The Filson 24-Hour Tin Briefcase.
I’m very particular when it comes to bags. It doesn’t matter if it’s a messenger bag, backpack, luggage, pouch, case, or even a tote; and I’m so particular because I’m a fan of carrying your gear and carrying it well. In the month before I came to the Filson 24-Hour Tin Briefcase, I bought and returned 3 other bags that couldn’t fit my need for a every day carry-slash-camera bag.
Where the 3 other bags fell short, the Filson met and exceeded my expectations. As soon as I saw the Filson, I knew I wouldn’t have to return this bag.
Looks & Feel
The bag has a classic and rugged look that is synonymous with Filson. The Filson feels like it could be at ease in the great outdoors or in an office setting. This quality was an immediate draw for me and so far the bag has been able to pull double duty. The waxed canvas that Filson calls Tin Cloth feels durable but without being stiff or overly heavy. This was a problem I had with other waxed canvas bags that felt stiff as board and clumsy. I just got back from a vacation trip to Iceland, and I used the Filson as carryon at the airport and as a camera bag during the trip. The bag held up well to snow and rain with no issues at all. I was very impressed as each day went by the bag looked better and better. The leather grab straps are softening up and the waxed canvas is breaking in nicely with natural creases and scuff marks without looking raggy or dirty.
Space & Organization
The Filson is very spacious that will deceptively hold a lot of gear in slimming profile. For organization, the bag has a main compartment that has a padded laptop sleeve with two open pockets opposite the laptop sleeve. This main compartment has zipper opening with a protective flap that closes by snap button. On the front, you have two zipper pouches with the left side having a small open pocket and open pen holders. The left pouch has a small zipper pocket. Both of these pouches are big enough to hold an A5 notebook or similar electronics like a mini iPad or Kindle. Behind these pouches, there is open stow pockets. In the back there is one large open stow pocket that can fit a magazine and a luggage strap so you can pass your luggage hand trhough the Filson.
You have to be careful as I came to find out when I overloaded my bag as carryon. I was able to fit a 15in MacBook Pro, Leica M3 with a 50mm lens, 35mm Film, (2) D750 DSLR cameras, 35mm 1.4 lens, 28mm 1.8 lens, 85mm 1.8 lens, Kindle, external hard drive, over the ear headphones, plus many more small accessories. I didn’t weigh the bag but my shoulders were quite sore from just carrying around in the airport from security to terminal.
As an every day carry (EDC) bag, and not overloaded, the bag is amazing. I normally carry my laptop, a water bottle, notebook, and my Leica M3. The bag carries well, I either carry it over one shoulder or across my body, without any issues at all with the shoulder strap slipping or feeling heavy. I love the two front pouches can hold most of my small EDC items. On left pouch, it can hold an A5 size notebook and pen holders. On the right pouch, I usually carry my sunglasses, phone charger & cable, and earbuds. The main compartment has a padded laptop sleeve plus two open pockets on the opposite side. The laptop sleeve is minimally padded which I prefer because it doesn’t add unnecessary bulk to the bag. The open pockets can are big enough to fit a mini iPad and/or Kindle, as you can see in the photos below. I use a yellow camera bag insert to organize my camera gear and to keep my water bottle upright.
This bag is amazing. It’s not perfect but no one bag is. It meets my need for a good looking messenger style bag that can take a beating in the outdoors during trips. The profile is slimming enough that you won’t attract unwanted attention for carrying something that may be confused for luggage but has enough room for plenty of gear. Just me careful not too over-carry. ;)
Zippers. Big teeth can scratch your laptop and don’t open as smoothly as smaller teeth zippers.
Laptop divider. Minimally padding, which I prefer, but the bag carries better without a laptop.
2019 UPDATE: Please note the specific camera insert was purchased on Amazon and longer available. The closest matching one I was able to find is this one found on B&H.