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Best Men's Leather Backpacks

Best Men's Leather Backpacks

Best Men's Leather Backpacks
The Calder Backpack | Handcrafted Leather Backpack

If you haven't yet purchased a leather backpack, perhaps this is the year. The many styles of the modern backpack, on the other hand, may overwhelm you. The kind and quality of leather will also be important. Its size and design are also essential considerations. Fortunately for you, we've compiled a list of the best of the best for 2022. Allow us to assist you in your search for the best men’s leather backpacks.

Backpacks made of leather have gone a long way. Leather backpacks are bags for everyone, from their birth to their present forms. Similarly, it is a bag that is appropriate for practically any occasion. It is both stylish and functional. The backpack's design has developed over time to meet a variety of demands. It caters to the needs of students, office workers, and, most notably, hikers and trekkers. It is unquestionably a bag that you should possess.

What Is a Leather Backpack?

A leather backpack is the ideal travel companion if you want to stand out from the crowd of traveling wusses. You won't find a full-size trekking backpack made of leather, but if you're searching for a daypack or overnighter with a little cool factor, a leather backpack is excellent.

While leather backpacks look fantastic, don't buy one only for its appearance. To get the most out of a leather bag for travel, make sure it's compact enough to fit beneath an aircraft seat, has enough room for a change of clothing, and can contain a laptop (preferably in a purpose-built sleeve).

What to Look for in a Men's Leather Backpack

Are you new to leather? If you are planning to purchase the best men’s leather backpacks then you should first know a thing or two about leather. For example, there are three types of real leather out there. When we say real leather we mean organically made leather. These three types of leather are full-grain leather, top-grain leather, and genuine leather. Accordingly, the quality of leather goes from the best to the least good.

The different types of leather you choose matter. This is because each type of leather will have its own advantages and disadvantages. Much of which will depend on the preferences of the buyer. For example, full-grain leather might be the best quality among the three but it is also the most expensive. Or that top grain leather is has a more uniform and refined finish in comparison to full-grain leather. Likewise, if you are on a tight budget, there are genuine leather backpacks that have the perfect balance of price and quality.

The style and size of your leather backpack will also matter. Leather backpacks are heavier in comparison to nylon or canvas backpacks. Accordingly, the bigger the backpack the heavier it is to carry. Find a middle ground between function and comfort especially for those with a smaller stature. Never compromise one for the other. Do not worry we are here to help.

Best Men's Leather Backpacks

Among the three types of real leather, full-grain leather is the highest quality leather. It is the strongest among all leathers. Likewise, full-grain leather is very durable. It can withstand the test of time. and it is not easily susceptible to wear and tear. It is also by far the most unique among all leather types. Its uniqueness comes from its patina. The patina develops a unique pattern borne from the imperfections of the animal's skin. Unlike top-grain leather and genuine leather, its surface is full of scars and blemishes.

Overall whether on leather backpacks, couches, shoes, or other leather-made things, full-grain leather remains to be the best of the best.

How can you tell if the leather is of good quality?

For the untrained eye, all leather might look the same. Telling the difference between the different qualities of leather might prove to be a difficult task. For one, high-quality leather-like full grain and top grain is much more expensive in comparison to genuine leather. However, the price is not conclusive nor is it a good indication for good quality leather.

The trick is to get intimate with the leather using your senses. By sight, you can discern full grain from other types of leather. Full-grain has unique patterns whereas the others are more uniform and refined. You can also tell by feeling the leather. Top grain, in comparison to full grain, is more flexible. Genuine leather is likewise more flexible than full-grain leather.

In some instances, you can also tell the quality of leather by its smell. Although it is not much on the quality of the leather itself but on the process of making it. More specifically during the tanning phase. Different methods of tanning, for example, vegetable tanning and chrome tanning, will affect the quality of the leather. We only use full grain vegetable tanned leather in our backpacks. This makes for a bag that can last for a very long time and age with a beautiful patina.

