SaddleBack medium Satchel 002

Saddleback-Leather-Co.-Medium-Satchel-Review

Saddleback Leather Company’s Medium sized Satchel is a nice choice for a durable bag that’s just big enough for carrying around the essentials of day to day iPad use.

I’m a gadget geek. Which, by default, makes me a bag geek. After all, what kind of masochistic gadget fiend would spend their hard earned greenbacks on high quality toys just to leave them at home?!

SaddleBack medium Satchel 001

NOT THIS ONE.

So when I added the iPad to my mobile computing arsenal I obviously needed a bag of appropriate size to haul it and some other essentials around with me. However, a typical laptop bag designed for a typical laptop just wouldn’t cut it for something like this. The whole point of the device (as far as I’m concerned) is to provide a portal to the world that’s convenient to the point of never needing to choose whether I’m bringing it somewhere. If my girlfriend allows it, it’s coming along. It’s as simple as that. Finally, in the interest of not drawing attention to my geekiness, I prefer a bag that doesn’t look like a gear bag. A bag designed exclusively for a netbook (while appropriately sized) is therefor out of the question. Here enters Saddleback Leather Co’s Medium Satchel.

SaddleBack medium Satchel 006

Is it big enough? I can carry my iPad with me anywhere, and with a bag of this caliber, I’ll be doing it in style. It sounds cheesy, but I feel a little like Indiana Jones carrying this thing around. There’s plenty of room for an iPad (you’ll want a cover of some kind, I chose the Apple version), a smallish Bluetooth keyboard (again, the Apple one works, but keep an eye out for a review on an alternative option I’ll be posting soon), your charger, your keys, as well as a medium sized schoolbook of some variety.

SaddleBack medium Satchel 003

Is it built well enough? I think so. In fact, here’s a selection of Saddleback build quality points, taken directly from the website:

  • Leather – Only thick Full Grain Leather that ages richly, not weaker Top Grain, Genuine or Bonded leather.
  • Tanning – Only expensive fully tanned leather (not partially tanned), so it won’t dry and crack in only a few years.
  • No Breakable Parts – No zippers, snaps, buttons or any other breakable parts. How much is a billion dollar submarine with a plastic hatch worth?
  • Industrial Thread – Stout, thick and expensive industrial marine grade UV resistant thread used for airbags, sails and work boots.
  • Hidden Nylon Reinforcing Straps – Nylon straps sewn inside the parts of leather that get the stress. Nylon doesn’t stretch.
  • Rivets – Any place that could ever come apart in 30 – 50 years, gets a rivet (even rocks wear away).
  • Suede or Pigskin Lining – We use durable suede or pigskin (football material) as lining, not delicate fabric.
  • Hardware – Nickel plated metal hardware normally used for dog collars and horse tack.

If there’s an exception to the phrase “they don’t make them like the used to,” it’d be these guys. They’re industrial strength, and backed up with a 100 year warranty. It wouldn’t be far off to suggest that it’s been constructed of old sailors and stegosaurus hide; you know… leathery things. It’s the sort of attention to detail that when my day-job-officemates saw it, the general response was one of awe and general admiration. The only side effect of this construction (and coincidentally the only downside I found) was that it makes the bag heavier than other bags it’s size. The fact that you’re carrying some of the lightest computing equipment currently on the market more than balances this out.

Want one yourself? Buy it here.

Pros:

  • 100 year warranty
  • Super build quality
  • Definitely eye catching
  • Enough room for the basics of day to day iPad travel.

Cons

  • Heavier than other similar sized bags
  • Might not be enough room if you like to carry LOTS of other stuff.
  • Will require time to break in



BenH