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One Perfect Present: A Frequent Flyer-Approved, Handmade Leather Case

December 16, 2013 at 4:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

There's so much crap travel gear out there that, all this week, we're wading through the muck to feature travel items truly worth giving as gifts. Every day, we'll feature one item we personally love and recommend and think you need in your travel life.

In a small leather shop in Colorado, "in a town full of wildlife nestled against Rocky Mountain National Park," there's a small company named SkyTop Trading. It's the type of manufacturer whose merits spread by word of mouth, and they'd like to keep it that way; each item is handmade by craftsmen of quality saddle leather with the promise that "it will outlast you."

We first spotted a SkyTop briefcase on our friend, Sid, who commutes half-way across the United States to then travel half-way around the world on business. He's a frequent flyer for his day job as well as in his free time, piloting his 1962 Beechcraft Bonanza. Every mile of the way, that gorgeous SkyTop is in-hand or on his back.

As you can imagine, the fact that each case is handmade means placing ASAP orders for delivery in time for Christmas is not possible this late. Only the "Saddle Brown" may arrive in time, whereas other finishes won't ship until late January.

If you do order a case with the intention of giving it as a gift, we recommend handing over a holiday card with the instructions to be patient for something amazing and handmade. When it does then arrive, the recipient will be beyond the rote "thank yous" and blanket appreciation of holiday presents and in a position to properly appreciate such a special item. Or you can just go with SkyTop's "order confirmation in gift box" option.

Where to buy: Only available online, direct from SkyTop Trading.

How much: From $86 for an iPhone case, to $329 for a DSLR case, to $1,175 for the Classic Pullman Briefcase.


Not our best photo, but shows the side of the case and how it looks over a thick camel overcoat

And, like any handmade leather gear company worth its salt, SkyTop also makes accessory cases. For iPads, iPhones and laptops of course, but we're most impressed with the semi-rigid leather protective cases with quick shooting access for DSLR cameras (pictured below).

[Photos: Jaunted, SkyTop Trading]

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