Teacher Satchel: buyer’s guide.

Teachers expect much from their work bag: durability, robustness, room, efficiency, class…

Ruitertassen has passionately handcrafted satchels for academics for almost a Century. Through the years, the Ruitertassen satchel has been revised and adapted to suit every academic’s needs and new satchels have gradually been added to the Heritage collection.

The Heritage range has grown to become Ruitertassen’s largest collection and selecting the right bag between so many options can be daunting. That’s why we wrote this buyer’s guide: to help you chose the perfect satchel.


  • Introduction: The Rolls-Royce of leather satchels
  • 4 reasons why scholars chose Ruitertassen
  • What is the perfect satchel size
  • The options that make up the perfect satchel

The Rolls-Royce of leather satchels

Ruitertassen owes its reputation to scholars and teachers.

When the family De Ruiter designed its first Ruitertassen satchels, their objective was to supply law, finance and trade professionals.

However, it was teachers who first embraced the Ruitertassen satchel for De Ruiter had designed a satchel that could carry large amounts of papers and heavy loads securely.
It is only very recently that other professionals have chosen to rely on a Ruitertassen for their professional needs.

4 Reasons why you should choose a Ruitertassen

1. Choose a Ruitertassen satchel for its timeless style.

The first thing one notices is the almost vintage style of our satchels.

Ruitertassen satchels are charismatic without being ostentatious. Made with noble materials, they distinguish their owner naturally and effortlessly.

2. Choose a Ruitertassen satchel for its layout.

The Ruitertassen schoolbag offers large subdivisions that make it easy to classify books, binders, notebooks and accessories. 
The use of gussets allows for deep straight sections and offer the most practical design for storing all documents and computers.

3.Choose a Ruitertassen satchel for its solidity.

We always joke that to test the strength of a bag all you need to do is to put it in the hands of a teacher.

What teacher has not one day found themselves embarrassed by a bag that suddenly gives up on them, spilling its content?

Sustainability is a philosophy that Ruitertaseen cherishes. Creating solidity is an art and a question of balance.
Instead of overloading our satchels with rivets, we use higher quality German rivets and expertly place them exactly where they are needed. Rather than making hundreds of seams, our attention is on the quality of the thread, the stitching and the size and width of the leather piece.

4. Choose a Ruitertassen satchel for its price

Value for money is a priority because it is important to us that teachers are able to chose to own a Ruitertassen satchel.
This challenge is not easy because our leather is expensive.
We have therefore developed several ranges to meet the expectations of our international clientele.

It is a pride to see a Ruitertassen in the hands of a Belgian or French teacher, or those of a Harvard professor in the United States. 
The variety of the Ruitertassen catalogue offers a first tan leather briefcase for 229$, as well as an incredibly spacious laptop satchel for 459$ (delivery included).
For such high-quality leather satchels, these prices are affordable and true value for money.

Choose the size of your satchel.

A Ruitertassen satchel is first defined by its size.

When a customer returns his Ruitertassen order for an exchange, the reason is always the same: 
The bag is either too big or too small. This happens to our online and brick and mortar clients.
One can only realize the true capacity of the satchel when one begins to fill it with one’s own belongings, at home.

So, to avoid any postal to and fro, here’s how to choose the perfect satchel size the first time around.

1, 2 or 3 gussets?

The number of gussets = number of main compartments.
The more your satchel has gussets, the more spacious it is, and the deeper it is.

It is tempting to choose the most spacious satchel to ensure that you will always have enough room.
But keep in mind that a thick leather satchel can be too heavy or cumbersome for some people.
Full grain leather gussets do not fold on themselves when they are empty. They will remain voluminous.

So we find it’s better to ask yourself the question:
‘What is the smallest satchel that will fullfill my needs just right .

Perhaps begin by considering a single gusset satchel.
If that seems too small, after good consideration, move up gradually to two gussets, then three.

1 Gusset satchels

With a Ruitertassen single gusset satchel, it is already possible to separate accessories and documents.
Whether it’s the Student Briefcase or the Professor Satchel, you’ll have a main compartment, a flat zipper pocket and one (or two, depending on the model) front pocket.

In the main compartment, you will easily store a computer (36 cm maximum length) and a binder. 
The flat zipper pocket can accept a tablet or some brochures.
The front pockets (or pocket) lend themselves to pocketbooks, calculator, sandwiches, wallet etc.

Most teachers will likely feel a little cramped with a single gusset satchel.
However, some teachers only need their computer, a book, their wallet and the keys to the house. 
In this case, a one gusset satchel is what you want.

2 Gussets satchel.

The two gussets is very popular satchel format since it allows to classify belongings.
In addition to a computer and a binder, there is room for one or two extra books or a diary and paperwork.

Always fitted with a zipper pocket and one or two front pockets, the 2 gussets satchel makes it easier to carry slightly bulky accessories, such as a battery charger or a water bottle.

In the two-bellows category, you’ll have a choice of two styles:
The Professor Style, which is the most compact, and the Scholar Style that offers more space.

Professor style.

The Professor satchel has the most traditional look, with 2 identical front pockets.
Outside, it measures 38 cm long and 29 cm high.

It is compact and ideal for all kinds of books and documents. 
You can slide a computer that is up to 36 cm wide.

This format is suitable for both men and women. 
It is relatively limited to carry accessories.

The Scholar style.

We recognize the Scholar satchel thanks to its 2 asymmetrical front pockets.
It offers an extra 2 cm in length and 2 cm in height compared to the teacher satchel.
This allows you to carry a large lever binder, for example.
Another advantage is that you can slide a slightly longer computer in it, up to 38 cm wide maximum.

