The best leather tote has a little bit of everything: It needs enough space to fit the things you need everyday (and likely a few extra things you don't), but a slim profile that won't weigh you down. It needs to be made of a leather that will stay gorgeous through years of use, but that will acquire a patina and get better with age, not just stay the same. And finally, it needs to be comfortable for people of every height and body type to carry, either with adjustable straps or customizable handles.
We have good news for you: Both the Standard Tote and the Mini Tote from KMM & Co. check all those boxes (and a few more)! Trying to decide which of our bags is the perfect leather tote for you? We'll step you through a comparison below.
Leather Tote Bag 101
If you're comparing leather tote bags, it helps to have a handle on the basics -- Leather Tote Bag 101, if you will! No need to take notes, but these are the things you'll want to think about when trying to decide which bag is right for you.
Size: Tote bags of all kinds are great at multitasking. But one easy way to figure out which one is perfect for the task at hand is to consider the size your bag needs to be to carry your essentials. What's your proverbial yardstick? A laptop, a pair of shoes, a stack of files, an assortment of toys? Whatever it is, there's a tote that can carry it -- along with the wallet, phone, and keys you wouldn't leave home without.
Straps: You've thought through what you want to carry in your tote. But have you thought about how you want to carry it? Some people want a tote that can be comfortably carried on one shoulder. Others want a bag that can be worn as a crossbody. Still others prefer something that's small enough to carry by hand. It's the straps that make all those things -- and more -- possible.
Leather: We construct our bags out of gorgeous, full-grain leathers, many of them made in America! The tanneries we work with all use different tanning and dyeing processes to create each type of leather. So each leather has unique characteristics. Do you want a tote that's structured, or one that's slouchy? Do you prefer a matte finish or a glossy shine? Do you like pebbled leather, or prefer something smooth? Knowing your preferences can help narrow down the options.
The standard leather tote bag
Size: Each of our standard leather tote bags is 13 inches tall, 14 inches wide, and about 6 inches deep. They are all cut from the same standard pattern, though the specific leather does influence the way the tote hangs on your shoulder, and the extent to which the tote will be able to flex to accommodate large -- or strangely-shaped -- items. Don't ask us how we know, but a flexible tote is the way to go if you need to carry a barrel of cheese balls.
Straps: The handles on our standard tote bags can be made in your choice of four different drop lengths: 7 inches, 8 inches, 9 inches, or 10 inches. 7 inches is our standard, and the option chosen by more than half of KMM & Co. customers, but the longer drop lengths we offer are just as important to us. You can also opt to add an adjustable crossbody strap, which gives you even more ways to carry your tote.
Leather: The weight and temper of the specific leather used to make a tote bag influences the silhouette of the bag. A tote bag cut from a soft, floppy leather like Kodiak will have a slouchy silhouette. A tote bag made from a heavy, stiff leather like Crazy Horse will have a much more rigid silhouette. A tote bag cut from a leather that falls somewhere in between, like Cognac or Autumn Harvest, will be structured enough to hold its shape, but will still have some give and flexibility.
The mini leather tote bag
Size: Each of our mini leather tote bags measures 10 inches tall, 12 inches wide, and 4 inches deep. They are all cut from the same standard pattern, and each one is made from a supple Kodiak leather. These leathers are the softest we stock for tote bags. At the small size of the mini tote, you really need the flex and slouch that you get with a soft leather.
Straps: The top handles on our mini totes feature a 5-inch drop length. Because they're designed for carrying the tote by hand, we don't offer the option of customizing their length. The mini tote also features a detachable crossbody strap. That strap is adjustable between 36 to 44 inches, with a drop length of 16.5 to 20 inches. It's designed so that the mini tote will hang at hip length on people 5'0" to 6'0", and you can adjust it to carry the tote on one shoulder or crossbody.
Leather: The leather used to make a mini tote has a major impact on the way the bag will hang (and how comfortable it will be to carry). To maximize the space inside the bag, each mini tote is made from soft Kodiak leather. Kodiak makes a big statement, even as a small bag, and each Kodiak color has ardent fans. But you can't go wrong with Tan Kodiak -- it's always our bestselling color.
Shop our mini totes or our standard leather tote bags to compare your options and find the leather tote bag that's perfect for you. And get all the details on the gift set, our favorite add-on for our leather totes. If you need help deciding which way to go, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! The team would be happy to help!