Most helpful positive review
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2012
I love the Saddleback tagline "They'll fight over it when you're dead"! and it's true! If my grandfather had left one of these I'd be the first in line for it! In a world where everything is diminishing in quality and businesses feel it doesn't pay to make things for life, this product stands out as an extraordinary exception. The leather is beautiful and tough while the stitching is like that of a horse saddle. It is clearly made to endure years of rough treatment. If you're considering getting one there are three factors to take in to account (I haven't mentioned quality because that's something you will never have to worry about... it's guaranteed for 100 years and as they tell you on the Saddleback site "you'll understand why when you see it"):
1. Price - It's just a matter of whether you can raise the money to buy it or not. If you can, then do it. It'll pay for itself after the first 3-4 years. I was literally going through a bag a year before buying this briefcase, and I wasn't even using my bags that much! I'd take it to work in the morning and return home after work. My commute was only 30-40 minutes. After getting my saddleback I still continue looking at other bags, whether in shops or those that belong to my friends, and they all look inferior in comparison! The interesting thing is that whenever I've seen a briefcase that I like, it's always significantly more expensive than this one (Like TUMI for instance).
2. Aesthetics - I happen to think all leather looks better in brown. Specially when it wears. I would have preferred a dark tan color I think. I felt the chestnut looked too red and the tobacco brown was too light, so I got my briefcase in the dark coffee brown. It is truly a beautiful case to look at. Like something they would have made in the wild west. The back, and the flap on the front are from one big piece of leather. It's very impressive, because I know the larger a piece of leather is, the more expensive and rare it becomes. The leather scratches very easily. You can literally scratch it with your nail. I almost want to scratch it deliberately and wear it in quicker, but I haven't. I get compliments on it all the time. It's not a corporate look. But otherwise it would look great anywhere. No zips and no more panels and stitching than is absolutely necessary. When you recognize the beauty in its simplicity other bags appear too busy, or gimmicky and often cheap.
3. Practicality - Ok yes it's heavy. If you get the standard one which is lined with Pigskin, it weighs 4.25 pounds (2 kg). May not seem like a lot, but it depends on whether you're the type who crams everything possible in to the space available, or if you're economical with what you carry. Bottom line is you don't really want to carry it for hours on end. It's not really a back pack, even though you can configure it to become one. The size for the Medium or 15" is: (38.1 cm) Wide, 11 ½" (29.2 cm) Tall, 4 ¼" (10.8 cm) Deep. I put my 15" MacBook Pro in to it without a sleeve. In the other compartment I can fit a large planner/agenda, Computer charger, Kindle and pen case and iPhone cable. There's room for more but I try not to stuff it. The strap is very very sturdy (I might even say too sturdy) and very long. Definitely too long for my liking. Also there are a lot of rings (a total of 11). I know the rings and the long strap are all there to accomodate the backpack configuration, but I know I will never use it as a backpack so I'm half tempted to shorten the strap and remove some of the rings because I know that would make the briefcase significantly lighter. But as yet I haven't mustered the courage to do it, since it would be an irreversible alteration!
Overall....I love it! I wish I had got it ten years ago. Would have saved a lot of money and by now it would be worn and look even better!