Review: MacCase Sling laptop backpack

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jsw, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I've been using a MacCase Sling for about a week now and thought I'd write a review.

    I purchased the white/silver 15" version with the 12" sleeve (the "MacCase® Super Protection 12" Sling Combo Model"). Why? Because I bought this for the MacBook Pro work bought me, but in case that job goes away, I can use this with my 12" PB for just $10 more than the sling alone, and the sleeve is usable with my PB regardless of whether I ever put it in the sling.

    I am very happy with this sling. I'd post pictures, but the ones on the linked site are as good as any I'd post. I will, however, mention some things which aren't obvious in the pictures. First, the back of the pack - the inner part which is on the other side of the part that goes against your back - is not colored with the BrightSight color, but every other inner surface is. BrightSight really is helpful; it makes it easier to see small items.

    There are two compartments to the pack. The back one has a pouch for the laptop which is about 8"-9" deep and holds the laptop very securely. It's what's shown in the picture on the left holding an iBook:
    The inside of the pouch is very soft - nylon on the part that forms the back of the sling, and fabric on the inner part of the pouch. The other side of that rear compartment also has another pouch which "faces" the laptop pouch. It's not visible (or at least not obvious) in the picture above, but it's there. It's a simple nylon sleeve, so it's good for small or light items (I store my spare battery there, but I wouldn't put anything bigger there). You can also fit a book or two in the rear compartment as long as they aren't too thick (I'd say under an inch or so is fine).

    The front compartment contains a mesh pouch and a small top compartment for an iPod, phone, etc. (see picture above on the right). I've found that the front compartment is more than large enough to hold the following:
    • AirPort Express
    • BT500 mouse in case
    • OmniCleanz 1 oz cleaner with cloth in tube
    • AC power brick
    • Ethernet cable
    • SecurID card
    • Nokia 9500 Communicator (a very large cellphone)
    • 4G iPod

    I bought the sling because I wanted a small, slim carrier for my MBP to bring to/from work. For that purpose, it is ideal. It holds everything I need (note: it does not hold as much as a regular backpack) and is very comfortable to use. I wasn't sure I'd like the sling form factor, but I do. I leave the "auxiliary strap" connected at all times, allowing me to throw it over my shoulder securely and then buckle the main strap. It's faster and simpler to use than a backpack.

    One of my favorite features is the fact that I can pack everything up for work the next day, slide the MBP into the pouch, and zip it almost all the way up but leave just enough room for the power cord from the AC adapter, which I can then pull out due to the magnetic detachment and head right off to work, laptop fully charged. The "angled" rear compartment accommodates this method nicely.

    Something that makes everything pack more nicely is my Bitolithic sleeve, which comes with a KB protector and a bag for items (it's so nice to put almost all the little goodies into a zippered bag and then put that bag into the sling).

    The MacBook Pro fits, but with no room to spare. It's also important to note that this pack will protect your laptop against minor bumps, but it's not going to protect it against major drops (nor would most backpacks). Also, the "water bottle" holder on the outside side doesn't hold all that much.

    However, it forces me to pack lightly while holding everything I need. It's different looking but functional. It's very comfortable as well (I walked a mile from work to the Apple Store at the mall and back - no problems). Highly recommended if you don't need major drop protection or need to carry lots and lots of stuff.
  2. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2005
    I received the same 'sling' in the mail today (however, I opted for the grey one instead of the white one...)

    He's right; the light green on the inside is there to help you find things in the dark, and it's not as obtrusive as you might think at first glance.

    Certainly, the bag was a bit expensive (around 70 bucks shipped) - however, it is a terrific alternative to those not want a 'briefcase-like' case. The bag, as he said, securely holds the MacBook Pro (really securely) and fortunately is secure enough that I can use it on my bike (making it ideal for transporting around my college campus).

    Great review by the way - in fact, phenomenal review. Very specific. Thanks :)

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