Cocoon’s Gramercy bag tries to make carrying your iPad into a fashion statement of its own. And hey, why not? The iPad is sleek, sexy, and undeniably cool--shouldn’t it have a case to match? As if in answer to that question, this bag nicks its name from the crazy-fashionable Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan, but its overall stylishness is more plain and pedestrian. It’s available in black, grey, or red, and provides just enough space to schlep an iPad and the included Grid-It accessory organizer.
The red Gramercy looks like what you'd get if a defribrillator bag and a first-aid kit had a love child.
The Gramercy is a vertical messenger-style bag. The front features a small pocket sized to fit an iPhone or iPod touch, and the clear plastic material allows you to change songs, answer calls, and otherwise operate your device normally without removing it from the pocket. That pocket is a necessity because the bag’s only zippered pouch will be occupied by the included Grid-It organizer, a hardback board created to transport all of your accessories. The back can double as a mouse pad, but it’s the weave of elastic bands on the front that makes Grid-It worth carrying. To keep all your cables, power adapters, and earbuds in place, simply slip your gear under the ribbed stripes. Though it’s not much to look at, the Grid-It works remarkably well. We could barely shake anything free from the Grid-It board when we loaded it with stuff from our desks. It worked fine with both small items and bulkier stuff like sunglasses. With the iPad in the back sleeve, a fully loaded Grid-It fits in the zippered section with room to spare.
This seemingly simple design works better than you'd imagine and makes carrying accessories effortless.
Almost everything about the Gramercy feels solid. The bag is made from ballistic nylon and has a heavy-duty zipper. But the strap is a bit wimpy--we wouldn’t trust it with anything heavy, and the Gramercy is too small for serious loads anyway. Which is basically its major flaw. It won’t help you haul a laptop, and if all you’re carrying is an iPad, you’re probably not going to need to carry all the accessories intended to fit on the Grid-It. This poses a bit of an existential problem for the bag as an object for daily use. If it can’t carry everything you’ll need (and it can’t), then why use it at all? Ultimately, this bag is filling a small niche for people who need a way to haul around iPads but not laptops, books, or even just a sandwich.
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As long as you can travel lightly enough, the Gramercy messenger is a solid iPad bag with a very useful accessory.
Gramercy Messenger Sling
Snug fit without being too tight. Front iPhone/iPod pocket is useful. Grid-It securely holds your accessories. Good price.
Shoulder strap is a touch on the wimpy side. Bag is too small to fit more than an iPad.