Types of Leather for Leather Backpacks

There are three types of leather. Real leather that is. They are full grain leather, top-grain leather, and genuine leather. Each has different qualities. Real leather has the highest among the three. Next is top-grain and then genuine leather.

These three types of leather are made of animal skin or leather hide. The animal skin or leather hide goes through a long process of change. They are skinned, tanned, and finally cured to create the leather we all know and love. This process will either take a long time or a short time to finish. Depending on the leather-making method. Different methods also produce different types of leather. These methods may involve sanding, splitting, or buffing the leather hide. Another is to assemble different leather hide scraps to make one whole fabric.

It is also important to distinguish real leather types from fake leather. Also known as faux leather, this "leather" is not made of real animal skin. On the contrary, they are a product of synthetic materials that imitate how real leather looks and feels. Thus they are fake. Even more so, we do not consider faux or fake leather as leather at all. An example of fake leather is PU leather. It is created from polyurethane, a plastic with a similar feel and aspect to real leather.

Full Grain Leather

What is full-grain leather? Full-grain leather is basically, animal skin that is cleaned, tanned, and cured as is. "As is" means that the animal skin is left untouched and its natural grain remains intact. Full-grain leather has the highest quality among all leather. It is stronger and more durable in comparison to top grain leather because of the natural grain. The natural grain contains most of the strong fibers that keep the leather strong and durable. In other words full-grain leather is tough. Its toughness however has its downside since it becomes harder to work with. Manufacturing full-grain leather requires more costs and manpower, which is one of the reasons why it is expensive.
Another interesting thing that full-grain uniquely possesses is the patina. Patina develops only for full-grain leather. It develops along the natural grain of the leather. It does however require time to age the leather into its beautiful vintage look.

Genuine Leather

Genuine leather is the lowest quality leather among the three. Its strength is significantly inferior to the top-grain and full-grain. It is still however very tough and durable but not as breathable in comparison to the full-grain. Genuine leather's price is also significantly lower. It also has the least demand among the leather.

Genuine leather comes from the remains after the top layer is split off to make top-grain and full-grain leather. Splitting leather is often necessary especially if the leather hide is too thick to work with. Likewise, when it has too many imperfections manufacturers can not turn it into full-grain leather.

The remaining leather goes through the tanning process just like top-grain and full-grain. Genuine leather however does not have a natural skin finish. Most of the time manufacturers use chemicals to give genuine leather a look similar to top grain leather. They use a combination of artificial grains, spray painting, and pattern embossing to imitate the top grain surface.

PU Leather + Vegan Leather Backpacks

If there is real leather then there is also fake leather. This fake leather is an imitation of real organic leather. Unlike real leather, they are synthetic and not organic. Another name for fake leather is faux leather. Likewise, many people call fake leather vegan leather. Vegan because it is leather that does not involve harming any animals nor does it involve using any animal skin. PU Leather is commonly used in items such as a purse, handbag, or tote.

We commonly know two types of fake or vegan leather. These are PU Leather and PVC Leather. Both are made with synthetic materials. Accordingly, PU leather is polyurethane while PVC leather is from polyvinyl plastic.

If you value quality, it is wise to avoid any synthetic leather or vegan leather. They are significantly inferior to real leather. Inferior even in comparison to the lowest quality real leather. They are not as strong as real leather. Making them unfit to carry heavy loads. Fake or vegan leather is also not as durable as real leather. They easily crack and peel off especially for PU leather since it is made of thin materials

While they look like real leather and may feel like real leather, they are nowhere as great as real leather. Especially for leather backpacks. The best men’s leather backpacks are supposed to carry many things. They are also meant for various activities, indoors or outdoors. Thus the activities frequently expose leather backpacks to different elements. Elements that will harm them. A backpack should not easily be a victim of wear and tear. Especially leather backpacks. While they are indeed a cheaper alternative, they are not good investments.

