Waterfield Bolt: A great everyday briefcase

I’m always looking for that ideal briefcase and have a collection that could match what you’d find in a small luggage store. With computers getting smaller, and the need to no longer carry lots of adapters and stuff, a smaller case seemed appropriate.

I’m now carrying the 12-inch MacBook, Apple’s two-pound notebook, so it seemed silly to carry it in a heavy, oversized bag that would negate it’s lightweight and compactness.

The solution I found was the Bolt Briefcase from Waterfield Designs. The bag is really well-constructed out of heavy canvas and leather. It has two pockets with magnetic closures on the front and a slash pocket on the rear. The bag has a wide panel on the back that allows it to slip over a roller bag handle with ease and never catches when taking it off. Inside is a protective compartment for the computer and a couple of smaller pockets for loose items. The specially designed zipper across the top seals the bag from water penetration.

The heavy canvas fabric protects items inside, yet is pliable enough to adapt to bulky objects, such as a small camera, a book and a tablet. The leather handles are very comfortable and there’s a removable shoulder strap with a leather shoulder pad.

The Bolt comes in a three sizes, including a version for a 15-inch computer. There’s also a choice of several materials and leather colors.

The bag is made to order in the company’s San Francisco workshop. I’ve visited the company and have seen their products being made by the founder Gary and his small staff of workers. The company does an amazing job in turning out a huge variety of products, everything from cases such as Bolt, to wallets, phone cases, and larger briefcases. Their website is very well done with videos describing many of the products.

After using the Bolt for a few months, it remains my briefcase of choice. It’s the best looking, most durable and small enough to carry everywhere I go. What’s most surprising is its cost. Just $249. That’s a terrific value, likely made possible by selling direct from factory to customer. Check it out.

by Phil Baker