In our Microsoft Surface Go video review, many of you asked about the stylish leather case I used to carry around the small PC. That bag was an original WaterField Designs from 2015 meant for the older Surface 3 – while it worked, it was bigger than it needed to be for the Surface Go.
Luckily, Waterfield Designs sent me an updated version of the Outback Solo (Size #22) to see what's changed and what's new. Here's my quick review.
Goes for $159Bottom line: Outback Solo is an expensive, but classy looking day bag for the Surface Go that anyone should want. Ships worldwide (FedEx).
- Gorgeous design.
- Made in the U.S.
- Can hold Surface Go, charger, mouse, phone, pen, and more.
- Comfortable to wear, water resistant.
- Would have been cool as a vertical bag.
Outback Solo design and use
The idea behind Outback Solo is design simplicity, with protection, and some classic style.
The main pocket is padded with a soft neoprene that protects the Surface Go on all sides from bangs or scratches.
A hook-loop on the bottom lets you pull the bag taught for removing the Surface Go, which fits like a glove – it's not too tight where you will struggle, but there is not much unnecessary space either. Putting the Surface Go with the Surface Pen attached is possible.
A large front pocket has enough space for the Surface Go charger, a travel mouse and any hubs or adapters you may be using. Within that large pocket is a smaller padded one ideal for a smartphone.
In the back is another quick-access slim pocket useful for travel documents, receipts, or anything thin that you need to grab without opening the Outback Solo.
A single adjustable shoulder strap is included and removable.
On the outside, the Outback Solo is made from waxed canvas with a premium leather flap. It's water resistant, but not waterproof making it okay for the occasional rainstorm. An alternative version substitutes the waxed canvas with black ballistic nylon. Holding the leather flap closed is a single snap with a powerful magnet that helps guide it and keep it from getting knocked loose.
Outback Solo is a premium bag
The idea of ordering an excellent case that costs a third of the Surface Go may seem counter-intuitive, but WaterField Designs is the exception. I've been reviewing its bags and backpacks for years, and they only get better with age.
Putting price aside the craftsmanship of a bag sewn in San Francisco and made with premium materials is an excellent experience. The Outback Solo looks cool but is also highly functional. You can use it with just the Surface Go, or if going for a day pack it with all your Go's accessories without the bloat of a backpack.
The beautiful thing about these WaterField bags is they can be easily repurposed for other devices, tablets, etc. besides Surface Go. My hunch is the coming years we'll still have 10-inch computing devices of some sort.
And that's the value here: a classic bag that will last years. Not only will it not degrade, but the waxed canvas – like a pair of jeans – just gets better with age and exposure.
Of course, it's understandable that not everyone can afford such a luxury, but for those who can the Outback Solo is well worth it. The only thing I would love to see is WaterField offer a vertical option for this bag with a similar design.