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When I pack my iPad into WaterField Designs' (http://www.sfbags.com/) Muzetto Outback, I feel a need to put on an Indiana Jones-style fedora or a cowboy hat. Yes, the waxed canvas version of the Muzetto line is that inspiring.
The Outback -- which radiates quality and top-notch design -- is available in dark brown canvas, a choice of six accent colors and five sizes; two are designed specifically for the new iPad. With its retro look/feel, it's incredible to look at and touch. Even better, the Outback is as durable a non-padded iPad bag as I've tried. When scratches and marks do appear, they can be softened by applying some heat from a hair dryer -- which only adds to its well-worn look.
The Muzetto Outback is a vertical messenger bag that sports one main compartment to hold the iPad, a back pocket for paperwork, a pocket under the flap, a zippered interior pocket for stashing cash, and an adjustable strap. A gold liner lights up the interior, which makes it easy to see contents. There's also a removable shoulder strap with a "gripp-y" underside to keep it in place. Believe me, it's not going to slide off your shoulder.
The Outback also makes it safe to carry your iPad and accessories outside, even during inclement weather. Originally used for waterproofing sailing garments and popularized by mariners, gamekeepers, and outdoorsmen, waxed canvas is a naturally durable, time-tested fabric that brings a rugged and weathered look to the new Muzetto Outback, according to Gary Waterfield, founder of Waterfield Designs. He adds that the bag is sewn in small batches to take full advantage of the material's unique characteristics.
The Outback is available in five sizes: the Personal (10.5″ x 8.5″ x 1.5″) for US$149, 10″ Portable (11.5″ x 9.3″ x 2.0″) for $159, 11″ Laptop (12.25″ x 9.75″ x 2.25″) for $169, 13″ Laptop (14″ x 11″ x 2.5″) for $179, and the 15″ Laptop (15.5″ x 11.75″ x 2.7″) for $189. The Personal can hold an iPad in the WaterField Suede Jacket or Slip Sleeve, and the 10″ Portable can hold an iPad in WaterField’s iPad Smart Case or the Ultimate SleeveCase.
If you want to travel with your iPad in style, and if the price tag doesn't wave you off, the Outback is handsome, functional and lighweight. Now excuse me, I know I left that bullwhip around here somewhere.
Rating: 10 out of 10
-- Dennis Sellers