Saddleback Leather Macbook Air Sleeve Review

If you are heading out to door for a flight, to the coffee shop, or Machu Picchu, the Apple MacBook Air is perfect for its fantastic portability. If you walk around with your computer outside of a messenger bag or briefcase then it is wise for you to get a sleeve, and therein lies the question. Should you get this one from Saddleback Leather?

In keeping with the minimal design of the Apple MacBook Air, here we have the Saddleback Leather MacBook Air Sleeve, minimal extraordinair. Like the Macbook Air, we will see how long it remains useful since its usefulness is intrinsically related to the lifespan of the MacBook Air.


The Saddleback Leather MacBook Air Sleeve is one piece of 4-5 oz. full grain leather which is bent around and double stitched on the other side. The interior is lined with pigskin which is very durable and thin. Pigskin is most often seen in luxury leather goods, which this absolutely is. There is a strip of neoprene stitched between the leather layers on the spine of the sleeve to help cushion a fall on the spine.


While its durability is not questioned, the long term functionality of the Air Sleeve is certainly questionable and therefore perhaps categorizes itself as a luxury item. If you replace your Air with anything else in the future, what will you use your case for? What if the Air gets even slimmer (which it will)? Then your sleeve won’t work at all! And then what? You are going to sell it? Maybe. But everyone else bought the new Air and has no need for the old version. The resale value is going to plummet because there will be no market demand. The iPhone and iPad cases have the same problem because of their updates every year. Seems it is.

Another problem is the open ended design of the sleeve. While the design protects the laptop from three sides, the open side makes the Air vulnerable to either slipping out accidentally or hitting the front corner of the sleeve in a fall and quite forcefully ejecting the Air. The design would be much safer, and bulkier, if there was a buttoned-down wrap-around strip of leather which secured the Air into the sleeve it would be more recommendable.


The simplicity of the Air Sleeve is elegant. One swath of leather with a pigskin liner and double stitched with polystyrene (super-strong) thread.

On one side the cursive Saddleback Leather logo is branded into the leather quite pleasingly.

Functionally though, the Air Sleeve lacks elegance. The above mentioned foibles detract from the overall usefulness of the design because they force you to constantly worry that the design issues are going to lead to the downfall of your lovely Air.

Best Leather conclusion

If you have money to spend on each new iteration, you are not concerned about your Air slipping out or being ejected in a fall, and the extra bulk and weight of the sleeve does not ruin the simple appeal of the MacBook Air, then by all means get the Saddleback Leather MacBook Air Sleeve, in Chestnut. Because that is the best color.

Check them out here on the Saddleback Leather Website.

If you are relatively frugal, you want your sleeve to be functionally perfect, or the idea of obsolete leather does not appeal to you, then carry your Air in the Saddleback Leather Messenger Bag (for durability) or the Colonel Littleton No. 42 (for refinement), instead of the Saddleback Air Sleeve. Which is what they should have called it.

You could opt for a cheaper sleeve you won’t mind replacing when you get a new version, check out something like this.

Saddleback Leather MacBook Air Sleeves can be on found on Ebay, although they seem to be appropriately rare.

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