The best cases, sleeves and covers for your MacBook

Whether you have a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air, the chances are that you don’t just use it at home or in the office. The whole point of a portable Mac is that it’s, well, portable. And what do you need if you’re going to carry it around with you? A great case, of course. But not just a case, you’re going to want a sleeve or cover, too, to stop that beautiful aluminum case getting marked or scratched.

So, we’ve scoured the stores of the world and come up with a list of the best cases, sleeves, and covers for your MacBook. Whether you’re looking for the best MacBook Air 13-inch case or the best MacBook Pro case, you should find something here for you.

What to look for in a MacBook case

There are so many different styles and types of cases available that it can be difficult to know what to look for or where to start. Your first decision is probably the style of the bag. Do you want a backpack or messenger type bag? Or maybe you want one that’s more like a briefcase. That decision will help narrow down your search.

While backpacks may be more associated with college students than business people, plenty of business professionals use one on a day-to-day basis. So you should choose what you’re most comfortable with. If you have a 15-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro and plan to carry lots of accessories, you might find a backpack easier to carry.

Tip

Keeping your MacBook protected from bumps and scratches, of course, is hugely important. That’s why you should take time to choose the best bag, sleeve, or case for you. But physical protection is only half the story. You should also keep your Mac safe on the inside. That’s where CleanMyMac X comes in. It’s Malware module can scan your Mac for malware, and protect it from online threats in real-time.

Next, think about what else you want to carry in. The bag. Is it just for your MacBook, or does it have to double up as an all-day bag? If it’s the former, a small slim bag is the way to go. If it’s the latter, you’ll want something bigger with lots of room for extras.

Finally: how much protection do you need? Will you be taking it on public transport? Throwing it in the hold of an aircraft? Or is it just for wearing as you walk to work or college? There’s no point in paying extra for the highest levels of protection if you don’t need them.

Bear all of those points in mind as you read our list of the best cases for your Mac.

The best MacBook cases

Backpacks

Topo Rover Pack

If you like your laptop bags to look as good walking in the hills as they do on the commuter train, the Topo Rover Pack is for you. It has one large main compartment with a divider for your MacBook and plenty of space for chargers, cables, a book, and anything else you need for the day. The Strats and buckles help keep everything together, and it’s lighter than most backpacks. It’s also available in a range of different colors, from conservative navy blue to some pretty flash combinations.

Bellroy Classic Backpack

If you’re not a fan of straps and bright colors, the Bellroy Classic Backpack offers something a little more elegant. It has a main compartment for your MacBook, plus lots of space for extras. There are also additional small compartments. The best thing about the Bellroy is that it’s comfortable to wear and looks minimal and classy.

Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack

Image: Fjallraven

More concerned with being bang on trend than anything else? Then the Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack is the best choice. It has a dedicated compartment for your MacBook plus extra pockets for accessories. There are nifty carrying handles on top, and it comes in a vast range of lovely colors. At Fjallraven, they use sustainable materials to create their products, which makes this backpack a right choice for any eco-conscious Mac user.

Eastpak Provider Backpack

Eastpak has a long-established heritage when it comes to luggage, and the Provider backpack benefits from that. It’s one of the bigger laptop bags in its range and has a separate compartment for your MacBook, as well as the main compartment for extras and pockets for even more stuff. The straps are thick and padded, and there’s a handy carrying handle on top.

Knomo Albion

When it comes to being stylish, there are few better choices than the Knomo Albion. It’s made from soft full-grain leather and available in brown or gunmetal gray. It’s designed with comfort in mind as well as style, so the straps are well-padded, as is the back of the back. There’s a compartment inside for your MacBook and plenty of room for headphones, a charger, notebook, and other necessities for the day.

Over the shoulder bags

Waterfield Sutter Tech Sling

This sling-style case can be worn across the body or just on one shoulder. It’s big enough for a 13-inch MacBook Pro plus a few extra bits and pieces, like an iPhone and notebook. But this one is all about minimalism, so it’s not for you if you need to carry lots of stuff around. It looks great, however, and the waxed canvas exterior means that it will stand up to the worst weather conditions. If the waxed canvas look isn’t for you, it’s also available in black ballistic nylon.

