Waterfield Designs CitySlicker MacBook Air Case [Review]

With the recent MacBook Air refresh, I jumped on a 13-inch model as it’s the perfect machine for working on the go when you’re traveling. Of course, my next decision was to find a nice looking case that will protect the thin and light Air.

That led me to Waterfield Designs, based out of San Francisco once again. We have previously reviewed their SleeveCase for the 2008 MacBook, iPhone SmartCase and more recently their SleeveCase for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

Waterfield Designs sent us their latest CitySlicker case (it started shipping in May) for the MacBook Air to review. We’ve been using it for a couple weeks now so here are our thoughts with this case. For our case, it came in the Grizzly leather flap, the optional handle and the 1″ Suspension Strap.

Gary Waterfield, the founder of SFbags.com had this to say:

“The MacBook Air is unbelievably thin, and we wanted to enhance that look rather than detract from it,” explained Gary Waterfield, company founder. “The challenge was to design something sleek with hard-case protection, while keeping it compact, and to create a look that works on weekdays as well as weekends. We added a rugged, distressed leather flap to complete the ‘old-world meets modern’ look we were after.”

Gary and his team did a great job with the design of this case. Right away, the classic look of the bag was noticeable along with the build quality. The padding was thick throughout and really brought a sense of confidence knowing my MacBook Air would be protected very well in this case. This is achieved through a combination of impact resistant plastic alongside high grade neoprene and a padded liner that makes for a very snug fit. Along the bottom of the case there is a sturdy liner to protect against drops and was very solid to the touch, covered by ballistic nylon.

The leather flap is held together by two heavy duty snap on buttons which reveals four extra stretech pockets to store your iPhone, USB cables, headphones or small notepads. Do note this bag is made for a minimal look so you won’t be able to cram a lot into these somewhat hidden pockets.

Here’s a closer look at the heavy duty D-rings and Suspension Strap:

On the back of the case, there’s a self-locking zippered semi-opaque pocket that fit my laptop charger. A better fit for this pocket is either a magazine or my iPad 3, which fit really well with the Smart Cover attached.

What I love about the CitySlicker is the versatility of the case. I can easily attach the Suspension Strap (which attaches to the sturdy D-rings) when I’m going for longer trips and easily remove it to carry the case by the sturdy handle or just under my arm. Made in San Francisco, you can tell Waterfield Designs puts a lot of care into churning out some well-made products. The stitching is sewn tight and my MacBook Air (protected by Wrapsol on the outside) fits snugly inside and will not fall out if I hold the bag upside down with the leather flap opened.


As for some nitpicking when it comes to this bag? I would say the button snaps did take some effort to snap together initially, but that is most likely a testament to the quality and tight fit of the buttons. Also, the optional handle is quite thin and could use a bit more room for those with larger hands.

As for pricing, the CitySlicker is priced appropriately for a bag made in the USA and designed with care. It isn’t cheap, but you do get what you pay for in terms of quality and protection for your precious MacBook Air. The pricing is as follows:

  • 11″ MacBook Air: $129; Optional handle: Add $10
  • 13″ MacBook Air: $139; Optional handle: Add $10
  • Options: D-rings: $5; D-rings and Simple Strap: $12
  • Colours: Black, Chocolate, Grizzly and Camel

You can learn more about the CitySlicker case by visiting sfbags.com.