I had a leather messenger bag for the past year, but unfortunately it started falling apart. Not only that, but no matter what I did, the leather would bleed onto my lighter colored clothes. I could use the bag when I wore jeans, but I was afraid to use the bag if I was wearing anything else. My old roommate, also named Will had a bag from Copper River Bags and loved it. After seeing his, I had to get one as well.
It took a little over a month to get it, but what can you expect from a company that hand-makes the bag after you order it? It wasn't sitting in a stock room when I clicked order, it didn't even exist yet. For something that must be made individually, you can't beat the price. The average cost of a bag is about $140-$150, unless you go for one of the really fancy ones. After holding the bag, I really can't believe it wasn't more expensive.
I ordered the distressed tan 15" laptop Voyager bag. It was a little darker than I expected, but I'm sure the look of it will change over time. The attention to detail and the stitching is incredibly strong, and the imperfections that exist add to the overall look. There's a mind-blowing amount of room in the bag, and I should have no trouble fitting my laptop, iPad, books, or whatever else I bring with me.
It has two inner pockets for pens and little knick knacks, as well two side pockets for more pens or sunglasses. My last bag was a good bit smaller, so it's nice not to feel too limited on what I can carry now.
I do, however, have one complaint. The bag doesn't come with a leather strap. It comes with a cotton strap, but if you want a leather one, you have to buy it separately for $58. I guess that's how they keep the cost of the bag down, but I didn't think a strip of leather would warrant such a price bump. The price of the bag is pretty low all things considering, but I know I'll want to spend the money on the strap eventually.
If you're looking for a new bag, Copper River Bags have a lot of options at a pretty great price. If you're not picky about a leather strap, then the price stays pretty low. I know it'll last me for a long time, and it'll look better the more I use it. Take a gander at their wares, if you're interested.