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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 02-20-08, 10:07 AM   #1
mattface
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Crash Resistant Laptop Sleeve Recommendations?

I carry a laptop (Macbook 13") every day for work, and I ride my bike almost every day. I've got a ReLoad bag that works great for me carrying everything I need, including groceries on the way home.

The problem is I have crashed a total of 2 times in the past 2 years, and every time I do, it winds up costing me $500 to replace my laptop screen. The first time it was in a Trager semi-rigid padded cordura sleeve and I rolled OVER it. Probably nothing short of a full hard case would have protected it. The Trager case wasn't a great fit, so I replaced it with a Marware Neoprene sleeve. Yesterday when I crashed I didn't crash hard at ALL. rear wheel slid out from under me when I turned right into the shadow of a building, driveway turned from wet to black ice, bike slid out from me. right foot trapped in the toeclip and dragged me. I just sorta slid softly down to the pavement and slid on my side. It didn't hurt at all, and it was such a gentle landing that I was shocked when I got to work to discover yet another cracked screen.

So clearly the neoprene sleeve is not up to the task. I feel like I need something that fits well, is at least semi rigid, and well padded. The Crumpler School Hymn looks OK, so does the Shinza Zeroshock III, but there's a difference between LOOKING OK, and saving me $500 the next time my bike and I unexpectedly part company, so I'm sorta hoping for field tested recommendations. Does anyone have a rigid or semi-rigid laptop sleeve that they can recommend for actually protecting your laptop from more than just rubbing up against the contents of your bag?
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Old 02-20-08, 10:19 AM   #2
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I'd be interested in answers for this as well.
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Old 02-20-08, 10:26 AM   #3
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something like this:
http://www.peli.com/laptop-peli-cases.php
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Old 02-20-08, 11:01 AM   #4
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We have sales guys that can't keep their machines from getting broken in padded laptop bags. There's no way you're going to keep it safe in a crash inside one of those sleeves.

Get one of those Pelican cases, or invest in a Panasonic Toughbook.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:01 PM   #5
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Peli doesn't seem to make anything that will fit in my bag. I realize nothing short of that will save me if I roll over the top of it. but I'm hoping to find a compromise that will at least protect against minor impacts like the one I had yesterday.

The Mac Truck would be great, but I think it might be a bit overkill for every day carry for myself. Still I thought I'd post it for those of you that might find it worth it to lug an extra 4+ pounds for the sake of protection.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:03 PM   #6
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My MacBook goes into a neoprene sleeve then it gets wrapped in a hoody. I've taken a few lame low-speed falls w/ no problems yet.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:06 PM   #7
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this is what I use. I love it.

http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/13MACBOOK/TB0390
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Old 02-20-08, 12:11 PM   #8
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The Pelican laptop-specific cases aren't necessarily very big, and you're not going to find any other kind of hard enclosure that is going to be as effective. No sleeve is going to do much in a crash. You really want to protect your comp, put something hard around it.
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Old 02-20-08, 01:23 PM   #9
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The Pelican laptop-specific cases aren't necessarily very big, and you're not going to find any other kind of hard enclosure that is going to be as effective. No sleeve is going to do much in a crash. You really want to protect your comp, put something hard around it.
The 1080 would be great, it's external dimensions are 13.75" x 10.95" x 2.55", unfortunately it's 14mm too narrow in interior dimensions to take a macbook, the next smallest case is 16.68" x 13.06" x 4.37"
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Old 02-20-08, 01:38 PM   #10
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i don't think you'll find anything that is 'crash
resistant' and regarded as a 'sleeve'.
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Old 02-20-08, 01:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattface View Post
The 1080 would be great, it's external dimensions are 13.75" x 10.95" x 2.55", unfortunately it's 14mm too narrow in interior dimensions to take a macbook, the next smallest case is 16.68" x 13.06" x 4.37"
The 1080 is pictured with a macbook in it. I'd email them and verify whether or not it will fit.
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Old 02-20-08, 02:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travsi View Post
i don't think you'll find anything that is 'crash
resistant' and regarded as a 'sleeve'.
Then to be less specific I don't care what you call it as long as it fits in my bag and offers some significant impact protection. I'm not expecting anything that will weather major crashes, but surely there are plenty of things that will fit and be an improvement on a neoprene sleeve.
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Old 02-20-08, 02:27 PM   #13
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The 1080 is pictured with a macbook in it. I'd email them and verify whether or not it will fit.
I think thats an iBook in the picture, but I did email them. because I'd really like to be wrong. the peli 1080 is the closest thing I've seen yet to what I want.
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Old 02-20-08, 02:35 PM   #14
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The only times I've crashed carrying my laptop I was wearing my Boblbee hardshell backpack, which protected it perfectly. I've been working on various ways to merge the qualities of hardshell protection with the expandability of softshell. I made myself a tablet case that looks like a cross between a portfolio and a messenger bag or pack. It's reinforced inside with what was the bottom of a bread crate. This keeps the tablet from getting bent or impacted. It's not really crash resistant but it keeps the tablet from getting damaged just carrying it around on my back (strap compression and my curved backside bend the tablet, this is an issue with laptops to a lesser extent).

