Just before Christmas, my laptop decided to die. Good timing, huh? After a few days of trying to get it going again, we just gave up and decided to replace it. I decided to take the big plunge – switching from Windows to Apple. I also made a huge change in size, going from a 17” Dell to a 13” MacBook Pro. This meant all of my laptop bags were oversized for my current needs. I started looking around for a smaller bag, just big enough to hold my relatively tiny laptop, power cables, small external hard drive, and a couple other things. I don’t need anything big enough to lug around a bunch of paper files or books with my laptop. Tiny is the prime consideration. When Julie said Sena Cases was offering a laptop bag for MacBooks, I asked if I could give the Sena Viajero a try.
I was a bit horrified when I received the shipping box with a giant hole knocked in the side. There was no inner box, so I feared the laptop bag would have been ruined by whatever ripped that hole in the box. However, the Viajero bag was in a heavy felt dust bag. The laptop bag itself didn’t have a scratch on it. If the dust bag protected the Viajero from shipping damage, it should keep it in perfect condition while you store it between uses.
The Viajero is available in sizes to fit a 13” MacBook or MacBook Pro, or 15” or 17” MacBook Pros. The bags are available in black, red, or white pebbled leather, or in black or red crocodile-embossed leather with a glossy finish. I was sent the red croco-patterned bag for the 13” MacBook Pro.
The bag is 13.75” X 10” X 2.5”. It has two grab handles that hide away when they aren’t needed. The grab handles have a snap to hold them together, but the handles are so stiff that the snap won’t actually stay closed.
There’s also a matching leather shoulder strap with a bean-shaped leather shoulder pad. The shoulder pad has what appears to be a suede backing. The strap has silver-toned metal hardware. There are metal clips that connect to metal D-rings on the front and back of the bag. The strap adjusts using a metal belt-buckle type closure. The length adjusts from 43.5” to 47”.
The back of the bag has a slip-in pocket that has a single snap closure. This pocket is long enough to hold a Land’s End catalog.
The front of the bag has a zippered “kangaroo” pocket. This pocket is about 7” X 12.25” X 5/8”. The only branding on the exterior is the Sena name embossed on this pocket. The zipper is metal with double zipper pulls with large leather tabs. The zipper covers three sides and about 1” on each end of the bottom.
The fourth side is a leather “hinge”. The interior of the pouch is lined with an orange-y brown velveteen fabric embossed with the Sena “S” logo. There’s light padding inside. Two straps of elastic provide the only storage in this pocket. The elastic is sewn only on each end and in the middle. I can store my Apple Magic Mouse, my Seagate GoFlex external drive, and the Seagate Firewire adapter for the external hard drive. I could probably also fit a couple of pens or maybe a USB flash drive under the elastic. With these things in place, there is not enough room to also hold the power cable and AC adapter for the laptop.
The main compartment of the bag unzips on three sides and about 1.5” on each end of the bottom. This zipper is also metal, with double zipper pulls with leather tabs. The same brown velveteen fabric lines this compartment. There are no pockets, pouches, zippers, or storage of any type inside this open section. This area is slightly padded for protection. There are flaps of the lining material under the zipper area to protect the surface of the laptop from being scratched by the zipper. I wish the zipper were plastic instead of metal. I put a tiny scratch on the front of my MacBook Pro pulling it out of the bag. Those lining flaps apparently aren’t protective enough.
This compartment has leather gussets to prevent dumping your laptop out when you open the bag. It seems to me that these gussets were sewn in backwards. The seams down the middle of the gusset stick out and interfere with the zipper when you try to close the bag. The bag is just wide enough to hold the 13” MacBook Pro. As a matter of fact, the laptop pushes against the gussets a bit, pushing the seams further between the zippers.
The laptop section is big enough that you could slip some paper files or magazines in there with the laptop. Other than a sticker-type skin, there is no room for a laptop sleeve or case for extra protection for your MacBook because it would make the laptop too long for the compartment.
When fully loaded, the bag is a heavy load. The shoulder pad helps with the weight a bit, but it does dig into my neck. The suede backing doesn’t really provide any cushioning, but the texture keeps it from slipping on your shoulder.
The Sena Viajero bag is very pretty. It’s sophisticated and would look very nice as a business bag. I have a much more casual life, so I’d prefer a more casual bag. I don’t want to have to worry about scratching the glossy surface of my bag, and I don’t want to get any more scratches on my MacBook Pro. I also could use a bit more storage for peripherals. My search for the perfect bag continues.