Sometimes, the simpler something appears, the more valuable it actually is. When you open up the Saddleback MacBook Air Sleeve, you’d be forgiven for muttering a quick “This is it?” But then you get it out of its packaging, and you can smell the quality of the leather. The feel is buttery smooth. Sliding your computer into the sleeve, you can tell by the grip that your laptop isn’t going to slide back out whenever you look at it sideways. This is not some cheap leatherette case that’s going to lose its shape and deform after a few months of use. Indeed, you start to realize that the card included with your purchase wasn’t just hyperbole. They will be fighting over this piece when you’re dead.
If you’re not familiar with Saddleback, they make some of the finest leather products in America. Their bags are nigh indestructible, their storied durability measured generationally.
That high bar has been brought to their line of tech cases and sleeves. Besides fitting like a glove, the MacBook Air Sleeve features double-stitching (this isn’t going to pull apart on you) and neoprene sewn into the edges to absorb bumps. Saddleback uses full-grain leather in their products, some of the strongest, highest quality you can buy. Rather than wearing out, it develops a patina with use, creating a unique finish for each piece. I’ve had a Saddleback sleeve wallet for almost ten years now, and it’s showing no signs of ever wearing out, despite daily abuse. If you’ve never had a full grain leather piece, there’s no substitute. You’ll never look at other leathers the same.
I’d previously been using a Moshi Muse, which had been a perfectly acceptable sleeve. This is better. It adds more bulk and there isn’t the added storage pocket for flash drives, but I feel that I have much more protection carrying around my Air in the Saddleback sleeve. And, aesthetically, it’s much more pleasing than a floppy fabric envelope.
I’m pleased to see that Saddleback is expanding its technology offerings–the company recently released new sleeve and protector sets for Sony Digital Paper. They also have new protectors for the iPhone 6 and some truly superb cord wraps. The wraps are another one of those products that seems simple but works wonderfully. They use rivets instead of snaps and are considerably more secure as a result when taming unruly cords.
If you’re still on the fence, keep in mind that all Saddleback products come with a 100 year warranty. If that’s not a testament to their quality, I don’t know what else is. Check ’em out and find something that suits you. But make sure you really like it, because it’s going to be with you for a long time.