See Now, Buy Now: The Satchel & Page Gladstone Weekender is the Best Summer Travel Bag

Satchel & Page product review

The hour draws ever closer. That is, the time to hit the road again in style with one of the best weekender bags for men will soon be upon us, and if you’ve been reading the blog, I hope you’re prepared for what lies ahead. I mean that in the best way possible — hitting the road again, even in a car or via a quick train (or bus) trip should be enjoyable and just plain fun. It’s made all the better by the most crucial ingredient of all as far as your summer travel gear is concerned:

The Satchel & Page Gladstone Weekender is one of the best weekender bags on the market, ready for quick getaways and rugged adventures alike. If you’ve kept up with the blog, you also recognize Satchel & Page from a weekend style guide or two, but it’s always worth revisiting a brand making heirloom-quality leather goods of all types, including this refined leather weekender bag. Why go with a bag like this one instead of, say your tried-and-true athletic logo weekender? The proof is in the pudding, my friends, and that means this bag has plenty more style points and even more functionality than the bag you’ve been lugging to the gym — it’s made specifically for weekend getaways, season after season. It gets even better when it comes to your new favorite weekender bag, though.

SHOP: The Satchel & Page Gladstone Weekender

Satchel & Page leather bags

The list of positives about the excellent Satchel & Page Gladstone Weekender goes on and on, and on. It features a lifetime warranty, for starters — the sturdy brass frame won’t give out or buckle under pressure, either. It’s also made with handsome Italian, vegetable-tanned leather, making it one of the best leather weekender bags you can possibly buy right now. Tobacco suede lining ensures your valuable gear won’t get dinged up or scuffed, and brass hardware drives home the rugged durability of this handsome leather weekender bag.

Think of it like an accessory that’s as stylish as your road trip #OOTD, and then some. Two interior pouch pockets and one zipper pocket offer crucial space for your everyday carry essentials.  The rugged Satchel & Page Gladstone Weekender is, without a doubt, the kind of bag you can pack up to hit the road at a moment’s notice. And if you need to leave from the office for your weekend getaway, it helps that this bag is quite stylish, unlike a plain old gym bag. It’s an investment for the price ($625 at Satchel & Page), but it’s got dependability and serious style going for it — unlike any other weekender bag on the market. Safe travels, folks.

SHOP: The Satchel & Page Gladstone Weekender

The Product Review: Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag

Editor’s note: For more product reviews covering excellent #menswear staples, head right this way.

Fit for the hills of Greece and the NYC commute, too: the Slim Mailbag from Satchel & Page.

Fit for the hills of Greece and the NYC commute, too: the Slim Mailbag from Satchel & Page.

As you go about improving your sense of style, it only makes sense that the details take on an added importance — as they should, and that’s the case with one of the best leather bags for men. Style upgrades in areas both big and small definitely contribute to a broader package in terms of your personal appearance. And there are a surprising number of companies allowing guys to get great quality for those upgrades while supporting up-and-coming brands (blog favorites like Pistol Lake and Apolis definitely fit this mold). Satchel & Page has certainly made a name for itself doing that, thanks to an initial Kickstarter run of simple yet handsome bags that raised nearly $230,000. The product focus has expanded since that time to include leather jackets and more, but its staple products — especially its well-known Slim Mailbag — are just as high-quality as ever.

I had the chance to chat via phone with founder Daniel Ralsky as I hopped on a plane to Michigan last month, and I had the good fortune to get my hands on the Slim Mailbag as I also hopped through Greece at the start of August (check out more on that trip here). And this rugged leather bag for men has proven every bit up to the challenge of navigating both international air (and ground) travel and the rigors of commuting in NYC. (Editor’s note: Before we dive in, although this bag is available right away, certain products — like the brand’s new line of belts — do fund via Kickstarter or the brand’s Web site).

Another shot from beautiful Santorini, Greece. The Slim Mailbag alongside a Goorin Brothers vintage ballcap.

Another shot from beautiful Santorini, Greece. The Slim Mailbag alongside a Goorin Brothers vintage ballcap.

This refined leather bag for men is, generally speaking, remarkably well-made and will absolutely only get better with age. It’s the type of piece I’m excited to get more use out of, because thanks to the excellent, rich leather, it should tell quite the unique story. Already, the patina is changing and actually looking all the better for it. It comes with a lifetime warranty and crucially, it feels like it could stand up to that test. The leather is thick yet not too stiff out of the box, ideal for a bag that was asked to do a lot right away, including lugging around my laptop and Issara leather laptop sleeve, plus various notebooks. Contained within the bag are also compartments for an iPhone, pens and business cards. The body of the bag itself has broken in remarkably well, a testament to the quality of the leather.

A closer look at some of the sturdy hardware on the Slim Mailbag.

A closer look at some of the sturdy hardware on the Slim Mailbag.

A leather shoulder strap rounds things out comfortably, and thankfully, it’s not at all tiresome to wear. The rest of the piece from Satchel & Page is quite remarkable in terms of quality. The 6-8 oz. rich brown, full-grain leather gets its rugged good looks from a hot stuffing method using oils and waxes — custom made by the company’s tannery, to boot. As you can see in the above photo, the bag is already beginning to take on unique nicks and scratches, which only make it look better (in my opinion). If you’re looking for a sleek, boardroom-ready briefcase, this isn’t the bag for you — but those who need something stylish, rugged and effective at carrying around the essentials will be more than happy to hear it stands up to the test. Note that this bag is three pounds, so it’s by no means a remarkably light carry if you only have a few items (say, not even a laptop).

A side-by-side look at the Slim Mailbag next to a slightly larger Kenneth Cole messenger bag.

But for those who like some history with their everyday carry, this bag’s got that, too — it’s inspired by the same style of bag carried by the U.S. Postal Service in the early 1900s, so it’s certainly up to a rigorous commute.  Officially as far as dimension go, the bag runs 11″ by 14.5″ wide by 4″ deep (so those with laptops running at 15″ should probably look to the brand’s larger, regular Mailbag). Hand-hammered copper rivets and antique brass hardware also lend the bag a lived-in look.

An in-depth look at the inside of this bag -- well-constructed and with just enough space for everything you might need.

An in-depth look at the inside of this bag — well-constructed and with just enough space for everything you might need. Photo courtesy of Satchel & Page.

Like some of the brand’s other products, this bag isn’t cheap up front, but it’s certainly durable and long-lasting enough to justify the price. Note that the relatively similar-in-looks Montague Leather Satchel from J. Crew retails for about $100 — if you can’t pony up the cash right now, that’d provide a slightly flashier approximation. It isn’t, however, the decidedly more casual waxed canvas and leather laptop bag that J. Crew also sells, which goes for just under $100. Yes, Satchel & Page’s Slim Mailbag provides both more sophistication and higher-quality leather and hardware than its peers in the market (although Navali’s Mainstay Messenger Bag would be worth your time as well if an in-between option was needed).

Not all will find Satchel & Page‘s rugged bag appropriate for their commute or their office, or with enough space to lug everything around, but the durability and quality combination is to be commended. The leather is rich and durable, the fastenings and hardware are sturdy, and the space is, for my needs, more than adequate. It’s the type of bag that looks great now and will absolutely improve down the line — hopefully, in both looks and performance.
Ben Sherman US