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So I'm trying to skate this through as on-topic because I'm interested in items specific to the Air 11" or 13", rather than "what's a good laptop case". (I.e. third party hardware specific to Apple products.)

I'm guess a significant portion of those toting an Air bought it for the portability, which of course is immediately made irrelevant by stuffing it in a backpack with an inch of padding designed to hold a 15.4" beast. So my question is who makes a backpack sized to hold an Air without a lot of wasted space? That is, I'm talking about the laptop compartment itself, not the overall size of the bag.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Mark, patrix Jul 15 at 14:15

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
I'm currious as well. Tucano has a nice messenger bag with many pockets. –  Jeff Burdges Dec 12 '11 at 3:49
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7 Answers 7

I have a 13" MBA (bought in July 2011). I have the McKlein Montclare 15494 Small Netbook Laptop Case, and I love it! Here's a URL:

http://www.mckleinusa.com/15474S.html

Apologies though - not a backpack, more a messenger bag or briefcase sort of deal.

I own one in black. It exactly fits my 13" MBA, so obviously you'll have a little extra room if you've only got an 11". I like the amount of padding in the bag, and because it's on the thin side, it "encourages" me to keep my junk to a minimum.

FYI, I can slide my iPad 2 in next to my MBA, and that's about exactly how big the padded sleeve part is.

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WaterField Design has a number of so-called sleeves that fit MacBook Airs. They're not complete backpacks with shoulder straps and all. But the company's Muzetto bag line has 11" and 13" models that claim to fit the MacBook Airs.

I have a few WaterField products. They're nicely made, and made in the USA as well.

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I have a Ristretto for 11" MacBook Air (there's a 13 too) with the Absolute strap and the Guardian Dual Function Light. I also added an extra 16 inch key strap. I've got the Cocoa/Cayenne color.

Ristretto

PROS: Very light, very easy to use, "decent" space to put stuff (but not by a wide margin as you may imagine. Very nice materials. The strap is very comfortable and given that a MBA11 is very light (1kg) the whole thing is very light (which is what I wanted).

CONS: Not a cheap thing. You can pay close to 200 u$s if you add stuff. Perhaps the only gripe I'd add is that the compartment where you put the computer could be 1/4 inch taller (yeah), because I doesn't have a locking mechanism, you just insert the computer in there and fold it in (then you close the bag of course). But the MBA11 barely fits (in height) in that compartment, making it hard to keep it closed. Hard to explain. It's not something too annoying but it happens. Maybe if the folding piece were a little bit larger, it would fit deeper and therefore this wouldn't be an issue. Take a look at picture "m" in the website and you will see what I'm talking about. That thing doesn't like staying in there :)

The nature of the bag also means that if you put too many things in there, although it will close and lock, one of the sides may not cover and the interior may be seen.

Would I recommend this?

Yes, it took me a while to find a specific MBA 11 bag (not just case, I didn't want a case). And this one coming from Tom Bihn (good reputation) was exactly what I was looking for.

Pricey if you add stuff, but you don't really have to.

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I like incase's design and bought a lot ( more than 3, from MBP/MBA 13 to MBP 15 ). And I am seek for a new backpack/sling for my new MBA 13.

Just find your love at Incase's WebSite. Personally recommend this one

If you only need a compact BACKPACK, Cote & Ciel Flat Backpack will be a good choice. Unfortunately, the minimize size is for 15'.

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Timbuk2 has a lot of options when it comes to carrying your devices, be it full-sized laptops, tablets or e-readers. http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/shop?size=8.9,12.8,0.7

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Check out the DODObag if you are after a messenger style bag, although intended for the iPad it should fit the Air - reasonable price as well

http://www.dodocase.com/products/dodobag

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I have a proper backpack, slim & professional looking, that is perfect dimensions for a Macbook Air 13" & can hold a few other books & papers too, but is very lightweight. Unfortunately it's not really built for laptops & is wearing out from the inside. Worse, it's maker, Hobo International, doesn't seem to be making them anymore. I've emailed them to complain, I'll let you know if they get back to it. But it's really surprising no one thinks that there are business people who care about ergonomics / needing two straps.

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