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Billykirk No. 165 Medium Carryall Review

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For the past month, I’ve been looking for a new bag. I almost bought a Filson 257 but I recently stumbled upon Billykirk. Something that I have been trying to do recently is to buy long lasting products. I believe that the easiest first step to sustainability is not buying disposable products.

*By the way, this is the first post shot entirely with my stunning RX1.

 
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I ended up going with the No. 165 Medium Carryall in Ash Waxed. The 165 runs for $325. A bit more pricey than a Filson - you’re paying for the extra leather and smaller production runs. It’s a bit old fashioned in design but still timeless and unisex.

 
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The waxed canvas and leather are all US sourced. The first thing you’ll notice about the bag is that it’s heavy. If you don’t like heavy bags, stay away. This definitely gives it a masculine presence. 

 
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Billykirk is owned by brothers Chris and Kirk Bray. Their products are all handmade in America. They say that their goal is to create heirloom quality goods. I’ll have to see how true that is but it’s good to know that the creators have respectable philosophy.

 
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The 165 comes with a strap but I’ve been using it almost exclusively using the handles. The bag doesn’t like to sit up straight but will support itself fairly well when it’s loaded with your laptop.

 

The mouth of the bag is supported by (what feels like) a steel frame. It allows you to quickly open your bag without messing with zippers. It’s also reminiscent of classical doctor’s bags. Pretty cool.

 
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Detail of the hinge.

 
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The bag is kept secure with these straps. Seemed like a huge hassle but it’s surprisingly not bad. I leave them open when I know that I’ll be going in and out of my bag often. The hardware is cast brass.

 
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Wide open. The bag can carry a 15” MacBook Pro with no problem. My sleeve works in perfect harmony with the 165. Capacity is not an issue with the bag and overpacking becomes a frequent occurrence.

 
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“Made in USA” is proudly marked.  The inner pockets are handy for small items.

 
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Now, the biggest gripe I have with the bag - the alignment of some of the cuts and rivets are not perfect. Everything else about the bag hints at it being high quality so this is really unfortunate. I’m confident that the bag is durable and will live up to its “heirloom” promise. However, I believe that long lasting products should also present a sense of perfection, not just durability.

 
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I cut up my business card and placed it in the tag.

 
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The base is a single piece of leather. I conditioned the leather with Leather Honey today and it’s looking very nice.

 
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Overall, I have been really enjoying the Billykirk. I’ve gotten plenty of compliments and hope that it’ll last me for years to come. I would recommend it to someone looking for an everyday bag that doesn’t mind a bit of heft. Sadly, it fails to receive a “highly recommended” score due to a few imperfect rivets and cuts of leather.