I want to make a laptop sleeve that works in the same manner, but can be put into a messenger bag.
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Old 02-20-08, 02:36 PM   #15
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Ok so I was wondering this awhile ago. This is what I found that fits in a backpack or messenger bag without being gigantic. http://shinza.com/product_info.php?products_id=45
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Old 02-20-08, 02:38 PM   #16
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axio hard shell, I use it for my 15 MacBookPro I carry back and forth to work virtually everyday.
It's the bomb. The notebook is completely surrounded in high compression foam, and the exterior could skid right across the road if it had to.
I spent almost six months researching cases, and waiting for product to ship.
http://www.macworld.com/article/5949...igidcases.html

http://www.axio-usa.com/

I looked at the zero shock above when researching my case. The shock dulling is great if you drop something on it but it's a sleeve, the AXIO is a case and can be dropped. (not that I recommend it, ... it has happened though)

products... laptop cases

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Old 02-20-08, 02:39 PM   #17
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Ok so I was wondering this awhile ago. This is what I found that fits in a backpack or messenger bag without being gigantic. http://shinza.com/product_info.php?products_id=45
I'm not sure shock protection is the biggest priority in this instance, you simply don't want your computer bent to the point of breaking parts inside.
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Old 02-20-08, 03:49 PM   #18
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i have carried my ibook in an incase neoprene sleeve for the past 3 years.

a motorcycle wreck. 5 countries 2 bike wrecks later my ibook still works
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Old 02-20-08, 03:51 PM   #19
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i don't think you'll find anything that is 'crash
resistant' and regarded as a 'sleeve'.
Tru dat.

Also try not to fall so damn much.
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Old 02-20-08, 03:55 PM   #20
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I remember reading somewhere that the Macbook does not fit in a Pelican 1080 even with the side padding removed. The largest notebook that will fit in that Pelican case is probably the Sony SZ.

I have a Waterfield Designs Sleevecase that I really like, but it is pricey. It is pretty much just an extra thick neoprene sleeve surrounded by cordura. Since there are so many sizes though, the sleeve fits like a glove regardless of which notebook you have.

The best protection you can get in a sleeve seems to be the Tom Bihn Brain Bag, so I recommend that.

P.S. I forgot to mention that my bike slid out from under me on a turn yesterday. I went down with my notebook (in the Sleevecase) in my backpack, and it was fine. My leg hit first though, and I was going pretty slow. My notebook (Fujitsu S6510) is probably sturdier than a Macbook too.

Last edited by Ken Wind; 02-20-08 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 02-20-08, 04:43 PM   #21
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I'm using a 13" macbook and have a DIY cardboard and duct tape sleeve. I've taken a few crashes with it and it always comes out okay. Here's the how-to i used for guidance: minimalist and cheap laptop case. I make sure it stays snug in any bag that I put it in.
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Old 02-20-08, 05:31 PM   #22
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When I had to carry my laptop to work I used a Timbuk2 laptop sleeve and then put that inside this free laptop bag that I had.

I crashed once while carrying it and later that day my harddrive failed. Although I'm not sure if the two things were related (it actually seemed like the harddrive was overheating).
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Old 02-21-08, 11:58 AM   #23
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Tru dat.

Also try not to fall so damn much.
I fall at least once every winter whether I need to or not.
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Old 02-21-08, 02:39 PM   #24
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Just a thanks to all those who posted recommendations. I went with the Axio Hardsleeve which seems about exactly what I wanted. Small enough to slide in my bag, and sturdy enough to take minor bumps. It's also not all that expensive, especially since I found a place that had it for $35 with free shipping.

To recap:
The Brain Cell is one of the most highly regarded semi-rigid sleeves for protection
Shinza Zeroshock III is also highly regarded for a semi-rigid sleeve
The Mac Truck will give you excellent ruggedness at a price of weight and bulkiness
The Peli 1080 will give pretty much unmatched ruggedness and is waterproof to boot if your laptop will fit.
The Axio Hardsleeve is a great compromise with a durable polycarbonate shell, and ample EVA foam padding, and a custom fit for Macbooks. It's bigger than a soft sleeve, but MUCH better padded, and the hard shell though it ads some weight also should add some protection from hard sharp objects.
Another option not previously mentioned, but mentioned in the link Traffic Jammer posted is the Rhinoskin Hardcase. It's a work-in hardcase, but it did not look comfortable to use with the laptop in, and doesn't look like it would offer the same level of protection as the Axio.
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Old 02-21-08, 03:58 PM   #25
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I loooove my AXIO

35bux? Rat Bastid!!!! You'll love it. The laptop, a changes of clothes and tools everyday.
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