If there ever was a review that deserved to be opened with a John Wayne quote, it would be this one. John Wayne once said “I’m the stuff men are made of!” Well if John Wayne is the stuff men are made of, then this Saddleback leather satchel is the stuff man bags are made of. This satchel is more than a mere leather bag for the iPad, it represents a lifestyle, a goal, a dream and an aspiration all stitched up in the coolest most rugged grade of dead cow available. Check out our review of this singular Saddleback Leather Co Satchel.
Our friends at Saddleback were kind enough to send us a review unit of their leather iPad sleeve a while ago, and have now sent us their pride and joy for the iPad: the Saddleback Medium Leather Satchel.Where to start with a bag of this scope? First, let’s get the biggest hurdle out of the way (put your beverage down before continuing)- it costs $310. Ok, if you just squirted *insert beverage here* out of your nose after reading that, don’t say we didn’t warn you. Yes, this bag is a whopping $310, but what a bag it is!
Made from ridiculously thick completely tanned full grain boot leather, stitched with industrial strength marine grade polyester thread, riveted up to high heaven, and engineered more than some space shuttles, this is a leather bag that will take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.
In fact, Saddleback Leather Co backs all their products by a 100 year warranty. As their slogan states: “They’ll fight over it when you’re dead!” This bag practically begs to be abused. It wants to be thrown around, punched in the face, slammed into walls, dragged around the world twice, and used as a shield in any number of bar fights. Any scars that it receives will only add to its character and style. Let’s just say this is a bag Isaiah Mustafa would use.
Enough fawning over the pure rugged manliness of this bag (for the moment), let’s talk specifics. The medium leather satchel is reasonably sized at 12” x 9” x 4.5” and will fit your iPad perfectly. It’s heavy, it weighs about 3 lbs. But that shouldn’t be a problem with all those man muscles you’ve got going on. Inside this bag is lined with pig skin (one of the most durable leathers on the planet). There’s one large and one small interior pocket which can be pressed flat when not in use. The iPad fits perfectly into the smaller pocket with a thin case, leaving plenty room for more stuff in the main compartment. There are also two small interior pockets to hold your cell phone or water bottle as well as a handy key holder.
On the outside is another series of pockets- one full sized magazine pocket on the back, and two side pockets for even more stuff. This thing has more hefty D-rings on the outside than we can figure out what to do with. If you need to haul around tons of gear on your journeys, this rings will let you tie on blankets, tripods, or really whatever you manage lash to your bag. All of this is secured with a hefty leather buckle that just begs a pickpocket to dare to open it quietly, and fail. Ain’t nobody messing with your stuff in this bag.
The sturdy handle on the top is riveted to a an aluminum bar underneath to add to the rigidity. And the heavy duty leather shoulder strap not only looks good, but it’s very comfortable as well. You may have noticed from the pictures one oddity on the exterior of this bag: A large metal O ring on the top. That’s because this bag converts into a backpack as well using the detachable shoulder strap, an O ring, and a couple D rings. We told you this thing is engineered more than some space shuttles!
Finally this bag comes in four different colors- Tobacco light brown, Carbon black, Chestnut reddish brown (pictured), and Dark coffee brown (our personal favorite). Be sure to check the “common questions” tab for help in picking out a color based on your personality.
Ok, that’s enough specifics. The Saddleback website is chock full of amazing tidbits and details on the construction of these bags, why they use the leather they use, how to convince your spouse that you absolutely need one of these, videos of these bags in action, a story about a dog that will make you cry slow man tears, and more. Check it out!
Smart people who know stuff say “we don’t dress just to cover, we dress to identify.” If that’s true then this bag embodies a lifestyle of adventure and travel. It’s quality of construction is reminiscent of a bygone era, and it’s features are a culmination of real world experience and obsessive love being lavished upon it. As hard core globe trotters ourselves, we give this bag our stamp of approval and admiration. It’s expensive, but it’s the last bag you will ever need. As they say “Buy the best, cry once.” Check out the Saddleback Medium Leather Satchel for yourself, and dream of all the adventures that lie just over the horizon for the both of you. Check out the Saddleback Medium Leather iPad Satchel now!
What follows is an exerpt from my personal favorite poem “Ulysses” by Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson (we’ve taken artistic liberties with the last line… sorry Alfred):
“I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vest the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers;
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breath were life. Life piled on life
Were all to little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
With my Saddleback leather satchel in hand.”