If cowboys carried MacBooks, they’d use this bag

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Bring old-West style to your modern life.
Bring old-West style to your modern life.
Photo: WaterField Designs

There is little about a shoulder bag that is personal. Sure you can pick something with a color and shape you can live with, but utility drives the design.

The Maverick, as the name suggests, aspires to stand out from the pack. Created by San Francisco’s WaterField Designs, the full-grain leather bag cut from a single hide presents like a Pony Express satchel begging for a dustup on some dry Western trail.

Best Mac accessories of 2016

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Best Mac accessories 2016
From dongles to docks, these are the year's best Mac accessories.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac We value our Mac computers. Whether on a desk or in a lap, they help us complete many life tasks. But you and your machine wouldn’t make it without reliable accessories — especially now that we live in the USB-C era.

Storage drives, hubs with extra ports, a good pair of headphones, maybe a bag to carry your tech — all these Mac accessories play important roles. They often remain unsung, but sometimes come through to help us avoid a devastating loss of hardware or important work.

So if you are looking to bolster your Mac support team, look no further than this list of some of Cult of Mac’s favorites accessories from 2016 for iMacs, MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

This sexy sleeve is worthy of the new MacBook Pro

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Maxwell Sleeve by WaterField Designs
The Maxwell Sleeve will keep your new MacBook Pro covered.
Photo: WaterField Designs

There’s little exciting about a laptop sleeve. Usually made of neoprene or some other soft flexible material, it has one job and often it stays hidden if the user carries a backpack or messenger bag.

But in anticipating a refresh of the MacBook Pro, WaterField Designs did a fitting — and dare I say attractive? — refresh of the unsung laptop sleeve.

‘Small-batch’ bag company rolls out backpack with big space

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The Bolt laptop backpack gives a busy person the right stuff.
The Bolt laptop backpack gives a busy person the right stuff.
Photo: WaterField Designs

The description “small batch” is often associated with bourbon and cigars. With those words come an expectation of a higher quality derived from artisanal techniques, not possible with mass production.

WaterField Designs refers to itself as “small batch” and the company’s bags and cases, especially for Apple computing products, fit nicely in the company of a fine cigar or whiskey. Its latest product, the Bolt Laptop Backpack, stands apart from its oft-sporty-looking backpack brethren.

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.

This attaché is ready to serve your iPad Pro

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Creative types will find the Staad Attaché a good fit for the iPad Pro and all its accessories.
Creative types will find the Staad Attaché a good fit for the iPad Pro and all its accessories.
Photo: WaterField Designs

Companies have designed shoulder bags exclusively for iPads, but let’s face it — most of us just toss them in whatever bag we have. Sure, we’ll spend on a hard cover or even a protective sleeve, but the iPad’s size and sleekness don’t demand that we dedicate a separate bag.

But the iPad Pro changes things a bit. It’s larger, is best utilized with an attachable keyboard and, if you live the creative life, you need a place to stow that Apple Pencil.

Versatile messenger bag fits all your stuff and more

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Get all your stuff together in this lightweight, classy, functional messenger bag.
Get all your stuff together in this lightweight, classy, functional messenger bag.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Ever try to go from home to the gym to the office to the party in the same day? If you have, you’ll know that move requires a lot of carrying capacity, typically across several bags.

Now try to do all that as an eco-warrior on a bicycle. You’ll want one big, waterproof bag that can hold your work stuff, your gym clothes and maybe a rain coat in case it gets wet out there. Stylish and useful, the Vitesse from WaterField Designs is a lovely, waxed-canvas messenger bag that will fit all that stuff.

Best List: Heartache is in the (stolen) bag, plus audio gear and more

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Jeans designer Ulrich Simpson likes to say he makes jeans for everybody. And when he says

Jeans designer Ulrich Simpson likes to say he makes jeans for everybody. And when he says "everybody," he really means "every body."

