WaterField Designs Bolt Briefcase hands-on: High quality functional design for the business traveler

WaterField Designs continues to offer well-designed bags for the professional. The soft Bolt Briefcase looks great at meetings, conferences, and in the airport.
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While a found a fantastic backpack for daily train commuting, backpacks are not always the best form factor for conferences, airports, or meetings. This is where the new WaterField Designs Bolt Briefcase fits in perfectly.

Backpacks tend to fall over or require a wall to lean against, have shoulder straps and carrying handles, and just don't go that well with a suit or tie. The new Bolt Briefcase holds just what you need, has a low profile form, slides onto your airport roller bag, and looks fantastic.

Like all bags made by WaterField Designs in San Francisco, the materials are very high quality and the construction can't be beat. The Bolt Briefcase is available in waxed canvas with black leather, chocolate leather, and grizzly leather accents or in black ballistic material with black leather, chocolate leather, and grizzly leather accents. WaterField Designs sent along a black ballastic Bolt with chocolate leather accents.

The Bolt is available in both small (1.95 pounds) and large (2.95 pounds) sizes with a $30 price difference between the two sizes. Given that a Surface Pro 3 is my primary travel and commute computer, they sent a small size for me to test out. The small is designed to fit up to a 13 inch MacBook Air while the large is designed for laptops up to 17 inches in size.

There are two outside pockets on the front with magnetic flaps to hold the contents secure inside. A large front zippered pocket is positioned behind these two front pockets. Access is hidden under a flap with a very durable zipper and leather tie keeping it closed.

The main compartment is secured with two zippers and a zip rail with splash-proof protection. There is a large compartment divider on the back side that holds my Surface Pro 3 with some padded protection. The center compartment is spacious and holds quite a bit of gear. There are two pockets positioned at the front, one with a key lanyard and hook.

There is an outside pocket on the back that is perfect for holding magazines and other papers. Behind this pocket is a piece of material that lets you slip your WaterField Designs Bolt Briefcase over your rolling suitcase handle.

There are two rugged carrying handles positioned along the top with comfortable leather grips that make it a real pleasure to carry this soft briefcase to meetings. If you have a longer walk and want another way to carry the Bolt, a removable shoulder strap is included. D-rings are attached with strong leather material on either side of the Bolt Briefcase.

Leather material is also sewed along the lower half of the Bolt Briefcase so you can set the Bolt down and rest easy that your contents and the bag are well protected.

I like to carry the Bolt with the shoulder strap when walking the mile between the train and the office. Otherwise, I prefer using the two carrying handles to go to meetings and conferences.

The Bolt Briefcase is lined with the signature WaterField Designs gold material. As I have said many times, WaterField Designs bags look practically new months and years after you purchase one. The bags look professional and are very functional.

The small Bolt Briefcase is available for $249 and the large is priced at $279. WaterField Designs Bolt Briefcase is made-to-order so after you select your specific size, color, and material the company will make your bag in San Francisco and ship it to you within five business days.

WaterField Designs stands behind its products and offers a lifetime warranty on defects in materials and workmanship. They offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee as well so you can rest easy knowing the Bolt Briefcase will satisfy your needs.

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Back side showing the roller bag flap

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Front zippered pocket and two outside magnetic pockets

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Inside pockets and key lanyard

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WaterField Designs front logo

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Two carrying handles

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Large inside compartment

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Bolt Briefcase full of my daily gear

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All gear that was contained inside the Bolt Briefcase

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Side D-ring and top zipper with lanyards

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Shoulder strap and leather pad

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Durable should strap hooks

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