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WaterField Laptop SleeveCase

*Est. $50 and up
Reviewed
August 2012
by ConsumerSearch
WaterField Laptop SleeveCase

Pros
  • High-quality construction
  • Premium materials
  • Lots of options
  • Custom made for your laptop
Cons
  • Expensive for a sleeve
  • Nylon exterior is rough without strap/leather trim options

The WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase is both a sleeve and a case in one, though the messenger-style pouch included is barely larger than the sleeve itself. It's a custom product, designed to fit more than 100 different sizes of laptops in half-inch increments. Reviewers praise its phenomenal materials, build quality, protection and fit. Accessories like the protective flap, shoulder strap, accessory case and leather trim can add up quickly, but the $50 basic price is good, they say.

Durability: A case that will last longer than your laptop.

WaterField Designs earns the highest marks in every review for its build quality: stitching, materials and design are all of the highest quality, and those reviewers who have had their SleeveCases for years say they look as good as new. The case is made from ballistic nylon (like that used in bulletproof vests) on the outside and neoprene on the inside for padding, with optional leather trim.

Comfort: Light and comfortable in hand, but ballistic nylon is rough; opt for the carrying strap or leather trim.

Reviewers say that while the ballistic nylon used in the SleeveCase's construction is tough as nails, it also feels rough on the fingers. They recommend choosing one of two options: the carrying strap (*Est. $12 to $22) or the leather trim (*Est. $10), either of which will spare your hands. Otherwise, the case is lightweight and easy to carry.

Appearance: A plain but pretty sleeve.

The WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase comes in one color: black. You can opt for leather trim. The design is pleasant, crisp and classic, if not terribly avant-garde or customizable.

Warranty: A limited lifetime warranty that users say they've never needed.

Reviewers and users who have had their SleeveCases for years report not a whit of difference from when they were first delivered. Warranty repairs appear to be pretty much nonexistent. But if you need it, there is a lifetime warranty on all SleeveCases, with the usual exemptions for extreme wear.

Features: Expensive, reviewers agree, especially with options -- but absolutely one of the best sleeves you can buy.

The WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase is reasonably pricey in its base configuration at $50. But there are a host of options you'll want, and those all add $10-$25 to the price. Fully outfitted, this sleeve transforms into a hanging case that can cost nearly $125. That said, this case will be with you as long as your laptop survives, is extremely enjoyable to use and well worth the price, reviewers say.

Bottom Line: A beautifully crafted durable sleeve, with a price tag to match.

You'll be hard-pressed to find a better quality, more durable, more thoughtfully made sleeve than the Waterfield Designs Laptop SleeveCase. The high-quality materials and U.S.-based construction mean you pay for the privilege, but reviewers say it's absolutely worth the price.

Our Sources

1. NotebookReview.com

This glowing review of the WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase rhapsodizes about the sleeve's "exceptional quality" materials, perfect stitching and TSA-checkpoint friendliness. D-rings and hooks for the case's optional features are solid metal, and the case is assembled in the U.S. with "exceptional care," Jerry Jackson says, giving the bag "our highest recommendation." Add-ons really add to the price.

Review: WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase Review, Jerry Jackson, June 18, 2012

2. MacRumors.com

This forum thread on MacRumors.com hosts a discussion by owners of the WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase, offering reviews of their sleeves. They agree that the cases offer exceptional quality, protection, fit and features, though they note the bottom line can get pricey.

Review: SFBags Waterfield Macbook Air SleeveCase, Contributors to MacRumors.com, Nov. 11, 2010

3. The-Gadgeteer.com

The-Gadgeteer.com posts a detailed review of the WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase, in this instance designed for the 13-inch MacBook Air. "Quality is what matters," Dave Rees writes, praising the bag's construction. The sleeve fits snugly, with ballistic nylon on the outside and soft padded felt-like material on the inside. It looks nice, and will protect against "minor bumps, bruises and scrapes," but is not designed to protect against significant drops or impact, he writes. A brief 2012 update for PC cases makes similar findings.

Review: Waterfield Laptop SleeveCase for the 13" MacBook Air Review, Dave Rees, Feb. 18, 2011

4. MobilityMinded.com

MobilityMinded.com reviewers compare a WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase designed for an HP Mini 1000 with a generic neoprene sleeve purchased on eBay. Editors find the SleeveCase to be thicker, better designed, and of better fit and higher-quality construction.

Review: Waterfield Sleevecase for HP Mini 1000 Compared with a Noname Sleeve from eBaY, Remo Knops, June 25, 2009

5. ZDNet.com

ZDNet.com's Mobile Gadgeteer blog reviews the WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase in comparison to a WaterField Designs T-Mobile G1 Ultrasuede case. "I've been using a Waterfield Designs bag for over 2 years and even though I use it every single day it still looks almost the same as the day I picked it up," Matthew Miller writes. He likes the newer model as well. "The case feels fantastic in your hand and the stitching is extremely tight and solid. I often carry mine outside of my larger bag and have been very pleased with the durability."

Review: Review: Waterfield Designs MSI Wind Sleevecase and T-Mobile G1 Ultrasuede Slipcase, Matthew Miller, Jan. 18, 2009

6. MacsOnly.com

MacsOnly.com reviews a WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase designed for the MacBook Air, praising the way it meets TSA guidelines for not requiring removal in airport security, its light weight, its "superb" workmanship and its protection against light rain. It's not cheap with accessories and upgrades, writer Bill Fox notes, but is "the perfect light bag… with just the right touch of class."

Review: Hands-On Review: WaterField Laptop SleeveCase, Bill Fox, Nov. 15, 2010

7. Notebooks.com

"The Laptop SleeveCase for the MacBook Air is the finest sleeve case I have ever used," says writer Kevin Purcell in this detailed review of the WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase. He reviews a model designed for the MacBook Air, declaring that it is beautiful, feels nice to carry and offers a lot of options. The review includes a video. "It is hard to come up with a negative about this specific case. While they cost more than other cases, you get what you pay for with Waterfield Designs," he writes.

Review: Laptop SleeveCase from Waterfield Designs Review, Kevin Purcell, Dec. 3, 2010

8. YouTube.com

This video review of the 17-inch WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase praises the quality of its construction and its thoughtful design. "Very soft and very well-padded," the reviewer notes, showing and discussing the options ordered with the bag. "Worth every penny that you pay."

Review: Waterfield Sleeve Case, Kevin Teague, June 21, 2009

9. GadgetMac.com

GadgetMac.com reviews a WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase made to fit the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Reviewer Nir Schneider, while praising the protective qualities of the case's ballistic nylon, suggests opting for the $10 leather base to give your hand somewhere softer to hang onto. He praises subtle details, like the finger loop at the bottom of the case that makes extracting the laptop easier, but wishes there were a Velcro tab to keep items from falling out of the secondary pocket. He awards a score of 4.5 out of 5 and a Highly Recommended rating.

Review: WaterField SleeveCase for MacBook Pro Review, Nir Schneider, Aug. 12, 2011

10. TheUrbanShogun.com

This site offers a detailed review of the WaterField Designs Laptop SleeveCase, awarding it a 4.5-star (out of 5) rating and a Silver Seal and calling it "one of the best made sleeves or even cases we've ever seen." Editors praise the options, build quality, stitching, TSA friendliness and attention to detail in features like the stiffener that allows the opening to keep its shape. "The case will probably outlast your laptop," they write, but note that it's expensive.

Review: Waterfield Designs SleeveCase Review -- Carry Your Notebook in Luxury, Editors of TheUrbanShogun.com, March 26, 2011

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