Review: Far Horizon Traders Bag
UPDATE: The bag I was sent was the Safari as the Sahara only has one internal compartment. The FHT website is currently showing both as out of stock, but Matt has said they will be getting more in within the next couple of days.
For some reason finding a suitable every-day bag is difficult for us as men. We’re too old for backpacks, too masculine for totes, but we still need something that will look sharp, carry our gear, and stand up to some abuse. Essentially we need a bag that comfortably sits in both the rugged and refined camps.
The resurgence of menswear has led to a similar expansion in all things style related for men. While there are companies out there who make the ideal bag, paying upwards of $500 is a bit much for a lot of us.
Thankfully there’s a company who can offer a quality product at about half the price.
I first heard of Far Horizon Traders on Style Forum. The reviews were all favorable in both how the bags look and how they hold up. I reached out to the company to learn more and had a great time getting to know the owner.
Matt is a world traveller who has spent a lot of time in Central and South America. During one of his adventures he purchased an old, weather-worn saddle from an antique shop. Knowing the condition it was in, he took it across the street to a humble leather worker. A day later he had a perfect replacement along with a satchel waiting for him. Now, a full decade later, he has expanded and is selling his hand-made goods from artisans all over the subcontinent
Matt sent me over the Sahara a couple of months ago to try out and I’ve loved this thing. My situation covers both extremes. I work in a refined environment that requires a certain aesthetic. However, on my off time, I have my fair share of casual days and needed a bag that can withstand a bit of abuse. The Sahara has filled both of these requirements perfectly.
It comes with two main, interior compartments. The larger and closer to the back can be closed with a zipper (the only movable part) and is the ideal place to keep anything large that you want people to keep their hands off of (laptop, iPad, etc.). The second compartment has a few interior pockets for things like pens, your sunglasses, and other small items that can get lost in a completely open bag.
The back has a small sleeve that is ideal for magazines, a paper, or a portfolio, and each side of the bag has another small, exterior pocket for any extras you need to access quickly.
The Sahara also has an attached handle to carry like a briefcase and a large, thick detachable strap for when you need to throw it over your shoulder.
The first thing I noticed when I got this bag was how thick all the leather is. This is not some dainty, fused leather concoction that will rip apart the first time you take it out of city limits. That being said, the cleanliness of the shape and the warm coloring of the tan leather make it classic and clean enough that you can take it with you to the office. You’ll want something more streamlined for when you’re in the big city meeting with the higher-ups. But this beauty will be great for the daily grind.
Since I’ve had it I’ve taken it with me on trips out of state, to work every day, and now that we’re in spring, on quite a few motorcycle rides. The detachable strap has been a lifesaver here. For years I’ve been stuck with straps that either didn’t adjust or just slid along D rings. Since this strap is punched and works like a belt, it means I can set the length exactly where I want it and not worry about it getting longer because I have more weight in the bag. It seems like such a small improvement, but not having the bag fall over the side of the bike as I’m taking a corner makes my rides both more enjoyable and safer.
There’s only one thing I would change and that is the prominence of the logo on the covering flap. Thankfully it’s just branded in, and the longer I’ve owned the bag the more it’s faded. It just detracts from the overall cleanliness of the look.
All in all I can 100% recommend one of these bags. It works just as well in the office, a weekend in the city, or a road trip and will just get more character as it ages and you put it through its paces. The Sahara sells for $250 but FHT has other options that start below $200 and are made of the same leather with same attention to detail.
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