Company: Skooba Design
Model: Tablet Messenger V.3
Compatible: All iPads
Skooba Tablet Messenger V.3
We've seen a handful of tablet-friendly bags from Skooba since Apple launched the iPad in 2010. Among them Tablet Messenger V.3 ($130) is the most expensive, but also the best product. The company designed the bag well, with nice materials and plenty of functional pockets. In fact, with 16 compartments it may just take the crown among its peers in terms of the sheer number.
For as much storage space as it offers, Tablet Messenger V.3’s footprint isn’t as large as one might expect. It measures 14” long, 11” tall, 3” deep, and weighs just over a pound and a half. The bag is made of medium-weight ballistic nylon—it’s black on the outside and blue on the inside. We would’ve preferred more premium feeling material for the price, but it’s not bad and helps keep the weight down. Skooba used nice metal clips to attach the shoulder strap to the bag’s body; a padded section in the middle of the strap provides a non-slip grip. One of the coolest feature is the “Revolution” closure on the front flap, a plastic circle with embedded magnets. To open it, one simply twists a little more than a quarter turn and it comes undone. When moved back over the base, the magnets grab and lock it in place. The system works well.
Skooba included pretty much every kind of pocket imaginable. Of course there’s a dedicated pocket for an iPad—any generation, with almost any case, will fit. It’s located inside the main cavity, which has room for books or even small laptops. Unzip the zipper under the front flap and you’ll find nine distinct holders for USB flash drives, pens, and more. A pair of connected zippers on the side reveal a pull-out water bottle holder, and a zipper along the top allows for quick access to your tablet without having to open the whole bag. Most users will be able carry just about everything they need for a day or work or school on their shoulders.
It can be hard to innovate when it comes to something as basic as a bag, but Skooba did enough right with Tablet Messenger V.3 to make it stand out. From the compact yet spacious size to the multitude of pockets, nice materials, and overall attractive design, it’s a success. Features such as the Revolution closure help to differentiate it even more. Our biggest concern is the price, which simply strikes us as too high. As it stands, this bag earns our strong general recommendation. If you can catch it on sale, it’s an even better value.