HEX Drake Messenger Bag review

Sections: Cases / Bags, iDevice Accessories, iPad, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, Laptops, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, Peripherals, Reviews

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Provides: Protection and transportation for iPad and a 15″ laptop
Developer: HEX
Price: $80
Availability: Now

The HEX Drake Messenger bag provides a stylish storage and transportation option for a laptop up to the 15″ MacBook Pro, along with an organizer and built-in iPad case for transporting all your Apple gear.

HEX Drake Messenger Bag

Unlike other laptop bags which tend to feature more modern designs and futuristic materials, the Drake is constructed of a sturdy, handsome, herringbone wool pattern that looks equally good paired with a suit or a pair of skinny jeans, so your laptop bag no longer has to be a drab accessory.

Get Slim…Fast

HEX was kind enough to provide the Drake Messenger Bag for review just in time for Macworld 2013, so my trusty Macbook Pro (non-Retina, sadly), iPad, Sanho HyperJuice2, steno notebook, a couple pens, and my iPhone were packed away inside it for the long trip to San Francisco. With all that gear, the Drake was filled to capacity; this is a case designed for someone who travels very light, so if you routinely carry more than just your laptop, charger, and a token iDevice, the Drake may be too small for your needs. HEX advertises the Drake as a slim profile bag, and it is certainly an accurate description. I carried the Drake for all three days of the show, and its strap was usable if not outright comfortable. There is no padding on the strap, so this case is designed mainly for the commuter who shuttles the bag between a desk and a car/train/bus seat.

At first glance, the Drake could easily be a finely crafted briefcase-style bag with an appealing unisex design. The grey herringbone pattern is stylish but not loud. It’s crafted of wool with a water resistant coating, so it easily stands out from its nylon counterparts. HEX advertises that the Drake will turn heads, and several Macworld attendees commented on the bag. Like a wool sweater, this case’s fabric will pill, especially in areas where it contacts your body. The Drake is best suited to carrying for short distances at a moderate pace, rather than for use in intense environments like a bike messenger or for those whose office is carried around on their back.

Protect and Defend

Although it’s a tight fit inside the Drake, there is still plenty of room to pack your gear – if you make good use of our space. A large rear pocket allows you to store a folder/iPad with ease, while the internal organizer pocket is large enough to accommodate a thick stack of documents and features holders for two pens, business cards, and three other pockets for gum/USB drives/iPhone cables. The laptop holder features a thickly padded flap dividing it from the organizer compartment, and offers a snug fit for a 15″ MacBook Pro; the Retina MacBook Pro fits in with more wiggle room but is still amply protected. The inner laptop and organizer pockets are enclosed by a zipper to keep your gear inside.

Out front is HEX’s PadPort, which is essentially an integrated iPad holster on the front of the bag.

HEX Drake Messenger Bag

Composed of a semi-rigid bezel frame and expandable sides with a velcro enclosure, the PadPort lets you slip your iPad into the case and secure it firmly for quick access without removing it from your bag. Speaking of the front, the flap covering the PadPort is secured with velcro, and HEX has made an excellent design choice here. The rough half of the velcro is on the case itself, while the softer half is on the flap. Since you fold the flap over it often comes into contact with your clothes; locating the softer velcro portion on the flap reduces the chance it will bond with your clothes and cause tears or stretches.

The HEX messenger bag is great for anyone who wants to escape the dull black nylon or bright-and-loud designs of more average computer messenger bags. With a bespoke design fitting a well-groomed gentleman or fashion conscious lady, the Drake messenger bag elevates your daily task of schlepping a MacBook to an act of technological fashion. Best suited to users who prefer a slim profile and like to travel light, the Drake will dress up your daily commute and let you carry your gear in high style.

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