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.
Satchel & Page, based in Austin, Texas, has quickly made a name for themselves in the leather world. After successfully funding two Kickstarter campaigns for their leather bags and belts, they recently launched a third campaign for their leather belts. We’ve reviewed several Satchel & Page products, including their Mailbag and Bomber Jacket, and found their products to be top-notch.
For $62, you will receive a leather belt that comes in four colors and four hardware finish options, detailed in the graphic below:
Here are some of the features of their belts, as listed on their Kickstarter:
1. Custom made for you. For any occasion. – With two width options (1.5 + 1.25), you are covered for casual wear with jeans, and formal/office wear with slacks. And with 4 leather and 4 hardware options, you can create a belt just how you want it. They all come with the same exceptional quality and lifetime guarantee.
2. The highest grade leather hides – 10 -12 oz. full-grain, vegetable tanned leather from only US origin cows. It’s simple: The best hides make the best belts. See below infographic.
3. Military grade brass hardware – We offer the standard antique brass and silver matte finishes, but we also wanted to offer some unique finishes that you can’t find anywhere else. So we developed our own process to hand antique finish the Iron Rust and Copper Patina hardware, which makes each one of these buckles just a little different.
This Kickstarter has blown past its original goal of $5,000 and reached its first stretch goal, which is a hand-stitched journal cover. They’re just a few hours away from meeting their second stretch goal, which would allow them to offer their belt in a Chestnut color. Be sure to keep an eye on Satchel & Page’s Kickstarter and for other updates we encourage you to like their Facebook page.
Thirteen50 is a leather company with a passion to create quality leather goods, made in the USA. 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).
Each full-grain leather belt is made by hand in the United States. If you fund their Kickstarter, you can choose to be rewarded with a leather bracelet, leather key fob, or one of their belts. The belts, priced at $50 on the Kickstarter, come in the following colors: Chestnut, Black, Dark Brown, and Natural. You can also choose your hardware finish color: Silver Matte, or Antique Brass. Sizes 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 4, 48 and 50. Each Thirteen50 product comes with a lifetime warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Check out their Kickstarter now, as you can save $20 or more on their sturdy belts. Thirteen50 Leather will also be debuting a line of bags and accessories in the near future. Be sure to keep an eye out for a BestLeather review of Thirteen50’s belts, coming soon!
Chivote is a young team with a passion for quality goods; who wants to make it’s own mark, by creating unique products with a bit of extra functionality. Their Kickstarter has been enthusiastically embraced and is currently enjoying a 200% funding status with just a few days before it closes.
Chivote is offering several great, unique leather products that offer versatility and durability at great prices. If you’re able, order during the remaining time on their Kickstarter to enjoy even more savings on these quality pieces.
Their Kickstarter page is full of great videos and information about their products, their processes, and their company. Be sure to take a few minutes and check it all out. Hopefully you’ll be seeing a product review or two here on BestLeather featuring Chivote.
Harmattan Design, a new company out of Wilmington, DE, has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their new line of products. The new product line includes backpacks, messenger bags, ladies’ tote bags and purses, a cycling bag, and a document tube. All their products are made of vegetable-tanned, full-grain harness leather from Italy.
Harmattan Design focuses on superb design and high quality materials. Radu, Harmattan Design’s founder, started the company because he was tired of doing cheap design for manufacturers and wanted to apply his skills to a product line with high quality materials. Wanting to get his ideas out of his head, he ended up with 14 different designs, and thus Harmattan Design was born.
All the Kickstarter products are reasonably priced, from $160 – $340. You can save around $40 by ordering early, so be sure to check out Radu’s designs! We have pictures of all 14 of the great looking products, so take a look and be sure to check out the Kickstarter page.
Suus is a new brand out of San Diego, California, who recently launched a Kickstarter for their leather bags, pouches, and holsters. The brand was founded by Sandino Cabrera, a graphic designer, who wrote:
One day, I came across a leather workshop. I was amazed by the work of these artisans, and the craftsmanship. I found fascinating how versatile leather can be, that gave me a new vision to expand my creativity and create innovate products. For me, one of the keys to be innovative is to solve the problem in the most stylish and fun way possible. That’s how SUUS was born: a brand that desires to solve carrying needs, founded in offering individuality, functionality, durability, and attention to detail.
