Need help deciding on a messenger bag for 13" MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ArchRivalNeo, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. ArchRivalNeo, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011

    ArchRivalNeo macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    Hey guys,

    I bought my 13" MBA earlier this week and I've been loving it so far. I'll be going to school during the summer and I was looking for a good messenger bag. I looked through some of the posts here on MR and I found MANY suggestions. Ultimately, I narrowed down my choice to Booq Taipan Shadow and Waterfield Cargo owing to my requirements (enough compartmental space, open back pocket for attaching to carry on luggage, light).

    Now I really like the Booq Taipan as it seems to offers similar features as the Waterfield for less than half the price, seems to have enough compartments, and has Teralinq to track your lost bag. As for the Cargo, I have heard quite a good number of things about Waterfield's products. I myself have their Leather wallet and I can attest to the quality of their products. However I have two major concerns.

    1 - It seems I'll need to buy their Sleeve case if I need to have protection for my laptop when placed inside the bag. And with that in place, I don't know if I'll have enough space for my notebooks and journal in the only main compartment that they have. The total cost with the sleeve comes out to be $250 at least.

    2 - I have already ordered another sleeve for my MBA, by Mintcases. Haven't recieved it yet, so don't really know how protective it is. But I don't want to take any chances. This is why the Booq seems to be the better choice for me, because it already comes with seperate compartments, and it has a flush padded compartment for the laptops.

    What do you guys think? Anyone who has used either/ both of these, your input will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance! :D
  2. ArchRivalNeo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010


    What are your opinions guys? I'm looking to pull the trigger by the end of this week so that it's shipped before the weekend :)
  3. jameschho macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    Waterfield combo FTW!

    I have owned many bags, I'm kind a a nut for bags and the waterfield cargo is amongst the top of the list. The thoughtfulness of the design is brilliant.

    Also I have had their sleeve cases for every laprop I've owned including my current MBA 13". Although you can use any sleeve case wit the cargo the quality of the waterfield unit is second to none.

    Personally I prefer the flexibility of being able to take the laptop out of the bag and still have it protected for things like airport xray trays. It also gives you the ability to use a different bag or create more room in your current bag when you don't have your laptop with you. Just my $0.02
  4. GeekGuys macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009

    I know there are a lot of adverts on this website for Timbuk2 bags (and I am not employed by them!!!!) but I have a Timbuk2 Messenger Commute 2 (Medium).

    I regularly use it for my MBA 13 as well as iPad, power leads, couple of books/notepads (the paper versions), pens etc etc.

    The back is TSA compliant so no need to remove the laptop at airport scanners (beware.....this is NOT true at UK, Singapore & Australia where you still need to remove an iPad and anything bigger).

    My current favorite bag. Perfect and waterproof bottom, very strong yet light.

    Hope this helps
  5. ArchRivalNeo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    Thanks for your reply James. I am pretty tempted by the Waterfield. The carrying handles on them seem to be the dealmaker to me. I was worried about the absence of a tracking solution in it similar to the one in the Booq though, but I've decided to take care of that with my home owner's insurance policy. Will have to get in touch with the State farm people about that.

    One question for you though, I'm having a hard time now deciding between the large and the medium cargo. Which one do you think would be best with the MBA 13? I would generally keep a notebook, a documents holder, and my MBA 13 in the Mint case. I don't plan on buying the sleevecase. Right now, the large seems to be better as it definitely has more space than the medium. Would the medium have enough space for all the things I've mentioned in it's main compartment?

    Thanks bro, but I don't like the style of Timbuk2 bags that much. I did look them up before I posted here. I appreciate your help though! :)
  6. RDRoe macrumors newbie


    Feb 7, 2011
    Cooksville, MD
    I too am a bag junkie. I carry the MBAir 11", MBPro 15" and an iPad most places that I go. I am a developer by trade and usually setup shop at a customers site, etc. I first put each device in a sleeve of sorts. I use InCase sleeves as they fit the best. Then, I prefer a vertical bag. I use the Clava bag just because I like leather. I found that if I just carry the basic charger for the MBPro 15, it will charge the MBA just fine. Then I carry a smaller charger for the iPad. No longer try to take the world with me. It IS a bit heavy which is why the vertical bag is better.

    My .02...
  7. ArchRivalNeo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    Thanks man...those bags look amazing! However, I'm looking for something less...executive'ish. Plus I'd really like it if the bag has an open back for attaching to carry on trolley bags. Appreciate your input though :)
  8. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    I don't recommend any Booq bags for the MacBook Air. Why? Because they are very or should I say ridiculously heavy.

    I ordered one for my Air, when the bag arrived I took it out of the box, was surprised by the bulk and weight of the bag, put it right back in the box and returned it. Lots of shipping money wasted there.

    Look for a bag that's tough yes, but light too, that way it compliments the Air.

    Heavy weighted bags are a design flaw ... there's lot's of strong yet lightweight materials, padding and zippers ... Booq missed the mark here imo.
  9. ArchRivalNeo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    Thanks bro, will keep that in mind for sure. Just having a hard time swallowing the ~ 300$ price tag on the Waterfield bags.

    And I notice you're from Waterloo. I'm from Waterloo as well and I go to UW.
  10. jameschho macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    I think the medium would be fine. I used a medium with a 15" MBP and still had room for the things you mentioned. The Large is gargantuan in size, I've owned all three.
  11. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    Water Field Muzetto bag is what I use and what I will use for my life. That bag is freaking amazing. Nothing comes close to it.

    As for sleeves, I have a custom made sleeve from England.

    Mint cases are cool, but they have opening on the top. So, I don't like it. I would need at least some sort of flap or something to make sure it doesn't slip out. But, it's ur call.
  12. ArchRivalNeo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    Kenneth Cole it is

    Thanks guys for all your replies. I came very close to placing an order for both the Waterfield and Booq last week, but I ended up buying a Kenneth Cole reaction bag on ebay instead. Here is the link. I went to a local shopping mall and checked out a similar bag by Kenneth Cole there. It was surprisingly light had all the features I wanted, save for a good handle. So I looked up something similar on ebay, and decided to pull the trigger. I will definitely post up a review of the bag when I recieve it and update this thread with a link to it.

    Again, thank you all for all your help...really appreciate it! :D
  13. zub3qin macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    How about the opposite of the original thread for cheap-os?

    What is the best looking laptop bag that works with a MBA 13 for LESS THAN $40?
  14. tipman2000 macrumors member


    Nov 29, 2009
    Get this bag its the best

    EDIT, my bad i didnt even read OPs first post, ignore below, unless it interests you

    get one of those "BUILT" soft bags. its the most perfect laptop bag i have ever had. removable strap, carrying handle, padded interior and exterior, extended corners that really help to prevent damage. extra pocket that's perfect for carrying your magsafe and a mouse or whatever you like. zips close.
    worth what it costs. get it get it get it you wont be disappointed. also, ive had it on my macbook aluminum for 3 years now, and it still shows no sign of wear and tear. these bags really are BUILT well.:D:D:D

    also, they look cool:
  15. oakie macrumors 6502


    Oct 16, 2008
    this is obviously the best looking bag for the MBA13 by far and it's only $18:


    what? you dont like it? at least you have now learned that "best looking bag" is too subjective to ask of people you dont know.

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