Thule has stood out to me as a quality and thoughtful company that its design and vision are up to today's high modern and tech world standards. It should come to no surprise that Thule's protection offerings for Apple's MacBook line would be just as awesome as Thule's Crossover Messenger Bag we recently reviewed. Thule's Gauntlet sleeve, otherwise known as the TAS-115, is a refreshing difference in an ocean full of identical looking sleeves. You won't find any of that boring neoprene material in this sleeve. This is possibly the most rugged looking sleeve you will find on the market for your 15" MacBook Pro.
Don't have a 15" MacBook Pro? You'll be happy to know that Thule's rugged Gauntlet sleeve is also available for the 13" MacBook Air and MacBook Pro for the same exact price. How much exactly? $49.95. Hop past the break for the full and detailed review!
The Thule Gauntlet sleeve for the 15" MacBook Pro is a strikingly beautiful sleeve any tech enthusiast would have to agree. Looking at today's sleeve offerings for the MacBook and MacBook Pro line, things haven't changes much at all thru the years. When something like Thule's Protection Sleeve comes along you can't help but notice its sexyristic looks. That's sexy with a little futuristic mixed in because you can't deny this sleeve doesn't look like it just bit a piece of the future. I simply love the exterior design and unique armor-like shield pattern.
You may be wondering what else is different here. Well, this sleeve has a very rigid, semi-hard exterior shell that's made out of a high-density polyurathane (nope, not like an Apple Smart Cover) material. This sleeve feels like it can take a good beating and still keep your MacBook Pro safe and sound inside of it. Not only does it have a rigid construction, it's nice and padded on the inside to help absorb shock it case you drop it on the ground. The corners feel like they are reinforced and have a car bumper-like feature that can compress a little upon impact. Now this isn't advertised by Thule, it's just something I've noticed and I really like that so far. I haven't seen such sleeves that have the same kind of durability as the Thule Protection sleeve.
Most are made out of soft neoprene, fabric and other nylon materials which are not bad in protecting a MacBook Pro, but none of them have the protection capabilities as the Thule Protection Sleeve.
Oh, have I forgot to mention this sleeve is water-resistant? It is! This is probably the Thule Protection Sleeve's most prized features being water-resistant. So if you live in a place where it rains more than the sun shines, this would come in handy. Or even if it's winter time and the rain has caught you off guard, the Thule Protection Sleeve's water-resistant exterior shell and specially designed water-resistant zipper will keep your MacBook Pro dry and safe. It's worth noting that you cannot dunk this sleeve underwater because water will leak thru the zipper without a doubt. After testing this out for myself, I can safely say that it is indeed water-resistant. Though I would have to say that it's more rain-resistant just to be safe.
By being a water-resistant sleeve, that right there is a huge advantage over most sleeves on the market. I feel much more protected when my MacBook Pro is incased inside a rugged and water-resistant sleeve. After all we're carrying around pretty expensive machines.
The only minor nitpick I would have against the water-resistant zipper is that it's much harder to unzip compared to other regular zippers we're all used to. You would expect it to be like this though. The zipper is covered by a rubber-like, thick material which almost looks like it seals up any opening around the zipper line. This causes friction which is why you will feel like it's harder to unzip.
Under the hood, you will find an exact mirrors design on the interior which is lightly padded with a soft lining. The elastic band in the middle is optional in case you further want to secure your MacBook Pro in place. I found that it isn't really necessary to use as the fitting is very snug already. Too snug if you ask me. I would have liked the sleeve to be a little more roomy because I think it's a little too snug while the zipping up the sleeve. It isn't only because of the zipper alone. Nevertheless, your MacBook Pro won't move in the slightest amount while it's inside and being shaken around while traveling.
My MacBook Pro fit inside the sleeve precisely without any room to spare. There is an interior padded lining that separate the zipper from getting in contact with the MacBook Pro itself so you should have no concerns of getting the aluminum scratched up by unzipping and vise versa. There are also two elastic band on each side that keep the sleeve from opening all the way. This was designed so that you can work within the sleeve without taking your MacBook Pro out while the elastic band keep the top half of the sleeve's shell snuggly against your MacBook Pro's lid when it's fully opened up. No issues fully extending the lid backwards though.
I love the small attention to detail on this sleeve. Thule has added a small metal logo at the top middle which just compliments the overall look and adds a touch of quality. The zipper tabs are in the traditional blue color scheme which is seen throughout Thule's bag line. It's a good thing these tabs are big enough so anyone can get a good grip when zipping and unzipping that water-resistant zipper.
If you ask me, this is possibly one of the best protective sleeves you can get for your MacBook Pro hands down. It looks fantastic and it just works very well. It's my favorite protective sleeve for my 15" MacBook Pro and it should be a very solid choice on your list at $49.95. The Swedes have done it again!