Review: Killspencer Leather Carrying Case for iPad
When a company uses the highest quality materials and keeps practicality and functionality in mind, its products tend to pop. Such is the case with Killspencer's Leather Carrying Case for the iPad and iPad 2 ($189). This vertically-oriented leather bag is both well-made and well thought-out, hand-built to order in Killspecer's Los Angeles workshop. In addition to this leather model, the company also offers less expensive versions made from waxed twill or classic-looking fabrics -- well, somewhat less expensive at $150 a pop.
Leather Carrying Case is a portrait-orientation zippered sleeve. The leather used in the body is impressive, comparable to the high-quality floater leather cases we’ve tested from Vaja. In addition to the main compartment, there are three pockets on the front of the bag: one long one, running all the way across, as well as two that are half-width. There is no closing mechanism on those pockets, which may be a negative for some users. The pouch for the tablet has some clearance; there is enough room to hold either generation of the iPad; an iPad 2 with a Smart Cover and compatible shell fits just fine. Lining the inside is neoprene, which combined with ample padding keeps the device protected against getting bumped around. Found on the back of the sleeve is a leather band that looks sort of like a handle. Its practicality wasn’t immediately evident to us, but it’s apparently an oddly-positioned hand support. It lays flat against the sleeve and is unobtrusive if you choose not to use it.
Included with Leather Carrying Case is a shoulder strap made from nylon, with very heavy “USA” stamped metal clips that connect to D-rings on the body. Both are quite substantial, and the only plastic components of the bag are the two strap adjusters. As the D-rings are on the front of the bag, it is most comfortable to carry it with the front towards your body because it sits flat against your side. Killspencer uses Riri Aquazip water resistant zippers along the top, adding another layer of protection against the elements, another nice touch.
Killspencer’s dedication to quality is evident in almost every detail of the Leather Carrying Case. Both the materials and the construction are impressive, and the bag is practical for day to day use. The thing that holds us back from giving it a higher recommendation is the price, which is crazy high. Several of our editors talked about our mutual admiration for the design, but all of us agreed that $189 was just too much to pay for a simple shoulder bag. While we can understand the justifications—hand-made in the US, high-quality materials, and so on—the fact remains that many people who like the look of Leather Carrying Case will pass because of the expense. We’d recommend it to the niche of users with enough disposable income to consider nearly $200 a pittance for iPad protection.