The tag-line for these custom leather goods is "They'll fight over it when you're dead" (I think they are correct)
With regard to my earlier blogs What’s the best Messenger Bag for me? and Is this the best Messenger Bag for me? I just discovered…
…the most amazing website for the Saddleback Leather Company. The founder – Dave Munson – comes across as being very friendly and a really interesting person – the sort of guy with whom you would like to spend an evening quaffing a few beers and trading a few tall tales. The main thing from my point of view, however, is that his company makes the most amazing leather products, ranging from wallets and belts to full-blown suitcases.
In particular, with regard to my current quest, they make an incredible Classic Messenger Bag as shown in the image below. The quality of these things has to be seen to be believed. The site’s tag-line is “They’ll fight over it when you’re dead” – and I think they are correct. For example, when it comes to their 100-year warranty, they say:
If you or one of your descendants should have a problem, send it back to me or one of my descendants and we’ll repair or replace it for free (be sure to mention the warranty in your will).
You must admit that this is pretty impressive – especially if it’s true, and I for one believe it is, because I really have faith that this is a company that is dedicated to creating the best quality products you will ever see in your life. (Where I come from in Sheffield, England, I can go into a bar where my grandfather quaffed beer and be served by the grandson of the man who served my grandfather, because that pub has been handed down from father to son, and this sort of thing is not uncommon over there … not that this has anything to do with what we’re talking about here … I just thought I’d mention it :-)
The Saddleback Leather Company’s Classic Messenger Bag
I’m sorry to be so über-enthusiastic about all this, but I’ve just spent more than an hour roaming around the Saddleback Leather website drooling over everything I see (I hope I didn’t make too much of a mess). In addition to the Messenger Bag, the travel cases and suitcases are “to die for”. The following are a few of the things that make Dave’s products so special:
- He uses only thick Full Grain Leather that ages richly, not weaker “Genuine” or “Bonded” leather.
- He uses only expensive fully tanned leather (not partially tanned), so it won't dry and crack in only a few years.
- He doesn’t use zippers, snaps, buttons, or any other breakable parts (as Dave says: “How much is a billion dollar submarine with a plastic hatch worth?”)
- He uses only stout, thick, and expensive industrial marine-grade UV resistant thread (the type used for airbags, sails, and work boots).
- He uses only a few large pieces of leather with as few seams as possible, as opposed to several small pieces sewn together (the more seams the weaker the bag).
- He uses hidden nylon reinforcing straps sewn inside the parts of leather that get the most stress.
- Any place that could ever conceivably come apart in 30 to 50 years gets a rivet (as Dave says: “Even rocks wear away”).
- He uses durable suede or pigskin (football material) as lining; not some delicate fabric that will easily rip and tear.
- He uses high-quality nickel plated metal hardware (the sort normally used for expensive dog collars and horse tack).
Now, it has to be said that these Saddleback products aren’t cheap. On the other hand, how many bags have you purchased that have any chance of becoming family heirlooms? By comparison, I can easily see my mentioning this Messenger Bag (if I were lucky enough to own one) as a special bequest to my son or my best friend. It’s like my dear old dad used to say when it came to purchasing a tool – he told me to always buy the best quality product I could afford, because anything less was a false economy that simply wasn’t worth the money.
For some reason I’m thinking of The Postman
(the post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by David Brin – see also my earlier column on What's the best post-apocalyptic science fiction book / film /TV program?
). Saddleback’s Classic Messenger Bag is just the sort of accoutrement the main character – Gordon Krantz – would have been proud to carry; it’s also the sort of bag that is so well constructed it would survive such an apocalypse.
Ooooooh!!! I WANT ONE!!!
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