Bellroy Laptop Sleeve Extra
I've been a Bellroy customer for a while. I love their design sensibilities; initially wallets that were slim and intelligently designed, and built to exacting standards out of high quality leather. I don't buy a lot of leather stuff, I'm not on the whole a huge fan of leather when used as a premium or prestige material. Where leather is the best practical choice, though, I generally want it to be high quality and ethical. My footwear and my wallet tend to be the only real leather products I use regularly, not counting things with leather detailing or trim.
Bellroy use, relatively speaking, ethically sourced and environmentally responsible leather, and it's beautiful stuff. As i mentioned the manufacturing quality is impeccable. I've yet to find so much as a stitch out of place on the products I've bought. The Laptop Sleeve Extra is no exception to this.
I have shied away from leather technology cases for the last few years. My iPhone and iPad live in silicone cases rather than leather ones, and this is in part because leather doesn't actually deal super well with being in a sweaty hand for several hours a day. It'll get grubby, rather than develop an attractive patina. My previous MacBook sleeve was neoprene, because there's no meaningful advantage to having a leather one, when it's likely to spend most of the time that it is actually in use inside another bag. The Laptop Sleeve Extra however has a significant leather component.
I can't lie about it: this is purely because I think it's one of the most handsome pieces of carry gear ever created.
It is predominantly fabric, but has a leather flap enclosure at one end, splitting the rectangular design on a diagonal. There are no zips or fastenings, just a magnetic clasp embedded into the leather enclosure. I think it's a disarmingly elegant design; both visually simple and sharp and functionally savvy. No zips mean's no scratches on your expensive technology. There's a small front pocket and larger back pocket built into the wrap-around design of the fabric exterior; for cables or whatever. They are not very spacious, and while the fabric has some give it is not very elastic. You won't fit anything bulky in either but a small notebook and pen, or maybe your smartphone should fit.
The interior is a quilted microfibre that's quite rigid structurally but soft on contact, and I've found that the fit for my 12" MacBook is pretty snug — it takes a bit of effort to remove it. The fabric will give as it's used so I expect the fit to adapt a little given a few weeks, but this sleeve was clearly designed with modern MacBooks in mind. The product photography shows the new metal-hinged MacBooks, and even the previous generation Retina models may be too thick to fit comfortably. If you own a chubbier laptop then you might find that it's a really difficult fit. I have no concerns about my MacBook unintentionally sliding out of this thing but I'd be concerned about being able to get almost any comparable notebook in.
The sleeve comes in three colours; Black/Charcoal, Grey/Teal, and Brown/Grey. I have the Brown and Grey version, which is actually the only combination I really like (but I do really like it). It has a classic, maybe mid-century sort of feel to it despite being clearly modern in execution. It would be smart enough to carry into the boardroom (not that I ever have that requirement) and it's going to look classy on your table at the coffee shop.
It is however, worth noting that it cost me five times that of my previous sleeve. I am but a slave to vanity.