Holiday Shopping Ideas: Five Best iPad Carryall Bags. [Review]


Siva's Roundup: Best iPad carryalls. Photo by Siva.


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The holidays are once again upon us, and iPhone Life is your trusty resource for informative reviews and great gift ideas this holiday season.  

Welcome to my roundup of some of the best iPad carryalls available, here at iPhone Life! The criteria being used for this collective is that each bag must be specifically designed to comfortably accommodate a 10-inch iPad, as well as being unique, ruggedly constructed and built to last. All of the bags featured here are exceptional in their own way, with the common thread that any one of them ought to provide you with years of loyal service. Depending on the conditions you expect the carryalls to be used in and the individual user's temperament, one bag will suit one person better than another might, but I believe that in this roundup there is something for everyone. Whether buying for yourself or for that special someone, I hope you find this compilation both useful and helpful in making your holiday gift bag decisions.



Chrome’s Mini Buran


Siva's Roundup: Best iPad carryalls


The Chrome Mini Buran is honestly one of the best-constructed bags I have come across in a long time. This bag is durable, water-resistant, built with tactical precision and able to fit your iPad (even an iPad in a rugged case like the Lifeproof or Otterbox) along with a days worth of gear, all with roomy comfort. This bag is hard-core and every attention has been given to the detail of making this bag a high level piece of field gear. It even has a manufacturer’s lifetime guarantee, which is such a rarity these days and speaks volumes about the confidence the Chrome Company has in the integrity of their product.



The Mini Buran is a feature rich, rugged and stylish iDevice carrier. The integrated iPad sleeve (it can also accommodate up to a 13” MacBook) is well padded with heavy-duty zippers for closure. With an overall size of 16.5 x 12.5 x 5.5 inches and 3 main pocket sections for organization of all your gear and tools the Mini Buran will keep whatever you are toting around safe, secure and dry. Its external shell is constructed of weatherproof 1000 denier Cordura, with a weatherproof, military grade, truck tarpaulin inner liner. With such a rugged design, even if you happened to spill, say a bottle of water in one compartment, your iPad would stay safe and dry in it’s dedicated sleeve, safely separated from the spill with the reliable weatherproof fabrics. The Mini Buran has raised the bar of what to expect in a rugged yet attractive carrying bag. I'm not kidding; this bag is over the top.



I imagine anyone who has any degree of experience outdoors, dealing with the nature’s elements or roughing it in any way will really appreciate this bag. The Mini Buran is a masterpiece of design, style and practical functionality all fused into one great carry bag. The padded shoulder strap is bold and beautiful, with a comfortably wide girth to it, and a seatbelt buckle closure with the iconic Chrome logo emblazoned upon the clasp. The buckle also has a feature on it allowing it to double as a convenient bottle opener. The adjustable shoulder strap also has a secondary cross-chest mini-strap for greater stability and comfort, especially when carrying loads.



Additionally, the Chrome Mini Buran has much welcomed mounting loops for attaching carabineer clips or bike lights and reflective straps giving you increased visibility at night.


I would highly recommend the Chrome Mini Buran, which is available HERE for $135.00. With the holiday season upon us, the Mini Buran will make an excellent gift, whether as a treat for yourself or as a present for that special someone you know who appreciates quality and durability in a sturdy and rugged piece of travel-ready gear.



Targus' Military Messenger



Targus has a history of making great bags and iDevice cases and accessories. The Military Messenger is no exception. I was interested to see how much the Military messenger lived up to its name, how much it captured the "go anywhere, do anything" spirit that today’s Military is the embodiment of.


I'm happy to say, the Targus passes the test with flying colors. This bag is everything that a good carryall ought to be! In fact, having had several “military” issue bags over the years from growing up in a military family, I can say that the Targus Military messenger surpasses many lesser bags that I've come across that tout themselves as meeting a “military” standard.


The Military satchel is easily suitable for a male or female, regardless of whether or not they are even the least bit interested in anything military. In fact, this bag is perfect for anyone who is the active, adventurer, whether those adventures are urban or in the wild.


