Oliver chewed up my wallet again. Darn hound! It’s the second time he’s done this. Anyway, I got a nice new one. So, today I’ll be doing a review of the Saddleback Leather Medium Bifold wallet. These things are guaranteed to last 100 years…unless your hound chews it up first.
Saddleback Leather’s popular Medium Bifold wallet is a slimline and well-constructed full-grain leather wallet with a rustic appeal. It is available in four colors, has RFID protection, heavy polyester stitching, a pigskin lining, and 6 card slots- one of which has an I.D card window.
Currently, Saddleback’s Medium Bifold wallet carries an $80 price tag (Prices can change though: check the latest price.)
If you’re considering a Saddleback wallet, hopefully, this review will give you a good idea of what they are like. Personally, I had been eyeing it for a couple of years before I got it. So far I’m quite pleased with it.
Is It Worth The Price?
Is $80 a fair price or is it over-inflated? I think the price is fair for the quality you get. Saddleback wallets are priced similarly to other high-quality full-grain leather wallets like Bellroy, Mr. Lentz and Pad & Quill. Those wallets start at $70 and go up from there.
- Very Durable
- Excellent Quality Leather
- Quick Access notched card slots
- I.D. window
- Pigskin lining even in card slots
- Nice and Slim
- Not cheap
- Not a formal wallet
- finished edges instead of cut edges would be nice
- Doubling up cards is hard at first until it’s broken in
Saddleback Medium Bifold Specs
- Dimensions: 4 1/4″ Wide x 3 1/2″ High
- 5 Card slots: can fit 2 cards in each
- 1 Front I.D. card slot
- 2 additional storage/coin slots behind cards.
- Full-Grain Leather
- Pigskin lining
- RFID protection sewn into the lining
- Marine-grade polyester stitching
- 100-year warranty
Benefits of Full-Grain Leather
It’s Generally More Durable
Full-grain leather is made from the uppermost and densest portion of the hide(see above).
This high-density upper grain is the natural body armor of the cow. It’s the toughest part of the hide that protects it from injury, abrasions, and extreme weather.
This is why full-grain leather is the finest, smoothest and most durable leather available. It’s also why it is the most sought after and expensive kind of leather.
The next highest grade of leather is top-grain leather which still retains some of the top grain but that has been sanded down to remove flaws. It is often re-stamped with artificial grain marks.
A full run-down on all the different leather grades is beyond this scope of this Saddleback wallet review but you can check out how to choose a durable wallet for all that info.
Full Grain Leather’s Unique Characteristics
Full-grain leather keeps looking better with age. With time it will develop that “thousand-mile” look. This rich patina is something that full-grain leather does much better than any other leather.
Full-grain leather is basically an unmodified top portion of a tanned hide with only the hair removed. This means it will have natural grain and hide markings unique to the animal. Some full-grain leather pieces may have subtle crease marks, shade variations, and even cool scars you would never find on top-grain or genuine leather wallets.
I think full grain leather has a lot more character.
First Impressions of the Medium Bifold
Saddleback’s medium bifold is available in four colors: tobacco, coffee brown, chestnut or black. I personally think the tobacco is the best-looking one.
This wallet has a distinct rugged and rustic style to it. I think the cut-edges and liberal polyester stitching reinforcing everything on this wallet gives it an over-built, tough look.
You don’t need to be an expert on wallets to know this thing is built to last.
By comparison, lower quality wallets typically use thin cheap leathers and cardboard stiffeners hidden behind cheap fabric liners to make the wallet feel thicker and more substantial.
The only thing hidden on this wallet is the RFID protective foil installed within the Pigskin liner.
The full-grain leather on Saddleback medium bifold is surprisingly soft to the touch and the wallet feels weighted in hand which is a good initial sign of quality.
Sweeping your thumb back and forth will draw light and dark shades similar to suede. However, with time this suede-look will buff off to a darker smoother patina.
The Smell of Quality Leather
“This thing smells great!” I said to my wife when I first opened it. Heck! Sniffing this thing was my favorite part of this whole Saddleback wallet review!
Saddleback’s wallets’ leathery scent triggers nostalgic childhood memories of baseball gloves and new shoes.
There’s just nothing quite like the smell of high-quality leather.
3 Notched Quick Access Card Slots
Saddleback has added a handy sweeping notch on the three left card slots. This makes it easier to quickly grip a card firmly and haul it out without fiddling and digging.
It’s a thoughtful added touch for when you are pulling around to the drive-thru window while digging out your card with your spare hand, or when you are paying at the pump, it’s -10 degrees and your fingers feel like frozen carrots.
I.D Card Window
The I.D card window is a neat feature. Some folks need to show their ID frequently, but in practice I don’t usually do. Instead, I think I’ll be using this feature for flashing my membership card to the Costco doorman.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that pigskin is actually a more durable leather than cowhide even though it’s typically less costly.
Cowhide tends to become stiffer and less supple over time than pigskin. Pigskin is also more weather-resistant and can handle moisture far better.
Saddleback’s medium bifold wallet has pigskin lining on both sides of the main bills compartment. Each card slot is also individually lined with it which is nice attention to detail.
All of Saddleback’s wallets feature durable cut-edges as opposed to folded or burnished edges. I like the rustic style, and it also allows you to actually see the cross-section of the leather.
This is the best way to judge a leather’s thickness and tanning quality.
While not all wallets with folded or burnished edges are low quality, many wallet manufacturers paint, burnish or fold the edges to hide how thin and poorly tanned the leather actually is.
Saddleback uses a tough industrial polyester thread- the kind used in sails and parachutes. The stitching itself is even, tight and doesn’t have any waves or loose ends.
The I.D window and card slot mouths are also reinforced with stitching.
100 Year Warranty
One of Saddleback Leather’s claims to fame is its 100-year warranty accompanied by their cheeky motto:
“They’ll fight over it when you’re dead.”
I think that motto is particularly true of their briefcases..they are stunning pieces. I could actually see family quarrels over them.
While Saddleback Leather’s products are built to last a lifetime, the warranty does not cover misuse or abuse. If a rivet lets go or some stitching comes loose they’ll take care of you…no worries.
Basically, so long as you don’t have a hound named Oliver..you should be good to go.
Overall, I am very pleased with it and I know it will just keep looking better with age. The slim profile makes it an easy every-day-carry…I don’t like bulky pockets.
- Will it last 100 Years? Probably not. Nonetheless, it is still one of the most durable leather wallets you can buy.
- Buyer’s regret? Very unlikely.
- Worth the Price? Yes, it’s a fair price for the quality and durability you get.
- Biggest Complaint? I’m actually a bit stumped…I guess card slots are a bit tight to fit two in one until it is broken in.
- One thing I’d change? I would add a card pull-out tab for easier access to an item in the storage slots behind the card slots.
Price-wise, Saddleback’s Medium Bifold is on par with other similar quality full-grain leather wallets. However, none of the others offer a lifetime warranty like Saddleback does.
I hope you found the Saddleback wallet review helpful. Frankly, I’m kinda glad Oliver chewed up my old wallet, this new Saddleback wallet is better anyway.