Sorry for the small break from the blog. The past month has been one of the craziest and most busy in awhile! I've got a whole lineup of products to review and share, so stay tuned.
But this has been an item I've been waiting to review for awhile now...
Galen Leather out of Istanbul, Turkey was started by a duo of creative people, Zeynep & Yusuf, who began making small leather goods as a hobby but eventually turned it into their full-time work.
I am a sucker for new leather goods on the market and they kindly offered to send me one of their extra large Moleskine/iPad covers to review. Thanks so much!
I would consider the cover to be more along the lines of a "folio" (although it doesn't have a clasp or zipper of any kind) as it not only holds the notebook, but also has pockets, sleeves, pen loops, and slots for cards. It isn't overly complicated in design like some brands which I kind of enjoy. I think with too many hooks, loops, pockets, carabiners... you get the picture, but it can be too much.
Sometimes less is more.
One of the first things you notice about the cover is how thick the leather is. Not quite as thick as belt leather, but pretty darn close. This provides substance to the cover and it definitely feels sturdy. I absolutely detest thin, flimsy leather. It feels cheap, usually looks cheap, but the Galen cover is neither of those things.
I requested the black version (which is a bit of a variation for me as I usually enjoy brown), and it looks great. There were no noticeable blemishes in the cover when it arrived, but it will certainly age over time with nicks and dings from normal use. Also, with the thickness of the cover I'd wager it will last a long time.
The stitching is a lighter color which contrasts strongly against the leather. I don't have a real opinion on this, but I think that with some of the darker leathers they might be able to incorporate some red or blue stitching if they wanted to stand out, or, go straight black for a more sleek aesthetic. It looks great as is though, and the stitching is even, uniform, and strong.
To hold the notebook in place the cover has an attached elastic strap that is about 1.5" wide. The back cover of the notebook slips under the strap to secure it in place and there is also a loop from the elastic that can secure the cover shut while in transit.
Also inside is a single elastic pen loop which fits in between the spine of the notebook and the cover's fold so your pen is nicely protected and won't smash into the cover or run the risk of getting damaged.
There are also two inner sleeves that are the full size of the cover where you can safely tuck away an iPad Air. Now, if you have a protective cover on your iPad, this likely won't work unless it is extremely thin. So, those indestructible, bomb proof, Otterbox cases... probably won't fit.
Also for holding a small pocket notebook and some credit/debit cards (or business cards), they have included some slits cut out of the left inner section. If this folio were to turn into your carryall type of setup, these would be super handy. Personally, I haven't found myself using them only due to them not fitting into my daily need.
For what you receive with the Galen products I feel their pricing is extremely good. Solid quality, craftsmanship, and materials. This folio/cover runs under $100 and international shipping is only $13 to the US. I've been following them since last year and they have quickly been expanding their lineup to also include zipper cases, covers for Rhodia and Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, as well as many other products.
Again, special thanks to Galen Leather for sending this my way! Definitely give them a look.