First… there’s something odd about calling a Saddleback case “thin”. Compared to the 7″ – 8″ deep standard Saddleback behemoths, yes, the thin line is comparatively svelte at 3.5″ – 4.5″ deep. But they’re still five or six pounds when EMPTY. They’re beasts. The only thin thing about these Saddleback briefcases might be their owners… since it could be tough to keep weight on when burning all those calories lugging it around.
Yet any Saddleback owner will tell you that extra weight is well worth it. Because with the weight comes quality, durability, and the often talked about 100 year warranty each Saddleback leaves the factory with.
The new Front Pocket Brief. Notice, if you will… the front pockets.
Most of us are familiar with their standard, Medium Thin Brief. It’s a goal-worthy briefcase for some of us, and the Year 3 report of our 100 year test* should show up on the site in the next few weeks. The one complaint about the standard thin brief seems to be the lack of compartments available to store & contain smaller to medium sized items. To rectify that, Saddleback has introduced a new, additional case to their lineup: The Front Pocket Brief. It’s a bag, with saddlebags.
It may be the “thin” option, but you can still carry all the essentials.
(Whiskey, type writer and Girl Scout cookies sold separately)
And those extra pockets aren’t tiny. Their interiors measure 5 ½” wide x 6 ½” high and a good 1 ¼” deep, with extra room to flex a bit thanks to the tough but soft full grain boot leather. Behind each pocket is a slot to store maps, a newspaper, or other thin items. It’s a detail that’s easy to miss, but offers quick access to an item without having to unbuckle those front pockets.
Speaking of unbuckling those things… it ain’t the easiest thing to do out of the box. The leather is so thick that it doesn’t want to bend all that easily. But Saddleback briefcases can take a little while to break in, and it’s fair to assume that these’ll get nice and flexible as time goes on.
Seems a little curvier through the top than the original Thin Brief?
Compared to the Medium Thin Brief, this new front-pocket briefcase looks more… rounded? The flap over top just doesn’t seem to square off as much as the boxier, Medium Thin Brief. The lines on this new version look a little more country, while the original Thin Brief has a bit more of a polished, sharp look to the exterior.
Great hardware, pigskin lined, and an internal key strap.
The interior is lined with soft pigskin, there are rivets at all of the stress points, and the hardware like the buckles and D-rings are good and thick. Unclip the shoulder strap and run it through the circular ring at the top near the grab handle, and you’ve got a backpack. It’s a Saddleback through and through.
If you’re the type who likes to travel with less clutter, stick with the original Medium Thin Brief. But if by choice or by work obligation, you’re carrying all kinds of items, gadgets, and do-hickeys (technical term) on a daily basis, maybe consider the extra compartment equipped Front Pocket Brief.
Enter here to win this Saddleback Thin Front Pocket Brief in Dark Coffee Brown. One entry per person. Deadline for entry is 11:59 pm ET 3/11/14. Thanks to Saddleback for providing the case. Good luck!
UPDATE: Congrats to Ian G. who won the drawing for the Saddleback. Thanks once again to Saddleback for providing the case for the review and giveaway!
*someone might have to pick up where, y’know… we leave off.