Last updated on July 26, 2023
A few weeks ago, I was sitting, enjoying a coffee, in the walled garden of a local café. Across the courtyard, I could see a couple drinking tea and playing some sort of board game, but I was unable to discern what they were playing. As I left, I took a detour and wandered past their table. They had just finished a game of backgammon on a delightful little leather travel set. I commented on the board and they proceeded to give me the grand tour of all of the set’s features. This was my introduction to the Sondergut leather travel backgammon set.
If you are a keen backgammon player, but cannot bear the thought of not being able to play when away from home this may be the ideal solution. This leather travel backgammon set was designed in Germany by Sondergut. Hand sewn from genuine leather, it comes in three colours; Cognac, mocha and cream. The obvious colour choice would be the mocha as it looks the most natural. The cream would be a nightmare to keep clean whilst travelling. I am not an expert on sewing, but the stitching looks amazingly consistent for something that claims to be hand sewn.
The Sondergut backgammon set is very similar to the Jaques of London leather travel set that the Deluxe Backgammon team frequently play on. It’s possible they are produced in the same factory, but simply branded differently.
The material has a soft suede feel and the unmistakable smell of leather. The set rolls neatly up into a small package about the size of a travel umbrella (25cm long x 5cm diameter). Securing the bundle is two leather straps and some press studs. It feels secure when rolled up and is unlikely to unravel unintentionally. The whole package is lightweight at only 250g. Once rolled up it would easily fit into a handbag, backpack or carry-on bag.
Unrolling the set reveals the playing field with 24 hand-sewn points (black and cream) and a zippered pocket that contains the plastic checkers and dice, including a doubling cube. Unrolled the board’s dimensions are 25cm x 32cm and it sits remarkably flat. A nice touch would have been to have the checkers and dice made from wood so that the entire package was made from natural materials. Although, it wouldn’t be difficult to have those pieces made to replace the originals. Obviously, in a package of this size, there is no room for a dice cup.
The set is manufactured in China, but we were unable to determine if the leather was from a sustainable source. This quality backgammon set looks and feels luxurious. It’s rugged, lightweight and compact, which makes it the perfect travel set. Because it is made from leather it will acquire a fine patina over time that will enhance its appeal. This is well worth considering as a Deluxe Backgammon travel set, particularly at such a budget price. RRP at the time of writing, £39.99.
Manufacturer’s reference SG_BACKGAMMON.MOCCA