Mujjo Full Leather Wallet Case for iPhone X Review – €49.90

A smart phone skin made with top-quality leather is actually a fairly rare find. A sleeve or fold-over protective cover is more common. This is likely due to the relative thickness of good leather. Making it thin enough to protect a phone and remain unobtrusive is a tricky balance. Mujjo is one of the few companies out there that I’ve come across that has given this a shot with their Full Leather Wallet Case.

About Mujjo

Mujjo is a Dutch designer label that began in 2011. Their attitude towards design is to take something simple and make it as perfect as possible. This has resulted in an impressive lineup of fine leather tech accessories. Each is made to look and feel luxurious while also fulfilling it’s intended function fully. I even noticed a sleek wooden MacBook case they produced in a limited run! In their own words:

We try to make our products as simple, striking and functional as possible. This is something that dates back to our early days and will continue as we challenge ourselves going forwards.

Leather & Construction

As the name indicates, the outer surface of the Mujjo case is made with full grain leather. This thin layer is stretched over a rigid plastic material for shape, and a soft velvet material rests against the back of the phone. On the back is a leather sleeve for up to three credit cards, carefully stitched onto the case. Overall, there are no obvious issues with construction, and all materials are of high quality. After several months of typical use, I see very few signs of wear. Impressive for a phone case made with a soft outer material.

I did have one issue with the very thin strip of material surrounding the mute switch on my iPhone X. As I mentioned, making a quality leather phone skin thin and unobtrusive is a challenge. Mujjo has done a fantastic job of keeping this case as thin and sleek as possible, but this also means the case is conforms very tightly to your phone–and can be quite difficult to remove. While removing it from my phone I managed to crack the part of the case around the mute switch. Mujjo tells me that this is something they’ve improved in continuing iterations of the design. Their cases are backed by a two-year warranty. A customer would receive a replacement without charge if this happened to their purchase. A two-year warranty is excellent…most phone owners tend to use a phone for two years before upgrading.

Function

For me, the important aspects of a phone case are, first and foremost, how well it protects your phone, but also how little it hinders the functions of your phone.

First, protection. The Mujjo case isn’t the type that will protect your phone if you throw it across the room at a brick wall, but short of this, it should be very well protected. The Mujjo case has kept my investment safe through some small accidental drops. The lip of the case comes ever-so-slightly above the surface of the screen, to protect against face-first falls. Your pricey iPhone X, in the course of normal use, should remain pristine in the Mujjo Full Leather case.

Next, phone functions. Buttons are covered, but a careful indentation in the leather is recessed around them. Tactile response, while muffled, is still sufficient. The tightness of the case helps in ensuring button presses don’t require extra force.

The Mujjo case leaves plenty of room open around the screen and ports, which is especially important with the edge-to-edge screen of the iPhone X. Drops on flat surfaces will still be stopped by the raised edges, but there’s no hindrance while in use. Mujjo has found a good balance in this regard.

The leather is smooth, but has texture for grip. The profile of the case is fairly minimal. While not ultra thin, I found the added thickness to be unobtrusive. The card sleeve functions as expected, and saved me frustration several times when I didn’t have my wallet on me!

Comparison

One consideration that should be addressed is the fairly obvious comparison to Apple’s own similarly priced leather case. I haven’t used Apple’s version extensively, but a few things stood out when I was able to handle one for a short time. Mujjo’s case is a hair larger and uses a higher caliber leather. Apple’s case uses machined aluminum buttons, giving a better tactile response. Mujjo may be edged out in sleekness, but will win out in phone protection and offers twice the warranty.

Aesthetic

Mujjo’s approach to simplicity in design results in a sleek, beautiful case. I find it highly complementary to my Space Gray iPhone X, in both color and shaping. Button recesses are smooth and don’t disrupt the lines of the case. The design is subtle, uniform, and a great pleasure to look at.

Conclusion

I’m happy to recommend the Mujjo Full Leather Wallet Case. It looks great, feels great, and offers a good level of protection for your phone. The staff over at Mujjo will have your back should you run into the issue I did around the mute button. At €49.90 (~$60 at time of writing), it’s pricier than simple cases, but is highly competitive with top of the line phone cases, particularly any made with fine leather. Mujjo makes cases for other phones and tech as well, so head over to their website to see for yourself.

Silent Pocket V2 Medium Sleeve Review – $109.95

As mobile technology has integrated into every aspect of our lives from cell phones to flash drives, so has the risk of identity and data theft. Many of today’s fancy and popular leather products are designed to show off your newest gadget but not all attention is wanted. Silent Pocket is a company that has taken the extra step to protect both what can and can’t be seen. By using proprietary Radio Frequency (RF) shielding material, the Silent Pocket V2 Medium Sleeve is able to protect and secure your data under the guise of a sleek black exterior.

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CONSTRUCTION

Without giving too much away, the Silent Pocket V2 Medium Sleeve has a patented unique interlocking RF magnetic seal which keeps the sleeve flat and minimalistic – no extra folds, buttons, Velcro, or zippers. The outer layer is constructed using vegetable-tanned top-grain cow leather and held together by both glue and stitching. A fine mill process is used to polish and soften the leather. All leather products used by Silent Pocket are sourced and handmade in India under the supervision of an on-site quality controls manager.

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FUNCTION

The medium sleeve measures approximately 8″ x 5’’ on the outside but fits 5.75’’ x 4.1’’ on the inside which is enough for an iPhone 6, Galaxy, or Nexus phone. They have a sizing chart available on the website – a large would fit an iPad Mini and the extra large would fit an iPad Air. It contains 2 internal sides, one which blocks all incoming and outgoing signal transmissions to your cell phone. Additionally, smart keys, credit cards, passports, other RF enabled electronic devices, and anything that is RFID / Near-Field Communication (NFC) chipped, will be protected inside the RF shielding lining. The second side only shields against RFID / NFC. For the experts needing more technical nitty-gritties such as decibel, frequencies, and bandwidths, there is much more information on the website. Basically, this sleeve blocks cell phone data (RF), Apple Pay or Google wallet data (NFC), and credit card information (RFID).

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One possible downside to using this type of pocket is that once your phone or device is in the sleeve, it really goes off-the-grid. Texts, phone calls, voicemails, and any other wireless push notifications will not be received until after you bring out your phone. At the same time, your phone or other tech will not receive a wireless signal and will behave accordingly.

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When trying it out for myself, I can tell that as I slip the phone into the sleeve with the top still open, my phone signal immediately drops to one bar. Of course, once the magnetic seals close, I can’t see if any signal is being received on my phone. I also don’t have any data stealing instruments to test if I can hack into my own devices through the sleeve, although I am unable to call my phone when it is inside so I know the wireless signal is being blocked.

