Review: WaterField VertiGo Mambo Combo

Durable, comfortable, and lightweight computer bag. (March 3rd, 2008)

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: WaterField Designs

Price: $79 to $89 US

The Good

  • Excellent build quality. Wears well. Comfortable. Comes in 4 sizes. Lightweight. Trim comes in nine colors.

The Bad

  • None.

It isn't possible to test all the different computer bags on the market, so MacNN tries to offer you bag reviews from a variety of manufacturers that produce high quality products or offer innovative and new designs. We also use our bags for a few months before we offer up our opinions, because what good is telling you how great an expensive bag works, if we have not actually used it in the field.

Waterfield Designs is one company that makes good durable bags. While we were not pleased with their iPod case design, their durable gear pouches and computer bags are exceptional.

VertiGo Mambo Combo

The black ballistic nylon VertiGo Mambo Combo includes the VertiGo vertical computer bag, a SleeveCase, and shoulder pad for the strap. A colored strip adorns one side of the exterior, and you choose the material, leather, or suede in nine colors. The gold inside helps you find anything that may have drifted to the bottom and includes four thin pockets for business cards, a phone, or iPod. The exterior has open pockets on each side for a variety of other items. The top nylon zipper looks a bit small, but has held up just fine, no matter how stuffed is the bag. The 1.75-inch sew-in strap is very comfortable, especially when paired with the included pad.

VertiGo diagram

VertiGo Diagram

The SleeveCase

The VertiGo is not padded, so it must be paired with a SleeveCase for optimum laptop protection. Waterfield has an Apple Sleeve Sizing Chart on the site, that helps you choose the right sleeve. My sleeve includes a Velcro secured flap, two solid D rings for its own shoulder strap, and a slit pocket with lead indium trim and a pull tab on the bottom.

SleeveCase diagram

Vertical SleeveCase

Shoulder Comfort

I was doubtful of their marketing, which states that a vertical bag makes "your load feel lighter and less cumbersome, making your laptop more comfortable to carry." I discovered that these claims are not wrong. I can load the pliable VertiGo with the PowerBook nestled in the sleeve, my power supply, spare battery, laptop, and even a few magazines without affecting its size or comfort. It hangs straight down and seems to put less pressure on my shoulder than a courier-style bag.

A PiggyBack Adds Space

If your needs extend beyond the VertiGo's capacity, or if you want to carry just the sleeve, WaterField makes an add-on bag, called the Piggyback. This well-designed accessory clips on to the SleeveCase D-rings and gives you added space for more bulky items. I've used the Piggyback successfully with a variety of bags. Made of the same durable black ballistic nylon it adds $22.00 to your purchase price. You can even pair the PiggyBack with a shoulder strap and use it for your iPod and accessories.

PiggyBack diagram

Vertical and Horizontal PiggyBack Diagram

I'm not easy on my bags and regularly toss them on the floor, back of my car, or drag them around when tired. After months of use, the VertiGo shows absolutely no signs of wear; no stains, no scratches, nothing. This bag will probably last longer than my PowerBook.

Related Product Reviews:
Cargo Mambo

Related Product Reviews:
iPod Gear Pouch and iPod Case

by ilene hoffman, Reviews Editor


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