The Best Sleeves for MacBook Pro in 2021

You may be tempted to tote your MacBook Pro around without any protective covering to show off Apple’s flagship laptop.

But in reality, it’s a bit impractical and risky to do so. You want to protect your MacBook from wear and tear, which is hard to do when it’s constantly exposed to the items inside your bag.

A MacBook sleeve is the perfect solution. Most are extremely slim, so they don’t create bulk or weigh down your bag. They may also act as a shock resistance. 

While they provide protection by creating a layer between your laptop and the rest of the world, they’re also great for short term storage situations that come in a variety of styles.

In this buying guide, we’ll help you pick the best sleeve for your MacBook Pro and show you some of our favorites. We’ll also share some tips and tricks that hopefully you’ll find helpful to make the best use of a MacBook sleeve.

Quick Summary

  • The Thule Gauntlet 3.0 Sleeve is ideal if you want to protect your 13-inch MacBook Pro all day but don’t want to commit to a heavy or bulky case.
  • The Lacdo Laptop Sleeve offers a sleek design for that it will provide minimal protection but also includes features such as a deep pocket that you’ll find useful.
  • The Incase Sling Sleeve Deluxe 13″ (or City Brief 15″) is the traveler’s friend, converting into a sling whenever you like and providing space to carry all the accessories you need for the day.
  • Using the 12″ MacBook? Be sure to grab Mosiso Lycra Water Repellent Sleeve, a great modern yet elegant professional designed laptop sleeve only for MacBook 12-inch with Retina Display. Also worth checking out MOSISO Laptop Sleeve Bag.
  • For a sleek look and adequate laptop protection, the Leather & Wool Sleeve from Woolnut is worth exploring.

Who Should Get This?

You should definitely get a MacBook Pro sleeve if you frequently commute with your laptop. In addition to providing a stylistic touch, a sleeve will protect your Mac from taking too much daily wear and tear.

Sleeves are also practical for those who want to store their laptops short term (for example, at night) but do not want to risk scratches, dust, or other elements.

They are only impractical for those of you who are already using a bulky case since most products won’t fit around the large protective models. However, thin form-fitting or decorative cases will fit inside most sleeves.

The Best Sleeve for MacBook Pro: Our Picks for 2021

Please note that the following recommended items are chosen based on our criteria as mentioned above, plus our personal preferences. They are, however, not intended to be ranked in the current order.

1. Thule Gauntlet 3.0 13″ MacBook Pro Retina Sleeve


If you’re looking for something that offers a considerable degree of protection, the Thule Gauntlet in an excellent choice.

Available in a variety of colors, the rigid outer casing will help prevent your Mac laptop from suffering any accidental dents or scratches during travel and movement. It opens like a clamshell so you can keep your MacBook inside the protective case and still be able to use it.

Pros:

  • Sturdy design will protect your Mac from moderately risky scenarios, and it’s available in multiple colors.
  • The uncommon clamshell design is useful for protecting your MacBook Pro even when you use it.

Cons:

  • The inner lining appears to be bright yellow no matter what color you choose for the outer shell.

2. Lacdo Laptop Sleeve Case for MacBook Pro


Are you looking for something simple but clean and efficient?

This item from Lacdo looks professional while also provides basic features such as an additional pocket for accessory storage and a water repellent outer fabric, so you don’t worry about traveling while its raining or if your water bottle leaks in your bag.

This item is also available in five different sizes (from 11-inch to 15.6-inch) to fit your MacBook.

Pros:

  • Water repellent fabric is great for those who are never quite sure what to expect on a daily basis.
  • A deep front pocket can store accessories or other electronics, and it is slim for transport and storage.

Cons:

  • It’s a bit thin thus won’t be able to reduce damage from drops or other risky accidents.

3. Incase Sling Sleeve Deluxe 13-inch (or City Brief 15-inch)


Do you travel light? With this item, you can convert it into a cross-body sling for easy transport wherever you go.

The multiple pockets means you can also carry along MacBook essentials as well as a few personal items. It’s also padded to keep your MacBook as safe as possible at all times. It is truly the traveler’s friend.

Pros:

  • Convertible style gives you a choice of transport while remaining relatively slim.
  • Fairly protective while also providing plenty of space to store accessories and padded to keep your MacBook as safe as possible.

Cons:

  • Bulkier than other sleeves if you plan to keep your Mac laptop inside the sleeve and inside another larger bag you normally use to carry your daily things.

4. MOSISO Neoprene Water Repellent Sleeve for 12-Inch MacBook Only


If you have the newest MacBook in the smallest size, you need a sleeve that will fit it properly — don’t settle for one made for the older 13″ models! This one from Mosiso is water repellent to keep your Mac safe and has a classic foam lining for protection against bumps and scratches.

Pros:

  • Slim design adds very little bulk to your Mac and even comes with an additionally padded storage pouch.
  • Available in several colors and additional sizes to fit every MacBook.
  • Water repellent material keeps your Mac safe from coffee spills.

Cons:

  • Although generally durable, this product won’t help your Mac stand up to drops.

5. MOSISO Laptop Sleeve Bag 

This sleeve from MOSISO is one of the top options because it comes in a number of sizes to match your MacBook Pro perfectly. 

On top of that, you have a variety of colors to choose from for a customized look. It’s made with water repellent polyester and has a zipper opening to fully protect your laptop. 

You can also take advantage of a front pocket to store other small items. 

Pros:

  • Slim design effectively protects your computer without adding much bulk.
  • Padded and water-resistant materials increase the protective capabilities.

Cons:

  • Zipper tabs on the front pocket can make it slightly tricky to slip into a computer bag. 

