Galen Leather A5 Leather Zip Folio review

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REVIEW – I’m a journal, notebook, stationery, and pen addict, so if someone offers me any of the above to review, it’s crazy hard for me to resist. When the kind folks at Galen Leather Co., offered me one of their A5 Leather Zip Folios AND some of their notebooks, the word no didn’t come to mind at all. Let’s check them out.

What is it?

The A5 Leather Zip Folio from Galen Leather Co., is a zippered leather cover that is designed to be used with A5 sized notebooks (5.83 x 8.27 in).

Design and features

The Galen Leather A5 Leather Zip Folio is available in a few different colors including the Crazy Horse Brown color that I picked. The folio is made of vegetable oak tanned cow leather. If you look at the image above, you can see that it has marks and scratches. Yes, that’s the way the folio looked brand new and right out of the package. But wait, I’m not complaining because I think it makes the covers look rugged and well used when they have marks like that on them. The more marks, the more beautiful it looks in my opinion.

The back of the folio has the Galen Leather Co. logo stamped on the back.

The folio keeps all your papers, pens, etc., safe with a heavy-duty metal zipper that goes around the whole folio. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of metal zippers because the zipper action isn’t always that smooth. I’m happy to say that the zipper on the Galen A5 folio is easy to open and close without any snagging or jams.

Inside the folio, you’ll find a variety of slots and pockets to keep your writing gear organized and ready for use. On the left side are 6 pen/pencil holders including a removable holder that has 4 elastic bands for pens or pencils.

There are also 4 card slots and 2 larger pockets along with a removable keyring in the center area.

Here you can see the left side loaded up with some items.

On the right side of the folio, you’ll find a vertical slot that you can slide the back cover of an A5 sized notebook.

Here’s an A5 notebook that I’m currently using for my bullet journal and it fits perfectly in the folio.

And here we see one of Galen Leather’s own notebooks.

With my hardbound notebook and the pens shown above, the Galen Leather A5 Leather Zip Folio still closes easily.

Galen Leather Everyday Book notebooks

Included with the Galen Leather A5 Leather Zip Folio, were a few of their A5 and pocket-sized notebooks. The A5 sized notebook comes with a grey cover that has a vintage style graphics.

The Everyday Books are hand-bound.

Fountain pen fans will be happy to learn that the 128 page Everyday Books feature Tomoe River 52 gsm white paper that is fountain pen friendly.

I was also sent some of their pocket-sized Everyday Books that have a green cover along with the same graphics…

Handbound with matching colored thread…

And 128 pages of white 52 GSM Tomoe River fountain pen friendly paper. I like these notebooks quite a bit because they open flat.

What I like

  • Folio: very well made of quality materials
  • Folio: lots of slots and pockets to keep things organized
  • Everyday Books notebooks: Tomoe River paper
  • Everyday Books notebooks: Opens flat

What I’d change

  • Everyday Books are a little pricey

Final thoughts

We’ve reviewed other Galen Leather products over the years and they haven’t failed to impress me. The look and feel are always perfect and the craftsmanship is top quality. If you want a leather notebook cover or folio, you really can’t go wrong with one from this company.

Price: $119.00 (Folio) $32 (3pk of the A5 Everyday Book notebooks), $23 (3pk of the pocket-sized Everyday Book notebooks)
Where to buy: Galen Leather
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Galen Leather.

About The Author

4 thoughts on “Galen Leather A5 Leather Zip Folio review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. The problem is that it is a company from Turkey (outside the EU) and if you have a problem, it is almost impossible to make a legal claim. And they know that, they had to replace a product and they have not done it, they have made fun of us

  3. Depending where you live, import fees (inc admin fee) can cost as much as their more expensive books (£18 for UK), so not great value for import.

  4. Hi Julie!
    I haven’t been on the Gadgeteer’s Blog for quite a few years. Yes, I used the word “Blog”. I still prefer it.

    I bought this Galen A5 size paper folio a couple of months back before the release of the new 2021 Ipad mini. I got my new Ipad now and the fit is a little tighter then the old Ipad but it does fit. If I put the Ipad in a thin low profile case and then into the folio it is so tight I have to leave out the 4 pen pocket holder. Instead of the A5 paper that Galen sells, I used my favorite Midori MD notebook with A5 grid paper. I did have initial concerns about dealing with a company in Turkey put I had sent several emails that were properly and confidentiality answered. Since these are all hand made, I had to wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive. I would recommend purchasing the leather conditioner they sell with it. I love the look and feel of the leather. Galen uses a vegetable tanning process that gives the leather a more soft and comfortable feel and look. When I bring this folio into a meeting, everyone wants to know where I got it from. The Crazy Horse Brown/distressed is the only color choice I would consider to go with the tanning process they use. If I was going to recommend any design changes it would be to make the pocket for the Ipad slightly larger for the newer design. I would upload photos if it was possible. Glad to e-mail them if you would like to see what I got. I also bought a couple of other item from Galen.

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