Saddleback Leather Company Laptop Sleeve Review

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I have been a fan of leather bags from the Saddleback Leather Company since my first review of their Briefcase bag and then their Explorer’s Satchel. The style of their bags is what I would call American adventure. They look like something that you might see a person carrying 100 years ago. Definitely a style that can be considered both trendy and classic at the same time. Today I want to show you their latest offering – a Laptop Sleeve.

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Available in two sizes and five colors, I was sent the Medium sized Laptop Sleeve in Dark Coffee Brown.

Medium – 15″ x 11″ x 2″
Large – 16 ¼” x 12″ x 2″

The Medium size is a perfect fit for my 15 inch Apple Macbook Pro. To call this just a sleeve would be a crime. It’s a full blown shoulder bag, but one with very limited storage.

The bag is made of thick 100% waterproof full grain boot leather, that has been sewn together with heavy polyester marine grade stitching.

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I love the flap closure design. It’s a loop and toggle style, with the toggle attached by brass rivets.

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The toggle is a rolled ‘bar’ of leather that can be cinched down with a soft leather loop. There is no Velcro, snaps, or buckles to fool with or break. It’s simple and cool. I love it.

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Flip the sleeve around and you’ll see the only storage area in addition to the main interior compartment. It’s a 9 ½” tall x 16 ¼” wide slot that can hold papers and file folders. In the image above, you can see how a standard sized magazine fits in this pocket.

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Although the laptop sleeve is a narrow bag, it can stand up on its base without toppling over. I’m not sure I’d trust it to remain standing up at all times though.

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Check out the chunky hardware used to attach the removable shoulder strap.

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The shoulder strap length can be adjusted from 39″ to 59″ inches and has a sliding shoulder pad. I did find the edges of the shoulder to pad to be too ‘sharp’ for me and not very comfortable against my collar bone. That said, I don’t have much padding in that area, so other people might not have this same issue with it.

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The handle for the sleeve is wide and comfortable. No complaints here.

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The interior of the sleeve has a double layer of Neoprene padding on all sides that is covered with durable Pigskin. It should provide more than adequate protection from everyday abuse.

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Like I mentioned earlier, the medium sized sleeve is a perfect fit for my 15 inch Macbook Pro. However, once inserted into the main compartment, there’s not room for anything else. This means that there’s no room for the AC power adapter and cord. To get around that problem, you can attach one of the Saddleback Leather Company Pouches to this sleeve. Of course, that will add more bulk and weight to what you’re already carrying. The empty sleeve with the shoulder strap weighs in at 3 lbs 11 ounces. Add a Macbook Pro and the entire ensemble goes up to 9 lbs 5 ounces.

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To give you an idea of the size of the bag, here I am carrying it. I am 5 ft 5.5 inches tall and weigh 125 pounds. I find the laptop sleeve to be a little too heavy for me to use with the Macbook Pro, since it doesn’t have room for the power adapter. But, it’s not bad at all when used with the HP Mini 1000 netbook. There is plenty of room for the power brick and a mouse in the bag and the total weight is 6lbs 11 ounces.

Everything about Saddleback Leather Company products screams quality and longevity. As a matter of fact, their bags carry a 100 year warranty. How’s that for confidence? Their products may be pricey, but you certainly do get what you pay for. :)

Note: The links to Saddleback Leather Company on this page are affiliate links. If you use one of these links to make a purchase, we will earn a small percentage of the sale, so we appreciate it if you click through.

 

Product Information

Price:$245.00 (Medium), $265.00 (Large)
Manufacturer:Saddleback Leather Company
Pros:
  • Gorgeous
  • Rugged
  • 100yr warranty
Cons:
  • No room for power brick when used with full-sized laptop
  • Pricey
Posted in: Gear, Laptops and Gear

{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Gregg McWilliams April 9, 2009, 10:22 am

    Saddleback leather has the best stuff! I saw an earlier review here and that lead me to buy one of their gorgeous overnight bags and just recently one of their new wallets. Awesome stuff, like they say on the site, your kids will fight over it when your gone…

  • Mark Adkins April 9, 2009, 7:38 pm

    Tw… Tw…. Two HUNDRED bucks for a laptop case? And I balked at the $30 I spent for my DVD case for the Mini! :-)

  • jake April 10, 2009, 6:35 am

    you think that’s a lot i once spent £500 on a laptop bag £500 that’s right pounds. it was from tumi

  • Brianna April 10, 2009, 7:28 am

    Wow! I love that look, but wish one came smaller for my Macbook air.

