WaterField iPad Wallet Review

Since the iPad was released, I’ve reviewed more than my share of iPad cases and bags.  I recently reviewed a bag that I liked a lot, but I did say I’d like a shoulder strap for the bag.  WaterField contacted Julie and said they had an iPad bag that could be configured in a variety of ways, including a couple of ways with shoulder straps.  I said I’d love to give the iPad Wallet a try, and WaterField quickly sent me a bag.  Let’s give it a closer look.

Many of the pictures in this review, including the lead picture, are clickable for a closer view.

The iPad Wallet is designed to hold an iPad (with or without a case) and the Apple Bluetooth keyboard in a very compact bag.  The iPad Wallet is made of a canvas-style fabric (that feels like it’s made from a synthetic material, possibly nylon) for the front and back.  There is a nice, supple, brown leather strip used for the sides.  There’s a black mesh slip-in pocket on the back.  This pocket is open, and it is very stretchy.  It should hold most anything you want to carry in there.  Completing the exterior is a YKK self-locking zipper that extends across the top and almost completely down one side, so the bag opens wide for easy access to the contents. The zipper opens freely and easily.  However, if you flip the pull tap up (once you’ve zipped the bag closed), the zipper is locked.  You don’t have to worry that the zipper is going to accidentally open and let your contents drop out.

The Wallet is available in six colors:  black, copper, flame, pine, pearl, and green.  All these colors have the brown leather accent.  I received copper, which I would describe as a light, milk-chocolately brown.  The only branding on the bag is a ribbon with the WaterField name woven into it on the front panel. 

The Wallet is 12” X 9” X 1.5” and weighs 14 ounces without straps.  It seems amazing to me that this bag could hold the iPad and keyboard because it is so compact, but it holds both of those and more in this very slim profile.  The standard configuration for the bag has no straps, handles, or hardware to attach a strap.  In this configuration, the bag is a perfect insert for the WaterField 13” Muzetto.  If you prefer a bag with a strap for stand-alone use, you have several options.  If you already have a strap you want to use, you can have your Wallet built with metal D-rings added for an additional $5.00.  If you need a strap, you can add a Simple Strap Mini for $9, or you can select the Suspension Strap Mini for $19.  I received the Suspension Strap Mini. 

The Suspension Strap Mini has a padded, very cushiony strap pad sewn into the center of a nylon strap.  The strap is 1” wide, and it is very soft and flexible.  The strap pad is very cushiony, and it has a pebbly, non-slip texture on the back side.  It is bound with a very soft fabric, so it is comfortable against your neck.  On each side of the strap pad, there’s a plastic slider that adjusts the strap length.  The strap has big, sturdy, metal attachment hooks.  Including these hooks, the strap length adjusts from about 35.5” to 54”.  You can wear the bag on your shoulder or as a cross-body bag.

The interior of this bag is where the design really shines.  The interior is made of a black, lightly padded, non-scratching material with a fuzzy, flannel-like texture.  There’s a small woven ribbon inside with the contact information for WaterField.  There are three pockets inside the interior.  There’s a narrow, long pocket on the inside of the front of the bag that’s designed to hold the Apple keyboard.  Put the keyboard in this pocket with the keys facing the front of the bag and the battery compartment toward the spine of the Wallet.  Doing this makes sure the battery compartment never comes into contact with the iPad.  The area behind the keyboard pocket is reinforced to protect the keyboard.  There’s also a large, full-length pocket between the front of the Wallet and the keyboard pocket.  You can store flat items in this pocket – your charging cable, an iPod, iPhone, or the like.

Shown with the iPad facing the interior, but the screen should face the exterior for protection.

The back of the bag is also reinforced to protect the iPad.  Sewn into the back is a pocket that is perfect to hold a “naked” iPad.  Slide the iPad into this pocket with the screen facing the back for the most protection.  However, if you prefer to use your iPad in a case, you can just put your iPad into the open interior.  My Belkin Grip Vue cover fit inside with room to spare.  WaterField says the standard Apple case will fit inside, as will their own iPad Ultimate SleeveCase.

The battery compartment on the keyboard never touches the iPad in the sewn-in sleeve.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a large, very stretchy, mesh pocket on the back of the bag.  There is no type of closure on this sleeve.  The mesh is very tight, so you don’t have to worry about most small items slipping through.  This is a very thin fabric with no padding, so it will offer minimal protection for items stored in it.  However, it is stretchy enough that you should be able to fit the iPad power brick and a variety of other items inside this slip-in sleeve.

The iPad Wallet from WaterField is a very sleek case that conceals an amazing amount of storage.  This bag would be at home in the office or for going to the coffee shop on a lazy weekend.  You can easily fit in your iPad (even in a case) and your keyboard and most any accessory you need to complete your “office on the go.”  You can customize the case to fit your preference for a shoulder strap, and you can remove the strap and use it inside your Muzetto bag or other laptop/gear bag.  The only tiny change I’d suggest is to make a little grab handle out of the soft strapping used for the shoulder strap and attach it along the side that doesn’t have the zipper.  It could be a flat piece of strapping with just enough room to slide your fingers under – something for a secure grip when you’re using the bag without a shoulder strap.  I like the WaterField iPad Wallet and think it will make a great bag for anyone who wants to carry their iPad and accessories in a compact, attractive bag.

 

Product Information

Price:$79 for plain bag; up to $98 with the Suspension Strap Mini
Manufacturer:WaterField
Pros:
  • Very compact
  • Ton of storage
  • Customizable to add shoulder strap
  • Can fit a complete "office" setup in a small bag
Cons:
  • No grab handle
Posted in: iPhone, iPad, iPod, Reviews

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Darwin November 26, 2010, 4:33 pm

    Waterfield makes great stuff. Gotta get this one too.

  • Einstein2 November 29, 2010, 12:09 am

    Ditto—love their stuff. This one is genius.

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