Looking for a high-end iPad bag? Look no further. “The Indy,” by WaterField Designs, might just be the best of the best.
iPhones have always been right at home, tucked inside your pants pocket or your purse. But when Apple introduced the iPad, just as we fans were salivating at the new world it opened up, we also couldn’t help noticing that it came in a brand new size for electronic devices: smaller than a laptop, but bigger than an ereader, and much bigger than a phone. This whole new class of product presented a big opportunity for accessory makers, particularly when it came to how we would carry this new device around.
There are only two options: carry your iPad in your hands (like a hardcover book), or stow it in a bag. iPad bags have been pretty hit-and-miss. F0r every halfway decent ones, there’s five others that suck. So where’s the killer app of iPad bags? The accept-no-substitutes, top-of-the-line, must-have bag for those where money is no object?
Enter WaterField Designs. Their iPad bag, a rugged leather number called the Indy, is so named because one look at it instantly brings to mind memories of Harrison Ford’s big-screen adventures. The Indy is simply gorgeous to behold; pictures don’t do it justice. You have to hold its soft, sturdy form, sniff its pungent leather smell, hang it over your shoulder to feel its solid but lightweight mass.
Its size is perfect, its dimensions just a bit bigger than your standard iPad case. But the Indy is made to hold more than your favorite tablet. Its got three huge pockets — two of which zip closed — and three smaller inside pockets. It can hold magazines, power cords, your wallet, your phone, and pretty much anything else you need to carry. There’s a keyring hook inside the largest pocket, and a strong canvas strap. The strap is adjustable, with a removable leather shoulder grip that has rubber on the underside for traction.
WaterField lets you customize a few options when you place your order. The high-quality leather is available in black or brown; I recommend the brown for its “worn leather” look that’s similar to a classic leather jacket. (The black comes in what looks like a shinier, glossier finish.) There are six highlight colors to choose from, which are applied to a single diagonal line of piping on the bag’s front. The metal hardware also comes in two finishes.
It’s the attention to the little details that make the Indy so special. An outer pocket meant for your most valuable objects (such as your phone) is lined with Ultrasuede to keep from scratching or damaging whatever you put in there. The main compartment doesn’t just have a zipper, it’s got a zipper tucked away out of sight, about an inch below the top of the bag. Soft plastic tips have been added to the zippers’ pull tabs, so that everything you touch is soft and supple (and probably to keep the metal from scratching the leather).
That leather is remarkably luxurious, but it’s not entirely waterproof. WaterField says that the Indy has a small level of water-resistance to it, but users who expect their bag to get wet frequently should regularly apply a leather conditioner to it.
I wouldn’t have thought it possible for a bag so close in size and shape to a woman’s purse to look this good or feel so right over the shoulder of a guy (like myself). But thanks to its rugged feel, its businesslike appearance, and its smart, utilitarian design — not to mention the stunning quality that went into its craftsmanship — I know I’m carrying one of the finest bags on earth, and by far the best iPad bag known to man.