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The Best Ever All-Purpose Leather Backpack–For Work, Travel, Diaper Bag, and more!

ABLE Alem backpack review

With so many to choose from, how do you know which one to get? Should you go for the high-quality leather backpack or would a cheaper synthetic material one work just as well? What about those essential accessories such as a padded laptop sleeve, or is it even worth it to buy one at all? Is there a difference in the size of the different types of backpacks? Are some better suited for school or business, or are they designed for hiking and traveling? Here’s why I believe the ABLE Alem Backpack to be the best all-purpose leather backpack that I’ve tested on this site.

All-Purpose Leather Backpack

You’ve seen me talking about my new ABLE Alem backpack for a while now. And today, I’m deep-diving into a full blog post review! As the world is opening up again, it’s time to think about BAGS for the first time in a long time–and it feels so good!!

Many of us are starting to book travel, are heading back to the office or to work from coffee shops, having pandemic babies, or, perhaps like yours truly–all of the above! What do all those things have in common? They all require a great all-purpose, do-it-all bag. And luckily, I found one that checks ALL the boxes!

FYI, before we jump in, as with all ABLE purchases, want to make sure you know you can get 25% off when entering JESSKEYS25 at checkout–which saves over $60 and brings the price down to $187! (Thank you for the generous discount code, ABLE!)

Full disclosure: this post is not sponsored by ABLE. But I do work with them sometimes, which is how I have such a great discount code!

Let’s jump into why this backpack is so great, yes!?

ABLE Alem backpack review

See full outfit details + more comfy dress outfits in this blog post 

Why I love ABLE’s Alem Backpack:

It’s aesthetically beautiful!

It’s made of the prettiest leather that is also durable. And the kind that only gets better with time and wear. Think of your favorite leather jacket and how it looks even better the more you beat it up. That’s how this bag is too–the leather is sturdy. It’s not too buttery soft so you have to worry about it tearing easily, or getting damaged. I love the minimalist design so it goes with everything. It’s cute enough to wear outside of work, yet still looks professional to wear in the office!

The color I have is the cognac color. But it also comes in dark whiskey brown or black leather!

ABLE Alem backpack review

best leather backpack

Holds a LOT of stuff + has lots of compartments!

There are two different roomy interior compartments (including a laptop sleeve big enough for a 15″ laptop–one reviewer even said she fits TWO laptops in it!). On the sides are two insulated bottle pockets. (large enough to fit a 32 oz. water bottle!) And there is one front-zip pocket. It has plenty of room for my giant DSLR camera, changes of clothes for me and baby, you name it. Whatever you need it for–it’s awesome!

How I plan to use it as a diaper bag:

I have been searching for months, but every “diaper bag” bag I found just didn’t feel like *me*. And I’m so glad I found this backpack when I did–because it’s EXACTLY everything I was envisioning for a diaper bag, without actually BEING a diaper bag!

I purchased this backpack insert on Amazon, which has even more compartments and little pockets to keep me organized! It fits in the backpack perfectly and is great for holding smaller items like diapers, wipes, bottles, pacis, burp cloths, etc. I also like that it makes it easy to lift the “diaper bag essentials” out. So when I’m using it for work or travel, it makes it a seamless transition!

Between the organizer insert fitting in the first compartment, and how roomy the second compartment is, it has MORE than enough space for everything I need and then some. While not feeling SO bulky and cumbersome like a lot of other diaper bag backpacks do. It even has enough room for me to slip my laptop and a notebook inside. So I have it with me if I’m say, dropping her off at daycare, and then heading to a coffee shop after! I love that it functions as both.

best leather backpack

The side pockets can fit my 32 oz hydro flask. Tip: Put the hydro flask in FIRST. If you wait

Ethically made + supports women all over the world!

If you’ve been following here for a while, you have likely heard me talk about ABLE and why I’m so drawn to the mission of the brand.

