6. Thule Crossover Sling Pack - £80/US$100/AU$130

Best MacBook Air bags cases and covers

Although it's able to take a 13-inch Macbook Air, the diagonal-access compartment inside this tough 823g (29oz) sling pack from Thule is of less exact dimensions than most of the other bags and cases here.

With a capacity of 17 litres and designed to fit a 13-inch laptop, it's primed to be a work or weekend bag, with plenty of room for a couple of shirts and a few netting pockets for sundries within its three compartments.

On the front is a pocket that fits an iPhone, while the middle pocket easily takes a 10-inch tablet. There are compartments for business cards, and also a surprisingly wide water bottle holder on one side, which is rare on custom-made bags such as these.

A couple of well-placed grab handles on the side and top impress, though one of our favourite features - a chest-height pocket on the sling strap - proves just too slim for most smartphones.

7. Tech 21 Impact Slip - £80/US$125 (around AU$130)

Best MacBook Air bags cases and covers

A slim case ideal for protecting an 11 or 13-inch MacBook Air, the Tech 21 Impact Slip is perfect for clumsy types who've put nasty dents in dropped laptops before now.

The technology behind the leather is D3O, an orange-coloured soft material made from molecules that lock together and harden instantly upon impact, dissipating the shock and keeping your slab of machine-engineered aluminium in one piece.

Nothing else we know of claims to dissipate 80% of the force of being dropped or struck. And it's a great fit, so snug that a small tab is needed to help it on its way out.

If the pouch-style isn't for you, Tech 21 also makes its fold-out Impact Jacket also with D30, for the same prices, which wraps around either side of the MacBook Air.

8. Lat 56 MS_01 - £130/US$200 (around AU$210)

Best MacBook Air bags cases and covers

Lat 56's MS_01 Small Laptop Messenger Case is one of the toughest, best made bags on offer here. In a ruthlessly efficient design that puts an emphasis on function and protection, this totally waterproof 12-litre bag has an inner, padded sleeve that safely encloses either an 11-inch or 13-inch MacBook Air, and keeps it perfectly still.

In front is an area for chargers and cables, while an outer section houses two iPhone-sized pockets, a smaller zipped pouch and some pen holders. All pockets close using magnets, not poppers, while a couple of rubber feet on its undercarriage keep it off the floor.

However, once we'd sealed the bag and attached the shoulder strap, the real surprise extra appeared; a zipped pocket on the reverse that houses a padded sleeve that perfectly fits an iPad.

It's this kind of attention to detail within a heavyweight, 1.5kg (2.2lbs) design, that makes this one of the ultimate MacBook Air bags for the commute.

9. Marshall Bergman Corbin - £135 (around US$205/AU$220)

Best MacBook Air bags cases and covers

Selling exclusively on the Apple Store, this gorgeous leather shoulder work bag has perhaps been designed for an iPad, but unlike most of its contemporaries this 783g (27.6oz) effort is just that bit taller - and therefore just about houses a 2013 generation 11-inch MacBook Air in its dedicated, padded inside pocket.

However, if you've already put your MacBook Air in some kind of cover, it's best plunged into the main section, with the padded pocket instead reserved for a tablet.

Two outside pockets - one with a dedicated iPhone pocket - impress, though neither is deep enough for a full-size iPad. Inside are two more pockets for iPhones or iPod touches - alongside two pen holders, a nicely detachable keyring, and a secure zipped pocket. It's available in black or brown.

10. Jill-e Designs Emma - £200 (around US$300/AU$330)

Best MacBook Air bags cases and covers

Sold exclusively on the Apple Store, the feminine - but eminently business-like - Jill-e Designs 11-inch Emma Leather Messenger Bag is specially designed to carry a MacBook Air 11-inch, but that's not all it can carry.

Available in black or sky blue, the main compartment secures a MacBook Air within a padded wall with velcro security strap. Alongside is a padded pouch that perfectly fits an iPad, while two pockets opposite take an iPhone and something slightly wider.

Two pen holders and a zipped pocket complete the soft-touch, sand-coloured fabric-lined innards, though there's scant room for much else bar a charger or two.

Weighing 1kg (2.2lbs) and with a comfy leather shoulder strap and grab handle, the Emma doesn't stop with the tech there; on its rear is a pocket that also nicely nestles an iPad, while an oval zipped pocket on the front has three more pen holders and an iPhone pocket.

Best of all, it looks like a proper handbag, with burnished gold strap rings, zips and a buckle on the front that uses magnets.

11. Booq Python Pack - £220/US$240 (around AU$360)

Best MacBook Air bags cases and covers

For photographers that need Photoshop and email on the go, there are few better options that the Booq Python Pack. Most custom-made MacBook gear is for urban dwellers, but this photography-centric Python Pack is about as outdoorsy as it gets.

A MacBook Pro 15-inch can be slipped into a special laptop compartment, so a MacBook Air is no problem. You can also squeeze in a DSLR (or two) and four lenses, umpteen memory cards, and even a couple of smartphones in pouches on the comfy shoulder straps.

Great for hiking and with a shocking red shower cover that stows in a side pocket, it does have straps for a tripod on the outside, though they're rather oddly aligned. In the back panel between the straps is a 'secret' compartment that's the exact dimensions of an iPad.