Isn’t it ironic? Over the course of the last two years, we’ve all carried more baggage than ever before. We’ve hauled around high-running emotions and dragged about daily stresses. We’ve shouldered more woes and worries than any other years in living memory. But real-life baggage — everything from backpacks to briefcases — have been sorely underused.
Locked-down and shut-in, we simply didn’t need them. We no longer used laptop bags, because we were commuting to our kitchen tables. Women hung up their handbags; forced to swap nights out for nights in. And the backpacks, cases and trunks we used to use for city breaks or weekends away? They were left unpacked, and unloved.
Thankfully, the world is recovering — just in time for the festive season. And, pulling themselves up by the satchel-straps is The Cambridge Satchel Co.; Britain’s homespun, homegrown bastion of durable, timeless leather goods. For over a decade, Julie Deane’s inimitable, indomitable brand has been creating full-grain, finely stitched satchels — and the range only grew over lockdown.
In fact, the collection is so diverse that it’s difficult these days to choose the best bag for you. And, if you’re gifting a satchel this festive season, it can be beyond tricky to pin-and-buckle down the perfect present. That’s why we’ve sifted through the satchels with a keen eye and discovered the best The Cambridge Satchel Co. bag for every occasion…
For the men-about-town: The Messenger Backpack
You know the type. The movers. The shakers. The mischief-makers. This Messenger Backpack was made for the man on the move; someone who can’t sit still long enough to unpack his life at a desk — but needs some semblance of organisation to keep his days in order.
Like the wanderers and wayfarers from which it takes its name, this bag is built to roam — with adjustable shoulder straps, great flexibility of wear and the brand’s characteristic double tab closures with brass buckles. Buy one this Christmas for the WeWorkers, hot-deskers or coffee-shop-laptoppers in your life.
The Messenger Backpack
For the ladder-climbers: The Briefcase
Because nothing makes an impression like a briefcase. And no briefcase is quite as impressive as this. The Cambridge Satchel Co. may have cut its teeth with one design in particular, but the briefcase is the satchel’s close cousin. And this stripped-back, sophisticated option borrows many style cues from the company’s hero product.
There’s the roomy central chamber, the perfect place for budding businessmen and emerging entrepreneurs to stow those freshly-inked contracts. There’s a detachable, adjustable shoulder strap for any quick boardroom getaways. And there’s even a convenient magnetic closure — to ensure every business meeting goes as smoothly as that Saffiano leather finish.
For the stylish partygoers: The Bowls Bag
One of the newest styles to be launched by The Cambridge Satchel Co., the distinctive Bowls Bag will make the perfect present for any sophisticated ladies in your life this Christmas. With its idiosyncratic cylindrical shape (it was inspired by a 1930s bag discovered at an antiques fair), it’s an ideal alternative to a handbag or purse for a night out.
Pairing perfectly with elegant eveningwear, the Bowls Bag is available in colours including ‘Oxblood’ and ‘French Grey’, and features small gold feet and a detachable shoulder strap. Like the briefcase above, it’s also got handy magnetic closures cleverly disguised as traditional buckles — ensuring all of the vintage charm, but none of the hassle.
The Bowls Bag
For the daring creatives: The Music Case
Gifts don’t get much better than The Cambridge Satchel Co.’s Music Case. Especially if the friend or family member you’re buying for is a force of creative nature. Because not only does this handsome twist on the traditional briefcase have room aplenty for their latest manuscript or masterpiece — it also has some quirky, innovative design features itself.
There’s that distinctive bar closure for starters, which slips over the single top handle to effortlessly secure the front flap. And the colour combinations range from the sufficiently stylish ‘Oxblood’ to the striking one-two palette punch of ‘Navy & Tan’. For artists and visionaries, we can think of no better bag.
The Music Case
For the traditionalists: The 15-inch Satchel
Of course, some will still prefer a satchel. Thankfully, The Cambridge Satchel Co. continues to offer its original design in several sizes (options include 11-inch, 13-inch and 14-inch). But our top pick would be the biggest of the bunch; the 15-inch satchel. With generous proportions and a slick black colourway, you won’t find a more versatile satchel anywhere.
It’s always neat and never cumbersome — crafted from 100 percent leather by a team of expert makers who show their pride in their work by embossing the brand’s bicycle logo on the reverse of the bag. But our favourite feature? Those genuine double buckles; slightly more time-consuming than magnetic fastenings, but worth every extra second.
The 15-inch Satchel
For everyday elegance: The Little One
And, finally, a smaller option. Just eight inches wide, The Little One is the perfect present for any female friend or family member on the search for a new daily, dependable bag. Small enough to stylishly accent any outfit but large enough to carry the essential items for a night out, this is the most petite version of The Cambridge Satchel Co.’s classic design.
There’s a slim-but-secure adjustable shoulder strap included, gold hardware and those easy-to-open magnetic closures. But, other than that, it does what it says on the chic leather tin; offering everyday storage for everyday items — and doing it in style. After all, you know what they say about the best things…
The Little One
Want to learn more? Browse the full range at The Cambridge Satchel Co. here…
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