Known for unveiling high quality products and providing stellar service, New York-based Solo continues to impress with one of its newest line of moderately priced backpacks and briefcases, the Bradford Collection. Included included in this impressive collection is the Bradford 15.6″ Briefcase.
Designed in New York with added features for comfort and practicality, the Bradford Briefcase, much like its complementary backpack, is an instant attention grabber, with its rugged black denim exterior and stylish good looks. Add a padded compartment for a laptop up to 15.6″, a dedicated interior compartment for an iPad or similar tablet, a few smaller compartments and a Rear Ride Along feature and this briefcase has just about everything a consumer might desire as a go-to briefcase. The Bradford 15.6″ Briefcase also comes with two exterior zippered compartments, an inner clip to attach keys and other small items and an adjustable shoulder strap that allows a consumer to use it as a messenger bag. Coupled with an excellent 5-year limited warranty, it’s an excellent choice for business and/or leisure use.
While this new Bradford hybrid briefcase is well deserving of a high rating for this review, the impression here is that some additional features would have made it even better. For example, the two zippered compartments are on the face of the briefcase and the interior section behind it has three spots for storage but without any zippers. In the world of noteworthy backpacks and briefcases, a key clip is practically a given, but not so much zippered inner pockets. It’s true, the two front zippered compartments are spacious and a very nice feature. It’s just that an interior zippered pocket gives a better sense of security.
With this preferred convenience, a consumer could be zip up any small items regardless of value, such as a flash drive, micro-SD card or pocket change. It’s true that items can still be easily stored without any zippers but it also leaves open the potential for loss for someone on the go. Of course, this is a personal preference and these suggestions might not even matter to another consumer looking for that ideal briefcase.
The one feature that really could use some improvement is its Rear Ride-Along, that allows the bag to slip over a suitcase handle for easier transport. In this instance, the “consolidated travel” feature is an obvious departure from another Solo product reviewed in the past – the Executive 17.3″ Backpack, which features a very sturdy Ride Along compartment that alternates as additional exterior cushioning. With the new Bradford case, it’s just a single, strap, a little over an inch wide and running the length of the case. The guess here is that this feature was refined to lessen the overall weight of the briefcase, particularly because the Executive Backpack is a little bulky. On the other hand, the Executive Backpack’s Rear Ride-Along seems like it would last longer over time after continued use whereas the Bradford looks as if it will definitely weaken over time.
Whether it’s difference maker, it really depends on the individual purchaser, who can choose to keep the case over an extended period of time or go out and buy a replacement. Additionally, the absence of another zippered compartment might not make a difference at all to other consumers.
Despite some concerns, the Bradford 15.6″ Briefcase is a fine example of quality workmanship and functionality. Moreover, the Bradford Briefcase is easily one of the best looking briefcases on the market and at $69.99, stacks up very well amongst its competitors. Throw in the 5-year limited warranty and its industry leading customer service, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Final Analysis: Worthy of a 5-star rating with a slight suggestion.
Padded compartment protects laptops up to 15.6″.
Dedicated interior pocket for iPad® or tablet.
Quick access pocket.
Front zip-down organizer section.
Removable/adjustable shoulder strap.
Rear Ride-Along® feature for consolidated travel.
Cotton/ vinyl body
Body size: 12″ x 16″ x 3.75″
Weight: 2.27 lbs