Suus begins with 4 basic principles:
Functionality & Specialization: Everyone has individual styles and diverse daily activities: entrepreneurs, bikers, attorneys, photographers, designers, and chefs among others. That inspired us to create pieces that can fit your personality and at the same time improve your carry needs.
Individuality: We are going to laser engrave your name on each piece. Thanks to new techniques and processes, it is possible to express your uniqueness in each product.
Lasting: We value time. We are a generation in demand for non-disposable products. Hence we look for top quality materials and manufacturing processes, to provide you with long lasting warranties.
Detail: To create a high-end valued product, we put special attention to each minimal detail. Our interiors are full of life, we pledge to collaborate with the art community, that way we support upcoming artists and at the same time deliver a new experience in every piece.
Cody Holster: Cody is a holster inspired by the old Wild West. The purpose is to release men from inconvenient placement of cell phones, keys, wallets, or whatever personal stuff men carry on their pockets on daily basis. To maximize the versatility you can detach the pouch and just use with your belt. You can snatch up the Cody for $130 during the Kickstarter.
Cooper Purse: The Cooper is a classy daily purse that fits everything. The compartments are strategically placed to improve usability. It has one easy access key compartment. Plenty of room and the SUUS secret feature! One detachable cosmetic pouch that functions like a divider inside the purse thanks to a zipper sewed to the edge. If you snatch it up early enough, you can get the Cooper Purse for just $195.
Suus still has several weeks left on their Kickstarter, so be sure to check out their page and their website. You can watch their video below:
Craft and Lore, located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is an independent design and build workshop, focusing on leather goods that are simple in form and function. Craft and Lore recently launched a Kickstarter for their Port Wallet, a minimal handmade wallet made to carry your indispensable cards plus some cash. We recently reviewed the Port Wallet, and here’s what our reviewer Ben had to say about it:
“The Port Wallet is a simple, no-fold, four pocket workhorse designed to carry 7-8 cards in the central pocket, as well as a few bills and a drivers license. With 4-5oz hand tanned leather and saddle stitched waxed polyester thread, this wallet is absolutely built to last — most importantly, it is able to withstand the abuse of day-to-day goings. From trips to the coffee shop on my bike to long commutes in the car, this wallet hasn’t appeared to even begin to wear in any way after three weeks of being in my back pocket. The Port Wallet is built to last. Period.
This wallet can be described in just one word: clean. The color of my vegetable-tanned leather Port Wallet reminds me of a fine 15 year single malt scotch: a rich, mesmerizing amber. The stitching accents the clean simplicity of the wallet. The leather is smooth and extremely soft to the touch; it’s an pleasant experience each time you reach in your front pocket.”
Here’s some of the features of the Port Wallet:
Cut and saddle stitched by hand in North Idaho
4oz weight full grain vegetable tanned leather
W 2.75″ x H 4″ x D .75 ” (full) 6.9cm x 10.1cm x 1.9cm (full)
For $39, you can get the Port Wallet in a natural veg-tan leather from the Masure Tannery in Belgium, or in Wickett & Craig Harness Leather in medium brown, dark brown, mahogany, or black. For $59, you can have your Port Wallet crafted from soft and supple Horween Dublin leather.
$39 is a great deal for a handcrafted, saddle-stitched wallet, so be sure to check out their Kickstarter page and their website for more of Craft & Lore’s heritage goods.
The team at BestLeather has the privilege of seeing lots and lots of leather products. Since we’re leather aficionados (aka leather nerds), we think of it as a major perk for being part of this team. But, even for us there are those times when we see a leather bag or another product and remark to anyone who’s willing to listen, “oh…they really got that one right.” Those are the words I uttered when I opened the email from Kendal & Hyde regarding their newest bag, the Classic Leather Satchel.