Picking the Right Size Leather Bag

How do you buy the perfect backpack? Choosing what leather your leather backpack is one thing, knowing what size to buy is another. As there are different types of leather, there are also different sizes. The size of your leather backpack will not only play an important part in carrying your things but for comfort as well. For example, a large leather backpack may not be suitable for someone of small stature.

Size also matters especially if you are planning to purchase a leather laptop backpack. Obviously, you would not want to buy a leather backpack smaller than your laptop. You would necessarily want a backpack that will fit perfectly to your laptop. Common laptops have sizes of 13 to 15 to 17 inches. A leather backpack with a laptop sleeve or even a padded compartment is a plus. They will keep your laptop in place and protected inside and out. Look for the best men’s leather backpacks with the right size, utility, and comfort.

Best Men's Leather Backpacks
The size of your leather backpack will not only play an important part in carrying your things but for comfort as well.

How to Choose the Right Style and Look

Of course, choosing the best men’s leather backpacks also comes with choosing the right style and look. You should be comfortable both with how you wear and what you wear. Choosing the right style and look however is very personal and will depend on the person's preferences. For leather backpacks, there are three styles, namely: vintage, modern, and rolltop.


Vintage leather backpacks are usually the most popular. Usually because of the vintage aesthetic. The vintage look also includes old-school buckles and clasps to keep up with the style. It also gives off the sense that the leather is strong, durable, and old because of its look. Nonetheless of its style, the vintage look does not compromise on function.


Rising in popularity, modern style makes it possible to merge the vintage leather aesthetic with modern designs. The modern design entails more compartmentalization for storing. It offers space not only for clothes and books but for laptops, smartphones, and other devices as well. You will find multiple pockets in the modern style, with hidden pockets for your valuables too. This style is also more safe and secure because of its velcro straps and zipper. They are easily accessible as well.


It is a unique design, with a wide opening. It has often had two buckles that seal the backpack's rolltop opening. Unlike the other styles, the rolltop gives you the option to expand and retract the bag's size depending on how much you carry. For example, if you are carrying only a small amount of things, you can roll the top down to make the bag smaller. Likewise, if you are carrying more or larger things. Just roll it up and secure the end with the buckle. However, you won't probably see the rolltop style these days.

Best Men's Leather Backpacks

With a variety of leather backpacks, it is often hard to choose which is the best. To make your decision easier we have made a list of the top 9 best men's leather backpacks in 2022. Find the bag that is perfect for you in this selection.

The Gosta Backpack | Handmade Vintage Leather

Restrained sophistication for this capacious, antique brown colored bag. This genuine leather backpack is specially designed for securely holding notes, books, and lightweight gadgets. Complete with large main compartment and secondary exterior pocket. The simple design allows for safe transportation and provides easy access to personal items without cluttering them.

The Gosta Backpack | Handmade Vintage Leather

The Hagen Backpack | Grain Brown Leather Backpack

A vintage-style leather backpack, the Hagen Backpack has the look of a true antique. It is strong and durable for everyday use, yet soft and lightweight for comfort. It has a spacious main interior compartment that can fit a laptop of up to 14 inches. Additionally, it has two exterior zippered pockets for things that you want to access easily. Besides being one of the best men's leather backpacks, it has also been proven to be a solid choice for women's backpacks due to its smaller size. Make a great fashion statement and pair it with our Pathfinder wallet.

The Hagen Backpack | Vintage Leather Backpack

The Helka Backpack | Vintage Leather Backpack

The Helka Backpack is made for everyday use. It is comfortable to wear and durable enough for school, work, or even outdoor trips. The Helka Backpack has a sleek and minimal design. It is a leather backpack that has a modern design with a vintage look. The Hekla Backpack will never go out of place both in an outdoor or urban setting. Moreover, this leather backpack offers a spacious main compartment. It works as a great laptop bag for sizes up to 15 inches. Likewise, the backpack has an external pocket that is easy to access with a zipper.

