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Buffalo Jackson is a company based on North Carolina that makes leather goods such as briefcases, duffle bags, wallets, dopp kits, and other luggage.
Portfolios are a tricky item to discuss. They’re like wallets, every person has their own specifications they want in a portfolio. Some of them hold notepads, some of them hold business cards, some even hold an iPad tablet. But you know that leather portfolio that is built to last a lifetime? Buffalo Jackson just might make that very one.
Buffalo Jackson uses Top Grain Leather for their products, the second highest grade of leather behind Full Grain Leather. The primary difference is that Top Grain Leather’s top surface is sanded away, removing most imperfections, while also making the leather slightly thinner to be able to be worked by the manufacturer. Buffalo Jackson fully discloses this information about Top Grain Leather in their knowledge center, so if you have a minute, head over there and read about it!
Denver Leather Travel Padfolio – Dark Walnut
- Made of top grain leather tanned to a “dark walnut” color
- Pigskin interior lining
- Fits a 8.5″ x 11.75″ writing pad – slides in from the top
- Open leather pocket on the left side
- Two additional leather pockets on the left side
- 2 credit/business card slots
- Dimensions: 12.5″ H x 10″ W (closed)
- Weight: 1.14 kg
The Buffalo Jackson package arrived in a neatly packed box in a dust sleeve, similar to a shoe bag. The dust sleeve seems to be made out of a lightweight linen/cotton blend. There were several items that came with the package for good measures: (1) a welcome to the family letter – explains how the company started up 6 years ago, (2) a Field Guide that has the company’s vision: to create products that last a long time, the company’s creed, and the company’s return policy, (3) a small card about leather and canvas care that refers to their website and knowledge center, and (4) a poem, If by Rudyard Kipling.
The company’s return policy states that you can return a product within 30 days if in unused condition if you realize you don’t like the product. However, you must front the return shipping cost yourself. On the other hand, there isn’t a restocking fee which is a bonus!
The padfolio is heavier than it actually looks. You open it from the leather flap that adds a secure touch for your documents inside. Once you open the padfolio, there are many pockets to hold the many important documents you may have. On the left side, there is a large sleeve to place 8.5 x 11″ papers in, that is accessible from the side. Additionally there are two pockets, accessible from the top. Even though the listed phone slot is smaller than what can fit phones these days (my iPhone X with a slim case doesn’t fit!), you can use the other pocket for your phone. You can fit additional pens or pencils in the other pocket. There is another opening behind the ID and business card slot that runs the length of the left flat, where you can store additional supplies or papers. Two slots can fit additional business cards or credit card slots. There is a business card slot which is accessible from the left opening. On the portfolio I received however, the right and bottom leather of the slot were not cut long enough to hold a card down in place (see below pic).
There are two imprints of the logo: one on the front, bottom right corner and one on the inner, bottom left corner. All of the pockets are lined with a chestnut, tanned pigskin, which feels very soft, but also wrinkles quite easily. My experience with pigskin is that its commonly used for the interior of leather goods because its easy to care for and hard wearing.
The right side has a flap that can hold a notepad from the top or the left side. Last, there is a pen loop stitched vertically in the interior spine, which fits a normal sized pen easily. A fountain pen might be a tight squeeze at first, but I think the leather will give.
Leather and Stitching
The leather and stitching are very nice and well-done. I don’t see any mis-stitches or loose threading anywhere. The leather is called Dark Walnut, which scuffs pretty easily with my fingernail, but can quickly be rubbed away. Even though the item is listed as Top Grain, I am not able to tell that it’s any quality lesser than full grain leather.
I like the dark brown color because it is matte and low-key, but still is light enough in color to develop a unique patina over time. If you bring this padfolio to a business meeting, I think you would garner some compliments!
I like the design of the padfolio especially the leather loop that holds keeps it closed. and the phone pocket that is already expanded. The construction and stitching as solid as my portfolio from Saddleback Leather, one of the other portfolios in full leather available out there. The Saddleback portfolio that I own (and is pictured next to Buffalo Jackson’s in the pics) is an older model that I’ve had since 2011, and the design has changed since. A few differences worth noting between the current available design compared to Buffalo Jackson’s: the padfolio from Buffalo Jackson has an expanded phone pocket, offers business card separation, and also has a ID card sleeve. Just from those additional details alone, I prefer the design and practicality of Buffalo Jackson’s padfolio more.
The price as $150 USD is very reasonably priced for a padfolio that I can say will last essentially a lifetime. Besides the ID card slot miscutting on the one I received, I don’t see any areas that will fail. You are more likely to misplace it before the padfolio gives out! At this time, there are only two color options available to it – this Dark Walnut and Sienna Brown (a light brown). The other model available on their site, the Elkton Padfolio (about $145 USD) is constructed with a mix of waxed canvas and leather. As much as I love waxed canvas for garments and bags, I’d recommend this full leather model for a few dollars more because of the added durability from leather. Adding in a Black color option in the future would be beneficial for the people who want an even more subtle and business professional look. I look forward to how the Dark Walnut leather will age, and I will update this review in the future!