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AESTHETIC

The Silent Pocket V2 Medium Sleeve has a minimalistic design. Uniform black supple leather protects your goods. The only indication that you might be hiding something is the small shield logo debossed on the bottom corner. If you’re looking for some cool, edgy design, you won’t find it here. It makes sense since you wouldn’t want to call attention to what you’re carrying if you’re trying to hide what’s inside. It’s the James Bond of sleeves – classy and subdued exterior with a hardcore interior.

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BESTLEATHER CONCLUSION

The Silent Pocket V2 Medium Sleeve starts at $109.95. To be frank, this sleeve is going to be pricey and a hassle for your average Joe who likes to get his texts and Facebook messages in real-time. However, if you’re a CIA agent, international spy, or someone who just would rather be safe than sorry, it might be a worthwhile investment for high-level of protection with some sleek sophistication. Reviews on Amazon for Silent Pocket have been great so far so don’t just take my word for it.

 

Colonel Littleton No. 27 Phone Wallet Review – $125.00

By now you’ve heard of Colonel Littleton. The nearly-30 year old company has produced some beautiful designs out of Lynnville, Tennessee by combining high quality materials, historic American flair, and a single artist’s touch – the Colonel himself. This guarantees consistent heirloom-quality products ranging from large goods like the stunning Colonel Littleton No. 40 Campaign Bag to today’s item – the compact yet practical Colonel Littleton No. 27 Phone Wallet.

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CONSTRUCTION

The No. 27 continues to follow the dogma of Colonel Littleton designs. This full-grain cowhide is hand-tanned at a small local American tannery. The leather in this wallet is dry-milled and buttery soft, yet firm in the hand. It also has a flawless texture though the Colonel is known to not be afraid of leather pieces with lived-in character. The edges are single stitched and each leather piece is lined with polished leather – even the individual pockets. Edges are smooth and finished.

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FUNCTION

The outside dimensions are 6”H x 4”W closed. Phone pocket dimensions are 5 ⅝”H x 3”W. It fits a naked iPhone 6 into the snug pocket. There isn’t enough room for a phone with a case, unless you have a smaller phone. I tried a Samsung Edge phone, but that didn’t fit. On the other side, you have two card slots and a general pocket for bills, receipts, and anything larger. By combining your phone and wallet into one, you can carry this in your jean or shirt pocket without needing any extra space. That being said, this is about the half the size of an iPad Mini. If you tend to wear fitted clothing and looking for something more slim, this wallet may not be right for you. The wallet also functions as a guard to protect your phone against key scratches and the soft, thick leather acts as a guard and cushion in case of accidental drops. The phone pocket can also be used as a passport wallet when traveling.

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AESTHETIC

The No. 27 comes in a nice gift box. The color is Vintage Brown with subtle variations in tone for a more sophisticated look. Initials can be debossed for free onto the right lower corner in the front, but that also means you can’t return it if you change your mind. Otherwise there is a 30-day return policy. In the back, the Colonel Littleton emblem is proudly emblazed. The outer leather has a very fine texture whereas the inner leather is more coarse although this may be varied between wallets depending on the particular cow used. Overall, the wallet has a basic design but the look and feel of leather and details in the construction and edging make it pretty obvious that this isn’t a cheap clearance item you can buy at the discount stores.

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BESTLEATHER CONCLUSION

The Colonel Littleton No. 27 Phone Wallet commands a hefty price at $125. That being said, this is one wallet that you will be keeping for a lifetime or handing over to the next generation. It may not be ideal for those who tend to lose their personal belongings or live fad to fad, but the No. 27 makes for a great gift idea for the holidays for someone who’s a stickler for quality.

Leather Built’s Roughhewn Leather Thoreau Attache Review – $155

“Be not simply good – be good for something.” —Henry David Thoreau

Those are some wise words from a prolific writer. Thoreau’s approach is not only important for who we are as people, but also for the things we appreciate, work for, purchase, and use. If it’s not good for something…it begs many questions, right? Today, we’re looking at Roughhewn Leather’s Thoreau Attaché, courtesy of Leather Built…and it’s definitely all good.

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About Leather Built & Roughhewn Leather

The Roughhewn Leather Thoreau Attache has been graciously supplied to us for review from Leather Built. Leather Built was founded upon the principle of showcasing the highest quality leather goods built in the U.S.A. From our location in Meridian, Idaho, we have scoured America in search of only the best leather goods and have found some amazing companies and products that are sure to surprise and delight. Everything is backed with our Made for Life Guarantee so you can be completely confident in your purchase.

Cooper Thurston, of Washington, Missouri, is the founder Roughhewn Leather. Cooper started working with leather when he was 14 years old and continues to craft his products using “old school” methods, infused with passion, and resulting in functional quality that can be handed down for generations.

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Construction

The Roughhewn Leather Thoreau Attaché is a purpose built clutch designed to carry important documents or your personal electronics. It’s crafted from premium, full grain Horween Chromexcel leather, cut by hand and hand-stitched with durable polyester thread from Maine Thread Company. It features a simple closure courtesy of a well-placed solid brass button rivet.

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Function

With overall dimensions of 9″ x 6 1/2″ x 3/4″, its size lends it to being absolutely perfect for an iPad Mini or similarly sized tablet. My wife quickly snagged the Thoreau for her iPad Mini, which slides easily into the rear section of the Attaché. Just in front of that rear pocket is a divider that will easily accommodate your favorite pen and pencil, along with a slot pocket that is simply perfect for a Field Notes journal or similarly sized notebook. The main front pocket will easily house papers, your headphones, or other slim items.
It will easily slip into a tote bag, messenger bag, or backpack. It’s easy to open and close with the button stud. And, it’s also sized perfectly for solo carry too.

 

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Aesthetic

The rich brown hue and smooth texture of Horween’s Chromexcel leatherl always elicits ‘oohs and ahs’ from anyone who handles the Attaché. Its size, shape, and expert craftsmanship garner questions and attention whenever it is carried or placed on a table. And then when you open it up…well, you might as well slide it over to whoever is with you so they can thoroughly inspect it…because they’re going to want to check it out.

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Conclusion

Whether you choose to use this for your personal electronics or you use it for another purpose, you won’t regret purchasing a Roughhewn Leather Thoreau Attaché from Leather Built. Not only is it backed with Leather Built’s 50 year guarantee, it’s built to outlast you, look great, and function well for whatever purpose you assign it. At $155, it’s fairly priced for an heirloom quality leather piece that is 100% crafted by hand.

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Orox Leather Co. iPad Sleeve 2 & Air Review- $140

In our last Orox Leather Co. review of the Medicus Dopp, we saw a single piece of oil tanned leather shaped into a beautiful utility kit for toiletries. Today we get our leather fix with the Orox iPad Sleeve, yet another item made of a single swath of oil tanned full grain goodness to cover and protect your iPad.