6. Woolnut Leather & Wool Sleeve Case Cover 

For a sleek look and adequate laptop protection, the Leather & Wool Sleeve from Woolnut is worth exploring. 

It’s made from high-quality full-grain Scandinavian leather on the outside with a wool felt inner layer that offers a durable and lasting way to keep your computer safe. 

It also looks great, and a minimalist design combined with its classic appeal is hard to beat.

Pros:

  • Side fitting design offers quick charging ability while still in the sleeve.
  • Very durable and long-lasting protection – almost like a coat for your computer. 

Cons: 

  • Only compatible with 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air 

7. PLANTERO Leather Laptop Sleeve 

Are you looking for a stylish accessory for your MacBook that also offers excellent protection and convenience? 

The Leather Laptop Sleeve by PLANTERO is worth trying, if so, as it gives you a unique leather look that is very strong and durable as well. It has a throwback look of a quality leather journal that’s perfect for creative pursuits, and the built-in front pockets allow you to carry any tools or accessories. 

Pros:

  • Very durable cow leather provides lasting protection you can rely on. 
  • Front pocket is perfect for storing smaller items. 

Cons:

  • The closing tab can wear out and break over time.
  • Only compatible with 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

8. Amazon Basics 13 Inch Felt MacBook Sleeve 

For a simple and affordable option, the Amazon Basics Felt sleeve is the way to go. It features a main compartment that will fit a 13-inch MacBook Pro and has two back pockets to utilize for smaller items. 

A high-quality felt exterior helps prevent external damage, while a softer suede interior keeps scratches and knicks from occurring. The Velcro closure works well but can start to lose effectiveness after heavy use.

Pros:

  • One of the most affordable sleeves around that still offers good protection.
  • Two back pockets have plenty of room for additional items and large enough to fit a small tablet.

Cons:

  • Velcro closing tab can lose effectiveness over time. 

9. Tomtoc Slim Laptop Sleeve 

This sleeve has a unique and custom look that is great for anyone who wants to add a little bit of style to their setup. 

It has an ultra-slim design that you can use to slip into a larger carrying bag or bring around on its own. Leather and felt exterior give the sleeve a classy and professional look while providing plenty of protection. 

Two compartments allow you to carry your laptop and all the essential accessories as well.

Pros:

  • Stylish look that doesn’t compromise when it comes to protective properties.
  • Has a custom side slid for easy charging while still in the sleeve.

Cons:

  • The top flap edges can start to crease over time if you use a larger carrying bag. 

10. Plemo Laptop Sleeve 

This all-leather sleeve from Plemo is another practical and stylish option. 

It’s also made of durable PU leather that offers water-resistant properties to keep your computer well-protected, even in a little bit of rain. The inside of the sleeve is built with a fleece fabric that limits scratching and provides a level of bump and shock protection as well. 

The velcro fastener keeps everything in place and effectively holds up over time. 

Pros:

  • Water-resistant properties made possible by PU leather are a nice touch.
  • Slim profile makes it easy to slip into a larger carrying bag.

Cons:

  • Only compatible with 13-inch MacBooks

Additional Tips

A sleeve isn’t the only way you can protect your MacBook Pro from damage. While we normally think of cases and similar products as made for smartphones, there are comparable products for MacBooks as well that can help keep your laptop safe from damage.

For example, a combination of any of the following will help prevent any tragedies from befalling your Mac:

If you ride a bike or walk to work, you know the commute can be rough. This writer offers a few tips on how he carries his MacBook and keeps it safe despite biking regularly. This video may also give you some insights on how to properly carry around your MacBook Pro with the lid open.

Also, keeping your Mac safe isn’t just something you do for the physical machine though. Make sure to keep the hardware in top shape by following the tips from this SecureMac article.

Last but not least, before you put your MacBook into a sleeve always make sure you’ve shut down the Mac (instead of just folding it). This is important because closing the lid usually takes a Mac to sleep mode but certain apps could still run out wild, causing your Mac to warm up quick.

If the machine is in a case where venting heat is a challenge, your MacBook may overheat and be damaged. Take a look at this discussion for more.

Buying a MacBook Sleeve: What to Consider in 2021?

Size

While a sleeve can be a bit flexible in size and most have a bit of wiggle room that will accommodate MacBooks with cases, you should always make sure to check the dimensions of the product you want before you buy.

After all, it’s no fun to think you’ve purchased an item for your 13″ Mac only to find you’ve actually ordered the 15″ version.

Style

This is, of course, a matter of personal preference for the most part. But you should consider what materials and features you’re looking for in a sleeve before making any purchases.

For example, some items include pockets while others boast protective foam or smooth leather. Consider if you have any specific needs (such as a place to hold a wireless mouse) before settling on any one style.

Protection

While a sleeve shouldn’t be your only method of protecting your laptop, it can provide a fair bit of support against scratches, jostle, and minor drops. If you aren’t rough on your laptops, you may be more comfortable with a thinner or more stylistic sleeve.

However, if you’re accident prone, you may feel more comfortable considering models with more of a frame and support system to them.

FAQ

Do I Need A Sleeve For MacBook Pro?

If you plan to carry your MBP often as you commute and that you do not have a proper laptop bag, it is best that you use a sleeve to prevent risking scratches and dents.

Are Laptop Sleeves Worth It?

Yes, it is always worth to get a sleeve or case to prevent damaging your expensive MacBook. 

Final Words

A sleeve is one of the most universally practical accessories for your MacBook. It provides light protection without adding bulk, and can even include extra features that make your life simpler like accessory storage.

Do you currently use a sleeve with your MacBook Pro? Let us know and explain why or why not!

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