MacCase Premium Leather Briefcase review

{ 11 comments }

I used to carry a backpack when traveling. Everywhere. I had decided that with the two laptops I used for demos (a Mac and a Windows machine, before the days of Intel Macs and virtual machines!), their chargers, hard drives for content and backup of presentations for the products I was training on, a single-shoulder bag was just out of the question. These days, however, I can carry all that capability in a much smaller format. Laptops have shrunk as they’ve increased in power, and battery life is no longer measured in hours and minutes, but in productivity-days. As a result, few of us need power adapters, at least if we’re just out for the day, and we’re using anything made in the last few years. Enter the MacCase Premium Leather Briefcase. I was sent the black version for testing.

Note: Photos may be tapped or clicked for a larger image.


This satchel doesn’t disappoint. It looks and feels like the namesake bomber jacket. The first look is very impressive – a chrome metal lock, matching D-rings for the shoulder strap, handle, and optional backpack straps, as well as matching metal bottom scuff guards, all attached to rich, pebble-grained leather with tight stitching and a few tasteful flourishes. You just want to touch it.

The black-on-black stitching for the logo is subtle and elegant, while the white top-stitching across the front flap smiles at you with perfectly even stitches.

Across the back are two more lines of top stitching, outlining the flat document pocket.
Centered below the latch on the front is a leather loop sewn into the seam of the reinforcement piece of leather across the bottom. This and two patches of black hook-and-loop material (hidden beneath the flap when not in use) allow for attaching a 6.5″ square pocket with the same attention to detail. At about 1.25″ wide, it’s single interior pocket is perfect for cords, power supplies, and video adapters. On days when you’re not going to need these items (or when you’re visiting the client and want to leave them in your hotel room) you can leave this pocket off.

You’ll still have the two full-depth inner pockets lined in suede-like microfiber and padded on five sides. These pockets are actually one large pocket with a foam-core dividing tray. If you’re needing to haul a thicker laptop, or if you already have a padded sleeve you’d like to use, just slide this out, and you have the full 2″ depth to use.


In front of this full-depth slot, there is a slash pocket that is scooped almost down to the latch. While this sounds like it would be too narrow to be of use, it will hold a full-sized iPad Air 2 with a cover and hide it almost completely. About a half-inch shows above the scoop.

Although I can’t verify this, given the published specs for the iPad Pro (12″ x 8.6″), and the fact that the iPad Air 2 (9.4″ x 6.6″) can fit in sideways (photo above) with only a slight tightness, I’m fairly certain Apple’s new top-of-the-line monsterPad will fit nicely in this pocket.

The grab handle is padded and riveted into the top flap so that most of the weight-bearing happens on the rear of the case. This (and the vertical orientation) prevents picking up the case by the handle and the top yawning open. You can almost use it without clicking the fluid, dual-hook clasp. With or without the add-on pocket, this shiny jewel is easy and quiet to operate, closing with a satisfying click and only opening (silently) with a two-finger pinch. The only hook-and-loop on the entire bag are the two patches holding the external pocket on.

Some may complain that there are no specialty pockets for phones, business cards, or even pens on this bag. Although there is a well-proportioned, lined pocket (8.5″ x 6.5″) on the flap that can hold any or all of these items (photo above), this is not the bag for the gotta-have-everything self-reliant road warrior. This is a bag for those who only need their one or two screens, maybe a power supply, and maybe a video cable. If you’re in the boardroom, you don’t want to be pushing aside your Altoids, your lockblade, and your three portable hard drives to get to anything. You just want to reach in and pull out your trusty MacBook Pro, connect it to the projector/ChromeCast/AppleTV, and knock their socks off.

Modern laptops and even ChromeBooks have freed us from the tyranny of worrying about power, if we’re just out for the day. So, unless we’re going out of town for several days, we no longer have to worry about carrying along those large power supplies. The MacCase Premium Leather Briefcase  allows you to streamline your bag when you take these devices, and look good doing it.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by MacCase. Please visit their site for more info and Amazon to order one.

