Saddleback Leather Wallet and Tow Belt Review

Anyone who’s been reading Bestleather since the beginning knows that Saddleback Leather is one of our favorite brands. Their iconic designs and legendary craftsmanship have put them at the fore when it comes to dry goods and inspired more knockoffs than Chanel No. 5. In today’s review we take a look at two of their staples, the Leather Tow Belt and Full Grain Leather Bifold Wallet.


Both the wallet and the belt are made from full grain leather. Full grain leather is the best grade available, any more grain and you’d have to milk the belt and take the wallet out to pasture. The stitching is clean and tidy, and reinforced in the hard hit wear areas.

The belt features a heavy stainless steel buckle while the wallet has heavy duty marine grade thread…that’s right, you can go windsurfing using this bifold. In all seriousness, both of these products are built to last decades.


 A belt is a belt…only when it’s not. Cheap belts delaminate or the “genuine” leather cracks. The Tow Belt utilizes three layers of the good stuff (Full Grain Leather) and won’t peel like a banana at the first sign of stress. 

This belt is pretty stout too, almost feels like I’m girding up for battle when I put it on. I typically have a multitool, smartphone holster and sometimes a CCW and the belt has no problem supporting them.

The Bifold Wallet from Saddleback Leather is no slouch in the EDC arena either. I will admit the break in can be tedious tedious and this wallet is too thick for my personal preference (I’ve been using their Front Pocket ID Wallet for over a decade) but the card capacity and ease of cash retrieval make it a viable option for those who like to carry everything but the kitchen sink in their wallet. This wallet is RFID proof as well is which is a huge security bonus.


Both of these products are timeless in design. Leather will never not be in style. The belt contrasts well with most outfits other than a tuxedo and the wallet much like Sandra Bullock, will only get better with age.


It’s been awhile since we had a good look at Saddleback Leather and it was a refreshing reminder of what passion and quality materials can produce. The price might seem a tad high after browsing your local TJ Maxx bargain bin but these are goods that will last a lifetime. My wife has spent hundreds on “designer” wallets over the years, and I have literally watched them crumble away while tearfully busting out my trusty Saddleback wallet to pay for the next one and a simple tightening on the Tow Belt does a great job suppressing my appetite so we can continue that habit. 

Hank’s Belts Old World Harness Leather Belt Review – $145

I love me a good belt. Most guys have just one belt, but I have a few. I like to leave them on clothing items I wear frequently. There’s my work jeans belt, my shorts belt, etc. I recently made the almost sinful decision of getting a nylon web belt for my everyday jeans. It was ridgid to a fault with little to no flex and would dig into my sides. Needless to say I tossed it and was back on the hunt for a manly belt to gird my loins with…and that’s when I came across Hank’s Belts Old World Harness Leather Belt.


Hanks Belts Old World Harness Bet commands a thick butcher cut of leather! Easily the thickest belt I’ve reviewed and of course full grain, I could give you measurements in millimeters or weight it on my postal scale but that just wouldn’t do justice to the substance of this baby. I’d estimate its thickness at about 2 Morgan Silver dollars stacked and weighs about as much as my 7 year old’s well fed hamster.

The belt is made from leather provided by Hermann Oak, we’ve featured their hides in the past, and it’s easy to see why they’ve been in business for well over 100 years. Hank’s did a  great job crafting the belt, the stitching is clean and tight and the buckle is stout. The grain pattern is simply beautiful and tells a story if you look closely enough.


A belt leads a very stoic life. It keeps your pants up. However, it can also do much more. Securing a firearm, tools, etc. While playing with my kids I would wrap the belt around a tree and swing from it. We’ve used it to carry bundles of wood when camping. This belt won’t bend under a heavy load, I’ve been working on a pavilion in the backyard and was hanging my impact drill, tape measure and utility knife from it, it did not roll or cave in whatsoever. And yes, my pants did in fact remain up.


This belt looks good on so many levels. The stitching is tidy and the thread is robust. The deep, rich colors of the leather contrast nicely with anything from chinos to denim. I like having  a versatile belt that pairs well with most pants and shorts as it assists in my keeping a minimal yet classy wardrobe. This belt will also look better with time as it develops a patina of creases, scrapes and whatever else life throws at it. You can even customize the belt if you have an Laser engraving machine.


After wearing Hank’s Belts Old World Harness Leather Belt for the past few weeks, I can say even among the top quality belts I’ve reviewed, it stands out. Absolutely bomb proof construction. The price is definitely steep as far as initial investments go. Go down to Macy’s though, a designer belt will put you back $50 and may last 5 years…with Hank’s Belts you can literally pass it down to your grandchildren.

Buckles are an important part of a belt. If you want a one-of-a-kind belt, then you need to choose a one-of-a-kind buckle. You can customize the belt buckle with your favorite pattern on GS-JJ. The customized belt buckle has novel patterns and excellent quality. When you wear it, it can add points to your outfit and show your personality and unique temperament even more. Welcome to GS-JJ to customize your belt buckle!

JJ Suspenders Sierra Nevada Review – $79.00

There’s been warring factions in the men’s accessories world for ages. The Tie vs Bowtie, watch vs bracelet and so on. The mighty belt has held up man’s pants for ages, but suspenders are making a comeback. I find they do a better job at holding up your pants, and when it comes to doing it handsomely, JJ Suspenders’ Sierra Nevada’s excel. 


The Sierra Nevada’s are about ¾” thick. The stitching is clean and tight along the seams as well. These suspenders are of the Y back variety and feature a rich cognac colorway. The full grain leather is quite pliable and feels soft and smooth. Weathered metal hardware is used at all buckle points.  


Suspenders have a few advantages over belts. The elastic back strap keeps comfortable tension on pants. Where a belt relies on uncomfortable pressure around the waist, suspenders…well, they suspend your pants by placing the weight bearing pull from the pants over your shoulders. I will admit when using the bathroom, suspenders can be a little more finicky. 

Thanks to the single back clip, getting these on is a breeze. The length is easily adjustable by the buckles on either ends. The leather is smooth and comfortable on the skin and especially over the shoulders.


When paired with a quality button up shirt, it’s hard not to look good in these suspenders. The honey tones of the Sierra Nevada’s mesh nicely with almost any color. These suspenders also enhance the shoulders, creating a more broad silhouette. It’s so hard going back to a boring belt after dawning these. 


We’re really impressed with the fit and finish of JJ Suspenders Sierra Nevada Suspenders. The look is on point and the price is affordable. These are a truly versatile fashion accessory that would compliment most wardrobes.

I Want A Belt Custom Leather Belt Review

Buy it for life…It’s become a mantra for me as I look for consumer goods. Whether it’s something as essential as a car, or as seemingly trivial as a pair of kitchen scissors. One of my first obsessions with leather was actually the result of a cheap belt. It was “genuine” leather and it cracked in half after a few months of wear. It was then that I went on a quest for a high quality belt and found you simply can’t find one in a department store. I’m always excited when I learn of a high quality leather belt maker, as keeping your pants up is such an integral part of nearly everyone’s life! Today we’re going to take a look at I Want A Belt’s Custom Leather Belts – A company that hand makes belts to your specifications.


