Not so long ago, the good folks at Saddleback Leather sent me one of their iPad Sleeves to check out. After having put the darn thing to use for some time now, I figured I might as well put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and tell you all about it. Overall, I’m impressed… so lets get right down to it, shall we?
Out of the Box
Right out of the box you’re going to notice how rugged the sleeve is. The materials used are THICK, and the stitching and hand-crafting that must go into the product is obvious. Besides that, when you take the sleeve out of the box for the first time, you’re going to notice that familiar smell of full grain boot leather… ahhh… kind of reminds me of that new baseball glove… except, this baseball glove was built to hold your iPad.
As a little bonus, when you pop your sleeve out of the case you may also notice a Saddleback Leather keychain included with your purchase, just for good measure. Two thumbs up to Saddleback for this little splash of schwag. Dually noted and appreciated.
Fit, Finish and Quality
Top notch. That pretty much sums it up. The materials used and the way this one is put together is cock of the wock. The leather is sturdy, the stitching is tight and strong… and when you take a look at the sleeve as a whole, you can tell some real care went into building the darn thing. So there you have it, I think I’ve pretty much summed up the fit and finish!
When it comes to the Saddleback Leather iPad Sleeve, there aren’t too many options. I mean, c’mon, it’s a sleeve/pouch… how many options did you want them to give us!? Seriously though, when it comes to this iPad protector, you have 4 choices of color. There’s the Tobacco Brown offering (the one I have in-hand), a Carbon Black, Dark Coffee Brown and a Chestnut offering. All are built to the same specs, look (and smell) great, and offer the same rugged protection. Really, this is a personal choice… if you plan on dropping some coin on one of these, you might as well pick the color that suits you best! You can take a gander at the color offerings below… I took the liberty of lifting the various color options from the Saddleback site, I’m sure they won’t mind!
Look, Feel and Smell – Yes, I said it. SMELL. The Saddleback iPad Sleeve smells brilliant. When you take this one out of the box for the first time, you’ll be overcome by the smell of leather. For me, this is a good thing. Also, the case just looks darn cool.
Ruggedness – The sleeve is built to be tough. The leather used is THICK. Seriously thick. It will protect your iPad for years to come, AND, get better with age. The materials used will form fit your iPad over time (like a good gun holster), and as you use it the sleeve will ‘age’ with dents, dings and scratches. Mine is starting to look a little roughed up, and I love it.
Quality – Again, I can’t say enough about the quality not only of the materials, but of the care taken in building this one. Close inspection reveals attention to detail here… and for that, I have to give two thumbs up.
Form Factor – The ‘sleeve’ or ‘pouch’ form factor may not be the best choice for all. Taking your iPad in and out of the case can be a bit of a pain, but if you don’t mind this, then hey… this one is definitely worth a look.
Ruggedness – Interesting how I’ve named ‘ruggedness’ as both a pro and con. I name it as a con because if you like the clean, out-of-the-box look when it comes to your cases and accessories, look elsewhere. The Saddleback iPad sleeve is designed to ‘rough up’. Dents, scratches and dings ‘age’ the leather as you use it. For me, I love it… but for others… may not be your cup of tea.
Price – At $55, this may be a concern for some. You can pop into any Apple store and pick up their standard iPad case for quite a bit less… But it all depends what you like. In the end, $55 seems like a fair deal to me… However, if you’re on a budget, other options are definitely out there.
All in all, if you’re looking for a really cool (and different) case for your iPad, and don’t mind the sleeve form factor, the Saddleback iPad Sleeve is definitely worth a look. While the pricing at $55 may be a little rich for some, it is a quality product. The build quality is tremendous, the materials used are top notch… and just holding it in your hand… ahhhh… smells so good, and it ‘ages’ so nice. If you’d like to learn more, or pick one up for yourself… go ahead and hit up the Saddleback link below, y’hear!?
Saddleback Leather iPad Sleeve ($55.00) [Saddleback Leather link]