 

Product Information

Price:$299
Manufacturer:MacCase
Retailer:Amazon
Requirements:
  • stuff to carry
Pros:
  • Amazing materials, fit, and finish.
  • Roomy compartments for thin, modern screens.
  • Add-on pocket easily removes for power supply, wires, etc.
Cons:
  • Not an EDC-type bag.
  • Expensive.
  • Few pockets for the little things.
Posted in: Bags, Laptops and Gear, Reviews
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Paris Carver October 27, 2015, 10:15 pm

    I’m a bit confused by the reviewer not the review. He raves about the quality, states the materials are amazing as are the fit and finish. It’s obvious that whomever put this bag together cared a lot about what they were doing. Then in the same breath he lists a negative, the bag being expensive. $300 for a well made leather briefcase is a bargain. Salvatore Ferragamo makes a mens leather briefcase too, for $1700. I noticed the book Smoke Signals on the table along with bag in the first image. Maybe if the writer spent less money on weed he might have more money to spend on what is obvious a bargain leather briefcase. I liked the review overall, but it seems like a stretch to call this bag expensive.

  • David Howard October 27, 2015, 10:43 pm

    I have two MacCase Flight Bags – the brown leather one for the MacBook Air 13″, and a smaller one that carries the MacBook 12″ model. Both also carry the iPad Air 2, and some small accessories. Excellent bags and the great review here is accurate.

  • Smythe Richbourg October 28, 2015, 2:23 pm

    @Paris – Yes, there are leather bags with similar quality available at much higher prices, but considering many more bags are available (in leather and other materials) for far less than this, I wanted to warn those who were reading that it’s not going to be like buying something online made cheaply (in price or quality) and they are going to have to part with more money than ElCheapoLeatherWorks.com charges. And, as for the library book in the background, I found it a really interesting read. I’ve never spent any money on drugs, (including marajuana), but the health benefits outlined in that book makes me wonder why it was ever ruled dangerous. I recommend everyone read it, and get some actual facts into the legalization issue.

  • Norm Pashley November 18, 2015, 6:15 pm

    I purchased this case several months ago to carry my 15″ MacBook Pro. I find everything in the review to be correct and the only negative comment I’ll make is on the reviewer’s conclusion that this bag is expensive. Owning a Harley Davidson motorcycle, I purchase more that my share of premium leather products and I feel the price of this bag is right in line with the quality with which it was made. This is an outstanding product, fairy priced.

  • Bob November 18, 2015, 8:31 pm

    This is a good bag, but what irritated me was the fact that I ordered the large pouch and was forced to buy the smaller pouch as well–not that big of a deal but irritating.

    The tan leather stains. Get the black – I wish it was an option when I got mine a year ago.

    The closing latch is – frankly – PITA! It is VERY hard to latch, and takes a lot of fiddling around to secure the latch.

    Storage is OK. But, I am frankly worried that this bag will be completely useless for my needs once I upgrade to the iPad Pro – I guess we will see!

    • Jody November 19, 2015, 2:27 pm

      The iPad Pro will fit in the Flight Case without a problem. Let us know once you try it. Regarding “forcing” you to buy the smaller pouch, we are in the process of offering up more options so you can build the case you want. We have implemented this with our new iPad Pro case which can be seen here –

      http://www.mac-case.com/collections/leather-ipad-pro-cases/products/leather-ipad-pro-cases

      We have 7 options on this new model so you can pay for the options you want and don’t have to pay for the ones you don’t want.

      • Bob November 19, 2015, 2:50 pm

        Jody,

        That is really good news! As long as I can put my MacBook Pro (15″) and my iPad Pro in the flight case, I will be a happy camper 🙂

        (Your latch really is a PITA to secure – ya’ll really need to look into re-engineering the closure system).

  • normand November 19, 2015, 8:50 am

    I ordered this bag about 6 months ago and Maccase was very flexible with the delivery (initially had it sent to my hotel in Austin, then changed to have it sent to my home in Montreal). I really like this bag and agree with the article. However even with the CDA to US exchange rate this is NOT an expensive bag.

    Norm

  • Julie Johnson November 19, 2015, 9:46 am

    I shy away from reviews that call a product “expensive.” That is subjective and should be left to perceived value. It would be like someone reviewing a Louis Vuitton bag and calling it expensive, as a con. If you’re in the market for quality and ingenuity in design, function and exceptional quality, and the product fits the bill, then it’s worth every cent and therefore not expensive. But, if you’re out of your league shopping for expensive gear when you have a very limited budget, then you prioritize and make sacrifices or pass based on your own personal situation. I will be back later to offer a review after getting a chance to put my briefcase to use!

  • Daniel November 26, 2015, 5:36 am

    Usually I don’t write reviews, but I like to write for this product. I use Flight Jacket (vintage) for 6 years and still without any problems. During this year I bought for a new bigger MacBook Pro new Leather Briefcase (vintage) and also the same…. I am very glad have it. I am satisfied with its quality and price too. Even don’t mind about later delivery. I like people who love their jobs. Thank you and I am glad you are….

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