Best Men's Leather Backpacks
The Helka Backpack | Genuine Vintage Leather Backpack

The Asmund Backpack | Genuine Leather Backpack

If you are looking for the best men’s leather backpacks with a truly vintage aesthetic then the Asmund Backpack is for you. This small backpack offers an effortless rugged look that has been around for years. However, it does not only offer looks but it is a quality leather backpack as well. It is strong and spacious enough to fit a laptop of up to 14 inches and other day-to-day items. It is also extremely durable and weather resistant.

The Asmund Backpack | Genuine Leather Rucksack

The Freja Backpack | Handmade Classic Leather Backpack

A bag that will suit your daily needs. The Freja Backpack is a multifunctional shoulder bag perfect for school, work, and outdoor trips. Not only is it a large bag, but it is full of compartments and pockets as well. It can fit a laptop that is up to 15 inches wide. You can also find pockets in and out of the backpack. These pockets are also kept secure with zippers. Despite being a backpack meant to carry heaving things, its design has comfort in mind. The design, more importantly, focus on supporting the back. It keeps the weight evenly distributed across the body of the bag and you never have to worry about sore shoulders and it has a very comfortable shoulder strap.

The Freja Backpack | Handmade Classic Leather Backpack

The Vali Backpack | Handmade Convertible Leather Backpack

The Vali Backpack has a sophisticated yet simple design. It is a leather backpack built for efficiency and function. This leather backpack is ideal for school and work. Its frame and compartments are specifically designed to store books and papers. It can likewise store a laptop up to 15 inches wide. Its straps also provide extra comfort as it distributes the backpack's weight evenly despite its structure.

The Vali Backpack | Handmade Convertible Leather Backpack

The Vernon Backpack | Genuine Vintage Leather Minimalist Backpack

The simplest yet most versatile bag on this list is the Vernon Backpack. Do not let its simple design fool you. This backpack has a very roomy feature to it. Its main compartment is able to secure a laptop of up to 15 inches with plenty of room to spare. It also has a secondary compartment or an exterior compartment secured by a zipper. It is strong yet lightweight. Highly functional without compromising on style. A bad that is very dependable and will definitely last a lifetime.

Best Men's Leather Backpacks
The Vernon Backpack | Genuine Vintage Leather Minimalist Backpack

The Shelby Backpack | Handmade Leather Rucksack

A leather backpack of both style and utility. The Shelby backpack is the best of both worlds. Not only does it have a beautiful vintage look but it also provides huge storage space. It has a spacious main compartment built to house a laptop of up to 17 inches. Its laptop compartment also has padding for protection. It has several exterior pockets of various sizes for holding all of your smaller items. These compartments and pockets are secured by YKK zippers and buckles. It is quite a large bag, however, it is surprisingly lightweight. It is perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, however, it works for the daily commute as well. This bag would make the perfect backpack for travel.

The Shelby Backpack | Handmade Leather Rucksack

The Garth Backpack | Vintage Leather Backpack

The Garth is a high-quality leather, briefcase-style retro backpack. Carry your essentials in style with The Garth Backpack, which features three separate interior pockets, suitable for organizing and securing all of your belongings. It is designed with comfort in mind, distributing weight evenly across the back as well as having a soft padded section on the backside. Not only will you be able to carry weight comfortably but you will do it without compromising your style.

Best Men's Leather Backpacks
The Garth Backpack | Vintage Leather Backpack

Benefits of Buying Real Leather

What are the benefits of buying real leather? And most importantly should you buy real leather? The answer is definitely a yes. Real leather is strong and beautiful. It is a proven fact that its quality is far superior to its synthetic imitations. Likewise, real leather is very durable in comparison to fake leather. While both are vulnerable to the elements, real leather does not crack and peel off as easily as fake leather.

While they may look the same and feel the same, through daily use, you will notice very significant differences. However, because of the advancements of our technology, manufacturers have been making imitations as real as possible. It has reached the point that it has become a difficult task to tell them apart. This is very true, especially for those who know nothing about leather.