About Kendal & Hyde
Kendal & Hyde is located in Salt Lake City, UT and San Francisco, CA. They have a great eye for design and details. This is evident when you look at the list of successful Kickstarters (now on their 4th) they’ve created since 2014. Their products are functional, appealing, and built to stand the rigors of daily use and time.
The Medium Classic Leather Satchel we received here is a working prototype of what’s to come in their production run. Said production run is guaranteed to happen now that they’ve eclipsed their Kickstarter goal of $50k (they are now well on their way to doubling that number).
If you’re a veg tan fan…you’re in luck here. The Classic Leather Satchel is 100% vegetable tanned leather. It’s being featured in natural, black, and medium brown colors. The leather is thick and only slightly stiff. This is a bag that will definitely develop a gorgeous patina over time.
It also comes in three sizes:
Large – 17.75″W x 13″H x 9″D
Medium –15.75″W x 12″H x 9″D
Small – 14.25″W x 11″H x 6″D
All three sizes contain the same features and design elements. This Kickstarter has generated some very interesting conversations in some of the leather groups we follow on Facebook. The overwhelming majority of those discussions have been very positive and supportive. However, there are always those who like to make comparisons or make unsupported claims of duplicating another design. I’m never a fan of those comparisons and complaints. I often find them unfounded and usually untrue. The cold hard truth is that there are only so many ways to create a satchel-styled bag. This version is in fact, very unique in several ways:
the Buffalo nickel on the handle wrap
full vegetable tanned leather
the thickness of shoulder pad is amazing
it features a single piece side and bottom—no seam in the center
hardware that is unrivaled in quality (solid brass)
the center pocket is for a laptop and is designed to keep it from being bumped from any direction…a very unique and effective strategy.
includes a dedicated iPad pocket that also keeps it from being knocked around as well
the unique, modular aspect, which allows for additional pockets, straps, and accessories to be added to the satchel for personal customization. The line of accessories will continue to be developed and works on all of the satchels in this line (and will work with future designs too)
So, as you can see there are many elements here that differentiate the Kendal & Hyde Satchel. Personally, I’m thrilled to see the modular design aspect incorporated. It’s brilliant. As a fan of vintage Swiss Army leather goods, I really like the design of the single and triple pouches…which definitely hearken back to the ammunition pouches from the Swiss Army.
Since this is a prototype, we haven’t had the luxury of using this as rigorously or as long as we usually do when putting together our reviews. However, the feel of this bag, the quality of construction, and the design elements included lead us to believe that this bag will perform its role for you in high style and perfection.
We look forward to being able to report on regular usage once we receive the production models. We’ll be featuring full reviews of those in just a couple of months.
Clean lines, exceptional build quality, and top of the line components all blend together for a visually appealing feast. Sounds cheesy but it’s true. The Kendal & Hyde Classic Satchel exudes class and style in my opinion. It appears that it will look great whether it’s carried over the shoulder, cross body, or in backpack mode.
The Kickstarter for the Kendal & Hyde Classic Satchel is still going. Secure one in the size and color you want and you’ll save about $100 off the normal price. Also, all of the modular pieces and other accessories are discounted. We’ve had a total of four reviewers from our team check out this Kendal & Hyde Satchel. The overwhelming consensus is that we highly recommend that you get one ordered for yourself. It’s definitely a Buy It for Life Satchel that you’ll be able to hand down for many generations.
I’ve mentioned before my affinity for products that have a great story behind them. It’s true – whether it’s a new product that arises out of something inspirational or it’s an heirloom piece full of great stories and a little bit of mystery, I seem to enjoy them the most. Such is the case with Victory Leather’s Oak Bark Leather Belt.
About Victory Leather
Peter Sandford, a designer, maker, artist, and entrepreneur founded Victory Leather in Hampshire, UK, which is based on the south coast of England, within sight of Portsmouth’s historic dockyard, home of Nelson’s HMS Victory and the inspiration for his brand.
