Saddleback Leather was kind enough to send us one of their Overnight Bags to test out. As always, all opinions are our own.
Saddleback’s Leather Overnight Bag (formerly called the Dry Bag) comes in two sizes, medium and large. I opted for the large size in Chestnut, which is a good size for a weekend trip–or makes a handsome carry-on bag for heavier packers.
It set nicely on top of my Away suitcase (the larger carry-on size), and the combo of the two allowed for clothing, camera, laptop and more for a weekend trip. Lighter packers shouldn’t have any problem fitting in enough for a weekend.
The leather is thick and high quality, but surprisingly supple. The bag is actually constructed of one piece of leather, so that it’s water, dust and sand resistant when the top is rolled down and buckled. Some people use their Overnight bag as a rugged camera bag because it’s more protective than the average camera bag when closed.
There’s a removable long strap that can be worn cross-body or over the shoulder, along with two top carry handles, making the bag easy to carry rolled or upright.
The Overnight Bag has a structured liner in the bottom half of the bag, which helps it to keep the squared off shape and flat bottom. Add in a padded camera bag insert, and you’d have a pretty darn protective camera bag, something that’s a nice option for the future. For now I’m mainly using mine to schlep clothing.
My clothing might not need that extra protection, but the structure provided by the insert does make it easier to pack and to carry the bag on top of a suitcase.
The bag easily fit a weekend’s worth of clothing and a change of shoes. It’s not large enough that there’s a real need for packing cubes, but I did use a thin, lightweight cube (the eBags Ultralight we loved so much in this post) to keep my shoes separate.
Below, I packed a pair of jeans, a couple extra shirts, pajamas, shoes and some misc small items, with plenty of room to spare.
At 4.6 pounds, it’s not a lightweight bag (if you’re looking for super lightweight luggage, see our picks here), but it’s not uncomfortably heavy either. As a 5’2″ female, I wouldn’t necessarily take it on a long walk, but it’s fine for most travel situations, and men are less likely to notice the extra couple pounds compared to the average thin leather or nylon weekender bag. I feel like the tradeoff is easily worth it to have a bag that will last years, if not decades longer.
While the added weight is an acceptable tradeoff for a higher quality bag, I would love to see some organization in the Overnight Bag. Even just a couple small interior pockets would come in handy to prevent small items from getting lost in the bottom of the bag. In fairness, there may be a rationale for this in preserving the watertight-ness of the bag by not adding unnecessary stitching. Just be aware that you may want to toss in a pouch to keep track of little items.
Overall, it’s a gorgeous, high quality bag! Carrying the bag for a couple months isn’t enough to judge how well it will hold up over time, but it looks and feels extremely well made.
I’m a sucker for leather with a distressed, aged patina, so I don’t plan to be gentle with my Overnight Bag, and I can’t wait to see how it looks in a couple years.