Two years ago Judie reviewed Acme Made’s Courier laptop bag. Her conclusion
I am really impressed with just about everything the ACME MADE Courier delivers. This bag is such a beauty; but it is also an amazingly light workhorse with plenty of pockets, compartments, and an impressive carrying capacity. If you are searching for a laptop bag that doesn’t look like all the others – and that doesn’t compromise function at the expense of form, then the Courier may be the bag for you!
I loved the look of the Courier and was grateful when the company sent one in slightly more muted colors to me so I could also take a look and review it as well. My conclusion: “My likes and dislikes are EXACTLY the same as Judie’s!” Two years later, and I still use the Courier on a frequent basis.
Acme Made have expanded their line a bit and, in keeping with Apple’s MacBook Air slimming down the laptops many of us carry Acme Made has released a few bags for those who want to travel light with a full-power laptop. They sent me their Acme Made Clutch laptop shoulder bag for the 13″ MBA I use.
Here’s a look.
From Acme Made:
The Acme Made Clutch is a modern and unique carrying solution for your MacBook Pro 13 or MacBook Air 13. It features a stylish quilted twill nylon interior, a designer-coated canvas exterior and PU leather trim details. The Clutch also has pockets and space for additional personal items and essential power cords & cables.
Interior pockets for power cables, iPhone and other items.
Rear slash pocket for documents.
Adjustable shoulder strap with custom metal hardware.
Fully lined quilted interior.
Height: 10.43″ | 26.5cm
Length: 14.96″ | 38cm
Width: 1.7″ | 4.3cm
Height: 10″ | 25.5cm
Length: 13.2″ | 33.5cm
Width: 1.3″ | 3.3cm
One of the things I find myself appreciating in the Acme Made’s designs is the understated but attractive look they bring to each item. That’s certainly the case with the Clutch. It’s small and looks like an oversized clutch purse. It clearly doesn’t offer a tremendous amount of room, but that’s actually the idea!
With this bag you’re carrying just the minimum that you’ll need for a full day of productivity. No more no less. I equate it with the same logic that has kept me using the FlipSide Wallet I reviewed a few months ago, which keeps me from the “wallet creep” that inevitably led to an overstuffed wallet. With the FlipSide wallet that isn’t even an option.
The bag is made from coated canvas with leather trim details. Inside you’ll find woven nylon. The combination creates a bag with a clean look that should hold up quite well over time.
The only “design element” on the bag is a small tag with the company name and San Francisco. It’s a rather attractive way to have the company identified on the exterior of the bag. There was a minor problem in that there seems to be a bit of a cloudy coating on the tag that looks almost like the residue tape will leave when removed. I wasn’t able to rub it off and, in looking at pictures of the bag on the website, it seems to not be specific to this particular bag. You have to look closely to see it but still it should not be there.
Lifting the large flap reveals a nicely organized interior. There are a few specific compartments that let you get and stay organized. There is a square zippered pocket, there are three smaller pockets that are open, there is a slot that is perfectly sized for an iPhone or a phone such as the HTC HD7, and there are also two holders for pens.
The flap is kept closed thanks to two pieces of Velcro, one on either side. The Velcro strips are large enough that they hold the flap down quite well. It is a clean, neat and effective system for ensuring the things in the bag stay there.
Inside the clutch there are two main compartments. The one in the rear has padding on both sides and is intended for the MacBook air. While the Clutch is designed for the 13″ MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, I see no reason it couldn’t be used with the 11 inch as well.
The second interior pocket is larger and actually opens up more than one might first expect. This is for papers and other important things you might want to carry.
You can also put the laptop in one of the two interior pockets and an iPad in the other (as this stock image shows) although it kind of defeats the whole idea of traveling light.
On the back you’ll find two metal rings that let you attach the included shoulder strap; more on that in a moment.
The rings are well secured to the bag. In this picture you can get a closer look at and appreciation of how clean the bag’s workmanship is.
The shoulder strap is rather utilitarian. There is no padding and it is rather thin. The hardware is substantial enough that it should hold up and serve well throughout the entire life of the back but, unfortunately, I don’t think the strap would be very comfortable if used for a long day. At the same time, I should note that this bag is not intended for carrying a lot of stuff, so the strap might be more than enough for the light load.
In all, you can see that the bag makes for a nice package.
I really like the look and feel and design of this back. The Acme Maine clutch is designed for a minimalist approach to one’s work day and it succeeds in that regard. It’s a nice simple way to carry your 13 inch MacBook air and a few additional items. It’s not as big as a full laptop bag, but it’s not as limiting as a simple sleeve. It falls right in the middle, and that’s what the goal of this bag was from the beginning. It succeeds quite well.
My biggest issue with the bag is the metallic sheen of the designer canvas. It’s quite attractive, but it does give the bag an immediate feminine appeal. At first I wasn’t sure I would want to carry this bag, but after using it for a few days I find that the convenience of it well outweighs any initial reservations I had. Although I should mention that my wife Elana informed me that she just might be grabbing it to use with her 11″ MBA. That works for me, too.
At under $99.95 there are plenty of less expensive bags than the Clutch, but if you want something that is little bit more unique this is worth a look. In short, if you carry your MacBook Air and you want to take a minimalist approach to what you bring with you throughout the day, you should check out the Clutch.
Details and ordering can be found on the Acme Made web site.
What I Like: Clean, minimalist design; well made and from quality materials; perfect for the 13″ MBA; a bit unusual in a world of “commonplace”
What Needs Improvement: Acme Made label has cloudy residue; shoulder strap a bit on the thin side with no padding