My iPad’s Cute Little Raincoat Keeps it Travel-Ready

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When I got my iPad and started carting it around everywhere with me, it first went into the big backpack along with my MacBook Pro (15”), and since I’m used to carrying 20+ pounds in the pack, adding the iPad didn’t bother me at all. It’s a good workout.

And when I’m flying internationally, I take one wheeled bag and the backpack, so it’s standard-issue for me.

However, as I started relying more on the iPad for my mobile life, I realized that I could go without the full backpack1. So I checked at REI and found two items I couldn’t live without2.

The first is this Outdoor Products 10-inch  Power Laptop Sleeve. {The blue bag in the photo.} They may call it a sleeve, but it’s a full carrying bag, padded on all sides, and large enough for a 10” clamshell computer (the type with a flip-up display—Acer, Asus etc.), so it handles an iPad with room to spare even when the iPad is already in a protective case.

The bag has a shoulder strap that clips on two ways, so you can carry the bag in a “vertical” or a “horizontal” orientation. You can sling it on your back, around the front, or almost under your shoulder.

Over your coat or under your coat. Over the shoulder, or across the chest (strangle-hold around your neck) because the strap loosens and shortens. You insert the iPad through a zipper pocket that allows easy access in either orientation, then you zip it closed. There’s an outer zippered pocket with a little slip-in pocket for SD memory cards, clip-ins for carrying pens (I keep a small LED flashlight in there as part of earthquake readiness), and an interior zippered pocket for headsets and the like.

The case is soft enough that it expands as you feed it more gear, yet padded enough to protect against bumps and grinds. I don’t believe the case is waterproof, because water doesn’t bead up on it, so I have taken additional precautions.

Oh, and perhaps the biggest surprise of all, I use a bluetooth wireless keyboard and it fits nicely inside the sleeve along with the iPad. Just barely, but it definitely fits.

The next one isn’t from REI, but I’ve got to mention it. I enclose the iPad directly in an incase Book Jacket that is heftier than Apple’s sleeve and really gives great protection.

Yes, I drop my iPad just like I drop my iPhone (and their iPhone case has saved my phone numerous times when it went flying across the room on the floor due to my waving my arms with great abandon).

The case makes the iPad seem twice as thick as the naked iPad would be, but makes it so much safer to carry. And even inside the incase, the iPad fits snugly into the Power Laptop Sleeve!

And finally, since it’s rainy season in San Francisco, REI sells “4 litre” Sea to SummitUltra-Sil Dry Sacks (waterproof bags) 3 and I bought a cute little yellow one (with a white interior, just like the raincoat my Mom got me to wear to kindergarten) and this bag fits very snugly around the incase and completely waterproofs the iPad for when it gets a tad rainy.

I even use the larger 10 litre size sack to put entirely around the Power Laptop Sleeve when there’s a downpour, thus enclosing everything in a waterproof skin.

I carry the sacks rolled up inside the larger Laptop Sleeve when I’m not using them. Yes, everything fits nicely.

And I don’t have to carry a backpack to business meetings any more!

  1. At least on business days. On weekends I trek around the city on foot, and I prefer to have some weight on my back just to get a better workout, as well as to carry a windbreaker, sweater and other supplies.
  2. I have no connection or contact with the manufacturers, bought the products at full retail, and can highly recommend them after months of use.
  3. I use these bags when I’m camping in the wilderness, to keep dry supplies dry. They really are so waterproof they’ll float in a river.
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