Peter’s no stranger to creating high quality leather goods – he’s been involved in leatherworking for quite some time, making bespoke watch straps, wallets, and briefcases. And, he also has a successful track record with a previous Kickstarter campaign for his Shuttl minimalist dockable wallet system.
The leather. It’s one of those very exciting parts of why this belt really grabbed my attention. The leather from this belt comes from a tannery located in the southwestern part of England that has been there, on the river, since Roman legionnaires marched past it. Amazing. The same family has owned it for the past 150 years. Again, amazing.
Here’s some more amazing information. This leather uses a natural tanning process that combines river water and the shredded bark of English Oak trees. It’s a slow, eco-friendly, process that yields simply beautiful leather. It’s strong, flexible, smells amazing, and extremely durable. It’s an 18-month process to utilize this tanning method.
My belt is 1.5 inches wide and is a gorgeous dark oak color with a brass buckle and solid brass Chicago screws. The thick leather edges are beveled, burnished, and dyed. The belt holes are oblong so that your buckle post rests in a flatter, more natural position when secured in the belt. Victory Leather’s logo is tastefully placed on the belt loop and looks great.
Take a few minutes and watch Peter make this stunning belt in his workshop:
The Victory Leather Oak Bark Leather Belt performs its role perfectly. My pants stay up, my shorts stay up…it’s all good. I also appreciate the use of the solid brass Chicago screws versus stitching or rivets. It’s nice to have a belt that I can swap out the buckle easily should the occasion or need arise.
This belt generates attention. It started generating attention before I ever wore it. I had it on my desk for a couple of weeks and it was interesting to see how many people picked it up, commented on the way it felt…and then, they smelled it…and the comments continued. It feels great and has a unique, very pleasant smell to it.
Wearing it is a pleasure. It feels fantastic and has a rich look to it. It’s perfectly capable of complimenting your favorite jeans or will look excellent when used in semi-formal situations too.
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. At $120 (its post-Kickstarter price) it’s a little more expensive than some of the belts we’ve featured in the past. But, it also has a pedigree that those other belts lack. In addition to the unique leather (and amazing history behind it), it also sports impeccable craftsmanship…something that we appreciate, respect, and highly endorse.
For a limited time (through June 30th) you can secure one of these amazing belts for about $93 USD during the Kickstarter campaign. Can’t decide on what color to purchase? Get two (there’s a package for that) or all 3 (save even more and really be set for life in the belt department).
With four wildly successful Kickstarter campaigns under their belt, Kendal & Hyde Co. is at it again. This time around they have designed a timeless classic leather satchel. “We have spent the past six or so months reworking our design and improving it, refining it down to its basic elements of simplicity, utility and strength.”
Kendall & Hyde Co.’s leather satchel is truly one of the most thought out bags we have seen. The add-on, modular accessories bring a refreshing, unique flair to the leather bag industry. Head over to their Kickstarter campaign and check out the new classic satchel, add-on accessories, and leather sleeves. As an offer to BestLeather readers and previous Kendal & Hyde Co. supporters, the first 80 backers will receive an early-bird special on top of their already discounted price, so make sure to make your pledge on Kickstarter soon. BestLeather is excited to be reviewing several Kendal & Hyde Co. products, so be sure to look for our upcoming reviews of the Classic Leather Satchel and their Goodyear Welted Boots.
Here at BestLeather, we’re always on the hunt for great up and coming products. Arcane Supply Co dropped perfectly into our crosshairs with the introduction of their Hinterlander backpack. With rugged good looks and superior craftsmanship, you’ll be eying this bag with all the fervor of a hungry lion on the Serengeti . Catch is, you’ve got a direct role in making this happen.
