When it comes to bags, I can be rather picky. I need a bag that can hold my wallet, makeup bag, sunglasses, keys, and the random junk I stuff in it daily.
Now I will say, I was skeptical of this bag at first, but upon further investigation, I found it to work very nicely in a variety of ways.
My bags have been very organized since then.
Saddleback Leather Company has always been a big part of my family’s life. We have had Saddleback products for the majority of my life and I personally have had several bags, bracelets, wallets, and bible covers.
The company’s Fold Over Canvas Gear Bag is the bag we are reviewing today. Canvas was added to the Saddleback collection (which previously had been all leather) in Spring 2016 and this is the first one I have personally gotten to use.
While the company calls this a “gear bag,” it really can be used for a variety of purposes by both men and women. I used it as a purse/carryall, while my husband put tools in it and carried back and forth from work.
My grandfather used it as a range bag for his Sig Sauer handgun and ammo, and some of us around the office used it just for everyday items such as a wallet, sunglasses, Field Notes and pen, keys, iPhone, etc.
First of all, I love the waxed canvas! It’s light, flexible, and very, very durable. My stuff weighs a bag down on its own, so I don’t need a five-pound bag doing it for me.
But I do need a durable bag that will keep up with all the weight I put in it, and this bag is it.
Saddleback says they used the best materials they could find: super-tough 24-ounce waxed canvas from Scotland, old bull leather, marine-grade polyester thread (the kind used on ship sails), marine-grade stainless 316 steel, and copper rivets pounded by hand.
The bag features thick old bull leather pieces for the closure and the back pocket. It’s a great combination of canvas and leather, and the dark coffee brown color really brings out the green canvas.
The closure is unlike any that I have seen before. It’s a pad-eye closure. There is a piece of leather with slits that gets pressed through the top on the pad eye, then a thin piece of leather that goes through pad eye loop (on top of the first piece of leather) to secure it from opening.
It sounds really complicated I know, but I promise it’s super easy and I can do it one-handed. And if I can do it with one hand, you can do it blindfolded, with one hand, balancing on one foot.
The bag also has a waxed canvas shoulder strap with a thick bull leather shoulder pad, and the back of the bag features a piece of thick bull leather to prevent items in the bag from poking you while carrying it. That back panel also acts as an outside pocket, held on by rivets.
I had three smaller pouches that I put in my gear bag. My wallet, makeup pouch, and everything else went in another pouch, like pens, gum, candy, etc. It was very easy for me. I knew what was in each pouch and it was easy to get to each one.
The bag is rather deep so I stacked my pouches and whichever pouch was on the bottom was difficult to get to, but since there was only the three pouches and nothing else loose that could fall out, it wasn’t a problem.
Another cool thing about the bag that I really liked was that the closure allows you to make the bag however small or big you need it. Mine was always on the bigger end, but if I ever just had my wallet, I could close it up super small.
It’s a one stop shop because you make it smaller or bigger. How many bags do you have that you can say that about?
This bag is perfect for the outdoorsman. Light, easy to carry, can withstand any type of abuse or beating you throw at it, and would be a welcome companion on your fishing, camping, hiking or hunting trip.
All in all, I really enjoyed this bag and I was able to make it fit everything I needed in a very simple way.
And it helped me get organized, which is always a plus!
If you want more information, the bag retails for $165 and can be found at www.saddlebackleather.com.
(Mattie Link is managing editor of the River Hills Traveler. She can be reached at email@example.com or 800-874-8423, ext. 1.)