Unlike cheap mass produced belts that use “genuine leather” which is often leather fibers mashed and mixed and held together with glue, I Want A Belt only uses select full grain bullhide Italian tanned leather. The edges have very clean cuts and the burnish results in a smooth feel along the entirety of the belt. Each arbor pressed notch is evenly spaced. The heavy duty solid brass buckle adds a nice heft to the belt as well.   All belts are handcrafted in the United States.

The easy to use interface on I Want a Belt  allows you to fine tune the belt to your exact needs. There are options for length, width, end shape, buckle, etc – And once your order is placed, the belt begins construction immediately. Turn around time was great.


This belt functions wonderfully. The leather is very supple, so navigating through your pant loops isn’t a chore and a rather swift procedure. I opted for the 1.5” width which provides ample coverage and adds support for carrying accessories such as a pocket knife or phone holster. 

The buckle is on the larger side which enables easier unbuckling. I will recommend sizing up a bit when ordering just to allow for some slack and unexpected *cough* weight gain. Did we mention, it does in fact keep your pants up.


The proprietor of I Want A Belt is a 3rd generation artisan with a leather lineage that goes back a hundred years. Trade secrets passed from  great grandfather to great grandson really reflect in the look of this belt. The simplicity of the design leaves no unneeded accoutrements.

The deep hues (Color shown is Saddle Brown) look great on virtually any pair of pants. I’ve worn it with shorts, khakis, jeans…you name it. You can also add the American Flag badge on the belt if desired, it adds a nice flair and pays homage to the American made heritage of the belt.


We were really impressed with the quality and execution that I Want A Belt offers. The ability to have a direct say in the size, look and components of the belt really offered a customized experience. The price point (Around $67-72) per belt falls within the more affordable range for high end belts, while  the heirloom quality means you likely won’t be shopping for a new belt in the decades to come…unless you want another in black!

Roger Ximenez Americana Pebble Belt Review – $199

Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed are our own.

Next to wallets, belts are probably the most reviewed products we see. While most of them are of stellar quality, they have difficulty standing out. More often than not a fun belt is a novelty belt and a cheap throwaway. Needless to say, it was a treat to get my hands on a belt that really stands out, and is also of the highest quality. Check out our review of the Roger Ximenez Americana Pebble Belt, possibly the best American Flag belt in existence. 


I always found it ironic seeing an American flag modeled product made in another country. I was quite pleased to see that the Americana Pebble belt is made right here in the United States of Italian leather. A full grain black Italian calf leather is used for the exterior while a durable nubuck lining is found on the interior.

The heft buckle is a Palladium plated and solid Brass. The stitching is tight and even all along the belt and the finish is quite nice.


A belt is a belt is a belt, right? Sometimes. Roger Ximenez Americana Pebble belt will keep your pants up for sure. The 1.5” strap  will keep your trousers in check and won’t slide around your belt loops. You could holster tool pouches and firearms from this and not worry about your belt caving in.

The very soft leather is comfortable and won’t pinch or gouge you when bending over like stiff nylon belts will, it feels like more of an extension of your pants. A good belt should go unnoticeable when in use, and that is exactly how this one functions. 


Versatility is important with belts. The stars and stripes go great with a vast variety of pants and shorts. I normally don’t tuck my shirts in, but I just can’t let that solid brass and old glory go unnoticed. Even in more formal business attire, it adds just enough levity and individualism shine through without being too loud. This belt really delivers during summer BBQs and days at the lake. Everyone loves it..and if they don’t, they get a roundhouse to the chin, right? 



At 199.00 this belt is not cheap, but after extensive research it is the premiere American Flag belt that is actually made in the USA. The styling, fit and finish are everything you’d expect for a belt that demands such a premium. The incredibly supple leather is very comfortable and this belt gets noticed everywhere you go. Simply put, we think the Roger Ximenez Americana Pebble Belt is a great product to gird your loins with.

The Firefighter Belt by Victory Leather Kickstarter Announcement

One of the most unique belts was recently launched on Kickstarter by Victory Leather and it’s worth checking out! They have a super unique quick release buckle that is not only great looking but also efficient. You can take a closer look at what the belt buckle looks like below:

You can also check out the quick video gif below to see the belt in action. Pretty sweet!

This actually the same exact belt that we reviewed from Victory Leather a while back (read that review here), but it did not have this buckle. Below is a little excerpt from that review article so you can get our thoughts about this belt:

The Victory Leather Oak Bark Leather Belt is definitely what we’d consider a Buy It For Life item. “A belt built to outlast its owner” is how Peter refers to it.

In addition to the unique leather (and amazing history behind it), it also sports impeccable craftsmanship…something that we appreciate, respect, and highly endorse.

As you can see, we are a big fan of this belt and even more so after they added this new belt buckle to an already exceptional belt. We highly suggest checking out their Kickstarter they currently have going on for this belt. There you will find a ton more info and also help back this project if you feel inclined.

There are also more pics of this belt and additional info below:

When Peter Sandford found an old leather belt with strange-looking buckle on a flea market he was intrigued & snapped it up on the spot.

As an artisan leatherworker, trading as Victory Leathercraft of Sussex, England, Pete was curious as to the original purpose of this great looking belt with its quick-release brass buckle. He eventually discovered that it dated back to the late 1800s & was used on early fire engines to securely hold firehoses whilst allowing them to be released in the blink of an eye.

Firefighters would often ‘appropriate’ these straps to hold their trousers up, the unique buckles signalling their profession to an admiring population.

After discovering the buckle’s back-story, Peter decided to resurrect the design so he started searching for a foundry capable of recreating these buckles in the traditional way – sand casting them in solid brass. Having successfully had moulds made and the first buckles cast, Peter is teaming them with the finest of English bridle leathers and employing his master leatherworker skills to craft The Firefighter Belt for a new generation.

Atelier Bertrand Reversible Belt Kickstarter First Impressions – €90

The Atelier Bertrand Reversible Belt has a lot going in its favor. It looks great, it’s made with high caliber leather, it’s reversible, and it’s affordable. I haven’t been able to spend much time with this belt, but so far I’m impressed, and love wearing it. They are currently running a Kickstarter for this product which can be found here.

About Atelier Bertrand

Atelier Bertrand, founded in 2015 and based in Paris, has a somewhat unique sales approach that I’m a fan of.

First, they sell direct to consumer, which keeps prices down. In fact, seeing the exorbitant pricing on luxury items is what prompted Jerome, the founder, to start his company. Influenced by some of the most well known premium brands in the world, Jerome wanted to make luxury available to a larger audience.

In addition, Atelier Bertrand has a great approach to bespoke. If you want, you can just give your size and order a jacket. However, you can also customize any part of your jacket you wish. Different leathers can be used (they even have some fun exotics like reindeer!), different colors, etc. Each product is made for the individual, which results in one-of-a-kind leathergoods. Construction takes place in France. Hides are sourced from trusted French tanneries and individually inspected for quality.

