As unmanly as it sounds, the first thoughts that ran through my mind when I first saw and touched the Saddleback Classic MacBook Air Sleeve was……’Ooooo, pretty’. To make it worse, I even took a (nice long) whiff of the leather as I was unpacking it….smelled wonderful. Saddleback Leather Company‘s rich leather, craftsmanship, and incredible attention to detail have never failed to impress me. So, when I upgraded from my 2010 13″ MacBook Air to the latest, more petite 11″ version I, of course, needed new tech-accessories to properly protect my new laptop 😉 and this sleeve is a great (stylish) place to start.
The Saddleback Classic MacBook Air sleeve is created from a single piece of thick, rich full grain leather. A majority of Saddleback Leather creations are constructed of 4-5 ounce full grain leather, which comes from the top layer of the cow hide (the toughest part). In the case of the MBAir sleeve, the leather is folded over and double stitched along three of its four sides.
The front of the sleeve is stylishly embossed with the Saddleback logo; the only distinguishing nuance of this relatively simplistic, yet classically styled, laptop accessory.
Other than being a gorgeous piece of leather, there is little to note on the backside of the sleeve. The cutouts on the top and bottom make it easier to get the MBAir out of the sleeve. At the beginning, the sleeve was tight, needing two hands and a good deal of force to get my MBAir in and especially out. Over the past month or so of use, the sleeve has stretched a bit, enabling me to insert and remove my MBAir more easily.
That said, the sleeve remains snug and form-fitted enough so that the laptop will not accidentally/unexpectedly slip out. It still takes two hands to remove but does not take a huge effort.
The design of the Saddleback Classic MacBook Air sleeve really works well with the wedge shape of the MBAir. As you can see, the folding of the leather creates a rounded side for the thicker part of the sleek laptop. While the stitched side tappers to a near point for the thinnest part of the MBAir.
The smooth, curved edge is ideal, in terms of comfort and function, for carrying the sleeve and MBAir around in your hand.
As discussed above, the bottom of the sleeve has an access point to push on the laptop while pulling from the other side to more easily remove the laptop.
Even though some of the MacBook Air is exposed, the Saddleback sleeve does a good job of protecting a majority of its aluminum casing. The sleeve primarily protects against bumps and dings (vs falls and drops).
The inside of the sleeve is lined with pigskin (which has the 2nd toughest tensile strength rating of leathers (FYI: kangaroo is the toughest)).
As you would expect of any Saddleback product, the sleeve’s finishing and stitching are of the highest quality and craftsmanship. The stitching along the sides and bottom is done with a single strand of continuous-filament, marine-grade U.V. resistant polyester thread. Like all the Saddleback Leather creations I have seen/reviewed over the years, they are built to withstand the test of time. So far, I have yet to have one of their items even break in let alone wear out.
The MBAir Sleeve is available in Saddleback’s four usual colors:
- Carbon black
- Dark coffee
- Outside Dimensions – W: 8.625″ x D: 0.75″ x H: 12.625″ (21.91cm x 1.91cm x 32.07cm)
- Inside Dimensions – W: 8″ x D: 0.5″ x H: 12.375″ (20.32cm x 1.27cm x 31.433cm)
- Weight: 0.65 lbs
- Lining: Lined with pigskin
The extra small sleeve is designed for the 11″ MBAir and the small is sized for the 13″ MBAir.
Not only does the Saddleback Classic MacBook Air sleeve look professional, but it feels great to carry as well. The sleeve adds approximately 10 ounces to the 2.2 lbs MBAir, not a huge amount of extra weight considering the protection it provides. This sleeve radiates Old World charm, handmade quality that is difficult to find in today’s day and age. Considering it comes with a 100 year warranty, its cost of under $70 is very well spent.
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