Please tell me about the best Vaja alternatives for premium leather cases

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Kukulcan, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. Kukulcan macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2011
    The pronounciation is on "premium leather".

    Vaja has their Pampa leather but they won't give it to me in an iPhone SE case ("It is only for our premium silver line cases", "The SE silver line cases don't have it", "Oh, then you are f***ed").

    What I am looking for is obviously Top Grain leather, also vegetable tanned and with a nice texture including scars or insect bites.

    European based companies would be a bonus, but not necesssary.
  2. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2008
    Some brands to explore, in no particular order...

    Piel Frama
    Castello DaVarg
    Hard Graft
    Pad & Quill
    Pack & Smooch

    I understand Vaja makes nice stuff, but I've always been put off by their pricing and business practices enough to never try one.
  3. imhereareyou macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2013
    Great list, gonna have to go through them all now.
  4. Kukulcan thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2011
    Thank you so much for taking the time, yeah, Vaja service is worst, as I tried to convey in my first post. Unfortunately I don't find any company in your list offering anything matching the best Vaja leather.

    I already have/had Sena, Pielframa and Noreve (nice Nubuk PS Vita Case), also Saddleback and Waterfield. Hard Graft stuff is really nice, but not the style I am looking for. Calypso looks nice, but overpriced, and like many others they have no 5S cases anymore (so I have to wait until they discover they can now sell them as SE cases again). Kavay and Stilgut I would rather not call quality leather at all.

    Vegatable tanning is not a must, but at least the Vaja vegetable Cases age nicely, while their chrome tanned do not age at all.

    Right now nothing beats the Vaja Nueva Pelle for $49 on sale if I go for one with front cover. For grip style there were one or two alternatives but nothing special, might even go for original Apple then.

    But at least the Pad & Quill bridle leather might be my next iPad Air 2 case, thanks for that.
  5. Kukulcan thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2011
    Oh, I just discovered Greenwich (bull hide leather) and the Nodus collection (vegetable tanned, top grain leather). Although Nodus looks not as textured as the Vaja cases the Grip style (called Shell) looks really great I think I'll give it a try.
  6. Nadim1955, Mar 25, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016

    Nadim1955 macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2016

    Do check out Motomo made in Korea at

    correction ... the brand name is Motimo not Motomo
  7. Nancy bout macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2013
    Calypso cases are awesome- pad & quill I've wanted never got.
  8. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2008
    I forgot to mention MAKR and Etsy. The latter is no longer solely the domain of small shops doing hand made work, but it's still a good place to try to avoid ordering some expensive case and then discovering it's mass produced in a factory in the Far East.

    I'm surprised no one has really attempted a Shell Cordovan case. I found one, but it' There are a number of cordovan sleeves, though.
  9. Kukulcan thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2011
    From the Caylpso Thread the leather of the Calypso Cabrio looks nothing like the Vaja leather quality (unless you like shiny platicy looking leather) and even the one reviewer found it does not look/fit well.

    Looking into a wood/leather one from Grovemade now.
  10. Kukulcan, Mar 29, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016

    Kukulcan thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2011
    Tuscan leather from Italy has vegetable tanned leathers (also horse) and the cases look very nice, maybe I will order one and check if they fit my 5S convenientally.

    Their customer service (chat) is very nice and I will probably get matching 5S and iPad Air 2 cases at fair prices (bye bye Vaja).
  11. julescilib macrumors member


    Oct 2, 2012
    HAHA link please
  12. Kukulcan thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2011
  13. bahndoos, Mar 31, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016

    bahndoos macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2010
    I've been buying from Vaja since iPhone 3G and never had a customer service problem with them. Strange how individual cases vary so much.

    OP: Customer service aside, why do you only want the Pampa leather? All of Vaja's are top grain and very high quality. Nuovo Pelle is the only one that will develop distinctive patina with use. The Floater leather is incredibly scratch resistant (for a leather). Point being , all their leathers have their own unique qualities depending on your practical use of them. Pampa is just their fanciest overall case with silver lining etc. The quality of the leather is not different from their other leathers, only the texture is, as is with all other Vaja leathers.
  14. Kukulcan thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2011
    From their own website the Pampa leather is vegetable tanned and strong, while the Bridge leather is vegetable and delicate. Both will grow a Patina.

    In their own words the Pampa is their best (most premium leather) still they just give to 1% of their customers (as all customers wanting the best leather also want silver).

    OK, so I bought the silver line for iPhone 6, but want to change to SE now. I asked them how I can buy a Pampa leather case for that phone. They probably copied a text block saying "Pampa leather is exclusive to our silver line". Great, but when buying a silver line SE case I get Bridge.

    That's why I hate their customer service. They are not slow or stuff, they are just inflexible and arrogant. I am sure it wouldn't be a problem to give the customers what they want.

    I don't know how the cases from Tuscany will be (review to follow), but she told me about what leathers they have and when I said I like leather with a strong texture she told me she will cut the leather from a more rugged part and will smooth it less.
  15. bahndoos macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2010
    I see your point. Vaja is not a flexible, custom case maker. You have to choose from what they offer only, with no option to improvise. This is certainly something they would do well to change!

    If you do get the Tuscan case, please post pics - I'd be interested in seeing what you get.
  16. Kukulcan thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2011
    I wouldn't even hold it against them, if they wouldn't brag about how every of their cases is hand made in an (obviously expensive) 20 day process.

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