Timbuk2 Proof Laptop Messenger Bag

Image: Timbuk2

This another stylish bag that will look as good with a suit as it will with a t-shirt and jeans. Made from waxed canvas, it has leather trim for that added touch of style. There’s a grab handle to help you make a quick getaway and a comfortable strap. Inside there’s a compartment big enough for a 15-inch MacBook Pro, and space for a few extras, too.

Tom Bihn Empire Builder

Tom Bihn’s Empire Builder isn’t so much a laptop bag as a feat of engineering. Made from ballistic nylon, everything about it is tough, from the robust zippers to the clasp buckles. There are pockets galore inside and out, and under the flap, at the front, there’s an O ring and key strap so you can attach your keys and keep them safe.

There’s plenty of room inside for all your stuff, you can even carry your coffee in a travel mug, and the carry handles provide an alternative to the shoulder strap when you need to get going quickly.

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Crumpler Dinky Di Messenger

Forget about the strange name, Crumpler’s Dinky Di is a classic messenger bag made from the company’s renowned Chicken Tex Supreme nylon. It’s tough enough to protect your laptop and has plenty of space inside for accessories. The buckles and velcro fastening keep everything together and, cleverly, the Third Leg strap holds the bag in place, so when you're cycling through the streets, it doesn’t slip off your back.

Pad & Quill The Messenger Bag

Definitely one for those with a little extra money to spend, The Messenger encompasses everything Pad & Quill has become known for. From the signature orange lining to the American leather strap and cover flap, this radiates class and quality. The waxed canvas exterior has parachute grade stitching, several inside pockets and is big enough for a 16-inch MacBook Pro. There’s also a pocket for an iPhone and an outside pocket for paperwork. This bag is designed to last and to prove it, it comes with a 25-year warranty on the leather.

MacBook carrying cases and briefcase style bags

Filson 24-hour Tin Cloth briefcase

Image: Filson

If you want a briefcase that can double up for a weekend in the countryside and still keep your MacBook safe, this is. Tough and weather-resistant, this case is fully lined and will keep your laptop dry and safe. There are plenty of pockets and compartments for the rest of your stuff too. With its storm flap, trolley strap, and leather carry handles, this bag is as functional as it is stylish.

Antler Business 200

It’s not as stylish as the Filson, but this briefcase from Antler will do the job on the daily commute. Big enough to fit any MacBook Pro up to the 15-inch model, it has compartments inside for your iPhone, iPad, and other gear, and there’s an external pocket too.

Waterfield Designs Bolt Briefcase

The Bolt Briefcase comes in three sizes and will comfortably fit the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The large size will even fit an iPad Pro with a magic keyboard attached in one of the inside compartments, alongside a laptop. Available in two finishes, waxed canvas, and ballistic nylon, the Bolt Briefcase is as stylish as it is tough. A tab on one side even allows it to be slipped over the handle of a wheeled suitcase. There’s also a removable shoulder strap, built-in key tether, and hidden magnets to keep pockets tightly closed.

Bellroy Classic Brief

Made from soft-woven fabric and leather, this Bellroy briefcase is big enough to carry a 15-inch MacBook Pro, but slim and lightweight too. Inside, there are several compartments meaning you can carry cables, your iPhone, wallet, and even a spare shirt. There are a carry strap and a key tether, too.

Knomo Copenhagen

Image: Knomo

Slim and lightweight, the Knomo Copenhagen will carry your MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro. There’s one compartment inside for your laptop and another for the rest of your stuff. There are also a couple of pockets on the outside. So, if you like to keep things simple, this is the case for you. A strap allows you to throw Copenhagen over your shoulder when you don’t want to carry it.

