Waterfield Designs Gear Bags and Notebook Sleeves
'Ballistic Nylon' just rolls off the tongue so nicely, and makes even the simplest of objects appear exotic. Take for example the bags we use to carry around cables, power adapters, and things of this nature. Sure, they could be packed away in a Ziplock bag, but what fun would that be?
To be realistic, most people don't pay all that much attention to the bags we use to lug around a adapter cables, ac/adaptors or for that matter even a digital camera or notebook. Most of the time we simply use whichever carry case was thrown in with the equipment when we bought it - typically made from vinyl, nylon or pleather, and without much credence towards appearance, comfort or long term durability and protection of the gear inside. There are of course cases which are built
like a tank, and do a great job, but in my experience they are few and far between.
Now, say hello to Ballistic Nylon, Neoprene and engineered textiles like Indium. Waterfield Designs, a company based in San Francisco originally caught my attention three years ago after reading a short article on them in ID, and today
we are going to examine a few more articles of interest from this company. Each the three bags below are meant to compliment the small things they carry - whether it be a bundle of adaptor wires, a notebook or even a digital camera.
the Cargo Bag I first read about in ID has logged more air
miles than most of my other luggage, outlasted at least one notebook altogether, and has served me well by lugging around the mass of paper and paraphernalia I haul around each day. Aside from some scratches on the aircraft seat buckle, the bag has held out flawlessly with nary a rip, squeak, or torn thread. Today we're looking at three new types Waterfield Design bags; one designed for hauling gear, the next for protecting fragile digital cameras, and the last which is neoprene padded sleeve for notebooks.
The Sleeve Case
For many of us who carry around a notebook there
aren't too many options to choose from when it comes to protecting the computer during transit. Sure, there are laptop cases that you can buy from the manufacturer, but if you already use a knapsack, briefcase or shoulder bag it isn't very practical to lug around a completely separate bag just for the computer.
Doing so makes it easier to inadvertently forget
the notebook computer somewhere, and it really can be quite cumbersome to haul
two separate bags everywhere you go.
a notebook loosely and unprotected in a knapsack or shoulder bag is to invite scratch from adjacent objects and possibly worse if the bag is set down too hard. Waterfield Designs offer up one possible solution in the form of a neoprene padded Notebook Sleeve case made from ballistic nylon.
There is only one large padded pocket in the Sleeve Case for the notebook itself, and to keep it from sliding out, a large velcro strap folds over the opening. The soft neoprene is fabric covered for durability, and completely encloses the computer in about 0.25" of padding on five sides. This is enough to cushion a computer from everyday abuse so the potential for a chipped notebook corner is drastically reduced.
The Sleeve Case also isolates a notebook from
things which may rub up against it in a bag, and works well to keep those
nice shiny magnesium alloy frames pristine.
The velcro strap on the sleeve case is easy to open and ensures quick access to the computer nestled inside, though I do think that the soft velcro strip on the outside of the case could have been made a little longer. With a smaller notebook in the sleeve the strap folds over a little farther than the velcro on the outside.
little loop at the base of the sleeve makes pulling it out of a tight spot upside down all that much easier too. All that is missing in my opinion is a small pocket to stick a business card, or something similar in. That way, if the Sleeve Case and notebook are ever left behind there is at least some identifiable information to go on. The Waterfield Designs Sleeve Case comes in a variety of sizes for specific notebook models and retails for between $35 - $42 depending on the size.