No announcement yet.

Saddleback Question

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Saddleback Question

    So, I ended up returning a briefcase I recently bought because the stitching started to fall apart. After considering the alternatives, I decided to use my refund along with the graduation checks that miraculously continue to trickle in to get a Saddleback briefcase. It's a very similar aesthetic to the one I just returned, but looks to be built to last (which I'm sensitive to at the moment, given that my last briefcase fell apart on me while overseas at a professional conference). The thin briefcase looked great but too... well, thin -- I need to lug around a laptop as well as lots of papers and books, so I think I'm going for a "classic" one, probably the large size in either chestnut or coffee. I realize that I might need to start lifting now in order to walk down the hallway with it loaded...

    There seems to be some wide variation in color, at least judging from the pictures I can find online, but it looks to me like the chestnut color is reddish, and that the coffee is pretty dark brown. I'm a professor, so the rougher look is ok (no need to impress the CEO). However, I do wear coat and tie or sometimes suits to work, and so I would like to get the one that has a better chance of "dressing up" a bit. I've heard that darker colors of briefcases are more formal, but for some reason the lighter chestnut just looks more refined than the darker coffee. Chestnut or coffee: which would look better with something like a khaki/navy suit, or with a tweed jacket and wool slacks?

    Here's a link to the briefcase:

    Here's a random flickr image of the chestnut:

    And a random image of the coffee:


    This page has lots of info on the different saddleback leathers.

    Short answer is that the coffee is matte, while the chestnut is gloss, hence the coffee looking more rugged and the chestnut more refined. I personally think the tobacco looks awesome and would only get more cool/interesting with time.



      Thanks, that's helpful -- interesting that the matte/gloss distinction affects formality more than the depth of color.

      Also, anybody have experience ebaying these things? Advice or concerns? Looks like they can go as low as $350, but no lower without some problem. Lots going for about $450, which is very near full price.



        Honestly, I say just go with whatever your favorite color is. If you are worried about formality, you could actually condition and treat the leather over time so it doesn't get all scuffed up. I personally like the patina that things like that get without much care, but if you don't want to look too rugged, just treat it more frequently.

        "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



          That's a good point -- I'm not stuck with it exactly as it comes. I think I'm leaning towards the chestnut, in part because the aging of a lighter color might look better as it ages. I like the tobacco, but it is a bit too light for my taste.



            I, personally, prefer the chestnut color. Have had mine for about 2 years. It's come with me on everything from weekend road trips to overseas excursions.

            When I first got it

            late last year

            and here's one on my way to Mexico earlier in the summer

            I've started to use leather honey on the bag which not only conditions the leather but also removes some of the scratches.

            Get compliments on this bag no matter where I bring it.



              Wow -- great pics. Thanks for posting. Chestnut it is, then...



                And thanks for the rec on leather honey, too. I think I'll take your advice (and Greg's as well) to condition it more often than I would otherwise.



                  Quick update -- just got it in the mail, and here's my first impression: it's as good as the folks who sound like shills say it is. Incredibly thick and solid, looks and feels great. Granted, I'm a big guy at 6'3" and 225 lbs, but I walked around a bit with it loaded down and it isn't too heavy. I got the large briefcase, which I would recommend for anyone around my size. My case is pretty dark for the chestnut, which I like, and the glossy finish is attractive and fairly refined (for a rugged piece). Lots of room.



                    Looks like you got exactly what you needed and wanted- a keeper that will accompany you through many travels! Glad to hear you like it, BB!



                      Thanks, yeah. I am very happy with it, though I do think my ideal briefcase would be something a bit more refined (the Mitchell and SAB stuff looks awesome). But I couldn't justify -- or even afford -- the huge leap in the price tag, and I am just happy to have something that I will never worry about falling apart on the road. It's a tank, no doubt about that. Also: people do notice it. I've already got two compliments on it, and I've only been wearing it for one hour. I've never had anyone compliment something like my bag, so that's a bit weird.



                        This thread makes me have major bag envy. I'm still using my laptop bag from grad school (3 yrs out), which is your ballistic nylon material. Nice bag and it's been through a lot, but might be time to upgrade come next bonus season.

                        @mdwsta -- 2 years in, that bag is beautiful.



                          I'm starting to understand the crazily positive reviews about this briefcase, but I think it has little to do with the workmanship, or durability, or even the aesthetics of the thing. It's because of the attention it gets. People notice it more than anything else I've ever owned. I've been stopped by strangers about ten times today who gave compliments, including just now by the owner of an antique store who said that it looked like the kind of thing that will someday make a great antique. I've never before in my life been stopped by a stranger to be complimented on anything I own. So, here's my idea: people write insanely positive reviews because they feel good from all the attention it gets them. You know, people feel like it has made them popular, or something. But a word to the wise: this isn't always a good thing -- if you don't like to stick out, or live or work in a place where people would always give you a hard time about owning something flashy, then the Saddleback might not be for you. There's no hiding this thing. And not all responses are positive: in one five-minute stop in a coffee shop, I overheard somebody whisper, "that's so gaudy," and another guy asked me where the Pony Express stop was (he actually liked it a lot, but was just messing around). So, if you don't like attention drawn to you, this is something to skip.



                            I question the judgment of the "that's so gaudy" commenter, as they're pretty tame briefcases... maybe if they prefer ballistic/nylon bags? Otherwise, it isn't like it has LV's all over the entire thing.



                              Nice BB! Glad you're liking it. Like you, it was the first thing I owned that people complimented me on all the time. Took a while to get used to. Now I hear similar compliments with my walnut AE strands.

                              Not the best full sized pic and there are still plenty of scuffs/scratches which add character to the bag, but here's a recent shot after using the leather honey.

                              It's fun to document how the bag transforms as it ages. Enjoy!!