Barley Bird

A great big sporran review

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This review is several years in the making. I don't know how long it has been exactly, I am horrible with things like weeks, years, time in general, I don't have a good sense for that. I don't know which sporran I have, as mine is not numbered.

My sporran is more than a sporran... It is my trusted companion, and in the time I have had it, it has become as battered and worn as I am. Unlike me, it still manages to look good and respectable.

I could spend a few paragraphs telling you how good it is, and how well made it is, but that wouldn't do my little friend justice. No, no it wouldn't. Instead, let me tell you what my sporran has survived.

Drenching rain. I am outside a good bit. In all weather. Ice, occasional snow, rain, sun, and mostly blistering heat. My sporran has faced all of these elements and endured.

Damage. Lots and lots of damage. My sporran, like me, or perhaps because of me, faces many accidents and much abuse. The scar on the lid, shown in a photo below, came from a wheelchair handle that didn't have a grip on it, just the bare razor sharp metal tube end exposed. It took a massive chunk out of my sporran. Had I been wearing p@nt$, or not had a sporran on, it probably would have castrated me. I got sliced in the stomach too. (Wheelchair caught in malfunctioning elevator door, person and wheelchair being crushed) Sporran has been pinched in the door of a minivan. (Narrow space between vehicles in parking lot, was trying to close door, sporran in door, tried to walk away. Whoops) Overly friendly pitt bull and lab mix thinking that my sporran would be great for tug o' war. While I'm still wearing it. And then all the day to day stuff, snagged on tables, bumped, banged, thumped, knocked, all the usual stuff that happens.

Liquid damage. Sporran has been soaked in many fluids. Blood. Puke. (Both dog and human) Ale and horseradish mustard. Ketchup. Beer. An unfortunate incident involving grape jelly and a small child. Oh, speaking of a child, I guess that regurged baby formula probably goes under the puke filing. Crisco cooking oil. (Damnable small kitchen!) Itty bitty human hands covered with finger paint. The chocolate pudding incident. No, no I don't want to talk about that... Plus everything and anything that dribbles off my spoon or fork while eating.

Other than a few permanent dark spots, none of the above liquid encounters left behind any lasting damage. I will say that a cup of spilled tea did leave my sporran smelling delicious for a good long while. 'Twas a cup of Lady Grey, hot, with lots of lemon. You can still smell a faint whiff of it occasionally when the sporran poofs or floofs and the air inside comes rushing out.

The sporran it self has hauled all manner of things... Things that sporrans in general were not intended to haul. I've smuggled tall bottles of beer into the movie theatre using my sporran. Cider too. I've smuggled a big bag of string cheese in there... A one pound bag of dried, crystalised pineapple. Plus wallet, keys, a flashlight, plus other odds and ends. I once hauled a sandwich in there for a good distance. A sub sandwich. With onions, oil and vinegar, lettuce, jalapenos, banana peppers, pickles, pretty much loaded with veggies. That caused my sporran to smell peculiar for a while. I even took a half a dozen hard boiled eggs with me (in shell) inside my sporran on a long day trip out that involved a lot of walking and trips on the bus. (Hey, what can I say, I'm green, I run on natural gas, it is a great motivator to just keep walking and not stop and rest so much)

Some photos.

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The stitching still holds. There are a few scrapes, including one really bad one that went deep into the leather. The leather is still soft, and still smells like leather. (Among other things it occasionally smells like) There is no number on the back of the sporran, as you can see. Amazingly, nothing has failed. The only thing that doesn't work as well as it does the day I got it are the snaps, which have relaxed a little bit. The lid can pop free from the snaps with a light bump on occasion. That is not the fault of the sporran maker, snaps age. The sporran it self has aged beautifully, I still get comments and compliments on it, people still ask questions about my bag.

When, and if, this thing does ever finally give up the ghost, I reckon I'll hire a piper and commit it to the ground to be buried. Very few things stand up to the sort of abuse I put stuff through. Boots, clothes, personal items, everything associated with me goes through the ultimate stress test. Very few things hold up over prolonged periods of time. Even my kilts break down, wear down, catch on fire, or otherwise become well aged in their contact with me. My sporran has taken every ounce of abuse and it is still a perfectly serviceable product in every way. Even if I had a new sporran, I'd probably just wear this one, simply because I know this one hasn't let me down, and I know that in no time at all, a new sporran wouldn't stay new with me. I had a Buzz Kidder sporran that didn't hold up very well... My TCS outshines it in every way.

