Review & Giveaway: SF Bags Suede Jacket for iPad

A complete listing of all iFans accessory reviews can be found in the archives. Companies that are interested in having their Apple-related products reviewed should send their inquiries to jrossignol@ifans.com.

iFans has teamed up with SF Bags to give away a Suede Jacket for iPad to one lucky user! Post a comment on this review to enter! USA & Canada only. Read the full rules below.

When naming accessory companies off the top of my head, SF Bags is not one that comes to mind. They do, however, make a wide range of accessories for portable electronics such as laptops, cell phones, cameras, eReaders, and tablets like the iPad. The company, also known as WaterField Designs, is based out of San Francisco where “rent is high, labor is expensive, and competition is intense.”

All SF Bags products are designed and made in, you guessed it, San Francisco. One such accessory is the Suede Jacket for iPad, available with or without a front pocket. We’ve got our hands on two of these jackets, with pockets, for the original iPad. Updated versions of the jacket are available for the iPad 2 with or without a Smart Cover. Keep reading to learn more about its design, protective ability, and how much it’ll cost you.

Giveaway

iFans is giving away a Suede Jacket for iPad to one lucky user! To enter, simply post a comment on this review. The prize will be shipped free of charge from SF Bags. Complete rules:

  • You must be a resident of Canada or the continental United States.
  • You must be a registered user of the iFans.com community.
  • You must not be a staff member, of a paid or volunteer position, on the iFans.com community.
  • There is no age requirement to enter this giveaway.
  • One winner will be chosen by the means of a random number sequence.
  • Entry Deadline: 14 April 2011, 11:59 PM EST (GMT – 5:00)
  • Failure to claim or acknowledge your prize within 3 days (72 hours) will result in your acknowledgement of forfeiture of the prize and a subsequent redraw based on all original entries.
  • Winner will be contacted by iFans private message only.
  • Your first comment is your only entry towards the giveaway. Double posts will result in disqualification and forum discipline.

Design

This is quite possibly one of the most simple and low-profile accessories that I have yet to review for the iPad. The Suede Jacket, offered in black only, is essentially a suede pocket that is stitched together and slides easily on to your iPad. The jacket offers a very snug fit and has two fabric loops on the sides and another on the bottom to make it easier to slide on to your iPad.

The front (left) and back (right) of the Suede Jacket

A benefit of the suede material is that it, like a microfiber cloth, can be used to clean the screen on your iPad. The jacket also has a front pocket, which is an optional feature, which is handy because it allows you to carry accessories with you such as an iPad sync cable, headphones, notes, styluses, and pens and pencils.

Score: ★★★★

Protection

Unfortunately, the downside to the thinness of the Suede Jacket is that it offers a very limited means of protection for your iPad. While the suede material is great at protecting against dust, scratches, or other regular wear and tear, its effectiveness at protecting against drops or dents is next to none.

Full front and back coverage of the iPad with the top side exposed

If all you are looking for is something to protect against the basic elements, the Suede Jacket is a good choice. It allows you to bring your iPad with you wherever you go, should you toss it into a bag, bring it to the office, or pack it in your carry-on bag at the airport.

Score: ★★★

Value For Money

When products are made in the United States, as SF Bags accessories are, they are often associated with much higher prices than those products made in a mass production assembly in a foreign country. The Suede Jacket for iPad is yet another example of this, as it retails for the steep price of $19 (without a pocket) or $25 (with a pocket). This is way too expensive for essentially a piece of fabric. Plus, you could go to your local fabric store and make it yourself for a fraction of the cost. For shipping, there is a special $2 rate available for first class mail within the continental United States. Other methods of shipping as well as international shipping rates are listed on their website.

Update: SF Bags has addressed the issue towards the cost of the Suede Jacket:

I can understand why it might seem expensive since—to the naked eye—the Ultrasuede® might appear to be like any other black microfiber-like fabric. We use Ultrasuede very deliberately, however. It is 100% scratch-free. Several years ago I was actually given the task of checking the reliability of [the makers of Ultrasuede®'s] claim on this, and I can attest that no matter how hard you try to get it to scratch anything, you’ll be out of luck. Quality, however, comes with a price and real Ultrasuede® is a much more expensive fabric than you probably imagine.

Score: ★★

Final Thoughts

The Suede Jacket for iPad is a simple, low-profile cover that will provide you protection against the basic elements of use. It’s great to support domestic companies, but the pricing of the Jacket may change your mind. Other SF Bags accessories for the iPad include the Wallet and Travel Express.

Overall Score:

† All prices are in US currency unless stated otherwise.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Overall scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
Thanks to Gary at WaterField Designs for the review sample.

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