The Best Bag for Your 'Book (Part 1)

The Best Bag for Your 'Book (Part 1)

Left to right: CourierSafe 100, The Considerable Embarassment, LEvertigo Kakee, Premium Leather Shoulder Bag, MetroLite





PRICE: $119.95

SPECIFICATIONS: Fits up to 15" MacBook Pro

Unique security features. Lightweight. Light interior makes finding things easier. Strap adjusts on either side of shoulder pad. Headphone port. Also available in black and brown.

Needs more padding at bottom of notebook compartment. Large Velcro strips on front can catch on clothing.




COMPANY: Crumpler


PRICE: $85

SPECIFICATIONS: Fits up to 15" MacBook Pro

Feels great on. Designed for maximum functionality. Bright interior helps you find your stuff. Laptop pocket doesn’t “touch bottom,” for added shock protection. Removable shoulder pad.

Big Velcro patches on front flap tend to catch on nubby fabrics.




COMPANY: be.ez


PRICE: $69.99

SPECIFICATIONS: Fits up to 15" MacBook Pro

Unique urban styling. Relatively slim yet holds quite a bit. Lightweight. Day-glo interior makes it easy to find things inside. Also available in black, gray, purple, and white.

Long front flap is a bit unwieldy. 15-inch MacBook Pro barely fits in laptop compartment. Needs an exterior zippered pocket.






PRICE: $199.99

SPECIFICATIONS: Fits up to 17" MacBook Pro

Soft, rich leather. Comfortable to carry. Plenty of room for more than just a laptop. Also available in black, red, pink, and brown.

Styling is dated. No separate laptop compartment. Eye-popping price. Metal clasps tricky to open and close.




COMPANY: Brenthaven


PRICE: $79.95

SPECIFICATIONS: Fits up to 15" MacBook Pro

Lightweight and slim. Thick padding and side bumpers offer superior laptop protection. Faux-suede material repels liquids. Also available in black.

Lacks extra storage found in bags in the same price range. Stiff zippers and handles.



Left to right: Medium Blogger, Small Shuttle, Sportfolio Deluxe, Messenger Deck Bag, Medium Alley



COMPANY: Timbuk2


PRICE: $80

SPECIFICATIONS: Fits up to 15" MacBook Pro

For a compact, vertically oriented bag, it has quite a bit of room for more than just a laptop. Strap is adjustable on both sides. Laptop compartment has well-padded sides. Lots of color choices.

Needs an exterior zippered pocket. Bottom of laptop compartment could use extra padding.




COMPANY: Chrome Bags


PRICE: $120

SPECIFICATIONS: Fits up to 15" MacBook Pro

Unique exterior finish (green Kevlar composite). Available in four other colors/patterns.

High price. For a “small” bag it feels quite bulky. Metal clasps on the front flap are a pain to open and close. Not enough padding at the bottom of laptop pocket. Doesn’t hold much.




COMPANY: Marware


PRICE: $79.95

SPECIFICATIONS: Fits up to 15" MacBook Pro, available for 17" MacBook Pro

Neoprene material offers excellent side padding. Lightweight. Headphone port in iPod compartment. Interior pockets labeled with icons keep your gear organized. Available in all black.

Graphics on front are overkill. More padding on the bottom would be nice. Too small to fit much else besides laptop and basic accessories.




COMPANY: MobileJuice


PRICE: $105

SPECIFICATIONS: Fits up to 17" MacBook Pro

Water-resistant material and rubberized zippers make this a good choice for anyone who brings a laptop out into the elements or near water. Padded shoulder strap adjusts on both sides.

Rubberized zippers are hard to open and close. Water-resistant fabric feels cheap and thin. No external zippered pocket.






PRICE: $59.95

SPECIFICATIONS: Fits up to 15" MacBook Pro

Ingeniously simple and functional. Well made of durable, good-looking ripstop polyester that repels liquids and stains. Vertical orientation. Affordable. Good amount of padding around laptop.

Slim design can’t accommodate bulky items.





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I use a Domke J3 bag for my 13" Macbook with an Incase sleeve. Previously I carried a Dell laptop on a daily motorcycle commute in the J3. Lots of pockets and doubles as a camera bag with a velcro insert. Works for me.


Roger Dupuy

I wonder if the reviewers put a real notebook in, with some peripherals, an ipod, a folder, and some small nick knacks and THEN put the bag on the shoulder?

The straps are SO important for comfort. Nowadays they really skimp. They usually just have a 'car seat belt' with a slidey piece of junk that is 'interfacing' with your shoulder.

I have yet to find a well-thought of strap.

The closest one is the KEEN Alameda Computer Bag.
It's too heavy by itself, although it has many great features, BUT it has a broader strap. This broad strap is it. It is thin, but no matter where you have the strap on your shoulder you will not get that 'pinch' when you miss the padded part of the other bags.

I don't own stock in Keen. Nor do I work for them, they just have a bag that paid attention to the strap, which no one does and it really is a very important part of your portage system.



The selection of bags for this article was pretty broad, but how did you miss one of the best bag makers out there? Waterfield Designs ( is located in San Francisco and they make their bags in San Francisco too. Aren't you guys in San Francisco, how could you not know about this company? They make some of the best designed bags and their sleeves are the best in the industry.

I am a satisfied customer and recommend their laptop sleeves and gadget bags to everyone I know that is looking for a laptop sleeve.

This oversight makes me curious as to who and what you leave out of other reviews.

I don't have any affiliation to Waterfield Designs; other than being a very satisfied customer.



They may have missed WaterField, but thanks to your comment, I didn't. I've been comparing half a dozen or so bags for weeks and having no degree of success in narrowing them down to an actual purchase. In my endless search for reviews I came to this article and your comment. Now I have a Medium Cargo on the way. Thanks for the tip.



Sure, they are pricey. And you can only order them direct, so you can't see them in a store first. But I love my Waterfield bag. I have the large cargo, along with a fitted sleevecase for my laptop with a second strap and piggyback accessory bag when I don't need the larger bag. They're all impeccably made--not a stitch out of place, and amazing service, too. I finally gave in and ordered after I bumped into a guy at the Apple Store with a WF bag and he sang its praises: turned out his still new-looking bag was 5 years old and had been used and abused the whole time.


one more happy Waterfield customer

They're AWEOME! Quality, design, customer service...haven't seen anything like it elsewhere.

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