The look of fine leather coupled with today’s modern ballistic fabric is a style trend I have been seeing more of while traveling. When I saw that Waterfield Designs from San Francisco was producing the Staad leather topped backpack, I was immediately interested in trying it out.
A modern backpack is so different than what we are used to picking up at the local big box store. They fit many more devices in specialized compartments and are made extremely well. The Staad came with excellent materials such as fine leather and a ballistic nylon bag.
— Chris Rauschnot (@24k) October 8, 2015
Disclaimer: I received the stout Staad backpack from Waterfield Designs at no cost for review. Photos are courtesy of Waterfield Designs. I have not been compensated for the review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“This backpack will kick your style up a notch,” explained Gary Waterfield, company founder. “We’ve finally found a design that works in the office as well as outside of work. No excessive straps dangling, no bulky outside pockets, just a clean, finished look. And it holds your laptop and tablet securely, along with power cords and more for those all-day meetings.”
At $329 direct from their website, the Stout version I choose to review had a chocolate leather top and a 1050 denier black ballistic nylon bag. It is built tough with stitching where it counts and a nice sized leather flap to keep out water during light rains. Its splash-proof YKK zippers seal up efficiently.
Inside of the Staad shows that Waterfield Designs knows what their discerning customers want in a balanced style of formal and active. This bag can handle what you might be ready to dish out. It supports up to a 15” MacBook in its plushly-cushioned main pocket and a tablet in the other. Depending on what version of the Staad you order, by request they will make the MacBook pocket to fit a MacBook Air or 12” laptop instead.
There are many more options to choose from. You may get the Staad in a slimmer profile for $10 less. With phones becoming phablets and tablets becoming pro size, I would choose the larger stout version to future your needs.
Waterfield Designs Staad Backpack UnboxingChoose from a tan waxed-canvas or 1050 denier black ballistic nylon bags and black, chocolate or grizzly leather with an outstanding flap and accents. Its vintage WWII-era buckle is easy to use as you can see from my unboxing video.
Internally, there are additional pockets to store the chargers necessary to power a tablet and MacBook. A few magazines or a textbook will slip nicely into the stout Staad. Swinging the backpack to your front makes the slanted pockets easily accessible for cell phones or keys.
I enjoyed the smell and feel of the leather each time I opened and closed the Staad. To access everything inside, the vintage buckle is easy enough to undo with one hand. Its half height zipper comes down far enough to remove the contents sans anything falling out on the ground, nice design touch indeed.
Everything about this modern backpack shows that quality is number one for Waterfield Designs. Their bags and backpacks are designed and manufactured in the USA.
To help with a fully loaded backpack, their shoulder straps work well with a padded back that also provides even ventilation. And while the internal pockets do not have Velcro or buttons to close them, the leather flap and vintage buckle keeps everything secured.
The design of the stout Staad is an eye catcher. I found people looking at it often wherever I took it. The compartments kept my MacBook and iPad scratch free. I did not worry about setting the bag on the ground as it has enough padding where it counts. I am impressed with its quality, how fast it was shipped and you will be too.
- Made In The USA
- Half height zipper on the front keeps everything from spilling
- MacBook compartment is adjustable during order process
- Splash-proof YKK Zippers
- Quick shipping
- Premium quality leather
- Good quality 1050 denier ballistic nylon bag
- Stitching could be better fortified
- Not fully waterproof