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CONSTRUCTION

All Orox goods are handmade in Portland Oregon. The iPad Sleeve is made of a single thick piece of full grain hide oil tanned in Red Wing, Minnesota. If you’ve heard of Red Wing before, it’s because it’s the birthplace of a famous shoe company and home to one of the oldest of the remaining great tanneries in the USA – so yea, they know their leather. This particular leather used for the iPad has a particularly high oil content which makes it BUTTERY soft and supple enough to roll into a tube and keep its shape without leaving any creases. The iPad Sleeve is a basic rectangular envelope design measuring 11’’ x 8’’ which is more than enough to fit the iPad Air 2  (9.4” x6.6’’) or its predecessors. There is a single row of stitching along each side to create the sleeve. The Orox signature tab closure is a single firm piece of leather in the shape similar to a guitar pick which hooks onto a leather tab to keep the flap closed. The inside of the sleeve is unlined and the Orox company logo is debossed into the right front corner while the name is debossed along the contralateral edge on the back side.

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FUNCTION

Well this sleeve really just holds an iPad so there’s not much to say. Does it work? Yes! Will it fit my iPad WITH a case? Yes! Is it comfortable and easy to hold? Double Yes!

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But when it comes to an iPad sleeve, function is where I feel most people underestimate the importance of the design process. Yes, the signature tab is quick, easy, and cool but there are other benefits. The closure has no hanging parts like a cord that gets tangled and unkempt. There are no magnets that can wreak havoc on the screen and hardware components, and, most importantly, this closure does not require any downward pressure to close like your standard push tab. This means you’re not repeatedly pushing all this force onto a single focal part of your screen. So let’s go back to Physics 101. Pressure = Force/Area. No Force = No Pressure.  It’s a win-win for your $400+ iPad!! Someone at the Orox Leather Company was clearly thinking…

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AESTHETIC

The leather sleeve in brown looks sharp, dark, and polished which means it can work well with your sweatpants and hoodie in the school library or in your D&G suit at the executive committee meeting. The smell of oils and leather will bring a smile to any true leather lover’s face. Overall the sleeve’s clean appearance with its rounded flap edges make it an understated beauty which begs to be picked up and enjoyed by feel and smell. This sleeve also comes in Tan color.

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BESTLEATHER CONCLUSION

The Orox Leather Co. iPad Sleeve 2 & Air is regularly priced at $140. While you won’t be finding this sleeve at the dollar store, it’s best held by someone who truly appreciates fine leather goods and realizes its finer details from sizing, leather selection, and closure design. If you can afford an iPad that goes out of style every year, purchasing a quality sleeve that will last a lifetime of iPads isn’t a hard decision to make. Check it out on the website, who knows? It might be on sale.

 

Waxhaws Salisbury iPhone 6 Wallet Review – $84

Waxhaws has previously sent us some great leather cases to review – “The Classic” iPhone 6 wallet and the iPhone 5 Signature Wallet. Today we are reviewing a completely brand new design. Instead of using the same case + wallet +leather formula of their previous designs, Waxhaws has added a touch of Salisbury Wool to create an entirely new model iPhone 6 case.

CONSTRUCTION

Waxhaws is really all about their Italian full grain vegetable-tanned English Bridle leather. It’s the same whiskey leather used in everything from their iPhone cases to their key cases. The difference this time is in the compartment design and addition of Salisbury Wool. There are two main compartments to this wallet. The exterior is one single panel of leather and the two interior pockets are single sheets of wool. An additional flap of leather is in the interior to create an additional accessory pocket. A single central push tab is used as a closure device.

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FUNCTION

This wallet has completely different functions than “The Classic” IPhone 6 wallet. There is no case for the phone. Therefore the phone is best left uncased and slim to slide comfortably into the right pocket. The right pocket is designed with a free edge so headphones can be used on the phone while it is secure in the wallet. At the same time, the screen is not displayed so the phone must be taken out of the wallet to be used. The left pocket is a single pocket used for holding cards, bills, and anything you want to fit in there while the accessory pocket can be used for smaller items such as receipts or business cards. The push tab does offer security to keep things from sliding out. Honestly, this would be a nice leather wallet even without a phone. You can then use the extra pocket for a checkbook or anything else.

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Compared to “The Classic” iPhone 6 wallet, the Salisbury wallet is more useful as a slim carry for the minimalist who doesn’t plan on using their phone constantly for gaming and casino with new deposit bonuses, talking, movies, or texting. I see this as the perfect go-to for a night out to a show, play, or date where you need to look sophisticated while staying away from your phone.

 AESTHETIC

The Salisbury Wallet also comes with the signature Waxhaws gift box. The exterior of the wallet is plain and simple – all flawless full-grain leather. The interior definitely is a standout. The charcoal grey of the Salisbury wool goes beautifully with the unlined whiskey colored leather interior like the elbow patches on a fine gentleman’s sport coat. The accessory pocket has the Waxhaws logo with fine cross-stitching through the wool. This wallet is definitely the slimmer of the Waxhaws wallet given the lack of a phone casing and has a clean look with even edges (No need for camera cutouts here). The leather is also available in black which adds a more modern and edgy look in contrast to the charcoal wool.

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BESTLEATHER CONCLUSION

Waxhaws Salisbury iPhone 6 Wallet is sold on the Waxhaws, Amazon, and Etsy websites. Although not as functional as the Waxhaws iPhone 6 Wallet “The Classic” iPhone 6 w/ kickstand, the Salisbury offers a slimmer, sleeker profile with a touch of “wool” sophistication which makes it a great option for those looking to simplify their carry while still looking smart.

 

 

Waxhaws iPhone 6 Wallet “The Classic” w/ Kickstand Review – $84

With the new iPhones’ recent release this year came, a whole new set of iPhone cases charged out from the gates. Many models appeared immediately, made of chemicals and plastics with difficult names such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). There are also many “leather” cases currently being sold for low-low prices. Although they are leather in appearance, many are simply plastic imitations.

The Waxhaws Leather Company once again delivers with a whole new line up of 100% full grain leather iPhone 6 cases using their classic English Bridle leather imported from Italy. Rather than jumping the gun and preemptively mass producing a line of products to be released along the new phone, owner John Fred continues to focus on quality and excellent customer service to provide a product which is both functional, beautiful, and most importantly, all leather. Today we take a look at “The Classic,” an iPhone 6 wallet built (and improved) from the design of Waxhaw’s iPhone 5 wallet.

CONSTRUCTION

“The Classic” uses the same Italian full grain vegetable-tanned leather described in our Waxhaws Leather Co. iPhone 5 Signature Design Wallet Review to create a combination iPhone 6 case and wallet. There are the same three card slots and a full-length compartment. Like the other Waxhaws design, the full-grain leather is designed to wrap around the entire wallet including the interior instead of using filler materials or cheap linings. As expected, the rubber casing holds the phone perfectly since time was taken to design this wallet with an actual iPhone 6. 3M adhesive is used to seal the casing to the wallet. On top of all this, John has a satisfaction guarantee and lifetime warranty for all his products and provides direct personal communication through e-mail.

