Hi all forumites,
First post and time to return the favours of all your insights over the last few hundred posts!
I pulled the pin and placed an order for a Large Satchel, DCB, post to Sydney and with a small ID wallet and a Small gadget pouch for an iPhone.
It was not my first purchase with SBL- I bought a large wallet in December of last year but more on that later.
THis post is not a big pros/cons review or 'unboxing'- and until I figure out how to post pictures, there are none of them either. It is more about the experience of the order process and some of the choice decisions
The day after I placed my order and it was confirmed, the new version was announced. I wrote back in time and they were just able to swap the model to the new type just in time with a small upcharge.
There are two things about the new model that was only barely touched on in previous posts and that is to do with sizing.
1/ The new model is 14" wide, not the older 13 and this makes a difference.
If you are living outside of the USA, you are probably using A4 stationary pretty frequently right?
This new model comfortable fits an A4 binder or Note Book. No Sweat.
In fact it can fit a THICK A4 binder, plus other A4 documents without squeeze or hassle.
2/ The 14 Inches I think also gives the bag a better Aesthetic Aspect Ratio. Ok, so this is subjective thing. I am 172cm tall and 72Kgs, so not tall, not short, someplace in between. THe large size fist me well.
Volume? OK I have not taken a real measurement yet but I can say it is on par if not slightly larger than my Crumpler Western Lawn Messanger bag for comparison. That one is about 14L of Volume on a good day, but advertised as 11L. In a case of natures foodchain, When I received the parcel at work, I took my crumpler and its contents home inside the new satchel
So why not the classic briefcase? Well, to pictures and dimensions it looks really thick. 20odd cm sticks out a fair way on me. I also did not want the two extra straps that no one seems to use much. Weight is the biggest 'complaint' on that bag (Although surely you knew it was coming right?)
Why not a Large thin Briefcase? I thought long and hard about this. A4 would fit in fine, but when I considered the contents of what I carry, an apple is often in the mix for my Daily lunch. The Partitions in the thin briefcase are thinner than an Apple! Ergo, I could not carry an A4 foder and an Apple at the same time without some weird bulge thing happening. THis model was ideal except for the thickness. I wanted something inbetween.
How about the messanger? Well, the size to get an A4 in seemed quite a 'tall' bag to me, and having experience with a similar laptop bag design, a long front flap I find is not only ungainly to get in and out of, but being leather, not a well utilised used of material and weight.
So the satchel was lined up.
The ordering process was shit hot. I remember when I bought my large wallet (My old Mambo travel wallet from the nineties was threadbare and falling appart) it was expensive for a travel wallet. But, I wanted to test out the SBL construction quality and get something I needed without committing too much. Freight at the time was a killer.
SBL noted that cost (it was UPS) and I noted that I was not aware of the sometimes missed fineprint about the USPS option. This is not only cheaper but sometimes faster! SBL was kind enough to refund me the balance of the cheaper freight option and secure for me a very much cheaper option for the small ID wallet and the IPhone pouch than what the website would suggest. Those two only added $4 to the overall freight bill of $65 with a 7 Day Delivery from Distribution to Sydney Australia. Pretty Good considering the relative alternatives.
THey guys were super helpful in ensuring the order happened and on time. I plan to "Christen" the bag with a short Business trip into Japan next week and one to the States in 3 weeks time. As it turns out, I think I have something in each pocket of that large travel wallet after passports, cards, iteneraries etc all go in. Maybe then Photos can be forthcoming. I will also be able to give then some insights to pros and cons in the field and how I tried to EDC stuff inside it.
Cheers all and thanks for all the reviews opinions and you tube clips that helped me make my decisions.