Leather & Construction

The Reversible Belt is made with full-grain, finished calf leather. This results in a nice soft touch, but with plenty of the sturdiness offered by cowhide. As you might guess from a reversible belt, it’s made with two layers of leather, with a reinforcing layer sandwiched between them. All edges are precisely stitched and painted for a very finished look. Buckles are made of nickel free brass. The materials and construction of this belt are perfectly suited for their purpose as a luxurious, formal belt.


Truthfully, there often isn’t much to say about a belt’s functionality in a review! However, Atelier Bertrand has given us a unique take differing from the typical prong closure belt.

First, the buckle. Both ends of the belt pass underneath the buckle, secured by a metal loop and a stud. The excess leather comes out a small ways from the buckle, but is difficult to notice. Overall you’ve got a really clean look. It can be a little difficult to pull the stud out of one side of the belt for removal, but I imagine this will loosen up over time.

Then we have the belt itself. It’s reversible! By pulling both ends off the stud, you can switch the belt around and get a different color with the same functionality.

Note that you’ll need to get your sizing just right, as these belts only come with three sizing holes for about 3″ of adjustment. This does mean fewer holes to disrupt the look, so there are advantages to this.


There’s a lot of beauty in simplicity. This belt exemplifies that well. The buckle, while unique, is even more simple and symmetrical than a standard prong buckle. Thread color matches the leather, and the finish on the leather is very smooth and uniform. Here we have a belt that stands out by not standing out, and I’m a big fan of such understated fashion.

Then, on the other side of the coin, this belt is reversible, giving some versatility. On top of that, it’s offered in a plethora of color combinations, some much louder than my black and tan version here. Anyone should be able to find a combination they like.


Pros: High end materials, solid construction,  great low-profile  and versatile look, reasonably priced.

Cons: Only a few inches of size adjustability.

Overall, I’m a huge fan of the Atelier Bertrand Reversible Belt. If you’re looking for a new belt, I highly recommend visiting their Kickstarter and backing this project. The Kickstarter features a ‘classic’ style in addition to this reversible one, as well.

Atelier Bertrand Belt Giveaway

Today we have a really cool giveaway from Atelier Bertrand where they will be giving away two belts and a discount code to a total of 3 lucky winners. All of the belts are handmade in an atelier located in the centre of France in Limoges. This atelier owns the french label “Living Heritage Company, a french government label given to only a few ateliers that guarantees the excellence of the traditionnal know-how.

They are offering 12 different reversible belts with one side in calf box and the other side in calf grained and 5 different classic belts in full grain calf leather and a lining made of french vegetable tanned leather. For the classic belt you will be able to choose if you want box or grained.

The reversible belts have a 35mm width and you can choose any length up to 115. You can contact them for a bigger size if needed. The classic have a 30mm width. They come in one size that you can easily adjust to your own size.

Enter the Giveaway Below

If you are interested in entering into the giveaway you can do so below. The giveaway will run until September 29th when the winners will be announced.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Watch Atelier Bertrand in Action

The work of the highly skilled craftsmen and women is truly beautiful. You can check all the steps of their belts being created below:

Thirteen50 Big Hoss Full Grain Leather Belt Review- $60

For the past few weeks, I’ve been wearing the Big Hoss Full Grain leather belt from Thirteen50 Leather. I have nothing but great things to say about a solid and cool piece like this one. But let me start from the beginning.

BestLeather is no stranger to the three guys out in California. Pat, Trey, and Craig started the shop a few years ago when they realized they could make better quality leather goods, and still charge a reasonable price. We’ve seen their full grain leather belt and we are inclined to agree.

But recently, Thirteen50 released their new Big Hoss belt, and this thing is just phenomenal. When you take it out of the bag, you can tell it’s unique, and that’s because it is.

The Big Hoss pairs well with a casual look, like a pair of jeans


The belt starts with Old World Harness leather from the Hermann Oak tannery in St. Louis. This stuff is tanned and finished to be durable and weather resistant. Beyond that, Thirteen50 uses the thickest hides they can get for this belt: around 14 oz. For reference, most leather belts are between 8 to10 oz in thickness. It’s also runs about an inch and half wide, wider than most products on the market. There’s no stitching at all on the belt-generally the weakest point of any leather product-which will likely extend its lifetime.

When holding it in your hands, you can feel the weight and thickness immediately. I imagine that this will be the heaviest belt that the average person owns. Putting it on for the first time, I almost felt like I was holding a saddle. I did experience a bit of stiffness from the belt at the beginning, but it’s been wearing down during each wear.

The rest of the design is pretty straightforward. There are four Chicago screws punched and attached near the buckle, which hold a single loop in place. When you order from the Thirteen50 site there are two options for the buckle: either a slider or roller. All these pieces of hardware come in a matching set of silver or brass.

You can see the natural grain lines running across the leather


The build of the belt, pragmatic and rugged, is intrinsic to its style. Because this hide is vegetable tanned, you can see the beautiful and natural grain lines running across the width of the leather. The screws and buckle come in simple tones and designs that compliment the leather quite well.

The entire belt has a simplicity which just gives it a certain kind of cool. Its thick, wide, and warmly colored. It goes great with a good pair of jeans and a casual look. I wouldn’t recommend it for a formal event of any kind, but I don’t think the guys at Thirteen50 would either.

The Big Hoss uses incredibly thick 14 0z. hides


The Big Hoss Full Grain leather belt truly meets the goals that Thirteen50 set out to accomplish. This is a great product, made with some terrific leather that’s been properly hand burnished and waxed. It has simple and durable screws and buckles that do their jobs well. I can’t tell you for sure, but I would bet that the Big Hoss will last you years and years. For all that, it comes at a pretty fair price.

Brookes & Hyde Brown Ale Dress Belt Review – $160

We’ve enjoyed reviewing a good handful of belts recently, but this is our first dress belt of the year. In fact, it’s somewhat rare for quality leather product companies to make them! Which makes our look at the Brookes & Hyde Brown Ale Dress Belt all the more exciting. This belt is well made and looks fantastic with a suit.

About Brookes & Hyde

It’s been my pleasure to get to know Connor Sambrookes, owner and founder of Brookes & Hyde, over the last year or so. Connor started Brookes & Hyde as a senior thesis project. Hoping to design shoes, he began work for a company designing products for some of the biggest names out there. It was at this job the opportunity to apprentice under a highly experienced leather craftsman came about, leading to creating his own products and founding the company. Brookes & Hyde has grown quite a bit since we began working with them. The company continues as a one man show out of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Leather & Construction

Brookes & Hyde’s Dress Belt is made with Horween leather, Essex on the outer and filled with Snuffed Suede. Essex leather uses the same tanning extracts as the famous Horween Shell Cordovan, and is perfect for a dress belt. It’s strong, has a great feel to it, and will age beautifully.