The strings need to be replaced I think. They've started to rot and get a little brittle.

Turpin, thanks... If only everything was this reliable life would be so much better.

Edit.

If Spartans wore sporrans, this would be the one!

sparta_smiley4ef.gif

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Well said! You can't argue with quality!

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Great review of an equally great product. Sounds as if the "Early Grey" treatment should become a regular maintenance item. . .

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Great review, But the question I want to have answered is.

Can you shove your whole head in to it???? With pictures of course....

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Great review of an equally great product. Sounds as if the "Early Grey" treatment should become a regular maintenance item. . .

The Lady Grey tea completely (and mercifully) destroyed the sour milk stink of baby barf that just wouldn't go away no matter how many times I wiped it down and washed it.

Silly me, I was holding the baby up over my head and making her dance and wiggle. And what do I get? Barfed on. Down my shirt, on my sporran, all over my kilt.

Totally worth it by the way.

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Great review, But the question I want to have answered is.

Can you shove your whole head in to it???? With pictures of course....

oh boy...here we go again.

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I don't think my big head will fit in there. My skull is over 24 inches.

Not that this is a fault in any way of course.

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Can't get a better testimonial than that!

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Great, thorough review!

Thanks!

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I own his products & I agree. PLUS it SHOWS, what a TRUE BOTK Merchant PROVIDES

1 a Quality product

2.RELIABLE & honest customer relations etc

BUT IMHO, some of the "comments" are "overboard"

Puffer

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Wow, Dread! You've put that sporran through a torture test, but it still looks great. BTW I think Turpin can send you some new strings. I think he's using leather for those now.`

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Moose hide.

say no more

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It held up well and I am sure the craftsmanship had something to do with it!

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Thanks for the reminder. Just did my taxes, procrastinating because I thought I'd have to pay. Turns out, I'm getting a bit of cash back. I've thought for a while that I'd like a Thorfinn sporran.

Hmmmmmm. {strokes chin thoughtfully}

You wont regret it, this I assure you. There are a lot of sporrans in the world. Some look good. Some are well made. Some are only meant to look good in perfect protected environments. This is not one of those sporrans.

I don't like anything that I have to fuss or fret over, (one of the reasons I have issues with 8 yard kilts) I can't stand having to worry about something. I want something that is there, with me, that serves me, and that I wont need to freak out over if something bad happens to it. Because something BAD will happen.

Scots of old lived out of their sporrans. In them, they carried powder and shot, a few days worth of oatmeal, dried meat, booze, their wealth, anything and everything they might need if they suddenly needed to bug out and go and hide in the heather for a while, or if they suddenly had to go off to battle. And these bags had to endure harsh environments and exceedingly hostile conditions, wet damp places, cold, mud, dirt, and even battle. They had to be well made because of the valuable things they carried, and the importance of not losing those things.

A Thorfinn Custom Sporran is the spiritual decedent of those sporrans of old. Any feral Scot would be proud to have one.

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I own his products & I agree. PLUS it SHOWS, what a TRUE BOTK Merchant PROVIDES

1 a Quality product

2.RELIABLE & honest customer relations etc

BUT IMHO, some of the "comments" are "overboard"

Puffer

I'm not sure which comment was an issue, but real life happens. Babies spew on people. There are some things that happen that just can't be avoided. And it is good to know that something as important as your sporran can stand up to these sorts of things, should they happen. (But a wool kilt might not)

I don't have to many "nice" things. I'm dirt poor. The things I do own, I treasure them should they find themselves deserving. Because of the things I listed, (and there were so many things I didn't list) my sporran has earned a spot of respect. It is probably one of the most practical pieces of gear I own.

I wanted to make sure the reader understood that these are not some el-cheapo Pakistani tat that has to be mollycoddled. And that, even though they look oh so nice and formal, you can in fact beat the whimpering bejeebus out of them and they can still look pretty darn good.