The Targus Military carry all is available in a couple of color choices and can equip a laptop up to 16”. I didn't test this bag out with a laptop in it though. I was looking to see how well it worked as a heavy-duty carry all, with a large iPad in a heavy-duty case in it’s laptop compartment. In other words, without a laptop the bag becomes even more spacious and capable of carrying your day’s supplies, be they groceries, extra layers of warm clothing, a drink and a snack, a few books and clipboards... The Targus Military bag allows for ample space to haul your gear around with you. In fact, despite its slim and trim pattern, the Military bag expands nicely and has plenty of extra pocket space to keep things organized and ordered.


The Targus Military messenger has quality stitching throughout and a very well padded rear compartment (closest to your body) in which you can store your iDevice and/or MacBook. It also has a padded shoulder strap for maximum carrying comfort. The front of the bag on the cover flap, are a series of canvas loops to clip whatever you would like to clip on to. Keys, rope, flashlight, pocketknife, anything you fancy. And underneath these canvas loops is the cove flap’s pocket compartment.



The cover flap folds over the main compartments and holds shut with wide Velcro strips and chunky polycarbonate clips and under the cover flap in the main compartment are a total of 4 separate pockets not counting the mini pockets set deeper inside the main compartment, small pouches to hold small items like keys or Chapstick or an iPhone or pack of playing cards.


With this versatile bag I could easily see myself going overnight camping in the beautiful desert southwest, if I traveled light, but I could also just as easily see myself using this bag as I made my way around the downtown of a big metropolis like Chicago or New York.


If you like cargo pants, if you appreciate a good rugged heavy duty iPhone case, if you ever carry a flashlight around with you, or if you have a carabiner or clip anywhere on your keychain, then this is a bag worth checkin out. It's a worthy investment, that should hold up to years of steady use. The Targus Military messenger comes in the two colors shown above and is available HERE for $50.00.



Copper River's Safari iPad Messenger



The Copper River bag company is a small, family-run American business. They make a wide range of bags, packs and messengers that are as much works of rugged American frontier art as they are contemporary and casual works of modern leather craftsmanship. The Copper River iPad bag is art and style and sturdy durability all rolled into one.


If you were in the market for a top-quality, full-grain natural leather bag for your trusty iPad, but thought you might not be able to afford one due to a high price tag, think again, and consider the Copper River Safari iPad messenger bag. This Safari is a true work of fine craftsmanship that reflects the pride and integrity of the artisans who hand-stitched it. The Copper River Safari is also the only other bag besides the above-mentioned Chrome bag that offers a manufacturer’s lifetime guarantee, which is another testimony to the quality of the product.


Copper River bags are contemporary and at the same time classically beautiful and adventurous looking! Each one is distinctive; at Copper River, they use high quality, full-grain, water-resistant, stone oiled leather. There is a unique character and individuality to every bag they make, right down to a few polished scrapes and scratches, which I truly feel only adds to their old world elegance and charm.




The Safari iPad messenger (which could also easily double as a classy camera bag or general satchel) has a large central pocket with 2 very small pockets on either “end” of this rectangular bag. It has a full-size rear external cargo pocket and an internal sleeve pocket that could hold an iPad mini or a large iPad with a minimalistic case. My large iPad slipped easily into the spacious main compartment (overall dimensions of this bag are 10.5 x 10 x 6 inches) and with the great design of the Lifeproof or Otterbox (my cases of choice), I wasn't worried about my iPad not being safe, even though it wasn't in a particularly padded bag. In fact it is worth note, that while Copper River refers to the Safari as an iPad bag, it does not have padding, which many folks are used to in a bag designed to carry iDevices. Something to think about. That said the Safari still places in my roundup of some of the best carryalls.


The Copper River Safari is rugged, rough, and ready-for-action! It will last for many good years. Not to mention, for a leather bag, especially one of this quality, you will have a hard time finding a better deal in terms of price. In fact, I spent many hours searching online to see if I could find better deals on leather iPad bags, not much luck. For those of you who appreciate good leather or know someone who appreciates quality leather goods, you will also appreciate that Copper River bags are one of the best values out there for quality hand-made leather bags, selling for a as much as 35% less than other comparable bags that you might find elsewhere.


The Copper River Safari iPad messenger is available HERE for the killer price of $127.00.



Booq's Mamba Backpack



Booq makes some great gear for carrying our computers and iDevices! They have a wide range of quality products so it’s quite likely that you’ll find something for yourself or for anyone on your holiday gift list. Their gear is well constructed (and you know I inspect closely and look at things like seams and stitching!) and designed to hold up to years of load-bearing service.


