Most of the bag and case manufacturers that we receive review samples from are in the US, and their products are usually sold in Apple Stores in the US as well. An established UK bag maker, Marshall Bergman, is making a splash in the UK with the Corbin canvas bag (£79.95) for iPad and/or the 11" MacBook Air. The bag will be sold at Apple Stores in the UK and a number of other European countries, so here's a close look at a top quality way to carrying your favorite Apple toys.
Back in the early to mid 1990's, I carried my Newton MessagePads in a bag from Eagle Creek. The Corbin bag reminds me of a larger version of that beloved bag in both looks and functionality. It's a cross-body bag that is designed up to fit the iPad or 11" MacBook Air. The exterior of the bag is made of a water resistant canvas material, so if you're in a rainy climate you'll love the protection you get from the Corbin.
Around the sides and on the bottom of the bag is a rubberized material that provides even more protection so that the bag can be placed on wet surfaces with no worries. There's a long and adjustable canvas strap for using the bag over one shoulder or cross-body, with nice brass hardware that really adds a touch of class. All of the zippers have long leather pulls attached for easy access to the main bag and pockets.
There's a large snap-closure pocket on the front of the bag with a smaller pocket inside to hold an iPhone. On the back is a zipped pocket for those items you want to keep safe. The inside compartment is padded, and has a zipped pocket, a removable key holder, a couple of pen holders, and some slip-in pockets for organization.
The Corbin canvas bag comes in two colors, black and khaki. There are also leather editions of the Corbin in brown and black at £124.95.
Marshall Bergman says that the Corbin bag is designed for the iPad or 11" MacBook Air. Of course, that meant that I had to push the envelope and try placing both an iPad 2 and an 11" MacBook Air in the bag. Sure enough, it worked just fine with both devices -- and the iPad 2 is in a folio case.
Now you know that the Corbin bag has room to spare, but how about those other features I described earlier? There are two things that I think would improve the bag slightly. First, it would be nice to have a pad on the shoulder strap to make for more comfortable carrying, and second, there should be a Velcro flap to close over the iPhone pocket. That pocket is in a large snap-closure pocket, and it would be easy for an iPhone to slide out of both pockets.
The construction of the bag is flawless. The 'gear bag' space is chock-full of great US manufacturers such as Tom Bihn or Waterfield Designs, but for non-US shoppers I don't think you can go wrong with the well-designed, spacious, and protective Corbin bag.
For our European readers who are near Apple Stores, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the Marshall Bergman Corbin bag for your iPad, 11" MacBook Air, or both. The canvas bag is affordable and is well-suited for years of protective service, and you can go with the extremely classy all-leather version if you so desire.
The Corbin bag also makes a perfect holiday gift for the gadget geek on your list, so keep it in mind if you're stumped about what to buy your favorite person.