The buckle is nickel plated cast zinc and looks fantastic. While a buckle attached with rivets or chicago screws would be stronger, I think stitching works better for this belt. Firstly, stitching fits much better aesthetically for a dress belt. In addition, a dress belt likely won’t take too much abuse, and this quality stitching will hold up well.

Stitching is done by machine with bonded nylon thread, and follows the entire edge of the belt to hold in fill and reduce stretch. It’s very uniform and strong. Impressively, all edges of the belt are burnished and painted–even the buckle pin holes! This is a level of attention to detail we don’t see too often.

Overall construction is immaculate. Some aspects are done with class in mind rather than pure strength, but that fits the bill for a dress belt.


I’ve said it before and will say it again: a belt is functionally very simple. This belt, like many others before it, holds up your pants. Brookes & Hyde’s Dress Belt is made very well, and is a pleasure to use. The careful burnishing and painting of the edges and overall uniform construction make it easy to slip this belt through your belt loops and tighten.

My belt size has the bad habit of being right between standard sizes, but this does give me the opportunity to note if it’s best to size up or down with belts. I ended up getting a belt a size down. This worked out, as the belt felt a bit small at first, but a little use proved to stretch the size just a tad to make it just right. Brookes & Hyde will help you find the right size for you.


It’s critical for a dress belt to look great, and Brookes & Hyde doesn’t disappoint! The Horween Essex has a beautiful color and grain. The nickel plated buckle has a chrome-shine finish. The clean stitching and painted edges bring the materials together in a classy, high-fashion way.

I typically pair my Brown Ale colored belt with a grey suit, matched with my shoes. I think it would go equally well with a navy suit. This belt is a real stunner and will shine amongst all the standard belts most men pair with their suits.


The Brookes & Hyde Brown Ale Dress Belt strikes a great balance of sturdy construction while not forgetting the importance of a classy, great looking dress belt. The materials are high quality and carefully put together. Attention to detail enhances the formality of the look and makes the belt a pleasure to use. This isn’t a cheap belt, but you’re not likely to see this level of attention to detail at a much cheaper price point. I highly recommend this belt for anyone hoping to enhance their dress look with a belt made of high-end leathers.

Brullen Drago1 Full Grain Leather Belt Review – $80

We love belts here at BestLeather, and we’ve had the opportunity to review some fantastic ones lately. Too many people settle for mediocre belts, despite the fairly reasonable price to upgrade to one you’ll enjoy for life. Brullen’s Drago1 Full Grain Leather Belt is soft, sturdy, stylish, and a great entry into this category.

About Brullen

Brullen was founded in 2014. Founder Alex Harrera was driven by a frustration with low quality products found amongst designer brands. Inspired in that direction, there’s definitely some effort put into the fashion of their products. Brullen’s items have even been featured in GQ magazine!

Brullen is focused on making quality products, “like they used to,” at great prices. ‘Brullen’ means scream or roar. Their Lions Head logo represents the company’s values (and looks really cool doing it).

Optional premium packaging shown here


This belt is made with 10oz full grain leather that appears to be vegetable tanned. It’s impressively soft compared to similar belts. Edges are stitched all around, which not only enhances the look, but also inhibits stretch.

The buckle is solid brass, and is held in place with a couple lines of stitching. This isn’t as strong as some metal hardware would be, but is still very strong and shouldn’t give out with normal use. The buckle itself is very strong.

Edges are all painted a contrasting black color on the tan belt I have.


We say this in just about every belt review, but a belt is a simple product. Long story short, it holds up your pants, and the Drago1 is no exception. Sometimes a well made belt can be a better experience to use than others, though.

The soft leather feels great in your hands and makes the belt easy to manipulate. One thing I always look for in a belt is how smoothly it moves through your belt loops and the buckle, and the Drago1 glides easily. I really like the solid brass buckle, you can feel how strong it is. The leather keeper is unusually tight, but I felt this was probably good to support the soft leather.

A 1.5″ belt may not fit through too many belt loops on formal pants, though it could fit in aesthetically.

I have the misfortune of having a belt size that is almost inevitably right between standard sizes. My loss is your gain, however, as this usually gives me an idea of whether or not it’s best to favor sizing up or down if you’re between sizes like me. For the Drago1, I’d suggest sizing down. Of course Brullen will be happy to help out in making the right choice.


As you might imagine of a product from a company inspired by designer brands and featured in GQ magazine, the Drago1 isn’t pure function. This is a great looking belt!

I was torn on a couple of the color offerings Brullen has, but ultimately the tan just stood out. The white stitching is complementary to the tan leather, but the black edging is contrasting. I love the look of the silver Lions Head logo. These look killer with a pair of jeans.

While the Drago1 isn’t the most flashy belt we’ve reviewed, it isn’t the most conservative either. You’ll have to decide if the look is for you, but Brullen informs me they’re working on some new designs with less adornment if you’re not sure about this one. I personally feel it stands out just the right amount, and love the look of the Drago1.


The Brullen Drago1 Full Grain Leather Belt is an excellent option if you’re looking to upgrade your belt. It’s made with quality leather and is well assembled. The look is great and will turn some heads. On top of all that, the price is great for a belt of its caliber. This is well worth the slight added cost over far inferior options on a lot of department store shelves. I recommend the Drago1 as a stylish upgrade to your wardrobe.

Lombardi Buckleless Leather Belt First Impressions – $149

A belt is overall a very simple product. It’s rare to see a lot of variance in how they work. Today we’re happy to introduce an exception to this standard. The Lombardi buckleless leather belt uses a special twisted loop of leather to hold the belt in place instead of the classic buckle. This belt is sure to stand out from the crowd while maintaining both quality and function.

About Lombardi

Francis Lombardi originally made one of his signature belts for himself. After enough questions and compliments had accrued, he decided to start making them for other people, and in 2012, Lombardi was formed. Lombardi prides itself on handcrafting all of their goods to be both stylish and of the highest caliber.

Construction & Leather

The Lombardi belt is made with thick (probably around 8oz) vegetable-tanned full grain leather and thick stitching. Cutting and stitching is done by hand. The saddle stitch follows the entire edge of the belt, enhancing the look but also minimizing stretch in the belt over time.

Construction is overall top notch, and only shows minimal variance that would be expected with a handmade product. The leather and thread is going to see a lot of wear and tear because of the design of this belt, but the materials are high caliber and should last for many years.


This is where the Lombardi buckleless belt is really going to differ from most any other belt. I wasn’t sure what to expect before I actually was able to use it for myself. As you might expect, the twisted loop closure takes a bit of getting used to!

The method isn’t too complex. The thin end of the belt is passed through the two horizontal holes, turned down through the vertical ones, and then back over itself through the horizontal holes again, creating a tight loop. While this might sound strange, looking at the photos should help in understanding how this works, and instructions are included with the belt.

