Back in February we shared news that Waterfield was rolling out a number of different ways to protect your newest Apple device thanks to their Ultimate SleeveCase and Suede Jacket for Apple iPad. Well both are shipping and we’ve had a chance to check them out. Are they a good way to protect your iPad in a rough and tumble world? Read on and find out…
First up is the iPad Ultimate SleeveCase. According to Waterfield…
Ultimate iPad Sleeve Protection. Safeguard your iPad with a properly fitted SleeveCase. Cushioned with high-grade neoprene and wrapped in a nearly indestructible ballistic nylon shell, the iPad SleeveCase functions as a stylish stand-alone case or can be inserted into another bag. And no need to take your iPad out of its snug compartment when going through airport security—it’s TSA Checkpoint Friendly. With its impact-resistant screen protecting insert and its scratch-free, screen cleaning Ultrasuede® lining, you’re good to go. It’s a slam dunk.
The Ultimate SleeveCase comes in both a horizontal and a vertical orientation. It comes trimmed in leather (above) or in fabric (the SleeveCase I have been reviewing). As you can see, in both orientations the iPad is completely protected once inside the sleeve. The material is heavy duty and top quality. The construction is perfect (and I do not use that word lightly). Seams are straight and tight and there was not one stray thread on the review sample. I have used two similar SleeveCases in the past and I can vouch for the fact that the SleeveCases not only look good and do a good job protecting your device but that they hold up tremendously well after quite a bit of use.
For example, I purchased one for my MacBook a few years ago. It has been well used but still looks brand new when placed up against the new iPad sleeve. Seriously… you tell me which one is new and which has been used and abused for a few years…
Add in the thick velcro closure and there is no way the iPad is coming out of the sleeve until you want it to. And when you want it to the thick strap makes it a quick, easy process.
On the back of the Ultimate SleeveCase is a pocket that is perfect for stashing a few papers you might want to carry with you.
The pocket isn’t big and there is no way to close it so you would not want to put valuables inside but having the pocket there has already come in handy a number of times during the review period.
As you can see the SleeveCase is a perfect fit for the iPad. (Not a surprise since Waterfield take tremendous pride in the quality and design of their products.) The use of microsuede inside is brilliant since the iPad is a fingerprint nightmare. Each time you put the iPad inside it gets a bit of a cleaning without you ever having to think about it.
Finally, there are a number of ways you can accessorize the Ultimate SleeveCase. you can add a strap ($7) or a Suspension strap ($15). You can add a PiggyBack mini pouch to hold accessories. It comes in leather trim ($27) and in fabric trim ($25). When the Piggyback and the strap are both used the Ultimate SleeveCase becomes its own carry case for the iPad.
The Waterfield Ultimate SleeveCase start at an MSRP starting at $55 (fabric trim) and $59 (leather trim). It is available now directly from Waterfield sfbags.
What I like:
Great materials, design and construction, will “wear” well, simple design but offers great protection when the iPad is inside, micro-suede interior is great with such a fingerprint prone device
What Needs Improvement:
If you add in all the option that are available it can get a bit on the pricey side
Check out the video walkthrough are the end of this post.
Waterfield iPad Suede Jacket
If you want to travel even lighter you might opt for the Waterfield iPad Suede Jacket. The Suede Jacket is about as simple as iPad protection comes. It is made from high quality Ultra-suede and, once again, is flawlessly constructed.
A tab on the bottom helps you grip the sleeve when taking the iPad out while tabs on either side are useful when putting it in.
It comes in one size and design but does offer the option of purchasing it with a pocket ($25) and without ($19). Having used a Suede Jacket with both my MacBook and my iPod touch I would strongly recommend getting the version that has the pocket. It comes in handy more often than you might otherwise think.
A neat feature of the pocket is that it is made from a see-through material that lets you see what is inside.
The fit is tight enough to ensure the iPad stays put. It also helps give the iPad screen a bit of a cleaning each and every time it is either put in or removed from it.
The Suede Jacket is great if you want to keep your iPad from getting scratched or if you are using another sleeve and was an extra layer of protection.
It is available with the pocket for $25 and without the pocket for $19 and is available now directly form Waterfield.
What I Like-
Great build quality, light, simple protection, accessible price
What Needs Improvement-
Nothing. If you need this simple form of scratch protection it is a superb option.
Conclusion- Both of these products are available now and are among the “high-end” in terms of the quality iPad protection currently available. With this type of iPad protection you need to be careful when taking the iPad out or putting it back since those will be the times the device is most vulnerable. I think these sleeves are great and, personally, IO would encourage using them in conjunction with some sort of transparent film protection.