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Saddleback Leather Company Pouch Review

saddlebackleather-pouch-1My reviews of Saddleback Leather Company bags have proved to be very popular on The Gadgeteer.com. Many of our readers who have gone on to purchase their products have written back to let us know that they have been more than happy with them. Today I wanted to do a quick review of one of their small standalone bag / add-on accessories for some of their other bags. It’s the Pouch.

The Pouch is currently available in four colors that include Carbon Black, Chestnut, Dark Coffee Brown and Dark Tobacco Brown. I was sent the Dark Tobacco Brown version.

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The Pouch is 6.75 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall. It’s made of hypoallergenic 4-5 oz. (2-2.2 mm) thick chrome tanned leather with polyester marine grade industrial thread and metal rivets that are used at various stress points.

This bag doesn’t have magnets, zippers, velcro or plastic clips to hold the flap closed. Instead, it uses a really cool leather loop and toggle design that can be opened and closed easily with just one hand.

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The removable leather shoulder strap is adjustable from 39 – 56 inches. It’s pretty thick and for me is not the most comfortable. I’d rather have something a bit softer and thinner and may try to find some leather strips to braid into an alternative shoulder strap. That said, this strap is very rugged and is probably strong enough to tow a truck ;)

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The strap is attached to the back of the pouch by two spring loaded metal clips. These clips allow you to use this pouch with other Saddleback Leather bags, which I’ll tell you about in a minute.

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There’s a flat open topped pocket on the back of the pouch that can hold thin items such as your passport, flight boarding passes, a small notebook, etc.

You may notice the scuffs and scratches on this pouch and consider them a defect in workmanship. Let me assure you that this is not the case. Those marks are natural occurrences in the skin and should be considered character marks, not defects. I’ve been told that some of their customers even request bags with certain types of these markings.

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Opening the flap reveals the main (and only) compartment in this pouch, which is lined in pigskin. I was not aware that pigskin is the second strongest hide in the world, second to kangaroo. This material has a very slight sheen to it and is smooth. I like the fact the pouch is lined instead of just having the raw leather, which sometimes ‘sheds’.

The interior pocket is a little over 8 inches deep and 5 inches wide. The pouch is pretty stiff, so it doesn’t feel like it can hold all that much at first. After some use, it will stretch out to accommodate more items. But be aware that it’s not designed to hold a lot of gear. Think of it as more of a minimalist gear bag and you’ll be fine.

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The Pouch works great as an around the town shopping bag or out to lunch bag. I have used it to hold my Waterfield wallet and a small point and shoot Canon digital camera.

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As mentioned earlier, the shoulder strap can be unclipped so that the pouch can be attached to other Saddleback Leather bags such as the Leather Briefcase, Leather Laptop Sleeve or Messenger Bag as shown above. It’s a nice add on that can be used to hold items that might not fit in the main bag.

My only criticism of the pouch is the price. I know that some people wouldn’t even blink an eye at that price, but for me, it would be hard to pay $127 for such a small bag.

I’m a real fan of Saddleback’s quality. Their workmanship is beyond compare and they stand behind their products with a 100 year guarantee. If you want a leather bag that will last ‘forever’ and prefer a more rugged style over froo-froo designs, you’ll love these bags. Trust me.

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:$127.00
Manufacturer:Saddleback Leather Company
Pros:
  • Rugged
  • Simple flap closure system
  • 100yr warranty
  • Can be clipped to other bags
Cons:
  • Small, doesn't hold many items
  • Expensive

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Carl November 8, 2009, 6:23 pm

    Is this a purse or what?

  • Cyberg00se November 9, 2009, 6:56 pm

    If a small bag somehow threatens your sexual identity, then yes, it’s a purse.

    For the rest of the world, it’s decidedly unisex. Utility EDC stuff really shouldn’t have a gender to it anyway. :p

    I have a version of this bag with suede interior, and it ruins everything you put in the bag by bleeding all over it. I so wanted to love this bag, but my other bags don’t bleed all over everything.

    I do have a small Saddleback wallet with the pigskin lining, so if they put that in the pouch, yeah, that solves a lot of problems.

    I feel it could be a just a tad bigger and bit easier to stretch out, but maybe that’s been addressed now too. Just enough that my sunglasses, and iphone could fit inside without getting squished or bled-onto, and there would still be enough room in the back pocket for the Saddleback slim wallet so that it didn’t take 5 years to wrestle in and out of the pocket.

    I think maybe it just needs a millimeter more depth, but that’s great to hear about the pigskin lining.

  • KW November 9, 2009, 9:03 pm

    Flap on the top opening. Toggle-pull closure. Strap attached near the top in two places. It’s a sporran. A poorly designed sporran.

  • KB March 28, 2010, 3:48 pm

    LOL, if you feel better calling it a sporran, go right ahead.

