About this project
Last year we launched a series of bags. One bag in particular, the Classic Satchel quickly became our favorite carry. We have spent the past six or so months reworking our design and improving it, refining it down to its basic elements of simplicity, utility and strength.
Read a review of our Classic Satchel on BestLeather.org
It's been said that if you eliminate everything that is not essential you will end up with something that is.
Every part of our satchel serves a purpose. Nothing in our designs are done for ornamentation sake. You won't find ornamental stitching, gaudy hardware or any such frivolity—we don't even put our logo on the outside of the bags.
We built this bag to be a bag plain and simple. In this simplicity we feel we found beauty.
The Classic Satchel was built to be a computer bag. In fact the bag is literally built around this purpose with a central compartment that cradles your notebook computer in the very core of the bag isolating it from impact from every direction including the bottom. It's a simple and elegant solution for protecting your computer. There might be a bag that offers better protection for your computer, but we haven't seen it.
In addition to the computer compartment, our satchel has two large open chambers, an iPad pocket, two large pockets (one with a closing flap), a smaller snug pocket that's perfect for small items you access frequently, two pen loops and a ring you can clip your keys to. On the back of the bag is a large "magazine" pocket that's great for quickly stuffing a boarding pass, iPad, and yes even a magazine. It's convenient for those times when you need to quickly free up your hands without opening your bag.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR SATCHEL TO FIT YOUR NEEDS. We think we covered the basics for a computer bag pretty well, but did not want to limit you to what we thought was needed. With this thought in mind we have begun creating modular "add-on" accessories to add utility and to customize your daily carry to your personal needs.
We like strong, durable goods. Strength and longevity are the driving factors behind the construction decisions we make and the materials we choose. We built our Classic Satchel to last a lifetime—two if you want to count the cow's. No bag is indestructible and we don't want to give you the impression that ours is—what we will claim is that we are building a bag that is worth repairing.
LIFETIME GUARANTEE: If something breaks during your lifetime, send it back and we will fix it. If you manage to wear it out beyond repair in your lifetime, we will replace it. If you abuse or use your bag in a way for which it was not intended and end up destroying it, well, we will be happy to sell you a new one. There are limits to our warranty—don't use it as a chew toy for your pet dingo, don't scuba dive with it or use it for target practice. In short be reasonable, and we will take care of you should something go wrong.
STRONG LEATHER: We only use thick full-grain vegetable tanned leather. We could go on about leather until, well until the cows come home. This really is the most important part of a bag and the part that really dictates the quality, strength and lifespan of a bag.
There are many ways manufacturers cut corners and misrepresent their products regarding leather. Thin leather won't last, so always look closely at how thick the leather is. Layering, lining and turning the edges are all ways to cheat and make thin leather appear thicker than it really is. "Bonded," "patent" and "genuine leather" are the particle boards of the leather world and often contain more plastic than they do leather. The less real leather manufacturers use, the more money they can save. You might initially pay less for a bag made of cheap or thin leather, but you'll be replacing it sooner, so in the end, are you really saving anything?
We don't cut corners on the leather. All our bags are made from thick 5-9oz. (2.2-3.5mm) full-grain vegetable tanned bridle leather. You could bury this leather in your back yard and it might still outlast you—no kidding. It's the same kind of leather used to make horse bridles and harnesses, places where cutting corners and using cheap leather could cost you your life. To our knowledge, cheap leather has never caused a bag-related fatality, but we're not taking any chances and are only using the good stuff—actually, we're using the best stuff.
What does full-grain mean? A cow's skin can be well over 1/4 inch thick. The tannery can split a hide as many as six times, but all splits are not equal. The "grain" is the top most portion of the skin side of the hide. The grain is the best and strongest part of the hide. Full-grain leather is the very top most split that has not been sanded or resurfaced to hide or remove color variation, scars or blemishes. These marks are not imperfections in our opinion and add character to a bag. In fact, we request hides from the tannery that have scars and brands and try to incorporate them into our bags where possible. It's harder than you might think to get hides with cool marks that tell the stories of the cow's life. If you're lucky your bag will have plenty of such marks. Don't dismay if your bag comes boringly perfect and devoid of scars, these bags will last so long you will have plenty of time to add your own.
WHY WE USE VEGETABLE TANNED LEATHER
Vegetable leather: What? Aren't cows made of meat?
There are two common ways leather is tanned: Vegetable, which uses vegetable-derived tannins from sources such as oak and mimosa bark and takes at least 40 days to as much as a year to process; and chrome/oil tanned which uses really nasty carcinogenic and earth-killing chemicals, but only takes one to two days to make. Over 90% of the leather produced in the world is chrome tanned. Chrome tanned leather is softer, stretchier, weaker and a whole lot cheaper.
