When it comes to choosing the right bag to take with you on a flight, it can be challenging. Most airlines limit you to one bag below your seat and one in the overhead compartment. Normally, you can’t easily access the overhead compartment once you take off, so fitting what you’ll need for hours in a cramped space below your seat can sometimes be hard. WaterField decided to take matters into its own hands and make the Air Porter, a laptop bag designed for the world traveler.
Nomad Base Station
When I first saw the Air Porter, I was curious if it would be honestly worth $379. I received the Air Porter and Air Caddy combo, and this is the only variation I could see someone getting as the Air Caddy the best part about this setup, but more on that later.
The Air Porter is a luxury laptop bag that comes in two styles; waxed canvas and black ballistic. I chose waxed canvas because I love the look of authentic leather and the way it wears. When my Air Porter arrived, I couldn’t have been happier with the design.
The build quality is superb, which is something you’d expect from a near-$400 laptop bag. The leather is genuine, wears very well, and should do great in protecting the electronics you place inside.
I’m going to work from the front of the Air Porter to the back. At the very front of you’ll find a magnetic flap covering a decently-sized pocket. This is great for quick-access essentials. I normally keep the Air Caddy with my iPad Pro in here, as it makes it easy to grab when I need and put away when I’m done. There’s also a zipped pocket under the magnetic flap, making it easy to keep some items fairly secure but still easy to access.
Behind the magnetic flap is the main compartment. This has 3 smaller pouches on one side with 3 stretchy pass through areas above, two larger pockets on the opposite side, and a huge valley in the middle. I use this pocket to keep miscellaneous cables, camera, Kindle, Switch, any anything else that I need to organize. The larger pockets really help to store things like my cable management pouch in, and the smaller pockets are great for single things like mice or similar items.
The next pocket on the Air Porter is where your laptop will go. It has a padded area with a Velcro strap that goes over your computer. This pocket easily fits my 15-inch TouchBar MacBook Pro, and even has cutouts for the USB-C cable to go so you can charge your computer without removing it from the bag.
This bag is also TSA-compliant and can fully open so you don’t have to remove your laptop when going through security at airports. Across from the main computer compartment, there are two large pockets that I use to store items I use often with my MacBook. I’ve got my 87-Watt USB-C charger and cable in one pocket, and the other I leave empty for whatever else I need to bring on that trip, like an action camera or lenses.
The last thing on the Air Porter is a pass-through for a suitcase handle. This makes it super easy to travel through the airport without having to carry it on your shoulder the entire way. Should you want to carry it, however, the padded shoulder strap is very comfortable and grippy so it won’t slide off your arm. The adjustable length also makes it easy to get it just right.
All zippers on the Air Porter are covered with a water-resistant seal so you should be fine if you’re caught in the rain. This bag also has collapsible areas on each side for carrying things like water bottles or umbrellas. When not in use, they easily snap closed so they don’t get caught on anything.
Now, my favorite part of the Air Porter, and what really makes this bag stand out from the rest. The Air Caddy is a small, easily movable pouch that can store essentials you might need during a long car ride or flight. I use it to keep my iPad Pro (with a UAG case and Apple Smart Keyboard), Apple Pencil, and charger all quickly accessibly if I need it.
WaterField designed the Air Caddy to be placed in the seat back pocket on an airplane so you could have your essential tools accessible without having to dig through your main laptop bag. The Air Caddy can easily fit an iPad (up to 9.7-inch has been tested by us, 10.5-inch should still fit according to WaterField, however), notebook and pen, or anything else you might need easy access to during the flight.
At $359 for the Air Porter, $59 for the Air Caddy, or $379 when purchased together, these items aren’t the most budget-friendly on the market. You can get a cheaper laptop bag or pouch, for sure, but I can promise they won’t be of the same quality as these. The computer bag I’m coming from is the $260 Everyday Backpack and Everyday Messenger from Peak Design, and the Air Porter is even a step above those in build quality. If you take lots of business trips and need a bag to match, this is the perfect choice for you.