1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Saddleback Large Satchel review with PICS

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by solocanoe, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi All -

    wow, been a busy few weeks but in that time I got a good business trip, a multiday solo canoe trip, and a whole bunch of other stuff done! In that time, my "Dave's deal" Dark Coffee Brown Messenger bag arrived.
    I was very excited to come back to the office and see the box. It really didn't take me long to see that it was just too narrow and tall for what I wanted. The girls at Saddleback were awesome and I had lots of great emails telling me exactly what to do to return it for exchange. (no refunds on Dave's Deals, of course)

    Well, this SBL (Saddleback Leather) stuff is quite addictive as others have said before. I decided overnight that I was so enamored with the quality, feel, smell (fantastic!), and look....I just knew I had to have what I wanted anyway.
    I called SBL the next morning - had them close the ticket on my exchange - and ordered the one I had wanted from the beginning - the Dark Coffee Brown (DCB) Large Satchel.

    I carefully wrapped back up (and sealed - to hold in that wonderful smell!) the SBL Messenger Bag. It will be a present for my brother - in -law's 40th coming up. I talked to my sis and she said she has caught him ogling the SBL site a few times since they left our place in July.

    This is the same brother in law that still carries my Maxped Sitka he left my place with a couple summer years ago....and the same one who gifted me a Lefty Spyderco Military to get me to try a folding knife. So he's a good guy. Which he better be...this SBL leather stuff is like giving fine cigars, single malt scotch, or maybe an ESEE Junglass or something - it's awesome stuff! :)

    I ordered the SBL Large satchel on the phone this time with one of the girls and we talked about the extra strap ($100) or the backpack straps ($130). I needed "something" to make this a backpack...I saw with the messenger that I could barely get my arms thru the existing straps when set in "backpack mode"....due to my size.

    I am 6'4" around 275 and have about a 52" chest, 38" waist, and my shoulders run about 56-57 inches. This is due to 25 years of heavy lifting and yes, it does make buying dress shirts expensive! lol!

    In the end I decided to wait on the extra straps and just try out the bag. Since I was paying full price on this one, I knew if I didn't like it when it came (dimension wise) I would return it for something bigger, so I just ordered the DCB Large Satchel by itself.

    I'm going to post a few pics to this thread with notes over the next bit here. I know how we here at EDCF really like pics! :)
     
  2. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    4
    Everyone can see on the SBL leather site what the satchels look like, so I'll skip that part and get to what I did to it and how it's loaded.

    This is the inside of the front flap. I wanted to be able to access the contents with one hand, so I needed a clip. I took the flap and folded it over (trapping my modded clip) and duck taped the flap to the lid. The inside is lined with pig skin so the duct tape had plenty to stick to...but it also would allow the full clean up of any tape residue very quickly and easily with just a sponge and water.
    [​IMG]

    and this is the outside of the bag. I took a D-ring and swivel connector off an old baseball bag of my son's in the garage. The D ring had a split in the back, so I just threaded it thru the same hole the leather strap holder was in. I used some vice grips to widen it to push it thru, then squeeze it back together. The swivel connector was easy, just put it over the flap, duct tape the flap as just mentioned, and the swivel hook just "hangs there" and it looks about factory:

    [​IMG]

    in the future I will do this again and be more careful not to let the vice grips make marks on the D ring...but it works, and I'm happy. Of course, all this comes right off and returns the bag to "factory specs" really easily.

    next I'll get to some more mods and contents.
     
  3. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    4
    Since I wanted the backpack capability (Rush 24 spoiled me forever there!) at least sometimes....
    and since I wanted to be able to carry all I needed with me to convert it to a backpack..., I first thought of adding a length of belt, some webbing, and finally just decided to try some paracord. Glad I did! The paracord "strap lengtheners" are tiny wadded up in my bag, weigh nothing, and can go on-and-off in seconds:
    [​IMG]

    here's one attached to the bag. Slip it thru a D ring on the bottom of the Satchel, run it thru itself, tighten, and the top loop clips to the SBL strap. This gives me roughly a foot more length on either side and the paracord just about disappears anyway, this part is mostly all under my arms and next to my sides, almost totally invisable:
    [​IMG]


    of course, this is true 550paracord- I got a bunch of it from supply on base awhile back, so whatever I load in the bag will never overtax the paracord.
    Light, simple, easy to carry with me, easy on - and - off. .....me likey! :)
     
  4. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    4
    Next the contents. Boy, I gotta tell ya, THIS was the hardest part. The RUSH 24 bag for over a year now...I carry what I need for business, survival gear, tons of extra stuff I just like...the pockets for everything...the Rush is truly an EDC dream... WHAT to "pare it down to?" hmmm

    I grabbed a couple of these zippered pencil pouches with clear windows....and loaded up some stuff from my Rush that I just couldn't be without. Mostly small items that I just want or use regularly.