Everything about using vegetable-tanned leather is harder from a manufacturing standpoint, but we are not making decisions around here based on what is easy. Aside from wanting to leave an inhabitable planet for our children, we use only vegetable-tanned leather because of the way it looks and ages—oh the way it ages! As the days pass into weeks and months into years your bag will take on a beautiful patina from your touch, the edges will round and polish and the very bag will mold to your body. This is why we say that over time your satchel will become less our creation and more uniquely yours.
STRONGER HARDWARE: We hate cheap hardware, We really do. Second only to the leather, nothing makes a bag look cheaper than bad hardware. The hardware we use is made for horse tack. We figure if the hardware can hold a horse back, it's probably strong enough for a bag.
Our new satchel has better hardware than we have ever used before. It is made of corrosion-proof solid cast brass. It's quality you can feel. Our hardware is heavy and heavy duty. Our clips are rated to hold 250 lbs. each which is probably overkill, but it's easier to use stronger hardware to begin with than to repair it later.
You may also have noticed that our bags do not have fast clips hidden behind the buckles. This is because the clips will most likely fail before the leather does. And let's be honest, they look cheap. Yes, it's going to take you ten seconds longer to open your bag with real belt buckles, but you will look very cool doing it—that's ten more seconds of looking cool at no extra charge. You're welcome.
All the hardware has a matching matte nickel finish down to the snaps and rivets. What we use is not as flashy as chrome, but it looks better with the warm tones of the leather in our opinion and adds to the overall impression of age we built into your bag. And before you ask, yes those are real 1930s buffalo nickels used as snaps on the handle wrap.
STRONG THREAD: The thread is the weakest link in a bag and one of the ways some manufactures cut corners.
In the old days cotton or linen was used. Problem is, leather is acidic and erodes natural fibers over time. Then came Nylon—which is still the most common thread used to stitch leather products. Nylon is very strong but it gets brittle in UV light. Our bags are stitched with marine-grade polyester—the same type of thread used to make sails for sailboats where durability and resistance to weathering is paramount. Polyester is as strong as Nylon, but is more durable when exposed to UV. It's more expensive than the other options, but what is a buck or two more in thread when you are using over $120 of leather? It really makes no sense to cut corners here, and yet most bag manufacturers do.
Our bags are large, roughly 2.75 inches bigger on the outside than the laptops they are designed to carry on the inside—this extra space is the buffer that protects your computer when your bag gets knocked about.
Our large satchel is designed for 15-inch MacBook and measures 17.75"W x 13"H x 9"D. Our medium satchel is designed to carry a 13-inch MacBook Pro and has outside dimensions of 15.75"W x 12"H x 9"D. Our small satchel is designed to hold an 11" MacBook Air or a 12 MacBook and has the outside dimensions of 14.25"W x 11"H x 6"D. If you don't use a Mac, the computer pockets hold computers a little over 15.5", 13.5 and 12" long respectively.
Bigger is not always better. Order the size needed for your computer. Your computer will be better protected if it is in the appropriate size bag. We recommend you only back the large size if your computer is a 15" model or if you are over six feet tall and want a proportionally larger bag.
We have four: Black bridle leather for bikers, pilots and ninjas; Brown bridle for CEOs, their lawyers and other suit-wearing types; and natural bridle for hippies, hipsters and anyone else who wants a truly vintage look that sweetens over time and for those who don't want to wait for natural leather to antique and season, we have "Whiskey" (the leather color, not the drink). Our new leather color "Whiskey" sits between our "natural" color when new and brown. It is about the color our natural will achieve after a year of regular use and conditioning. "Whiskey" will still patina over time, but because it starts out darker, the patina will be a little less dramatic and the color more even than it would with the natural.
All vegetable tanned leather will patina over time, but this is especially noticeable the lighter the leather is. Even though our natural starts out quite light, just a few weeks use and exposure to the sun will darken our natural bridle leather to a beautiful honey color.
THE CLASSIC SATCHEL: We are funding the production of our new Classic Satchel and offering it as a pre-sale reward for $100 less than the retail price—the price they will be later when the bags are in stock at KendalHyde.com. Each bag includes a single shoulder strap and handle wrap with an authentic 1930s buffalo nickel concho snap. Add-on accessories for your bag are also available at a 20% pre-production discount. Just add the cost for any additional items to your Classic Satchel pledge. No additional shipping required when you add items to a satchel. After the campaign ends, we will confirm your total matches the rewards you want with your survey and square up any discrepancies.
CLASSIC SATCHEL FOR 13-INCH COMPUTERS retail $500 Kickstarter SPECIAL $400
CLASSIC SATCHEL FOR 15-INCH COMPUTERS retail $525 Kickstarter SPECIAL $425
ADD-ON ACCESSORIES: You can either add the cost of any add-on accessories to your Classic Satchel reward pledge (including early bird specials) or order them à la carte using the Build-Your-Own Reward. (Add-on accessories are compatible with our first generation bags).
