When you buy a bag, especially a leather one, you want it to be water-resistant, not to leak, and to wear well without seams splitting and tearing, or too much wear. This video from the folks at Saddleback Leather is honest about their vested interest, but has more than a few tips for choosing quality when you shop.
After all, Saddleback would like you to buy their bags, but in the video, founder Dave Munson explains how he "knocked off a cow," or rather, how he took the relatively seamless design of a cow and incorporated it into his bags, and what you should look for when you go shopping for one. For example, keep an eye out for how many pieces of leather your bag is made of — the more pieces make up your bag (he shows one bag where just the shoulder strap is made from eight separate pieces) the more places your bag has to tear, wear, rip, or leak — or for water to get inside and all over your gear. Similarly, he suggests keeping an eye out for the number of seams and stitches your bag has. A sewing machine may join pieces together, but it's also a perforation machine, meaning more holes and, like before, more places to wear and leak.
Even if you don't pick up one of the bags in the video, it's a worthwhile primer to some important things to pay attention to when you do go shopping for a laptop bag, weekend bag or duffel, or a full carry-all. Hit play above to watch, or the link below to check it out at YouTube.
How to Knock Off a Cow [Saddleback Leather (YouTube)]