It was frankly a little frustrating at first. I had to develop a technique where I hold the belt in place while tying the loop to keep it from sliding. It was slow going, but I did get faster. I’m not sure this will ever be as quick as a standard pronged buckle, but it’s sort of like having buckles on a bag instead of a zipper or quick-release closures: it may take an extra moment or two, but there’s a reward for your extra effort. There’s no buckle, which is really nice in some situations, and the look is unmatched.

Most people that see this belt quickly ask if it really does hold tight like a buckled belt. Yes, it does. I’ve only been able to use this belt for a couple weeks, but so far I’ve had no issues at all. The twisted loop is very tight, and I don’t see this changing anytime soon.


This is another area where the Lombardi buckleless belt differs itself quite a bit from the pack. I’m a big fan of how this belt looks. The twisted loop catches a lot of eyes. The stitching accents the folds and turns well so you can see easily how the closure works. I had some friends see the belt on my counter and doubt that it would look good, only to change their tune once I actually put it on and twisted the loop. This particular color, Brits Brown, is one of Lombardi’s best sellers, and for good reason. It’s good a deep red-brown hue that looks fantastic and fits in in nearly any situation.


The Lombardi buckleless leather belt is a stand-out belt both in look and function. The construction and materials are top notch, and should endure being looped around your waist for a good many years to come, looking better and better each time. It may take some getting used to, but if you’re looking for something unique to freshen up your belt loops, I recommend giving this belt your consideration.

Want a chance at winning this belt + other leather goods for free? Enter into the giveaway below!

[RF_CONTEST contest=’5266′]

Arrow and Board Classic Belt Review and Kickstarter

Belts are always one of the immediate upgrades I recommend to friends when getting them into high quality leather goods. The reason being is that often, people will fall into a simple pattern of buying a department store belt, wearing it for a few months to a year, then having to buy a replacement due to broken buckles or failed stitching. Outside of that, changes in waist size often negate a new belt, but not nearly as frequently if buying one made of quality material. Arrow and Board has been in the business of making leather goods, and have decided to launch a Kickstarter Campaign for three new belts. This article will showcase the belt as well as my thoughts on it.

About Arrow and Board

With the motto “We make them like they used to,”  Arrow and Board is definitely in the business of making leather goods built to last. All of their goods are handmade in Austin, Texas; A big plus for those who prefer made in USA Goods. I spoke with Zac, who is in charge of product design and marketing. He was a joy to work with and really motivated towards getting his product into the hands of customers and establishing lasting impressions of high quality products and excellent customer service.

The medium brown color is a great finish for casual wear.


As we all know, belts are usually most durable when constructed of as few materials possible. One solid piece of 1.5 inch English bridle leather makes the belt strip, paired with a brushed buckle and Chicago screws. The belt I was sent is the medium brown color, while they also have black and tan options. The leather is 10-12 ounces thick and feels substantial. You could easily swap out the buckle for your own, but I like the business casual/casual feel the stock buckle gives.  The suede side of the belt is one of the smoothest finishes I have felt on a belt, and coupled with beveled edges gives the belt a nice overall finish.

The logo on the belt keeper does not stand out too much as to call attention, but is beautifully present.


The belt easily accomplishes its main purpose – supporting pants on the waist. The hardware and leather used ensures durability and the sizing guide made sure I picked the correct size when ordering. You can expect leather belts to stretch to some degree, and if you’re in between size numbers, its probably best to size up (i.e. I sized up to a 36 though my measurements came in a tad bit short of it.) The diagram featured on the kickstarter is similar to how most leathermakers size their belts – to the most used hole on a belt the customer always owns.

Showing the simple hardware and construction with Chicago screws for easily buckle swapping.


I touched on it in the construction section, but the finishing of the belt is really what makes the belt look and feel good. Beveled and burnished edges make it easily to slide through belt loops and nice to touch. The medium brown color has worn well with khakis as well as jeans. The strap keeper shows the brand logo, but is not detracting from the overall simplistic look and is not noticed when wearing shirts that sit above the belt buckle or are tucked in. Due to the belt buckle design, I personally did not wear it with suits, but I could easily swap it out for my preference of a slimmer designed buckle if needed. If I needed another black belt, I would probably consider one from Arrow and Board in my top choices.

1.5 inch belts easily fit in most common jeans.



The Classic Leather Belt by Arrow and Board is definitely a solid addition to their growing product lineup. I feel confident that they will have a successful kickstarter campaign as well as timely shipment of products to their customers. Currently the campaign has the belt options ranging from $59-70 based on the various options. At that price, it is a great buy as after the Kickstarter, I’d expect the retail price to be higher.

The leather finish has a nice glimmer in well lit areas.


Craft and Lore Mountain Belt – $90

Belts. They hold up your pants. However, they aren’t all created equally. The Craft and Lore Mountain Belt that is currently on Kickstarter is the last piece of leather you’ll ever need to slide through your belt loops.


The Mountain Belt is made out of some of the thickest leather I’ve ever handled. Made out of Hermann Oak’s harness leather it comes in at 13 oz and available widths of 1.5″ or 1.75″, meaning it is not meant for dress pants. Hermann Oak has been making leather since 1881 in St Louis Missouri and it surely shows in the quality and temper of this belt. It’s not everyday that I get something in the mail and think to myself “USPS couldn’t have damaged this if they tried.”

The hardware for the buckle is solid brass and held together with 2 Chicago screws. There’s also a nicely finished keeper to hold any extra length on the belt down. All the edges of the belt a burnished and waxed and haven’t shown any sign of flaking or cracking with my constant wear.

The belt is custom sized to fit, so just take note of their sizing guide and you won’t have any issues there. Just measure an existing belt and you’ll do just fine. It is worth noting to not go with your pants size. Clothing sizes are typically vanity sized anywhere from 2-5″ and you may need a slightly larger size than that if you wear heavier pants and tuck your shirt in.


Belts are a rather simple concept. Either they hold your pants up or they don’t. Some belts will last a few months, some a few years. This belt I could likely give to my 1 year old son as a wedding present if I was so inclined.

Some like their belts to be completely custom sized with only one punched hole. That’s not something I prefer since I like the ability to tighten or loosen my belt based on water weight or the thickness of my trousers but it is something to note. The belt has 7 holes providing enough room for growth or weight loss if your keeping up with your New Years resolutions.


Like I stated before this is certainly not a dress belt. It would do fine in a casual or business casual environment but not anything past a sport coat. It’s certainly not without charm though as the detailing on the keeper looks great. The belt I received was their dark brown color and it has different hues based on how much dye was picked up where and it will certainly age gracefully.


The Mountain Belt is unquestionably a buy it for life belt that you’ll have no need to replace. With a typical price of $130 picking one up from their Kickstarter for $90 is a steal.

In a world where countless things are trying to pull you down do yourself and favor and get this belt so your pants won’t be one of them.

Andrews Leather Monarch Shoulder Rig and Holster Review — $250

I’m not in law enforcement, and I don’t wear a gun on a daily basis. The truth is, my interest in holsters comes primarily from Indiana Jones and Uncharted.

