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First Look: Cravar F.C. 15 - Leather Messengerbag from Indonesia

de Offline Thehunt

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So, this time something not made from nylon...
I've been creeping for a very long time around the idea to call a high-quality leather shoulder bag my own.
But, the market is, as far as reasonable offers go, rather slim. What from German lands? Stinking boring. From the States? Completely overpriced. UK-made? Be serious...

And this is where Cravar comes in.
An owner-operated company, started in 2013 from a Kickstarter project. The company is based in Jakarta Indonesia, where the leather is (also by a family run business) made. The hardware is made in, you guessed it, a small family business, this time in Jogjakarta.



I stumbled across Cravar by accident, first on Youtube (thanks to Stridewise, anyone who wants to check it out) and then on Instagram.

And that was my undoing... :-)


Cravar offers a wide range of products, including canvas-leather combinations, Filson can more than take a leaf out of their book.

But now to the bag itself.
The ordering process is super simple, shipping costs via DHL-Express (!) are always included (Yoki the owner says, everything else is too complicated for customers, I fully agree). After about a week you can receive your shipment, customs clearance online included. Really simple. That's how it should be!



Let's start with the special feature of Cravar products, the closure.
All bags are closed via thumb studs, and there are three (actually four) levels of security:

Open:


Tightened by the tab:

 
A short pull and you can get to the contents of the bag, it´s quickly done and the bag does not open accidentally.

Stage two:


The straps are closed by the thumb studs. In the beginning this is quite difficult and requires some use of force, the leather must first be worked in. Over time it gets easier but without getting loose, that's how it should be.

Step three:
Tight.

Here, in addition to the buttons, the straps are additionally secured by the tab, accidental opening, or foreign access (read pickpockets) are virtually impossible:


With a little routine it´s very easy and I have the safe feeling that no one can reach in, even if I carry the bag on the back.

The straps run around the entire bag and are replaceable if that should be necessary, but with the quality of workmanship I certainly will not experience that in my lifetime...


At the bottom of the bag, the straps form two loops, for umbrellas (quite untactical), newspapers, jackets, tripods or the like.




The same goes for the bag lid:



Let's take a look at the hardware.
The shoulder strap is connected to the bag by use of two solid brass buckles, each with two adjustment points.


The strap itself is likewise adjustable by a brass buckle, two keepers included:






I'm a sucker for quality hardware, the build quality is really really great! Thanks to the wide and thick shoulder pad, the bag is very comfortable to wear, even fully loaded.



The only branding, by the way, consists of a very recessed stamp on the back:


Here's a look at the clean back, but it's got some tricks up it´s sleeve!
M


de Offline Thehunt

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First, we find a nicely integrated luggage strap. Due to a sewn-in magnet, this remains inconspicuous on the back of the bag when not in use and does not wear.




On the other hand, we find a flat back pocket, across the full width of the bag:


Also good to see, the sturdy carrying handle. This sits not on the lid, as seen so often, but is offset to the rear, so that you can carry the bag open, without the contents spreading on the floor. Well thought out and classy implemented. I find myself loving the small details...

Let's look at the interior.
At the front two patch pockets, but they are made of one continuous piece of leather. That you´ll see very rarely, because it is significantly more expensive in the production.


An A5 notebook along with a small toolpouch (thanks Tasmanian Tiger) and a Finnish 1-liter water bottle fit in easily. The Nalgene Oasis also fits, but doesn't go in quite as deep.

The large interior has no furthers divisions other than a small slide-in pocket:


Good for laptops (the "15" in the title also alludes to the maximum size a laptop is likely to fit, but a 16 incher should probably  (readers discretion is advised) also fit), tablets, office gear, or clothes for a long weekend.


Here a Thinkpad T14 and an iPad 12.9 Pro, the sleeve I sewed myself, not nearly comparable with the processing quality of Cravar, but it fits :-)


The notebook upright:


With wallet:


The complete workmanship is on a very high level, I didn't find any flaws, the interior has a very clean finish:




The lining is made of "Sunbrella", a weather-resistant acrylic fabric, which is also used in maritime applications. Highly abrasion resistant and UV stable. And you can see the contents well through the red color.


A word about "weatherproof":
The lid is cut in a way that it curves over the bag like a hood. Thus, access from the outside is not impossible but very very unlikely, and rain has quite bad cards.


I like smart design.
You can tell the F.C. isn't the first bag Yoki has designed and how much thought went into it.



Am I happy with my purchase?
Absolutely so!






So much so in fact that I've already bought another Cravar bag, this time in canvas leather, but I'll tell you about that another time....
M


de Offline Thehunt

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I just realized I missed an interesting detail.



I asked Yoki the owner, if I could order slightly longer straps than the ones provided.
As you can see, I could.
Same in every way, just two inches longer and two more holes.

As stated before, perfect customer service!!!
M


pt Offline pfrsantos

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Thanks for sharing and the review. It looks great and the attention to the details is remarkable. Use some leather conditioning products on it and you'll have a bag that'll last years/decades.

 :cheers: :tu:
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us Offline HarleyXJGuy

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Re: First Look: Cravar F.C. 15 - Leather Messengerbag from Indonesia
Reply #4 on: September 05, 2023, 06:00:12 PM
Very interesting!

Thanks for this, been looking for a good bag for at work.


 

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