For me, smoking a good cigar is as much about the ritual and the environment as it is about the cigar itself. It’s a solid hour of time where I know I can just sit and relax, enjoying the solitude of the outdoors or the warm company of friends. So when I started getting annoyed that my lighter would go missing from its spot or that my cutter was making a racket in my pocket as I walked around, I decided that I needed a way to keep all the necessary tools in an easy-to-grab kit that wouldn’t also look terrible.
I started by looking at some of the other kits available on the market, which usually consisted of a travel humidor plus whatever cutter and lighter holder they decided to tack onto the side. It’s convenient, I’ll give them that, but I wanted something I could decouple from the cigars themselves. If I just wanted to walk into the local cigar shop, buy a stick on the spot, and plop myself down into one of their chairs I wanted a kit that would allow me to cut and light my cigar in peace and convenience — while still fitting into my jeans pocket.
The other option was a combination lighter and cigar punch, which is a completely acceptable way to solve the situation. There are a number of butane lighters that feature a swing-out cigar punch in the bottom. There’s were just two problems: I prefer a straight cut instead of a punch, and I already have a Zippo lighter with a butane insert that I’m quite attached to.
Having failed to find anything I liked ready-to-order, I decided to try and get something custom made to my specifications instead. My requirements were pretty simple:
Slim enough to comfortably fit in my pocket
Able to keep my lighter and cutter from scratching each other up
I worked with the folks over at Sorringowl and Sons to come up with a design that works, and the end result was exactly what I wanted.
The square leather pouch has two compartments and a flap to keep everything contained. The front pouch is just the right height and size to accept a Zippo lighter, and the rear pouch is tall enough to contain my straight cigar cutter. Instead of using a snap or button to keep the pouch closed there’s a leather strap that wraps around the package, something that keeps the overall profile slimmer than say, a snap button, and much softer as well.
I bought this pouch over three years ago, and I’ve been using it constantly ever since. The leather has worked itself to be much softer and more supple than when it was first delivered, but otherwise it’s exactly the same as the day it first arrived. Tough, useful, and attractive, it still meets all my requirements. And inevitably, when another cigar aficionado spots it, they immediately ask me where I got it.
Here’s the rub, though — I could probably have gotten a combination lighter and cigar punch for about $40 and called it a day. I also probably would have lost it and purchased a new one a couple times over. This pouch, on the other hand, cost well north of $150. But to me, it has been worth every penny.
Like I said, cigar smoking is more about the ritual and the experience than it is about the tobacco. This leather pouch is something that improves the experience, not only by keeping my cigar smoking accessories in one place but also because it fits in with the look and feel I associate with a good cigar. It’s like an old comfy leather chair for my lighter, and to me, that’s exactly what I wanted.