Abuse and all, I've worn my sporran to everything from casual BBQs and gatherings, to dressy affairs, funerals, and even a few formal affairs (where I was woefully under dressed) And at many of those events, people have commented. The sporran gets their attention. Even events where people are wearing suits that cost more money than my wife and I see in a year, those people stop to comment on occasion about the sporran. (The kilt too, but the sporran always gets more attention during the actual conversation)

When I visited a new art gallery that opened, one of the artists commented that my sporran was "art that ages, a flesh that remembers." He noticed the scar on the lid. Long conversation about kilts too... And fabric and kilt making as art.

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When I visited a new art gallery that opened, one of the artists commented that my sporran was "art that ages, a flesh that remembers." He noticed the scar on the lid. Long conversation about kilts too... And fabric and kilt making as art.

"art that ages" - I'm gobsmacked!

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I'm not sure which comment was an issue, but real life happens. Babies spew on people. There are some things that happen that just can't be avoided. And it is good to know that something as important as your sporran can stand up to these sorts of things, should they happen. (But a wool kilt might not)

I don't have to many "nice" things. I'm dirt poor. The things I do own, I treasure them should they find themselves deserving. Because of the things I listed, (and there were so many things I didn't list) my sporran has earned a spot of respect. It is probably one of the most practical pieces of gear I own.

I wanted to make sure the reader understood that these are not some el-cheapo Pakistani tat that has to be mollycoddled. And that, even though they look oh so nice and formal, you can in fact beat the whimpering bejeebus out of them and they can still look pretty darn good.

Abuse and all, I've worn my sporran to everything from casual BBQs and gatherings, to dressy affairs, funerals, and even a few formal affairs (where I was woefully under dressed) And at many of those events, people have commented. The sporran gets their attention. Even events where people are wearing suits that cost more money than my wife and I see in a year, those people stop to comment on occasion about the sporran. (The kilt too, but the sporran always gets more attention during the actual conversation)

When I visited a new art gallery that opened, one of the artists commented that my sporran was "art that ages, a flesh that remembers." He noticed the scar on the lid. Long conversation about kilts too... And fabric and kilt making as art.

NO problem Just an observation. :wavey:

BTW - the above ( your reply) is REALITY & I now understand

Hold your head HIGH & walk Tall

Puffer

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oh boy...here we go again.

Yep, Here we go again, The reason I keep this up is one of the vendors at our local Ren Faire actually makes a sporran that he can shove his whole head in, I've seen it and think it's hilarious. And yes his head is as big as Dreads...

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Yep, Here we go again, The reason I keep this up is one of the vendors at our local Ren Faire actually makes a sporran that he can shove his whole head in, I've seen it and think it's hilarious. And yes his head is as big as Dreads...

obviously you didn't see the pic I posted here with MY head in my thorfinn, did you?

http://www.kiltsrock.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=11135

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obviously you didn't see the pic I posted here with MY head in my thorfinn, did you?

http://www.kiltsrock.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=11135

OMG!! THAT IS HILARIOUS

Puffer

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Awesome pic KT! :lol:

And a really good review Dread. I've been in the market for a new sporran and have been really taking my time with it. It's thing s like this that really help out.

That and knowing I too could quite possibly fit my head in it.

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To be completely fair, the design has changed a bit since mine was produced. I think mine was a prototype. The cell phone pocket thingy is in the front of the sporran for example. I notice mine looks different in construction from most of the newer ones. Newer ones might have a larger opening. Or I might just have a really big head.

And for anybody sitting on the fence, just take the leap and go for it. I've beaten the hell out of mine for two years (Turpin told me) and only then, when I knew that it had earned it, gave it a full review. A lot of folks buy a new sporran and review it during the honeymoon phase, all hopped up on joy and dopamine, all excited from having a new sporran. Nothing wrong with this at all. For me, the honeymoon ended a few days after getting it, life went on, and there was a lot of living to do.

By the way, ask for moose hide.

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obviously you didn't see the pic I posted here with MY head in my thorfinn, did you?

http://www.kiltsrock.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=11135

Now you know I did, But I honestly mean get your whole head in it, And for the record that was the funniest picture I had seen in a while, My old monitor was covered with Smithwicks after seeing that one.....

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obviously you didn't see the pic I posted here with MY head in my thorfinn, did you?

http://www.kiltsrock.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=11135

You have to remember that the middle name for TCS is Custom. Turpin will make a sporran big enough for ANY head, even Dread's.

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