Product: Porter 3 Way Brief
Rating: Strong Recommend
This robust and handsome briefcase is a classic design from the Japanese clothing and accessories company Porter. The price tag isn't cheap but you certainly get what you pay for both in construction and longevity. If you're at all in need of a new briefcase for work or a stylish bag to carry around on the weekends, you might have found your match in this shiny beacon of bag goodness.
A bit of background on Porter: Kichizo Yoshida founded the company in 1918 in Tokyo and continued with bag manufacturing until he was 88 years old. Central to their identity, the corporate logo has always been "heart and soul into every stitch - We believe Japanese craftsmen's skills are No. 1 in the world. " All Porter goods continue to be made in Japan. Today Yoshida's 2nd son runs the business while the leaders of the design team Susumu Hasegawa and Ko Kuwhahata "continue the theme of integrity - integrating the cutting edge of the times."
As the name suggests, the bag is a traditional briefcase which can be worn three different ways: by a handle, a strap, or a backpack. Already this adaptability makes it much more appealing to a wider audience or people looking to switch their carrying style regularly. And thanks to Porter's careful attention to details, the bag doesn't look like it can be carried three ways. There aren't straps hanging everywhere when you're not using them. The backpack straps are smartly tucked away inside a zippered pouch in the back while the shoulder strap is completely detachable if you choose not to wear it.
The physical make-up of the bag is excellent and simply handling it will remind you why you spent so much on a non-leather accessory. It feels extremely sturdy yet doesn't have a particularly "rugged" look like you're going into a business meeting on a mountain. The materials are all very high quality. The outer shell is a black with a good amount of sheen to it. And the interior is a bright orange. This was a bit too "loud" for my personal preference but that couldn't be considered an objective negative about the bag -- just something to be aware of. Another point to be made is that the bag is certainly less formal than a leather one. This would go perfectly in a creative field but I'm doubtful a lawyer would want to be toting this around to the court room or office. Lastly, the hardware is also of a very high quality. The zippers are substantial and the closure systems of buttons with velcro is well thought-out.
The bags are designed with laptops in mind -- like any modern briefcase should be. Our unit was the larger version and allowed for my 17" MacBook Pro to fit in snuggly. It was such a perfect fit, I doubt a thick case around the MacBook would also fit. There are also two front pockets perfect for notepads or pens which need to be accessed quicky. And there is a larger pouch in the interior to keep larger things sepearte from the main space. We can easily imagine carrying everything we'd need for a regular day in there.
Pros: The bag is made extremely well. It has a very stylish look and can be worn multiple ways which makes it flexible for the wearer. It is made to fit a laptop snuggly and securely and also has many pouches for carrying other objects -- a true work bag.
Cons: The material and color choices might not be for everyone. The outer shell has a sheen to it and the interior orange is certainly a bold choice. Also, the price tag is a bit prohibitive. But if you can afford it, it's likely this bag will last you for a very long time to come.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Mike Tyson)