As some of my regular readers may know, I have a leather addiction. Not that kind of leather addiction, you dirty birds! An addiction for top quality leather briefcases, bags and wallets. I have written about my Saddleback Leather (SBL) acquisitions in the past on this very page.
My first SBL bag was the extra large classic briefcase. It was a gift from me from my mother and father and I will not part with that bag. It is a gorgeous piece of leather work.
However, through the years I have found it to be too large and too heavy to use as an everyday carry bag and I primarily use it as an overnight bag when I travel.
So I have been searching for a new everyday carry bag/briefcase.
And that is when I found Marlondo Leather.
I have to admit that at first it was difficult to communicate with the owner of Marlondo Leather. That was until I realized that he was awake and working starting his business day when I was about to go to sleep. Yes, he is in China and I am on the west coast of Canada. Once that difficulty was worked out we communicated very easily and promptly, that was, as long as I was willing to email back and forth between 11pm and 1am out here in BC.
Once our communication system was worked out I was able to order the exact bag I wanted. One cool thing about the Marlondo Leather bags are that they are sold by their size. They don’t mince words; you can buy a 16″ or 18″ or whatever size you want. I like that. Except I wanted a 14″ briefcase, which they do not list on their site.
The answer to my request was “no problem.”
And a couple of weeks later my new 14″ briefcase arrived.
It took me a bit to get used to the feel of the new ML bag seeing as it is suede lined, not pig-skinned lined like all my SBL bags have been.
Suede lining makes the bags much more comfortable to hold and carry right from day one whereas pig-skin lined bags stay stiff and unwielding for many years.
I have to admit, I am in love with this new bag. I love the slouchy, slumpy feel of the bag. Perhaps if I could afford a SBL suede lined bag I would feel the same way about it, but for $200, this bag is fabulous. A fabulous bag and fabulous value.
Now, here are some pics of the bag from a variety of angles.
This one shows my new briefcase loaded with my typical carry load; a binder, 13″MB, iPad in SBL case, textbook, SBL cable bag, small moleskine notebook, pens, pencils etc, mobile phone, and point and shoot camera.
In this picture you can also see the suede lining.
Now although the Marlondo bag has a quick release clasp for the shoulder strap, if your hands are sweaty or damp or not perfectly dry, this clasp can be difficult to open one-handed. The plus side of this clasp is that it will likely never fail seeing as it is of very solid and substantial construction. It will also never come undone on its own.
Another thing that the people of SBL pride themselves on with their bags is the quality of the stitching. Even under very close inspection of the ML bag I could not find fault with the stitching.
Will it last 100 years so that my grandchildren can fight over it? I don’t know and more importantly, I don’t care. I know it will last me as long as I want to use it. And longer.
As much as I do love this new bag, I do have a quibble or two about it. It is obvious where they have put in cost saving measures. And the cost savings measures really do detract from the quality of the bag.
For example, inside the outside rear pocket you can see that the top grain leather does not go all the way to the bottom of the inside of the bag.
It stops about a third of the way down inside and it is the suede lining that goes all the way. Yes, the outside of the bag is still top-grain leather but this is clearly a shortcut on quality.
Another minor quibble is that the grab handle is hard on the hand when you first get it. It is very square to the touch because it is made up of what looks like stacked leather.
I have gotten used to that feature of the bag and accepted it as such.
I do like the use of the heavy duty rivets and what I am told are Chicago screws for holding the stress points of the bag together.
Everything about the bag feels heavy duty. Although it is not as heavy, or as large as my extra large SBL briefcase, it still has the same heft to it. The leather feels thick, and in fact is thick. The seams all look straight and the stitching is even.
I will say it again, I am very impressed with this new addition to my leather bag collection. It is large enough to hold my essential daily needs and yet not too large so that it gets to be too heavy to carry.
And the best part of this bag? The way it slouches like a teenager! I have never had the pleasure of owning a suede lined SBL piece so I can’t speak for them, but this Marlondo Leather bag has a wonderful slouchy, slump to it.
The bottom-line on this bag? No it is not of the same quality as a Saddleback Leather and I would not expect it to last 100 years. However, a Saddleback Leather bag of similar size, with a suede lining costs $559 and takes 4-10 weeks for delivery.
The Marlondo Leather bag cost me $200 (which included shipping) and was delivered in just two days over two weeks.
If you are a budget conscious leather addict, I have no hesitation in endorsing the Marlondo Leather 14″ briefcase.
Disclosure; I bought and paid for the Marlondo Leather Bag with money that should have been used for groceries for my family. Marlondo Leather provided me with no incentive to write this review. As always, in all my posts, I maintain editorial control.