Last year we reviewed
the Skooba Skin from Skooba Design (formely Roadwired). We liked it very much, earning our 'fantastic' rating. Well, they have a new version of this sleeve/tote combo which is going to appeal to the artist in you -- a Do It Yourself model. If you are tired of the same old colors, fabrics, and your bag looking like everybody else's, this may be for you.
DIY? Same. But Different.
This review isn't going to focus on the specs and how it works as a handled tote and sleeve combo; read the previous review for that. Rather, we will talk about how you can decorate this blank canvas and turn it into a one of a kind design.
My first impressions were good, but a bit daunting. The bag was exactly the same design as the previous Skooba Skin I reviewed, so I knew it was solid. However, I was extremely intimated by the fear of making a horrific looking design on this blank canvas bag. I know what kind of design I would like to do, but have no art skills to implement it. Luckily for me I know a couple of kids that are very creative and aren't afraid to draw on a blank canvas.
So, off I sent the bag to some family friends (thanks Elisa Lustig) and they came to the rescue. When they returned the bag, Elisa had done some wonderful on the front and the back. The bag turned out much nicer than I had expected - I was impressed. It was clear that a lot of thought and effort had been put into it.
Permanent markers were the tool of choice for decorating. I didn't notice any spots where the markers looked smeared, so it's safe to presume the canvas absorbs the ink well and drying time is quick.
They did a great job with permanent markers, but you could get very fancy and use some type of puffy paint, hot glue rhinestones, or anything else you can find at your local craft store. The possibilities are endless which really gives this bag an edge, since you are only limited by your own vision.
Interior & Exterior
The canvas is blank on the entire exterior, with the exception of the Skooba logo and a piece of velcro beneath it.
Like the previous Skooba Skin, the interior is fully padded with a red lining to protect your notebook computer. If you choose to, you can also decorate the inside of the handles, as they are made out of the same blank canvas material.
Sizes and Pricing
The Skooba Skin DIY comes in a variety of sizes, from sub-compact to a large 17" notebook, with prices fluctuating depending on the size. On the high end, the 17" is $39.95 USD, but the sub-compact Skooba Skin Micro runs $27.95. You can find all of the models on Amazon.com for even less than the manufacturers suggested price.
If you want a totally unique sleeve/tote combo that nobody else is going to have - this is it. However, you'll need a bit of creativity and artistic flare to be able to pull this off. This sleeve/tote will be going out in public with you, and most certainly people will be remarking about it. Kudos to Skooba Design for adding a new niche to the market.
4.5 out of 5