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FUNCTION

This case functions as both a wallet and a phone case. The phone is clearly protected on all sides by its rubber casing as well as the leather. The pockets are useful but it might not be a great idea to cram them full of cards – this will keep the cover from sitting flush with your phone and really, who wants to make phone calls while holding a stack of cards next to their ear? The rubber casing feels firm but with enough give for shock absorption. It fits perfectly with the phone and has cutouts for all the speakers, microphone, headphone jack, and camera. The side buttons are guarded nicely but still easily pressed. There is also enough cut away at the back so that the case does not interfere with photography.

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The newest part of this case is the “kickstand” feature. This allows users to have their phone propped up in landscape mode for movies or video chats. This is definitely a great addition to the design. The phone sits up on its first try and does not slip or fall away.

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AESTHETIC

Like the other Waxhaws product, this iPhone 6 wallet came in a nice gift box which really doesn’t need any additional giftwrap. The wallet is called “The Classic” for a reason – it is simplistic and compact. The leather comes with all the fine wrinkles and texture expected of true full-grain leather and the whiskey color will patina well with the oil from your hands. The stitching is whiskey color as well and is perfectly lined around the exterior. Like a fine luxury car, the inside is equally beautiful with a full display of Italian leather, even under the case. The leather is also available in black.

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BESTLEATHER CONCLUSION

Waxhaws Leather Co. iPhone 6 Wallet w/ Kickstand is sold on the Waxhaws, Amazon, and Etsy websites. Offered at a reasonable (and sometimes special sale) price with free two-day Amazon Prime shipping available, it has earned a 5/5 Amazon rating. The same design is also made for the iPhone 6 Plus.

 

Waxhaws Leather Co. iPhone 5 Signature Design Wallet Review – $78  

The Battle of Waxhaws was a pivotal but barely talked about battle during the Revolutionary War which galvanized American Patriots to ultimately win the war. The Waxhaws Leather Company is a small quiet California-based company less than two years old, created with the goals of producing classic and timeless full-grain leather pieces against today’s trend of softer, manipulated, mass-produced leather goods targeted at the pockets of female shoppers. Its owner, John Fred, prides himself on his honesty and work ethic passed down to him by his grandfather. Originally inspired by the Coach and Hartmann of decades past, John Fred aims to create focused and practical leather goods for men and women using full grain vegetable-tanned English bridle leather carefully selected to patina and burnish gracefully.

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CONSTRUCTION

This is a small family affair. John Fred designs his own concepts with the occasional nod of approval from his wife (who just happens to be a professional designer). The Signature Design Wallet is crafted using Italian full grain vegetable-tanned leather with three card slots and a full length compartment. All leather materials are imported from Italy and manufactured by an experienced Chinese production firm personally visited and chosen by John Fred. The leather is designed to wrap around the entire wallet including the interior whereas other wallets sometimes fill this space with cheaper microfiber or suede. Special attention was also given to the rubber casing holding the phone. As the area most prone to any wear and tear on the wallet, a special 3M adhesive is used to seal the casing to the wallet. On top of all this, John has a satisfaction guarantee and lifetime full replacement warranty for all his products and provides direct personal communication through e-mail. He uses and tests all his product lines himself and has a video on his website demonstrating the appearance, malleability, and durability of his own iPhone wallet case after long term use. With the upcoming release of the iPhone 6, a similar case will be released for the new dimensions.

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FUNCTION

Since this is full-grain leather, the brand new cover does not immediately lie flush with the phone screen. However, with time and natural conditioning from your hands, the leather softens and conforms around the phone. The pockets are useful but not numerous enough to function as an entire wallet. This is a good thing considering the main purpose of the wallet is a phone case and carrying tons of weight will only get in the way of making phone calls. The rubber casing has a solid attachment to the leather base and makes a snug fit with cutouts for all the speakers and cameras of the phone. The side buttons are guarded nicely but still easily pressed. For someone used to a plain silicone case, it takes time to get used to opening or bending back a cover to use a phone, but there is definite extra protection to the screen with the full grain leather padding.

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AESTHETIC

Instead of tearing away the packaging when you first receive the wallet, you will want to keep it. It comes in a handsome gift box which opens to an even nicer color and smell of full-grain whiskey (or black) veggie-tanned leather. The wallet is subdued in its appearance. There are no gimmicks or trendy style-lines. It is compact but beautiful. The leather looks like it is just begging to start building its own patina with the oil from your hands. Inside the surprisingly full leather interior adds that extra quality and luxury not found in most mass-produced leather iPhone wallets. My $3 silicone case from the mall went straight into the wastebasket. Never again.

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 BESTLEATHER CONCLUSION

The Waxhaws Leather Co. iPhone 5 Signature Design Wallet is sold on the Waxhaws, Amazon, and Etsy websites. Offered at a reasonable price with free two-day Amazon Prime shipping available, it has earned a perfect 5/5 Amazon rating and deserves it. It is simple, it is quality, and it is beautiful.

Tox Leather Shiny MacBook / Document Case Review – $75 to $95

You’ve taken the time to save and make an investment in a computer that will work well for your personal or business use. The Apple MacBook, whether it’s the Air, Pro, or Pro Retina, is a marvelous machine. Now that you have doled out all that money for it, don’t get skimpy on purchasing a case to protect it.

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About Tox Leather

BestLeather.org has reviewed a couple of other pieces for Eser Dasdemir, owner and “chief artisan” of Tox Leather. Tox Leather is boutique shop located in Istanbul, Turkey that is committed to quality, eco-friendly, hand-made leather goods. Be sure to visit the Tox Leather website. Since publishing our review of their Cigar Cases, it appears that Tox has rolled out a great looking, new website and is offering some new items too.

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Construction

The Tox Leather Shiny MacBook Case is well constructed. As with Eser’s other items, I’m not sure of the origin of the leather, suffice it to say that it’s definitely cow leather. The case features a true to the name “shiny” exterior. This certainly has its perks: you can easily wipe it off if you spill something on it and the case will easily accept a clear polish or protectant. It also appears to scratch easily. The case arrived with a couple of sizable, noticeable scratches on the front of it. However, this does not detract from the looks of the case. It just adds to the sought after patina that most leather aficionados desire.

The edges of the case are cut precisely and the hand stitching has been executed perfectly. The use of a slightly darker color, heavy gauge thread adds to the already attractive, professional look of the case.

