A while back I met some cool folks named Roman and Jenn that were working on launching a leather goods company called Linjer. I liked the angle their brand was going for and the designs of their products, so we stayed in touch. After I learned more about their products, I put together this post about their briefcase when their first campaign launched. Since then, they’ve had several more successful campaigns, released more designs, and even launched a women’s collection. Now that they have more items in stock, they kindly sent me one of their classic soft briefcases in mocha so that I could offer a more thorough review.
In the time since Linjer opened their e-doors in 2014, the products seem to have stayed true to the company’s manifesto – clean and minimalistic designs, great materials and construction, and honest pricing. I would consider their soft briefcase to be their flagship product, and it encapsulates these principles well. In terms of materials and construction, the briefcase is made of vegetable-tanned, full-grain, leather, uses YKK Excella zippers and metal hardware, and is assembled in China. It’s big enough to hold a 15″ laptop (although who uses those anymore?) and has several interior compartments finished with gray cotton lining. It also comes with a nice shoulder strap, although I personally don’t use it.
Out of the box, the briefcase looked quite stunning – it was presented beautifully and appeared to be free of any flaws (I can assure you that any dings or scratches seen in these photos are my own). The mocha brown leather was just as rich and beautiful as I had hoped; their lighter cognac color might have a bit more flash and show patina more, but this one is a subdued stunner. The leather feels rich and supple to the touch, as well. As the briefcase is rather softly constructed like the name would imply, it will bulge a bit if you really over-stuff it. That said, it’s plenty roomy, so if you’re just transporting things like medium-sized electronics and documents you’ll have no problems.
The design of the briefcase is sleek and simple, and frankly looks great. There’s a single exterior pocket, which leaves large expanses of that beautiful leather untouched. Many briefcases out there – whether cheap or expensive – are much busier on the outside, with external pockets all over. The muted hardware is also unobtrusive, with no large buckles or latches, and is a nice neutral silver in color (I think brass could look good, but I can totally understand why Linjer chose this color). In terms of appearance, this not the kind of briefcase that you should be pairing with jeans and a sweater – this bag commands a bit more gravitas. This is a suit and tie briefcase.
Currently, Linjer’s briefcases stands at $489. Are they the best briefcase at that price? Well, that’s a pretty subjective question, but here’s what I’ll say: in my opinion, they’re the best option if you’re looking for a modern, minimalist style like the briefcase shown here. For generally great briefcases under $500, my other two recommendations are Custom Hide and Hrothgar Stibbon, both of which I have handled a bit and was very impressed by. They are made in the USA and UK, respectively, and both have exceptional leathers, great attention to detail, and are generally cheaper than Linjer as well. With that said, they are much more of a classic British/American design, so the end result is very different. All are great options, but each will look pretty distinct.
In terms of design, the closest thing you could find to Linjer without getting into the wildly high prices is the Mismo Morris, which has very similar stats and is about $150 more in the USA (I’ve never handled one so I can’t really comment on the quality). Personally, I can’t think of anything that would to convince me to pay that upcharge, short of maybe a leather or suede lining over cotton. All told, I think Linjer is offering a great option for a very well-made briefcase under $500 that offers a clean, modern design. I reach for it when I’m wearing tailored clothing (more casual kits get my well-loved Ernest Alexander bag), and in the few months that I’ve had it I have received an absurd number of compliments, from both men and women, friends and strangers. Not too shabby.
I’m glad to see Linjer getting the success they deserve over the past year, and I look forward to seeing what else they come up with in the future. If they keep putting out products that look as good as this one, I’m sure things will go well for them. Thanks again to Roman and Jenn for giving me the opportunity to use one of these bad boys and share my experience.