There is no luck in making a leather duffle bag when you give it a 100-Year Warranty. It was purposefully designed and built with no breakable parts, the strongest leather, hardware and thread we could find and with reinforced stress points and as few seams to tear as possible. Read at the bottom of this page to geek out on these details in depth.
No Breakable Parts
There are no Hello Kitty parts on these leather duffle and overnight bags. I designed all of our luggage and carry on with no zippers, snaps, buttons, Velcro or anything else that could break. And do you know how hard it was designing an overnight bag without a zipper? But since all zippers eventually either break or the fabric that holds the zipper teeth to the leather falls apart, I just decided to skip them and use only very hard metal buckles and d-rings on these duffle bags. If you’re going to build a billion dollar submarine, don’t put a cardboard hatch on it.
Full Grain Leather
Imagine a cow gets killed. Now imagine it gets skinned. Think about that for a bit. Now imagine they send that thick hide to the tannery to be made into leather. Well, it gets there, but it's really thick. So they split the top half from the bottom half and now they have two workable hides to sell to leather duffle bag manufacturers. Watch our video of how they tan and split that leather and watch me ride a longhorn bull in my full grain leather suit too.
The durable top half of the hide is the quality duffle bags are built with. It sells for a lot of money because it still has the top layer of fibers, called the “grain”, on it. They are the densest, strongest and most water resistant fibers of the hide and the same fibers that give leather it’s reputation for toughness and our leather overnight bags theirs for quality. Grain is to leather what shingles are to a roof. It’s called FULL GRAIN leather because it still has the FULL amount of GRAIN on it. And the thickness of that top half of leather our thick wristed craftsmen use to make our duffle bags is a little thicker than work boot leather.
Reinforced Stress Points
Anywhere a leather duffle bag sustains any weight or pulling, it gets a hidden strap of super strong polyester between two layers of leather that were cut from the shoulder or back of the cow because that’s the strongest part of the hide. We then back that part of the overnight bag up with extra stitching and a rivet for good measure. And most people would never notice this, but we put the rivet as close to the stitching that gets pulled on so that it doesn’t even get the chance to start pulling away from the leather weekend bag.
Lining as Strong as the Cow
Instead of lining our leather luggage with some pretty nylon fabric that tears, we glued and then sewed on a tough pigskin to the back of the duffle bag’s already thick and strong full grain leather. Pigskin has a higher tensile strength than cow skin, but not as high as kangaroo skin. So, now our leather duffle bags are twice as strong as any other leather bag we know of. It’s part of what makes our overnight bags last so long.
This is HUGE for us. Building a leather duffle bag using 316 Stainless Steel hardware is kind of like killing a fly with a shotgun, but we’re okay with that. We’ve never had a piece of our custom hardware break off of an overnight bag since we started using it.
IMPORTANT: We don’t use Stainless Steel 404 or even 310. We only use Stainless Steel 316 and that’s why it’s so hard. I’ve told metallurgists before that we use Stainless 316 for our hardware on our leather duffle bags and I’m not kidding, they said I was lying. It is expensive and kind of overkill, but if your life had to depend on the hardware of your leather overnight bag making not failing, you’d want it to depend on ours. Of the 150 types of Stainless Steel, ours is rated at an incredible 91 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. Our duffle bag buckles and clasps are rated to hold up to a 750 lb bag of cats.
German Engineered Thread
Leather duffle bags sewn with low quality nylon thread will fall apart fairly quickly. It’s not IF it’s WHEN. Nylon thread is made from a lot of short fibers wound together to make a long thread and those fibers come apart from each other with rubbing, UV light or heat. And then the overnight bag comes apart too. Our expensive German thread is the same thread used on parachutes and sails on ships because it is made from long continuous strong strands of Polyester with no breaks at all. And we use the thick double ought for all of our leather duffle bags.
Public Service Announcement: Polyester is a disaster on the human body when fabric is made with it, but great when thread is made with it. Read my findings on how, when it is In sheets and clothing, it causes bad sleep, infertility and skin rashes. But when used to sew a duffle bag together, it causes exceeding joy.
Only Large Pieces of Leather
Imagine you have one solid piece of leather and you’re yanking and pushing on it. Where is it going to tear first? Now imagine you have two pieces of leather sewn together and you start yanking and pushing it. Where is it going to tear first? Exactly! Right at the seam. This is a GIANT KEY to why our leather duffle and overnight bags last so long. They don’t hardly have any seams. The body is usually made with just one or two big solid pieces of leather. The low quality companies use multiple little chunks of leather sewn together to make their duffle bags. It’s a lot cheaper to make weekend bags that way because less scrap ends up on the cutting room floor. Check out our fun video explaining this with one of our one single piece leather duffle bags.
SURPRISINGLY IMPORTANT: A sailmaker in New Zealand told me that a sewing machine is actually a perforation machine and each hole is the start of a tear. So they try to keep the needle holes as far apart as possible. Think about how easily a perforated sheet of paper tears. It works the same with leather. For our duffle bags, we set our German and Dutch sewing machines to 5 stitches per inch so we can get the needle holes as far apart from each other as we can without the duffle bags looking weird. Most leather duffle bags I see are sewn at around 7 stitches per inch, which is okay, but not the best.
Cheap Leather Backpacks
So, imagine you hire someone to put a new roof on your house and they tear off the old shingles and then just paint on new shingles. I’d want to kick them in the ear, but I wouldn’t. That’s what happens when low quality leather duffle bag manufacturers buy that junky and cheap bottom half of the hide called split or genuine leather, that doesn’t have the grain anymore.
The tannery presses and paints the bottom half of the hide to look like full grain leather and then send it to low quality leather overnight bag makers for their soft little tear stained handed workers to make crap with. I made a video and gave advice to the pirates and other lowlifes to help them make more money. Check it out here. And then they sell their leather duffle bags to nice but ignorant people. For many years, I was one. But those leather weekend bags will dry out before too long because the leather doesn’t have that dense tough top layer to hold moisture in or to protect from sharp objects and friction.