Review: Pad & Quill’s Field Bag is designed for those who like nice things

The Field Bag | Zac Hall

For every bit that Apple gave pixel-drawn leather a bad reputation with apps like Find My Friends and the Lion-era OS X calendar, Pad & Quill restores your faith in the actual material. I’ve recently been using Pad & Quill’s Field Bag, a classy, vertically designed version of its leather Messenger Bag. Let’s cut to the chase: it’s a very, very nice bag. The kind of bag that makes you want to be a better person… or at least a better dresser. As the headline reads, Pad & Quill’s Field Bag is designed for those who like nice things. As a MacBook and iPhone user, like you I’m sure, I have an appreciation for quality products. Read on to see why this fits into that category…

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In the short amount of time I’ve had Pad & Quill’s Field Bag, I’ve racked up a number of unsolicited compliments over it from friends, family, and strangers. During a visit from out of town last week, my brother may have said it best when he mentioned, “That’s a swag bag, for real.” That’s a compliment that scales.

As you can see in our other reviews, Pad & Quill doesn’t throw its products together with just any material. The Field Bag is made from American cowhide leather with a 25 year warranty and twill woven waxed canvas kept together by parachute-grade nylon stitching and aged nickel.

Pad & Quill says the Field Bag will hold up to a 15″ MacBook Pro, and my 13″ MacBook Air easily fit without being too loose. The structure offers a good amount of padding and everything feels secure in the sleeve and main sections.

The Field Bag has a sturdy, leather strap with a shoulder pad as well as a handle on the bag itself for easily grabbing in quick instances. During a weekend trip with extra luggage carrying my clothes, I found the Field Bag to be very versatile and comfortable for travel.

In terms of storage, the Field Bag is segmented into several pockets tucked under the front leather flap. The sleeve intended for holding a notebook computer is tighter and equipped with thicker padding.

The larger, more open section is large enough for stowing away plenty of items and includes a holster-like section where for keeping items from getting mixed around. It also includes a couple of pen holders and a tighter, business card holder where you could also store a wrapped charging cable.

The back side features a large, snug pocket that’s easily accessible in transit; the bag’s flap protects the primary pockets, but this pocket is on the outside.

It’s useful for throwing in items you don’t necessarily worry about not concealing and might want to grab while traveling. I found it great for carrying a small notebook.

Aside from the sleeve, main pocket, and back pocket, the Field Bag includes three segmented spaces on the front side under the leather flap.

The larger of these three pockets is about the same depth of the back pocket while the next two are each less vast and more snug. I found these to be terrific for accessories that are smaller and could get lost is a larger pouch.

However, as you can see in the photos, dropping anything which much depth will change the shape of the bag in the front as the items are present (see photos for comparison). The larger, inner pockets are plentiful with space, though, so you could always take advantage of those if the outward appearance of items was a concern.

A special touch

Aside from the overall build quality, Pad & Quill’s Field Bag offers a few signature special touches. The first is on the exterior: a cherry wood panel with Pad & Quill’s emblem etched tastefully. The second is a signature left by the person who crafted the bag you’re holding.

Both offer a very personal and classy touch that differentiates Pad & Quill from other bag makers.

About the orange

As you’ve already seen in many of the photos and explicitly above, much of the Field Bag’s interior is lined with a soft, orange material. The color choice, Pad & Quill says, is in tribute to the World Vision humanitarian organization (check out for more information). Aside from the choice being a nod toward a fantastic effort toward aiding children, it’s also a really fun choice.

The professional, upscale build quality is balanced in a really healthy way by the vibrant orange accents. It pops really well but blends appropriately with the brown leather. Really well done in my opinion. The combination of leather and microfiber reminds me of Apple’s iPhone 5s cases (seen above).

So what all fit?

Despite its rather slim profile, the Field Bag delivers remarkably well on its primary purpose: carrying your gear.

While probably not what I’d normally carry in transit, I dropped in what could easily fit comfortably without feeling overloaded or bulky. The result?

A MacBook Air, MagSafe adapter, iPad Air, Apple Wireless Keyboard, small gorilla tripod and Glif, a handful of adapters, chap stick and mints, a moleskin notebook and a couple of pens, a Cosmonaut stylus and Compass iPad stand, Magic Trackpad (not pictured), Mophie iPhone charger (not pictured), and more.

There was easily more space for even more stuff, but this seemed like a reasonable amount of equipment for a trek.

Availability & Pricing

As you can see, Pad & Quill’s Field Bag is a rather sophisticated luxury with a great deal of utility. It’s certainly the sort of bag that makes an impression and makes for a terrific purchase for someone looking to treat their self or someone else with something especially nice.

With its authentic leather and hand stitched design, the Field Bag is available through Pad & Quill for $329 in a variety of color configurations.


If you like Pad & Quill’s style and quality but need something in a different price range, the company offers a number of excellent iPhone and iPad accessories through its site and Amazon, some of which we’ve reviewed.

As fine-made Mac and accessory bags go, Pad & Quill’s Field Bag is a must-have for anyone looking for something professional and functional. Treat yourself.

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  1. It is February 27, 2014, and we are still using cotton for the vast majority of our textile products?!? Where’s the faux outrage? Just kidding. Well, more like jesting. But seriously, great review. I love Pad and Quill products! Top notch craftsmanship.

  2. Todd Davis (@kippytad) - 9 years ago

    If anyone is interested in a cheaper alternative. POSH in Chicago has these for $40. It holds a MacBook Air and accessories nicely. I will admit that the Pad & Quill bag is lovely.

  3. Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 9 years ago

    I would buy it except it’s too big for an iPad mini, and … the ridiculous ugly logo.

    Why do manufacturers think that everyone loves their logo so much that they want to advertise it front and centre? It’s not as if it’s a big brand or has any real cache´. Even Apple, puts a single, tasteful logo on the back.

  4. sardonick - 9 years ago

    $329 for a bag. ROTFLOL. To think I threw away bags like this from my childhood. There’s a limit to how much things are worth, but there’s not much limit to what someone is willing to pay for a cliche. Oh well, to each their own, that’s the beauty of choice.

  5. Kaloyan Chanchev - 9 years ago

    for cheap bags i prefer ONA’s

  6. Anoop Menon - 9 years ago

    I would love to have one of those. But I usually pay only for gadgets not for the accessories surrounding it unless its something electronic. I never go for branded bags or covers etc

  7. joeblee - 9 years ago

    Love it!

  8. CJ Sheets - 9 years ago

    Nice bag. For that price it better be. I do like that Pad and Quill is a midwest company.

  9. rlowhit - 9 years ago

    I will remember to pick mine up from the sucker store at $329.00.

  10. Kieran Navickas - 9 years ago

    Why? Tumi products are so much better, durable, and appealing.

  11. Pablo Zaremba - 9 years ago

    Absolutely overpriced. You can buy better design from Piquadro at half the price


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.