Philadelphia based Arcane Supply Co has spent nearly a year developing what they feel will be the only bag you’ll ever need. Inspired by the vintage rucksacks of Switzerland’s Elite Ski Patrol, The Hinterlander’s pedigree so far looks promising given the materials used:
US 18oz Martexin waxed canvas (24oz weight after waxing)
US veg tanned English Bridle leather
Wool Felt shoulder strap
Designed to be as versatile as it is rugged, the Hinterlander backpack is aimed to serve as a faithful companion from the jungle to the streets. If the Kickstarter Goal is met, BestLeather will do a full review on the Hinterlander, plus, Arcane Supply Co will host a BestLeather Giveaway for the pack as well! Their Kickstarter campaign begins Friday April 24th, so be sure to check it out and give your support if you want to see this put into full production.
Boot reviews have become an important staple of what we do around here. When we had the opportunity to dialogue with Kendal Liddle, one of the founders of Kendal & Hyde Company, and the opportunity came up to review prototypes of the boots they’re currently offering through a well-received Kickstarter program, we jumped at the chance.
Kendal & Hyde is new to the boot arena, but not new to creating stunning leather products. This duo – located in Salt Lake City, Utah and San Francisco, CA have a serious dedication to creating heirloom quality leather bags, belts, and small lifestyle accessories but saw the opportunity to go one-step further. The company wanted to begin building boots and help people in the process. They started brainstorming ideas to make peoples’ lives better, and came up with this: “For every pair of boots we sell, we will make and give a pair of shoes to a child in need in a developing country.” You might be thinking that this idea is way too unoriginal, but that is not the point. The shoes they will be making are actually long-lasting sandals that may be used by multiple children. This is a much better investment than shoes that wont last a child more than a year. To ice the cake, the sandals will be made from up-cycled rubber from landfills and high-quality, water-resistant durable leather,
To read more about Kendal & Hyde Company’s sandals and the humanitarian efforts, head over to their Kickstarter page. Purchasing boots allows you to contribute as much as you’d like to these efforts, help determine where the sandals will go, and gives you access to future developments. BestLeather appreciates and respects their desire to provide practical solutions to issues that affect everyday life for children around the globe.
We received a total of four boots on Christmas Eve – a full pair of brogues along with a single boot in black and brown of their classic Doughboy. In our conversation on the phone, Kendal admitted that he’s a bit of a “leather snob” (that’s his own description…I didn’t make that up). All of their boots are constructed from full-grain leather. The grain is the outermost surface of the hide. It’s considered the strongest and most valuable part of the hide and the best leather for anything that needs to be durable.
Their boots also feature Goodyear welted construction. Here’s a great summary of that process taken directly from their Kickstarter page: “Goodyear welting is the traditional way shoes have been made for centuries, but it’s named after the guy who invented a machine that could do the stitch that previously had to be done by hand. (He coincidentally was the son of the guy who invented vulcanized rubber, as in Goodyear Tires, as in what we are using for our boot soles.) Even with a machine, it is a hard and labor-intensive way to make shoes, but it is far superior to the cheaper and more common practice of just gluing a preformed sole to the shoe upper.”
In addition to Kendal & Hyde’s humanitarian mission, they’re also devoted to conducting an eco-friendly basis. In adherence with that dedication, they’ve decided to use tire sidewalls as the final outsole choice. It’s an excellent choice in that it recycles the material, provides long wear, and good grip for the wearer. The boots we received are prototypes and as such are not the finished products. However, these are some darn good looking prototypes! Again, reflecting on our conversations and emails with Kendal, he indicated that several things will change or be upgraded in the final production versions:
“As mentioned the boots I sent are prototypes. This means the stitching is a little rougher than it will be in production. I have a few final tweaks I will be making before production, but most revisions do not show in photography and will go unnoticed by all but me, but I consider them improvements. The heel and the ankle profile are the only obvious revisions.”
The points that will be changing in production are:
less hairy thread
minor nuance in the stitch pattern will be changed so there is parallel stitches instead of overstitching at the stress point
thinner rubber on heel
the leather will be turned under at edges for a cleaner finish
the plain version will also be storm welted
the laces will be waxed and have metal aglets
the ankle will be a little narrower (heel and ankle like the below)
In looking over the prototypes we received and examining them with the improvements listed above in mind, the final production pieces should be stunning.