In other words, I was imagining a quest for Shangri La instead of considering functionality. I spent a lot of time looking for a certain style, something with a renegade panache. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the Andrews Leather Monarch Shoulder Rig and Holster, which excels in both style and utility.




About Andrews Leather

When I found pictures of the Monarch Shoulder Rig, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. But the site seemed a decade out of date, and I couldn’t find a place to order. I saw a phone number and called. A friendly voice greeted me: “My name’s Sam Andrews. I’m the owner.”

He spoke with a kind, mild, sincere tone. And although he mentioned being overloaded with orders, he seemed in no rush as he chatted with me. He told me he doesn’t do email—his hunt-and-peck typing is just too slow. And he prefers speaking directly with the customer anyway.

Sam said he’s been doing leatherwork for 41 years. It began when as a teen he cut apart a ruined police holster. Later he served as a police officer but left “because of the politics.” That’s when he stumbled into leathermaking as a career, and his business has been quite successful ever since.




I first put on Sam’s Monarch shoulder holster while standing in front of a mirror, and I couldn’t help but grin.

The shoulder straps are made of a lightweight suede, which at first seemed a little too lightweight. But I soon realized this was for comfort. The suede trades durability and gains softness. It’s comfortable against your back and conforms to your body. I’ve never tested my bodyweight against it though, and I wouldn’t plan on hanging from it while sliding down a zipline. But it’s more than adequate for carrying a Glock and a couple loaded magazines.

The holster, on the other hand, is made of a heavy, cowboy sort of leather, stamped with the Andrews brand. Its weight helps balance the rig—the opposite of top heavy—keeping the equipment where it should be.

Sam shapes each holster to fit an exact model of gun, in my case a Glock 19, and you’ll see this in the contours of the molded leather.

I ordered the regular-sized Monarch Shoulder Rig, but Sam also makes an XL, because “some customers can’t fit their shoulders through a doorway.” That comment made me chuckle.





“Most shoulder holsters are designed by people who’ve never used one,” said Sam.

By contrast, he has years of law-enforcement experience and knows what functionality is needed. Even today, he tinkers with his designs, intent on finding what works best and what’s most comfortable. He told me this iterating makes the job fun. It also means he takes feedback from customers seriously.

One feature that grew out of this expert knowledge is the back strap, which steadies the rig and keeps it from swinging, particularly when you’re bending down or leaning forward. It’s a helpful feature that you won’t find on competitor’s rigs.

The holster is snug and grips the gun tightly even without the snap. In fact, there’s a specific screw outside the trigger guard that will let you adjust this tightness.

The holster snap is directional (this fact was even marked with a tag). That means you don’t snap it on straight down, but sort of at an angle, like you’re hooking over a latch. Just something to be aware of.

The holster also includes a belt strap, so you can take it off the shoulder rig and put it on your belt.

I’ve worn this rig a lot, for hours and hours. Since I don’t regularly carry a gun, I wore it during more mundane activities: making an omelette, doing pushups and pullups, watching Stranger Things, doing laundry, and driving to the shooting range. I’ve put in enough time to confidently say that this rig is very comfortable—I’ve even taken a nap wearing it. I love it.

There’s one functionality caveat I should warn you about. The barrel of the gun points horizontally behind you when you’re wearing this rig. It might even point slightly up, depending on how the straps are situated. This means the gun points at people during regular use. I don’t consider that a safety issue, but it made a few bystanders uncomfortable as I wore it.





The Monarch design is beautifully simple: four leather straps held together by two layered cross-pieces and a bunch of thumb screws.

I will mention that when I first got the rig, the suede underbelly shed all over my shirt. Now that I’ve used it a bit, the shedding is gone.

Interchangeable pins in the shoulder straps make the rig adjustable, which is great. You can unscrew them with just a fingernail, but the thread angle is so shallow that I’ve never worried they might come loose. I changed my rig to make the top section (above the cross) longer and the lower section shorter. This shifted the cross more squarely between my shoulder blades (I’m all about the look).

And speaking of the look, Sam told me something for the sake of “sheer bragging.” A new Magnificent Seven movie came out September 23rd, and all the stars in it are wearing Andrews Leather. Also, two of the heroines in the upcoming Fast 8 movie will be wearing Monarch rigs—just like the one you see here. (As Sam told me this, he mentioned that Hollywood is king of last-minute changes, which “had me running around with my hair on fire.”)

In my mind, this connection with the movie business serves as a solid endorsement for the aesthetic.



BestLeather Conclusion

I love my Andrews Leather Monarch Shoulder Rig and Holster. It’s a fine piece of craftsmanship that looks awesome and works even better. Seriously. I’ve given you details on what I like with a couple very minor caveats. Overall, I think it’s a fantastic product.

Normally a link to the product page would be enough. In this case, I’ll also link you to Sam’s contact page. When you call, tell him J at BestLeather sent you.




Gray Bull Leather Co. Classic Leather Belt Review — $59

Update (March 2017): Sadly, Gray Bull Leather Co. is no longer in business. Check out our belts category for other options.

What happens when you take two university business students who are tired of poor quality products? You get a no-frills, tanky belt that looks great and should last a lifetime–for a reasonable price, at that. That’s exactly what you get from Gray Bull Leather Co. and their Classic Leather Belt.


Let’s start with the leather. It’s thick–10oz thick, to be exact. It’s also vegetable tanned leather, wax and grease stuffed and finished to make it weather resistant and sure to not color your pants. One thing you’ll typically see with belts is skiving, or thinning, at the fold point around the buckle. Not Gray Bull. The leather remains 10oz through the fold, and while this does lead to an occasionally unwieldy large piece of leather, it avoids removing strength from the most vulnerable part of the belt. Edges are gently burnished, smooth but not glossy.


The buckle is appropriately thick and sturdy as well. It’s nickel plated, though I’m not sure of the metal used below the plating. The roller should minimize wear on the belt over time (if that was an issue with a belt of this thickness). I didn’t love that the prong scratches the finish on the back side of the belt, but thankfully these marks won’t ever be visible. I’m sure some conditioner could remove the marks if desired, though the finish on the belt means conditioner shouldn’t be necessary otherwise.


The chestnut color I have here is great for just about any occasion, if the 1.5” width will fit through your belt loops. I like cognac/chestnut from a fashion perspective since it’s very versatile and works with most colors. The thickness makes for a very tanky look, and some nice jeans are probably the best match for the Classic Leather Belt. The look can also be changed by changing out the buckle if desired, compliments of the Chicago screws.

If you’re on the fence about a size, it’s might be best to favor rounding up than down. I choose the same length as an existing belt I own, but I think the thickness of the Classic Leather Belt made the fit a bit tighter.


The Classic Leather Belt is a simple leather belt, but it fulfills a need many products do not: doing its job well and doing it for a very long time. The founders of Gray Bull Leather Co. began the company with that goal in mind, and this belt fulfills it. There’s nothing fancy or excessive here, just a great belt at a great price. So far mine has endured a couple months of heavy use and shows no signs of quitting, and I recommend the Classic Leather Belt as a Buy It For Life product.


