Lug your MacBook in this primo streamlined backpack | Cult of Mac

Lug your MacBook in this primo streamlined backpack

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The new Essential Backpack stuffs premium features into a stripped-down bag.
The new Essential Backpack stuffs premium features into a stripped-down bag.
Photo: WaterField Designs

WaterField Designs’ new Essential Backpack can swallow up a 16-inch MacBook Pro. And its stripped-down design pairs ballistic nylon with smart features to create a lightweight backpack that seemingly does it all.

“Dense foam inserts distribute weight evenly and allow the bag to stand on its own,” WaterField said in a press release marking Tuesday’s launch. “The bag’s elegant, arched top contours the user’s shoulders so the bag feels like an extension of the body.”

The Waterfield Designs Essential Backpack

The streamlined bag is the latest offering from the San Francisco company, known for its high-quality carrying cases of all sorts. Waterfield professes a special affinity for Apple gear, crafting accessories for everything from MacBooks (typical) to AirTags (not so typical) to the Mac Studio (not typical at all).

And, like all of WaterField’s bags, the Essential Backpack is made in America. How novel!

The new backpack joins WaterField’s Essential line, which also includes a duffel, a messenger bag and a sling pouch. They all come in black, 1680 denier ballistic nylon, with colored panels made of the company’s high-performance Forza textile. The accent colors include red, blue, green and black (which isn’t much of an accent at all, if you think about it).

Essential Backpack: 4 colors and plenty of features

WaterField Designs Essential Backpack comes in four colors.
The Essential Backpack comes in four color combos.
Photo: WaterField Designs

WaterField designed the Essential Backpack with comfort and utility in mind. Lightweight foam inserts in the backpack’s sides and bottom give the bag shape and help distribute weight evenly. Ergonomic shoulder straps, padded with moisture-wicking mesh, pair with a sweat-busting padded back panel.

The bag measures 15.75 inches high by 11 inches long by 6 inches wide, giving it a volume of 17.03 liters. It weighs 1.5 pounds.

A leather-lined handle up top makes it easy to grab the backpack. And a suitcase handle passthrough — perhaps the feature most beloved by any airport trolley-puller — lets you easily stow the backpack atop your carry-on luggage. That means you can whisk everything right up to the check-in counter with minimal hassles.

A slim backpack big enough for a 16-inch MacBook Pro

The backpack’s padded, plush-lined laptop compartment can hold up to a 16-inch MacBook Pro. And the bag comes lined with WaterField’s trademark gold lining, which provides a premium experience. Beyond feeling plush and resilient, the lining also makes it easier to find stuff inside the bag’s inner recesses. No more fishing around in a black hole!

Other features include, according to Waterfield:

  • Interior zippered pocket
  • Horizontal zippered front pocket with key tether
  • YKK waterproof zippers
  • Custom metal zipper pulls
  • Main compartment two-way zipper can be locked together (lock not included)

WaterField made the Essential Backpack available for preorder Tuesday. The bag ships September 7, according to the company.

Price: $189
Buy from: WaterField Designs