Rip My Bag Challenge: Unveiling the Andar Manhattan Backpack

Andar Manhattan Backpack Review (Rip My Bag Challenge) by Tanner Leatherstein

Welcome to the new series called the “Rip My Bag Challenge”, where I put emerging leather brands to the ultimate test. Today, we’re diving into a bag from Andar, a brand that boldly challenged me to dissect one of their products.

After browsing their website, I selected the Manhattan Backpack, a sleek and stylish choice that caught my eye. Priced at $344, it seemed like a good candidate for this in-depth review.

How the Rip My Bag Challenge Works

Let me provide a detailed explanation of the Rip My Bag Challenge. This concept emerged from my desire to explore and review new and lesser-known brands, bringing transparency and honesty to the leather goods market. Here’s how it all began and how it works:

The Inspiration Behind the Challenge

There are numerous bold brands out there challenging me to take their bags apart and put them to the test. While large, established fashion houses may not show much interest, many newcomers are eager to have their products scrutinized. These emerging brands are keen to prove their quality and price performance. Additionally, I have received countless review requests from you, my audience, for these new labels that most of us have never heard of. This overwhelming interest inspired me to create the Rip My Bag Challenge.

The Concept

The Rip My Bag Challenge is designed to increase our reach and coverage, exploring both the gems and potential scams entering the Leatherverse. Here’s how it works in detail:

1. Brands Reach Out: The process begins with brands reaching out to me, expressing their willingness to participate in the challenge. These brands must accept the conditions of the challenge to proceed.

2. Anonymous Purchase: I purchase the product I choose from their main market using a personal shopper. This step ensures the brand doesn’t know the bag is coming to me for review. By doing this, I guarantee that I receive the same product any other consumer would, maintaining the integrity of the review.

3. Detailed Dissection: Once the bag arrives, I take it apart, scrutinizing every aspect from the materials to the craftsmanship. This involves examining every stitch, material, and design element in detail.

4. Independent Publishing: The review is then published on my schedule. The brand does not see the review beforehand or know the day of publishing. This ensures that my findings are unbiased and free from external influence.

5. Production Costs: The brand pays a flat fee of $1000 to cover the cost of producing the video. Trust me, this fee doesn’t even cover the time and effort my team and I invest in these videos.

6. Reimbursement for Purchase: After the video is published, the brand agrees to reimburse me for the product purchase expenses.

The goal of the Rip My Bag Challenge is to look into more new brands than I could before, providing you with honest, detailed reviews of their products. This challenge is about bringing transparency to the leather goods market, helping consumers make informed decisions, and supporting brands that truly offer quality and value.

First Impressions of the Manhattan Backpack

Upon first glance, the Manhattan Backpack impressed me with its overall look and feel. The leather is claimed to be full grain, but I noticed a slight buff, indicating it might be closer to top-grain leather. Despite this, the leather's texture is pleasing, and it has a semi-aniline finish, adding to its appeal.

The craftsmanship of the backpack is commendable. All the stitches are neat and aligned, and the zippers appear to be YKK, known for their reliability. One standout feature is the double-turn English seam edges, which significantly enhances durability. There’s minimal edge paint, which means fewer chances of cracking over time—a big plus for long-term use.

Dissecting the Details

As I delved deeper into the bag, I noticed a few areas needing improvement. A pinhole in the right front center of the bag indicates a quality control oversight. Small details like this can affect the overall value perception of the product. However, the edges covered with fabric are neatly done, adding to the bag's clean and polished look.

Inside, the workmanship remains impressive. The interior is well-crafted, reflecting a meticulous attention to detail. The materials used for inner support, such as foam and sponges, are on the budget end but still functional.

@tanner.leatherstein RIP My Bag Challenge: Can the $344 Manhattan Backpack survive? DISCLAIMER: The “Rip My Bag Challenge” is a review series that tests leather products' quality, price, and craftsmanship. While the brand supports the challenge financially, my opinions stay fair, unbiased, and truthful. Products featured are purchased anonymously without brand involvement. Brands have no control over content, publishing dates, or the review process. You may watch the full disclaimer on my pinned video. #tannerleatherstein #isitworthit #review #leather #leatherbag #bagtok #leatherbackpack ♬ original sound - Tanner Leatherstein

Testing the Leather

To verify the leather quality, I applied acetone to remove the finish. This revealed a thin layer of finish on the leather, confirming my suspicion of buffing. While the leather is still of high quality, it’s more accurately classified as top grain rather than full grain. This distinction is minor but important for transparency.

Cost Analysis and Value

Estimating the leather used, about 12 square feet of cowhide is needed for this bag, costing around $36. Additional materials and labor bring the production cost to approximately $95. I’m assuming this is manufactured in India because I couldn't find a label or reference on the website. Based on these estimates, the total cost to produce this backpack is around $131.

The retail price of $344 represents a 2.6x markup, which is relatively low in the industry. This suggests that consumers are getting a good deal for the quality offered. Despite the minor issues with the leather classification and quality control, the bag presents excellent value.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Andar Manhattan Backpack exceeded my expectations in many areas. The craftsmanship is solid, and the materials used, despite being on the budget end for some components, are adequate for the price point. The bag's design and functionality make it a worthwhile purchase, especially given the reasonable markup.

The only significant area for improvement is the leather classification. Transparency in marketing is crucial, and accurately labeling the leather as top grain would better align with the actual product. Additionally, addressing minor quality control issues would enhance the overall consumer experience.

In conclusion, the Manhattan Backpack from Andar offers great value for its price. It’s a durable, stylish, and functional option for those in need of a leather backpack. 

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