While Booq certainly has a great selection if products to choose from, I'd like to draw attention for the time being, to their water-resistant jute fabric backpack known as the Mamba Daypack. This pack is a beautiful synthesis of elegant textured fabric and rugged durability in a form you might not expect to be quite so tough. Indeed with its polished and refined style, and different earth-tone color choices the Mamba Daypack can fit in with just about anyone’s fashion sense.


I think the Booq Mamba Daypack is a great option for any student, from later elementary or Junior high school kids through to college age young adults. From the campus to the office, boardroom to bike commute, the Mamba Daypack is more than capable if meeting all the requirements you might have of an urban adventurer’s backpack.


The Mamba Daypack is a dream come true when it comes to storage space and useful pockets. The main device pocket can hold up to a 15” laptop. If you like to carry all sorts of little things around with you and still stay organized, this just might be the carryall for you. It has 8 compartments and pockets, including a large 8” x 10” large pouch on the outside front of the pack perfect for toting charging gear, a portable hard drive, sunglasses, hand sanitizer and more. You will also find two handy inner pouches measuring about 10” x 6” and several smaller ones for pens and pencils, your iPhone, keys, a lighter, etc. There’s even a detachable key fob stitched into the interior for added convenience.



The iPad/laptop sleeve is padded front and back with dense foam shock absorbing padding and the shoulder straps are also comfortably padded and securely stitched on where they meet the body of the bag. Ergonomically the Mamba Daypack is designed to protect and support your spine and posture while also ventilating your back when wearing it. Built with a water-resistant, natural jute fiber that has been organically dyed, the Mamba Daypack feels good to the touch and its shell has been internally reinforced to help prevent crushing of the contents inside, whether that is an iPad, a MacBook, groceries, spare clothes or a combination of all of the above.



The Mamba Daypack is a great general purpose but exceptionally built pack that is suitable for most all day-to-day purposes. Don't be afraid to get rough with the Mamba either, as its sturdy construction and rugged materials can take a beating and continue to keep going on, in good shape. The Mamba Daypack is available HERE for $100.00




MacCase's 11-inch Flight Jacket


Siva's Roundup: Best iPad carryalls


The MacCase Flight Jacket is hugely popular for good reason. It's probably the most fashion forward carryall featured here. The 11-inch Flight Jacket is luxuriously elegant and yet well made and rugged enough that I felt it would be good to include it in a round up of tough and durable gear. The Flight Jacket will appeal to anyone looking for a great product that’s been built to last and is constructed well, and yet fits the bill if you are looking for a fancy accessory that doesn't scream military or school gear.


The Flight Jacket is an elegant option for carrying your iPad (or small laptop) around with you, along with a few other essentials for the day. In fact, I feel that the Flight Jacket is underestimated at first glance in terms of how much it can truly tote around. With the 11” model you can comfortably carry around not only your iPad, but also books, notepads, snacks and even a light windbreaker. The MacCase Flight Jacket can expand and sweet to be more than accommodating, despite its thin, svelte appearance.


Made from premium, ultra-soft leather the 11" Flight Jacket expands to carry a lot more gear than you might first imagine and touts five individual, separate pockets. A larger main compartment where you might store your MacBook or iPad 4 and a smaller forward pouch that could fit an iPad 4 or an iPad mini. Obviously anything that can hold a laptop or tablet can also hold books or snacks or any number of miscellaneous accessories. The back of the MacCase Flight Jacket has a thin outside sleeve and the flap that folds down to close the bag also has a smaller zippered pocket. Additionally there is a fifth pocket that is removable, converting into a mini pocket wallet.


The cover holds shut with a combination of both Velcro closures and modern, low profile metal buckles. The Flight Jacket comes with a thin, leather, adjustable shoulder strap which attaches to metal O-rings on the body of the pack and if you bought a matching pair of backpack straps (add $20.00) you would utilize all four O-rings to make the messenger carryall into a full-fledged backpack.



The Flight Jacket is a bag with bling. It maintains a certain rustic essence while looking like it would fit perfectly on the arm of a jet setting movie star type. Male or female, the Flight Jacket is as much a rugged and durable, practical accessory, as it is a fashion statement and stylish adornment.


The Flight Jacket is available HERE for $190.00.



Thank you for reading. Stay tuned to iPhone Life over the coming weeks for more great gift ideas this holiday season!

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As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech