It’s no secret that I love the designs of Apple products. The anodized aluminum look and feel are perhaps my favorite things about my iPhone, iPad Pro, and MacBook, especially when so many other companies on the market tend to lean towards lower-end materials that just don’t look as sleek. For this reason I’ve never been a huge fan of putting cases on my devices, often sacrificing the long-term condition of them in favor of using the design that Apple intended everyone to use when it designed the products.
With my latest trio of Apple products, however, I’ve decided to take a new approach in protecting them. I’ve been keeping my iPhone 6s Plus, 12-inch MacBook, and iPad Pro in handmade leather sleeves from Joli. Based in Holland, Joli Originals is an independent company that imports leather from Italy and performs the entire production process from start to finish. Sleeves for each device are available in a trio of waxed leather colors with the wool on the inside available in additional colors, as well. How good of a job do they do at protecting your devices? Read on…
Using sleeves as opposed to cases offers a different form of protection. Cases are designed to protect your devices at all times, while sleeves are largely used to protect your devices when they are not in use. With this in mind, I’ve been placing my MacBook, iPad Pro, and iPhone 6s Plus in Joli’s leather sleeves whenever I’m not using them and especially when I’m transporting them from home to school, home to coffee shops, and more.
The high-quality feel of the Joli sleeves starts before you even get to the sleeves themselves. The sleeves came wrapped like a holiday present almost and each one was accompanied by a handwritten note saying, “handmade for Chance.” The level of personalization throughout the process is an incredibly nice touch.
The design of the Joli sleeves are truly beautiful. I got the same grey color leather with red wool lining on the inside for all three devices and the colors go together nearly perfectly. You can see the stitching lines on the leather around the sides and bottom edges of the front and back of the sleeves, while the each side is lined with red trim. The sleeves are free from branding aside from a from subtle cursive Joli embezzlement in the lower right corner of the iPad Pro and MacBook sleeves and upper-center on the iPhone 6s Plus sleeve. You can really tell that a lot of effort went into the designing and production of each sleeve.
In terms of durability, all three sleeves have held up well so far. The iPad Pro sleeve, which I’ve likely used and abused the most, has a few marks on it here and there, but they’re nothing that at all detract from the overall appearance of the sleeve.
Joli’s sleeves are designed to fit tight at the beginning and slightly loosen up as time progresses. Joli says that it does this to prevent the sleeves from becoming so loose that your device falls out after you’ve used it for a while. At first, it’s definitely a tight squeeze to fit the devices into their sleeves, but over time they’ve gradually loosened and it has become easy to remove and insert the devices.
The iPad Pro Sleeve
It goes without saying that the iPad Pro is a massive device. With its 12.9-inch display, it’s big enough on its own that putting any sort of case on it for extended periods of time makes it almost too big to use. This is the primary reason that I wanted to use Joli’s leather sleeve. I’ve tried putting my iPad Pro in Logitech’s CREATE case and Apple’s own Smart Case, both of which seriously detract from the design and portability of the device. Joli’s sleeve, however, is a different story.
Joli makes three versions of its leather sleeve for iPad Pro. One for the naked iPad Pro, one for the iPad Pro paired with a Smart Cover, and one for the iPad Pro paired with a Smart Keyboard. Making one that is compatible with the Smart Keyboard is a really smart move on the company’s part as to not force users to choose between the sleeve and the added productivity that the keyboard provides.
Using the Joli leather sleeve with my iPad Pro allows me to preserve the slim and sleek design of the iPad Pro, while also keeping it protected during travel and transport. Obviously the sleeve doesn’t do much good when you’re actually using the device, but that’s the point. When I’m using the iPad Pro, I want the slimmest and most lightweight feel possible, which is naked and case-less.
The MacBook Sleeve
Yesterday I wrote about how the 12-inch MacBook is the device that really gives me hope for Apple’s future during a time when many have been skeptical of the company’s design choices. With that in mind, it’d be a crime to cover up the beautiful and ultra-thin build of the device with an unattractive third-party case. For this reason, I’ve really enjoyed using the Joli leather sleeve to protect my MacBook taking it too and from classes. I simply slide the MacBook into the sleeve and put it into my backpack, and vice versa when it’s time to use the device.
The MacBook fits into the sleeve like a glove. The gray and red color combination of the sleeve really goes perfectly with the space gray color of the MacBook, as well. The gray of the sleeve is slightly darker than the space gray MacBook and it’s a nice contrasting setup.
The iPhone Sleeve
On my iPhone, I generally use the official Apple leather case because it provides enough protection while not comprising too much of the iPhone 6s Plus design. When I’m going to be in adverse conditions, I throw on the LifeProof Fre case. With the Joli sleeve, however, you have to use the iPhone naked and without a case.
In my usage, the iPhone 6s sleeve seems to be the least practical out of the three Joli sleeves I received. I simply take my iPhone in and out my pocket and backpack too many times for it to be realistic to slide it in and out a sleeve each time. However, when traveling or going extended periods of time without using my iPhone, the Joli sleeve provides a great way to protect all aspects of the device. In day-to-day use, though, it’s not practical.
