Saddleback Leather

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Every once in a while you come across one of those things that you just have to have. Unfortunately it seems to happen to me a lot more frequently than others- just look at my shoe or electronics collections. But then there are those times when you see something, have to have it, get it and then have to write about how freakin’ awesome it is. My new Saddleback Leather bag is exactly one of those things. They ain’t cheap, but they’re damn sure worth it.

An American company, Saddleback Leather was started by a guy named Dave and is currently based out of Texas. I don’t know Dave from Adam, but just by checking out the company’s website and going through the order process I’ve gained a sense of familiarity with he and his company. If you check out the website, (which incendetally is the ONLY place you can buy these bags), you quickly come to realize that the company is one of those who doesn’t believe in corporate propaganda, likes to speak plain language and is in business because they have a quality product to sell for a good reason.

Their purpose? “To put it simply, Saddleback’s goal is this:  To make excessively high quality, tough and cool looking leather pieces for a few people that will last a really long time.” So long, in fact, that their bags come with a 100 year warranty!

I first learned about Saddleback Leather from my older brother, Mark. He forwarded me a link to their line of briefcases and a note that he wanted one really bad. Naturally I couldn’t contain myself and poached the idea for myself, purchasing the Dark Coffee Brown briefcase in size Large. Obviously the bag is gorgeous, and while I’ll start there, the reason I have fallen in love with Saddleback Leather goes far beyond simple esthetics.

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Aesthetics:

The bags truly are gorgeous. Each bag comes in a variety of colours which are sure to suit any personality. Most of them also come in 3 different sizes as well to fit your specific needs and/or body type. The leather is extremely high quality, the stitching immaculate, and the colors rich and vibrant and with so many different options, ranging from duffel bags to briefcases to satchels, there’s literally something for everyone.

Durability & Value

Saddleback Leather bags are built to last. As their website says, “They’ll fight over it when you’re dead”. They use the highest quality leather, thread and rivets to ensure your bag will last the test of time. None of the bags have breakable parts like zippers or snaps. Instead, they use buckles which, in my opinion, make the bags look even more awesome- although I’ll be honest in saying that it also makes the bags a little less convenient to get into. For me though, it’s well worth the extra effort when it means I’m carrying around a bag that I’m proud of and people are going to notice.

The bags are far from cheap, but not only are they built to last, they are built to be classics. It’s like buying that perfect black pea coat. They’ll never be out of style and a good one will last you forever. Saddleback is so confident in the look and value of their bags, they even have a section for links to their competitors’ websites listed on theirs.  

Doing Good

Here is an excerpt from the email I received to let me know that my bag had been shipped:

Oh, and by the way, a pretty good chunk of the amount that you sent to Saddleback went directly to loving people through one of those aid organizations on the Dave’s Links page.  Basically, you just contributed to drilling a well for an entire village or partially sponsored a 5 year old street kid in Rwanda to get into a loving orphanage and go to one of the best schools in the country. This is the main reason Saddleback Leather exists. Just wanted to let you know… between friends. Thanks for helping.

Now, bearing in mind that I was already willing to pay $500+ for this bag it came as a complete and wonderful surprise to find out that a good portion of that amount was actually going towards a good and sustainable cause rather than just fattening someone’s wallet. I was already sold on the bags to begin with, but to then find out that Dave, his wife and the other folks at Saddleback Leather were about more than just making money… well they’ve got me as a dedicated customer as long as they keep it up, that’s for sure.

Every day People

I mentioned this a little already, but I highly encourage you to explore the Saddleback Leather website. Read Dave’s stories about how the company started, about the things they are involved in and lastly, just have a good old laugh at the way he communicates. For example, in the “Questions” section on the site it is asked “Are the animals tortured before they are slaughtered?” to which he answers, “Absolutely not ! With some pigs we do use waterboarding and sensory deprivation techniques previous to slaughtering them, but the cows do not require any special handling.”

These are every day people making exceptional bags and doing good along the way. It’s the perfect solution to finding a quality, long-lasting product that pretty much everyone needs and getting more than just a bag for your money. You could spend double what Saddleback Leather bags cost and you’ll get a bag that lasts 1/4 as long, probably doesn’t even look as cool and, more importantly, has no more redeeming value than that it’s a bag.

I’m telling you, if youre in the market for a new bag, whether it’s big or small, for travel or commuting, you should check Saddleback Leather out. High value, classic looks and promotes sustainability… you don’t get much better than that.