by Gerald Edgecomb
Imagine, one day you are heading out and need to take your notebook, but you don’t want to lug around that behemoth you call a bag. Introducing the Crumpler School Hymn, a notebook sleeve designed for quick, compact protection for your notebook when you don’t need to carry accessories. I use a backpack designed for hiking as my all-purpose bag. It carries my hiking gear on the weekends and my schoolbooks and notebook during the week. Because it is not designed to hold a notebook, I needed some extra padding, and the School Hymn fit the bill. Unfortunately, the School Hymn line only fits Apple portables. However, Crumpler does make a full line of laptop bags that will fit most any laptop.
I bought the School Hymn directly from the Crumpler site. If you have not visited Crumpler’s site, do it, now. While the usability of the site is up for debate, it is fun to play with, and once you find the products, it does give good information. The School Hymn has an MSRP of $49.99USD, which includes ground shipping. The sleeve shipped within 24 hours and was at my doorstep on the fifth day. Crumpler shipped the sleeve in a bag, no cardboard box, no bubble wrap. The packaging was a little lacking, especially considering the price of the sleeve, but it did arrive in perfect condition.
Design and Build
This is where Crumpler excels – design. The School Hymn is attractive and functional. I ordered the black version with grey accents and a lime green lining. The outer shell is synthetic leather while the lining is a soft nylon. Crumpler uses a large zipper for easy opening and closing. In between the outer shell and lining is a thin piece of plastic to make the sleeve more rigid. The School Hymn feels well put together and sturdy, which it should for the price.
After a few weeks of use, I can say the sleeve works well. I love the ability to zip up the sleeve and go. The protection it offers is much better than the simple soft nylon sleeves I had looked at before buying the Crumpler. The School Hymn feels good when I carry it around and it easily fits into my backpack, although for some bags it may be a tighter fit measuring at 15 ” x 10 ” x 2”. I feel safe carrying around my MacBook Pro in the School Hymn, and the outer shell is very easy to grip.
I would highly recommend the School Hymn for anyone who can stomach the expense. It is pricey, but well worth it. It offers more protection than any other notebook sleeve I have seen, and is very well built and stylish to boot.
- Build quality
- Better than average protection for a sleeve
- Only fits MacBook Pro