Whenever you acquire a new laptop, there’s always the need or desire to acquire a new case or bag for it.
I recently acquired a refurbished Apple 11.6″ MacBook Air (2.2/3.2GHz dual core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD) direct from apple.com/store. My venerable mid-2009 13″ MacBook Air is still going strong after an SSD upgrade, but it had been relegated to a role of emergency work while away from my workstation. I wanted the 11.6″ MBA specifically for pure portability, and it functions well in that manner.
That being said, I was deciding carrying options for the 11.6″ MBA. My regular between work and office bag is my Tenba Messenger Mini (see: https://www.ocabj.net/tenba-messenger-mini-go-mini-or-go-home/), and it has a laptop / tablet slot in the main compartment.
I also have a Haley Strategic D3 FlatPack for very slim, lightweight carry of the 11.6″ MBA, but it is an unpadded bag offering no bump protection.
I decided to look into getting a padded sleeve for the 11.6″ MacBook Air. Since I already have two specific bags that I use for work days and off days, a sleeve would give me the option of protecting the MacBook Air with general hand carry (no bag), or while it is in either my Tenba Messenger bag or the D3 FlatPack. A padded sleeve is more critical for the D3 FlatPack since the FlatPack is unpadded, so a sleeve is a value add.
While it’s nice to have so many options when it comes to the Apple third-party accessory market, it gets tedious wading through everything and finding something you actually like.
I decided to checkout Etsy because I wanted to find something less industrial and common looking (e.g. no neoprene or nylon), since Etsy tends to have items that are handcrafted and more stylish (e.g. felt, wool). During my search on Etsy, I stumbled across some wool felt sleeves by byrd & belle, inc.
byrd & belle is owned and operated by Angie Davis who designs and manufacturers wool felt cases/sleeves in her studio in Minneapolis, MN.
What caught my I was the stylish appearance of the wool felt creations by byrd and belle. Very modern style that looks great for business or casual use.
The version I was looking at has a leather patch on one edge, to serve as a gripping surface on the sleeve as well as a nice accent to the sleeve’s appearance.
Also, I was specifically attracted to the short side loading sleeve, which allows for the 11.6″ MacBook Air to be plugged into the charger while still in the sleeve.
The byrd & belle is definitely a quality sleeve and the style and design are appealing. The seams and stitching are solid and the corners and edges are clean and precise.
The sleeve works well with both the Tenba Messenger Mini, my everyday workbag, and it fits perfectly in the Haley Strategic D3 FlatPack, providing added protection with the unpadded FlatPack for when I need slim, compact carry of the 11.6″ MacBook Air.
If you’re looking for a stylish case/sleeve for your MacBook (Air/Pro), iPad, or iPhone, that is handcrafted in the USA, go take a look at byrd & belle at http://www.byrdandbelle.com/.