Malcolm Fontier’s Diplomat 17 is a Sleek, Travel-Friendly Laptop Bag

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Life on the road can be quite tough on one’s gear. Having burned through three laptop bags in as many years, I recently took a closer look at the available, high quality replacement options.

Like many modern travelers, my requirements were straightforward: it must be extremely durable; feature a reasonable number of pockets and dividers; be large enough to store a 17″ laptop; and, quite simply, it must look good.

I recently took a shine to Malcolm Fontier’s line of sexy bags. So when they offered to send a review sample of the largest of their laptop bag lineup – The Diplomat 17 – I was eager to take a closer look.

The Skinny

In Malcolm Fontier’s own words, The Diplomat 17 is:

“Cavernous”- This bag will swallow a massive 17“ laptop and still leave room for a change of clothes and all the other gadgets you might carry. Along with all that space you also get the great organizers and features that define the Diplomat series.

  • Fits a laptop up to 17″
  • Soft, and durable PU coated canvas
  • Natural linen lining
  • Neoprene electronics pockets
  • Built-in wallet/cardholder
  • Passport Pocket
  • Padded laptop protection
  • Dual metal buckle flap closure
  • Quick access magazine and boarding pass pockets
  • Rugged, padded handle

In Detail

With a tidy, minimalist design, The Diplomat is a looker right out of the box. Accents include high quality zippers, brushed nickel flap closures and an off-color stitching that all contribute to a sleek, understated look. It exudes a confident style without an overt sense of flashiness.

Although leather is a great material, it’s simply not rugged enough to survive the daily beating of perpetual travel. Which is why the first thing that I fell in love with about The Diplomat is the choice of construction materials. Crafted from PU coated canvas, it boasts an extremely tough exterior with a surprisingly supple feel akin to ultra soft rubber.

The interior is smartly constructed of an off-white, natural linen lining that makes finding your goods just a little bit easier, particularly in low-light situations.

One issue with some travel bags is not too few pockets, but too many. I don’t relish having to look through twenty six pockets trying to remember which one I put my passport or my headphones in. The Diplomat offers just the right amount of storage, all neatly tucked away behind a variety of magnetic snaps and pockets.

Pricing & Availability

The Diplomat 17 is available now in Black or Brown for $260 USD.

Malcolm Fontier bags are available from a number of select, independent retailers around the U.S. But I recommend visiting directly, if only to check out their Pay What It’s Worth program. It works just like you would imagine – no, seriously. As MF claim, it’s their “answer to a problem that many companies deal with, but few would dare solve this way. We feel that it is the best solution to clear our older inventory- for both us, and you.” Clever.

Also, don’t miss their recently released line of stylish carry-on travel bags, including The Getway, The Negotiator and The New Yorker.

Bottom Line

With a rugged but sexy exterior and a number of smartly designed features, this may be the last travel/laptop bag you buy for a long, long time. Highly recommended.

Founding Editor
  1. I have a copy of a crumpler laptop bag that I picked up in Vietnam when my North Face bag was stolen. I had some straps sewn underneath so that my jungle hammock can be slung underneath (the leather straps are two dog collars, you’d never know), I have a tiny sleeping bag inside, a few changes of clothes, my laptop of course with a quadraphonic mic and a mini keyboard to make and record music ect etc.
    Carrying too much stuff around is a pain in the rear, all I need is a good time, hell yes!

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