I’ve always been a big fan of Pad & Quill’s leather goods. I reviewed one of the company’s roll-top messenger bags last year and still use it. The leather has aged nicely with light scraps and scuffs adding to the character.
This bag has a traditional look thanks to the contrasting stitching. It might not be for everyone. It looks Western more than most modern leather goods. For me, I dig it as the stitches convey a sense of confidence in the quality. It looks the part.
Pad & Quill’s Gladstone bag has all the right organizational pockets. There’s a small exterior pocket on one side and a large, open pocket on the opposing side. Inside there’s a padded laptop pocket, a zippered pocket, and several small spots including a few spots for pens and pencils. This amount of organizational is rare in most leather bags. I’ve found most leather bags offer just a few compartments and instead look to the user to bring their own small bags to hold cables, cameras and the like.
This is a good size bag and able to easily hold a full-size laptop, DSLR and a lens or two. It’s thicker than a water bottle and has ample room to hold everything a person needs for a day.
The top is secured with a looping strap that feels a bit superficial. The hinges are tough enough to keep the top closed and the strap is a bit tough to secure. Maybe I need to use the bag a bit more. Over the couple weeks I carried this bag, I never used this strap nor felt like the top would accidentally open without it. Maybe this strap should be detachable?
The Gladstone costs $500 (though it’s on sale for $420 at time of publication) and it feels like it should last. It’s a lovely leather bag that uses a proven hinged opening. The leather is thick and durable. For me, that’s a winning combination.
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