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Function

The Tox Leather Shiny MacBook Case performs it duties well. It’s especially nice if you’re off to a quick meeting and only need your computer and a notepad. You can quickly load up your laptop and off you go, feeling confident that your precious Apple product is protected and enmeshed in a stylish case. It’s small enough in size that it can easily be tucked into a backpack or larger messenger bag. I say “larger” messenger bag because it’s too big for my Swiss Army Packsaddle Bag. However, I don’t see that as a drawback – my bag protects my laptop on its own. I rather see the Tox Case as a means to protect my laptop when I don’t need to carry other items with me.

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The flap can be secured two ways: you can slip it under the strap or you can slide the flap into the external pocket. Either way, loading and unloading your laptop and papers is a breeze.

Aesthetic

As mentioned earlier, the Tox Leather MacBook Air Case is an attractive, professional looking case. It gets noticed too. Having carried this to a couple of local meetings with clients, I’ve experienced several positive remarks and questions about the case. The color of the leather is great too. If you want, Eser makes the same case in a deep black leather too. Just look on the site and you’ll see it listed separately.

Tox-Leather-MacBook-Air-Case-6

 

Conclusion

The Tox Leather Shiny MacBook / Document Case I have is sized for a 13” MacBook Air. If you’ve shopped around for other cases on the Internet, you’ll know that for $85, this handmade leather case is a bargain. And, it pulls double duty acting as a document case too. So, avoid the factory produced nylon and plastic cases that the masses use and get yourself something that is crafted with care, will protect your expensive laptop, and last for years – go visit the Tox Leather website.

Ghurka Large Pouch No. 65 Review – $150

Ghurka is a NYC based company focused on producing leather goods with a classic American style. The company factory started in Norwalk, CT in 1975 and its founder, Marley Hodgson, was inspired at an estate sale by campaign gear made for Ghurka regimental officers stationed in India during the early 1900s. The company’s ownership and ideals have shifted over the years but the current company is bringing itself back to its roots in terms of construction and design.

GhurkaLargePouch2

CONSTRUCTION

Like all Ghurka products, including the Cavalier II No. 97,  the Large Pouch is made with the original secret vegetable tanning formula of the very first designs. The leather is full grain imported calf from Italy or France (depending on which customer rep you talk with) with the signature Ghurka checkered lining. Although Ghurka is slowly bringing back its production back to the United States with some core designs, other items such as the pouches are still assembled in other countries such as China or the Dominican Republic. They then undergo strict quality control evaluations prior to hitting the shelves. Don’t assume the worst though – the second your hand picks up that thick supple leather, you’ll know you are holding a quality piece.

GhurkaLargePouch1 GhurkaLargePouch3

FUNCTION

The Large Pouch measures 8.75″ x 12″ with a single zipper for easy access and closure. It is the perfect size for an iPad Air or standard documents and is a great alternative to a standard folio or sleeve. The full grain leather and soft lining is substantial and adds a layer of protection to electronics or other fragile items.

GhurkaLargePouch4

AESTHETIC

The Large Pouch has a simple and classic design with the Ghurka logo subtly debossed onto the front. The pouch has a polished and sophisticated look with rounded edges and inverted hemming. In India Orange, it’s sure to turn heads although if that doesn’t suit your style, there are 11 other color and material options available, depending on the collection.

GhurkaLargePouch6
A Ghurka Large Pouch makes everything seem more luxurious – even your office skull and orchid.

BESTLEATHER CONCLUSION

The Ghurka Large Pouch No.65 is… a large leather pouch – with an equally large price tag. Although it serves a basic function, it stands out in quality and classic style. It is a nice investment for those who appreciate luxurious leather even in the simplest of items.

Check it out here.

PACT Small Tablet Sleeve Review – $130

No thread, no glue, no rivets, no zippers, no buckles…NO PROBLEM. That’s right…you won’t find any of those things included in the design and creation of a PACT product. PACT has created quite a buzz among the guys here at BestLeather.org. The first time I stumbled onto their website, my initial reaction was “no way” – then the next day I was sitting in a coffeehouse across the table from Darrin Griechen, one of the founders of PACT and the principle designer of their product collection. After closer inspection of the actual products, my second reaction was, “WAY!”. Innovative, cutting edge, stylish, minimalist, built to last, yet utilizing a classic material (high quality US tanned leather) – those are the things that come to mind when I think of the prototype products Darrin gladly shared with us.

PACT-Medium-Portfolio-1

 

About Pact

Keeping it simple is what it’s all about for PACT. Based in Spokane, WA this new startup is dedicated to crafting leather cases and satchels, made by hand in the USA designed to complement digital devices that we all use everyday. They guarantee their products for life and this is very evident in the attention to detail in construction and the methods used to construct their pieces.

Construction

The construction of the PACT Small Tablet Sleeve deserves appreciation and close inspection. We’re pretty sure you’ve never seen vegetable-tanned leather cut, folded, and fitted together in this fashion. The design of the connection tabs (for a lack of a better word to describe them) seems to gain strength with age. With any leather product, there is some stretch that occurs over time, but the security of these tabs, after inspecting one five year old prototype piece, appears to be rock solid.

PACT-Medium-Portfolio-2

Function

The PACT Small Tablet Sleeve is sized just perfectly for an iPad mini or similarly sized tablet device. Staying true to form, the premise of its function is simple. Protect your tablet in style using quality leather. The easy fold over flap and slip in cross piece are easy to manipulate and completely uncomplicated (no clasps, buttons, latches, buckles). And, it’s only leather – nothing there that can potentially scratch your screen or cause any other type of damage to your device. It has a small footprint, carries easily on its own, or stores in another bag without bulk.

PACT-Medium-Portfolio-3

Aesthetic

One of the things I like to do is put a product out in front of people and see how they react. I always attempt to do this in a not-so-obvious fashion because I really do want to see how observant people are and gauge their honest reaction to standout products. My ‘testing’ method proved itself to be flawless with the sleeve from PACT. It consistently incited questions, comments, and the always good to hear question, “where can I buy one for myself?”. It’s amazing to see how a piece of leather, expertly designed and crafted, can create so much positive dialogue. So, in light of my taking the case to several meetings and outings, the aesthetic value of the PACT Small Tablet Sleeve is impressive…not only in my personal opinion, but in the general public as well (at least those people who have to endure sitting in meetings with me, eat their dinner next to me, sitting in the same pew at church…you get the picture). It garnered consistent questions and positive comments

PACT-Medium-Portfoli-4

Conclusion

Darrin and Ben, the founders of PACT, have invested a great deal of time, energy, skill, and thought into all of the PACT products. They’re in the early stages of a Kickstarter campaign and my guess is that both of them are constantly refreshing their browsers to get the latest updates on pledges. These guys are committed to creating a great company with great products. And, they’re dedicated to building them in the US. In light of the time I’ve spent with the PACT Small Tablet Sleeve my conclusion is that it is a buy it for life product. The leather will just get better looking over time and the ingenuity in design will keep it functioning perfectly for many years to come.

