After a few weeks of carrying my MacBook Pro in a messenger bag, mostly to and from the office, I noticed that the laptop’s edges and corners had picked up scratches. It’s obvious, but the solution was to 1) be more conscientious about how I carry and put down my bag, and 2) use a computer case (or sleeve). Since it’s difficult to break habits, I went with the latter option.
There are numerous MacBook Pro sleeves out there that come in various designs and materials. Your personal style, budget and how you plan on using the case should dictate your purchase. To save you time, find a curation of our favorites below.
Best Budget: AmazonBasics Felt Laptop Sleeve
The good: The felt sleeve is available in two different colors, light grey and charcoal. Even though it’s very simple, the sleeve has a few nice features, including three pockets (two back, one front) for accessories, a main compartment with a suede interior, and a Velcro closure. It’s very affordable.
Watch out for: It’s not waterproof or drop-proof, so it offers very little protection if not placed in another bag. Compartments are very slim, so carrying anything else, such as charging cables or portable batteries, in the sleeve make it feel really bulky.
Who it’s for: Anybody who wants a stylish laptop sleeve for cheap. It’s also ideal for people who plan to carry the sleeve primarily in another bag.
All Leather: Madewell Leather Laptop Case
The good: It feels like a traditional elegant leather accessory — very clean and minimalist. The zipper wraps well past the corners of the case, meaning you can open it wide, making it easier to slide your laptop in and out. It looks nicer and is significantly cheaper than the leather case that Apple sells.
Watch out for: It only has one main compartment and no side pockets — it’s not going be able to carry your wall adapter and charging cable. It doesn’t protect from water or drops.
Who it’s for: Somebody who wants extra protection for their MacBook Pro, but who still will use a backpack or briefcase as their main form of transport. Also, anybody who likes nice things.
The Rugged Option: Thule Gauntlet 3.0
The good: The Gauntlet 3.0 case by Thule adds the extra protection that other cases on this list lack. It’s a soft-shell case with heavily padded corners to prevent against dings. Its clamshell design means the zipper can zip around almost the entire case, making it easy to take the MacBook Pro in and out. The case doesn’t cover up your ports or headphone jacket.
Watch out for: No interior strap to for extra security. There aren’t any interior pockets or straps to secure cables or accessories. The “Thule” logo on the front of the case is pretty prominent, which some people may like.
Who it’s for: People who are prone to drop their bag and ding up their MacBook Pro. This sleeve is rugged and secure, while also being slim.
The Exoskeleton: Incase Snap Jacket
The good: The snap jacket is essentially a hard exoskeleton that’s designed to stay on your MacBook Pro, so it isn’t a tradtional laptop sleeve. It adds a firm, form-fitting layer of protection, without adding much bulk or weight on the laptop. Very minimal design.
Watch out for: The faux-leather outer layer won’t fool anybody — it looks like a hard plastic. No compartments for cords or adapters. It won’t save your computer from water damage. It seems pretty expensive for what it is.
Who it’s for: It’s definitely a different look than a normal laptop sleeve. Even though it’s easy to snap this case off, you should be prepared to leave it on your MacBook Pro whether you’re using the laptop or not.
The Cord Manager: DSPTCH Macbook Case
The good: It’s kind of a tech dopp kit, able to efficiently store your MacBook Pro, wall adpater and a number of cables. The interior is made out soft and padded nylon, while the exterior is made out of tough ballistic mesh. It’s slim and won’t take up much room in your bag. It’s also completely bespoke.
Watch out for: It tooks funtional — a little techie — rather than elegant.
Who it’s for: This is the best option for anybody who wants to keep their charging cords and wall adapter in one place. It’s protective and practical.