Tom Bihn Cache Sleeve for the MacBook Pro Retina Review

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If, like Judie and me, you got a MacBook Pro with retina display, then you know it is a lot of computer and can easily serve as your only computer. It is for Judie and me and, save for the 512GB of storage, there is zero compromise involved.

And if you have a MBPr you also know that while it is still significantly heavier than Apple’s MBA line it is the most portable 15″ MBP they have ever released. That means you are likely taking it with you most days and want a good way to protect it. Tom Bihn’s Cache sleeve is a great option and is one worth considering. Let’s take a look.

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From Tom Bihn:

The Cache — available in many sizes — is designed to protect your laptop or iPad against scrapes and scratches. The Cache protects your laptop with little bulk added and is ideal for those who don’t want their laptop case to make their loads heavier or to take up a lot of space. It cradles your laptop in 1/4″ (6mm) thick foam padding laminated with an exterior of four-ply Taslan nylon and an interior of brushed tricot. With no noisy Velcro® or zipper, the Cache closes by simply tucking a generous flap into the top opening.

The Cache is designed to be used inside one of our larger backpacks, briefcases, messenger bags, laptop bags, knitting bags, or travel bags, or any non-TOM BIHN bag it will fit in.

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The Cache is thin, light and has a nice “squishy” feel that immediately lets you know it will do a nice job protecting your precious laptop. The Cache is also a “Checkpoint Friendly” laptop sleeve. Not familiar with “Checkpoint Friendly”? According to the TSA the have “recently encouraged manufacturers to design bags that will produce a clear and unobstructed image of the laptop when undergoing x-ray screening. A design that meets this objective will enable TSA to allow laptops to remain in bags for screening.” When it works the Checkpoint Friendly thing can save you time and lets you leave your computer protected while being scanned. I write “when it works” because I have often found that the TSA personnel have no clue about the policy and make you take your gear out anyway. Be that as it may, Tom Bihn made sure the Cache fit the requirements. As the company explains,

The Cache meets the new TSA (Transportation Security Administration) “checkpoint friendly” guidelines for laptop bags, so you need not send your laptop through airport security x-ray machines unprotected. The Cache allows the TSA a clear, unobstructed x-ray view of your laptop in the bag. You may also be interested in our Checkpoint Flyer checkpoint-friendly bag.

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The company sent two of the Cache sleeves for the MBAr, one vertical and one horizontal. They share the same design save the question of there on the sleeve the opening it. Both have a flap that runs along the open side and slip into and behind the laptop to provide 360 degree protection. It is easier to get the laptop into and out of the horizontal sleeve since it has a large opening and the laptop only has to travel the shorter of the two lengths. The vertical sleeve it a tiny bit less heavy and bulky since the flap for closing it is only as long as the narrow part of the sleeve but the laptop does need to slip in length-wise. Personally I think I prefer the convenience of the horizontal sleeve but both more than fit the bill.

I do appreciate the fact that the sleeves are light and have no hardware to add weight or potentially scratch the laptop. I also appreciate the fact that, once the laptop is inside it is completely protected… and I mean completely. Add in the fact that the sleeves are made from a material that has a tremendous amount of give and therefore protection and you have a great way to protect your MBPr on the cheap. Yes, on the cheap… these are only $30! You can learn more and order yours here.

MSRP: $30

What I Like: Light; Highly Protective; No hardware to scratch the laptop; Available in multiple sizes and in both vertical and horizontal orientation

What Needs Improvement: This sleeve has no hardware, straps or pockets and is therefore not meant to be used on its own

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