Review: Nomad: Leather Sleeve for MacBook 16” – A stylish Sleeve that will protect your laptop for years to come

Protection from life’s little scuffs and bumps

The story of the evolution of Nomad is an intriguing and inspiring one. This start-up business launched in 2012 via a Kickstarter campaign and has enjoyed continued success ever since. With an ever-evolving range of tech product accessories, Nomad intends to be at the forefront of this niche for years to come.

A short backstory

If you have read my recent review of the Twelve South Curve Flex Desktop Stand, you will appreciate how much I cherish my Macbook Pro and covet any product that promotes a harmonious relationship between me and my hardware. So, imagine the shock I had when recently my beloved laptop crashed to the floor (on more than one occasion!) due to my own carelessness. My whole life flashed before my eyes as the fear of losing the contents of my MacBook became a reality for a few moments at least. Luckily, I had the foresight of encasing my laptop in a hard plastic shell which thankfully bore the brunt of the impacts.

So, I believe it was quite serendipitous that it became my pleasure to review the Nomad MacBook Leather Sleeve.


Being a graphic designer, it is my nature to scrutinise the form and function of things. So I was keen to free the Sleeve from the copious layers of packaging which (to me) felt a bit OTT and slightly ironic as Nomad are keen to promote their sustainability credentials on their website. However, the unmistakable waft of leather grew stronger as I liberated the sleeve from the micro-fibre outer sleeve which was inside a box which was inside yet another card sleeve which itself was inside the postage envelope!

I was finally rewarded

The Nomad MacBook Leather Sleeve is a very tactile product. It looks, feels and indeed smells like a quality product. My leather sleeve is black in colour but it also comes in a choice of Rustic Brown, Deep Grey and English Tan. It is available in sizes suitable for 13” and 16” Macbooks. For Vegans or those who prefer non-animal-derived products, the Sleeves are also available in a Soft-touch Performance Polymer which is imbued with exceptional physical properties including abrasion resistance, flexibility, and water resistance.

The main body of the sleeve has a Compression Moulded EVA interior which is a similar material to what yoga blocks are made of. This high-density EVA shell benefits from great shock absorption (if the unthinkable (or in my case inevitable) should happen!)

Upon closer examination though, I was very impressed with the build quality of my sleeve. The two faces of the sleeve butt up together perfectly and the reinforced stitching is perfect, the outer edges of the sleeve are smooth and it has a slim profile which is moulded to ensconce my MacBook perfectly. The topmost couple of inches of the right edge is cleverly indented to allow easier access to the USB-C charging ports and headphone socket.

The sleeve is kept shut with the use of a strong magnetic closure strip along the top edge of the sleeve. This will ensure the laptop won’t fall out even if it’s held upside down. Personally, I feel the top edge of the sleeve could benefit from some kind of extra indication that this is where you open it from. Having said that, the Nomad logo is blind-embossed and subtly located at the bottom of the sleeve which does give an indication of where the opening is, however, this isn’t immediately noticeable.

Beauty is partly skin deep

For those who prefer the properties of an all-natural finish, they can rest assured that the leather is sourced from Horween Leather, a reputable Chicago based business with a rich heritage of producing traditional, fine-quality leather for over a hundred years.

As you may already know, one of the unique properties of leather is that it will naturally age and develop a unique patina over time. As with most leather products, it may benefit from occasional maintenance with leather conditioner especially if it is subjected to prolonged exposure to heat and light.

What do I really think?

I really do like this sleeve for my MacBook and I have every confidence that it will give me the peace of mind of knowing that my laptop has added protection against potential knocks and drops.

While I do endeavour to write thorough reviews, on this occasion, I must say that I’m reluctant to put the Nomad MacBook Sleeve’s impact-absorption capabilities to test with my own MacBook!

Personally speaking though, I rarely have the need to take my laptop outdoors which is when I feel the sleeve would come into its own. My MacBook is always in its hard plastic shell which is incidentally showing signs of wear & tear. I fear that my plastic shell won’t age as well as the Nomad Sleeve. Sadly, the Nomad Sleeve won’t accommodate my MacBook encased within the plastic shell. If Nomad were to produce a MacBook clam-shell style case in which I could house my Macbook on a more permanent basis with access to the charging ports, vent openings, magnetic closure and awesome build quality that has now become quintessential to the Nomad brand, I believe they would have a fantastic product that would be hard to beat.

To find out more about the Nomad MacBook Sleeve, check it out on their website here.

Or you can find some of their products on Amazon:

About Author
Chetan is a London-based designer by profession. He is passionate about the role design plays in everyday life whether it's graphic, digital, fashion, product or environmental design. Motivated by aesthetic design, function and the User Experience of emerging and new technologies, products and platforms, he is ever keen to learn, discover and innovate. Although he doesn't consider himself a nerd or a geek, he is a big movie fan and lists Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Shawshank Redemption and… Brewsters Millions among his favourites! Chetan is also an aspiring author and is currently working on his first novel.