I normally dont write product reviews about something as routine as a laptop bag. They are usually plain and not very noteworthy. For those of you who follow my writings at Network World, you will be aware of my recent change to the MacBook Pro. This gave me a good excuse to look at the bags currently available.
This is the foundation of everything that you will potentially need to take with you. I have used a collection of bags over the years, some of that I bought and others that I got from attending some of the conferences I have attended. With the investment that I made in the MacBook Pro, I wanted to get something that was made for it and would really protect it. After doing some searching and asking questions in the Apple Community forums, I found a company by the name of Waterfield Designs. After looking at their website and the recommendations of those who responded to my forum questions, I settled on the Racer-X. I chose the model specifically for my 15″ MacBook Pro. When I received the bag (had it shipped overnight, didnt feel like waiting a week for UPS to get it to me), I was very impressed. The bag pocket was made specifically for the MB Pro. It slid right in and fit around the MB just like a glove. One of the features about the Racer-X that got my attention was its ability to stand upright in just about any condition. Needless to say that isnt something that any of the bags I have used over the years have been able to do. The front pocket is very roomy and has surprised me with the amount of “stuff” that I have been able to put into it with it appearing to have been shoved in. Another pet peeve of mine is the strap that does or doesnt come with most bags. The strap that came with this bag was found to be padded enough not to pull on my shoulder with the bag pretty much loaded to the gills. The surface on the underside of the pad of the strap wont slip off of my shoulder regardless of the shirt or coat that I wear.
One other thing that you will want to take a look at on the Waterfield Designs website is the line of CableGuy pouches. I picked up two of these (small and medium) when I bought the Racer-X bag. As with the laptop bag, I found that both of these to be of very high quality construction. One of the nice features that I have found with anything else like this that I have bought is the zippers on both sides of the pouches are magnetized so that they stay flush against the pouch so that they dont get caught against something or otherwise get damaged. The small pouch conveniently holds two Cisco Console cables on one side and a Keyspan USA-19HS USB to Serial Adapter (more on this in another Product Review) and a 6 ft patch cable on the other side. The medium pouch does a standup job with holding the chargers for my MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad. The only thing that wouldnt fit in the pouch was the extended power cable for the MacBook Pro (this cable stores nicely in the front pocket).
I travel a lot with this bag and the “stuff” in it. This bag hasnt left my side in the month since it arrived at my office. The next time that you are in the market for a new bag, take a look at this one. You wont be disappointed.