Due to the fact that these are pre-production prototype boots, we were not able to receive pairs of these boots in our size to try on or use. Consequently, there isn’t a great deal to be said about the functionality of the boots. However, we can speculate a few things based on previous experience with boots of similar design and build:
These are full lace up boots and do not have a tab or finger loop to aid in pulling the boots on. This will mean you’ll probably want to get a good shoe horn or you’ll need to unlace the boots somewhat to be able to slip them on easily.
Having waxed laces with metal aglets will certainly be beneficial in lacing them up quickly.
Due to the type of construction, these boots should be “out of the box comfortable” and not require a long break-in period. The boots feature multiple inner layers of varying degrees of softness. Even when sliding a hand down in the boot and pressing down on the insole, you know your feet will feel great once you slip these boots on. With the cork addition, they have a bit of a Birkenstock sandal feel to them (which, if you’ve never worn a pair of those sandals, is a fantastic thing).
BestLeather is supposed to receive a couple of pairs of production boots in our sizes, so be looking for full reviews on them in the coming months. We look forward to getting them on our feet and fully testing them out.
With their arrival on Christmas Eve, we’ve been able to put these boots in front of many of our friends and family. “Gorgeous – beautiful – classy – stylish – functional sophistication – can I take them home?” These are all things we heard about these boots. Fortunately, we still have them and no one absconded with them. However, we know they were tempted…big time.
Tim’s impression: Out of the box, I could immediately tell that much thought had been put in to the sourcing of high quality materials and into the construction of these boots. The detail on the full brogue is stunning. The classic, plain toe doughboys exude a superior look and feel. All three boots look fantastic, look like they’ll hold a polish well for years, and will wear well for a very long time.
TJ’s impression: The first thing that came to my mind was this, “These aren’t the final production pieces?” I was blown away with the perfection of these boots. All the colors were smooth, the WWI themed construction was refreshing and appreciated, and it was obvious that time, passion, and extreme attention to detail was used in the boot’s construction. These are boots I would wear for years, and while we have not yet been able to test their durability, they look absolutely promising. I am undeniably eager to get some final production boots.
There are only a few days left in the Kendal & Hyde Leather Boot Kickstarter. Use some of that money you received as a holiday gift and get a pair or two of these boots ordered for yourself. There are several great reward packages available that include a great pair of these boots along with some other Kendal & Hyde swag and the ability to send a pair of footwear to a child in need. Start the year off right…giving and receiving. We look forward to reporting more on these boots as time goes on…stay tuned.
To reach “iconic status” is an amazing thing. Cars, guns, motorcycles, and some people certainly make the list. But, what about fashion items? The Swatch? No. Shoulder pads? Certainly not. Leggings from the 1980s? Nope, even though they’re trying to make a comeback. But there is one fashion standout that we can all agree on that has been elevated to iconic status and that is the leather bomber jacket.
About Satchel & Page
The inspiration for Satchel & Page stems from a WWII map case owned by Daniel’s grandfather. The fact that it’s over 70 years old and looks amazing made Daniel question why he couldn’t seem to find modern day pieces created with such dedication to longevity. Satchel & Page was formed and their designs are based on items created in the 1940s. They launched their business via Kickstarter with much success. Now, they’re looking to expand into making leather jackets and have returned to Kickstarter. And, not surprisingly, their campaign has resonated with many folks there and they’re more than fully funded.
A Brief History of the Leather Bomber Jacket
The Satchel & Page Leather Bomber Jacket appears to be inspired the classic G-1 Leather Flight Jacket. This jacket was brought to use by the U.S. Navy in the 1930s, and standardized by the Navy in 1940 as the M-422A. In 1943 this jacket, named by the Army Air Forces and the Navy as the ANJ-3 (Army Navy Jacket 3), replaced the iconic Army Air Forces A-2 jacket, hence the name of ANJ-3 (vs. A-2). Over time the designation settled upon was G-1. One of the most modern day versions of the G-1 can be seen in the movie “Top Gun” with good ol’ Maverick sporting it in multiple scenes.