The Leather Shop MacBook Pro Bag – $220

Leather Shop MacBook Case

The Leather Shop is a small company of leather designers and craftsmen in the Georgetown District of Seattle, Washington. This is one of the oldest parts of town and, second only to the Fremont District, it is the hangout of the most creative. The craftsmen at this shop pride themselves on creativity and making long lasting products. All the leather, hardware and labor that go into any product manufactured by The Leather Shop are Made in USA. If you are looking for a slim way to transport your MacBook Pro, you will be pleased with what The Leather Shop has to offer.

Leather Shop MacBook Case Weave

CONSTRUCTION

The MacBook Pro Bag is unique among all brands. The Leather Shop makes the case out of one piece of Horween Chamois leather. The sides are woven together – no stitching; just woven leather. They call this their innovative, stitch-less design. The woven sides add cushion to the contents as well as give the bag its unique look.

The shoulder strap is made of dark brown chromexcel leather and stamped with their website URL (theLeatherShop.com). The stress points are reinforced with brass rivets. It is adjustable for purse length, man bag length and briefcase length. The brass hardware attachments are solid cast brass. If you want to use the bag as a cover and carry it in a briefcase or backpack, the strap is completely detachable.

The cover is held shut with two solid-cast brass snap locks. The cover is held in place by brass grommets fitted between the internal and external sides of the snap locks.

Leather Shop MacBook Case Buckle
The MacBook Pro Bag comes in three sizes:
13″ MacBook Pro is 13.5 x 9.5 inches and weighs approximately one pound.
13″ MacBook Pro Retina display is 13 x 9 inches and weighs less than one pound.
15″ MacBook Pro Retina display is 15 x 10.25 inches and weighs just over one pound.

FUNCTION

The computer slides in and out with ease, yet it is snuggly fit in the bag. I am able to slide in a manila folder that holds a dozen papers and a note pad, also. With the added load, the snap locks are still able to function well and I don’t need to apply any extra effort to make it so. The whole package, bag, and load are slim and trim and I am able to carry the basic essentials.

Leather Shop MacBook CaseThe carrying strap is adjustable to three lengths (as described previously). I have the strap set to briefcase length. This length seems to carry the computer most comfortably – and, I am not into purses – male or female. If you find you need to slide the carrying handle over your head so you can have your hands free, you will find the briefcase length is the best setting.

AESTHETIC

The Chamois leather has a comfortable, casual appearance and wears to a nice patina in time. Mine is already developing a nice tone and is very pleasant to look at. The braiding is the highlight of the MacBook Pro Bag and The Leather Shop says it is reminiscent of Native American style art.

The MacBook Pro Bag reviewed for this story is Tobacco, but it is also available in Maroon, Dark Olive and Tan. I like the look of the contrasting brass against the Tobacco, but they all are good colors.

Here the MacBook Pro Bag is shown with the Rivet Wallet by The Leather Shop and my dog, Miles. Miles enjoys quality leather products and approves of this review.
Leather Shop MacBook Case and Miles

BESTLEATHER CONCLUSION

The product is good, and this reviewer is very pleased with the MacBook Pro Bag by The Leather Shop. I will be using this bag for many years – or at least as long as I have a MacBook that fits this bag. It holds the computer snuggly, yet it is easy to insert or remove – and it holds additional papers and notepads, too. It is rugged and durable, yet it wears well and is stylish. I use it in a professional environment and it blends right in with business. The braids look good and receive a lot of comments. If you are looking for an affordable way to transport your MacBook Pro, the MacBook Pro Bag by The Leather Shop will serve you well.

Colsen Keane No 213 Tech Case – $145.00

Colsen Keane Tech Case

There are four leather smiths at Colsen Keane Custom Leather Goods. They make leather products to order. They take pride in paying attention to detail and taking the time to get it right. On their website, they have written, “Time leaves its mark on us… We believe that your personal time-mark is art.”

When I first saw the No 213 Tech Case by Colsen Keane, I thought it looked pretty handy. It is designed to handle all or most of your computer tech gear. We tested it and found it holds the Mac computer charger and extension cord, the iPhone charger and cord and ear pods, and a splitter to boot. This is good news for Mac users, but I’ve seen some PC chargers that would make this bag choke.

Colsen Keane Tech Case

The case measures roughly 5 1/2 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches high, and it is 3 inches deep. You might want to measure all your stuff and see if it fits. If you have a large charger, you might want to consider keeping it in your backpack, briefcase or satchel–or you might want to consider getting a Mac.

CONSTRUCTION

The leather used to make the 213 Tech Case is 5 to 6 ounces of Chocolate Crazy Horse hide. Besides Crazy Horse, which is a twenty dollar option, the Tech Case is also available in Natural Tan and Deep Black. The grade is Tannery Run (TR). When a tannery first culls the best and the worst from the lot, Tannery Run is what is left. This means the Tech Case is made from good leather–not the best, but it doesn’t need to be.

When you see leather that looks like a three-part lamination, this is because the dye did not go all the way through, which is the situation with the Crazy Horse leather. The process to get the color all the way through is costly, both in time and money, and is reserved for the more expensive leathers. This does not affect the quality, and you will never wear through to the un-dyed grain unless you drag it behind your truck for a couple miles.

Colsen Keane Tech Case

The Tech Case is hand stitched together using a 4 ounce waxed thread. This is heavy; I don’t think it will come apart or wear through unless you use a sharp knife or attack the case with an axe.

There is no hardware on the Colsen Keane Tech Case. The lid is long and tucks behind a strap across the front of the case. It seems appropriate to blend a utilitarian function into a utility case. The case wasn’t designed for or with bling; this simplicity of style is what accounts for its beauty.

FUNCTION

In the past, it was often necessary to pull my backpack apart to get to the cords I needed. This was because the backpack pockets for the tech gear did not expand, but would contour to the backpack and I could not see what I had inside–especially if I was looking for something small. This was time-consuming and irritating but, for all I knew, it was part of life and I accepted it. The Colsen Keane Tech Case has a wide throat. So now, my backpack stays orderly while needed cords and gear are always close at hand.

What also was frustrating with the backpack was the difficulty to get the pockets zipped once I had all the tech gear loaded. So, I was forced to leave them unzipped; sometimes small gear would fall out, such as the plugin module for the iPhone charger. How many times did I have to buy a new one? This is no longer a problem with the Tech Case. Even with the case full of gear, the lid is easy to close and reopen, if I need to grab something quickly.

Colsen Keane Tech Case
The daily use for me is a MacBook Pro computer charger, remote Mouse, a custom PCMCIA card adapter and cord for a small CNC machine, iPhone to Mac cord, and ear pods. The most used tools are now conveniently accessible.

