Sumo Cases: a design dynasty beyond iPod? | iLounge Backstage

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Sumo Cases: a design dynasty beyond iPod?

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Saturday, September 10, 2005
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Dennis accessorizes. Larry accessorizes. I don’t really accessorize. Besides functional protection for my iPod-du-jour and the occasional Oakley bag, I don’t need or buy a lot of extra stuff to carry around. So when I do, it’s gotta be something really cool.

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You probably already know about Sumo Cases’ PlayThru cases for the iPod. One’s in the picture above. But you probably didn’t know that Sumo also makes laptop cases - and more. I liked the “more” so much that I bought one for myself. Appropriately, you’ll see first pictures by clicking on Read More below.

I buy a new backpack once every three years or so; my last was an Oakley Sandbag, which technically was a gift from my ex, but I hand-picked it. A few months ago, we spied a new Sumo backpack prototype that was seriously impressive. “I’ll buy one,” I said to Sumo’s principal. “We’ll send you laptop cases,” he responded. They arrived a couple of weeks ago, and like Sumo’s quilted iPod cases, they were very impressive: inexpensive, well-built, padded, and stylish. Virtually ideal laptop sleeves, except not super-thin - an asset for some, a minus for others.

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Needless to say, the laptop case ($39.99 for 15”, $34.99 for 12”) held up wonderfully on my trip to New York City this past weekend, keeping a 15” PowerBook in tip-top shape inside of my carry-on bag. (It doesn’t hold accessories and doesn’t include D-rings for a strap, my only reservations.) But the thing I was really waiting for, and willing to pay for, was this - my own copy of the company’s backpack, still not available to the general public.

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Dennis calls it “metro,” but no one who knows me would call me metro. Larry, maybe. Dennis is self-described that way. But not me. Thanks to black ballistic nylon, this thing is all tough, except for the inside, which thanks to a hugely Sumo-branded interior does have a touch of the softness.

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There’s a generously-sized, zippered external compartment on the front, with two leather-tipped open pockets on its sides. Above, there’s a zipper-closed lid, which reveals a padded laptop holder large enough for a 15” PowerBook, a large zipper compartment, and space inbetween them for a bunch of other goodies.

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The back straps are padded on the inside, leather tipped, and mostly ballistic nylon, like the body. A leather loop at top and surface at bottom provide shiny contrasts with the rugged nylon, which in Sumo tradition is quilted on the rear. It’s as nice a backpack as I’ve ever seen, and though not cheap ($110), worth it for me. These guys have proved with every product they’ve released that they really know how to design, and since I like to support good design, this one’s a natural for my collection.

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