Best iPhone 6/Plus wallet cases: Pad and Quill Little Pocket Book and SurfacePad from TwelveSouth.

iphone-6-wallet case

For all of its greatness, Apple Pay hasn’t nearly killed the need to take your wallet with you wherever you go. But if you are like me, it has lightened your load a little bit. Instead of carrying around 5 credit cards, I now carry around one each of debit and credit. Combine that with some other de-Costanzifications (scan insurance cards and health club cards for instance) I’ve made recently, I can now consolidate my wallet into a few card slots.

What I’m getting at here is that I can follow the lead of my wife and now consolidate my iPhone and my wallet finally. I’ve chosen two amazing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases from my favorite iPhone case manufacturers to get me there: Pad and Quill’s Little Pocket Book ($60 -$10 off for Black Friday) and Twelve South’s $39 Surfacepad

First up here is the Twelve South Surfacepad for iPhone 6. If you are at all familiar with Twelve South’s lineup, which has been around for 2 years, you know you are getting a top notch hand-crafted cover for the iPhone 6. On the inside you have a soft leather that provides an automatic dust cover/wiper for your iPhone, and on the outside you have quality stitched leather in four color options. I chose white to match the white/silver iPhone 6.

The back is ‘stickied’ onto the iPhone 6 and can be removed and added again a number of times (I am about six add/removes in and it still works great).

I beat the Hell out of my iPhone and these leather cases hold up for many months – perhaps even a year under harsh conditions. This year with the bigger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Twelve South added two slots for credit cards or a driver’s license which is huge. You can double up and maybe fit four cards in the ‘wallet’, but then you are already compromising the tight fit and finish of the case when it is closed.

The downside of the SurfacePad from Twelve South is that it doesn’t provide side impact protection for the iPhone 6. While this keeps the package slim, it kind of eliminates the whole reason to have a case to begin with: protection. You are pretty much naked when dropping the iPhone on its edges here. Sure the back and front are covered, but the edges are where you are more likely to take a hit.

And that brings up my second issue: although I’ve slimmed down my wallet, I do need to carry around a few more cards. That leads us to…

lpb-6_keyphoto_1

iPhone 6 Little PocketBook by Pad and Quill ($10 off today/Monday only). So my card usage is down, but I still need to carry around a license, a credit card and a few miscellaneous cards (and cash!) that blow out the SurfacePad. Not so for the luxurious Little Pocketbook by Pad and Quill. Like all Pad and Quill cases before, this is a serious wow! item with thick leather bound by heavy duty stitching and wood interior.

Like a Bentley or Rolls Royce of iPhone 6/Plus cases, this one is also very large as you can see in the gallery below, but you can pretty much drop this from your roof onto a diamond floor and expect not to see even a scuff. As for the leather, it is much, much thicker than the SurfacePad and will easily outlast your iPhone 6’s usability

Wrap up:

I ended up going with the Little Pocket Book by Pad and Quill after using both for a few weeks. The SurfacePad is awesome and will have many happy users, especially at its $39.99 price tag, pleasant color selection and super-thin profile.

But for me, the Little Pocket Book’s luxury, ruggedness, protection and full wallet utility were easily worth the extra thickness and $70 $60.

And don’t forget you can always get best iPhone 6/Plus wallet cases deal from our iRumors store.

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Pad & Quill’s Messenger Bag and Sleeve feed your leather fetish.

pad & quill, The Messenger Bag, The Sleeve, MacBook, Accessories, Review

Pad & Quill‘s iPad, iPhone, and MacBook cases have been popular with TUAW readers and reviewers alike for years. The Twin Cities-based company recently jumped into the computer bag market with three amazing leather bags: The Satchel (US$309.00), The Field Bag ($329.00), and The Messenger Bag ($369.00). I finally got my hands on a review sample of The Messenger Bag and a companion The Sleeve for MacBook Pro/Air 13($99.99), and here’s my take on both of these high-quality and stylish products.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (Messenger Bag): 14″ x 11.5″ x 4.5″ (35.6 x 26 x 11.4 cm)
  • Dimensions (Sleeve): 13.75″ x 10.25″ x 0.5″ without MacBook (35 x 26 x 1.27 cm)
  • Weight (Messenger Bag): 3 lbs, 3 ounces (1.44 kg)
  • Weight (Sleeve): 13.1 ounces (.37 kg)
  • Bag and Sleeve Materials: full-grain American cowhide leather, twill woven waxed canvas, Parachute grade UV resistant nylon stitching, suede lining, cherry wood logo, aged nickel hardware on bag

