So you got yourself a new MacBook Pro with Retina. Congratulations! Now it’s time for you to get the right bag for it. Since you spent a small fortune on that slick, sleek machine, it’s only logical to get a slick, sleek bag to match its looks and keep it well-protected in style.
I travel a lot so I wanted something slim and lightweight, yet dressy enough to take to meetings. I mean, backpacks don’t exactly go well with business suits even if it’s made by Samsonite or Delsey (I have the most business-like Delsey backpack I could find yet it still feels awkward with a dress or suit!). So that left backpacks out. I didn’t want a briefcase either, so that further narrowed down the field. At the same time, I wanted something that I could carry on its own so I ruled out the standard slipcases as well.
So I scoured the internet for THE perfect bag…and fell in love. More than six months later, I am still truly, madly, deeply in love with my slick, sleek City Slicker MacBook Case from SFBags, WaterField Designs.
The body is covered with black ballistic nylon and is nicely padded all throughout. That brown flap is buttery soft yet thick, sturdy leather, baby! It’s the kind of leather that you find yourself caressing all the time.
The leather is the type that only gets more beautiful and gains more character with age.
The flap is secured to the body using two metal snaps.
I was short of time when I ordered the bag and had to take the CitySlicker that SFBags – WaterField Designs already had in stock — Grizzly Leather. But if you can wait, the leather flap is available in four other colours — Black, Chocolate, Nubock, and Peruvian. Here’s a snapshot of the five different colours side by side:
You are probably now wondering — how come that pic shows envelope-like cases while the one I am featuring here has a leather handle and shoulder strap? Because, Virginia, the slipcase is the default design; the leather handle and the shoulder strap are optional extras.
Here’s a view of the bag from the back which nicely shows off the leather handle and the shoulder strap.
Did you see that zip? Nothing less than the best — a YKK zipper. (Yes, dear Virginia. It’s the smallest details that really do matter!)
The zip handle folds flat when not in use but opens up silently and smoothly…
…to reveal a handy-dandy semi-expandable back pocket that I normally use to slip in some documents that I need for meetings or a magazine to read during takeoff/landing when electronics are strictly not allowed to be use on board the plane.
I mentioned semi-expandable because it is possible to put a mouse and/or your MacBook Pro’s power brick in there but it mars the sleek, slim lines so I don’t do it unless I absolutely have no choice. Most of the time, I can get by one whole day of normal office use on WiFi with my MacBook Pro with Retina on 100% charge so even if I leave the power brick behind, it’s usually not a big deal for me.
As for the handle, initially, it will quite a tight fit, especially if your hands are large.
But with repeated use, the leather would stretch just a wee bit.
(The fear of having the leather stretch any further now makes me try to avoid carrying the CitySlicker via the leather handle :P)
As for the shoulder strap, I highly recommend it because it’s a strap unlike any other. It’s not called ‘suspension strap’ for nothing. Somehow, the strap seems to lessen the MBP’s weight.
Plus, it features a special material that keeps some kind of grip on your shoulder and prevents the strap from slipping off when you bend down to pick up something. Again, an excellent safety feature.
There’s the tag that proudly declares the bag to be ‘Made in San Francisco’. Quite a rarity in this day and age, if you ask me.
The suspension strap attaches to the CitySlicker through these D-rings which are very sturdy yet rotate freely in such a way that you never feel awkward about the particular angle that you hold the CitySlicker.
The black metal goes handsomely with the black ballistic nylon and the leather flap.
Beautiful stitching, yes?
To give you an idea of the CitySlicker’s exact size, that’s a piece of A4 paper (297 x 210 mm or 11.7 x 8.3 inches) right on top of the case.
Open up the leather flap and you’ll see four pockets — three large ones and one pen-sized pocket on the left side.
The pockets are made of the same mesh material as the back pocket and can be stretched to some extent. By ‘some extent’, I meant stretchy enough to accommodate a mouse in one pocket and the power brick (without the UK plug attached) in another.
But I wouldn’t recommend putting in the power brick that because it would make the flaps difficult to snap shut. And the resulting bulge is not exactly aesthetically pleasing. It can be done but I personally do not like it. The most I’d do is put in the mouse…but only if I really have to.
My MacBook Pro with Retina fits very snugly inside the CitySlicker…
…despite the fact that I use an iPearl mCover Hard Shell Case.
And even though my MBP fits snugly inside, I can still get it out without any need to struggle…and at the same time, my MBP doesn’t slide off either, a small detail that gives me some peace of mind.
Size-wise, WaterField Designs dubs the CitySlicker as ‘dime thin’. Technically, it’s about 2 cm thick at the base and some 3 cm thick on top (where the leather flap falls from the top).
A word of caution, though — the black ballistic nylon is somehow a lint magnet of sorts. So be careful where you place it.
The packaging from SFbags WaterField Designs is very simple and doesn’t scream for the attention of would-be-thieves.
The slick, sleek CitySlicker MacBook Case from SFBags – Waterfield Designs may be a bit pricey but a great value considering its top-notch quality and impeccable workmanship, its excellent fit and ergonomic design, and the great protection it provides without sacrificing on looks. And considering how much a MacBook Pro with Retina costs, it wouldn’t really make sense using a cheap, flimsy bag with it, hmm?
The CitySlicker is a beautiful yet understated. But be warned — if you’re a woman, your husband/brother/nephew might attempt to hijack it from you! My husband did…but no way was I gonna give him my preciouuusssss ;)
The CitySlicker — and an entire array of so many other mouth-watering bags — is available at SFBags – Waterfield Design’s website.
P.S. 1. SFBags – WaterField Designs not only make fantastic bags; their customer service also shines! They managed to ship out my bag just in the nick of time so that my mum could bring it back home to KL when she was in San Francisco in December 2012. And the founder himself even took the time to email me! How’s that for customer service? ;)
P.S. 2. I looooove the CitySlicker so much (and got so impressed with SFBags – Waterfield Design’s workmanship and quality) that I know have my eyes set on their carry-all, crossbody bag, which seems perfect for stashing just about everything in!