WaterField Designs Tech Folio: A perfect traveling companion designed with community help

WaterField Designs makes some fantastic backpacks, messenger bags, and briefcases, but sometimes you want to travel light or contain the gear stored within your larger bag. The new Tech Folio is designed to keep everything safe and secure while looking good.

wf-tech-folio-4.jpg

As regular readers know, I test and carry a lot of mobile tech with me on my daily commute and when I travel. The various pockets of my backpack are filled up and sometimes it takes me a bit to find a device or accessory stored in one of the many pockets.

top picks

The 10 best smartphones of 2018

All significant smartphone launches have now passed and as we approach the end of the year, the ten best shake out after more extended usage of each.

Read More

Lately, WaterField has been encouraging community participation in its new bag designs and the Tech Folio gear case is one of those creations. It comes in a couple of sizes with two color/material options. I tested out the Tech Folio in waxed canvas material.

The Tech Folio measures 10.5 x 8 x 2 inches in size while the Tech Folio Plus is 13.5 x 10.25 x 2 inches. With the Tech Folio, I carried a Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, two phones, various cables, business cards, my wallet, the S Pen for the Tab S4, and some other miscellaneous gear. The Tech Folio Plus looks like it could easily handle my Pixelbook and more.

In typical WaterField Designs fashion, the case is very well constructed with high quality leather and canvas, signature interior gold lining, rugged zippers and zipper seals, and stitching that ensures years of service.

The front of the smaller Tech Folio has a single zippered compartment that unzips 3/4ths of the way around the compartment. Inside you will find that gold lining that makes finding your gear easy, along with a central pocket that is great for a wallet or cable and three slots on either side of that space that allow for storage of pens, pencils, and styli. On the front flap a mesh pocket is positioned for storage of more accessories.

Two zippers are present on the main compartment so that you can unzip it and then open it up just like a book. On the left side of the main compartment are two large zippered black mesh pockets. I use the top one for lots of cables and the bottom for extra phones or other cables I have.

wf-tech-folio-2.jpg

On the right side there is a large pocket along the back that has the gold lining on the back and a soft padded side. This is perfect for a tablet with the plush side making sure the display doesn't get scratched and has some protection. WaterField specifications state that the Tech Folio large compartment can hold a 10.5 inch iPad, Amazon Kindle while the Tech Folio Plus can carry a 12.9 inch iPad Pro.

On top of this compartment is an upper zippered black mesh area with two smaller pockets under a single zippered closure. Below this are two padded plus pockets where I store review phones. These pockets are about three inches high so about half the phone sticks out the top, but they are still held securely in this area and are also easy to access.

wf-tech-folio-1.jpg

The back of the Tech Folio has a piece of waxed canvas across the back that makes it easy to carry the Tech Folio. You can order the Tech Folio for $119 or the Tech Folio Plus for $149 in black ballistic with black leather or waxed canvas with chocolate leather. WaterField offers various strap options (I didn't test any out), including one inch suspension straps for $22 or one inch simple straps for $12.

The Tech Folio allows me to easily move around the office or shipyard with my essential gear without having to carry a full backpack. The backpacks I use can indeed carry all of my gear, but with the Tech Folio all of that is contained in a more centralized location. I'm headed out for another business trip and have the Tech Folio loaded up for the airplane. It is a perfect case for flights since you can put your backpack or other carry on in the overhead and just keep the Tech Folio with you so you have more room to maneuver and stretch out.

Over the years I have seen WaterField Designs improve upon its fantastic case designs, but have to say that the Tech Folio truly is nearly perfect. I cannot think of a single thing I would change on this gear bag and I highly recommend this bag even if you don't have a WaterField Designs backpack or messenger bag.

ZDNet WaterField Designs reviews