Design Highlights

Let’s start with a look at The Sleeve. Owners of 13-inch MacBook Pro or Air laptops who want a bit of fashionable protection for the outside of their devices will want to take a look at this sleeve, which is all leather on one side (except for the cherry wood logo) and a mixture of leather and waxed canvas on the other. The leather half on that other side is actually a large pocket for papers or a magazine. The waxed canvas comes in several colors: charcoal (with “whiskey” leather) or olive (with “dark chocolate” leather). A single bookmark-like closure keeps everything in place, while the orange suede lining is perfect for cradling your favorite laptop.

Now let’s look at the lovely Messenger Bag. It comes in four different finishes, once again matching a color of waxed canvas to a specific leather. Here we have charcoal/whiskey leather, charcoal/dark chocolate leather, navy/dark chocolate leather, and olive/dark chocolate leather as the choices. Our review bag used the navy/dark chocolate combo and it was stunningly beautiful. There’s a large flap that closes over the top and front of the bag, with a leather closure that uses a metal peg inserted through a hole in the leather strap to secure the flap.

On that front surface is a lined pocket for an iPhone. Inside the case you’ll find more storage space than you can shake a stick at. First, there’s a large zippered pocket for an iPad Air or iPad mini — when I say large, I mean that you can have a pretty hefty case on your tablet and it will still fit inside. Next, there are two large interior pockets that are designed to hold things like a MacBook AC adapter or an iPad mini in a really big case. There’s a nice big slot into which your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air can slide, either “naked” or in one of the Sleeves. Finally, there are a pair of loops in which to clip a pen or stylus, and a pocket for business cards.

Pad & Quill partnered with another company to bring a lot of the sewing work to a plant in Leon, Mexico, and I love one of the personal touches that they’ve added. The person who sewed your Messenger Bag (in this case it was Magdalena) signs a leather patch on the inside of the case.

The shoulder strap is adjustable through a belt-like arrangement complete with a nickel-plated buckle, and can be set up either for comfortable carry behind your back or over your shoulder. There’s a big leather pad for cushioning the weight of the bag and its contents on your shoulder. If there’s one little improvement I could suggest, it would be to find a way to “roughen” the pad with a different material or perhaps stitched “bumps” to keep it from sliding off a shoulder.

Functionality Highlights

OK, enough about the good looks of both products and the many pockets in the Messenger Bag — how do they work in real life?

The Sleeve is perfect for fashionable transport of your favorite 13-inch MacBook. The combination of waxed canvas and leather not only looks awesome, but it provides a good secure grip that you don’t get with a naked MacBook. This is beautiful and functional protection for a MacBook.

The Messenger Bag is kind of a minivan for your digital life — you’d be surprised what you can fit into it. I started by placing the MacBook Pro (in the Sleeve) into the pocket, added an iPad mini and an iPad Air (with a keyboard cover), threw in my MacBook Pro charger (installed in a Quirky Curl), dropped my iPhone (in a Mophie case) into the outside pocket, and still had tons of room to spare.

Conclusion

MacBook Pro or MacBook Air owners who are just looking to protect a naked laptop while carrying it to work or school will find the Sleeve to be an affordable luxury. It’s beautiful and offers protection for your Apple investment.

For carrying all of your digital tools, now and for the foreseeable future, you might want to consider investing in the Messenger Bag. Sure, it’s expensive at $369, but the rugged construction is going to make that bag usable for years to come. If you don’t need a larger laptop, you’re going to have the Messenger Bag for a long, long time. Pad & Quill offers a 25-year leather warranty — by the time that warranty’s up, your bag will look like it has been carried on a number of adventures by Indiana Jones, but it will still be functional.

I’m pleased that Pad & Quill chose to expand into the computer sleeve and bag market, as the manufacturer has built a reputation for quality and design with its iPad and iPhone cases that is now obviously carrying over into the new line.

Rating (The Sleeve): 4 out of 4 stars possible

Rating (The Messenger Bag): 4 out of 4 stars possible