Beware because the Scholar style satchels are larger overall.
For small frames men and women, the Scholar satchel can be cumbersome.
If you have an old bag at home, we invite you to measure it and compare it to a full grain leather briefcase of 40 cm in length, 31 cm in height and 15 cm in depth.

If the format suits you, the two-gusset Scholar briefcase offers an excellent compromise for teachers. 
It has more to offer for the transport of accessories thanks to its large front pocket and its longer compartments (small water bottle, chargers, large pencil case …)

Read our article about the difference between Teacher and Scholar satchels.

3 Gussets satchel

A 3 gusset satchel is ideal for the clear classification of papers and belongings.
For some teachers, the idea is not so much to have a lot of space but to be able to arrange things in an orderly way.
In this case, we recommend the professor satchel.
It has 3 compartments or gussets and 2 zipper pockets.
Its external dimensions in height and in length are the same as that of the teacher bag one or two gussets.
It is only the depth of the schoolbag that gains several centimetres because of the additional gussets.
For small framed men and women looking for a compact briefcase with 3 gussets, this is the inevitable choice.

All other Ruitertassen satchels with 3 gussets are for stronger, larger framed beings because of their weight/volume ratio. We then enter the range of what we call the “portable desk”.

The “portable desks” for men.

In the all-you-can-carry category, you will find the Scholar satchel III that is recognizable by its two asymmetrical front pockets and the Oversize Professor satchel that has two identical front pockets. 
These two satchels, or portable desks, are probably the most spacious satchels on the market.

As the name suggests, the “oversize” Professor, is the largest binder of both.
In the Scholar satchel III, you’ll slide a computer up to 38 cm long maximum.
In the Oversize Professor, you can insert a computer measuring up to 40 cm maximum.

Configure the ideal schoolbag.

When you have determined the number of gussets you need (1, 2 or 3) and the style that suits you best (Student, Professor or Scholar), all that is left to do is choose your color, how to wear it and its finishes.

The color of your Ruitertassen satchel.

Ruitertassen teacher satchels are mostly available in 4 colors.
Vintage brown, natural tan and black which are our unisex colors
Finally, some models are available in red, a more feminine color.

The colors of our leathers are obtained through artisanal tanning.
The colors come either from natural pigments, a fat, or a tanning process.
The differences between these end results are not limited to the color.

Tan leather requires little treatment: no oil, no color pigments and therefore costs a little less to produce.

The brown leather is obtained using oils which can take some time to soak into the leather and if rubbed against, new bags might stain light color clothing.

Of course, you can just pick the color you prefer, but if you’d like to know a little more about the process behind the colors, feel free to read our article on this theme:

I hesitate between several colors for my Heritage bag.

How will you carry your satchel.

By default, all Ruitertassen Heritage satchels are equipped with a handle and a shoulder strap with shoulder pad.

The shoulder strap is adjustable in length, which will allow you to carry your satchel cross-body.
Note that the shoulder strap is easily removable if you decide to use only the handle.

Wear the satchel on your back: advised for adults too.

Optionally, your satchel can benefit from a third mode of transport: strapped to your back.
This is the variant ‘ backpack ‘ ( click here for the women’s selection ). 
These satchels come with a pair of removable shoulder straps for the back.
These models are therefore provided with support rings for the shoulder straps.

This option does not affect the satchel models.
For example, if your choice is on the ‘Professor II’ satchel, and you wish to wear it on the back, then you can buy the Professor II Backpack.

Most of our satchels have their ‘backpack’ version.
If you can not find it in our store, or on our online store, please contact us.

If you ride a bike, or footpaths are a big part of your daily life, the bacpack satchel version is worth considering.
Count an extra 30$ to go from the Professor II satchel to the Professor II backpack satchel.

The finishing touches of your satchel.

Handmade schoolbag in brown leather.
‘Classic’ finish: raw outer edges.
Satchel of luxury in brown leather.
‘Laptop’ finish: tinted outer edges.

Ruitertassen has introduced the ‘Laptop’ finish in recent years. 
The word ‘Laptop’ refers to the addition of a soft computer pocket compartment in the satchel, but it is not the only advantage of our satchel laptop bags.

‘Classic’ finish or ‘laptop’ finish.

All satchels that do not have the word ‘laptop’ in their title have a classic finish.
These finishes are faithful to the original Ruitertassen satchel, as created by Jacob de Ruiter.

The ‘classic’ satchels have the following finishes:

  • Matching leather shoulder strap.
  • Rough outer sliced ​​edges.
  • Unlined leather interior.
  • Separations of the compartments in Texon unlined.
  • Raw fittings at the corners of the zipper pockets.

Everything else is identical.

Laptop bags benefit from these extra finishes:

  • Woven cotton shoulder strap with leather trim.
  • Exterior leather edges tinted by hand.
  • Interior lined in our classic tough nylon fabric.
  • Nylon lined compartment separations.
  • Fittings at the corners of the zipper pockets are finished with leather tabs.
  • An extra padded pocket for a computer or tablet.

All these finishes therefore slightly change the external appearance of the laptop satchels.
For a teacher, these finishes can be interesting because, in addition to small aesthetic additions, the inside of the satchel will be a little more resistant thanks to the nylon lining.

For a tight budget, the classic finish gives you a real Ruitertassen, true to its origins, solid and timeless.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you can not find your satchel in the desired finish.
Count an extra 80$ to go from the Scholar II satchel binder to the very popular Scholar II Laptop Satchel.

Take our quiz to find your best satchel.

To simplify your search for the perfect satchel, we have created this quiz, which is entirely dedicated to the Heritage collection.
In only 5 questions, we’ll help you find the best satchel for you.

Take the quiz to find the best binder .