May 12 2011

Incase Nylon Sling Sleeve Review

I mentioned in my article on Moleskine getting into the bag market that I tend to move my computer from bag to bag depending on what my application is at the time.

I may be in a back pack, a suitcase or in a bag I am currently reviewing like the Tom Bihn Zephyr. Moving bits of kit from bag to bag can be a pain, and I often want a touch more protection and the option to take a smaller bag with just the computer and its peripherals to a meeting or a trade show.

I stumbled into the Apple store today and I think I may have found a bag the suits my needs very well: the Incase Nylon Sling sleeve.

The incase Sling Sleeve for MacBook 13"

This is a simple weather resistant nylon slip case with a couple of pockets, handles, a removable strap and a lined and lightly padded laptop section. The zippers all feature pulls on them and the handles give you the option of retracting into the case if you are worried about them snagging on something. The handles are lightly padded, double stitched and are comfortable enough given the amount of weight you would typically carry in a case like this.

One handle in and one handle out

The front of the case has a zipper that runs across the whole length that gives you access to two gusseted, expanding pockets. The left one has some minimal organizational pockets for two pens and a slot that would JUST hold my point and shoot Canon A3300. The left side pocket is an open pouch that would be the logical place to stuff your power brick. Both of these pockets are roughly 6 x 7 inches.

Front left pocket with slots

Front right open pocket

The back side of the case has a large, full length magazine pocket with a velcro closure situated right in the middle. This pocket is just a touch over 7 inches deep so a magazine will protrude slightly out of here.

Back of the case with the strap on

PETA can rest easy knowing that the inside of the laptop section is only lined with faux fur. This section is very soft and will not scratch anything. It is lightly padded so I would not plan on using it for serious protection for a laptop. It is custom fitted for the MBP13 so don’t plan on getting anything else in here unless it is WAFER thin.

Laptop section

The included shoulder strap is reasonably good with a sliding shoulder pad that does an adequate job cushioning the strap. The latch hardware is metal but the D rings and buckles on the strap appear to be Delrin or some other form of industrial plastic. At 2 and 1/4 inches wide it is right at what I consider to be the minimum for a shoulder strap, but given the weight you would typically carry in this case it is more than adequate. I had no issues with slippage and the bottom side is perforated to help avoid sweating.

Metal latches are pleasantly heavy duty

Shoulder strap pad

So how did my nefarious bag within a bag plan work? Judge for yourself since I have neither the time nor patience to pen another 1000 words on just this topic!

Bag within a bag (within a bag ad infinitum)

It was actually just the right size to slip inside of a briefcase or messenger bag and give you that tiny little bit more security and flexibility.

TSA at two different airports have passed my computer through X ray with no complaints, so I am willing to provisionally call this bag TSA check point approved. Not running my laptop through the scanner naked makes me much more comfortable. It is also one less bin I need in the security lane.


I like this bag. It is just enough storage to drag my laptop, a power supply, a camera, a couple of pens and a notebook to a target destination. It is not a ton of protection and if you are worried about dropping or otherwise trashing your laptop you would likely be better off with something with soft foam and corrugated protection like Tom Bihn’s Brain Cell, but on the whole the Sling Sleeve does exactly what it is supposed to. At $59.95 I think this bag is a touch overpriced but I like what it does. I think it will go into my rotation for a good, long while.

15751 Tapia St.
Irwindale, CA 91706

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