Long story short, the brand was founded by a husband and wife team who were living in Ethiopia and met women coming out of the sex industry–for these women, this was the best means to put food on the table for their families, but they were hoping for new opportunities to make ends meet. They decided to form a company to teach these women how to make scarves to sell back home to Americans, and it worked–and in the past ten years, the brand has grown into a lifestyle brand selling ethically-made accessories as well as clothing, to provide women around the world with better opportunities and as a solution to end poverty. The founders know that when you give women opportunities, their entire communities benefit, and thrive.

So when you buy this vegan leather backpack, you aren’t just getting a pretty, versatile backpack. You’re helping women in the process. And to me, that’s always worth spending a little bit more!

It’s comfortable!

The adjustable should straps are padded and wide, meaning they never dig into your shoulders or hurt your back! I think this is easier to travel with than a tote for that reason–you’ll never have aching shoulders or red marks from where the straps dig into you!

all-purpose leather bag

The padded straps for a super comfortable fit, even when it’s super heavy and loaded with stuff!

How To Clean A Leather Bag

If you’re the proud owner of a leather bag, proper care and maintenance are key to keeping it looking its best. To get started, gather a soft and dry cloth, mild soap, and leather conditioner. Wipe down your bag gently with damp cloths to remove any dirt or grime (make sure to use warm water). For tougher spots like grease stains or ink stains, test a mild soap or specialized leather cleaner on a small, hidden area first to avoid any unwanted damage or discoloration.

Once your bag is clean, wipe the soap off with a second clean damp cloth. Lastly, take a third, cloth to dry any potential wetness. Afterward, you should apply leather conditioner every few months to keep the leather supple and moisturized. 

Some chemicals can ruin your leather. Not every cleaning agent for clothing should be used so generally. Lemon juice and baking soda can make the stains you’re trying to remove even worse. You should also remember to NEVER use rubbing alcohol or acetone while cleaning your leather bag, and try to stay away from products that have these ingredients too. You don’t want to run the risk of drying out or otherwise ruining good leather!

The right kind of storage is also important – keep your bag in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or moisture. With a little bit of regular care, your leather bag will look great for years to come!

How To Store A Leather Bag

Properly caring for your leather bag is critical if you want it to last longer and keep its beauty. The first step to storing your bag is to use a dust bag or pillowcase to protect it from dust and debris. This will prevent any scratches or damages from affecting the surface of your bag. Additionally, it’s best to store your bag in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or humidity, to avoid discoloration or drying of the leather. Sunlight can cause fading, cracking, and other severe damage that can ruin the texture of your leather handbags.

Lastly, when you’re not using your bag, stuffing it with bubble wrap or tissue paper can help it maintain its shape. This will ensure that it looks great every time you take it out. By following these simple but practical tips, you can keep your leather bag in top condition and enjoy it for years.

Anything I wish was different about the backpack?

I truly think this backpack is what dreams are made of. But if I had to change anything, I wish it had double zippers on both sides of each of the zipper pockets–I.E. there is only one zipper pull. And sometimes backpacks have two zipper pulls at each side, so you can grab whichever side is closest to you to zip. And have the zippers meet in the middle. This is not remotely a deal breaker, but I’m lazy and impatient. And it’s one of those nit-picky things. And if that’s a deal-breaker for you, something to be aware of. Another small thing is that I wish it had a sleeve in the back so you could fit it over your carry-on handle.

You know, if I’m LOOKING for something to improve, those would be my ideas–but again, I think this bag is pretty perfect, and every day I love it more!

leather bag for work, travel, and more

Get ready for an adventure with the ultimate leather backpack that does it all! 

Whether you’re heading to work, embarking on a travel adventure, or need a diaper bag for your little one, this backpack can do it all. With its durable construction, ample storage space, and sleek design, it’s the perfect companion for any occasion. So why settle for anything less when you can have the best? Invest in the best-ever all-purpose leather backpack today and enjoy the convenience and style it brings to your life.

If you’re looking for a pretty, leather, all-purpose backpack at a great price, I hope this review is helpful! Remember to use code JESSKEYS25 at checkout to snag it for $187!