    A top flap, and a strap attached near the top in 2 places, ok, that describes most bags, not including backpacks or cinch type sack bags.

    The toggle-pull closure was taken from a bag in South America if I remember correctly. I don’t see too many sporran with that type of closure. I see alot with a snap or a top that opens like a cigarette case.

    Meh, to each their own I guess. Great bag, good design. I love mine. It attaches to my briefcase and looks good there too.

    Have a great day!

  • BO April 20, 2012, 2:40 pm

    First and foremost, thank you for the helpful review, Julie!

    I purchased the Saddleback Leather Pouch based on this review, along with their ID wallet. This is my first Saddleback purchase.

    I like the pouch, but I would have liked it more if they had built it with a 0.5″ or 0.75″ strip of leather along either side, making the pouch a just little thicker. I am using it to carry the ID wallet, my iPhone in a protective case, a pen, and my keys. It holds all of this stuff, but these items end up getting stacked on top of each other inside the pouch, making it necessary to remove what’s on top to get at what’s on the bottom. If the pouch were a little thicker, this would not be an issue.

    I’m not a big leather person, but the leather smells wonderful, and I can’t help but want to smell it. Actually, the area where the pouch is placed ends up smelling of the leather – at least right now.

    The strap sheds – a bit annoying when I’m wearing a dark shirt – my pouch is tobacco in color. Hopefully, this is only temporary. My ID wallet is coffee in color. The tobacco color is beautiful, I wish I had ordered the pouch in coffee – I like the coffee more.

    Thank you again!

  • Julie April 20, 2012, 4:22 pm

    @BO I like your idea of having a strip of leather on the sides to make the pouch interior more comfortable. I’m going to pass this on to the folks at Saddleback.

  • BO April 20, 2012, 4:23 pm

    @Julie

    Thanks! :)

  • Julie April 20, 2012, 4:26 pm

    I just sent your comment to them… I’ll let you know if they have a response.

  • BO April 21, 2012, 9:21 pm

    @Julie

    Thanks again!

    I’ve shifted my approach a little in how I use this pouch – now the back pocket of the pouch holds my iPhone, a thin pad and a pen.

    The main compartment holds the ID wallet at the bottom, my earphones in a soft pouch above that, and my keys above the earphone pouch.

    When I was paying for lunch today, I had to take out my keys, and then my earphone pouch in order to take out my wallet.

    I like that the main compartment is lined! I would like to see them line the back pocket. Once today, when I took my iPhone out of the back pocket of the pouch, I could see the shedding from the leather.

  • BO April 24, 2012, 1:29 pm

    I just spoke with the folks at Saddleback Leather’s customer service department and shared my feedback about the back pocket not being lined and about the possibility of introducing a slightly larger pouch. She took notes and said she was going to pass them on to Dave! I’m excited to see what he comes up with!

    She also mentioned that the back pocket may not be lined because it may make it more stiff. If not pigskin, perhaps some other material may be appropriate for lining the back pocket?

  • Julie April 24, 2012, 1:32 pm

    @BO Great. They are always offering new products.

  • BO April 27, 2012, 11:29 am

    Hi!

    Just a quick follow up – I’ve been using the pouch, and the leather from the strap and back pocket shedding is no longer an issue. It was indeed just something that happens at the beginning, and totally not a big deal.

    I’m tempted to get either the large satchel or the messenger, and I can’t decide which, to carry my 13″ Macbook Air and other gear.

    Julie, I know you’ve reviewed the Saddleback Messenger Bag. Have you had a chance to handle their large satchel?

    Thanks!

  • Mike November 25, 2012, 1:16 pm

    When I bought mine, and realized how tight the inside pocket was, the first thing I did was to stretch it out. I took neatsfoot oil and rubbed the entire case down inside and out. I then stuffed the inside and back pocket with as much paper towel as would fit and set it aside. After a couple days I was able to fit more paper in there as it began to stretch, rubbed it down with more neatsfoot oil and waited again. I repeated this process several more times I was confident that it would not take anymore paper. This simulates extended use of the pouch which would naturally stretch on its own, I just sped the process up. This also requires some patience as it took about 6 weeks. I was very pleased with the results as the pouch is much more useable now. By the way, don’t worry about popping stitches or rivets, it simply won’t happen with these products.

  • Julie November 25, 2012, 3:54 pm

    @Mike great tip! One question though… does the use of neatsfoot oil change the appearance of the leather at all? Which color did you buy?

  • Mike November 25, 2012, 4:22 pm

    I always buy the dark coffee brown products, so the darkening is not of any concern for me. Pure neatsfoot oil will darken leather so I personally would not use it on the tobacco brown products. Neatsfoot is all I use for my leather, not only is it cheap but I have found nothing conditions leather like it does. If you have any old leather try putting some on, it is amazing how fast the leather just sucks it in.

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