I have had the use of Filson’s Original Briefcase for about six months now, and I think it is time for a review!
I was on the lookout for something that would fit a lot but not too much. And because I was looking for something that was bigger than what I already had, I was thinking the bag cannot be leather because that would mean the bag itself would account for a lot of weight, even without any contents.
What was a working adult with some cash to spare to do?
It had to be professional-looking enough, and yet not overly stuffy. It had to be sturdy but not heavy.
My search led to Filson. For a time, I toyed with the idea of getting the Computer Briefcase. It was larger and would be more value for money. However, having ascertained that the Original was probably large enough to fit a standard paper folder (slightly larger than A4, that is), I decided against getting the Computer Briefcase because the extra space would lead me to over-burden my bag. I wanted something that I could comfortably carry.
Having made that choice, my next decision related to the colour. It was simple but not that simple! The beige one was out because once dirtied, it would look like crap. Between the navy one and the olive one, I took a longer look (I think it took me days), but I decided on the olive because it was more in accordance with the professional look. The navy seemed too dapper.
You can fit several thick bound volumes of documents, and definitely paper folders. If you fit textbooks standing up, you probably can fit two books in one layer. The size of the main inner compartment is really quite useful for most purposes. As for your magazines and papers, they can go into the outside pockets. One of the outside pockets house a keyring, if you are into that sort of thing.
The leather strap is adjustable, though because I prefer a shorter hang, I punched in another hole. Another one the great things about this bag is that the strap is easily removable by way of the brass catches. Despite the ease, the catches are sturdy.
While one might be concerned with water getting into the bag because the top is zippered, the canvas cover flap does go some way towards alleviating this concern. I have used my bag in rain before and the contents were dry. [I have not tried this in a heavy downpour though.]
One not-so-good thing is that zipper teeth are pretty rough. So when you are reaching in and out, you need to be careful not to scratch the back of your hands. Also, while I try to take care of the leather bits (and I even do some mink oil treatment from time to time), it does get scuffed nonetheless. I think it’s fine.
I am very happy with this bag, and have on some occasions, insisted on using it when I could have done my body a favour by using a trolley bag instead. It still looks smart, and I hope to have its company for the years to come.