Slappa Hardbody Pro Case Review

by Reads (3,350)

by Kevin O’Brien

Briefcase style notebook cases are nothing new to the market, but those claiming to be fire resistant are few and far between. The Slappa Hardbody Pro is one such bag, that claims fire, water, and shock resistance, which comes at a bargain considering the retail cost is only $129.99. Read on to see how well this bag held up under the rigors of daily use, and the occasional dousing of lighter fluid.


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Features

  • Fire, water and shock resistant xEVA shell
  • Honeycomb frame for maximum shell stabilization
  • 15" or 17" padded laptop storage compartment
  • Stylish ballistics nylon finishing and comfort shoulder strap
  • Dedicated compartments for storing laptop accessories
  • Price: $129.99

Build and Design

The Slappa Hardbody Pro notebook case is a semi-rugged case designed to safely carry your notebook and other accessories inside its protective xEVA shell. The outside shell is very rigid, able to keep it shape under mild or moderate pressure, protecting the contents if something heavier was dropped on it. The outside surface is also quite durable, showing only minor scuffs after being tossed around the office or thrown on gravel before being lit on fire.


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Build quality is top notch with finishing touches inside and out that give the case a very polished look. Inside, not a loose strand of string could be found, and even the areas where straps were riveted on had cloth stickers covering the exposed metal.

Notebook Protection

The Slappa Hardbody Pro protects your notebook from most of the elements, with a safe zippered enclosure inside the briefcase. Gravity is kept at bay with lots of padding, Velcro securing straps, and the rigid external shell that absorbs strong impacts and spreads the force along the exterior instead of directly at the notebook inside. Dust and light water is kept away from the notebook when the compartment is zipped shut. Last but not least, one of nature’s most destructive forces (fire) doesn’t even stand a chance trying to harm the contents when the case is closed.


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When I first read that this case was fire resistant, I wanted to find out to what extent it had been tested. It seemed that Slappa has had previous fire testing done to one of their CD cases on a BBQ, so I wanted to perform a similar test of my own with this case having a notebook inside of it. The test consisted of saturating the top of the case with lighter fluid, and lighting it on fire for one minute. Halfway through the test, we didn’t think it had large enough ball of flames, so we doused it again with more lighter fluid. When it was time to put it out, we splashed it with a single cup of water, and immediately took temperature readings.


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Fire Test Video

 

During the fire, the top surface reached temperatures in excess of 400F, peaking above 500F maxing out my IR gun. After the test had finished, the inside of the notebook case was a cool 60 degrees Fahrenheit, including the reverse side of the panel that was on fire for one minute. The notebook and magazine inside the case were in perfect shape, and no warmer from when they were first dropped in.


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The top surface took most of the burns during the test, with a great deal of charred nylon and pleather. The key thing to notice though is the top surface did not sag, burn through, or melt past the very top layer of material. The only fatal damage it received was a partially melted zipper from where the paper was resting after it went up in flames. With a bit of work with a wire brush, and maybe a pair of scissors to cut off the melted top layer, the case would still be perfectly functional.

Conclusion

The Slappa Hardbody Pro is an affordable rugged notebook case that offers great protection to the contents strapped safely inside. This case held up very well against one full minute of intense fire (with an extra splash of lighter fluid), with only mild charring of the top layer of material. If the zipper didn’t melt from my mistake of placing the burning paper torch, we would have one awesome gnarly briefcase to use on business trips.

Pros

  • Looks awesome before and after fire damage
  • Durable shell doesn’t show wear under normal duty, only seems to attract dirt
  • Non-scratching inside keeps glossy notebooks safe

Cons

  • Zipper is not fire proof

Availability

The Slappa Hardbody Pro is available on the Slappa website.


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