by Herndon Hasty (Digital Performance Manager)
We’re a Texas-based company, and Texas loves it some football. And while Saddleback is a bunch of wandering spirits who encase wanderlust in leather and share it with a worldwide family, the siren sound of your hometown’s passion is pretty tough to deny. When you’re less than an hour away from a high school football stadium that seats 18,000 and cost $60 million, it’s a force that’s going to get the best of some of your team.
But other than lining our bags with the same thing that those jerseyed Tyrannosaurs of men chuck at each other almost every night of the week, what does Saddleback have in common with football?
Stuff, that’s what. It takes a lot of stuff to be a fan on game day. Nearly as much as it takes to be on the field.
Tailgating starts a minimum of two hours before kickoff, a game is 3 to 4 hours long, and the entire time you’re out of doors, probably in the sun, and very hungry and thirsty. Six hours of your day is soaked up in eating, drinking, walking, watching, waiting and probably praying. To get through all that takes a lot of stuff, and since you’re on the move, you’ve got to be able to carry that stuff. Especially at college games, you’ll be given more stuff, and probably leave the stadium with more stuff than you came with.
All of that assumes that the game’s in town. If you’re traveling, even the most frugal traveler has – yup – more stuff to deal with.
Except that we like to think carrying stuff in a Saddleback bag gives it dignity, and turns it into gear.
So – what are the best ways to Saddleback up at football games? Or, to be inclusive to other fall sports: soccer matches, tennis meets, lacrosse tournaments, and math….scrums? Other than NFL games, where your carry-ins are basically one set design (and the day we can make leather clear, we’ll be there too), our staff favorites are:
Traveling light: Tablet Bag
It’s built for an iPad, but Saddleback’s Tablet Bag is actually big enough to carry the basics for football games: Bottle or two of water (or Shiner Bok, if you can’t trust the water), towel for rallies and wet seats, small snack bag, sunscreen for the summer, light cold weather gear for the winter. You can fit a few promotional hand fans, koozies and Chick Fil-A coupons from outside the stadium in the back pocket and, to fulfill the bag’s original destiny, even a Kindle or small tablet in the front pocket for halftime and moments between moments.
Packing for four: Large Satchel
Maybe you’ve got a longer day in front of you, or more people counting on you. When your basics need to include toys, blankets, twice as many bottles of water, and in a pinch, a whole kid, the Large Satchel boasts more than three times the cubic space of a Tablet bag (more than enough for one person), and converts into a backpack for even easier carrying, and converts back just as easily if your stadium doesn’t allow backpacks…though if your gameday experience is anything like ours, security will be too mesmerized by your bag to notice anything off-regulation about it.
Versatile as it is, you might even be able to substitute a Dry Bag – basically a miniature duffel that carries even easier, and doubles the already spacious Satchel’s size. For those who like conventional style, though, a Large Satchel is plenty of bag.
Space with style: Classic Tote – either size
Need to look good at looking good, and carry even a change of clothes? While the classic tote has a more open top than some of our other options – more vulnerable to a spill – it can still seal up pretty solidly, hold a minimum of 100 cubic inches more than the large satchel, and look pretty (but tough) doing it.
The Away Game: Waterbag
Road trips and private jets alike mean at least a weekend’s worth of clothes and toiletries, plus room for game day gear and space for stuff (soon to be gear) picked up at the opponent’s stadium. And that assumes it’s just you you’re packing for. With a waterbag, you’ve got a ton of space that still fits in an overhead compartment so you don’t even have to deal with baggage check.
Honorable Mention – The Armchair Warrior: Leather Coaster Set
Of course, the sanest of them all are the ones that save their money, skin, and blood pressure and watch the game from home, on their own or amongst friends. And amongst their stuff, which suddenly doesn’t need transportation. What it needs, however, is protection from your other stuff – like saving furniture from beverages. Even if you’re watching from home, Saddleback still protects and transports your stuff (granted, from your side to your mouth, rather than across parking lots) with its leather coasters.
The truly hardcore might choose entire desk or mouse pads to cover a tabletop – covers a lot of drinks at once, and puts age on it even faster – but sanity’s already won out in your choice of venue…probably a good idea to let it win here, too.
Do you use your Saddleback gear for game days, whether it’s 4 year-old Herdball or the Olympics? Give a shout out to your favorite stuff-carrying, gear-creating, leather Saddleback bag for making the most of your sports experience in the comments below.