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Gear Review: Waterfield Designs Travel Express

A few weeks ago, I received a press release from a company I had heard of, Waterfield Designs, but didn’t know much about. They were announcing their new line of cases for the Ipad mini and Macbooks. I perused their website and saw they made cases for all types of electronics and some for specific items. Since I recently got a Nexus 7, I was intrigued to see they carried numerous cases specifically for that tablet.

The Travel Express for Nexus 7 caught my eye for a few reasons: It was meant for travel, the design was available in numerous sizes besides just for my tablet, and since this was a travel website, it seemed the perfect model for my readers.

So, I contacted Waterfield Design and asked if they would be willing to send one for review. They were and one soon came winging to OBOW World Headquarters.


The Travel Express comes in your basic black with a choice of seven accent colors. I chose copper. The case measures approximately 11 x 7 x 2 inches and weighs 8.6 oz/244 grams. (I’m sure this varies depending on the size ordered.)

The outside of the bag is made of 1050d ballistic nylon and the inside is nylon with a black foam lining. This soft lining protects your devices from scratching. Each of the outer walls of the case have a stiff plastic insert sewn in to help keep its shape and protect the items inside. The other side of the tablet pocket has a gold lined panel with yet another stiff plastic insert making the tablet truly protected.

The case comes with a self-locking YKK zipper meaning when the zipper pull is down, it won’t move. No worries about the zipper opening by itself and the contents falling out. The zipper opens on two sides making for easy packing and unpacking.

Besides the tablet pocket, there are five additional smaller pockets inside. Since this case was made for the Nexus 7, the tablet pockets fits the device perfectly. I’m guessing it’s the same on all of the other models.

The inside holds a ton of stuff.

Besides the tablet, I carry my Zapp Flex bluetooth keyboard (review forthcoming), dual usb power plug, backup battery power supply, retractable USB/micro usb cable, headphones, OTC cable, SD card reader and Ipod Touch. The case for the keyboard turns into a tablet stand but I could easily add my mini-tablet stand if needed.

The case was snug when closed but I have faith the YKK zipper will hold.

Optional “D” rings are available as is a shoulder strap. There is also a small loop on the outside of the bag which I found useful.

As many of you know, I’m very security conscious and was concerned that a thief could easily pick up this case and walk away with it—especially at airport security. So, I put a carabiner with a key ring through the loop and can now easily attach it to my Aeronaut via a key strap and the Aeronaut’s built in “o” rings.


I’ve been using this case for a few weeks. It easily and safely transports all I need in one package. No more separate cases for everything. No more chance of leaving something behind.

As soon as I first picked this bag up, I knew it was something special. It felt sturdy. It felt well made. I checked it over carefully. The material is excellent, the workmanship impeccable, the attention to detail was obvious.  And, it looks classy.

I get quite a few products to review. Some get sold because I’m never going to use them, some get stored in my travel goods closet for possible future use, and others get put into daily use. This case is being used daily.

If this case is indicative of what Waterfield Designs has to offer, I look forward to reviewing more of their products in the future. This is a winner.

Oh, and did I mention the case, as is all this company’s products, is made in the USA at their headquarters in San Francisco?

The Travel Express for Nexus 7 and Ipad Mini is $59. For the Ipad and Nexus 10 it’s $69. $10 more if you want the accent stripe in brown leather. “D” Rings and shoulder strap additional as well.



Reader Comments (6)

They have some great designs. And they're not all in the usual "black only". If only I needed a new case for my iPad... but then there's always my iPhone. Plus they do international shipping!
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
Looks nice.

I debated between that case and their Tablet Travel Case http://sfbags.com/products/tablet-cases/travelcase-tablet.php back when I bought my Nexus 7. Ultimately decided to get the Tablet Travel Case that I linked to.

I'm VERY happy with it. This seems like a very good company to deal with.
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
I also debated between the two cases but chose the one I did because I wanted to carry more. Either way, you can't lose.
November 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
It's nice to see a case that also has storage for the charging cord and other necessities, but it's too expensive for me when you add shipping to Canada and duty.
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWendy K
I own several products from Waterfield. Every one of them is meticulously crafted, the fabrics are superior, and don't forget they're MADE IN USA. Waterfield's prices aren't cheap, they never have sales, but when it comes to protecting my technology I want the very best and am willing to pay for top quality.
December 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDianne
In this review are you using the travel express for the iPad mini? Does the apple keyboard fit inside it?
July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJD

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