I needed a bag for my iPad where I could carry other stuff in addition to it. The Rickshaw bag hits the spot. It holds the iPad plus a water bottle, paperbacks (yes, I still read some paper books), file folders and other stuff.
I wouldn't recommend putting a 'naked' iPad in the bag. It has a pocket but no padding.
I add the 'deluxe' pocket to hold things like pens and change to stop them from rolling around the bottom of the bag.
I also added the buckles, not that they're needed, but I liked the idea of being able to use them to hold a yoga mat rather than me having to carry it.
I chose the waterproof material for both inside and out.
While I initially bought the bag for my iPad, it's become my go to bag as it has the right combination of size and carrying capacity.
Over the last month, the iPad Messenger has proved to be the perfect bag for daily use. I'm a teacher, and I was looking for a bag I could wear to work and around town. The Performance Tweed is awesome and looks even better in person than it does online. The build quality of this bag is outstanding. The stitching is the best I've seen--better even than on my Timbuk2 custom bags. Most bags are too large, and I end up carrying around things I don't really need. This bag holds my iPad, an external keyboard, an 18 ounce water bottle, a small coffee thermos, several books, pens, cards, and chargers for my iPad and iPhone. I added the waterproof liner, which has already served me well through several downpours, and I added the Deluxe Drop Pocket, which has also been excellent--without the pocket I would've had a harder time organizing the bag. In all, an excellent bag.
Two improvements, a very small increase in the size (width) of the iPad pocket to enable an easier fit when the iPad is in a case such as from Treegloo. Another would be the option to have the shoulder strap on swivels at both ends so there is less tangle in the strap. Otherwise probably (actually it is) the best bag I have ever owned.
Another hit, in their "messenger" line, from Rickshaw (I love their messengers but haven't "bonded" with any of their backpack/laptop bags).
My favorite feature of this bag is its minimal 1 lb weight. Too many other bags are too heavy even when empty. 1 lb to carry your e-device of choice is just right.
Mind you this isn't a voluminous messenger bag. A lot of us are spoiled by the seemingly endless capacity of messenger bags. This isn't one of those. This is slim, and doesn't "fatten out" towards the bottom. It is perfect for carrying a netbook or iPad plus print outs/magazines/a book or two. If you don't add an accessory pouch (a cheap option) there is no place to store small junk, unless you don't mind it rattling around in the bottom of the bag. This bag is nothing more than an iPad/netbook sized slot in the front, unpadded, plus a 3 ring binder sized main compartment behind that. There are no extra slots or pouches built in, unless you count the pen sized slots on each end of the iPad slot which will hold a single stick pen each.
Here are the pluses and minuses:
+ iPad in new or 2nd gen editions will fit inside the front slot, nice fit, not too snug or loose.
+ You can even put your iPad in a Rickshaw slip case and it will still fit. I recommend the version that loads from the side, so you don't have to pull out the Rickshaw slip case to access your iPad. The Rickshaw slip case converts the unpadded slot into a padded slot.
+ With an accessory pouch added, I have all the "small stuff" storage space I need.
+ The main slot is narrow and won't hold a conventional round water bottle well (maybe a very narrow one; I know a small Trader Joe's water bottle will fit). But it will hold a Platypus plastic film one pint water bottle fine. NOT is you are stowing magazines or other full length, fat items in the slot - which you will probably want to do soon.
+ No external end pouches means the bag has some of the cleanest lines out there. Lack of buckles, straps, reflectors adds to the "clean" look. I like this a lot.
+ The iPad slot is wide enough to accept a slim 10.1" netbook, provided you don't have a case on the netbook. This is pretty cool because sometimes I need a key board or access to programs (like Flash) that don't work on an iPad. Putting the netbook in the front slot keeps it from flopping around in the main compartment, and protects the ports and case from scratches/junk.
+ The main compartment is slightly wider than the iPad slot and as a result you can fit a 10.1" netbook with the typical snug neoprene cover in there with ease, or an uncovered 11.6" netbook. I don't have an 11.6" MacBook Air to try, but I suspect it will fit as well since if anything it is slimmer than a Windows netbook.
+ If you aren't using full sized materials in the main compartment (like a lot of magazines) there is plenty of room for sunglasses, power supplies, reading glasses, snack bars, etc.
+ The "profile" of the bag is NOT messenger style - it's rectangular, not trapezoidal, in shape, and a uniform thickness from top to bottom. Imagine, if you will, an updated small attache, minimalist, that fits snugly on your back and carries easily due to the thin cross body strap and modest external dimensions of the sack itself.
1. You won't be bringing home any grocery shopping in this bag. It can hold a Subway sized sandwich for lunch, a bananan, reasonable amounts of personal items, and a SMALL water bottle, but that's it.
2. NOT a gym bag.
3. It could be mistaken for a purse (due to the lack of fat buckles and thick shoulder strap and heavy chrome seat belt buckle on the front to scream "guys messenger bag" to the world). In appropriate colors and materials, it can substitute for a purse, which is a positive for approximately 50% of the population. If you are a guy and go all black on your material choices, you won't have any problems though (assuming this bothers you at all).
In summary, if you like an iPad because it is a hell of a lot lighter than lugging around a 17" or 15.6" laptop, this is your solution.
Most glaring omission: where to stow your cellphone. I would like to see a slot on one end - not a water bottle pouch, just a Google Galaxy Nexus sized (future iPhone 5 sized) slim slot that can fit a cellphone. I have not problem stowing my phone in the main compartment, because I don't use the phone to communicate much, but if you are constantly on and off the phone, you won't like having to fish in the main compartment for it.
What a beautiful and efficient way to make sure your iPad and other gear is always near! Comfortable, stylish, well-organized. When my daughter saw mine she was impressed and struck by a pang of envy. "I should get one of those as a birthday present--for me!" The deluxe drop pocket and smartphone case are two extras that make it a perfectly-appointed life organizer. And I probably should try the strap pad too, because my only complaint is that the shoulder strap is made of a slick polymer and slides around too much on my shoulder (though that won't be a problem when wearing fall and winter clothing). Kudos to Rickshaw for their faith in human power and American workers.