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Review: Outback Solo Is The iPad Bag Indiana Jones Would Choose

Review: Outback Solo Is The iPad Bag Indiana Jones Would Choose

March 2, 2014

Product: Outback Solo Price: $89 Compatibility: iPad Air and iPad mini Website: Date: March 2, 2014

Outback Solo is a nice-looking, over the shoulder iPad bag that’s big enough to fit an iPad Air, includes several pockets, and features a magnetic clasp. Its satchel-style design and “distressed” look make me think that Outback Solo is the kind of iPad bag Indiana Jones would use, and for this reason alone I love carrying it around with me every day.

The Product

These days, I do practically all of my work from an iPad. One of the best things about this setup is that it’s easier than ever to write while away from a desk. Regardless of whether you’re using an iPad Air or iPad mini, however, folks taking their iPad on tour need a fashionable yet secure means of transporting it around with them. Outback Solo is a great option and it scores highly in both respects.

Created and sold by Waterfield Designs, Outback Solo can be bought online for $89. The San Francisco-based company has a huge range of bags, cases, and folios for Apple devices ranging from MacBooks to iPhones available at their online store, and as we’ve said in the past, Waterfield has a great track record for producing stylish yet functional products.

Outback Solo is no exception. Here’s how Waterfield describes the bag online:

Go solo, but stay connected. The handsome, compact Solo fits both your iPad Air and iPhone, a charger and your wallet — the minimum requirements to help you navigate a day at the office or in foreign lands. Using the optional strap, it transforms into a smart-looking over-the-shoulder bag. Two sizes ensure a custom-fit for your iPad Air ‘naked’ or with an Apple Smart Cover, and a larger size to fit a fully covered iPad with a slippery case around it.

I’d previously been using an iPad Air for my daily work, but recently made the switchover to using an iPad mini. As such, I’ve had the opportunity to test Outback Solo alongside both iPads, and found that the bag works really well regardless of which model you own.

I opted for the “naked” iPad option yet found that even with a keyboard case wrapped around the iPad Air, there was enough room inside Outback Solo. More recently, I’ve been using the bag to carry an iPad mini with Retina display housed inside a ShockSock pouch, and positioned alongside a Belkin QODE FastFit Keyboard. Much like the iPad Air with its keyboard case, both the iPad mini and its external keyboard fit inside Outback Solo with room to spare, and as such prospective customers shouldn’t worry too much about picking the bigger or slimmer bag.

Outback Solo is made from tan-waxed canvas, neoprene, and leather. There’s a small amount of padding on the inside of the bag, and the two different sized pockets on the front of Outback Solo are big enough to fit an iPhone and a battery pack (in my case, RAVPower’s 14,000 mAh power bank). Personally, I’m not so keen on Outback Solo’s strap, because the material looks and feels kind of like a car seatbelt. But it is adjustable, and there’s enough room for the bag to be worn over the shoulder.

On the front of Outback Solo is a magnetized clasp, and this works really well, making it particularly easy for users to quickly secure their bag while on the go. It’d be nice to have a zip running along the top of Outback Solo, since this would make me feel a lot safer while walking on busy streets with the bag. There’s also no means of securing the outer pockets, either, though it’s worth noting that these are slightly covered when the bag is clasped shut.

One of the many reasons I’m attracted to using the iPad as much as I can, both in my personal and professional life, is its size: after years of dragging around a MacBook Pro in a padded backpack (and suffering the ensuing back pain as a result), it’s refreshing to be able to work so efficiently from an iPad mini with an external keyboard (a feat made possible in no small way by iOS apps like Editorial). Outback Solo lets me carry the iPad around in a small, streamlined, and secure bag that feels great to use and looks really nice. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Outback Solo to anyone looking for an excellent bag for their iPad Air or iPad mini.

What’s Hot

  • It looks great
  • It feels nice to use
  • It’s big enough for an iPad Air …
  • … yet spacious enough to hold more than just an iPad
  • It features a couple of pockets
  • Its magnetic clasp secures the satchel
  • Its strap is adjustable

What’s Not

  • Its strap isn’t made of the nicest material

Our Advice

Make no mistake: Outback Solo is an impressive, well designed iPad bag that offers a safe and stylish means of carrying Apple’s tablet around. We’re already big fans of Waterfield’s work, and it’s great to report that the company’s latest offering doesn’t disappoint.


Aesthetic Appeal: ★★★★★ Wow Factor: ★★★★☆ Build Quality: ★★★★★ Value: ★★★★★

Buy Now: $89 from Waterfield Designs


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