product recommendation: WaterField Designs

I have been known to complain long and heartily when I receive poor customer service. I do believe that the best companies are ones where the paying customer is number one. It’s a sort of modified take on “the customer is always right” — If I take the time to walk into your store to buy something, greet me, make me welcome, don’t smother me, but be available when I have questions. It’s not too much to ask, really. And I had impeccable training in this concept when I worked for The Container Store a few years back. I hold all of my vendors to that standard, which is also the one I hold to for my own customers. What do you need? I will take care of it for you.

I have noticed, though, that when I receive great customer service, I tend to just let them know how pleased I am and then proceed to hug them quietly in my heart. Instead, I should be shouting from the rooftops about how amazing a particular company is. So begins a new feature on this blog. When I work with a vendor or any web- or computer-related manufacturer/distributor that gives me awesome service, I’ll be writing about them here.

Looking for a bag for your laptop? WaterField Designs is, without question, the way to go. My local Mac support guy recommended them to me last year or so when I needed a sleeve for my powerbook. Their service and product were so great, I purchased from them again when I recently purchased a MacBook Pro with a larger screen than my powerbook had.

Product: Cases, sleeves, bags for computers, phones, ipods, PSPs, cameras…You name it. It is incredibly well made, good looking and very sturdy. I love my laptop sleeves. I can slip them easily into my bag of choice and the sleeve is easy to access and open when I’m standing on the security line at the airport, while juggling my quart-sized bag and carryons.

Service: Gary and his cohorts are so friendly and nice. The automated emails are kind and appreciative. They write personal notes on the packing slip. Emails are replied to promptly and in a very friendly manner. Almost as if Gary is your own personal friend, taking care of your case needs personally. And maybe he is…who knows?!

Price: I’ve seen cheaper (and those sleeves/bags/cases were really crappy quality, not to mention made in China), but I’ve definitely seen more expensive. I believe you get what you pay for, and I was more than willing to pay $40 to protect my laptop, which would cost many times that to replace.

From the Website: No mass production or overseas workforce. WaterField bags are designed and made in San Francisco, where rent is high, labor is expensive and competition is intense. We wouldn’t go anywhere else!


In a nutshell, WaterField products are ridiculously well-made, fastidiously designed, have more personality than you can shake a stick at, and are so “user-friendly”, that you can actually operate them with one arm tied behind your back. This turns out to be a huge benefit for high-frequency travelers; the busy, laptop-carrying, cell phone-obsessed commuting types; or the dual diaper/carrying bag parents.

So, if you need a new bag or case, definitely check out WaterField Designs!

Be nice. Be real. Be happy.