Pretty much any laptop you buy — even a nice little budget number — calls for a sleeve or case to protect it from getting scratched, bumped, or worse. That's why there's an enormous market for laptop accessories, including everything from stick-on decals to bulky snap-on cases that promise to save your device from just about everything but immolation. Somewhere in the middle is the trusty sleeve, which has its own sizeable market that ranges widely in price and quality.
I've been using the Velomacchi Impact sleeve, part of the "Speedway Collection" of premier laptop accessories from a company that's always been focused on solutions for those who like to go fast. The sleeve is big — I received the largest size on offer — it's lightweight, and it looks like it could stop a bullet.
Laptop sleeves are about as common an accessory as you can find, and many look good on the outside without offering much protection. The Impact, though, is designed from the start to keep your device safe, especially if you take a spill on your motorbike (or, in my case, regular pedal bike). You're looking at:
- A reinforced 1680D ballistic nylon shell with stitched panels.
- Surface impact plates stitched inside the sleeve.
- Polyethylene foam padding around the outer edges.
- Heavy-duty zipper.
- Adjustable and removable shoulder strap.
- Carrying handle.
Velomacchi Impact sleeve: Who is it for?
Not being much of a motorcycle enthusiast, I was admittedly ignorant as to what Velomacchi has been up to, which is basically creating quality products that can (hopefully) stand up to a high-speed spill.
I thought about putting my laptop in the sleeve and tying it to the back of my vehicle for a quick drive down the street, but instead I started scratching and stabbing at the sleeve with a sizeable knife and came to the conclusion that, yes, this thing would protect my laptop from a concrete rash much better (an understatement) than the neoprene options you can find for under $20. On top of that, there's about a third of an inch of padding (what Velomacchi calls "impact plates") between the exterior and the microfiber interior.
It's going to protect from puncture wounds as well as skids, and the padding extends to the edges where a thick bumper resides. The only way I can see a drop being an issue is if it hits on a zippered corner, where the padding doesn't cover. As for the "watertight" zipper, a few seconds under a tap revealed that your laptop is going to get wet if it's hit with much more than some light rain. So, it's not so watertight after all ...
For extra little features, there's a handy pull tab on the heavy zipper, and the microfiber lining inside is your standard non-scratch material. There's also a small coated handle on the back of the sleeve, and the removable, adjustable strap makes it easy to sling over a shoulder while you walk up to your office. All four corners have loops to which you can attach the strap, meaning you can switch to a horizontal carry.
The only thing I saw that concerns me (other than the lack of true waterproofing) is that some of the stitching looks like it might start to come loose if rubbed too much. I don't know much about sewing and could be totally off mark, but if it does start to unravel, Velomacchi has a strong warranty program that repairs or replaces damaged products that fall within their guidelines.
Velomacchi Impact sleeve: Should you buy it?
Here's the kicker — these sleeves cost up to about $70 for the large size (15-inch devices), and about $60 for the small size (10-inch devices). There's also a medium size (13-inch devices) that sits in the middle price-wise.
Compared to other options, this is near the upper end of the sleeve market, but this is admittedly aimed at a specific audience. While I might never have opted for this sleeve because of the biker-focused marketing, it's certainly going to be my number one option for any 14- and 15-inch laptops I need to keep safe.
If you ride a bike to and from the office (or someplace else you need a laptop), this is undoubtedly a top option. You could technically fit it into another larger backpack or messenger bag, but with the removable strap included, you could also bring this along on its own.
- Puncture and skid protection.
- Durable yet lightweight.
- Heavy zipper.
- Multiple carrying options.
- Not truly watertight.
- Price might deter some.
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