When I received an email from Beckett Simonon, I almost didn't open it.
I get requests to collaborate with companies on a daily basis for all kinds of products including clothing, coconut water, supplements, grooming products, and a range of services.
And it's exhausting to filter through all of them.
I say no 99 times out of 100 because I simply won't review or recommend a product to my readers unless I have spent, or would spend, my own money on the item.
But when I went to the Beckett Simonon website I actually sat there scrolling through their collection with wide eyes and a hanging jaw.
I was in disbelief.
Nearly every single offering I looked at either very closely resembled a piece I already owned or was considering purchasing.
They offered me a pair of shoes in exchange for sharing my thoughts on the product, but since my shoe and boot wardrobe is already stuffed, I opted for a leather duffle bag instead.
A Replacement For My Low Quality Duffle Bag
The timing couldn't have been better. Just a couple months before Beckett Simonon reached out to me, my canvas and faux leather duffle I've been using for years had finally given up.
Actually, a couple seams on this old bag ripped when it was brand new, but it wasn't anything that prevented me from using it.
However, its most recent failure resulted in all of the faux leather trim pieces to start peeling at exactly the same time.
This really sucks because I like keeping items for the long haul, but it had a good run for being a cheap product from Target.
So I was on the hunt for a duffle that wouldn't need replacing in just a few years.
Beckett Simonon Weekender Duffle Bag Review
From my initial handling of the Beckett Simonon Weekender, I expect to have this bag for decades.
The duffle I received is actually the prototype which was used for stock photos and the bag won't be available on the site until early 2018.
Now, more on build quality, materials, looks, and functionality.
Aesthetics and Functionality
Originally, I only saw this bag online, so aesthetics were all I had to go on.
The style is classic and exactly what I look for when investing in a quality wardrobe essential.
It's big enough (20” x 10” x 10”) to carry all of your supplies for a week long vacation provided you pack intelligently, but not so big as to be too cumbersome for a weekend road trip.
The outside is adorned with only metal hardware, functional stitching, and a single exterior pocket which is perfect for your phone and boarding pass.
I always insist on having a shoulder strap with my travel bags to keep my hands free so I can hold a coffee and open doors without fumbling around like a goofball.
I do have a single gripe about the functionality – I really wish the mounting point for the shoulder strap was closer to the top of the side panel.
The attachment's current location at the center means that gravity is just as happy to lay the bag sideways as it is upright when slung over your shoulder and sometimes needs a quick adjustment to turn it right side up.
I understand that this placement was made necessary by the expandable zipper, which folds down and snaps in place.
Still, I think something could be done to make it function a little better.
The inside is lined with a durable dark navy blue canvas which forms into one large zip pocket and two medium sized open pockets.
Build Quality and Materials
The full-grain vachetta leather is super soft and supple. It's actually up there with the softest and most flexible leather I've ever handled.
The handle is so soft that it feels like it has to be padded even though it's just two layers of leather sandwiched together.
I have a genuine smile creep across my face every time I pick it up.
This is the type of naturally finished leather that accepts scuffs and oil from your hands to develop a beautiful patina over time.
The smell isn't the typical “military surplus store” leather scent, it's more like my Red Wing 877. It's hard to describe but it has more of a pine scent than regular leather.
The color is a perfect medium brown, though I do wish it had a little more gloss and depth. To be fair, super flexible leather tends to have more of a matte finish, so I'm probably asking for too much.
The zippers, snaps, and pulls all feel robust like they'll stand up to years of use. Worst case scenario, the leather and the rest of the construction is nice enough to justify repairs down the road.
This is definitely not a throw-away bag like the one it's replacing.
Beckett Simonon Review: The Brand
Beckett Simonon doesn't hold inventory for any products, saving you money in the end.
Each month, they design and create new pieces, offer them for sale, and only produce when the orders come in.
The up side is that you save money on really nice clothing items. The downside is that you have to act quick if you find something you like.
Aditionally, Beckett Simonon offer:
- a one year guarantee against defects
- sizing help at email@example.com
- ethically made products
- hassle-free returns
This business model seems to be working and I think the prices are really fair for the quality and style they offer.
The shoes they offer, for example, would easily cost twice as much from a company with an aggressive marketing campaign and an established brand.
Overall, I'm really pleased with the customer service and the leather duffle bag.
All the best,
P.S. Let me know if there's anything else from Beckett Simonon you'd like me to review.