    The black M-2 pouch is my canoe "ditch kit" - fully reviewed here before the forum switched over (you can search it) but suffice it to say, this is all I'd need to survive many days if I got separated from my canoe. Several ways to to make fire, coffee packets, energy packets, water purifiers, filter straw, small first aid, wire, paracord, fishing kit, survival blanket, etc...

    the green buff is wrapped around my survival necklace that I never am without. The ditch kit is on my waist and the necklace is on me whenever I paddle. (it's also on reviewed on here...but you can google Ranger Rick's Survival Necklace for full pics and details)

    The M2 pouch and the survival necklace are so important to me when I am out in the woods, but they also are never farther than my bag (arm's reach) as I move thru life. If I can't get home for the big stuff, or the jeep for more stuff, at least I have this for minimum stuff.

    Since i'm never w/o a fixed blade - the ESEE Izula is there. The Mini-tec loc is in one of the pencil cases for easy, multiple carry options of the knife.

    The multi tool is the issued one my buddy gave me - that he carried in Afghanistan.

    Nitrolite gloves, Sigg bottle, The Message Bible, my compact Day timer (used this sytem for 19 years!) round out the "stuff" I decided I needed at minimum:
    [​IMG]
    next to load it up!
     
  5. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    4
    so here we are loaded up. I recently bought a mini- dell PC. It's about the size of a kindle and twice as thick. This will replace my full sized dell laptop I was carrying around anyway and there is plenty of room for it as you can see here:
    [​IMG]

    none of this stuff is packed very tight. The dell mini could fit with the pencil pouches, or in the main compartment easy. The bag expands and I'm not even filling it up here. You can see my DayTimer is falling over a bit with the extra room.

    The back flap will hold a couple hanging green files just fine, so I have room for client files. There is about 6-8 inches of unused vertical space here across the top of the bag - plenty of room to add stuff for different uses.

    "Different stuff" - was my main concern.For the past year, the entire main compartment of my Rush 24 remained basically empty. Daily additions - different for each trip - became VERY important to me. There's less room here, obviously, but still quite a bit of extra-left-over space. Last nite for a HS football game - our daughter performed at halftime - I carried our camcorder, mono-pod-stick-thingie, and a light coat for my wife. (wishful thinking it was 88, humid, and a sweatbath!) I put this stuff right on top of what you see here...and it didn't even expand the bag.

    On days when I am canoeing -just for the day - not multi day's (that's a duluth pack), I can throw some fishing gear in here, extra food, even a big thermos would fit across the top (or lashed to the D rings on the bottom of the SBL bags)

    It's a bit of a challenge to "pare down" what I'm carrying, but with the smaller Dell mini, and makeing a "jeep bag" out of the Rush 24, I think I can live with this.

    Not picured are the my "big five" which are on me anyway. GOTD (Gun of the day - in smart carry usually), Surefire E1b, Wallet, knife, and cell phone.

    The big thing is the AWESOMENESS of the SBL bag. 4 people commented on it last nite at the game. 2 clients liked it enough to say something, basically it's like the SBL testimonials say....few have ever seen anything like it and most all want to touch it - it's like a lab puppy or something! lol!

    The "patina" develops quickly as you can see in these pics. This is just about a week of carry. I really look forward to using and "wearing in" this bag over time - it's gonna look SO wonderful as time goes by! :)

    ok, hope you liked all this - sorry if I contributed to your CCard use!
    I'm going to link to this review for my other sites and for SBL as well.
    thanks for reading all this -
    john n.
     
  6. grayman

    grayman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    Glad to here the large satchel worked out for you. I ended up exchanging mine for the large thin briefcase, which very much looks like the satchel. I got a few "nice purse" comments from some friends at work and they told me it was too small for me to carry. I also discovered at that time that I had received the medium satchel so I was going to have to do an exchange anyway. The girls at Saddleback were great and let me purchase the new thin briefcase so they could get it to me ASAP and then just refunded my money when the satchel arrived.

    I don't know about you, but I can't help feel a little special when I stroll into my office building in the mornings with the bag slung over my shoulder just oozing quality. They must make the nicest Tumi briefcases look like Wal-Mart luggage.

