ontinuing with a series of reviews, this is the second installment of three comprehensive reviews of the MacCase
If you haven't read my first review, read about the MacCase Sling
Next on the list to try was the MacPack Combo
. It is a combo unit because it comes with one of the MacCase sleeves
, and a backpack shell to put it in. It only comes in one color, Black, but it is tastefully executed, and you have a choice of Black or Silver sleeves.
This MacPack Combo is a very attractive mid-sized backpack. You can wear the pack on your back, but if you prefer to carry the bag, it has a well equipped handle that is wrapped in a foam begging to be gripped. When you throw it onto your back, you are in for a nice surprise. The straps and the back of the unit are nicely padded with a breathable mesh, and just like the Sling, the straps are ergonomic.
Upon inspection, the only down side is that the waste strap wasn't graced with the oversized latch like the Sling. I am used to that, so it's not a deal breaker for me. Personally, I would improve upon the design of the waist strap. I would like it to be a bit wider, and the latches larger. Finally, you may get thirsty toting a bag around in the heat, so no worries.. each side is equipped with a mesh pocket you can slip your water bottles into.
Like most bags, the MacPack combo has two compartments. On the front is a very large area for storing all of your miscellaneous items, such as our iPod, CDs, cables, wallet, etc.
For ease of access, the front of the bag zips down 75%, and makes it extremely easy for accessing all of the pocket areas. The interior is white on the inside, and contains 4 white pockets -- two nicely sized, and two that are made for a pen or pencil. The pen/pencil pockets only fit a standard sized writing utensils. If you carry a MontBlanc, it won't fit.. nor will any pens with rubber grips. Below this series of pockets are 4 mesh pockets perfect for storing your car keys, adapter cables, and so on.
This particular bag has the grommet that you can fit your iPod earphones through so your bag can remain zipped while you are listening to your tunes, so I give them kudos for that.
Initially I was concerned about some of the stitching on the white pocket areas. My review copy had some loose stitches & threads, and it was a red flag for me. I contacted MacCase, and they said this isn't the norm, and was the first report of such a problem. Regardless, the bags are covered with a lifetime warranty that covers any manufacturing defects. Besides this particular area, the stitching was pretty solid, and I didn't see any quality issues that I was concerned about.
The other main compartment is where you store your Mac. It contains the Bright Sight
interior on one side of the interior wall, however I wish it was also on the bottom. This would make it much easier to see any loose items that may have made their way to the padded floor of the bag. The opposite wall contains a velcro strap near the bottom, to secure your Mac, and it also contains three 8 inch strips of velcro that your MacCase Sleeve will affix to. It's nice to have three different levels of velcro, so depending on what size sleeve you have, you are sure to make a good fit.
You MacCase Combo comes with one of the exclusive MacCase Sleeves
. While these can be purchased separately, for use in other bags, being included makes it one of the things that make this MacPack Combo so awesome.
Throwing your notebook in a padded sleeve is pretty much a requirement if you are going to safely take it with you. It wouldn't be sensible to just throw your Mac in the bag unprotected, so you will want to first slip it into it's accompanying sleeve.
The sleeve is a cool looking silver/black that is made to perfectly fit your notebook. The silver side has a plastic transparent window to show off your 'Apple Logo', which every Mac owner loves to do. Come on admit it.. you know you love the envious looks when you bring your Mac out in public! On the opposite side is an oval mesh window that lets your Mac cool down. This is an excellent feature, and I was very pleased to see it integrated into the case. I have tried several 'sleeves' before, but this is the first time I have seen this feature, and I am very impressed by it.
The sleeve is nicely padded with a very dense foam wrapped in a nylon fabric that matches your MacCase. This will prevent your Mac from getting dinged up and having the hard drive crash due to some unforeseen impact - for example, a dog jumps out in front of you while you are traveling at high speed on your bike. Not only are you protected on the outside, but take a look Inside, and you will see it has velvet like fabric that will keep your Mac free from scratches.