Poland-based Etsy shop Rib & Hull offers a variety of felt, leather, and canvas sleeves for laptops and media devices. Its newest offering, the 11-inch MacBook Air sleeve, gives Apple’s tiny laptop sleek, moderate protection from outside dangers and bag bumps.
The company sent Macworld both portrait ($56) and landscape-with-pocket ($61) versions of its sleeve. Each is made primarily of double-layered, 1/8-inch wool felt with leather accents, along with two rivet snaps for closures. Though the construction appears relatively simple at first glance, the materials and build are top-notch—the sleeve’s thickness more than adequately protects an Air during most daily activities. The felt does have a tendency to attract hair, lint, and random dust bunnies, and the sleeve isn’t particularly waterproof, though, like a wool coat, I suspect it would handle a few drops of water without your laptop getting wet.
The portrait-orientation version of the sleeve features a single opening at the top for inserting a MacBook Air; a leather-covered felt flap snaps over the front of the sleeve to secure your laptop in place, and a small, debossed Rib & Hull logo sits comfortably in between the two snaps. As the flap is an extension of the sleeve’s rear material, there is a small gap where the flap folds over, but this doesn’t impair the sleeve’s protection.
The landscape model, in contrast, opens along the longer side, and the front of the sleeve features a leather pouch, approximately 11 inches wide and 5 inches tall, for smaller items; Rib & Hull’s logo is debossed along the bottom center. Slide in your MacBook Air, and you can secure both the computer and any items in the leather pouch by snapping shut the sleeve’s top flap.
Once in either sleeve, the 11-inch Air feels sturdy and protected, despite not gaining much additional bulk; I was able to easily fit my Sleeve-encased Air in bags made for 12-inch laptops, as well as in several bags we had on-hand that were designed specifically for the 11-inch Air.
Of the two models, I tended to prefer the portrait version, as the landscape model’s larger flap felt more cumbersome to use. However, the landscape model does offer that additional pocket, which may come in handy for some people.
For the pricing and the construction, crafter Alexandra Wrega offers a compelling and well-designed set of sleeves for business or professional use. Her Etsy shop, Rib & Hull, also features sleeves for Apple’s other laptops, the iPad, the iPhone, and Kindles; as well as a variety of other bag styles.