Big cargo bag makes light of your heavy load [Reviews]

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Waterfield's new Cargo Laptop Bag has a ton of space without sacrificing looks.
Waterfield's new Cargo Laptop Bag has a ton of space without sacrificing looks.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: Cargo Laptop Bag by Waterfield

When choosing a bag to carry my most precious cargo (MacBook, iPad(s), camera, iPhone), I generally look for something that offers a balance between minimalist good looks and higher-carrying capacity.

Waterfield’s rather boringly-named Cargo Laptop Bag is a fantastic choice for the pro on the go, with capacious storage pockets and a gorgeously-designed outer and inner experience that never feels overstuffed, even when I filled it up with all of my gear.

Versatile leather iPhone case lets you stow your earbuds [Reviews]

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This wallet case holds more than just cards and cash.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Touted as “the ultimate iPhone leather case” by its creators, the Guardian Leather case for iPhone 6 and 6s is a new wallet-style accessory with a campaign that just launched on Indiegogo. It’s designed with various functions in mind, but the focus on music takes the cake: You can control the volume from the outside of the case and even store your earbuds along the side of it.

I spent some time with the Guardian Leather to test the various functions it promises to deliver and the overall quality of the case. If you’re a fan, you have plenty of time to back the Indiegogo project — just under one month left.

This iPhone stand bends over backward to please you

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Meet Stanley, a soft little leather stand for your iPhone.
Meet Stanley, a soft little leather stand for your iPhone.
Photo: Distil Union

Stanley is a bendable, leather-and-felt iPhone stand that thinks different.

Instead of the standard aluminum and white plastic of many an iPhone stand, Distil Union’s Stanley is a soft, approachable bit of gear that will bend into all sorts of positions, letting you set the viewing angle and height of your iPhone with very little effort.

It’s a refreshing alternative to the typical tech common to other stands, a fact that’s gotten the Stanley funded at more than twice the requested amount on Kickstarter.

Gordy’s gorgeous strap will keep your camera in the loop

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Slip your hand into this handcrafted camera strap for secure snapping.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: Gordy’s Camera Straps

Considering my Sony RX100 cost about 40 times more than a garden variety point-and-shoot camera, I’d expect it to come with a quality strap. But it does not. It comes with a shoelace attached to a string.

I wanted a strap I could securely attach to the tiny ring, let hang out from my bicycle jersey pocket, and slip my hand through for easy access.

While sifting through Sony camera internet forums, I discovered Gordy’s. And I’m ecstatic I did.

Slim Wallet is a spacious leather billfold that eliminates the pocket bulge

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The Slim Wallet's a stunner. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
The Slim Wallet's a stunner. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

I’m really picky when it comes to buying new wallets. I don’t carry many cards and, much like the Queen of England, I rarely carry cash, so I hate anything that unnecessarily puts a big bulge in my back pocket.

With the Slim Wallet from Danny P, I’ve found a beautiful leather billfold that carries up to eight cards and a fistful of notes without ever getting too bulky.

Pare down your travel kit with this shoulder-saving MacBook Pro sleeve

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Holds just enough to stay productive. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Waterfield's MacBook Outback Solo holds just enough to keep you productive. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ll admit it — I’ve got a thing for these waxed canvas and leather bags from Waterfield. I’ve ended up using the impeccably designed Staad backpack and the classy Nintendo 3DS case long after my reviews of them were published. These bags and cases from the San Francisco design collective are warm, inviting and just get better with age and use.

Let’s face it, though: Sometimes you only want to carry your laptop and a couple of accessories, and that’s it. Waterfield’s latest design, the MacBook Outback Solo, is a minimalist sleeve made of the same strong canvas material and rich, thick, buttery-smooth leather as the other bags in the line. It can be paired with a carrying strap that turns the sleeve into a messenger bag. While our very own Charlie Sorrel called the iPad version of this bag a man-purse, I’m thinking of this more as a shoulder-saving device — the fewer things I end up having to carry, the better.

This little sleeve is perfect for exactly that.

Hand-stitched leather case is as classy as the MacBook it protects

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Sharp looks. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
Castello Davarg's leather York case offers sharp looks. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I’ve tried a lot of cases for my Mac notebooks over the years, from a dorky aluminum briefcase for my white “icebook” iBook through cheap, zip-up neoprene sleeves and on to bulky, custom-fitted, shock-absorbing monsters. But the elegant, simple and beautiful Castello Davarg York, cut from a single piece of leather, is the only one that makes any sense for my MacBook Air.

Like the MacBook Air inside, you can’t help but finger and fiddle with the York case. It’s cut from 5-ounce, full-grain leather that’s folded and then hand-stitched along two sides before finishing the edges and … well, that’s almost it. The case has no fastening or closure, and lacks a lining or padded interior, but it is shaped perfectly to fit the MacBook Air. (I tested the 13-inch size, but it also comes for the 11-incher.) It even has a little cutout on the top edge that mimics the one found on the lid of the MacBook itself.

COTE: The leather iPad sleeve you’ll fall in love with

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I don’t really like using iPad cases; I tend to put one on just before I hand my device over to my kids, and then it comes off again as soon as they’re done. One of the best things about the iPad mini is its form factor, but that’s lost when you slap on a big, bulky case.

COTE by BUKcase
Category: Sleeve
Works With: iPad mini
Price: $133

But although I like my iPad to be naked when I use it, I need some protection when I’m on the go and carrying it around. That’s when I’m most likely to drop it — and when it’s most susceptible to getting scratched up in the bottom of my bag.

I’ve found the COTE leather sleeve from BUKcase to be the perfect solution to this problem.

CAZLET: A premium wallet case that provides instant access to your iPhone

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The CAZLET from KYNEZ is an iPhone wallet case like no other. It’s the only one I know of that provides military-grade protection for your beloved smartphone, and it’s one of the few that allows you to use your device — and almost all of its features and functions — without having to open the wallet up.

CAZLET by KYNEZ
Category: Wallet case
Works With: iPhone 5 & iPhone 5s
Price: $65

CAZLET’s design leaves your iPhone’s display exposed yet protected, so as soon as you pull it out of your pocket, your device is ready to be used. It’s made from gorgeous leather sourced from boutique tanneries in France and Southern Germany, and it boasts some nifty features you don’t normally get with smartphone wallet cases — including dedicated pockets for a spare nanoSIM and SIM eject tool.

KYNEZ also offers a number of add-ons that you can buy separately, including a coin pocket, a card band, a hand strap, and an ID sleeve. The wallet itself comes with a $65 price tag, which I think is very reasonable. Let me tell you why.

Mujjo Low-Key Macbook Sleeve Is Full Of Understated Style [Review]

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Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Not everyone has a fancy computer backpack or messenger bag. Some folks just have non-techie backpacks, bags, or luggage, and they’re perfectly fine with that.

13-inch Macbook Sleeve by Mujjo
Category: Macbook Cases
Works With: Macbook Pro, Macbook Air 13-inch
Price: $69

However, most of those folks would benefit from a sleeve or two to cover and protect their precious technology. And, if you’re going to go that route, you might as well go all the way and get something that’s special.

The Mujjo Low-Key Macbook Sleeve is angling for just that “all the way” look and feel.