Saddleback Leather iPad Case Review

Among my leather-loving circles there is a story of an iPad that was dropped during the ritual juggling act of unloading children from a car. The iPad (with its Saddleback Leather case) went flying  (what scientists call a “small fling”) into the gutter.

– Go to the moment with me –

While paying careful attention to your son, your attention slips away from your in-hand iPad until it sails away when you abruptly lift your arm. Time slows as you agonizingly contemplate how $599.00 will be eradicated from your net worth. The thought sarcastically runs through your mind, “Why not just burn $100 bills?!

Normally an iPad being flung into the gutter would devolve a nice family outing into depression session akin to the Napoleon’s after the Battle of Liepzig. It may alter the development of this child such that they would not be such a bundle of joy. Maybe your son will be stunted in his growth because of the consequences of the consequences of a carelessly flung and destroyed iPad? Who knows?! Read that last with dramatic emphasis like in the Direct TV commercials.


Thankfully this far-flung iPad was encased in the sturdiest leather case you can get. Let’s count the ways this case averted Napoleonic Depression Syndrome in my friend and untold damage to his son.

  1. It’s made from layers of nice, thick (2mm), and good-feeling leather called full grain leather.saddleback leather ipad case
  2. These layers of leather must stay together for the case to last a long time. SBL uses 00 size polyester thread (the same great stuff used in work boots and sails and strong ropes). The thread us used liberally with double stitching, especially on the corners. You are going to keep your iPad for one hundred years, right? I think the right word to describe the volume of stitching is “copious”. saddleback leather ipad case
  3. You see the black leather lining in the below photo? That is the pigskin lining and it is the second toughest leather in the world. It would take an angry kangaroo to wreck it. The pigskin is more slippery than absorbant which makes cleaning it, in the event of a spill, very easy. The pigskin also brings a level of rigidity that keeps the front flap from bending aimlessly and so completely covers the front of the iPad.saddleback leather ipad case
  4. All the ports on the have plenty of fresh air since the case us well designed to accomodate all the functions of the iPad, camera included. This feature should be noted as somewhat of a weakness as well since water is often an entry point for well sealed electronics and uncovered ports are quite ideal for ruining iPads if you like to throw yours in puddles occasionally. Upsides and downsides, you have to decide what you value most.saddleback leather ipad case
  5. The feel of the case is substantial. It rests in your hand and gives you confidence that it can actually do the job. While some Saddleback Leather’s products are easy to criticize for being tough yet bland, the Saddleback Leather iPad Case is not one of them.saddleback leather ipad case


LIke most of the iPad cases, the Saddleback Leather iPad Case can provide support standing up or laying down. The case is pretty sturdy while standing up and can raise the iPad up a few inches while laying down, using the straps as braces.

A helpful modification that you can make (it seems odd – even absurd – that it isn’t built in) is glueing magnets behind the straps near the edge so that the iPad turns off when the case is closed.

saddleback leather ipad case

One of the downsides of having these lovely leather straps bracing the case in a semi-upright position is as they age they gain new flexibility which makes them less able to hold the iPad upright. It’s a small thing and simply laying the iPad down flat works fine, but I wish they would have lined the straps with something consistently stiff to maintain rigidity.

saddleback leather ipad case

The question is: are the ports on the new iPad’s going to change every time, requiring new case designs and much more cost, or will Apple keeps port locations consistent? Spending $100+ on a leather case is sad if it is obsolete in one year. Leather should last and be useful for a lifetime.


By now (December 11, 2012) Apple has sold nearly 100 million iPads and many of those users want a solid leather case that can take a beating. The Saddleback Leather iPad Case can certainly do that without compromising style.

The design is appealing in its functionality and simplicity. The two straps secured with friction and elegant slips preform admirably, even after the straps loosen up with age.

The SBL iPad 2 and 3 case takes what is a impressive but clinical iPad – glass and aluminum – and swathes it in an organic experience. If you want a less techy look on your iPad then this is the way to go.

saddleback leather ipad case

Best Leather conclusion

For your money, the Saddleback Leather iPad Case provides fantastic protection and good looks. It is recommended. However, keep in mind that these models update and you may need a different case if you buy a new and differently configured iPad.

Check it out here.

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