Hawkmoth Leather Co Propeller Review – £225

“It evokes to an age of fedora wearing explorers in far away places, where they would arrive at their destinations by a plane that is powered by a propeller.”


Inspired by historical figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Lawrence of Arabia, and “appealing to the Indiana Jones in all of us,” the Hawkmoth Propeller is a one-of-a-kind belt, a beautiful work of art skillfully crafted with fine and rare materials.


ABOUT Hawkmoth Leather Co.

It’s been my great pleasure to get to know Hawkmoth Leather Co’s Tom Sanderson over the last few months. Located in the heart of Sussex, England, Tom designs and handcrafts Hawkmoth’s belts himself between working on costumes for major movie productions.


Tom has a simple goal for Hawkmoth: using traditional techniques of leatherworking, make the most high quality leather products he possibly can out of the best materials he can get his hands on. With one of the most creative minds I’ve met, Tom draws inspiration from Al Stohlman, one of leathercraft’s pioneers, as well as “a mixture of British and European military leather work, with a sprinkling of the American wild west and a touch of the Indian subcontinent.”


Each Hawkmoth belt comes packaged in a handmade canvas case with a leather handle, stamped with the Hawkmoth Death’s Head insignia. This same insignia adorns one end of the belt, alongside two other signature stamps–the letter R representing the year 2016, and two windmills to represent Sussex.


We speak often of the rarity of vegetable tanned leather here at BestLeather, but far rarer still is the type of leather used for The Propeller: oak bark tan. Vegetable tanning is a lengthy process that takes around two months, but this pales in comparison to the year-long tanning oak bark leather goes through. It’s said to exceed veg-tan leather for durability and longevity, and only a small handful of long-running tanneries still produce this rare leather.


Once the leather arrives at Hawkmoth, The Propeller is entirely made by hand. It’s saddle stitched with thick linen thread that is waxed in-house using local organic bees wax. Large rivets are used for reinforcement. Dying is also done by hand over the course of a few days. The Propeller is overall expertly built. Edging, burnishing, stitching etc. is all well done and shows the work of a very skilled artisan. As with any handmade item, minor imperfections can be found but they’re strictly cosmetic and add to the individual personality of the belt.


I noticed that, instead of folding the leather over the buckle and sewing it shut, Hawkmoth uses a small separate piece of leather folded over and sewn such that it’s pinching down on the end of the strap. I thought this was an interesting choice, and inquired Tom about it. This is an enhancement in several ways: it allows the buckle to lie even within the thickness of the belt, ensures the buckle doesn’t rub on threads, and prevents the threads from being positioned in a high-strain position. This is a very impressive level of attention to construction detail.



The Propeller is a ranger style belt with a two-piece buckle, combined into an asymmetrical design you’re unlikely to see elsewhere. While ranger belts aren’t too uncommon, a two-piece buckle is a harder find today. Reminiscent of Civil War memorabilia, this bronze buckle is believed to be an old/new stock item from WWII (though, despite efforts by Hawkmoth and myself, we’ve yet to find documentation of its origins. Any leads would be appreciated!). Hawkmoth has only managed to procure a handful, furthering the rare and unique aspect of the Propeller.

The two piece buckle is used by slipping the small end horizontally through the large end and then rotating it flat into place. It takes getting used to, but eventually becomes as natural as coupling a typical pronged belt. A smaller standard buckle sits to one side of the main buckle to give a short range of length adjustment.


Ranger belts are intended to be wide, and The Propeller is no exception. At 1.75” (4.5cm), it’s definitely intended for wide belt loops. The tapered points of leather will sometimes catch onto smaller belt loops as well, so this belt is best worn with a thick pair of jeans (as much as I wanted to wear it with…well, everything).

The Propeller is likely quite different than the belt you’re wearing now, but it’s easy to get used to and will serve its wearer well.


Normally, I get home, roll up my belt, and place it on a somewhat high shelf in my closet out of the way. When that belt is the Propeller I instead link the buckle and place it prominently on my desk in my room–similar to the painting hanging on my wall.


The Propeller is a work of art. The US Navy two-piece buckle catches a lot of attention, but it wouldn’t have that power without the gorgeous background of hand-dyed, deep cognac oak bark leather. It carries the spirit of its inspirations well, exuding a vintage air of military and historical literature, with perhaps just a hint of steampunk. To say it plainly, wearing the Propeller makes me feel incredibly cool. Based on the number of compliments it draws, I’d say I’m not the only one.


It is a bit of a ‘loud’ look for some. We’re used to very simple belts. The Propeller poetically ascends above this standard for those who can appreciate it.


I absolutely love this belt. At the basic level it’s well constructed with top-of-the-line materials, and is a highly functional belt. Beyond that, it’s a one-of-a-kind work of art, exuding numerous inspiring cultures and sure to leave you feeling great just from the experience of wearing it.


The price makes it clear that the Propeller is for someone looking for much more than just a way to keep their pants up, but rather someone who’s looking for a rare, heirloom belt that’s the product of a highly artistic mind. I see this being the kind of item given as an indulgent graduation gift or passed from generation to generation.

The Hawkmoth Propeller is, unquestionably, a Buy It For Life product that I couldn’t recommend more. It’s only one of numerous impressive designs Hawkmoth boasts, so swing by their online shop to see for yourself.


Les Cuirs Peussou Handmade Leather Belt Review — $80

I’ve recently been shopping among small-time leathermakers, in search of something more unique, with a customized feel. I found a Handmade Leather Belt from Les Cuirs Peussou. This belt traveled so far in transit that I don’t actually know how to pronounce the shop’s name. Luckily, I’m a writer.



About Les Cuirs Peussou

Les Cuirs Peussou is a one-man operation based out of Veyrac in the heart of France (near Limoges). The maker’s name is Remi, a craftsman who sells handmade products through his Etsy store. When I exchanged emails with him, I asked about his passion. Here’s his response, which is so candid you can almost hear the accent:

“I hope the description would be clear and apologize on my non perfect English (this is not my mother tongue).

“I do my best selecting the highest quality of leather from local tanneries. I would like to develop a brand which purpose is an original way of thinking in leather products, particularly in the colors. I spend lots of time to create my own tones from basic primary colors (blue, yellow, and red).

“And I always try to improve comfort of my products. My way of thinking of the work is to be perpetually in evolution, to offer better and better quality.”

— Rémi DRENO



The leather for this belt comes from the Gal tannery in Bellac, France, which has a reputation for quality leather, and from what I’ve seen this belt lives up to that. It’s sliced from top-grain leather, polished to a smooth finish.

The leather wraps back on itself to fasten the buckle, and this segment is hand-punched and saddle-stitched (two needles go through each hole in opposite directions for added strength). This gives the finished product a slight variance or ruggedness that adds to the visual appeal, a detail that requires a close look to really appreciate.

The leather is finished first with bee’s wax and then with Remi’s homemade leather polish. The leather feels smooth to the touch (despite the visual texture).



