The Saddleback Leather MacBook Pro Retina Sleeve is a simple product meant to house and protect the Macbook Pro. I already had an inexpensive, foam type sleeve for my 15″ Macbook Pro. I decided that my beautiful Macbook needed to be sheathed in something more worthy, something a little more elegant, so when I found the Macbook Sleeve from Saddleback Leather, I did not think twice and bought it.
The sleeve is obviously pretty simple in it’s function – to house and protect your Mac. The function goes a lot deeper than that though. A sleeve or bag is pretty worthless if it does not protect your computer in the case of a drop, or bump, or coffee spill. The Macbook Sleeve from Saddleback does all of these things well.
As is Saddleback’s forte, they use thick four to five ounce leather, and then slap a layer of pigskin on top of that. For the Macbook Sleeve, they used three pieces of leather – a strip about one and a quarter inches thick that runs from one side down the bottom to the other side. That strip is connected to each side by a large piece of leather. This combination of thick leather and method of construction means that you have very thick edges, which serve very well to protect the computer, in the case of a drop, though I have not purposely tested this yet. Maybe when my macbook is on its last legs I can do some serious drop tests.
The other thing I noticed is that the leather seems to have a bit more padding than what normal leather would provide. You can read on Saddleback’s site that they actually sandwich high density neoprene between leather on some of their products for extra padding, like in their desk pad. This neoprene helps to act as a shock absorber, in the case of a fall. This certainly gives the sleeve a lot more function than without it, and doesn’t detract from the aesthetic of the Sleeve.
Another thing that I liked about the Sleeve is the attention to small details. The top of the sleeve, where you slide the computer into, leaves about one quarter of an inch between the leather and the computer, which further serves to protect the computer on the top side. I appreciate this attention to detail, which lesser quality products don’t have.
Also, the computer slips snugly into the sleeve without a lot of effort, but also keeps the computer in the sleeve without easily slipping out. Anyone that has made quality leather goods themselves, knows that this is not easy to make a product so precise, that an eighth of an inch off either way could mean a product being too tight or too loose. It has to be just right every time. To further improve the Sleeve’s aesthetics, it is double stitched with tough polyester thread all the way around the Sleeve. Though the Sleeve would probably be sufficiently tough without the second layer of stitching, the second layer adds to it’s beauty.
At $83, the Sleeve is not a cheap case, of course, but for what you get, it has high value. You can find other leather sleeves for less, and a number for a lot more. The price point is actually quite attractive considering you are getting a sleeve that is made out of the best possible leather, looks as beautiful as the computer itself, and will last the life of the computer, and many more after that.
I don’t have any major criticisms to levy at the Macbook Sleeve, but if there was a suggestion box on Saddleback’s site, I would recommend a strap to ensure that your Mac never comes out of its sleeve, in case of heavy jolting, or if the leather stretches a bit over time. I understand that there would be a tradeoff to the svelte appearance of the Sleeve if that were the case, but that’s a tradeoff I would take.
The Macbook Sleeve looks gorgeous and makes a serious fashion statement, while keeping a very attractive price point. If you’ve got a Macbook Pro, and you want a beautiful piece of housing, you won’t be disappointed with the Macbook Sleeve from Saddleback.