Best Leather Briefcase Review
Briefcases have started to be less common as they are replaced by laptop and messenger bags, but they still hold an important place in business and travel. Making sure you find the best leather briefcase for your needs is important, especially considering that they tend to be quite expensive, and you’ll likely use it for years. This is one area where it is better to buy it right and not have to replace it every couple of years.
Quick View Of The Best (And Worst) Leather Briefcases
Reason For Rating
Kodiak Leather Satchel
Solid quality, fairly medium price, free personalized engraving
Pad & Quill
Lots of space, including space for larger laptops. Solid construction & reasonable warranty, but a fairly high price point.
Great product and a great warranty, but very high price compared to other options
Foreign leather and no real warranty, but good budget option
RK Vintage Bag
Flimsy, low quality leather, foul smell, poor storage. All around just bad
Pros: This is my top pick for the title of “best leather briefcase”. It hits the trifecta of coming from a reputable company with solid customer support and a reasonable warranty, being affordably priced, and having solid construction. It will always depend some on your personal preference for size, weight, and style, but this is a great start.
Cons: The double belt clasp makes it a little slow to open, which can get frustrating if you’re in a big hurry.
Overall Rating: 5. Good company, good leather, reasonable price, and an acceptable warranty make this my vote for best leather briefcase, as long as you like the style.
Pros: Really solid bag made with veg-tanned full-grain leather. The most significant pro that this has over most briefcases is the free custom engraving. It also has a lifetime warranty, which I personally think is a really big deal when it comes to leather goods, especially higher end ones.
Cons: It’s very similar in style to the Kodiak listed above, but for nearly double the price.
Overall Rating: 4.5. There is nothing wrong with this bag, but it costs so much more than the Kodiak that the only reason you would probably buy it instead would be if you wanted the custom engraving.
Pros: The materials on this bag are incredibly high quality, with parachute grade stitching, a water-resistant overlay, and quick access pockets, which the earlier bags on the list don’t have. It also has a strong 25-year warranty.
Cons: It’s on the higher end of the price range.
Overall Rating: 4.5. This is an absolutely phenomenal bag. If you want a heavy-duty, high-end bag and you have the budget for it, this is a wonderful option that has a sleek, modern look. It seems more at home in office environments because it isn’t as “rugged” as the stereotypical leather briefcase.
Pros: Saddleback prides itself on its quality materials and extreme durability. With few seams and few breakable parts, 316 stainless steel hardware, and incredibly thick leather, this bag won’t break anytime soon. This bag can also be converted into a backpack and has a false bottom for hiding cash, passports, or other sensitive materials.
Cons: The main downside here is the price. This is the highest-priced briefcase on our list, so the budget may be prohibitive for some people. The durable construction also lends it to weigh 5 pounds, making it the heaviest bag on our list.
Overall Rating: 4.5. Saddleback refers to their products as “overengineered” to show that they make all of their parts better than they necessarily “need” to be. That’s really the main reason that they don’t win the title of “best leather briefcase”. It’s a great bag, but if you aren’t putting much wear and tear on it, you probably don’t need a bag this durable. You just end up paying for features you don’t really need.
Pros: This meets all the base requirements for being a solid briefcase while coming in at a very affordable price. That makes it an ideal budget option for people who either won’t be using the bag for anything all that tough, or who just don’t have a very big budget to work with. One thing I really like about this bag is that it looks like it opens with belt straps (and it can), but there are also push clasps underneath for easier and faster access.
Cons: You don’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the other bags, and it the quality/durability of the materials doesn’t compete. Some of the perks (like the clasps mentioned in the pros section) are also the things that are most likely to break or give you issues. The bag is also very prominently branded, with a logo on the front as well as a repeated logo stamp across the entire inside lining.
Overall Rating: 3.5. This briefcase is really solid and is a great example of a quality leather bag that you can get off Amazon. If you want a good briefcase that’s going to look nice on a budget, this is a great buy. However, it lacks some of the features and long term staying power of the more expensive bags on the list.
Pros: The only good thing here is that it is cheap and technically leather.
Cons: Just about everything. The first thing you notice with this bag is the smell. It smells awful, indicating that it was probably urine-tanned, which you sometimes get when buying cheap foreign leather. On top of that, it is barely leather. The thin layer of leather acts more like plastic, developing awkward wrinkles over time. The construction itself is incredibly flimsy so the bag tips over no matter what you do and it starts falling apart after a very short time.
Overall Rating: 0.5. I include this item on the list to give you an example of how bad a cheap amazon briefcase can be. You may think it is worth it to save a little money, but I promise you it is not. If price is a concern either splurge a little bit to get something like the Gusti or the Kodiak, or just decide that maybe a leather briefcase isn’t in your price range and get a vinyl or fabric one. You can read more about how terrible this bag is in its full review here.