Bottom line: The Leather Laptop Tote is a gorgeous bag that's made from high quality, American full-grade leather with herringbone lining and UV resistant nylon stitching. It has plenty of pockets and space for your necessities, including a padded compartment for a laptop up to 13-inches, and zips shut to keep everything secure.
Beautiful and professional style
Lots of space
Plenty of pockets, laptop pocket has strap closure
Zips shut to keep everything secure
Includes free leather clutch accessory
Heavy (even when empty)
Straps may not sit well on smaller shoulders
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As someone who writes for a living, I can often be found typing away at my laptop at home. But every so often, I need a change of pace, otherwise I'll develop some cabin fever. That's when I head to my favorite coffee shop, or even trek out to new ones in my area. But no matter where I end up, I need a trusty bag to transport my mobile office.
Here at iMore, we're no strangers to Pad & Quill. They're a company that's known for their incredibly high quality leather accessories for our favorite tech products, like the Bella Fino iPhone Wallet Case, as well as other gorgeous items, like the Woodline iPhone case. The products aren't cheap, but they come with fantastic warranties and are completely handmade, so you definitely get what you pay for.
I consider myself more of a backpack person when it comes to taking my laptop around town, but I had the opportunity to review Pad & Quill's latest Leather Laptop Tote, and it's definitely one to check out if you prefer totes.
One classy tote for any professional
Pad & Quill The Leather Laptop Tote: Features
Pad & Quill is well known for their leather goods, so it should be no surprise that The Leather Laptop Tote is no exception. It's made with American full-grade leather, so it's incredibly high quality, genuine, and durable. When you first receive the bag, it may feel a bit stiff albeit soft, but it becomes even more supple with more use, just as any good leather does. Pad & Quill also does provide a cloth drawstring bag to store your Leather Laptop Tote when it's not in use. If you appreciate a rich leather scent, you'll find it with Pad & Quill's Leather Laptop Tote.
The Leather Laptop Tote is quite spacious and has pockets for all of your necessities. On the inside, you'll find a padded laptop compartment that can easily hold a laptop up to 13-inches (perfect for my MacBook Air). There is also a slightly smaller pocket on the exterior of that compartment, which should hold a smaller iPad or other tablet. For these two pockets, there is a strap closure with metal clasp so your laptop or tablet is secure. Two leather straps can be found on the sides, and they have a metal clasps at the end for keys, AirPods (when they're in a case like TwelveSouth's AirSnap Pro), and other small objects.
Across from the laptop and tablet pocket is a zippered compartment with three open-topped pockets for holding small accessories. If you have a laptop larger than 13-inches, you can store a laptop up to 15-inches in center of the bag (probably best in a padded sleeve), along with any other essentials. On the exterior of the tote, there is a pocket in the center on both the front and the back, along with two side pockets. The centered pockets are good for holding things like your phone, iPad mini, documents, and other small items. The side pockets can hold more small things, and you can even fit a water bottle in it as well, as long as it's not too big.
To add to the overall elegance of The Leather Laptop Tote is the very strong, antique brass hardware that Pad & Quill used. Regardless of whether you choose the Chestnut or Whiskey color, the brass hardware goes nicely with both and give it that touch of exquisiteness. The clasps themselves have a nice heft to them, feel fluid, and appear very durable. And the zippers have a good pull to them, and the fact that the bag has a zipper at the top is great, since it means nothing has the chance to fall out. The tote features two sturdy straps on both sides of the bag for carrying. It's in a tube-like style that is comfortable to hold in the hand, and sits in place well on broad shoulders.
As a bonus, Pad & Quill includes a free leather clutch accessory with every Laptop Leather Tote. This small clutch is made from the same exact materials as the tote itself, including the herringbone lining on the interior. There are three leather slots on the inside for holding credit cards, and the space should be enough for cash, make-up, and other small work-related items you may need.
That's a fine leather tote ya got there
Pad & Quill The Leather Laptop Tote: What I Like
I'm not usually a tote person, but The Leather Laptop Tote is definitely a high quality tote that you should consider if you're looking for one.
As a fan of leather goods, I love how The Leather Laptop Tote feels — it's soft and velvety, although a bit stiff when you first get it. But as you use it more, the suppleness becomes more noticeable, and any scuff marks just adds character to the bag. I also like the laptop pocket, since it is not technically touching the bottom, so your laptop won't be bumping around when you place the bag on the floor or anything like that. The other pockets inside the bag make it easy to organize the accessories I carry with me on a day-to-day basis, and I do love that this is a tote that zips completely shut, so there's no chance of losing anything valuable.
The free leather clutch accessory is a nice bonus, honestly. It's nice enough that it could even be used on its own. Oh, and that 25-year warranty that the bag comes with? How can anyone not like that?
But it's expensive and quite heavy
Pad & Quill The Leather Laptop Tote: What I Don't Like
A big thing I noticed with The Leather Laptop Tote is the fact that is heavy. And I'm talking about it's just heavy by itself, completely empty — it's 2.3 lbs. So once you start putting your stuff in it, the bag just gets heavier. If you don't do well with heavy bags, then this tote is not for you.
Another thing I noticed while using it is that the carrying handles/straps don't really work well for me. Perhaps it's because I have small shoulders, but I found that one strap (the outer one) would always slip or fall down while I'm carrying the bag. I think those who have broader shoulders may not have an issue, but for those with smaller figures, like myself, it could be a little annoying. Personally, I will be sticking with backpacks or messengers, as this style doesn't really work well for me.
While the side pockets are designed to hold slimmer water bottles, I found that it can take a bit of effort to get the water bottle in. So be warned — your large Hydro Flask probably won't fit here.
And lastly, this bag is tote is not cheap. It is almost $400, so it may be out of range for most people. I'm sure that there are plenty of nice leather laptop totes out there that you could get for a fraction of the cost for this one. But then again, those aren't Pad & Quill and probably don't have a 25-year warranty. The quality is here, but it doesn't come cheap.
High quality at a price
Pad & Quill The Leather Laptop Tote: The Bottom Line
If you have the cash to spare and are in the market for a high quality laptop tote, then Pad & Quill is the way to go. The American full-grade leather is top notch, there's plenty of room for all of your necessities, and it shuts fully with a premium zipper pull. It's not without flaws though, but hey, you do get a nice leather clutch to go with it and a warranty that will last almost as long as the bag itself.
The Leather Laptop Tote is made from premium American full-grade leather, has plenty of space and organizational pockets, and zips shut to keep your contents secure. It also comes with a leather clutch and a fantastic warranty.
Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.
By Tammy Rogers