ACCESSORY STRAPS (pair) retail $25 Kickstarter SPECIAL $20
SINGLE POUCH retail $40 Kickstarter SPECIAL $30
TRIPLE POUCH retail $80 Kickstarter SPECIAL $65
A PAIR OF BACKPACK STRAPS retail $85 Kickstarter SPECIAL $70
THERMOS TUBE retail $105 Kickstarter SPECIAL $85
LEATHER SLEEVES: Don't need a satchel? We also have some leather sleeves made specifically for the current models of Apple MacBooks and iPads. Use them with a satchel, your own bag or by themselves. They are an elegant and durable way to protect your electronics from scratches and dings.
15-INCH MACBOOK PRO SLEEVE (15" WIDE) retail $120 Kickstarter SPECIAL $95
13-INCH MACBOOK PRO/AIR SLEEVE (13" WIDE) retail $100 Kickstarter SPECIAL $80
11-INCH MACBOOK AIR SLEEVE (12" WIDE) retail $95 Kickstarter SPECIAL $75
MACBOOK SLEEVE (11" WIDE) retail $90 Kickstarter SPECIAL $70
iPAD AIR SLEEVE retail $80 Kickstarter SPECIAL $60
iPAD MINI SLEEVE retail $60 Kickstarter SPECIAL $45
LEATHER CARE: Vegetable tanned leather is very durable but does require some occasional maintenance to replenish the oils and waxes that are lost over time and to protect it from the elements. Properly cared for, your Kendal & Hyde Co. leather product will last your lifetime and beyond. Protect your HYDE with our suite of leather care products made from natural oils and beeswax. We do not use any silicone, petroleum oils or solvents in our leather care products which can damage your leather over time. Because of their all natural ingredients, our leather care products are safe to apply with your bare hands.
Our LEATHER LIQUOR is 8 or 16oz. of deep conditioning love designed to moisturize, lubricate and soften leather fibers. It is great for restoring dry and brittle leather and preventing further damage.
8oz. LEATHER LIQUOR retail $18 Kickstarter SPECIAL $15
16oz. LEATHER LIQUOR retail $30 Kickstarter SPECIAL $25
Our LEATHER CREAM is a heavier conditioner designed to leave a thick protective beeswax coating to repel moisture and protect your leather—a must have to keep your satchel looking its best. Apply as needed for weather protection. After application wait a few hours then buff off any excess with a dry cotton rag or horse hair brush. Comes in 4oz. or 8oz. tins.
4oz. LEATHER CREAM retail $18 Kickstarter SPECIAL $15
8oz. LEATHER CREAM retail $30 Kickstarter SPECIAL $25
Both our Leather Liquor and our Leather Cream come in three scents:
- HONEYCOMB—Beeswax is one of the main ingredients in our leather care products, but we added a bit more honey scent to make it smell like just like warm honeycomb fresh out of a beehive—if fresh honeycomb is not something you have had the opportunity to smell, put it on your list.
- LEATHER—Want your leather to smell more like leather, or rather to keep that new leather smell? This is your scent.
- OLD BOOK—You know that smell that really old stuff and antique stores have? Our perfumer describes it as a mixture of vanilla and grass which actually is harder to imagine than just saying it smells like old books. Well, you can make your bag smell like that. You might ask "Why would I want to make my new bag smell like an old book?" "Why not?" we reply. We are making you a bag that is meant to look like it was passed down from your grandfather, why not complete the effect by making it smell like it did?
SMALL SIZE CLASSIC SATCHEL made for the 12" MacBook, the 11" MacBook Air, iPad, or for no computer at all.
OCTOBER 2014–MAY 2015 design and prototyping
MAY 7–8 Kendal onsite at the tannery to develop leather specification
MAY 19 launch of Kickstarter campaign
MAY 18–30 Kendal Onsite at the factory making final design tweaks and overseeing the production standard samples.
JUNE 19 end of Kickstarter campaign
JUNE 21-26 receive funds from Kickstarted and order leather
JUNE–JULY the long wait for the leather to tan (6-8 weeks)
AUGUST production of bags (4 weeks)
SEPTEMBER commence shipping rewards to backers (3 weeks)
Risks and challenges
This is not our first campaign, but we are still a young company. With each one we learn a little more, but problems can and usually do arise. The one that concerns us the most is leather. The leather we use is vegetable tanned and quite thick. It is custom made to our specifications and takes two to three months just to make. If the tannery makes a mistake or something goes wrong in the process, it can take a long time to get replacement leather. This has happened to us before and has delayed production schedules on past projects by months. Because of such delays in the past we have moved our business to a different tannery that has proven much more reliable.
All our other vendors and partners are organizations we have been working with for some time now. Yeah, problems still happen, shipments of parts get lost or delayed, and there are always a few holidays, but these are minor bumps compared to the delays we can experience with leather problems.
The timelines we present are the true and accurate timelines and not padded to give us more time than we need or artificially shortened to get more backers. Timelines always seem to get confounded, but we keep our backers informed of the progress, the expectations, the windfalls and the delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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