The back of the belt has a suede finish which is soft. Although this doesn’t show when worn, it makes the belt seem more formal to the wearer.

I found my belt to be right on the edge of being too small. So you might consider getting one size larger than your other belts. (Or maybe I need to cut back, if you know what I mean.)

I don’t have a lot more to say about the functionality. It kept my pants up. I did actually test the durability by hanging my body weight from the belt. The leather and the buckle held up just fine under my 180 lbs. There was no creasing or bending. So it’s durable.



The leather is vegetable tanned, which makes it adaptable for dying. On the style I selected, Remi created a black texture that creeps inward onto the brown and looks really cool. It feels stylish in a rugged kind of way. And the contrasting colors make it fit nicely with a variety of outfits.


BestLeather Conclusion

This belt is standard in its functionality. What’s unique about it is that it’s handmade by a French craftsman. It also takes a classic style and blends the hues, giving the belt an uncommon fashion advantage. If you’re looking for a unique accoutrement to give some dash to your wardrobe, take a look at Les Cuirs Peussou’s Handmade Leather Belt.



Satchel & Page Belt Review – $95

If we have “one ring to rule them all” in The Lord of the Rings, surely we can have one belt? Personally, it would make wardrobe accessory choices much, much easier. The good news is that Satchel & Page is helping us out by launching the Belt and billing it as “Simply the highest quality belt. Guaranteed for life. A belt built to last forever. Leather, hardware, and width options for any occasion. Exceptional quality at every step of the process.”


About Satchel & Page

We’ve had the privilege of working with Daniel and crew from Satchel & Page on several occasions now. We have reviewed their Bomber Jacket and Mailbag – both of which proved to be stellar pieces. And, we’ll be publishing a review of their Café Racer Jacket in the coming months too (along with some other yet to be announced pieces).

Based in Austin, TX Satchel & Page is dedicated to producing handmade, high quality leather products for you to enjoy and pass on to generations to come. They launched their business on Kickstarter with a few iconic bag designs: the Mailbag, Map Case, Gladstone, Briefcase, and Pilot’s Bag and have been expanding their product line with exciting designs – both new and well established.



Over the course of six months, Satchel & Page tested natural vegetable tanned hides from 4 different suppliers. For production, they chose hides originating from within the USA, which aged with the richest patina. And, they are only using the Bend portion of each hide for their belts to ensure consistency in thickness through and through. The Belt is comprised of 10-12 ounce full grain, vegetable tanned leather. They’re thick!


The hardware is military grade brass buckles and Chicago screws. Satchel & Page is using Chicago screws because unlike stitching, snap buttons, or rapid rivets to attach the buckle, Chicago screws will never break. And you can also unscrew them and easily swap out the buckle if you wish. In addition to the antique brass and silver matte finishes, they have developed two finishes that are hand aged by their team of craftsmen – Iron Rust and Copper Patina.

Belt Options - Satchel-Page



Aesthetic & Function

The Belt is available in four leather colors, two widths, and your choice of 4 hardware colors. So many choices and possibilities… The Belt we received for this initial review is a beautiful Mahogany color and features their Iron Rust hardware (buckle and Chicago screws). **Note: Prior to receiving the Belt, it received a light coat of conditioner and now has a richer, darker tone to it. You can see the difference when looking at the image of the same belt (with different hardware) supplied from Satchel & Page below.**

guy with belt

Due to short notice, we were only able to get a small version of the belt and consequently have not actually worn it (it’s too small for my no-petite-at-all-frame).

But, the Belt has made the rounds at home, in the office, and amongst several team members here at BestLeather. Everyone’s initial reaction and assessment has been overwhelmingly positive. “Thick leather”, “gorgeous hardware”, “I like the tapered tip of the belt”, “nice, robust belt keeper loop”, “subtle logo placement”, and more are the words I’ve heard spoken about the Belt.


I have no doubt that this belt will perform its role superbly and admirably all while looking fantastic. And, since it’s vegetable tanned leather, it will get better looking as it ages and is used.


The Belt from Satchel & Page is no doubt a Buy It for Life piece. The quality of the leather coupled with the superior hardware ensures that you’ll be using this belt for a long, long time. Their Kickstarter has about 8 days left on it. They’ve blown past their goal, which is no surprise. There are still plenty of rewards and incentives left and you can still get this belt at the Kickstarter price of just $62 (will be $95 post-Kickstarter). The best option? Spend $275 to get all four belts with all four hardware options. Then you’ll truly “rule” in the belt kingdom.


Thirteen 50 Leather Belt Review – $70

The leather belt is oft overlooked and simply taken for granted. This is especially true for what is often referred to as the “daily” or “casual” version of your pants’ keeper upper. The gentlemen at Thirteen50 Leather have supplied us with two great looking belts to put to the test. They also just launched their first Kickstarter campaign, which we encourage you to check out thoroughly and support.



Based is Oceanside, CA Thirteen50 is a leather company with a passion to create quality leather goods made right here in the USA. From their website: The saying, “they don’t make em’ like they used to” is said far too often in this day in age. This is sad, but so very true. At Thirteen50 we wanted to do as our ancestors did, and make a quality product at an affordable price (not to mention, offering a killer traditional look).



This is a belt you could tow your truck home with…although that would be a really cool sight to see, we don’t necessarily recommend it. However, the Thirteen50 leather belt is fashioned from 12-14 ounce leather, which means it is incredibly thick and durable. The leather used by Thirteen50 is sourced from within the United States – bridle leather from Wickett & Craig or Hermann Oak. The point is…it’s tremendously strong and long lasting. The edges of the belt are nicely burnished and beveled. The hardware used is solid brass. The belt also features 4 heavy duty Chicago screws, which allow you to personalize the belt with your own buckle should that be something of interest to you.

Aesthetic & Function

I’ve only had these two belts for a couple of weeks so far, but I really like them. The thick leather feels great and looks fantastic. The two colors I received (chestnut and black) are classic colors and go well with a variety of dress options. I like the antique brass color of the hardware on both belts and I think it compliments the leather colors perfectly.


Both belts have plenty of adjustment holes in them and everything just works the way a belt should. The Thirteen50 logo is tastefully placed near the back set of Chicago screws. The folks who’ve had a chance to check out the belts thus far all have commented favorably on them…with lots of comments on the quality of the leather.





Thirteen50 Leather is in the middle of their Kickstarter campaign, which is focused on these belts. In addition to the chestnut and black colors shown here, you have the option to order it in natural veg tan and dark brown…both of which appear to be excellent choices too. They’re just about to crest their goal on Kickstarter…but there are plenty of rewards left. $50 will get you a belt that later on will cost you $70. So get it while you can…and you won’t regret it. This belt, which definitely meets our Buy It for Life criteria, is backed by a lifetime guarantee, but it is designed to outlast you, so don’t worry about it. I look forward to using these belts over the course of time and I’ll definitely plan to post an update on them in the not too distant future.