I will say, however, that the Italian leather that Joli uses for its sleeves is a much higher quality than the “leather” Apple uses for its official cases. Joli’s sleeves make Apple’s cases feel like $5 toy products.
Overall, I’m incredibly pleased with the Joli Original leather sleeves for iPad Pro and MacBook. The Joli sleeves offer a beautiful way to protect your beloved Apple products without having to compromise the design during actual use. It’s a shame that so many people cover their Apple devices with hideous aftermarket cases and Joli sleeves really do prevent you from ever having to do that.
The iPhone sleeve is less practical in day-to-day use, but for travel and transport, it’s still a great way to ensure your iPhone remains just as pristine as the day you got it.
Joli’s iPhone, iPad Pro, and MacBook sleeves can be found on its website. The iPhone 6s Plus sleeve costs €57.85 ($73.75 USD), the iPad Pro sleeve runs €90.08 ($99.24 USD), and the MacBook sleeve will cost you €81.82 ($90.14 USD). If you’re looking to gift a Joli sleeve this holiday season, you have until December 18th to place an order from Europe, Canada, and the United States and until December 14th from Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
While I reviewed Joli’s “Smooth collection,” the company offers a “Textured collection” and “Limited collection,” as well.
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These look great but I can not imagine they provide much protection at all. For an iPhone that’s fine because it’s small and it’s built to be sturdy and drop proof…MBP and iPad Pro — not so much. They need real protection, especially if you’re going to be lugging them around in a backpack \ bag.
“Joli’s sleeves are designed to fit tight at the beginning and slightly loosen up as time progresses. Joli says that it does this to prevent the sleeves from becoming so loose that your device falls out after you’ve used it for a while.” — If they pre-stretched their leather, that would not be a problem.
I’m a Joli user, and I’m using the sleeves for my iPad Air 1 (3 years), IPhone 6 (2 years) and MacBook Pro Retina 15″(1year).
What is written in the article, I can completely agree. The leather is aging wonderfully good, the least favourite and used is the iPhone one. It is making it very bulky and the usage of the device is to high, so have to constantly take it out out of the sleeve. Only using it for special occasions (business meetings, restaurant visits,…)
The iPad and MacBook sleeves are an all different story, and use them on a daily basis.
Getting a lot of positive feedback during meetings.
Their packaging is super, and every time you’ll get a hand written note, never the same message. They respond real quick your questions, even during weekends (they are only working with 2 for as far as I know)
There’s a sleeve that’s much better than these on Amazon for $13.99 with rave reviews. I bought one recently and it’s incredible. Search for OMOTON Wallet Sleeve Case for Macbook Air.
And really? I left this comment 22 hours ago? Seems more like 22 seconds ago, actually.
A tech site with a broken commenting section. Errrr….. You might want to get that fixed.
It looks like Pad & Quill was late in their promotional gear this season.
“sleeves are largely used to protect your devices when they are not in use”
I get the use of sleeves for an iPad and iMac, but a phone in my eyes is something that’s always in an active standby mode and you could get an emergency call from someone. Short of protection when flying (and it’d be fine in a pocket anyway), I’m not sure I see much use for a sleeve on a phone.
I have a hardgraft felt sleeve for my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. As I don’t use a case, I find the naked phone can easily slip out of your pocket. I keep the sleeve in my pocket at all times, and just pull the phone out when I need to use it. Again, the sleeve remains in the pocket, so it doesn’t take much time to grab the phone. Although it’s personal preference – I try and avoid the use of a case to cover up the devices, but still want to protect them.
Great article, Chance. Any findings on color fastness? Will the red bleed? Will the black?
I stopped using Booq products because it turned my white cables and even papers red from the interior.
I now only use Tumi, who have a strict policy on this, but Joli’s products look really cool, and I would like to try them.
I discovered Joli several years ago and I recently bought my third sleeve: I started with the one for the iPad Air, tried it for the iPhone 6 and loved it even more (I actually bought the case before the iPhone itself, because they came out with a gorgeous blue limited edition and I was afraid they would sell out too fast). The one for the MacBook Pro took a while to loosen up and it was kind of hard to push the computer in completely, but it is perfect after 2 months! The quality of the three cases is simply outstanding, and yes they do age beautifully. Considering Apple’s trend for “simmer and lighter” I was looking for an elegant case that would not make my devices bulky, and I found it. It is true, having to slide the phone in and out of the sleeve every 5 seconds is not super convenient, but I find it helps me restrain myself and avoid looking at it when I don’t really need to (which is good, considering the battery life of the 6…). It is sad to see how many people actually match Apple’s design products with poor-quality, ugly accessories (no comment on Apple’s new official battery case, so disappointed). In my opinion these sleeves are the perfect companion for iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. The only drawback with respect to most MacBook cases is that there is no way to carry the charger along, but I like the tradeoff: whenever I am out for long periods, I put both the Mac (in the case) and the charger in my backpack, which I usually need to carry other stuff anyway. I was a bit sad when I saw the review here, because I would like Joli to remain a niche manufacturer, but they really deserve some promotion.