HERITAGE SATCHELS GUIDE.

A lexicon to help you find your heritage bag.

COMPARTMENT

Compartments refer to the main storage sections within satchels.
They are designed with gussets. A gusset is a leather strip that goes all around the compartment to give it some depth.
A compartment built without a gusset is a flat pocket.
Our compartments are built with deep gussets, which explains their cavernous interior feel.

All bags from the Heritage range either have 1, 2 or 3 compartments.
This excludes any front pocket and only refers to the main sections within the bag.
We encourage you to first and foremost determine the number of compartments you will need to help you narrow things down.

You can learn how many compartments a bag has by reading its name. If there's a I, II or III in the name, it means respectively, 1, 2 or 3 compartments. So the Scholar II for example, has 2 main compartments.
The Briefmaster is an exception, it always comes with a single compartment, so you won't find a number besides its name.

Leather satchel briefcase with one compartment.
1 compartment bag.
Leather satchel briefcase with 2 compartments.
2 compartments bag.
Leather satchel briefcase with 3 compartments.
3 compartments bag.

DESIGN

The design refers to the front pockets
and size of the bag. Read on for an overview:

Vintage leather briefcase.

Briefmaster

A timeless briefcase offered with a single compartment, and a large front pocket. The compartment is built with a deep gusset, which means lots of room for books, documents or accessories.

Professor traditional leather satchel.

Professor

The Professor design features 2 symmetric front pockets. This gives the Professor satchel a traditional, academic look. You will find the Professor satchel in several versions, built with 1, 2 or 3 compartments.

Beautiful old school leather satchel briefcase.

Student

The Student design features a single large front pocket. This gives the Student bags a clean look more akin to the briefcase format. You will find the Student in several versions, built with 1 or 2 compartments.

Old school leather satchel briefcase.

Scholar

The Scholar design features two asymmetric front pockets. This gives the Scholar bags a more rugged look.
Additionally, Scholar bags are taller, and wider than their Professor and Student counterparts. This design is suitable for larger accessories, and bulky lever arch files for example.
You will find the Scholar in several versions, built with 2 or 3 compartments.

COLOURS

You should choose the colour that suits your personal taste and style.
Moreover, the intrinsic quality and durability of each leather is comparable.
But if you're unsure, read on for key specificities that are worth discovering:

Classic leather satchel briefcase.

VINTAGE LEATHER

This colour is produced by natural tanning and oil impregnation. During the tanning process, various plant extracts influence the final shade of our vintage leather. The colour is never exactly the same from one piece of leather to the other. Even on a single bag, you might find one pocket slightly darker that the rest. This leather is very smooth, it features old scars, sometimes vein patterns, and it reacts to friction. It has a nice earthy scent. When new, it can rub off on light-coloured clothes. It can deal with rain, but it will stain, and recover. It won't just repel water instantly. This is our most rugged leather, and the quickest to develop a patina. It is prepared for us here in Belgium.

Classic tan leather satchel briefcase.

TAN LEATHER

This colour results from weeks spent interacting with natural barks in wooden drums. Unlike the vintage leather, it is not impregnated with oils, which explains its lighter shade. With its smooth surface, it is perhaps our most uniform leather. It still features occasional marks and faint vein patterns. It will develop a patina where it rubs the most. It cannot ever stain, and it fares well under the rain, protected by a thin layer of transparent coating. Because the tannery doesn't use colouring pigments or any oils, it is slightly more economic to produce, making the tan leather a cheaper alternative to the vintage, black or red leather. Prepared for us here, in Belgium.

Classic black leather satchel briefcase.

BLACK LEATHER

This vegetable-tanned leather is coloured in drums with natural pigments. It features an authentic textured surface that varies from one piece of leather to the other. You might find parts of your bag with a more apparent grainy texture. This gives it a lively feel. It shines moderately under the light. This shade is uniform and elegant. Our black leather doesn't stain, and it won't fade with time. It fares well under the rain as long as you let it dry afterwards. This leather is prepared for us in Italy.

Classic red leather satchel briefcase.

RED LEATHER

This vegetable-tanned leather is coloured in drums with natural pigments. It features an authentic textured surface that varies from one piece of leather to the other. You might find parts of your bag with a more apparent grainy texture. It's a deep, mat colour that doesn't rub off. This shade is uniform and elegant. The red leather will become slightly shinier as it develops a patina, and it won't fade with time. It fares well under the rain as long as you let it dry afterwards. This leather is prepared for us in Italy.

BACKPACK

If you read the word "backpack" in the name of any Heritage bag, it indicates that it can be converted to a backpack. It still has a removable / adjustable shoulder strap, and a top handle, but you can also mount back straps (included) to carry it on your shoulders.

On these bags, a set of 3 sturdy rings are fitted at the back. The top one is situated right below the handle so the position is ergonomic when carried on the back. Older Ruitertassen satchels have their top ring further back which renders them less comfortable.
Although backpack versions are a bit more costly, it's an option that it really worth considering, depending on your habits.

Man wearing a classic leather satchel like a backpack.
Beautiful leather satchel with laptop pocket.

PRO

If you see the label PRO in the name of a bag, it indicates a superior level of finish. The upgrades are as follow:

  • The interior is lined with a heavy-duty, olive-coloured canvas to increase the durability of the bag even further.
  • There is a padded pocket to safeguard your laptop or tablet.
  • External edges are hand-painted. A protective coating that adds a nice feel and completes the look.
  • The shoulder strap is made of leather and strong non-stretchable canvas. Also fitted with an extra wide leather shoulder pad.
  • The flat zippered pockets are finished with leather caps at their extremities.

The PRO version of any bag costs more as it requires more labour and materials. A worthwhile investment if your bag is put under regular stress and harsh conditions, or if you want to enjoy the best level of finish available.

JUST LIKE MEN

They improve with age.

JUST LIKE WOMEN

They last last longer.

EXPLORE THE COLLECTIONS

HERITAGE SATCHELS

Timeless career bags.

INDIANA BAGS

Adventure ready nubuck.

VANGUARD BRIEFCASE

The satchel re-invented.

- SECURE SHOPPING -

We use industry standard encryption and a firewall to keep your personal information secure when placing an order.

- FREE DHL SHIPPING -

All USA orders ship with DHL for free (excluding accessories). Your orders are dispatched from Belgium, and usually delivered under a week.

- WORKSHOP SUPPORT -

We cover each item against failure for 2 years. After that, our workshop commits to help maintaining your goods for a lifetime.

ESTABLISHED IN 1925.

© 2020. All rights reserved.