Colsen Keane Tech Case on DeskThe case seems to become more relaxed with each day’s use. As a bonus, it does not fall over, as I expected, but stands upright on the desk, even with the lid open and folded back, as if waiting for me to reach in for another cord.

BEST LEATHER CONCLUSION

You have probably heard the popular phrase, “Time is Money.” Well, the new meme is “Time is Art.” The Colsen Keane No 213 Tech Case is well constructed with simplicity in the design. It is useful for organizing tech gear, but it looks and feels more elegant than a mere utility bag. The product is good and this writer has found the bag useful and attractive. The Crazy Horse is a good looking upgrade and well worth the extra twenty bucks. You can say the Tech Case is a work of art.
Colsen Keane Tech Case

Gfeller Casemakers IPhone 5 Holster Review – $55

Gfeller Casemakers is a custom maker of high quality leather goods.  They began crafting leather tool bags and holsters in the 1940s, as a response to a burgeoning need for the geoscience community.  In more recent years, they have broadened their product line to notebook covers, general use bags, phone cases, and they also do custom leather work for various high-end companies.  For more information on Gfeller Casemakers as a company, you can read our visit to their shop article here.  We had an opportunity recently to use and test their IPhone 5 holster, which they custom made for this review.

Gfeller Casemaker's Iphone 5 Holster2

FUNCTION

Most leather IPhone cases on the market these days are classic soft shell sleeves, where you slide your phone in, stash it in your pocket, and then pull it out when you need it.  The Gfeller Casemakers IPhone holster is unique in that it is a hardshell holster, one that you can clip onto your belt for easy access.  I like this because it allows you to keep your beautiful IPhone naked, when you are using it, but well protected and easily accessible, when you are not.  The phone slides easily in and out of the holster, a testament to a precision crafted, handmade item.  The clip is very sturdy, and I never felt like the holster would come off my belt accidentally.

Gfeller Casemakers Iphone 5 Holster1

One consideration in deciding to purchase a case like this is whether you like having your phone unprotected while in use.  My previous case was on my phone 24/7, giving my IPhone continuous protection.  You will not get that from the Gfeller IPhone holster, so that is one thing to be aware of when considering a case of this type.  If you need your phone to be constantly protected, then another case would be necessary.  The flip side of that coin is that you get to use the phone in the form it was originally intended.

The hard shell aspect of the holster is reminiscent of a formed knife sheath, or formed gun holster, where your knife or gun fits perfectly into their respective sheath.  This type of case is perfect for individuals in a number of trades (construction workers, carpenters, plumbers, masons, etc.), where both solid protection and quick access is important. Another indication of a well thought out product is a thin piece of leather on the inside of the holster, which protects your phone from the metal of the belt clip.  Your phone will appreciate this too, so as to avoid scratching and marring.  Though the phone does slide easily in and out, the fit is fairly snug, so at times I had to make sure I had a firm grip on the phone as I was putting it back in the case, so as to avoid accidentally dropping it.  As is the case with most quality leather, the leather will stretch a bit over time, making the fit a little easier.

Gfeller Casemaker's Iphone 5 Holster5

The holster we used for this review has a vertical orientation, you slide the phone in bottom side down.  Gfeller’s typical IPhone cases are horizontal, you lay them in long side down.  The advantage to a horizontal orientation is that the holster runs parallel with your belt and therefore does not protrude into your side when sitting down.  Personally, I like the vertical case as it is more natural to pull it out and use it in the same direction as it comes out.  Of course, this is a completely personal preference; either orientation will serve the purpose well.  The good thing is that you could get yours either way.

LEATHER

Gfeller uses leather from the Hermann Oak Leather Company for their IPhone 5 Holster, as well as for the majority of their products.  This holster is made from eight to nine ounce, vegetable tanned leather.  In particular, the type of leather is natural russet skirting.  This is a super durable type of leather, that when wet allows you to form the leather to various shapes (hence the formed, hardshell case).  When dried, the result is a hardened case.

Gfeller Casemaker's Iphone 5 Holster7

The holster that we reviewed is a natural, light brown color.  Gfeller does offer customers the option of choosing a black holster for an additional $5.  The natural color is great because it develops a beautiful patina over time and use, giving the leather additional character.

STITCHING

The white stitching against the light colored leather is a beautiful combination.  Gfeller uses five cord (the higher the number, the thicker the thread) natural linen for the stitching on their IPhone holsters.  They lubricate the linen thread with Sellari’s Natural Stitching Wax, for ease of stitching.  This stitching also acts as an adhesive when dry, which further bonds the pieces of leather together.

Gfeller Casemakers Iphone 5 Holster4

BESTLEATHER CONCLUSION

Admittedly at BestLeather, we prefer goods to be made out of leather when possible and feasible.  When considering an IPhone case, many of us prefer a sturdy, hand made, beautiful holster like the one from Gfeller Casemakers than one made out of plastic (machine made) that will eventually break.  At $55, the cost of this case is comparable to what you get for such hardshell, plastic cases, but it is infinitely more beautiful and special.  It will stand the test of time and will probably outlast the phone itself, after which you could use it to hold business cards or some small tool.

If you are in the market for a beautiful sheath for your IPhone 5,  then Gfeller Casemaker’s IPhone 5 holster is an excellent choice.

Gfeller Casemakers Iphone 5 Holster3

Exquisite Bison Leather iPhone Sleeve Review – $75

In the scorching heat of Arizona, companies bring a different sense of style and design to leatherwork compared to styles found in the colder climes of the north. The necessity for cool is extremely prevalent, and therefore, designs found in Arizona are much lighter, designed to give off a sense of cool and lightness and above all, a sense of style that feels at home in the desert. And nobody does this better than Bison.

Bison

Based in Phoenix, Bison is a company with cool and style in mind. They design and build all of their products as works of art as well as works of modern engineering and use only American sourced materials. All of their products are built by hand with no glue or rubber — what you see is what you get. And I really like that.

construction

The iPhone 5 Wallet uses American-sourced leather and polyester thread. Really, that’s all there is to it. Two ingredients combined to make a perfectly simple piece of leatherwork.

Bisonmade iPhone 5 Sleeve Review2

The leather, as I mentioned, is American-sourced. It is relatively thin leather, maybe 2-3oz, and extremely soft to the touch, which I rather prefer in an iPhone sleeve. Thick leather is hard to get in and out of your pocket and it makes it hard to insert and remove the phone. It is a single piece of chrome tanned leather, which is really well burnished and finished to an exquisitely soft touch.

The stitching is done by hand with polyester thread. The polyester has the same qualities and function as nylon, but will not deteriorate with exposure UV rays. This comes in handy under the bright sun that can weaken thread with long term exposure.