The best MacBook sleeves

Herschel Anchor Sleeve

The Anchor Sleeve carries Herchel’s signature woven label on the outside, with lots of padding in the fleece interior lining for your MacBook on the inside. It’s available in sizes from 12 to 15 inches.

Apple Leather Sleeve for 16-inch MacBook Pro

As you would expect from Apple, this is a premium MacBook sleeve with a premium price. Made from high-quality leather, it has a microfibre lining and comes in three colors: Midnight Blue, Saddle Brown, and black.

Native Union Stow Slim Sleeve

Available for the 15-inch and 16-inch models, this Native Union MacBook Pro sleeve features a magnetic closure to keep your laptop safe. Made from hard-wearing material, it has a quilted interior and a quick-access pocket on the outside.

Incase PerformaKnit Slip Sleeve


Image: Apple.com

Available in sizes to fit the MacBook Air and 16-inch MacBook Pro, the Incase PerformaKnit Slip Sleeve is a case with a difference. It’s made from computerized custom stitch-knit material that’s engineered for high performance. Its high-stretch fibers are designed to hug the contours of your MacBook and provide surface and scratch protection. It’s available in three color schemes, and there’s a magnetic clip to hold everything together. This could be the best MacBook Air case on the list.

ProCase laptop sleeve for MacBook Pro

This ProCase sleeve comes in a variety of sizes and colors and is at the lower end of the price range. It also has a handle, reinforced foam on the edges, and pockets for accessories.

Weldon Woven Sleeve

At the other end of the price spectrum from the ProCase is the Weldon Woven Sleeve. Made from three pieces of nylon, it features a hexagonal weave that looks very stylish. It has several interior pockets and one exterior pocket for accessories and is available for the MacBook Pro 13-inch and 15-inch.

Other types of Macbook cases

Pad & Quill Cartella case

This ultra-thin case for the 13-inch MacBook Pro from Pad & Quill covers the top and bottom of your MacBook Pro while leaving the sides uncovered so you can access the ports. Its specially-developed spine allows the MacBook Pro to open fully while in the case. Made from Buckram linen, it also has an elastic band enclosure to keep everything together while you’re on the move.

Twelve South BookBook Vol. 2

Twelve South’s BookBook range of covers for Apple devices have been popular for years. And it’s easy to see why. Crafted from beautiful leather, these cases are designed to look like old books, disguising your MacBook in the process. Vol. 2 is designed especially for USB-C MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models and has a new slimline design. There’s also an internal pocket for accessories.

Image: Twelve South

Mosiso Plastic Hard case

Very much at the budget end of the price range, this hardshell case from Mosiso is anything but cheap. The two-piece hard plastic shell will protect your MacBook Pro, and it features vents on the bottom to allow air to flow freely, as well as silicone feet. It’s also available in more than 30 colors, so you should find one to suit you.

Speck SmartShell

Similar to the Mosiso case, this hard plastic case is slightly thicker, meaning it should be a little more robust. It also comes in a range of colors for both the MacBook Pro and Air. It has silicone feet, but no vents, and it’s a little more expensive than the Mosiso.

i-Blason dual layer cover

If robust protection is your number one consideration, look no further than this case from I-Blason. It has engineered shock-absorbing ridges and beveled edges. It also has vents underneath to allow for airflow. All ports remain accessible when the case is on, and you can even see the Apple logo on the lid through the case.

Keep your MacBook safe on the inside

As we said earlier, these bags and cases will all help keep your MacBook safe from bumps and scratches while you’re traveling. However, you should also maintain your Mac to ensure smooth performance and high output. CleanMyMac X can do just that. Here’s how it works.

  1. Download CleanMyMac X.
  2. Follow the instructions to install it and then launch the app.
  3. Hit the Scan button.
  4. After the scan is complete, click Run to remove the junk.

Or, you can click Review Details to select items you want to keep on your Mac.

Choosing the right MacBook bag, case or sleeve can be tricky with so much choice available. To start, you should decide what style of bag you want, how much protection you need, and what else you need to carry. Once you’ve done that, use the list above to help choose the best one for you and your MacBook.

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