Waterfield Designs Exo SleeveCase

I really enjoy my iPad. It has pretty much filled the niche that would have been occupied by a small laptop or netbook, and I believe I enjoy using it far more than I would have any of those two devices.

The iPad is a new type of device with a very unique form factor, and as with any new type of device there’s a limited number of cases to choose from. The good thing is that all of the cases I’ve seen so far are of relatively high quality, even the ones I don’t like.

Of the cases I do like, the one from Apple seems to do the best job so far in protecting my iPad while keeping it thin and cool looking. That’s not to say that there aren’t other comparable cases, just the the one from Apple meets my needs so far.

I thought that I wanted a carrying case as well, something that would swallow my iPad, Apple case and all, and have room for my Bluetooth keyboard, my reading glasses (my eyes just ain’t what they use to be), and a microfiber cloth for wiping down the iPad screen.

I have my trusty, ancient suede satchel, but it’s so big that the iPad and all the stuff I mentioned gets lost in it. I wanted something svelte, but ample enough to carry the aforementioned stuff.

I searched around the Net and found a good selection of cases that looked like they’d fit the bill, but what caught my eye was the Exo SleeveCase from Waterfield Designs.

The Exo SleeveCase is designed to accommodate either your naked iPad or one wearing Apple’s case, as mine does. The SleeveCase has ample padding inside to protect my iPad, and the outside is made of a tough woven nylon accented with leather on the bottom. The cover flap closes over my iPad and is secured by a big piece of Velcro. That should be enough to get most folks buying this case, but, as they say on infomercials, wait, there’s more.

Waterfield made the SleeveCase adaptable, you can pick from an impressive list of accessories so that you can outfit your SleeveCase just the way you want it.

You can get the SleeveCase with or without a shoulder strap, select to the orientation of the case (landscape or portrait), select the type of trim (leather or nylon), you can even order a companion pouch to carry your extra stuff. The pouch clips onto the case’s should strap d-ring and is zippered and lined with padding and a soft material inside. There are even two pocket sections inside the pouch.

All of this tells you that the case is made well, but is it designed well? Is it functional?

The answer to those questions are easy: Yes and yes.

This has got to be one of the best cases I’ve come across. It’s sturdy, good looking, and has some nice design touches that you wouldn’t expect, but enjoy finding, like the large pocket in the back, which is suitable for carrying maps, receipts and the like.

The Exo SleeveCase is also TSA approved, which means that while the luggers of big laptops must remove those monsters from cases before running it through the airport x-ray machine, you won’t have to. Just leave the iPad in the Exo SleeveCase and let it ride through the x-ray with your shoes. That’s bound to come in handy when you are running late for a flight.

OK, so we have a case that is great looking, functional, can be accessorized, and is built like it will cost you a pretty penny. Which brings me to the subject of price and another bit of nicety: Exo SleeveCase won’t cost you a pretty penny! The case alone is a very reasonable US$57. Outfitted the way I have mine with an adjustable shoulder strap , leather trim, and nylon pouch and the SleeveCase will only set you back US$97. Not bad!

The bottom line is this: The Exo SleeveCase from Waterfield Designs is designed well, made well, looks great, and can be outfitted to suit most needs and tastes. I can’t find a single thing to ding this case on. Like any case, the SleeveCase may not be what you are looking for in a case, but if you want a case that does all the above for a reasonably good price I suggest you get the Exo SleeveCase now*.

Review ItemExo SleeveCase
ManufacturerWaterfield Designs

List Price

US$49.00 for basic sleeve. See site for accessory pricing

Minimum Requirements


* Note: My personal rating system goes like this;

  • Get it Now! - Highest rating and an absolute must-have
  • Highly recommend - Minor flaws, but a great product
  • Recommend - Flawed, but still a solid product
  • So-so - Problem product that may find a niche market
  • Avoid - Why did they bother making it? A money waster.