Folk Leather is a new company that has spent the last year perfecting its bag design before releasing it to the public for purchase starting tomorrow April, 11th. They were kind enough to send over a bag for my review ahead of the launch.
About the Folk Messenger Bag
As the name suggests the Folk messenger bag is made from full grain buffalo leather which is sure to offer a lifetime of durability and offers a very cool grain pattern. The leather is not sanded or dyed during the tanning process and has a nice natural weathered patina which will continue to age over time.
Full grain leather is definitely a choice material for a messenger bag due to its vertical grain pattern and higher density, there’s a reason work boots are made out of the stuff. The bag is stitched together with UV resistant high tensile polyester thread and all the hardware is made from solid brass.
Folk bags have 5 compartments for storing all your toys and tools. There’s room for a 15-inch laptop (sleeve made from soft-touch suede), tablet, notebook, phone, business cards and a large area for whatever else you might want to carry.
Finally, Folk bags come with a 100-year warranty, so if you do outlive the brass hardware or buffalo leather they’ll take care of you.
I’m a big fan of leather messenger bags for work. They are practical without compromising style the way a fabric messenger bag can. When looking for a bag I want something that is durable, stylish and offers smart, functional, spacious storage for everything I need to conduct business and keep my dress pockets empty (laptop, iPad, notebook, pens, phone, wallet, and keys).
The Folk bag won me over with it’s understated style. It can be hard to find a messenger bag that looks good enough to take to a corporate meeting, the Folk bag pulls it off. It’s also one of the only leather bags I’ve found that can handle my laptop, charger, iPad, notebook and even a travel mug without looking like it was going to blow open. It even received several compliments at a regional meeting despite being stuffed to the gills. Added bonus: the Folk bag lacks the obnoxious logo placement and size of many other messenger bags.
The leather body is thick and heavy but it feels like a bag I’ve had for 10 years, the leather is soft, pliable and has a very nice patina. When I received the package and told my wife I had a bag to review she asked if it was going to smell. Every leather bag I’ve had in the past has had a decent gas out period before not stinking, I’m happy to report that the Folk bag has no odor to it at all.
The Folk bag’s ability to maintain its shape, even when empty, lets it stand upright when resting on a surface without having to lean it against something. This makes loading and unloading a breeze compared to most other bags. A leather bag, by design, is not as easy to use as a fabric messenger bag with snap clips or seatbelt style closures. They always require the use of at least one strap and buckle. That said, the Folk bag’s brass hardware not only looks great but the slightly oversized buckles make opening and closing the bag as easy as it can get.
Pockets and organization: In terms of organization, the Folk bag is pretty basic. It has an unpadded, soft-touch suede laptop pocket that can accommodate up to a 15-inch laptop. The laptop sleeve is perhaps my only real gripe with the bag. Because it’s suede it lacks the body and stiffness of the surrounding leather, so it slouches when there is no laptop present to stretch the bag. In addition to laptop storage, there is dedicated room for a tablet, notebook, phone, and business cards.
I used the large front pocket to hold my phone, security badge and wallet as they are quickly accessible without undoing the buckles to open the bag.
Who can argue with buffalo leather? It just has a nice manly ring to it. In practice, the Folk bag delivered. It’s functional, stylish and upon close inspection and review of the materials from which it is made seems well prepared to handle anything I can throw at it. The Folk buffalo leather messenger bag is available directly from Folk Leather starting tomorrow. More photos of the bag below.
Edit: The bag is now available for purchase on Indiegogo