This product was provided to us for review by Waterfield. Thank you!
In the ever-growing world of Steam Deck accessories, we are starting to see more diverse options arrive in each field. We have seen a lot of options for docks, skins, and cases. Joining the fray into the carrying case field is Waterfield, a San Francisco-based company that has been making backpacks, sleeves, and gaming cases since 1998. Now, they are taking their shot at a Steam Deck carrying case that is not only comfy, but quite stylish.
The CitySlicker Case for the Steam Deck is one of the two Steam Deck specific products that they offer and is by far the better of the two. With a bunch of color options and a gorgeous design, the case feels premium with its materials and overall aesthetic. But how practical is it? And is it worth the $129 price tag? Well let's dive in and find out!
Materials and Build Quality
The case has a couple materials that make up this sleek design. This can be a bit different depending on the color scheme you choose, but six of the eight options offer a mix of leather and nylon. The front lip, which ours is white, is full-grain leather while the rest of the body is made with ballistic nylon. The leather feels smooth and well cut, while the nylon feels sturdy and soft. The inside is soft with special lining to better protect the Steam Deck's screen.
Overall, the quality of this product is fantastic. The materials feel premium and secure. Inside, it is soft and takes special care of the Deck's screen, which is always appreciated. We did notice that with our case, the lip closes a little bit lopsided. One side sticks out slightly more than the other. We assume this is just with our item, but felt it was still noteworthy. Otherwise, I couldn't find any other issues on my end. I feel the build quality definitely shines with this product.
This is a front view. If you can tell, the black part on the right side is more exposed than the right. Doesn't really impede function, but could be a flaw in design for our unit.
As for what this case can carry, it definitely has some extra handy storage space. Opening up the lip, you are immediately greeted with 5 SD card holders that can fit in snugly into their own leather pouches. On the inside, there is what looks to be 3 different layers. The red patch is the soft lining for the Deck's screen, The middle is where the Deck will rest, and behind it is a black pouch that can hold some extra storage. I would recommend putting cables there instead of anything that could take up significantly more space.
The leather lip is able to close and stay securely shut with magnetic buttons. While it can stay shut if the buttons aren't inserted correctly, when they are, it is very strong and didn't open easily from my violent shaking test. The magnetic buttons weren't aligned just by casually opening and closing, so I did need to guide them to insert it correctly. Turn it around to the back and you have another pouch with a zipper, which is where I would recommend putting anything on the bigger side like the power supply or a dock. There are also 5 neat little pockets there specifically for Micro SD cards.
Issues and Recommended Usage
While I do love the feel of the case, there are a few issues I do have with it when it comes to using it on a daily basis. The first is the Steam Deck fitting in there with a hard shell cover. The Deck fits pretty well in the case when there is no case on it, but trying to put the Deck in with my Dbrand Killswitch case on was near impossible. I would say if you will be using this case, don't have a hard shell on your Deck. In this sense, if you have a Valve dock, this would probably fit swimmingly with it.
As you can see, the Steam Deck in the case is pretty snug. Not much extra room for a hard shell cover around it.
I did also notice that after putting in my Deck, the case became a bit harder to close. I did have to stretch the lip to fit over everything, but it wasn't impossible. It did feel harder to close than it should have, but it was still able to close so I am pleased with that. It is worth nothing that there are no specific outlines for the joysticks either, so you can feel and push on them when the case is closed. I don't believe it will be an issue, but it is still there.
I would recommend using this case if you don't have any hard shell cover on your Deck and don't plan to carry more than just the charging brick, associated cables, and maybe a dock. While I can confirm a dock can fit in the back of the case, I tested this with my iVoler dock, it does have a bit more limited space than I would personally want. Fitting the Valve dock will be significantly better as it is smaller, but with bigger docks, you will need to be more conscious about what you put in.
I also would personally splurge for the matching sling strap as carrying cases like these really shine from being able to go around the shoulder. It is an extra $19 and brings the total to $148, which is asking for a lot yes, but if you are going to go all in, I would definitely get this.
It is hard to exactly say if I recommend this case or not and tend to land in the middle. The material quality is great and I love the visual aesthetic, but as someone who carries a bit more and uses a hard shell cover on my Steam Deck, I wouldn't use this carrying case. But if you have a Steam Deck with no cover like a Killswitch on it, and want a great looking case, I think this is a wonderful product to have. For $129, or $148 with the shoulder strap add on I personally prefer), it is a lot to ask for. What you are getting is a stylish and aesthetically pleasing leather bag that is quite secure, but I would say if you get this, you are going more for the visual appeal over best practical use.