100 Year Warranty - Have your great-grandchildren talk to my great-grandchildren, and we'll fix it or replace it for free. Only for 100 years, though.
Full Grain Leather - Only thick Full Grain leather; not Top Grain or Bonded leathers.
No Breakable Parts - No zippers, snaps, buttons or any other breakable parts to fail or scratch your gear.
Industrial Thread - Stout industrial marine-grade Polyester UV resistant thread. It’s used for airbags, sails, work boots and other heavy-duty applications. I ought to keep an extra spool in my truck for towing.
Fully Tanned Leather - Good tanneries remove natural oils and preservatives from the hide and then replenish them with high quality synthetics and oils. Then they soak and tumble it for up to 20 hours until the new colors and oils reach the middle. Cheap tanneries only tumble them long enough to color the surface and leave the middle to dry up and crack.
Rivets - Kind of killing a fly with a shotgun, but any place that could ever come apart in 100 years, gets a rivet. Even rocks wear away.
Seams - A few large pieces of leather with as few seams as possible. The more seams the weaker the bag because a seam is where the needle tore a bunch of holes in the leather and weakened it. Check out this junk duffel I bought in a moment of weakness and desperation in Mexico made of 85 small pieces of leather
Pockets - Two deep and open exterior pockets behind both buckled side pockets for stowing long items. Two open interior pockets. A rear document pocket. Two side interior pen pockets.
NOTE: Dimensions are for the outside of the bag. Interior dimensions are ¼” (0.6 cm) less to account for stitching at the seams.
Pigskin Lined - 7 pounds (3.2 kg)
This item is currently shipping with the shoulder strap clasps pictured
Leather - 100% hypoallergenic 4 to 5 ounce (2.0mm to 2.2mm) thick Full Grain chrome tanned leather. Usually, cowboy and work boots are made with 1.8mm - 2.0mm thickness. And, our leather isn't “buttery soft” (fibers separated and broken down by hours of tumbling and stretching at the tannery). It’s your job to tenderize it over the years.
Construction - Made from as few large pieces of leather as possible. Seams are the weakest point and so the fewer the better. It would be much cheaper for us to make it with lots of smaller pieces, but it's the quality details such as this that separates us from the masses.
Thread - The double zero continuous-filament Polyester thread we use is a little thicker than what is used on most boots. It’s impressive and expensive. Common thread is made of short little fibers wound together into one long thread. This thread is made of long continuous fibers that won't fall apart in a strong wind. Polyester thread is also the only thread I know of that doesn't deteriorate with exposure to the sun like Nylon or Kevlar.
Lining - Tough pigskin lining. Pigskin is the second strongest hide in the world, second to kangaroo.
How can I get my spouse to understand that I need this?
Here's your rationale: Buy the best, cry once. It's all about the cost per year. In college, I bought a pair of very expensive shoes for my job as a waiter. I couldn't afford them, but I bought them anyhow. They were really light and comfortable and took me through two years of waiting tables and one year as a limo driver and another year of occasional use. And then they still looked good for a month of Sundays. Cost per year was about $25. Most of the other waiters bought a new pair of $55 heavy and uncomfortable shoes every 6 months because theirs wore out and looked ratty by then. One of the principles the successful in the world understand is this: If one buys quality from the start they save money. Don't be penny wise and dollar foolish. This will be one of the most savvy investments and inexpensive leather pieces you'll ever have. And remember, you must truly love yourself before you can love others. A couple of other things to think about you'll be more popular. Everybody isn't buying one. I'll invite you to my birthday party. What's wrong, you chicken?
Which color should I get?
Pick the one that fits who you are. I've observed what the bag owners tend to be like based on the color they have chosen over the years. The category below that fits you best is probably the color you'll enjoy most. Remember, your first inclination is usually the correct one.
Tobacco Light Brown (Sanguine)
Laid back and casual
Likes old Land Cruisers
Creative (enjoys writing)
Loves big dogs
Never met a stranger
Lots of random thoughts
Loves the outdoors
Only wears clothes because you have to
Carbon Black (Phlegmatic or Choleric)
You look good in a thick black leather jacket
Rides a cruiser type motorcycle
Wear thick black framed glasses
Drives a Volvo or Saab
They know your name at the coffee shop
Sci-Fi is your favorite genre
Are very interested in Oriental culture
Prefer cats over dogs
Loves modern contemporary style square furniture
Chestnut Reddish Brown (Choleric or Melancholy)
Belongs in a Mercedes Benz or Jaguar
Classier than most
Has excellent taste in dressing and decorating
Great sense of humor
Smokes a pipe instead of a cigarette
Appreciates the finer things
Dark Coffee Brown (Phlegmatic or Choleric or Melancholy)
Loves the outdoors
Is the best friend of many people
Reads a lot of books
Loves big dogs
If you still aren't sure, then just buy all four colors.