It does not take an expert to tell good quality leather from a bad one. At most times it is as easy as checking the label and the price. Manufacturers often label their products with what kind of leather it is made from. Likewise, it is apparent for good quality leather costs more. These tips however are not very dependable. To get a conclusive answer in telling the quality of the leather you must have to get intimate with it. Use your senses to discern good quality from bad. Look at it. Feel it. Take a whiff at it. To know more about telling real leather apart from fake leather click here.

Leather vs. Faux Leather

Hardware, Zipper, and Stitching

Of course, what makes the best men’s leather backpacks great is not only the type of leather it uses. Hardware, zippers, and stitching also play an important role in its greatness. A quality leather backpack is only as good as its stitching. Imagine having to own a full-grain leather backpack, but it cannot handle the load you are carrying because of bad stitching? What use is the leather if what holds it together is not up to its quality? Therefore you must pay attention to every detail to ensure the leather backpack is of overall high quality.

Moreover, high-quality backpacks use YKK zippers to close and secure the backpack. YKK zippers are generally known as very dependable types of zippers. They are heavy-duty and reliable. Most of the time they are found not only on bags but jackets, jeans, and other clothing as well.

How to Care for Your Leather Backpack

A very important aspect whenever you own leather backpacks or even any other leather product such as a briefcase is taking care of it. It is important yet many disregard it. Many think that just because leather is strong and durable that they can abuse it as much as they want. To keep your leather longer you must take care of it. But how do you take care of your leather backpack? There are two important steps in taking care of your leather backpack.


The first is cleaning. Cleaning your backpack is important because dust, stains, and other elements that attach to lInk stains for example are the worst things to happen to leather. If you do not clean it right away then it might stay there permanently. Likewise, you should know how to clean your leather. Cleaning leather is a very delicate process because the leather itself is also delicate. Despite its toughness and durability there are cleaning products that will ruin your leather. Even submerging your leather into water is a big no-no. While there are leathers that are water-resistant like oil-tanned leather, it does not mean that you should submerge them in water. Trust us, it will ruin your leather, especially if you do not try it off quickly.

What is oil-tanned leather?

Just a little segue, since we mentioned oil-tanned leather it is best to explain it as well. In the process of making leather there are three main steps: skinning, tanning, and curing. In the second stage, there are different methods of tanning. To name a few, there is vegetable tanning, chrome tanning, and of course oil tanning.

Oil tanning is the process of tanning leather after the initial vegetable tanning. This method uses natural oils, typically fish oil. Oil tanning makes the leather soft and flexible making it easier to work with. More importantly, it makes the leather highly water-resistant. Holding long exposures of moisture is really great quality for leather since water has degrading effects on the fabric. While it is water-resistant it is not waterproof. Make sure to dry your leather as soon as possible.


While cleaning is good for the leather it often leaves the leather dry because of the soap or other cleaning products. Conditioning your leather with a leather conditioner helps the leather renourish its fibers. This will keep the leather strong and durable for a very long time. It will also protect the leather from harmful elements such as sunlight. We suggest that you condition your leather at least two times a year. This practice will ensure that your leather is in tip-top shape. It also increases the longevity of the leather.

How to Clean a Leather Rucksack

Cleaning a leather backpack is the same as cleaning other leather products. Taking care of leather is a delicate process. There are a few cleaning products that may be harmful to leather. Likewise, exposing your leather to water for a long period of time will degrade the leather. Thus, to clean leather you will need the proper tools and cleaning products.

We suggest you use saddle soap or other leather cleaners. If you have none you can use a mild shampoo or baby soap as alternatives. Handwash your leather, NEVER clean it on the machine for two obvious reasons. The first is that you will be submerging the leather in water. The other is the machine will be rough on the leather and it may cause the leather to tear. Just use a smooth clean cloth to dampen your leather and to dry the same as well.

