I have several English three speeds, and have always loved my old, huge Brooks touring bag, in canvas with some sort of welded plastic/rubberized lining (still pliable after almost fifty years! When I went to buy another, I found the Carradice, and was more impressed with the quality than the contemporary Brooks canvas offerings.
Simply, the leather is 'chrome' the same as used on fine English saddle billets, immensely strong and heavy. The duck is tight, heavy, and the weight used in luggage. Corners are reinforced, with chrome leather. there are additional billets attachment points on the top of the lid, so one could strap more stuff on top. Side pockets are deep, and the strap hardware is top notch, heavy, with non-rusting metal.
Mine, about a 2002 model as I recall, has a reflective triangle on the lid, which appears to have been discontinued.
It will hold tools, water bottle, heavy fleece and rain jacket and more. It fits well onto my Brooks saddle loops. It will sit atop the rear fender and will wear paint, which I have remedied by simply adding some cloth tape to protect paint from further rubbing.
This is an item that will last generations. The duck is highly water repellent but, does need attention from time to time to remove road dust, and the occasional spray of water repellent or wax dubbing.
Very English in the best sense of style, quality, and materials. I prefer it to my mid 60's Brooks because the bag itself retains its shape when empty, and is far heavier material. In case you wonder why its called a long flap, the lid has another entire width of flap folded under, with additional billet straps to increase the capacity to a bulging full bag, ie stuffed OVER the height of the bag itself. I have only used this a few times and it is a nice feature; you can have lunch, table cloth and stout etc in the bag to the brim and still be able to layer on top your coat etc and close the flap.
Bottom LineYes, I would recommend this to a friend