The construction of this piece really is fantastic. I love how simple it is and how well it is done. The stitching feels strong and solid and the leather is soft to the touch.

aesthetic

This iPhone sleeve exudes simplicity. Made from a single piece of leather stitched to itself in two places, you really can’t get much more simple than that. And yet, Bison added a few aesthetic features that add so much to the personality of this product.

The sleeve (whiskey) is dyed to perfection. It comes out of the box in a beautiful whiskey amber color and then darkens with each day of use, getting more and more beautiful each day. This is complemented with light brown thread, which adds to the overall appeal as well.

Bisonmade iPhone 5 Sleeve Review1

The stitching is a huge aesthetic component to this sleeve. It is so delightfully simple. It is stitched in just two places, along the bottom and along the side. Nothing extra. There really is nothing else to this sleeve, which makes it so much better in my opinion. Nothing to distract you from it’s sole function, nothing to snag in your pocket as you carry it around, it’s just perfectly simple.

The branding on the back of the sleeve is absolutely fantastic. It is of a rearing bison preparing to charge. The simplicity and beauty of this logo really add a lot to this piece.

Bisonmade iPhone 5 Sleeve Review5

function

The iPhone 5 Wallet was actually designed with two functions — an iPhone sleeve combined with a minimal wallet. I personally have only used the iPhone sleeve function, but I love the idea that you can combine the two and simplify your life even more.

Basically, it’s what it sounds like. The iPhone (caseless) goes into the sleeve to protect it from your pocket. In that light, it really does it’s job well. The leather is thin enough to accommodate the iPhone without much added bulk and it’s slick enough to slide easily in and out of your pocket. The iPhone is easily slid into the sleeve and is securely held there until you remove it. The leather really adds a surprising amount of protection from encounters with gravity. More so than I would have expected, I’ll be honest. I dropped it out of my car the other day and all it did was add some character to the leather. Fantastic.

Bisonmade iPhone 5 Sleeve Review3

The attached wallet is a great idea. All it is is just a simple pocket found on the front of the sleeve, big enough for a few folded bills and a card or two. The simplicity that can be found in that is fantastic. Say you’re going for a run or something and you want to take some money to stop at the coffee shop on the way back, just stash a 5 in the pocket and you’re good to go. Or, if you’re like me and you spend all your money on espresso, stash a 5 in the front pocket for that one time that you run out of cash in your wallet and you really need that caffeine fix. Call it a rainy day fund of sorts.

BestLeather conclusion

Prior to this, I had an OtterBox, a Lifeproof, and one of the new Apple iPhone 5 cases. There is a trend here: thick, big, clunky. Not simple. Granted, I was moving in the right direction with the Apple case, but that really isn’t a quality case and wouldn’t do much if I dropped the phone.

Sleeves provide a great amount of protection and simplicity. Plus, you get to enjoy the feel of a naked iPhone. So, if you are in the market for a sleeve and you have an appreciation for style and simplicity, Bison makes a great option for you.

At $75, you’re really getting a lot for your money. Not only do you receive a quality product that feels and looks great, you receive a product that was fully American-sourced and built by hand.

Bisonmade iPhone 5 Sleeve Review4

Saddleback Leather MacBook Sleeve Review – $93

The Saddleback Leather MacBook Pro Retina Sleeve is a simple product meant to house and protect the Macbook Pro. I already had an inexpensive, foam type sleeve for my 15″ Macbook Pro.  I decided that my beautiful Macbook needed to be sheathed in something more worthy, something a little more elegant, so when I found the Macbook Sleeve from Saddleback Leather, I did not think twice and bought it.

Saddleback Leather Macbook Sleeve Review - $931

Function

The sleeve is obviously pretty simple in it’s function – to house and protect your Mac.  The function goes a lot deeper than that though.  A sleeve or bag is pretty worthless if it does not protect your computer in the case of a drop, or bump, or coffee spill. The Macbook Sleeve from Saddleback does all of these things well.

Saddleback Leather Macbook Sleeve Review - $932

As is Saddleback’s forte, they use thick four to five ounce leather, and then slap a layer of pigskin on top of that.  For the Macbook Sleeve, they used three pieces of leather – a strip about one and a quarter inches thick that runs from one side down the bottom to the other side.  That strip is connected to each side by a large piece of leather.  This combination of thick leather and method of construction means that you have very thick edges, which serve very well to protect the computer, in the case of a drop, though I have not purposely tested this yet.  Maybe when my macbook is on its last legs I can do some serious drop tests.

Saddleback Leather Macbook Sleeve Review - $934

The other thing I noticed is that the leather seems to have a bit more padding than what normal leather would provide.  You can read on Saddleback’s site that they actually sandwich high density neoprene between leather on some of their products for extra padding, like in their desk pad.  This neoprene helps to act as a shock absorber, in the case of a fall.  This certainly gives the sleeve a lot more function than without it, and doesn’t detract from the aesthetic of the Sleeve.

Form

Another thing that I liked about the Sleeve is the attention to small details.  The top of the sleeve, where you slide the computer into, leaves about one quarter of an inch between the leather and the computer, which further serves to protect the computer on the top side.  I appreciate this attention to detail, which lesser quality products don’t have.

Saddleback Leather Macbook Sleeve Review - $938

Also, the computer slips snugly into the sleeve without a lot of effort, but also keeps the computer in the sleeve without easily slipping out.  Anyone that has made quality leather goods themselves, knows that this is not easy to make a product so precise, that an eighth of an inch off either way could mean a product being too tight or too loose.  It has to be just right every time.  To further improve the Sleeve’s aesthetics, it is double stitched with tough polyester thread all the way around the Sleeve.  Though the Sleeve would probably be sufficiently tough without the second layer of stitching, the second layer adds to it’s beauty.

Price

At $83, the Sleeve is not a cheap case, of course, but for what you get, it has high value.  You can find other leather sleeves for less, and a number for a lot more.  The price point is actually quite attractive considering you are getting a sleeve that is made out of the best possible leather, looks as beautiful as the computer itself, and will last the life of the computer, and many more after that.

Saddleback Leather Macbook Sleeve Review - $937

Critique

I don’t have any major criticisms to levy at the Macbook Sleeve, but if there was a suggestion box on Saddleback’s site, I would recommend a strap to ensure that your Mac never comes out of its sleeve, in case of heavy jolting, or if the leather stretches a bit over time.  I understand that there would be a tradeoff to the svelte appearance of the Sleeve if that were the case, but that’s a tradeoff I would take.

Saddleback Leather Macbook Sleeve Review - $933

BestLeather conclusion

The Macbook Sleeve looks gorgeous and makes a serious fashion statement, while keeping a very attractive price point.  If you’ve got a Macbook Pro, and you want a beautiful piece of housing, you won’t be disappointed with the Macbook Sleeve from Saddleback.

Saddleback Leather MacBook Pro Retina Sleeve