Rated 5 out of 5
by Becca37 First Impressions
I purchased the Leather Messenger Tote in brown, large. It took me nearly two years (yes, I'm picky!) to find a single-compartment leather tote at/under 250 that I'd be able to carry-on an airplane or in my motorcycle tour pack that has the room I need and the ability to keep the contents inside. This one is one of the very very very few that fit the bill. The messenger-like fold over aspect to it was the tipping point as I'll love the extra space when needed but most of the time it likely won't be stuffed completely. And between the fold-over top, the clasp, and the zipper it will keep the contents tucked inside when shoved under an airline seat.
First impressions upon unpacking are that it is indeed large. I foresee no issues putting what I want in here and toting it around. My thick bulky laptop (15 x 10 x 1.5) for work slips right in and almost disappears with plenty of room for lots of other things such as my purse, my tablet, my Nook, and so on. Yay!
The 13" height mentioned in the product description is with the flap folded down; up it's ~17". There's an unmentioned detachable mini purse inside, approximately 6" x 3" x 1.5", canvas and leather. "Bonus" I suppose.
I love the thick textured leather. Someone in another review called it coarse ... well it is "textured full-grain leather" so it is definitely not a smooth look or feel so if that's what you're looking for look elsewhere.
The handles are leather one side and webbing the other, which I wasn't really expecting but as I look at the item online again that's clearly pictured, just not called out in the description. My only concern with the handles is that the seam in the leather is top center and I've had purse straps fail at just such a seam point before. Hopefully the webbing layer will prevent that, and if not I suppose I'll get to try out the famed L.L. Bean 100% satisfaction guarantee.
The interior pockets are all on one side. There's one that should fit most smartphones, one for something narrower, both of these with a little leather strap with velcro-like keeper. Then a couple of credit card sized slots, and some pen slots. I wasn't looking for any interior pockets so they should be fine for me.
The only disappointment for me was the color. I ordered the brown, and in the item pictures it looks like a rich dark brown. In reality it appears to me to be much more of a saddle brown. Not a deal killer for me, just not what I was expecting and I hope it will darken over time and with use.
Other than the concern about the seam on the handles, it seems very well constructed, feels great, and I'm looking forward to putting it to use on its first trip next week.
November 15, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by IndyLucy Great bag
Wonderful bag for hauling files, etc. back and forth to work. The leather quality is very nice. I've been using it about a month now and it looks as good as the day I received it despite my abuse! The only suggestion I have for LLBean is to change the inner liner color to something other than black and to add more interior pockets.
October 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by LadyHiker101 I was given the brown color as a present
The more you use it, the more beautiful the leather becomes. It is very easy to clean with saddle soap, too. It is quite a handsome, very classic piece.
August 14, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Riba All-around great bag
This bag is the perfect size for work and play. Very rich looking! The leather is a soft beautiful brown color. The handles are long enough to use over your shoulder. I did not give it five stars because the color is not as dark as in the picture. In addition, the leather is smooth in some areas of the bag and more textured in others.
June 12, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by 4OPERA Oh My!
Big bag that smudges (black) and lacks useful pouches on inside. I was expecting a bag with attractive leather. What I got was coarse looking. No one would raise an eye to see it serving as a saddle bag on a Harley-Davidson. Overpriced.
March 27, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by TransplantedMidwesterner Great bag
I own this bag in the medium brown and overall really like it. The materials are soft but strong. The straps are comfortable and reinforced with a flexible but rugged canvas, and they are a good length to fit over my shoulder, even wearing a winter coat. (I'm 5'4".) The inside is large enough that last time I traveled, I fit in a tablet computer, change of clothes, breakfast and a book without it feeling stuffed. I can also fit in a 14"x10" laptop while still being able to close the buckle. It's a great commuter bag since I can easily fit lunch, a hat and scarf, a backup drive, and a small bag with wallet, etc. I like the size flexibility, security, and weather resistance created by having both a top zipper and a foldover top with a buckle.
My only complaint about the Leather Messenger Tote is the lack of sufficient interior pockets. There is one pocket of a size to fit glasses and one that will fit a large cell phone, both closed with velcro straps. There is a series of 3 credit or business card slots, too small to be of much use, and pen loops. It really needs one medium to large zippered pocket on the wall of the bag to be perfect.
March 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 She loves it!
She loves the leather tote. She had been looking for hours. I went to LLBEAN.COM and selected, got her smile, ordered, and paid for the tote in less than 10 minutes! We received it in six days. Great service!
January 16, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by califfan leather messenger bag
Real fan of ll bean. Only improvement in bag would be a large zipper compartment on the outside of the bag.
December 19, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Dee12345 LOVE THIS BAG
It's perfect for my intended use, which is to tote my laptop around. Open-top bags were not safe; I feared my laptop could fall out. Other bags had short handles, but I wanted something I could fit over my shoulder for ease of carrying. And finally, I wanted something with interior pockets to hold my stuff. This bag has it all. It's expensive but worth it!
December 5, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by BusyLifeMadeEasier Rugged Bag
This bag is very sturdy and it's size is great although a little heavy. The pockets that are inside are appropriately placed but the sizes are not good and there are too few. Smaller items tend to get lost.
I will use this day to day and for traveling as everything will fit: iPad included for me, but a laptop would fit as well.
October 17, 2012