How to Choose the Right Leather Backpack

Leather backpacks have become all the rage, and with good reason. They are extremely durable, fashionable and a great conversational piece. However, beware of cheap materials and shoddy construction. Quality comes at a price, so be sure to not only purchase a leather backpack, but get one you’re happy with.

There are three things to look for when shopping for a leather backpack: straps, construction and the dimensions. These three things can make or break the backpack, so it’s important to consider all of them. Here’s a rundown of what each has to offer:

Strap If you’re looking for the strongest strap on a leather backpack, make sure it’s at least six inches wide and made of leather. At least an extra inch is always better than nothing, so always go with six inches wide and strong straps. The thicker straps will stretch out further and provide a better handle. Dr. Martens makes a great line of backpacks and most have at least one model that offers a rugged strap.

Construction It helps determine how well the bag will carry weight, so check the straps and construction of the entire bag to see how well it will hold up. The top of the bag may not be as padded as the bottom, or vice versa. Make sure you know if the bag is rated for what you plan on putting into it. For example, a day bag meant for walking might not work as well as a laptop bag meant for going to the gym.

Containers The bigger the backpack, the more compartments it typically has, so it’s best to get a backpack that has at least five compartments and at least five inches of hanging space. Of course, not every backpack will fit all of your gear, so know exactly what you’ll be carrying before you buy it. Most leather backpacks have at least two main compartments, and sometimes three or four smaller pockets, with a large zippered interior for storing smaller items. Some have outside mesh pockets for smaller items.

Extra Strap This feature is important because you’ll want to be able to tighten or loosen the shoulder straps. Some leather backpacks offer both adjustable straps and detachable shoulder straps. These are great for carrying a heavy bag on your shoulders or for getting around campus. Many rucksacks also have an extra strap run along the back of the backpack, which can be used as a shoulder pad. Finally, leather backpacks have usually a webbing strap attached to the inside of the backpack, which provides an easy way to tie the bag closed and keep it from falling open.

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