Craig of That Dapper Chap reviews the leather Citylander laptop bag by Scaramanga
Scaramanga was founded by Carl Morenikeji in 2006 after he found and fell in love with a vintage satchel during one of his trips to India. Satchel in hand, he sought to find craftsmen who could recreate similar satchels. Long story short and Scaramanga now offer a wide range of beautiful vintage inspired leather bags and accessories.
Todays review focusses on the Citylander laptop bag. Inspired by leather briefcases of the 50’s & 60’s, it comes in a distressed leather, compounding that vintage look and feel.
Suitable for a 15″ laptop, it has an internal pocket that’s going to keep it safe and secure on your travels. It also has a smaller 13″ pocket for smaller items which would then free up the larger pocket for books etc, if you’re on your way to college, school or university.
The dimensions of the bag are: W39.5cm x H31 x D10 (15″ x 12″ x 4″) so you’re getting a very decent sized bag for your money.
Scaramanga’s satchels and other leather bags are made using high quality vegetable tanned leather, which has been cut and put together by leather workers using tradition tools and techniques, all of whom have years of experience in the industry. Not only that but the leather, furniture and other products are all fairly sourced, directly from unique and traditional craft-based families and small enterprises.
This particular bag is priced at £152.50 but is currently on offer at £140.00. For me, that’s a very reasonable price for a great looking bag of this size.
Packaging & Presentation
The bag arrived well packed in a cardboard box, inside which I found the briefcase protected by it’s own muslin dust bag. This is a nice touch, particularly if you’re giving the bag as a gift, and it elevates the product to a more respectable level than it may have without it.
I used my bag during the week of its arrival and had no issues with it. The zips are all sturdy and worked well. The quality of the leather, the bag itself and the hardware is all very high.
I was able to get everything I needed into it without struggle and I found it very roomy. I made good use of the handles and the shoulder strap. I’m always pleased when a bag comes with both options as it allows for much for versatility of use than it would have without one or the other.
The external pocket is also handy for items that you need to get your hands on quickly like your mobile telephone or train tickets as it saves you having to stop, put your bag down, open in and root around inside for the items that you’re looking for.
This bag does have a very ‘vintage’ look and feel to it which may alienate some people. If you’re looking for something sleek and perfectly elegant this may not be the bag for you, as while it’s super functional and very well made, it isn’t that sleek and shiny design that some city gents may prefer.
If however you’re a bit more relaxed in your approach and want something that looks like it’s had a previous life and a bit of soul to it, maybe this is something that interests you.
Pro’s & Con’s
For me, the size is a great plus. I was able to get everything in it that I needed: Diary, camera, phone, cables, iPad and other bits and pieces that I use daily.
The handles are handy (pardon the pun) and the detachable shoulder strap is a bonus. I also liked the various pockets and the pen holders in the outer flap.
On the flip side (while not an issue in any way for me) the overall look of the bag may put people off. It is intended to look well-loved and have that vintage appeal, so I think the customer base may be limited as a result.
Just as I anticipated we had a ‘Marmite moment’ and a direct split between “love it” and “don’t like it”. While some really liked the authenticity and vintage feel, others wanted something more ‘modern’ looking and sleek.
Katy was a fan and said “Oh, I love it! I want one myself, do they do a lady’s version?” Harry was less enamoured and was put off by the actual feel of the leather as it “puts my teeth on edge”
Ben was impressed by the overall quality but didn’t feel it was “my type of bag” while Matt stated that “I’d definately use this bag, I love the various pockets and it’s a good size”
Anyone who knows me knows that I love a bit of vintage style so for me it’s a great piece. It’s a good quality and well designed bag. The price puts it in the affordable category and the ethical principles of the brand also make it very appealing.