It can be really tough to find the “perfect” bag to keep your most valuable and useful technology products protected. Sure, you can just find a decent backpack, throw everything in there and be on your merry way. But what if you have a lot of things, or don’t want a backpack, or just want something different? That’s where the search begins.
For the last few years I have used my fair share of backpacks, some of which are great, and others that served as nothing more than a catch-all. I finally got fed up and decided that I wanted to try out a premium satchel or messenger bag. For some reason, more reviews of these types of bags have been cropping up, but there was one that kept catching my eye – the Vitesse Messenger Bag from Waterfield.
Who is Waterfield?
Waterfield is a company based out of San Francisco that provides a stunning array of storage options for your various devices. There are messenger bags, traditional backpacks, sleeves, wallets, gaming cases, briefcases, and so much more. But what is even more awesome is that Waterfield also offers bags/sleeves/cases for specific devices such as the Nintendo Switch or iPad Pro.
Since Waterfield is based in San Francisco, the company actually manufactures its products here in the good ole’ US of A, which can help you feel good, if that’s your thing. Plus, these aren’t just mass-produced like something you would see from other popular bag makers. With some products, there is some stock available, but for the most part, these are made to order so that you know your case has an extra-special touch to it compared to others.
To put some context into the things that I carry with me on a daily basis, here’s a list for you:
- 2018 12.9″ iPad Pro
- Nintendo Switch
- Cable bag
- Anker Portable Charger (2 of these, in fact)
- At least one Android smartphone
- Small notebook with pen
- AirPods or CreativeLabs Outlier Air
Now that you see everything that I have to carry, let’s talk about the bag itself. The Vitesse is made from waxed canvas with a leather handle strap at the top, and two leather straps to close and secure the bag. Once you have un-done those aforementioned straps, you are presented with a large opening at the top and a zipper pocket on the front.
This is a single pocket that stretches across the entirety of the front of the Vitesse bag. On the right side, Waterfield has included an “ultra suede” phone pocket which has been a convenient place to house my earbuds and whatever extra phone I’m carrying with me. The rest of this front pocket holds both of my notebooks and the pen that I carry with me on a daily basis.
Now for the main event. The large pocket of the Vitesse has several additional pockets that can be found around the inside. There is a primary laptop pocket that easily holds my laptop, with some room to spare. Waterfield thought of everything and included a Velcro strap to help keep your laptop in place, and this has been rather pleasant.
Around the outer edge of the notebook, there are three smaller pockets that are great to throw your headphone case into or an extra portable charger. The convenience of this cannot be understated as there are times I just need to throw something in my bag and go and don’t have time to fiddle with everything.
This brings us to the main “pocket” compartment. This compartment holds my Nintendo Switch, cable bag, 12.9″ iPad Pro with its Waterfield Sleevecase, and laptop charger. Being able to get everything into this bag has been a life-saver as I can just reach in, grab what I need, and keep it moving. There’s no need to search for extra pockets, and even a lesser chance of something going missing.
Admittedly, I probably have too much stuff in my Vitesse Messenger bag, and that does weigh me down from time to time. But the wonderful thing about the bag is that I can just reach in and take something out if it needs to stay behind, or if I want to grab my iPad Pro and leave the bag behind.
The Vitesse looks good and is still functional, regardless of whether you are left-handed or right-handed. The leather strap at the top makes it easy to take just pick the bag up and go if you don’t really want to throw it over your shoulder.
This brings me to the biggest and truthfully, only, gripe that I have with the Vitesse Messenger bag. I wish there was some type of padding that was included on the shoulder strap that could help relieve some of the pressure. But that’s nothing that can’t be adjusted or overcome in other ways, in fact, Waterfield offers shoulder pads that can be purchased and then added so that all of the pressure is not on your collar-bone or shoulder.
Waterfield iPad Pro Sleevecase
You may ask yourself why I carry both the laptop and an iPad Pro 12.9. The answer is both complicated and simple. I use my laptop on a daily basis for my day job and I refuse to leave it behind in case something were to happen to it. As for the iPad, this is my device of choice, other than my smartphone. I try to get as much work as possible completed with the iPad Pro and then switch to the laptop if something needs a bit more attention.
When you pick up the iPad Pro, you will quickly realize that the true experience can’t be had without a keyboard and the Apple Pencil 2. This Sleevecase comes in two sizes, so that you can get one regardless of whether you have the 11-inch or 12.9-inch iPad Pro. On the inside, there is a shock-absorbent neoprene which not only will protect your iPad Pro from scratches, but will also help in the case that you accidentally drop the Sleevecase itself.
Unlike the Vitesse, opening and closing this is done with a Velcro strap, which is actually much stronger than I expected. I’ve tried turning the case upside down with the iPad Pro inside and it has remained secure, which is extremely relieving, but we don’t recommend doing this yourself.
On the inside of the flap, you’ll notice a little protrusion that looks like a sleeve for a pencil, and that’s exactly what it is! Simply slide your Apple Pencil 2 into the slot and it will also stay secure, without needing to keep it attached to the top of your iPad. Just another way that Waterfield makes life more convenient for everyone.
Finally, there is a pouch on the back-side of the Sleevecase which can hold a portable charger and a cable, an extra phone, a microfiber cloth, or any other smaller accessories. Unfortunately, this is not secured by anything, so we don’t recommend putting anything of much value in here in the case that you get up and walk away from your table at Starbucks or something.
Waterfield has been in the business of making high-quality and useful products since 1998, and you really see the care they put into each product once it arrives. The Waterfield Vitesse will continue to be my messenger/shoulder bag of choice for the foreseeable future, and you can grab one for yourself from the Waterfield website for $159.
For those who want a phenomenal sleeve for their iPad Pro or other tablet, this Sleevecase starts at $69, regardless of whether you want the 11″ or 12.9″ version. Plus, you can choose which orientation you want for the sleeve, coming in horizontal or vertical, and you can even get a strap for it, if you think it will come in handy.
Waterfield knocks both of these products out of the park, and I’ll be definitely turning to them for my tech storage needs. Just like the newly launched Tech Rolltop Backpack that is launching later this month. Let us know what you think about these and if you’ll be looking to get one for yourself.