If you’ve read any of our Strategist editor hauls, you’ll know that our writers and editors buy a lot of stuff, and even though we think carefully about each thing that goes into our carts, there are still standouts. To close out the year, we’ve asked our staffers to write about the best thing they bought in the past 12 months. Today, Liza Corsillo on the padded sleeve that (finally) ended her search for a laptop case.
To feel motivated at work, I rely on nice-looking and cheerful office supplies. But while bright and beautiful notebooks or aesthetically satisfying paper clips are easy to come by, finding an actually stylish (and functional) laptop case has taken me years.
Most of the cases I see online or in stores are practical but boring, while the more decorative ones are too cutesy or overly complicated. So when I started thinking about going back to the office this summer, I was thrilled to find the Goldilocks of laptop cases just in time. Unsurprisingly, I discovered it at Baggu, a brand that has solved a number of my other shopping quandaries with their colorful and well-designed tote bags, zipper pouches, and backpacks. I was browsing the website for my fiancé, a teacher in need of some reusable lunch-size tote bags for the upcoming school year, when I scrolled past the brand’s deceivingly simple version of a laptop case. The puffy sleeve looks like a miniature sleeping bag, is quilted and filled with recycled Poly-fil, closes with a square inch of Velcro, and comes in seven different patterns and two sizes: 13 inches for small laptops like my Macbook Air and 16 inches for larger devices. I ended up buying two — solid neon pink and black with white daisies — that I use for my laptop and 12-inch iPad.
I was drawn to them at first because they’re fun and look so cozy. Even now, after having used them for many months, I still imagine putting my laptop to bed in its sleeping bag every time I pack it up. But the cloudlike sleeves, which I recently found out are a favorite of at least three other Strategist editors, have a lot more going for them than just their looks.
Living in New York, I have become extremely picky about what I carry with me, from the backpacks and purses I use down to my pencil and makeup cases. Everything has to prove that it’s worth schlepping around all day, because there’s nothing I hate more than being weighed down by heavy, awkward bags. (Working from home for nearly two years has made me even more sensitive to this.) So while I can’t cut down on the weight of my laptop and charger, I can choose these featherlight sleeves that clock in at just 4.8 ounces. Plus they’re ultrapadded, so they protect my computer no matter what bag I throw it in, and their nylon material is a little slippery, so they slide into a backpack or purse quickly and easily.
In fact, I like and trust them to keep my stuff safe so much that I bought a smaller quilted case for my glasses and am seriously considering getting a second seven-by-four-inch pouch to use when traveling with my favorite vitamin-C serum that comes in a fragile glass bottle. But even though I’ve branched out to other puffy sleeves, the laptop cases will always be the ones that started it all. My absolute favorite thing about them is that they are inexpensive (just 28 bucks) and machine washable, so I don’t have to be precious about them — and I can make up for all those years of searching by collecting new patterns.
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