Today's Tech Talk post comes from a reader: "Hi Kevin, I just bought a brand new MacBook Pro. What bag do you use to carry yours in?" Great question! Too often, people focus solely on the computer and not at all on how to carry and protect their investment.
I have three bag/case recommendations for you. Before diving into what they are and why I like them, keep in mind that this is coming from a guy's perspective. Also remember that when choosing your bag/case, you probably want to choose something that includes form as well as function. Keep in mind what you do, who you are and your workflow. There are very specific reasons why I chose the bags I did. They fit my personality, lifestyle and movement.
I'll start with the bag that I use the most... this is the WaterField CitySlicker case. I love this bag as a daily bag for a couple reasons. First, I think it looks really nice. The front panel is made of leather and the bag itself is very durable. What you don't see in this picture is that there is an optional padded strap that I use to go across my chest to carry it as I walk around. It's easy to put on and comfortable to walk with.
This is a thin case, so you can't fit a lot of stuff inside. I do, however, have a few things that I carry with me all the time: network cable, Thunderbolt network adapter, Apple EarPods, FiftyThree pencil, sync cable and business cards. What can I not fit in the bag? A MacBook Pro power supply. This typically isn't an issue because the battery on my MacBook Pro lasts a full work day. The only improvement that they could make to this bag would be to add a compartment for my iPad Air 2.
If you want to buy the WaterField CitySlicker case, plan on spending at least $129 (prices vary because there are different options to choose from, including various colors of fabric and types of leather).
My next most used bad is the Brenthaven Prostyle SlimPack. From my perspective (and for the way that I travel), this is the most perfect travel bag. Every time I head to the airport, I have at least one person comment on this bag, wanting to know who makes it and where they can buy it. It attracts attention because it's a backpack, but it's not as bulky as your standard backpack. I fit everything I need with me when I travel in this bag (MacBook Pro, iPad Air 2, cards, cables, etc.), but it's much thinner and lighter than any other backpack that I have used.
The only thing I can't fit in the bag (limitation of size) is my MacBook Pro's power supply. It's not an issue for me because I have one designated for travel in my travel suitcase. It's always there and always ready. Unless I'm traveling to Europe (which doesn't happen that often), my MacBook Pro has plenty of battery life built-in, so I can leave the power supply in my suitcase for the journey.
If you want to buy the Brenthaven ProStyle SlimPack, plan on spending around $100.
My last bag recommendation isn't actually a bag at all, but a sleeve. It's the Côte & Ciel Zippered Sleeve. This padded sleeve is always on my desk so that I can grab it quickly on my way out the door. If I'm going somewhere where I definitely know I won't need any cables, adapters or cards (in other words, just my laptop), then I grab this to protect my laptop from dings and dents.
It features exterior material that offers a nice grip when you grab it and it has a padded zipper. Most people don't consider things like a padded zipper, but I have had sleeves before that didn't have a padded zipper. The result... The zippers scrape the side of your laptop as you remove it from the case. Ouch!! The inside is very soft and nicely padded. While I strongly recommend avoiding dropping your laptop, the padding inside can help reduce damage if it does suffer a short fall to the ground.
If you want to buy the Côte & Ciel Zippered Sleeve, plan on spending around $50.