Real & Genuine Leather Bags: 4 Things to Think About Before you Buy

 Thinking about buying a real leather bag?

Before you go ahead and buy, read this quick guide to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

There might be a little bit more to consider than you think. At The Real Leather Company, we're passionate about making sure you get exactly what you need out of a real leather bag.

Read on for our 4 things to think about before buying a real leather bag.

1. Material of Real Leather Bag

For some, faux or PU leather will suffice.

However, if you want something that will last longer and age gracefully, there is no substitute for real leather. These are the categories of real leather:

Full grain leather

This is the highest grade available. It’s the top layer of the hide and is not sanded or buffed.

We think to think of full grain leather as the purest form available, because absolutely no chemical processes are permitted. Essentially, it's straight from the animal, into the bag.

As a result, you’ll notice imperfections on the skin – that’s how you know its full-grain leather. As all the grain remains in this leather, full-grain leather has maximum strength and durability.

Click this link to see our full collection of full grain leather messenger bags.

Top grain leather

This is the second-highest quality leather available and the one we see most commonly in leather messenger bags.

This leather is very high-quality top skin but has imperfections removed. The surface is sanded and given a finish coat, which reduces durability slightly, but protects from stains. This leather is more workable for the manufacturer and generally a little more affordable than full-grain leather.

Top grain right for you? Look here at our top grain leather laptop bags.

Genuine leather

This is one to watch out for. Whilst it sounds high quality, genuine leather is actually the third class of leather. It’s produced from everything that remains after the top layers of skin are used for higher quality leather goods. Usually, artificial grain and dye is applied to make it look more natural.

Still reasonably durable and hardwearing, but not to the level or full or top grain, these leather bags are usually the most affordable.

Check out this article to find out the for a full guide on the types of leather.

2. Size of Real Leather Bag

This is a crucial one that we see people overlook all the time.

Are you looking for something smaller like a purse for men? Or what about something larger like a man's messenger bag?

Make sure the leather bag you buy has room for all your gear. Most leather bags will fit tablets, books and wallets easily. But if you want to carry a laptop, make sure you look closely at the dimensions.

Measure the width of your laptop and ensure you buy a leather bag that has a width at least the size of your laptop.

Weight is also an important thing to note. With all your gear inside, a particularly large leather bag could be a burden to carry.

3. Hardware of Real Leather Bag

It's not all about the leather!

Quality clasps and zippers not only prolong the life of your bag and give it that classic look; they are also a security feature. Make sure you buy a bag that protects your items and keeps them securely stored. 

Depending on your preference, make sure you choose a pocket layout that matches your personality.

Looking for something smooth and chic? Maybe go for something that has just the one inner pocket. 

Do you like everything to have its own place? Look for a leather bag with multiple inner and outer pockets so you can arrange your gear accordingly.

We also almost always recommend getting a leather bag with a shoulder strap. Even if you prefer to carry it briefcase-style, when you load up your bag with a laptop, books and files, you will be grateful you have an easier way of carrying it.

4. Brand of Real Leather Bag

Be sure to buy from a brand you feel you can trust. Read reviews (we always prefer ones with pictures!) from other customers who have bought the same bag you are looking at.

Some sellers will offer trial periods or moneyback guarantees. These are great for leather bags. They take away the risk because if you don't like the color or even if you just change your mind, you can still try it out for a few days then return it for your money back.

Check out our collection of Real Leather Bags Here.

Updated 02/16/2022.

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