Incase is known best for their smart iPhone cases and bags that fit the descriptors sleek, modern and are usually crafted from high-tech materials. For one of the brand’s latest design collections, Incase decided to take a softer route, going for bags and sleeves made of “natural materials” for its Terra Collection, which includes a classic Campus Pack, a simple tote, and three different sizes of laptop sleeves. We’re not quite sure what they are referring to when they say “natural materials,” other than the genuine leather zipper pulls, but whatever the fabrication is, we like the textured look and feel of the casual day bags. We got our hands on the company’s Campus Pack and a laptop sleeve to see what we thought of the collection after a week or two of use.
Design-wise, we have to say that we love the Terra Collection. The bags do have a bit more of a casual vibe because of the nubby textured fabric, but we like the look, especially paired with fun details like bright poppy red accents and extra-large zippers. We also like the general idea of wrapping up our gadgets in something that is a little more cozy than some tough Cordura or other high-tech material. Considering that Incase designs its offerings based on Apple products, we also noticed that this collection seems to fit quite well with the simple Mac-lovers aesthetic.
We liked the Campus Pack ($100) for its simple design and ease of use, but it had a few pitfalls when it came to providing everything we wanted out of the bag. The aesthetic design of the bag is great. It has a cool, casual look and we love the bright red accents and lining. We also like that it’s very lightweight and doesn’t try to do too many things at once. This pack is for taking along your laptop (up to 15″), maybe an iPad or e-reader, and the most basic essentials for your day. It’s not a fancy backpack designed to hold every possible gadget you could own encased in protective padding.
Inside the pack there is a padded laptop sleeve at the back, a non-padded slip sleeve for an iPad or documents, and a few small slip pockets on the other side for other essentials. On the exterior there is one medium-sized zipper pocket for quick access to certain items, and a smaller pocket for a phone, wallet, or iPod. The lining is poppy red and the cream zippers are finished off with red leather zipper pulls.
For those who like to travel light, we like that the backpack has enough padding on the back and straps to fit comfortably, but doesn’t add any extra weight or bulk on the rest of the back. From there on out it keeps things simple. Functionally, we found the backpack a bit lacking on a few points. The padded laptop sleeve seems nice, but doesn’t offer any padding at the bottom of the pack, meaning that your laptop could get hit a little hard if you regularly plop your backpack down on hard surfaces without a care. The slip sleeve is intended to be for an iPad or similar device, but it seems a bit flimsy and has no padding. The opposing pockets are meant for smaller items, but they too are thin and seem less than useful. The two outside pockets are adequate, but don’t offer much in the way of organization.
Overall we like the pack, but we would only recommend it for those who want something lightweight and simple and don’t need to pack more than a laptop and a few daily extras. To us it functioned more like a simple daypack that could hold a laptop if necessary, but not a pack that was particularly great for toting gadgets around.
The Terra Collection sleeve ($50), on the other hand, is a great option for those who like to keep their laptop safe in a cushy simple zippered sleeve but want something with a little more style than the classic black neoprene version. There’s not a whole lot more to be said in terms of design apart from what we mentioned already, the same casual look carries over onto the sleeve, which offers solid padded protection for your laptop, zippered top access, and an exterior slip pocket for documents or extras.
The sleeve functions just as any basic sleeve should. It does a good job providing enough padding for a laptop, and the outer sleeve comes in handy for papers or a power cord. Other than that the appeal lies in the fun design, which is a big step up from your basic neoprene sleeve with little added design.