What: “CitySlicker” bag for 13” MacBook Air
How much: $255 including FedEx delivery and customs charges
I mulled over buying this bag for quite some weeks, repeatedly checking back at the site and considering whether it was what I wanted — eventually, I decided to bite the bullet and go for it… Almost one year on, I feel that I have given it sufficient time to be able to write an informed review.
Here’s the short answer: I’m incredibly pleased with it, and it is a joy to have with me each day. It’s very well made, and has just enough space for the essentials without enough pockets to make me tempted to overload it and thus carry more than I need. It’s smart, practical and comfortable; what’s not to like?
There are four neoprene pockets in the front of the bag:
- One which houses a couple of pens (well, a pen and an iPad stylus)
- One for my wallet, which is designed, I believe, to house an iPhone
- One which houses a mouse, a Mu folding charger, and a Lightning cable
- One which holds a mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter, an HDMI adapter, a USB-Ethernet adapter and a small memory stick
It has taken me a while to optimise the use of the pockets, so that I have with me what I need, and pretty much only what I need. I have only recently added the mini Display Port to HDMI adapter, as I am finding that, increasingly, projectors in meeting rooms and conferences are using HDMI rather than VGA cables, and I like to be prepared.
The front leather flat secures with two snappers. Although I had originally thought that I would prefer magnets (not an available option), I have grown used to the snappers, and their robustness: they require a good push to shut, and a reasonable tug to open them.
There is one large mesh pocket on the back of the bag, secured with a zip. It’s big enough to take an A4 magazine, but I use it day to day for an iPad Mini. I also have a small slim pouch for holding miscellaneous things — keys, business cards and so on. It is slightly stretchy, but I do not want to risk over-stretching it.
I added the optional handle, as well as the suspension shoulder strap; both are comfortable and practical, and worth the additional price.
The build quality of the bag is superb — it feels really well put together and, over the last year, I have greatly enjoyed using it.
No space for a charger
There is not space — without stretching the mesh back pocket on — for the MacBook’s charger. Since I get between 15 and 20 hours out of the fully-charged battery, this is not a problem at all for day to day usage, and I bought this bag knowing that I would not be intending to carrying the charger around.
For when I do want to do so, I bought a pack of neoprene camera lens pouches from Amazon — the smallest one is the perfect size for the Air’s charger, and it has a clip for attaching to the bag. I also use one of the other pouches for protecting headphones when I travel.
Delivery and customs charges
Delivery was incredibly impressive. I was in Germany at the time, and ordered the bag at about 17:30 on a Tuesday evening, to be delivered to England. It arrived first thing on Thursday morning, shipped from San Francisco. Delivery and customs charges were far from negligible ($84), but it was made much easier by pre-paying, so nothing to worry about on delivery.
Is it worth the cost?
The total cost was $255 which is about £150 delivered. Is it worth it? That’s a very subjective question. There are, of course, cheaper alternatives if you just want something to carry your computer about. For me, however, it is worth the money, and not not just because I am hoping that this bag will last me for a long time: it’s a gorgeous yet functional bag which I use every day, and it puts a smile on my face every time. Neil Brown.