My first impressions upon receiving the prototype Satchel & Page Bomber jacket elicited several concise, descriptors: iconic, classic, substantial, and extremely well made. Here’s a quick rundown on the components of this jacket:
Full grain, French calf leather, which is stronger than lamb, softer and more flexible than cow. It’s the ideal leather for this type of jacket.
The leather is chrome tanned and then re-tanned using a vegetable process. The chrome tanning keeps the leather soft and gives the jacket resistance against scratches and rain, and the veg re-tanning brings out the grain in the calf and enhances its aging characteristics.
Removable collar liner is made from Spanish shearling wool – you can feel the quality
Heavy duty YKK #10 zippers
Attractive tartan lining
Brass snaps and vent grommets
The jacket is expertly assembled and as mentioned, substantial. That weight is attributed to the high quality components – quality leather, thick shearling collar, nicely weighted liner, and heavy duty zipper.
*This is a prototype jacket and as such certain design elements and components of the jacket may change. According to Daniel at Satchel & Page, the mechanism of removing and attaching the shearling collar will be upgraded.
As this is a prototype, I’ve only had a short window of opportunity to gauge the functionality of the jacket. And, it’s size is limiting for this particular task too (the prototype is a slim medium size). However, I’ve had 3 different (small, thin) guys who benefit from such a slim build try this jacket on and all 3 have asked if they could keep the jacket.
The initial reaction when you hand the jacket to them is just as I described earlier…all 3 of them said, “wow – this thing feels amazing”. Then, they put it on and each, in their own way, told me I was going to have a hard time getting it back from them. They all agreed that it feels fantastic and fit well. The pockets were easy to access (top snap pockets and slip in side pockets). The interior pocket is a nice touch for cell phones, wallets, or other small accessory storage.
Remember this too; even though the waistline and wrist cuffs are fabric, they too list last forever. Take a look at a vintage G-1 and you’ll see that those pieces wear just as long and hard as the rest of the jacket. So, fear not. Even if those pieces do wear out prematurely, a qualified seamstress or tailor can easily replace them.
As expected, all 3 of the guys who put this jacket on were ready to go hop on a motorcycle or climb into the cockpit of their airplane, haha. Seriously though, the jacket elicits a certain attitude and projects a feeling, well…manliness. This is a good thing.
It definitely hearkens back to the days of what we consider the Greatest Generation. In those days, this jacket wasn’t necessarily a fashion statement – it was a functional piece of attire for pilots and flight crews. In today’s modern version, such as the Satchel & Page Bomber Jacket, it is a signature fashion piece. And…it looks oh so good!
The Satchel & Page Leather Bomber Jacket definitely qualifies as a great purchase. At the Kickstarter price of $455 for this jacket, it is a bargain in the quality leather jacket market. The Kickstarter campaign ends Tuesday, December 2nd at 7pm PST. In addition to this fantastic rendition of the classic G-1 bomber jacket, Satchel & Page is also offering three other fine looking jackets in their initial line up. Check ‘em out and get one for yourself. This is also the perfect time to order one for that special someone on your holiday shopping list.
Koch Leather finished up a successful Kickstarter campaign back in the middle of August. Since that time, they’ve been working feverishly to hand craft and ship out the many assorted Kickstarter rewards. After reviewing two great Koch Leather pieces (their small Horween tote and a guitar strap) prior to their Kickstarter campaign, I decided to embark upon my own Kickstarter journey. I decided to back their campaign (my first Kickstarter campaign as a backer). I chose to back at the $50 level…wish it could have been more…but, oh well, which gave me the ability to receive one of their Field Notes Sleeves in Horween leather.
Recently I received my reward piece and it is stunning. It is just like their other products – attention to detail is over the top, stitching is immaculate, and the Horween leather is fantastic. I am very pleased with my decision to back Koch Leather. I look forward to watching this company continue to grow, refine their skills, expand their product line, and flourish.
The Koch Leather website is open and they are geared up to take orders. So, check ’em out and get a few things ordered…the holidays are approaching quickly!