HEX recently introduced the Academy line of bags and sleeves to their online store, adding a dozen beautifully-designed and well-constructed items ranging from duffel bags and backpacks to slender sleeves.
The company provided an Academy Messenger Bag (US$79.95) for review.
There are so many bags available for MacBooks and iPads, and a smaller number of them combine the designed ability to carry both of the devices. Sure, you can just drop both your 15″ MacBook Pro and iPad into the same backpack, but a really nicely designed bag does it by providing individual pockets to separate the devices so they’re not smacking into each other.
In the case of the Academy Messenger Bag, there’s a nice padded cell for any MacBook up to 15″ in size, a roomy pocket for papers, pens, and other accessories. On the outside of the bag, under a full-sized flap that closes with Velcro, is a leather and leather bezel called the HEX PadPort to hold your iPad into place. It’s the perfect design — if you want to spend a few moments in transit just using your iPad, you don’t have to unzip the bag to retrieve it. Instead, you just pop open the front flap and the iPad is ready to use.
The entire Academy line is covered with a classy grey “waxed reverse denim shell,” which sounds odd but feels very soft. It also repels water, perfect for those places that get more than the 15.8 inches of precipitation we get here in the Mile High City. The zipper that secures the main part of the bag is equipped with leather pulls, a nice touch.
Inside the bag, the accessory pocket has assorted organizer slots for pens, business cards, et al. There’s a sturdy, but unpadded, strap for slinging the bag across your body like any good messenger bag. The bottom and sides of the Academy Messenger Bag are covered with what looks like a tough black nylon material for extra strength and water protection. Finally, there’s another pocket on the back of the bag that’s designed for those papers that you forgot to put into the main pocket.
HEX has really outdone themselves with the new Academy series of bags and sleeves. All of the items in this new series use the same design motif and materials, so if you’re in the market for multiple bags they’ll all match.
- Reasonably priced for a high-quality computer bag
- Excellent build quality and styling
- HEX PadPort feature is surprisingly handy for owners of multiple Apple devices
- Academy design motif is consistent over a dozen HEX bags
- None to speak of
Who is it for?
- MacBook / iPad owners seeking a good-looking bag to carry their stuff in style.