MacBook Pro Bag Review: Gratlin Expedition 1898 Laptop Bag Review
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Stylish, sturdy, uses high quality materials and it's built solidly.
What's Not: It adds 2.6 lbs. and it's not cheap.
Inspired by the mail carriers of the American Frontier, Gratlin has designed a laptop bag that marries the old time charm and the modern material and aesthetics. The Gratlin Expedition 1898 Laptop Bag features very durable waxed cotton canvas with distressed leather cover, complete with brushed vintage finished metal hardware. The laptop bag is ultra protective and it's built solidly. The Gratlin Expedition 1898 fits all 13" laptops and MacBook Prof 15" as well as MacBook Pro 15" with Retina Display.
The Gratlin Expedition 1898 Laptop Bag looks unlike other laptop bags we've seen before. The bag has an overall earth tone to it; the exterior waxed cotton canvas is in warm reddish grey and interior is in forest green. The closure flap is genuine distressed ox leather that looks handcrafted and shiny. The same shiny distressed leather also covers the top of the sturdy and wide shoulder strap. The bag handle, snap strips and zipper handles are also leather, but that leather is thicker and doesn't have shiny finish. The shoulder strap is made with the same canvas material and has a thick soft padding patch where you'd wear the bag on your shoulder. The thick leather handles have strong double stitching while the closure flap has single stitching that's also strong and sturdy.
The Gratlin Expedition 1898 Laptop Bag has cotton interior lining that covers both inside of the bag as well as inside of the closure flap. The bag has a seriously padded laptop pocket that fits the MacBook Pro 15" and the MacBook Pro 15" with Retina Display perfectly, and can certain take any 13" laptop. The thick padding actually keeps the smaller 13" notebook in the pocket quite well. The laptop pocket has a micro fiber lining on one side so that your notebook cover doesn't get scratched, not that the cotton lining on the back side can give your notebook scratches either. The laptop pocket has its own closure flap which makes it even more secure and provides more protection to your laptop. The closure flap closes on the outside of the laptop compartment via three large Velcro patches. The bottom of the laptop compartment is also padded.
The Gratlin Expedition 1898 Laptop Bag uses heavy-duty zippers, robust zipper tabs and bag handle, thick metal snaps and O-rings, and dog leash style clips. Both the rings and clips are very sturdy and thick, and they should hold the weight of your notebook plus the bag easily. The bag weights 2.6 lbs., which is reasonable for a bag with the quality material and sturdy built, but it does add that much weight if you're a frequent traveler, and that's something to consider.
The Gratlin is actually a slim laptop for all the extra padding it offers. While the laptop compartment is super padded and fits 15" MacBook Pro nicely, the compartment in front of it big enough but not hugely spacious. You can easily store a tablet, a wallet along with your notebook's charger and cables. For your extra gadgets such as an ebook reader, your phones and other small items, the Gratlin Expedition offers two front pockets that are quite large. There're inner pockets for smaller devices, penholders and more inside of these pockets.
On the back of the laptop bag you'll find a zippered compartment that can store a notepad, documents and magazines for your travel reading pleasure.
The Gratlin Expedition 1898 Laptop Bag is a well designed bag that's very protective of your laptop, easy and comfortable to carry and offers plenty of room for extra gadgets and travel gear. The bag uses sturdy material that will last you for a long time and a style that's both retro yet has a splash of metro hipness. The laptop bag is well built and strongly stitched together. The only thing you should look out for is the extra 2.6-pound weight it adds to your air travel luggage.