Reviewing Alkr's Urban Protection Sleeve

Alkr Laptop Sleeve

I keep my MacBook Pro shinier than a baby's bottom. Never do I set my backpack down without taking extra care for my precious laptop. And when my travels brought me to Fiji in December, I needed something special to cover my silver slab of genius through the bumpy rides, sweltering heat, and cyclone weather. May I introduce my Alkr Urban Protection Sleeve; it's Fiji-tested.

The Melon Shock Sleeve

The dudes at Alkr are just like me; they love their technology and love to travel. They pose an interesting question, "Why not put your beloved gadget in something that excites you, much like the gadget itself?" With its cushioned interior and a flamboyant, durable neoprene exterior, it gets the job of protecting and invigorating...done.

The Urban Protection Sleeve offers the following:


Complete notebook protectionPadded at every angle, this sleeve absorbed the shock from multiple bouts of rough transportation, namely the carrier from the coastal highway to the inland valley of Namosi. Namosi means "valley of pain," since the journey to the interior on foot was a difficult one (the journey in the carrier not being that much better). Not only did the sleeve absorb the bone-rattling drive but also kept leaking tuna head juice on the floor from penetrating my laptop. That's some serious protection.

Form-fitting 3mm neoprene construction It certainly was form fitting, and this is one of the two reasons why I had a little difficulty with my sleeve. I have a 15" MacBook Pro, and placing it into the cover was always a tight squeeze, especially when I closed the zipper. I'm guessing it's essential to have the neoprene hug the computer in order to offer optimal protection, but a few millimeters here would have taken the pressure off the zipper and allowed it not to snag.

Heavy-duty zipper with closed-seam construction The closed seam and strong zipper, along with the tension of the tight squeeze, could be why the fabric holding the zipper became thin and unable to handle all the activity. It probably lasted a good month before I couldn't zip it fully anymore, for fear of not being able to take my laptop back out. These days, I simply place my computer in the sleeve and leave it unzipped, which still protects the laptop to a good extent. Sadly, one of the zipper handles also fell off because that which held it in place was bent from the pressure of zipping too strongly.

Cushioned interior with soft fleece lining As I said previously, the cushioning was fantastic, and the soft fleece lining superior. No complaints here!

Compatibility with many laptops The urban protection sleeve can accommodate the 13" MacBook, Air, and Pro, as well as the 15" MacBook Pro and PowerBook. Alkr is a new company, and their product line will grow in the future, possibly accommodating 17" MacBooks.

The Pro/Con Balance

My melon shock sleeve is one tight little case, as the appearance certainly reflects a creative and exciting air. I received my product mere days after the company launched its sales in certain countries, so I assumed I received one from a preliminary litter. Therefore, I was very understanding that it had a fit and zipper issue; it takes a while to perfect the product line. However, I would have preferred to have a fully functional case for my laptop in Fiji and today on my wee intra-state trips.

I didn't pay for this sleeve, but would I purchase my next one? Yes, because my issues with the sleeve's malfunctions would be covered in the warranty and replaced or repaired at no cost to me. I'd rather not go back to something dull and lifeless.


The Real Travel Situations I put my laptop and sleeve in a thin backpack on the floor of the carrier en route to the village. A woman sitting at the front of the bed had recently purchased a frozen fish head that was melting its juices in a stream toward my backpack. I didn't realize what happened until we grabbed the pack and smelt the odor. Thankfully, my laptop didn't smell at all like fish, and the sleeve easily rid itself of the smell in a simple hand wash.

I took at least ten trips on the village carrier, three-hour bumpy rides through rivers, potholes, and hurricane aftermath. My laptop never incurred any damages.

The zippers easily fit together to lock up, keeping unwanted guests from playing games and fiddling with my laptop.

The Bottom Line

Part of the reason why I'm still a fan of Alkr is the person behind it. Juergen found me via twitter after I inquired about laptop cases. His outreach was amazing, and I found him to be a very kind and reliable guy. I'm not interested in doing business with apathetic people, and as I've told many backpackers I've met around the world, I simply love Germans. Win...and win for Alkr.

Next time you consider buying a gadget accessory (a laptop sleeve perhaps), give Alkr a perusal, because if you like any color in your life, you'll be barking up the right tree.

These sleeves are sold in stores in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Netherlands and Switzerland, but they can also be shipped via UPS around the world for a reasonable fee.

Back That Drive Up

It's becoming more and more obvious that my future will revolve around technology: sending writing through the internet, posting digital photography, basically being a human in the 21st century. As far as this techie existence is concerned, nothing is more crippling and sorrowful than seeing your bytes of work vanish by sheer fate and fickleness of hardware. I've had an external hard drive for a year now and swear by it for traveling, if you don't carry a laptop (and maybe even if you do); however, this week, my beloved basket of digital eggs dropped the most important folder for no apparent reason: My Pictures.

Luckily most of my photographs (at least the travel ones I care most about) are backed up on CDs and through, but I still managed to lose most college photos and recent work since I've been home. It's a sad truth but one I swallow humbly for knowing I could have protected myself easily.

So, yesterday I spent some time on Mama and Papa's computers pulling up my photographs and putting them back on my hard drive. I was tickled all sorts of hues to find the most amazing spread of clips I never knew existed.

Important note: If you know me, know friends of mine, or have ever been in the same geographic vicinity as I at the same time, chances are my Mom unknowingly has blackmail of you.

I'd rather not display the greatest ones as not to muddy the good name of people I know, but here's a lower-key awesome one that makes me proud to be an Apache.

Moral of this post: You's a fine little blogger once you BACK THAT DRIVE UP.