    I also I was going to say I like your clip design. You should send pics into Saddleback as a different type of closure would be great. I'll try and post some pics of my on the thread I started this weekend.
     
  7. Tyson127

    Tyson127 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looks great! Awesome idea with the clear pencil/pen packs, too.
     
  8. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks, Tyson127 - the pencil pouches worked out pretty well for me. I don't know what made me try them, but I'm glad I did! :)

    Grayman - glad your experience with Saddleback was great too! They do seem to really have provide excellent CS. I've sent them an email with a link to this review so they can see the pics of the mod. I put in there that Dave's designs are GREAT and this is "just me"....as I wanted one hand quick access. BUT, as I said above, everything I did can be off the bag quickly and a person would never know it was ever on there.

    you are also right about the "feeling special" part. It's pretty cool to own such a classic piece.
     
  9. CDavisJK

    CDavisJK Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    59
    Looks good! Thanks for the review.

    My Dark Coffee backpack arrived a few days ago. Everything is quality. One thing is that, maybe because I'm a little short (5'8" 135lbs), the bottom of the backpack digs into my skin a little, especially when it's packed full. I'm sure the leather will form over time and this problem will go away, but for right now it's bugging me. I'll get some pictures up of mine in a week or so after I've have a chance to really use it.
     
  10. grayman

    grayman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    Remember to back the heaviest gear toward the top and that might alleviate the problem a little.......or not. I've just always been told to pack the heaviest stuff at the top.
     
  11. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    4
    look forward to the pics and your input, CDAVISJK.
    The backpack seems very nice!
     
  12. silverbear

    silverbear Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks sharing - great write up and pictures. I was very close to getting that bag, but decided to just go with the Rush 12, partly based on your glowing comments on the 24. But that bag may still be in my future........ :)
     
  13. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    4
    sliverbear - thanks for your compliments!

    It's easy to love the RUSH series, isn't it? As far as a bag that can totally SWALLOW an incredible amount of gear...each little pocket or holder seems to fit "all your stuff" just perfectly...the RUSH series just does SUCH a good job! So much so that the RUSH 72 became my BOB after a couple decades of it being an ALICE!

    The RUSH 24 has ridden "jeep duty" this last week...I've reached for my camera, and my knife sharpener so far...that weren't there. Well, they WERE THERE...in the RUSH 24...but the bag I was reaching into was the Satchel...lol! It's gonna take a bit of getting used to. :)

    I don't know what it is -- with the SBL stuff. The Large Satchel doesn't hold 1/5th of the stuff I had in the RUSH 24, it's not as easy to carry with those wide cushy straps on the RUSH bag, and it's not black...so it doesn't "blend in" for a business enviroment....but I haven't really questioned my decision much at all.

    In fact, I've NEVER had a single person comment on ANY black bag I carried into work...Molle, patches, nametape, etc...but the Saddleback draws comments like moths to a flame! Probably not a bag to carry if you don't want to talk to people, haha!

    The SBL stuff DOES come in black....but it didn't appeal to me - I figured if I'm goin' this way...I'm goin' with the dark coffee brown...that's the color that jumped out at me.
     
  14. CDavisJK

    CDavisJK Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    59
    I feel the same way you do. I buy everything in black. But the SBL in black just looked too normal, almost cheaper. I also went with the dark coffee leather color because it just looks awesome.

    I'm too embarrassed to carry my backpack to work or school because my girlfriend says it looks like I'm carrying a treasure chest on my back. I will be taking it hiking this Sunday though.
     
  15. grayman

    grayman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    It's strange, but, even considering how much the SBL stuff costs, I really don't mind bumping into stuff with it or tossing it on my office floor once I've retrieved my iPad. I'm looking forward to the character this bag is going to have.
     
  16. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    4
    ***Something I FORGOT to mention.

    I was in one of my satellite offices in TX yesterday...and the folks there were oohing and ahhing...and someone made a comment about the Duct Tape - and wouldn't that stick to the strap as the strap is "pourus" like the rest of the bag... (it's easy to see it comes right off the pigskin lining)

    Sorry if I screwed anyone up - but I wrapped my strap with a piece of paper out of my printer (it was handy)
    cut it close, scotch taped it, THEN I Duct Taped the whole deal to the inside lid of the satchel.

    Being as EDCF'ers are so smart ( :) ) you all probably knew this...but I thought I'd mention it.

    Also...really cool how the bag "loosens up" with another week's worth of useage.
     
  17. grayman

    grayman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    I know what you mean. Mine faithfully waiting on me at the office.

    [​IMG]