Last year I got an early Christmas present from The Handmade Store: a beautiful Rustic Leather Backpack. However, as we moved house before the holidays and have been doing most of the remodeling ourselves, I didn’t have any time to try it out “in the wild”.
Luckily, all our effort paid off and we could take some time off to go for a quick weekend hike. I could finally test my new bag and now I’m ready to share with you my Rustic Leather Backpack review!
But first, let me tell you a bit about The Handmade Store!
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About The Handmade Store
The Handmade Store was founded in 2018 by a brother-sister duo. They set out with a clear goal: to empower local manufacturers in India while making their art accessible to people from all over the world.
The company was beneficial to Indian craftswomen in particular. Many of them had lost their jobs because of the pandemic but The Handmade Store has managed to employ over a hundred Indian women in Rajasthan villages. They are now able to make a living doing what they know and love best: making handmade bags, jewelry, rugs, and other decorative items.
By connecting the artisans to the clients, The Handmade Store keeps the prices low, at around half the regular retail price. That way, anyone can afford to buy a beautiful bag like my new Rustic Leather Backpack or another handmade product they fell in love with!
About their affordable leather backpacks & other bags
The Handmade Store features affordable leather bags made by Indian leatherworkers. They use 100% genuine leather with a vintage look in creating their beautiful and detailed travel bags.
All of The Handmade Store leather bags are made to last you for years. The heavy-duty leather with strong nylon stitching makes their products ready to endure years of use and abuse.
Rustic Leather Backpack delivery
As The Handmade Store offers free worldwide shipping, they’re familiar with delivering their products all over the world, without any confusion about customs fees and procedures.
I got my Rustic Leather Backpack super fast after Karan told me he’ll send it to me. Plus, the parcel that came from outside the EU reached me without any paperwork or extra fees.
I was pleasantly surprised by the whole hassle-free delivery, which really reflected the idea that my new backpack came to me straight from a local Indian leathermaker. It feels more personal.
A closer look at The Handmade Store Rustic Leather Backpack
After unpacking my new and affordable leather backpack, I was eager to discover all that it has to offer.
At the first glance, we notice that it has two front compartments with zippers. They’re supposed to be for keeping your wallet and phone. While my phone fits, my wallet doesn’t because it’s the size of a tiny purse in itself. However, for safety reasons, I never keep valuable things and important personal documents in the exterior pockets of my bags.
Instead, I would put my valuables inside the leather backpack. My wallet would have to go in the main compartment, but my phone (when I don’t have pockets) could fit one of the two interior pockets. I don’t know yet if I’d use the one with a zipper for extra security or the one without a zipper to reach things faster.
There are two ways to wear this affordable leather backpack:
- You can put it on your back, using the two adjustable leather backstraps
- Or you can carry it in your hand, using the briefcase handle on top.
Taking my affordable leather backpack on a short hike
To test my new affordable leather backpack from The Handmade Store, I asked my husband to join me on a hike near Bagnols-en-Forêt, the lovely French village we live in now. We chose to hike to the Cascade de Gourbachin because it’s the best moment to see it now – it dries out as soon as it gets warmer.
As it was a short hike, we didn’t take much with us: a 1L thermos with cold water, a wallet, my husband’s glasses, a pack of handkerchiefs, and some lip balm. It all fitted in the backpack, of course.
What I noticed from the beginning was that The Handmade Store Rustic Leather Backpack might be made for shorter people than me. I adjusted the leather straps to be as long as possible but it was still difficult to put it on, especially over my wool dress and (thin) winter jacket.
On the bright side, once I did get it on, it was a tight fit that forced me to stand up straight. And, let’s be honest: I need something like that as I’m spending so much time leaning over my laptop. Sometimes, at home, I use a posture corrector, so I don’t necessarily see the tight, slightly restrictive backstraps as a bad thing.
But I realize that the short backstraps can represent a problem for some users, especially as this affordable leather backpack is promoted mainly to men. For example, my husband, who has wider shoulders than me, wouldn’t be able to wear it, despite being thin.
The Handmade Store Rustic Leather Backpack review in short
What I liked about this affordable leather backpack
- The touch of the leather
- The look and feel of the interior lining
- The fact that this Rustic Leather Backpack looks very sturdy
- It’s great value for money.
Rustic Leather Backpack details I didn’t like
- The place left for the two front pocket zippers is really narrow, so their holders sometimes stay in awkward positions.
- When you close the backpack, you can attach its belt into the ring only when it’s rolled as tight as possible. Otherwise, the belt doesn’t reach the ring. In other words, the backpack I have isn’t as big (long? tall?) as the one in half of the photos on the company’s website.
Some mixed feelings
- The leather backstraps, obviously. They’re very short even when extended to the maximum, and while they help with posture, they make it difficult to put on the leather backpack.
Should you buy it?
Yes… if you’re not too tall. You’ll get a nice vintage-looking handmade affordable leather backpack. And even if you’re around my height (1.78 m), it works great if you’re looking for an inconspicuous way to improve your posture in public. 😉
Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.
Other backpack reviews you should check out
Nayo Almighty review – a smart travel backpack
Nayo EXP review, the versatile expandable backpack