Are the animals tortured before they are slaughtered?
Absolutely not ! With some pigs we do use waterboarding and sensory deprivation techniques previous to slaughtering them, but the cows do not require any special handling.
Where can I see one of the bags in person?
I don't have any of the items in stores and we're not big fans of folks coming to our home in San Antonio because of the weirdo factor. My sister, Patricia and her husband (my Chess and Scrabble nemesis), send out the leather from their place near Ft. Worth, Texas, but again, because of the weirdo factor they're not set up to show either. If it helps, everyone tells me that they look better in person.
How much do they cost you, Dave?
Well, I lived for three years in a $100 a month apartment in Mexico with no hot water, because of these bags. My dog, Blue, and I drove for thousands of hours all over the North American continent because of these bags. I had a crooked Federale sent to kill me because of these bags (I convinced him that SeÃ±or Alarcon would never pay him) and we became friends). I've shed gallons of blood and tears and sweat and at least a quart of other people's, because of these bags. I've slept in my car or on the rack of my old Land Cruiser at least 150 times because of these bags. I've lost weeks of sleep and have gone hungry for days because of these bags. I was broke for years and even had to trade two of Blue's little puppies for a month's worth of tacos in order to eat because of these bags. I've been detained by who knows how many Mexican police because of these bags. I've thrown away thousands of dollars and made hundreds of mistakes because of these bags. I've been stolen from, taken advantage of and robbed because of these bags (they even stole Blue once, but I got him back). All of these things and more have happened to me because of these bags. They cost me a lot.
I think I goofed. I was attracted by the glowing reviews, and I bought a backpack about 4 months ago. Although I love the quality, I find that I never use it. Two reasons: first, it is just too heavy! Second, the shoulder straps are ridiculously stiff and difficult to use. This backpack is a case of manly appeal taken to such absurd lengths that the product sits in the closet instead of on my back. Sorry, Dave, I love your company ethos, but this bag misses the mark.
Solid Oak, Stainless Steel and Saddleback leather!!
Like all quality items in life the Saddleback products stand alone and cannot be compared to any similar product. I ordered the backpack and was in total shock when I opened the package! I expected a quality bag but I was surprised to see the trophy like product. The bag demands your attention and you absolutely must touch the leather. At 72 years old I have purchased lots of product in my life but have never been more pleased and satisfied. I just wished I would have had this when I was piloting in the world theater as baggage was extremely valuable and necessary. My only problem with the bag is deciding which Grandbaby to leave it to as it will have at least a couple of years left on the 100 year warranty when I am through using it!!
More spacious than you think
This is the first product review I've ever made. To start, I own the large suitcase, large waterbag, duffle, beast, large briefcase, large wallet, desk pads, and this backpack. All in coffee brown. I only wish these products were available when I was younger and living overseas in China, Pakistan, UK, and Russia. I purchased these products in anticipation for my next adventure. I use each one of them except the suitcase and beast which sit in my living room, "waiting their turn". As for the backpack. I think this backpack is much sturdier than the others SB sells. It was very stiff and "boxy" when I purchased it and I know people question the size. However, I broke it in with kettlebells and weights on long hikes. I also filled the pockets with items that stretched the leather and increased the size considerably. I put a large first aid kit in the front pocket and it stretched to around 4 times its original size. All 3 pockets now bulge (nicely) and make the pack look like a traditional one. I debated placing the pockets in a hot water bath for ease of stretching but for now I am holding off. During my long walks I recieve many compliments, mainly from really young people who want to know where I got it. So the bottom line of this review is not to count this pack out due to storage capabilities. Stretching is easily accomplished. If you have the courage, select items you would like your pack size to be, dip your entire bag in a hot bath, immediately insert your items into the pockets, etc and watch them easily stretch. Word of warning, there is no going back on the stretch if you do this. When the bag is wet and filled/stretched, let it dry. A hot day will help. I know this technique is not for everyone and the thought of leather and water will not sit well with everyone, but it works. Once it dries, you can condition it as you see fit. Who knows, Dave may read this and not even post it because I recommend soaking one of his beautiful bags.
