There is no luck in making a quality leather backpack. And this backpack is no exception. It was purposefully designed with no breakable parts like zippers or snaps or velcro. And any stress spot is reinforced with Polyester straps hidden beneath the leather and riveted. The body of this leather backpack is built with just two big pieces of leather, which means there aren't many seams. The fewer the seams, the stronger the backpack because backpacks come apart at the seams before anywhere else. And then we only sew 5 stitches per inch so there are as few holes as possible. Quality can be measured in Seam Feet (how few feet of seems a bag has. We made that term up).
The leather of this backpack is the strongest and most water resistant we can find (full grain) and then we line it with pigskin, which stronger than the cow skin. It's rare for a low-quality company to use full grain to make a leather backpack because it's so expensive. When I say, "Full Grain Leather" I mean that it still has all of the tough tightly woven fibers on the top of the hide. Most companies shave off the scars and blemishes from the top of the hide (watch how they shave it here at minute 6:30) and shave off the strongest and best part of the hide (the grain) while doing it. They do it so they don't have to cut around the marks and throw those pieces into the trash like we do. We throw 25% of the hideaway. They don't throw hardly anything away.
I know using 316 Stainless Steel custom hardware is kind of like killing a fly with a shotgun, but we did it anyways. Check that one off the list of potential problems. Our large pieces of hardware on our backpacks are rated strong enough to hold a 750 lb. bag of cats before it gives. Seriously, I hope you google it to understand more. If your life is going to depend on any metal, let it depend on 316 Stainless Steel.
Then we sew it all together with thick and strong Polyester thread. It's industrial strength and doesn't deteriorate with exposure to the Sun's UV rays like Nylon thread does. This Leather Backpack is very strong in the nature of the materials we use.
This Front Pocket Leather Backpack has a floppy interior laptop back pocket and all three exterior pockets have a hidden pocket behind them for quick access and for longer things. The lower d-rings on the bottom of the backpack are great for strapping on tripods, blankets and wet river shoes. The shoulder straps are minimal, comfortable and adjustable. In fact, you can remove the shoulder pads for whatever reason. Like if you are tying down something with a nice finish on the roof rack of your Land Cruiser and you don't want the rope to leave a mark. You can put this shoulder pad under the rope. I know there aren't many ways to innovate for functionality on a plain leather backpack, but when I found a chance, I took it.
Fits all 17" laptops
Shipping with our Tube Shoulder Pads.
Dimensions (W x H x D)
12" x 17" x 7"
Weight: 6 lbs
Made by lifelong leather craftsmen at our own factory, Old Mexico Manufacturing
The Hiking Through the Panamanian Jungle Leather Backpack Bedtime Story
My brother and I were dropped off by a boat on one of the Bocas del Toro islands heading to a famed surf spot called Wizard Beach. Everything seemed fine as we started on the trail up a nice grassy knoll with my leather backpack on my back, fancy camera around my neck and leather suitcase in my hand. Jonathan was carrying our sole surfboard and a small leather satchel and we were good to go.
But in no time at all, the ankle-high grass turned into dense underbrush and a double canopy overhead as we found ourselves in the middle of a dense Panamanian jungle. But that wasn't the problem. The problem was that muddy trail was up and down and slicker than snot. It felt like we were hiking in roller skates on wet ice even though I was wearing my hiking Teva sandals. Seriously, never had I experienced any mud like that. It was all we could do to stay on our feet and it's times like this you appreciate a solid leather backpack on your back to let your hands be free to grab trees and roots and walk with a stick in hand.
I'm not saying that we would have been forever lost in the jungle and eaten by monkeys there if it weren't for my trusty leather backpack, but I'm just saying, it's a really good idea to wear a backpack to keep both hands free when you're out and about off the pavement.
We finally got to Wizard Beach, put my leather backpack down and learned why everybody had talked it up so much. It was no fable. The waves were monsters. Not like Zicatela Beach in Puerto Escondido, but they were huge. So Jonathan looked at me and I looked at him and we mutually decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to go out that day. I had a runny nose and he had picked up a splinter in the jungle on his little finger and waves like that could only make our ailments worse. So we stayed on the beach for a few hours taking it all in and then made our way back to the little dock again. It's not always the destination, but the journey to get there that makes a trip fun.