We've got yet another exciting product from the guys over at WaterField Designs in beautiful San Francisco, the SleeveCase sleeve for the MacBook Pro. WaterField is all about the simple yet highly effective design in each of the products they make right in San Francisco. And no one else loves ballistic nylon like WaterField does. The SleeveCase is the perfect example of that. It's made from WaterField's now famous black ballistic nylon material used in bullet-proof vests so you'll know that expensive chunk of aluminum you carry around with you will be protected. If that's not enough, be sure to catch the full review right after the break!
WaterField never ceases to amaze me each time I get the chance to review one of their products. It's very rare to stumble upon a company that virtually every single one of their products is bang on perfect and beloved by almost everyone I know. After years of using WaterField's bags and protective offerings, I can say that I'm now a really big fan. It doesn't come to a surprise that the SleeveCase just so happens to fit all the above. The one we've got to review just so happens to be in the 15" MacBook Pro configuration with a top, slot loading opening in the horizontal orientation and a brown leather trim. The great thing about WaterField's SleeveCase is that you can customize it to your own preference and even choose any brand and size of laptop you've got. Optional add-ons include the inclusion of a front flap, brown leather bottom trim, a shoulder strap and even a secondary piggyback pouch to the back of the SleeveCase.
From all of my experience in sing WaterField's ballistic nyloned cases and sleeves, the material itself isn't the most comfortable and pleasant to the touch. Unlike a soft and furry bunny, the ballistic nylon feels rough and tough, like a military officer on duty. While there's no doubt about its protection abilities, I wouldn't want to carry it my MacBook Pro, or any other laptop for that matter, while holding it by my hands. Luckily, there's that leather bottom trip that adds a very soft and comfortable place where you can grab to carry it around by the bottom. The leather WaterField uses feels very high in quality and you get a nice thick layer of it on the bottom. If you don't want to spend that extra $10 for the brown leather trim, you can go with the Indium trim which still feels much better than the raw ballistic nylon.
The SleeveCase features a finger loop at the bottom that enables you to grab a hold without pressuring down your laptop so you can easily slide it out using two hands. Such a simple add-on makes a world of a difference. And to make sure your laptop remains secured inside the SleeveCase, a long velcro strap with the WaterField logo along the middle is used as the sleeve's closure tab.
Around the back, the SleeveCase has a wide opened pocket you can use to slip a few mags, papers or even your power adapter along with a few important cables you might need to store inside of it. Heck, you can even fit a slender iPad 2 inside there and still have enough room for a few cables. The only drawback I have with this back pocket is the exclusion of any kind of a closure tab. I would have liked to see at least a little velcro tab on the inside to secure the few things you might need to store inside of it from falling out.
Taking a look at the inside lining of the SleeveCase reveals a very well padded interior with a neoprene material. Neoprene was possibly the best choice WaterField could have done in adding it to the SleeveCase. It provides a very padded, soft interior to protect your laptop, but at the same time it allows your laptop to smoothly and effortlessly glide in and out from within the SleeveCase sleeve. My 15" MacBook Pro fit snugly inside without moving in the slightest bit. The neoprene inner layer coupled with the tough ballistic nylon shell means a whole lot of protection is there to keep your laptop safe and sound. Though it also means added bulk.
The SleeveCase is one of the greatest protective sleeves you can get for any MacBook and laptop. Having the leather trimmed bottom only adds to the experience of using one in your daily routine. I would have liked to see some more color selections for the leather and ballistic nylon. The SleeveCase in this exact configuration will run you $52. I think it's very well priced for what you get. If you're looking for a quality protective sleeve that will last you a lifetime, the SleeveCase should be the one to considered.