After you clean your leather backpack and it is dry, make sure to condition it. This will protect your leather from dirt, dust, and other harmful elements. Conditioning also nourishes the leather fibers and makes the leather last longer. In conditioning leather backpacks, make sure to condition them regularly especially when you use them daily.

Nonetheless, no matter what type of leather your backpack is taking care of the leather is necessary. Whether you own a real leather backpack or fake leather clean it regularly at least. You can only however condition real leather since fake leather cannot absorb the conditioner.

Can a Leather Backpack Get Wet?

We get our things wet once in a while and leather backpacks are no exception. While the best men’s leather backpacks are water-resistant, they are in no way waterproof.

Being water-resistant means that it can hold off exposure to moisture for longer periods of time without the leather degrading. However, it can still get wet and will ruin your leather if left too long. Waterproof on the other hand means that exposure to moisture will have no degrading or harmful effects on the leather. Raw leather is permeable and therefore absorbs water. While you can make your leather resistant to water, making it absorb less moisture you cannot make it 100% waterproof.

Real leather of all types should not get wet. Water of any type will have adverse effects on the suppleness of the leather. Moreover, leaving it untreated will turn the leather brittle and crack. To avoid any damage we advise you to properly maintain your leather. Cleaning and conditioning are the first lines of defense. You may also use leather sprays to protect your leather from moisture. It is quick and convenient however it may change the hue of your leather. It is, therefore, best to avoid using leather sprays.

How to Store a Leather Backpack and Rucksack

Since the best men’s leather backpacks are durable most of the time they can handle the abuse of wear and tear. However, it is best to store your leather backpacks where there is no direct sunlight. This may dry up and damage the leather. Likewise, you should not store it near damp or wet areas. Long exposure to any moisture will also damage the leather. It will turn brittle and crack or peel off.

You may also want to cover your leather backpack with a dust bag if you won't be using it for quite some time. We do however advise that you clean and condition your leather before tucking it away for safekeeping.

How is Leather for Rucksacks Made

Leather rucksacks are rugged bags that are built to carry heavy and large things. They are made of the toughest and strongest leather in order to carry all that weight. How is that leather made and where does it come from?

Before we begin, there is only one kind of leather and that is real leather. Fake leather is not considered leather at all. There are however different types of leather of varying qualities. Leather comes from animal skin or leather hide. The leather hide commonly comes from the skins of cows and horses. Although they may also come from alligators, buffalos, and other exotic animals. They go through the process of skinning, tanning, and curing in order to turn into leather.

Leather rucksacks are rugged bags that are built to carry heavy and large things. They are made of the toughest and strongest leather in order to carry all that weight.

In the process of making leather the most important part is the tanning stage. Here the anima skin goes into a molecular change. The protein found all over the skin is permanently altered making the skin more durable. This also prevents the skin from decomposing.

What are the Benefits of Owning a Leather Backpack or Rucksack

Purchasing a leather backpack is a significant investment. It is a costly item to own in general. And you could be second-guessing yourself about a major purchase you're about to make. We can guarantee you, however, that buying a leather bag is a wise investment.

While leather backpacks are expensive, they have a lot of advantages. It's tough, and we can't emphasize it enough. It is dependable not only because of its strength and carrying capacity but also because of its water-resistant characteristics. The best men’s leather backpacks are also extremely long-lasting. They are built to endure a lifetime, if not longer. This is referred to as the long-lasting heritage quality. A leather backpack may be passed down from generation to generation due to its durability.

Furthermore, we guarantee that our handcrafted leather backpacks are the finest of the best. Steel Horse Leather Co. only works with the greatest Leather Artisans to provide you with authentic, high-quality leather. And because it is handcrafted, considerable care is taken to ensure that every detail is perfect.

The best leather men’s leather backpacks are not only an investment for you, but also for future generations. With each passing year, it blossoms into something stronger and more beautiful. It is not just a bag of elegance and utility, but it is also a bag of memories.

Handmade Leather Bags

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