Best MacBook Air case: 11 top bags, cases and covers

Best MacBook Air bags, cases and covers
Of course you might want an ugly case to deter thieves, but we can't help you there...

Your shiny new MacBook Air has just been delivered... but what to put it in?

Do you just want to protect it from scratches or are you after a case that shields it - and the give-away logo on its lid - from prying eyes and criminals? Perhaps you need a drop-prof case, or you're a photographer that needs to take a MacBook Air and a DSLR camera in the same bag.

Whatever your ambitions, there's something for you among these innovative slings, messengers, backpacks, cases and covers that fit the MacBook Air 11-inch and 13-inch models.

1. WaterField Designs Outback Laptop Sleeve - US$50 (around £35/AU$55)

Best MacBook Air bags cases and covers

This vintage-style case from WaterField Designs is a more outdoorsy waxed canvas. Weighing in at 384g (13.5oz), the Outback is available for both the 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air, as well as the 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro (all the same price), and with the opening at either the top or bottom.

We tried out the 11-inch side-loader, which had a soft, neoprene-clad inner sleeve that adds just enough padding to the tough canvas construction for us to be less precious about our MacBook Air. It fitted perfectly and the simple leather popper strap kept it securely closed.

Though it just so happens to house an iPad quite happily despite being a touch too wide, it's that solid construction and unusual, well disguised worn look that we like it for most. It's best chucked into an old rucksack before straddling a horse and riding off in search of Wi-Fi.

2. Targus Canvas Slipcase - £40/US$60/AU$65

Best MacBook Air bags cases and covers

If you're shuffling between meetings or hanging around a conference venue, a dedicated backpack is overkill and a simple cover slight underkill.

Step forward this sturdy Targus Slipcase (model number TTS00504EU in the UK or TTS00504US in North America and Australia), which is available in white/brown and grey/black, and for both sizes of MacBook Air.

Weighing 450g (16oz) and made from a canvas far thinner than that found on the WaterField Designs Outback, the Slipcase is less of an event than most dedicated laptop bags, but piles on the functionality.

A magnetic faux leather hood hides a main, padded compartment that takes a MacBook Air, while a stretchable pocket in front is enough for a power adaptor and, thanks to a dedicated pocket, a clutch of business cards. Add a simple shoulder strap and it adds up to a cost-effective, functional solution.

3. Berghaus Remote II 20 - £50 (around US$75/AU$80)

Best MacBook Air bags cases and covers

It's not custom-made for a MacBook Air, but if you're after a good disguise, the Berghaus Remote II 20 works very well.

Not surprisingly, the shoulder straps (complete with sunglasses stuff and adjustable chest strap) are the best here, with a vent between the foam back pads that makes this a less sweaty option than some.

Inside is an all-important compartment that, while designed to carry a three-litre hydration bladder, manages to fit a 13-inch MacBook Air with ease, though snugly so.

Given its netting design the paranoid might want to wrap their Air in a separate case first - and there's room for one of those, too - though the waterproof design makes this one of the safest options, particularly for cyclists.

A grab handle on the top is handy, as are four pockets inside, while compression straps either side pack the bag down to the bare minimum size that's perfect for those packing one of the slimmest laptops around. Weighs 530g (19oz) when empty.

4. WaterField Designs MacBook Air Smart Case - US$80 (around £55/AU$85)

Best MacBook Air bags cases and covers

Given the MacBook Air's rather cold-looking metallic design, there's a temptation to wrap it up in something warm and safe, and that's exactly what this easy-access slip-case achieves.

Weighing 340g (12oz) for the 11-inch version and 396g (14oz) for the 13-inch version and hailing from San Francisco, the Smart Case is an unusual mix of a distressed brown leather spine, red (or copper green, black or white) nylon and a black net pocket on the outside.

Inside is a soft padded sleeve that's among the snuggest fitting we tried. A recessed spine on each side makes it easy to retrieve a MacBook Air when docked, while the stretchable pocket on the outside is able to house everything from a MacBook Air's power adaptor or Kindle to a 300-page novel or even a naked iPad.

5. Twelve South BookBook - £80/US$80/AU$90

Best MacBook Air bags, cases and covers

Don't judge a MacBook by its cover? Skeuomorphism might be out in Cupertino for iOS 7, but Twelve South has something special for those who like both the sleek machined aluminium of the Macbook Air and an olde worlde leather look.

Available for both the 11-inch and 13-inch versions and weighing either 355g or 382g (12.5oz or 13.5oz), the BookBook's weathered style and two-tone red and brown spine are clearly designed as a disguise on a book shelf, but there's decent protection here, too.

Hard covers are backed by a soft felt inner sleeve and two secure zips. It fits a MacBook Air snugly, with elastic security tags across the corners of the screen keeping its guest in place, though it could do with some on the keyboard, too.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),