudges and smears. Combine this with the lime green interior, and this bag really doesn’t have much going for it in the looks department.
When You Should Buy This Bag
While I would almost never recommend buying this bag, it might be the bag for you if you have a very specific set of criteria:
- You have very little money
- It is crucial that you have something that looks leather
- You don’t need the bag to last very long
- You don’t need it to do much more than be a big bag to hold one or two things
If that is you, then maybe you should buy this bag. Otherwise you are better off buying an actually nice leather laptop bag and having last forever, or going cheap and just buying something that isn’t leather at all. There are nice fabric bags that are probably better than this.
Like many products on Amazon, it can be difficult to learn too much about individual vendors. This bag is sold by HMC Direct, which sells a wide variety of leather goods. I haven’t tested all of them, but I would guess most of them are similar. This is one of the reasons I don’t like using Amazon as a source for leather goods. it is incredibly difficult to verify the quality of materials, or to learn much about the people making your product.
If for some reason you want to buy this bag, you can do so by clicking here.