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Saddleback Thin Briefcase Medium v. Large

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    Saddleback Thin Briefcase Medium v. Large

    Seeking some input on SBL sizing.

    I ordered the Thin Large recently. It seemed gargantuan to and on me (I'm not small or huge— 5'10", 165 lbs); spouse concurred, saying I looked like an unfashionable straight guy with no sense of proportion. So I sent it back. I ordered a medium. Again, lovely, but now I wonder if it's large enough.

    I'm a college professor (on the younger side, so I feel obliged to have style, unlike some of my colleagues), so I often (not always) have the Macbook, plus a couple of books, and some combo of pads, papers, and notebooks pretty much anytime I walk out the door.

    A 16" size of Thin would be perfect, but alas, such does not exist.

    Anybody have any thoughts on the size of the medium?


    I'm a professor, too, and I have the Large Classic briefcase. It's big, but I am as well (6'3" 230lbs), and it looks good with my frame. I lug around lots of books, notes and a laptop everywhere I go, so I am very glad to have the extra width. It does get a bit heavy but I haven't minded much.

    I wonder if the relative thickness (the width) of the large classic briefcase makes its large length and height feel more proportionate than the large thin case. I feel like I might not be making much sense, but perhaps you can get my drift. In any event, I think the aesthetic perfectly fits a professorial context. For young folks like us, it's kind of nice to have some stuff that makes us look like we belong in the role. That sucker adds as much gravitas as a pipe.



      I do have a pipe, but I tend not to smoke it on campus.

      I use public transport to get to and from school, so I will carry the case quite a bit. It's mostly about whether I'm going to have enough room. Spouse points out that I will still have the TNF backpack for those days when there's tons of stuff.

      Gar. I hate being indecisive.



        Why, BTW, did you go with the Classic instead of the Thin?

        For you, the large would probably work, as you've got 4 to five inches and a good 50 lbs on me!



          I'm 5'9 155 and have the Saddleback Thin Large. I found what works best for me is actually using the feature to turn the bag into a backpack. This helps it look less bulky and large on my frame, and is more comfortable to carry. Also, carrying the bag backpack style actually has been a conversation starter. If you're carrying a laptop as well as books, I would definitely suggest the large.



            Large felt huge when I initially had it, which is why I sent it back to SBL. It seemed like a little suitcase in terms of looks. This one looks great, but I'm not sure about capacity.



              I think in this case you should consider function before form.

              Dress for style, live for results.



                I don't own a saddleback, so I can't comment on their sizing, but I'm also a college prof who hasn't been cured of his hardbound book habit and who commutes by public transport. When I switched from using a backpack to using a messenger briefcase, I was also worried about having enough space.

                This is probably obvious, but what I did was play around with the fit of a very heavy day's load: laptop, 800 pg textbook, other books, notepads, etc. I found that I had just enough room for my needs on that kind of day but that I had to cut back on extraneous objects (mostly personal reading material) that I'd been in the habit of keeping in my bag for days or even weeks at a time. Which was fine because I don't actually need two or even three books to choose from for a 30 minute subway ride. What made the decision even easier for me was that my truly heavy load days are now much fewer than they were in grad school, when I was often on multiple campuses in a single day.

                But really: the answer to your question all depends on your individual carrying needs. If I still regularly had the kind of carrying days I used to have in grad school, I probably would want or need a bigger bag.



                  napaxton, I went with the Classic over the Thin simply because it allowed me to carry more stuff. I read a couple of the Dappered posts on the main page about the Thin briefcase, and I just knew I'd be carrying more than that on a regular basis. It looks like it could fit a laptop and a couple of books, which is great for some, but I teach some ancient languages, so I'm lugging around grammars and lexicons to my classes.



                    So here's what I decided.


                    A few factors contributed. First, the large looks too big. Just enough that I think it looks strange and even a tad awkward on an average sized guy.

                    Second, it IS bigger than most briefcases. I've done a (admittedly) non-scientific observation of briefcases on Washington Metro (my transit system) in the morning and evening. They're all about 15/medium size. Bigger ones tend to be the ballistic nylon bags that come with large computers.

                    Third, one thing that matters if you want to put more stuff in a bag is not width and height, but depth — because of the way that bags are oriented and thus how we put things in them, two more inches in depth gives a LOT more room than two in width. But the Thin Briefs are both the same depth. (Duh, they're thin!)

                    Finally, as for form following function, that's true. But I don't want to ignore form or let function entirely overwhelm form. For me and on me, the large may be one more indication of our American tendency to prefer size, often to the exclusion of fit (cf. supersizing food and drink, guys wearing shirts two sizes too large, some of the obese, Walmart, SUVs, etc.)

                    On another note, the following guy's review of the briefcases was both helpful and entertaining. Also, only about a minute long. No unboxing, no pedantry about whether everything will fit in, none of the cliches of the consumer products test genre.