I have traveled across the globe with this backpack. China, Cambodia, Thailand, UAE, Afghanistan and more. I must say this is a bullet proof bag that is always with me pretty much every day of my life for the past several years. She carries everything I need and I will never need another carry on/computer bag again!
One thing that happens all the time is how many people stop me in the airport to compliment me on the bag and ask where I got it. I almost wish I had a way to track how many of the hundreds actually went and got gear from Saddleback.
I now have several Saddleback items and am contemplating my next buy. Thanks for making such a great line of products
With me wherever i go
I call it "My ridiculously over-engineered leather backpack" and I tell everyone it is bullet-proof. So far no one has doubted me.
My backpack is now about two years old and has been all over the US with me. It's just the right size to hold my Macbook Pro 15", power supply, a portfolio and some folders in the main compartment, and all the iPhone charger cables, business cards, etc in the accessory pockets. My IPad goes in the front deep, narrow pocket and my aircard and two small notebooks go in the side pockets.
The quality, fit, and finish of this backpack cant be beat. The acid test? The folks who comment on the most are TSA agents, who see thousands of bags a day. Takes something special to get a rise out of them!
A Backpack for Life
I've had the Dark Tobacco backpack for about a year now. I can honestly say that for backpacks, it's the best investment that you could ever make. I was originally worried about what my wife would say, but I was going through a backpack a year anyway and she's now happy that we don't have to spend money on them anymore! There's an old saying...you get what you pay for. In this case it's true. I will have to buy my son one however because in our case he doesn't want to wait until I'm dead to have it! Thanks!
Exclusively my favorite travel companion
This backpack is the most insanely well built leather product I have ever bought.
It is the only product that I've come across that is Classy, Rugged, functional, beautiful, and tough all in the same package.
This was my first purchase from Saddleback Leather, and the start of a long line of future purchases.
I've now owned my backpack for about 1 year, I travel between the southern states, and northern B.C. Canada quite a bit and it has been, and will exclusively remain to be my favorite travel companion.
A show stopper
I have a lot of saddleback stuff, but this gets the most attention. Every day someone asks me about or want to check it out.
It's a beautiful piece, and my wife even lets me leave it out, which is saying something. It's built like a tank, has plenty of compartments and d rings.
That said, it's *very* heavy for a backpack. It's also not as spacious as it appears. It's best for things like laptops or other things that can stack. -- books, iPads, notebooks, etc. would not be good for things like clothing as the bag is fairly stubborn about keeping its box shape and doesn't really "break in" like other saddleback bags, and it's not the most comfortable thing in the world. As such, it's not a very versatile bag, but man is it an eye catcher and all your friends will want one.
As a fashion accessory, it's a 10. Judging it just as a backpack, it gets a 10 for build quality and durability, a 5 for utility and a 3 for comfort.
If you're only carting around a laptop and notepad from point A to B, there's no more stylish way to do it. If you're out sightseeing or carrying all day, your back will thank you if you pick a lighter pack.
perfect "Business" backpack
I have XL briefcase. I saw this backpack prior to the new front pocket BP and had to have it.
It holds 17 inch Mac easily.
I like a back pack rather than briefcase even for professional situations.
Everything fits well. I can carry 2 computers if I have to.
I have used in social situations (like festivals) and got many compliments.
I highly recommend it. I am a sucker, so I will get the larger front pocket BP when it comes out.
I have been collecting tobacco brown products and I love that color. Still looks new although the few scratches look cool.
WISH DAVE WOULD GIVE A FREQUENT FLYER DISCOUNT!
Possibly the best backpack ever!
I'm 21 years old and am happy to say this is the last bag I will need to buy. It is perfect, the pictures and YouTube videos do not do justice. The bag is amazing in person. I purchased this bag in dark coffee brown and it is beautiful! It will take a few weeks to break in the straps, so be patient. Other then that, it's perfect.
This is one beautiful backpack! The leather is the finest I have seen, and the craftsmanship is outstanding. Just like a new pair of shoes, it is going to take some breaking in, and I am going to have a great time watching that happen. I am 64 years old, so I'm thinking my GREAT-grandkids will be fighting over it. I love the values your company represents.