A Freelancer’s Bostanten Leather Laptop Bag Review: My Pros and Cons

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My pros and cons for the Mizuki Classic Briefcase Tote Bag (tested and reviewed)

As a busy freelancer who often lugs around a heavy laptop when traveling, I’ve been on the lookout for a briefcase that’s both stylish and functional for a while now.

Laptops have come a long way since the early 2000s back when 10-15lbers was the norm. I not-so-fondly remember hauling my 17″ 12lb Dell around campus in my early 20s. Regardless, today, my 15″ MacBook Pro still manages to add a considerable amount of heft to my commute. Also, in a market where most laptop bags geared towards women only accommodate 13″ computers, I normally have two choices.

  1. Carry a generic-looking boring bag
  2. Shop the men’s department

This is why I was excited when I recently discovered the Bostaten brand. A leather bag brand geared toward busy professionals. In this article, I will be sharing my thoughts including honest pros and cons about the Mizuki Classic Briefcase.

I did not receive payment to write this review, but I was provided with a free product to sample. However, I will be fair and honest, as always. Note: Prices mentioned in this article are as of the time of this writing.

The Mizuki Classic Briefcase Tote Bag has a high-end look with high-end features like quality materials and engraved hardware. It easily accommodated my 15″ Macbook Pro and looked stylish while doing so. Despite lacking a trolley sleeve, I found the shoulder straps perfectly wrapped around my luggage handle while at the airport. I would however upgrade the crossbody strap to offset some of the bag’s weight when full.

the Bostanten bag with an upgraded woven strap

First impressions

For context, I already own two other Bostanten products: The Vrba Laptop Backpack Purse and the Judea Travel Bag so I was already familiar with the general quality of their products. I am always impressed by the details that go into these bags – from the embossed hardware to the quality stitching to the softness of the leather.

If I were to compare this brand to another commonly known bag brand I would say it’s like a softer, lighter-weight Coach bag. Given, that most of the time when we are talking about leather products I wouldn’t always say lightness is a pro. After all, it seems better quality leather almost always correlates with a certain thickness and heft. But given the purpose of these bags – which are overwhelmingly geared toward tech and travel – in this case, the soft, lightweight feel is always a welcome relief. Especially on my shoulders and back.

Features and specs

Now let’s take a closer look at the features and specs. The Mizuki Classic Briefcase Tote Bag measures in at 5.9″ x 16.92″ x 11.42 inches. It easily accommodates my 15.6″ laptop. It’s also small enough to count as a personal item at most major airports. It weighs just 3.3 lbs. The exterior is comprised of genuine leather. The inside features a soft fabric lining.

It comes with two straps including a handle/shoulder strap (4.72″ drop) and a detachable adjustable crossbody strap (24.66″-55.12″ drop). However, I opted to upgrade the detachable leather strap for the thicker woven ($16.99) version you see in the image above.

The interior features:

  • A padded laptop compartment (fits a 15.6″ laptop)
  • A large middle zipper compartment
  • 2 additional pockets on the side
  • 2 pen loops

There is also a zippered compartment on the outside back.

There is no trolley sleeve, which at first, I thought would be a lacking feature that would end up on my “cons” list. But after traveling with the bag I realized it didn’t need one. The straps easily fit over the telescopic handle of my carry-on roller and the flat bottom of the bag kept it securely positioned as I made my way through the airport. This is one of those rare cases where I think leaving a trolley sleeve out may have been a good call as it would have just added extra weight to the bag that wasn’t needed.

The Bostanten Leather Laptop bag doesn't have a trolley sleeve but it easily slips around the telescopic handle of a roller bag

Bostanten pros and cons

Now for the pros and cons.

PROS – The biggest pro is the look. The only other women’s laptop brand briefcase I’ve recently tried is the PU Leather ECOSUSI. ECOSUSI is a fashionable brand, but I didn’t find their products to be all that functional. The Bostanten laptop bag is everything ECOSUSI was not. It’s genuine leather. Its straps were both beautiful and functional. It’s soft and lightweight. And it just looks high-end.

I received so many compliments from friends about this bag I was taken aback. It went beyond the polite “Wow cute bag” compliment I’d normally expect. It was “Wow that’s an expensive-looking bag … no seriously where did you get it?” Y’all, I’ve carried Hermès bags and not gotten that kind of a response. Color me impressed.

CONS – The biggest con for me was something that I saw coming before I ordered it – I just don’t personally care for leather straps on heavy bags. Look, I love leather, but it’s not exactly the world’s softest material. And, as expected, when this bag was full, the default leather straps just weren’t cutting it, at least for me. However, it was a problem I was easily able to solve by upgrading the straps to the wider woven version, which I highly recommend purchasing as an add-on ($16.99).

Closing thoughts, prices and where to buy

Overall, I highly recommend this bag. I received more compliments on this bag than I have multi-thousand-dollar Gucci bags currently sitting in my closet. I’m genuinely blown away.

My only caveat is regarding laptop shoulder bags in general. If I knew I was going to need to carry a laptop bag around all day without a carry-on roller to assist I think I would still prefer the backpack version of this bag, which I reviewed on this site a few months ago. But as far as laptop totes are concerned – this one is certainly the best I’ve tried.

At the time of this writing, women’s Bostanten travel bags range between $139-$199. Mine currently retails for $189. The Bostanten brand is available on Amazon, however, a better selection (and often better sales (like 10-15% off) can be found by shopping directly from the Bostanten website.

Do you own a Bostanten laptop tote bag? Let me know what YOU think in the comments below.

Photo of author


Morgan Overholt

Morgan has almost 20 years of professional experience in graphic design and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Her successful freelance business has been featured in articles that have appeared on Upwork.com, Refinery29 and Business Insider Prime.

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