Now that I am back to work at my day job and getting paid, I felt safe about adding a new leather bag to my collection for the family weekends-away that we occasionally enjoy.
I have grown tired of seeing plastic bins loaded in the family wagon when we travel so I decided to get a new Marlondo Leather Weekend Duffel Bag.
As usual, I will be upfront about my overall impressions of this product and say that although I have a couple suggestions for improvement, this is an excellent quality bag, especially for the price of $400.
This new Marlondo Leather bag is a very versatile bag. As soon as my five year old daughters saw the bag they opened it up and climbed inside it. Although with 45 pounds of child inside it was difficult for me to carry, the straps felt strong enough to hold the weight.
Once my daughter was out of it I loaded it up with clothes and – this thing is voluminous. I mean I can fit a ton of clothing into it! This is definitely a very practical bag for a long weekend away with the family.
The leather and the pigs skin lining have a lovely feel. The leather is thick and waxy and provides me with the confidence my investment in this bag will be a long term one.
I like the feeling of the pig skin lining as well. It has no plastic or synthetic feel to it all. It feels organic.
All the stitching is very nicely done with top quality nylon thread. The evenly placed stitches and rivets at all stress points add to the feeling of quality that this new bag carries with it. The seams are all stitched with straight lines where appropriate and where the stitching follows the contours of the bag it does so perfectly. Impressive.
One of the leather bag companies that many smaller leather workers look up to is Saddleback Leather. A key piece of the Saddleback Leather philosophy is that they make bags, as much as possible, by using one piece of leather. The idea being that a single hide is significantly stronger than having a seam along a potential stress point.
The fact is though, this is a very expensive way to make leather bags. It takes a larger portion of a hide to cut single out large single pieces.
To avoid that increased production cost, Marlondo Leather does not use the single piece of leather production method. As you can see in the photo below, there is clearly a seam running the length of the duffle bag.
I sincerely doubt that the seam along the bottom of this bag will ever let go or weaken in anyway. That there is a seam on the bottom of the bag is a non-issue for me. The fact is, the Marlondo bag is significantly less expensive than the Saddleback bags primarily because of simple cost saving measures like this one.
If Marlondo Leather is trying to take on Saddleback Leather as a top quality leather bag maker, he will need to be a little more judicious in the leather he chooses to use. As you can see in the photo above, there are a significant number of wrinkles on the leather that this bag is made from. That is because this is a piece of leather from further down the hide – closer to the cow’s belly or leg where stretches and wrinkles will naturally occur.
To be clear, these wrinkles are not going to have an impact on the life span of the leather bag but I know that when people buy a bag like this one they expect closer to perfection than this piece of leather.
The wrinkles do not bother me in the least, but I know that others would not be as accepting of this piece of leather. What I do is mentally compare the price of this bag to the Saddleback Leather bags.
To the bottom line – this is an excellent quality item that could use more attention to detail. I love the feel of the leather and I have every confidence that it will last me as long as I want to use it. The nylon stitching is as near perfect as anyone would expect and the hardware, including all the d-rings and the dog-leash style clasps on the shoulder strap are very substantial.
I like this bag. I really like it. I also like the comments I get when I carry it around town. People gravitate to it, like they do to many of the leather bags I carry, and they want to know more about it.
After I actually load my new Marlondo Leather Weekend Duffel bag with clothing and gear and head out of town to the mountains I will do a follow up report. For now, I am just going to enjoy looking at this beautiful new addition to my leather bag collection.