Worst Thing About the MacBook Air 11.6″ is… Finding a Sleeve That Fits

Mar 27, 2011 - 27 Comments

macbook-air-11-sleeve

I love my MacBook Air 11.6″, it’s ultra portable, very snappy, all the things you’ve already read about it and more. The one thing I hate about it? Finding a sleeve that fits.

If you’re in the same boat as me, here’s some advice; don’t shop around for a generic 11″ netbook sleeve that proclaims “fits MacBook Air!” – they don’t fit. I’m pretty sure most of these are just sleeves designed for cheapy 10″ PC netbooks that the manufacturer figures “hey it’s neoprene, it’ll stretch to fit the Air!” which, in a best case scenario, is like someone wearing a t-shirt eight sizes too small for them. Case in point is that frowny face image, clearly a 10″ netbook sleeve that the MacBook Air 11.6″ can be sort of crammed into but then the zipper won’t work. Great.

Just because something is made of neoprene and can stretch to sort of barely cover a product it wasn’t intended to be used on doesn’t mean it fits. Be careful shopping round for a “MacBook Air” sleeve, because half of them are just labeled as such because, technically a MacBook Air fits in there. One such “MacBook Air” sleeve I found fit about as snug as a hot dog in a hallway, it was huge and clearly not intended for the Air 11.6″ let alone the 13″ model. I mean sure the Air fit, but the Air fits in the middle of my living room too, you know what I mean?

I just want a proper case for my MBA11, one that fits snugly and offers some protection. Sure there’s the Macvelope Envelope look-a-like case, but the color is a little obnoxious. I just want a black case that fits properly. Why is this so hard to find?

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Posted by: AJ in Mac

27 Comments

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  1. Marc says:

    Funny you should mention this; I spent a couple hours yesterday looking for a sleeve for a 13″ air.

    http://www.booqbags.com/13-inch-macbook-air-bags
    (there are several 11″ version on this page.)

    http://www.radtech.us/

    http://www.myincipio.com/

    I have a booq “Taipan Skin S” for a 13″ unibody MacBook Pro which is quite tight but close-able. I have no experience with any of these regarding an 11″ air, but perhaps these links will help your search.

  2. Reb says:

    i think i found it! :)
    http://img.tootoo.com/mytootoo/upload/51/513229/product/513229_2042c10827c46fb882c39650c3e8d61d.jpg

    (ok maybe not a brand new idea but if apple can reinvent stuff then i can too! :P)

  3. AdamKi says:

    Try a Tom Bihn Cache in size Air11: http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0350

  4. Pseudohaiki says:

    The extra-small (XS) sized Timbuk2 “Quickie” is sold as a bag, but I use it as a sleeve-with-handles-and-pockets and I’m very happy with it. The handles tuck away and the protective internal padding is not bulky at all. I can throw this in my backpack or messenger bag with my MacBook Air and not worry about it. It would be nicer if it were convertible with D-rings for a shoulder strap, but it seems to be marketed as a sleeve that happens to have handles and pockets.
    http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/laptop/laptop-accessories/quickie-laptop-case

  5. Jim says:

    I’m in the same boat with an iPhone 4 case with a belt-clip. I don’t want to carry it in my pocket. You would think it would be easy to find a belt-clip case the phone fits in.

    • Chris says:

      Check out CaseMate. They make a really nice carbon fiber phone case that pops (face-in) into a matching holster/clip. Easily the best I’ve found. They also make a slim plastic into leather pouch combo… I think.

  6. Kevin says:

    Check out http://www.sfbags.com. WaterField Designs makes several excellent sleeves for the MacBook Air. They fit like a glove.

    I’ve also seen a neoprene sleeve from Incase and a Bubble Shell from Hard Candy Cases.

    I think the WaterField sleeves are top notch and the best of the bunch.

  7. cyrozap says:

    Maybe you can sew your own case? You’ll feel good afterwards AND you can add blue EL wire to make it a TRON bag!

  8. Martin says:

    Have one of these for my iPad and MBP 15″, don’t know if they are buyable in the US http://www.freiwildshop.de/category/sleeveair11/

  9. AJ says:

    Wow thanks for the suggestions everyone, checking them all out now I appreciate it!

    • EA says:

      AJ- send me an email, and I’ll get you the best MBA11″ case there is… minimal, inexpensive, and a perfect fit.

  10. gdtrfb24 says:

    Here’s a site in Australia that has a nice selection including some for the 11″ Air.

    http://www.foofshop.com/

  11. Michael says:

    incase makes a great sleeve for 11 inch. Bought it at the Apple store/

  12. marc says:

    Let me second sfbags.com. It will fit. Perfectly. The only down side is that they aren’t cheap.

    I’ve a side loader without flap made to fit a 13″ Air. I had a top loader with flap made to fit a previous laptop. After 4 years of use it still looked as good as new. Highly recommended if you can get past the cost.

  13. david says:

    my choice would be the speck satin cover.

  14. Dean says:

    I second Dean’s rec. WaterField Designs makes excellent bags and cases. Once I found them, I stopped going anywhere else. (USA made)

    http://sfbags.com/products/macbookair-cases/macbookair-cases.php

  15. R. Wagner says:

    I recommend the Macvelope sleeve, it’s very snug. It’s also discrete and looks more like a yellow padded mailing envelope than a notebook case.

  16. Janet says:

    http://www.roocase.com/

    Great neoprene sleeves! Reasonable prices too. Fits my 11.6 in MBAir PERFECTLY!

  17. Gordon says:

    Has anyone tried the Timbuk2 Envelope Sleeve (http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/tablet-ereader/fits-ipad/ipad-envelope-sleeve) with the macbook air 11? The dimensions are 11.22 inches X 8.46 inches.

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