Explanation of Why You Need This Valise in Your Life
Respect: Your respect level at airports and hotels will elevate substantially. You will get as many compliments sitting next to your sofa as you will at the airport.
Health: It’s good for you to carry things like this piece of luggage and things that don’t have wheels. A lifetime of using your muscle it will add years to your physical ability when you’re old. It’s common practice to wear leg weights, carry weights in your leather luggage or to purposefully take the stairs to grow and maintain strength. Also adding in more salad into the diet and drinking more water than before. All of these things contribute to our overall health in small ways. May I suggest you stop the gym membership and start mowing your own yard? How many fat out of shape landscapers do you know?
The valise was purposefully designed without wheels for 2 reasons.
Aesthetics: Wheels look bad with this old classic leather suitcase style (Imagine a $15,000 suit with roller skates). This is functional art so you can put it next to your desk or sofa when not traveling.
Longevity: Wheels on suitcases or valises break. And when they do, they’re done with. In the closet and eventually at the Salvation Army.
One time, we were doing a two month trip around the world, filming a documentary on the making of our canvas line, Mountainback. There were my wife and I, our two little kids and our filmmaker, Joe. We had nine 50 lb. leather suitcases and Beast Duffle bags. We were packed for cold weather (Scotland and Australia and New Zealand) and hot weather (Kenya and Rwanda). We also had 2 large carry-ons per person. I’m sure you can imagine the size of vehicles we needed to rent to carry us and our things. We’ll when we got to Australia, low and behold, they only had tiny little vehicles to rent. This would have stressed out any traveler with average luggage, but not us. I took the two removable belts off of our suitcases and strapped most of the luggage to the roof rack. This valise has removable belts too.
The valise is relatively lightweight, but it’s not built so lightweight that it falls apart. The interior is just one simple wide open space with a pigskin flap on the top for separating the clean from the dirty.
On the first major trip with my original larger valise, I carried it and my leather briefcase throughout Eastern Europe and North Africa for 6 weeks. And about 3 weeks into it, the valise handle broke. The complexity that caused and the energy I exerted because of that broken handle made me swear I would never let that happen to anyone who carried one of my valises. The handle is now hand-sewn with a boot-cord body and bolted to the body.
There are no breakable parts like zippers, snaps or buttons. Using those is like putting a cardboard hatch on a billion-dollar submarine. Once the hatch gives, the submarine is worthless. Instead of metal hinges, I designed it with two layers of full grain leather along the back and reinforced straps to hold the top open. The body is mostly handsewn with heavy-duty waxed boot cord for added strength.
This leather valise was built completely with full-grain leather. Here’s why that is so important. The leather’s grain is on the top of the hide and is the most durable part. The grain helps it to age handsomely and stay water resistant (cows are waterproof, right?) All leather has grain… to start.
Most companies try to make their valises, duffle bags and other leather luggage for the lowest price possible, so they buy low quality heavily scarred leather, split or shave off the scars and blemishes (along with all of the grain) and make a valise. now they can use every inch of the hide. If they shave off some of the grain, that’s top grain leather. If they shave all of it off or split the hide in half, then that’s called genuine or split leather. We WANT as much grain on our valises and other baggage as we can get. We want it all. Therefore, we have to select two hides with almost no imperfections to make each leather valise. And then, completely unnecessarily, I lined the valise interior with tough durable pigskin.