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Since time immemorial, leather has been favored for its durability, flexibility and high-quality aesthetic. Today, it’s a fashion staple often synonymous with vintage style. In this article, we look at a few of the best options on offer for leather luggage aficionados. These range from high-end carry-on pieces crafted from full-grain cowhide; to supple messenger bags made with genuine buffalo leather.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: AmeriLeather Leather 26-Inch Upright
With a mid-range price-tag and dimensions that work for both long and short trips, the AmeriLeather 26-Inch Upright suitcase is well-suited to all leather luggage fans. It is made from attractive top grain cowhide, and the fully lined interior features a small zippered pouch (perfect for cosmetics or electronics) and cross-straps designed to keep your belongings in place during transit. On the outside of the bag, you’ll find three zippered compartments.
Two of these (one small and one large) are located on the front of the suitcase. The third is discreetly located on the back of the bag, giving you a safe place to stash your wallet or passport during airport layovers. Twin in-line skate wheels team with the extendable pull handle to enable effortless mobility. At check-in, plastic support bars allow the case to stand upright without having to lean it against the counter. Use the included nylon bag strap to attach your carry-on case to the front of the bag as necessary.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Unitravel Vintage Suitcase
Those in search of a suitcase that combines modern spinner technology with retro aesthetics may prefer the Unitravel Vintage Suitcase. It features quality microfiber leather stretched over reinforced fiberboard and accented with leather strapping, giving the case structure while maintaining that stylish old-school look. There is no zipper - instead, two metal luggage clasps are protected by customizable combination locks.
The interior of the case is lined with printed polyester fabric and features a zippered mesh compartment in the lid as well as a pair of cross-straps. Use the top and side carry handles to maneuver the bag in and out of your car; and the quadruple spinner wheels to glide through the airport with minimal effort. The extendable pull handle is made from strong, lightweight aluminum alloy and has a choice of height settings. The case comes in four different sizes and a variety of color options, from pastel pink to navy blue.
Best Budget: 28-Inch Distressed Leather Holdall
While it may not have fancy spinner wheels or an extendable pull handle, this 28-Inch Distressed Leather Holdall offers functionality and style for a reasonable price. Made from soft, naturally processed goat leather, it’s chemical-free and non-allergenic. The interior is lined with durable canvas and the buckles are made from sturdy brass so that your investment stands the test of time. Measuring 28” x 13” x 13”, it’s big enough for an extended trip.
The roomy main compartment is accessed via a zipper in the top of the bag. It’s complemented by three exterior pockets, including two zippered sections on either end and one on the front secured by a buckled flap. These come in handy for stashing your electronics or for keeping your shoes and laundry separate from your clean clothes. The bag also features two twin carry handles, and an adjustable, hand-stitched shoulder strap.
Best Luggage Set: AmeriLeather Leather Three-Piece Set
The AmeriLeather Leather Three-Piece Set comprises a 26-inch upright suitcase, a 22-inch upright suitcase and an 18-inch boarding tote. All three are made from matching genuine leather. The two upright suitcases feature twin in-line skate wheels and an extendable pull handle, as well as a security lock with a spare key.
Both feature cross-straps and a zippered pocket on the inside and three zippered exterior pockets. An attach-a-bag strap makes it easy to join the two together. Similarly, the boarding tote has a snap-on strap that allows it to be slipped over the handle of either upright case. Make the most of the tote’s roomy inner compartment (with three pockets); and its exterior organizer compartment. The latter has sections for your phone, pens and documents.
Best Carry-On: Piel Leather 19-Inch Multi-Pocket Wheeler
Available in classic shades including saddle, chocolate and black, the Piel Leather 19-Inch Multi-Pocket Wheeler measures 22” x 10” x 16” in total. It can be used as a carry-on on most major airlines and is made in Colombia from full-grain genuine cowhide leather. A U-shaped zipper offers easy access to the main compartment, which features elastic straps and a choice of different pockets.
The exterior boasts no fewer than four zippered compartments - three on the front and one on the back. The largest compartment has built-in dividers for your important documents, while the smaller sections are perfect for keeping your boarding pass and passport within easy reach. Other highlights include top and side carry handles, a telescopic pull handle and two roller-blade wheels.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best carry-on roller bags.
Best Backpack: S-ZONE Vintage Crazy Horse Genuine Leather Backpack
Crazy Horse leather is known for its antique look and impressive durability, both of which define the S-Zone Vintage Crazy Horse Backpack. Its rugged design suits adventure travelers and outdoor sports enthusiasts (and anyone with a penchant for pockets). Measuring 17.3” x 12.6” x 5.1”, the backpack includes a spacious main compartment with a sleeve for 17” laptops and pouches for your phone, iPad and pens.
The exterior features five pockets on the front of the bag (two zippered and three buckled), two snap pouches on either side and a secret zippered compartment on the back of the bag for your valuables. Use the shoulder straps to wear it as a backpack or carry it briefcase-style using the twin top handles instead. Colors include brown and light brown.
Best Duffel: Komal’s Passion Leather 24-Inch Square Duffel
Crafted from 100 percent genuine leather, the Komal’s Passion Leather 24-Inch Square Duffel is vegetable-tanned to attain its rich brown color. The bag measures 24” x 11” x 9”, making it ideal for weekend getaways (or as a carry-on for more lenient airlines). The interior is lined with durable canvas, while the exterior features two zippered side pockets and a buckled pocket on the front. Use the carry handles to lift it by hand, then secure it over your shoulder with the adjustable padded strap. Some customers report a strong leather smell - a pro or a con, depending on your preferences.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best duffel bags.
Best Messenger Bag: LEABAGS Oxford Genuine Buffalo Leather Messenger Bag
The LEABAGS Oxford Messenger Bag boasts a beautiful vintage look created by genuine buffalo leather assembled with fine stitching. It measures approximately 15” x 12.2” x 3.9” and has a lined interior big enough to fit a 15” laptop. Organize your belongings using the compartment’s zippered and slip-in pockets. There’s another zippered pocket on the front of the bag (cleverly concealed by the bag’s flap) and one on the back as well. The adjustable shoulder strap is reinforced by strong nylon lining.