How Tough is Saddleback Leather’s Macbook Air Sleeve – $97 ?

Leather is generally considered to be a fairly tough material, and full grain leather, the type we love to see and feel at BestLeather, is the toughest kind of leather.  Full grain leather (the outermost layer of leather that is not sanded, smoothed, or corrected in any way) is the type of leather used by companies like Basadar and Saddleback Leather Company.  I recently had the unfortunate experience of realizing how tough Saddleback’s leather is, while using Saddleback Leather Small MacBook Air Sleeve.

SPRING BREAK

My wife and I, along with our four children, took a trip to Utah over spring break.  We had a great time visiting with friends and seeing some of the sites.  When the fun was over, we packed up our Honda Odyssey at the hotel and got everyone and everything into the car (or so we thought).  Unbeknownst to me, my wife left her recent model Macbook Air on top of the van as she was helping get the kids situated and in their car seats.  I unabashedly admit that I am a fan of Saddleback Leather goods, and when we bought this computer, I purchased a Saddleback Leather Small MacBook Air Sleeve as a measure of protection for it.  So the laptop sat on top of our car in its comfy sleeve.

THE MISHAP

We drove the mile to the freeway entrance, turned onto the onramp, and were almost at freeway speed when we heard something hit the car.  We looked around and didn’t see anything amiss, but then noticed the car behind us flashing their lights.  I figured something was wrong, so I pulled over.  Not seeing anything, we got back on the freeway; shortly thereafter, my wife blurted out, “I left the computer on top of the car!”

We took the next exit and circled back so that we could retrace our steps.  As we came to where we remember something hitting our car, we slowed down to where we thought the computer might be, and sure enough, there it was on the side of the road.  I carefully pulled over, and my wife ran out and grabbed it.  I snapped a few pictures with my IPhone 5.  The computer was mostly in the sleeve, but was part way out when she picked it up.  One side of the sleeve was gouged, scratched, and marred, while the other side was relatively unscathed.

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Amazingly, the computer was perfectly intact, minus a few scratches on the lid.  We opened it up and voila, it snapped awake as it always has.

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I was dumbfounded.  I fully expected the computer to be a write-off and was almost tempted to just leave it to the elements after we realized what it was that fell off the car.  For the computer to be perfectly sound after falling nearly six feet, at sixty miles an hour is either a miracle, or a testament to some of the best leather you can find.  Below are a few more close up pictures that I took after we got home.

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THE LEATHER

My Saddleback Leather Small MacBook Air Sleeve was beaten up, but there were no gouges that cut all the way through to the laptop.  In fact, none of the gouges made it through to the pigskin lining (Saddleback Leather’s lining of choice).  A  skid on the freeway at 60 MPH is a good way to test how tough leather is, and, though I hope that I will not be performing that test again anytime soon, it was interesting to see the result.  Fortunately, my computer was housed with thick, four to five ounce, vegetable tanned boot leather.  Because Saddleback also uses leather that is tanned and drum dyed all of the way through to the middle (the terminology in leather speak is ‘struck through’), my sleeve is still the same color, even where the gouges and scratches are.  This is great leather and this is a tough sleeve for a Macbook Air.

THE THREAD

Similar to the toughness of the leather, I found that the continuous filament polyester thread that Saddleback uses is also tough as nails.  Much of the thread was frayed on the side with all of the scratches, but I did not see a single piece of thread that had broken or come undone.  Every single stitch was still intact.  Tough leather and tough thread — that is a winning combo.

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Though I am pretty sure that the Saddleback Leather Macbook Air Sleeve was not designed to be tossed out of a car at 60 MPH, I am very glad that they design very hardy and durable leather goods.  One thing that may have prevented any scratches on the computer was some sort of a clasp or snap at the mouth of the sleeve, which would have prevented the computer from coming out at all.  Perhaps this is too much to ask for as the result of one freak accident, but it is a consideration nonetheless.

BESTLEATHER CONCLUSION

Though it was not my intention to write a review of the Saddleback Leather Small MacBook Air Sleeve, this situation gave me a good reason to at least share my experience with it.  Saddleback’s Macbook Air Sleeve is tough, it is beautiful, it fits perfectly, and if you have the misfortune of a mishap like mine, you will be glad that you paid the price for a quality leather product.

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