  • Hon Wei Seong April 15, 2009, 8:58 am

    Great review Julie! Join the Saddleback Leather Group on Facebook for more information. :)

  • Andrew Davey June 16, 2009, 9:42 am

    I bought the Saddleback Messanger bag specifically for my laptop, shortly before the laptop sleeve was introduced. I wavered for a time between the messanger bag and one of their briefcases, but I wanted something with a slimmer profile and not be tempted to overload myself. I have been delighted with the quality of workmanship in this bag and personally think it is a better design (albeit without the extra padding) than the laptop sleeve. I also purchased the pouch (later) to put my power supply in. I like the design of their satchels and I understand they are bringing out a slightly larger satchel, which will probably be my next purchase. One day … yes I will buy a briefcase (or two in different sizes) and, if I win the lottery, a set of suitcases as well as their duffle bag. Yup, I’m sold on one of the best bag makers I have ever found.

  • Katrina Michelle June 19, 2009, 1:36 am

    Hi Julie,

    You do such great reviews! I loved the Saddleback ones especially. I thinking of buying, I mean, investing (considering the cost!) in one… but am really interested in the Messenger Bag. Any chance of reviewing the Saddleback messenger bag soon??

    I love that you include pictures of you wearing it. I’m really worried that it will look too bulky on me (I’m a 5’4 petite woman) as all the photos I’ve seen are of men wearing them. I’m also worried about whether it will fit my 15inch macbook pro + other bits and bobs. I’m sure your review would definitely answer all these questions =)

    Thanks again!
    Katrina

  • Julie June 19, 2009, 9:16 am

    @Katrina Let me ask them if they would like me to review one. Stay tuned! :)

  • Katrina Michelle June 23, 2009, 3:31 am

    Thanks Julie! I’ll keep my fingers crossed =)

  • Trevor July 31, 2009, 6:23 pm

    Hi Julie- Thank you for your very indepth reviews of the Saddleback products. Wednesday was payday and I am going to be placing my order with Saddleback this weekend.

    Your crisp clear pictures and vivid descriptions help to have a closer look prior to placing the order, which of course just fuels my excitement at getting one of my own.

  • Julie July 31, 2009, 8:49 pm

    @Trevor Which one are you getting?

  • Trevor Killoran August 4, 2009, 6:21 pm

    Hi Julie:

    The Large (16″) briefcase in Dark Coffee Brown is the one that called my name. I am really looking forward to seeing it in person.

  • June Reich September 28, 2009, 11:16 am

    Leather like this is a sensual relationship that gets better with time. Once it’s broken in, it becomes smooth and pliant, and – ooh that sweet leather smell. This bag is not just for anyone who wants a functional computer bag. It’s for the individual who not only appreciates the very best but believes he/she deserves to have the very best. I might just use it even as a purse.

  • June Reich September 28, 2009, 11:18 am

    And I forgot to add, my username is @gadgetgirl2009
    and you can read my reviews on the Philadelphia Examiner

    http://www.examiner.com/RSS-21668-Philadelphia-Gadgets-Examiner.rss

  • Carl T. December 10, 2009, 12:02 pm

    I have several of their products including the briefcase and messenger bag. The laptop bag is the worst badly designed product of theirs…i do regret buying it.

    It is heavy, has no place for cables and powersupply and very stiff….the color comes off on a white shirt even though they claim otherwise. I walked around with it all over DC to attend a conference held at different buildings and it felt too heavy….I gave up and left it in the room and only carried the laptop in a neoprene sleeve.

    The flap closure design is bad….it adjusts only in one direction and loosens often. It works better in their pouch where it is smooth and locks well. The strap is thin, (thinnner than in their briefcase) and hurts after a while.

    I would reccomed buying the messenger bag and using a neoprene sleeve instead of this montrosity. Dont believe all the hype on their page…..its only 60% true.

  • critique May 20, 2010, 3:35 pm

    Wow Carl, you must be a pansy. Julie can carry it, but it was too heavy for you?
    I fear that you might have purchased a knock-off of some sort. After reading your white shirt comment, I sprayed some water on my Dk Coffee brown and tok an old white dress shirt of mine and physically rubbed it to death along all sides of my bag at all angles. Nothing.
    Only thing I can think of is that maybe you had recently oiled it?

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