The biggest problem with premium jeans is finding a pair that fits. They tend to come in a very narrow range of cuts and sizes. Not so Simpson's UBi-IND jeans, which are available in five styles and sizes from 29- to 48-inch waist.

They'll fit any body type, from skinny skateboarders to Olympic speed skaters with grotesquely overdeveloped quads (see the Athletic cut). In fact, Simpson's customers range from NBA stars to surfers and cowboys. Simpson's jeans are 100 percent made in the USA from premium Cone Mills denim. — Leander Kahney

Buy from: UBi-IND (online and in San Francisco), Union LA (Los Angeles), AB Fits (San Francisco) Standard & Strange (Oakland), Canvas (Malibu)


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

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Best List: Gear that will take your adventures over the top

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WaterField Designs' Bolt briefcase is not for hoarders who want to carry every infernal gadget with them everywhere they go. Like the impossibly thin new MacBook, it's stripped down to the essentials — and the essentials are stylish, sturdy and compelling.


The $249 Bolt will surprise you with its slimness. It comes in two sizes — the small one I tested holds up to a 13-inch MacBook Air (the larger model holds up to a 17-inch laptop). After sliding in an 11-inch Air, an iPad and an envelope full of documents, the Bolt was fairly full; there was barely room to toss in a pair of headphones. 


But that's the point of the Bolt. It's designed for carting around your must-have gear in a sleek, pleasing package. The brown waxed canvas bag looked good out of the gate (and even better after a few trips gave it more character). The chocolate leather accents, including a thick bottom that's perfect for keeping grime at bay, seem like they will only look better over time.


The craftsmanship employed by the San Francisco bag maker is evident from the first zip of the Bolt's hefty, waterproof zipper or the first flip of the

WaterField Designs' Bolt briefcase is not for hoarders who want to carry every infernal gadget with them everywhere they go. Like the impossibly thin new MacBook, it's stripped down to the essentials — and the essentials are stylish, sturdy and compelling.

The $249 Bolt will surprise you with its slimness. It comes in two sizes — the small one I tested holds up to a 13-inch MacBook Air (the larger model holds up to a 17-inch laptop). After sliding in an 11-inch Air, an iPad and an envelope full of documents, the Bolt was fairly full; there was barely room to toss in a pair of headphones.

But that's the point of the Bolt. It's designed for carting around your must-have gear in a sleek, pleasing package. The brown waxed canvas bag looked good out of the gate (and even better after a few trips gave it more character). The chocolate leather accents, including a thick bottom that's perfect for keeping grime at bay, seem like they will only look better over time.

The craftsmanship employed by the San Francisco bag maker is evident from the first zip of the Bolt's hefty, waterproof zipper or the first flip of the "snaps" that close the front pockets. (They're not really snaps: They look like snaps, but in reality they're magnets that effectively hold the pockets shut but are 1,000 times easier to work than your typical closure.)

A leather-faced pad on the removable shoulder strap boasts a grippy, rubberized back that keeps the Bolt from sliding around. And speaking of not sliding around, the simple pass-through on the back of the Bolt is perfect for sliding the petite bag over the handle of a piece of carry-on luggage.

If you go from a backpack to a Bolt, you will undoubtedly miss all that extra space for cramming in jackets, water bottles and half-eaten sandwiches. But, like a decluttered house, the Bolt's wonderful minimalism will grow on you. — Lewis Wallace

Buy from: WaterField Designs

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac


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Gadget Watch: iPhone 6 cases, cameras and an astonishing TiVo

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The big iPhones are here at last, and so – as surely as indigestion follows a burrito – are the oversize iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases. Also new on the scene this week: a game controller for all your iDevices, plus some sweet retro-style cameras.

The big iPhones are here at last, and so – as surely as indigestion follows a burrito – are the oversize iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases. Also new on the scene this week: a game controller for all your iDevices, plus some sweet retro-style cameras.


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