I love Waterfield products and, as I have noted in previously, I use them daily. Waterfield offers several great ways to organize and carry your gear. Their latest is the Waterfield Developer’s Gear Case. If like so many of us at Gear Diary you carry too much, this may be the case for you!
I reviewed, and love, Waterfield’s Tech Folio and use it most days. When I saw the Developer’s Gear Case, I knew it would be an even better way to carry everything I need on longer trips. So while the name of the case suggests it was designed for developers and everything they need to carry, it’s great for non-developers like me too! Waterfield describes it this way:
The Developer’s Gear Case organizes bulky and small accessories in one compact case. Two layers organize cords and cables on top and odd-sized items plus an included leather mobile mousepad on the bottom. The Developer’s Gear Case is designed for those who take their gear and electronics with them everywhere they go. The pocket-storage system keeps everything organized, quickly accessible, and flexible enough to hold slim or bulky devices.
As with all of the company’s products, the Developer’s Gear Case is crafted in the US by Waterfield’s sewing team in San Francisco.
The case is made from top-quality materials such as 1050 Denier Ballistic Nylon with full-grain leather accents. (I think it is a stretch to refer to the use of leather as merely an “accent” since the entire top surface of the case is leather.) It measures 9.75” x 6.75” x 3.25” and weighs just 0.75 lb.
The top surface is, as noted, made from leather. An angled zipper runs along the top third of the case. The YKK waterproof zipper used here and along the main part of the case is coated, so they repel moisture.
The metal-tipped zipper pull is easy to grab and promises not to break the way, so many zipper pulls do over time.
Inside, the pocket is lined with a soft material that won’t scratch your phone or other small items you put inside.
Hidden toward the bottom, there is a passthrough that allows you to keep an external battery in the pack but pass the cable through to the outside so you can charge your device without the need to open the case.
Below the zipper, the words “Waterfield” and “Made in SF” are subtly embossed into the leather. I never mind having Waterfield branding on my packs and cases as I love helping to promote them but, if I’m honest, one look shows it is a Waterfield product.
The main compartment has a zipper on three sides so, once unzipped, it can be opened like a book. As with the zipper on the top, the seal is waterproofed, so your gear stays safe and the zipper pull is easy to grab and won’t snap off in a few months.
When you first open the case, you are greeted with a series of pouches. On the inside of the cover, there are two zippered mesh pouches. This keeps small items safely inside while still allowing you to see what is there. The lower left has a grommet for the cable passthrough I mentioned previously.
The other side is a padded middle divider. On the upper side of this divider, there are four small mesh pockets. These can hold small items, but because they are open, it is possible for items placed there to fall out if you aren’t paying attention.
Lining both sides is the same bright material Waterfield often employs. It keeps things a bit bright but, more than that, makes identifying your gear easier.
Between the two sides, there is a small loop that can hold an Apple Pencil or a similarly narrow item.
Lifting the padded middle divider reveals the second, larger storage compartment. The upper side, aka the opposite side of the divider, has two elastic straps which, when the case arrives, holds a leather mousepad.
I’m using it for the mouse pad but also have the flat portion of the Nomad Base Station. (The Base Station is a fantastic device for charging multiple devices when traveling!)
This picture shows it holding a flat Qi wireless charging base and a MacBook port replicator.
The bottom of the case is a large storage space. It is lined with a soft, protective material and has four elastic straps.
These are great for holding and carrying larger, bulkier items. I set it up one way for this review but am currently using it to hold the wall adapter from the Nomad Base Station, a Nomad PowerPack external battery, a 12W Apple wall adapter and a collection of cables. All of them are securely held by the elastic and septs nice and organized. At the same time, the open design lets you easily see, and grab, whatever is there.
Finally, along the exterior spine of the case, there is a grab handle that makes picking it up easy and two small loops that can be used to attach a strap for times when you might want to use the Developer’s Gear Case on its own. (At check out, there are two different strap options available from which to choose.)
- Zippers on three sides allow the case to open like a book.
- Two interior compartments are separated by a padded middle divider.
- Upper slim compartment with size mesh pockets — two larger zippered and four smaller open-topped — organizes cords, dongles, and other small items.
- Gold lining behind mesh pockets makes items inside easy to spot.
- Deep, plushly-padded lower compartment stows bulky items — hard drive, mouse, portal charger, international power adapter, camera lens, etc.
- Stretch bands secure bulky items or lie flat, making way for large items like headphones.
- Complimentary, travel-sized, leather mouse pad attaches to middle divider.
- Ultra-soft, padded front pocket holds quick-access items like iPhone and AirPods.
- Pass-through charging port allows the wire to connect a smartphone in the front pocket to a charging battery when stored inside the case.
- YKK waterproof zippers repel moisture.
- Carrying options: two quick-grab handles or select an optional strap.
- Pen/Stylus holder keeps these handy.
- Two levels of mesh pocket neatly organize smaller cords and adapters.
- Well, padded deep main compartment with elastic ties downs secure bulkier items.
- Full-grain leather front panel develops a beautiful patina.
- Can use on its own or insert in one of our bags such as the Tech Rolltop Backpack, Air Porter Carry-on, or Atlas Holdall.
I love the Tech Folio I reviewed some time ago. It is nicely sized for occasions when I need to carry a significant amount of gear; it’s the case I use most days. The Developer’s Gear Case is a bit larger and more substantial. It is certainly bulkier than the Tech Folio, but it does have more capacity for times when you need to carry even more. It offers more organization than Waterfield’s other gear cases without being too much larger. It can easily go inside the Waterfield Air Porter or other bags of similar size. As is always tue with Waterfield products, the Developer’s Gear Case is made from the best materials, and its fit and finish is perfect. There are no loose threads and no misaligned pieces. It looks and feels like the quality product it is. So while the $129 price tag of the case may seem a bit steep, the quality you get is beyond compare. Moreover, this is a product that will last a lifetime and beyond. Waterfield products are as much an investment as anything else, and this is another great, practical example of what has made the company great.
The Developer‘s Gear Case is available in your choice of Chocolate leather, Black leather, Crimson leather or Blue leather for $129.
At checkout, you can add a simple strap for $12 or a suspension strap for $22.
You can add four cord clips for $15. These clips come in the same four colors, so you can get cable clips that match your Developer’s Gear Case. You can learn more here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Waterfield Developer’s Gear Case
What I Like: Fantastic materials; Great finish; Practical way to keep a significant amount of gear safe and organized; Zippers are waterproofed; Variety of storage areas means you can keep an assortment of different sized gear; Cable passthrough lets you charge a phone or tablet without opening the case
What Needs Improvement: Nothing. After all, this IS a Waterfield product