As I have mentioned before, I made the switch to Apple computers just before Christmas. I went to a 13” MacBook Pro, so the bag I had used for my 17” Dell was just too big. My previous bags have been big cases sized for work – room for lots of papers and files and the like. This MacBook isn’t a “work” computer, and I don’t need to carry a lot of extra stuff – just a power brick and a small external disk. I want a case that’s as small and compact as my new MacBook. I’ve been using the Cocoon CMB100 Mini Messenger bag as my daily purse/gear bag for a couple of months, and I love how organized my things are in the Grid-It organizer. When I saw the Cocoon Kips Bay case with Grid-It panel for the 13” MacBook or MacBook Pro, I thought it might be just what I wanted for my laptop. Cocoon was kind enough to send me a Kips Bay bag to try.
Note: Some of the pictures are clickable for a more detailed view.
The Kips Bay CPS365 case is sized for the 13” MacBook or MacBook Pro. Like the Mini Messenger, this bag has a shock-absorbing molded EVA interior shell covered with what seems to be ballistic nylon fabric. There’s no exterior padding under the fabric. Cocoon says the Kips Bay bag is water resistant. The case comes in black with a dark gray interior, Gun Gray with a lime interior, and Racing Red with a brown interior. I asked for the Racing Red. You can see that it is a bright, true red. I love the color.
The exterior has a neoprene panel sewn across the front. The top edge of the panel is bound with a stretchy black fabric, and the bottom is bound and attached to the case with a piece of the nylon exterior fabric. A center seam divides the panel into two pockets. These pockets can accommodate my laptop’s power brick and a Seagate external hard drive. (The picture shows the devices peeking out of the pockets, but they can be inserted completely into the pockets.) Because it’s made of neoprene, this panel is very stretchy. The back of the bag is plain.
The bag is 14.5” wide X 3.15” deep X 10.75” high. It weighs 2.44 pounds. The interior laptop compartment is 13.8” wide X 1.2” deep X 9.6” high, and it is designed to hold up to a 13” laptop.
There are two grab handles on the bag. The handles are made of a very soft, flexible, heavy twill fabric that’s been folded in half and sewn closed. The center of the handle is padded with a dense foam. The ends have a vinyl tab that has been sewn to the bag; a metal rivet further secures the ends to the bag. These handles are very comfortable to hold.
The bag has a plastic zipper that wraps around three sides and extends to the bottom. There are double teardrop-shaped zipper pulls. The zipper operates very smoothly and easily. The only branding is a small, black, rubbery tag with “Cocoon” in raised white letters sewn into the zipper seams. The Kips Bay bag has a cloth “hinge” on the forth side. The bag can open up completely flat.
The bag comes with a removable shoulder strap. All hardware on the strap and the attachment tabs on the bag are made of a heavy, sturdy plastic. The strap is made of soft, flexible belting. There’s a cushiony strap pad; it’s made of the same red exterior fabric with a non-slip material on the back. The strap pad is 11” long X 2.5” wide. You can attach small clip-on device cases to a loop on the strap pad. The strap is 1.375” wide. It adjusts from 31.5” to 54.5” long, including the clips. This strap pad is wide enough that you can pull the adjustment buckle through and keep the pad centered on the strap. The strap and strap pad are comfortable when wearing the fully-loaded bag.
The interior of the bag has what seems to be a tricot lining on the inside of the EVA shell. The interior of the shell is not padded. One half of the shell holds the MacBook. There are two 1”-wide elastic bands across the opening to hold the laptop in place. All the elastic bands used in the bag have rows of rubbery “stitches” on their surfaces. These stitches make the elastic strips very “grippy”, so they hold things in place very well. The bottom of the shell has a rubber pad glued in the middle to provide a bit of cushioning for the laptop. I wish this pad were bigger. I also wish they had covered the metal backs of the rivets for the grab handles with the pad. I don’t want to get scratches on my MacBook Pro, not even on the bottom. My MacBook fit perfectly into this compartment. There was minimal extra room in this side, so the laptop didn’t slide around while the bag was carried.
There is a rigid board sewn into the hinged area of the bag that divides the laptop side from the storage side of the Kips Bay bag. The side next to the laptop is covered with a velvety fabric. The other side of the board is a Grid-It organizer. This panel is 13” X 8.75”. The Grid-It organizer is covered with interwoven elastic straps. The horizontal and vertical straps cross and intertwine randomly. The Grid-It board allows you to organize cables, phones, USB flash drives, pens, headphones – you name it. You simply slip the items under the straps, and the rubbery threads on the surface of the straps grip the item and hold it in place. I put my power brick, my Seagate 1TB GoFlex disk and its USB adapter cable, and a USB flash drive in the Grid-It organizer with lots of room to spare.
The items stored on the Grid-It panel will fill up some of the space in the storage half of the bag, but there is enough room to store files and papers in the neoprene pocket in this side of the shell. The pocket is big enough to hold 8.5”X11” paper, and the neoprene is stretchy enough to hold thicker items. If the thickness of the items on the Grid-It allowed enough room, I could even carry my iPad in its JAVOedge Cherry Blossom Axis case. I’d be concerned the metal rivets holding the grab handles would scratch my iPad if I didn’t have it in a really sturdy case.
I think the Kips Bay CPS365 13” MacBook/Pro Case from Cocoon is great. It’s just the right size for my laptop and a couple of accessories. Because the Grid-It panel is so flexible, I can store a lot of cables and computer peripherals in a small amount of space. I even have room for papers, files, an ereader, or even my iPad if I need to take them along. The Kips Bay bag looks great with my Cocoon Mini Messenger purse, and it only costs about $45. I think I’ve found my perfect MacBook Pro case!