Call me crazy, but I love hand me downs. The very nature of hand-me-downs is exactly what typifies ideal purchases: After an item has lived through its intended purpose, it still has enough life left in it to be passed on to a new owner. So when my Dad took a trip to San Francisco and was concerned about pickpockets, he purchased himself a Tanner Leather Good’s Workman Wallet made from brown Chromexcel leather. Continue reading If you get a Workman Wallet, you’re gonna want a Tether from Tanner Leather Goods.
I first came across Koch Leather on Kickstarter. Their project is designed to help them deliver their high quality, hand-stitched leather goods to a larger audience. Presently, everything they sell is hand produced by Josh and Jen Koch (no relation to the Koch Brothers), and this projects’ success will allow them to take their 2-person, hand produced business and make it a fully fledged brand. And they’ll keep the hand-production in the process! Josh was kind enough to let me check out their Field Notes sleeve, and to let me give it away to one lucky reader. Possibly you– Contest in the post!
It’s a busy time of year. After heading to research conferences in San Diego and Pittsburgh, you can consider me exhausted. But today, I got home and had a bit of free time after finishing up some house chores to snap a few pictures of my travel companion: my tobacco brown Classic Briefcase from Saddleback. Continue reading Saddleback Leather Part 3: Spring Travel Update
The average American walks around two and a half miles a day. It would take one of us 400 days to walk those 1000 miles, but from what I can tell based on my experience with the Wolverine 1000 Mile Line, these boots might be better named Wolverine 10,000 mile. Wolverine boots are all hand-crafted in Michigan or Missouri. I reached out to the company and they sent me a pair of their flagship 1000 Mile Boot, which uses Horween’s Chromexcel leather– Widely regarded as the best leather available.
|From Wefty’s First Post|
Ten thousand nine hundred fifty eight. The the number of days you, my brother, have been alive. For those keeping track, that’s thirty years. When you started this blog, you set out to create a tribute to things that get better with time. And on this day, I wish I could be in Portland Oregon celebrating it with you.
To celebrate, Wefty will be drinking Willet’s Family Estate Straight Rye Whiskey. A 95% rye 5% barley, this high-rye aged 4 years by Kentucky Bourbon Distillery is among my favorites, and hopefully will be among his soon. With a vanilla nose, complex palate and long spiced finish, it’s a fine example of Rye Whiskey. And I hope that my brother enjoys it tonight– I will have to sip a bit alongside you on this side of the country. Perhaps it will take the sting off being summoned for Jury Duty.
So to my brother. To paraphrase Harper Lee, it’s not idealism to believe in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system– that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. A court is no better than each person sitting on a jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the people who make it up. So my advice to my brother: Drink more Willet, show up drunk, and turn the courthouse into a party.
PS: It’s not much yet… But Wefty + Mash may soon adopt a trademark. In honor of Wefty’s birthday, Here’s a rough sketch of the most current version.
Wefty and I did our research when we started this blog. We looked at our favorite items, and discussed them with online communities like the Buy It For Life subreddit. We lurked, discussed, listened… and one of the names that kept coming up was Saddleback: Usually in the “I want a leather bag that will last forever, what would you recommend?” category. With that in mind, we reached out to Saddleback’s Sarah Farver, who was kind enough to let us borrow a bag or two for a review. This post will be about the Chestnut Satchel I got to try for the last few weeks. As of this publication, the bag has been returned to Saddleback at their request.
When I first opened the box this bag came in, I was overwhelmed with the smell of high quality leather. It burst out of the plastic bag securing the bag. After opening it and inspecting it, my attention became focused on the details of the bag. Using a thick thread consistently throughout, this bag’s 5 stitches per inch stands out from a distance as clean, even, and consistent across the entire product. That and a few antiqued copper rivets hold together the three main components of this bag: metal, leather, and more leather.
Standing out with a bright sheen, the metalwork for this particular Saddleback consists of two dog-leash style clasps (I suspect an homage to creator Dave Munsen’s dog, Blue), a key-clip, a bull-nose style ring, and a dozen D-rings. The rivets themselves are an antiqued-style copper that fades nicely into the rich chestnut color of the leather. This two-tone metalwork certainly works nicely for the bag, although I find the sheen of the non-rivets to be a bit much. Fortunately, that is nothing a year or two of use wouldn’t fix: As these pieces get worn, this sheen will fade, and the bag will look even nicer. But as is, it gives the leather bag a crisp appearance that would be well suited in a variety of work environments.
Saddleback’s recent change in leather cutting policy has ruffled some feathers of late, but on this bag, it is not applicable. While I am no leatherworker, I have seen my fair share of leather bags and wallets. From Tanner Goods to Cole Haan, I like to think I can recognize quality full grain leather, and that’s exactly what this cowhide is. When it first arrived, it bore not a single blemish– Any that you see in these pictures are a result of my personal use with the bag. Having spoken with the folks at Saddleback, they explained that this is normal for the Chestnut leather: This color is meant to be delivered crisp and unmarked as possible. If all their bags look like this one, they certainly hit the mark there.
The “More” Leather
Saddleback makes a great leather satchel, and the attention to detail on this product makes me expect the same will hold true for all their products. From what I can tell, these bags should hold up to daily use for many years: With proper regular care, It is possible for this bag to last longer than the 100 year warranty. Expect products in the chestnut color to arrive more or less flawless. While this one is on its way back to Saddleback, stay tuned for Part 2, where I’ll be reviewing the Classic Briefcase in Tobacco Brown. Expect that one to have more character out of the box.
If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy our post on Will Leather Goods