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Waterfield Designs Cityslicker Max Nintendo Switch Case Review

By Allyson Canary on September 14, 2019 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

Waterfield Designs Cityslicker Max Nintendo Switch Case Review

After the success of Waterfield Design’s Cityslicker case for the Nintendo Switch, they’ve added a new size to their lineup. Their new Cityslicker Max case is designed to fit the Nintendo Switch console with an attached grip case.

Specifications

  • MSRP: $84
  • Dimensions: 10.75 (L) x 5 (H) x 2.0 (W) inches
  • Weight: 11.2 oz./ 0.7 lbs
  • Full-grain cowhide leather flap
  • Ballistic nylon body
  • Rear power mesh pocket
  • Soft liner
  • YKK locking zippers
  • Available in Blue, Black, Chocolate, Crimson, or Grizzly Leather

I first heard of Waterfield Designs after the Nintendo Switch was revealed. The company had released several surveys building off of one another asking customers what types of features would be most beneficial for their particular use case of their Nintendo Switch console. It was impressive that a company not only asked for opinions but truly listened to the responses. As a result, they designed and released a few different Nintendo Switch cases.

One of those cases was the sleek Cityslicker case. A couple of years later, the Cityslicker case has been released in an additional “max” size. Specifically updated to fit various grip cases similar in sizing to the Skull & Co. version attached to the Nintendo Switch, the new Cityslicker Max is a beast.

My Background with Accessories

I have loved accessorizing my Nintendo Switch. I’ve changed out the joy-con and pro controller shells to make my controllers feel more personal and customized. My Nintendo Switch has traveled in six different cases to date -- I’ve changed around what works best for me based on where it needs to fit and what accessories I need to bring along. I’ve carried various game storage cases, chargers, and adapters. These accessories have provided a way to keep my Nintendo Switch feeling new and fresh, and I enjoy trying new things to find what is truly the best of the best.

In fact, looking for new accessories was how I stumbled upon grip cases. After playing my Nintendo Switch with my first grip case attached, I was hooked on the concept of grip cases. The grip helped to make my Nintendo Switch feel more comfortable in my hands and allowed me to play longer than I typically would due to the lack of hand cramping. I’ve used a few grips now, but have struggled with finding a good case that worked well for me and allowed the grip case to remain on the Nintendo Switch as it was being stored.

I had my eye on the original Cityslicker case for quite some time. When Waterfield Designs posted that they would be releasing a version of the case designed to fit a grip case equipped Nintendo Switch, it had me wondering, could this be the best travel case yet?

Sizing

Upon first receiving the Cityslicker Max, the size was immediately noticeable. This case is hefty, which admittedly at first was a turn off. I had previously been using a different slim pouch-like case that somehow barely fit my Nintendo Switch along with its grip case. The problem, though, was that the joysticks on the joy-con were inadvertently getting moved around and I feared damage could occur. This other slim case was a fraction of the size of the Cityslicker Max. However, using such a slim case also meant that I would often find myself needing to carry an additional pouch to hold whatever accessories I felt like bringing along with my console.

The Cityslicker Max was designed to hold additional accessories along with your Nintendo Switch console. With this in mind, the larger size of the case makes more sense. It is not meant to be a slim case but rather hold the extra items you may need. After using the Cityslicker Max, it became evident that the larger, more protective case was worth the additional size as I no longer feared damage to the console from toting it along with me. I was also able to eliminate having to carry that extra pouch for accessories, which is always a plus.

Skull & Co. Grip Case with largest grip size

The Skull & Co. grip case, the specific grip case that the Cityslicker Max was designed to hold, is unique in that the actual grips can be swapped out. Three different grip depths are provided with the grip case and you’re able to determine which feels best for you. Due to this, Waterfield Designs added enough depth in the main compartment of the Cityslicker Max to fit the largest Skull & Co. grip size, though it is a tight fit. If using a slimmer grip option or even a different brand of grip case altogether, there will be a bit of extra room near the back of the Cityslicker Max. However, it feels minimal and the Switch still sits comfortably in the case without feeling loose.

While the Cityslicker Max is able to hold several brands of grip cases, it is important to note that the Satsifye grip will be too wide to fit. At present, I am using the YOOWA Dockable Grip Case, which fits perfectly. Again, the Cityslicker Max was designed around the Skull & Co. grip case which does not add much additional length to the Nintendo Switch, so any grip case of similar sizing should fit nicely.

Design

The attention to detail is honestly incredible. The sides of the case are structured and rigid to prevent the Switch’s joy-con from getting crushed. The leather flap on the front features two magnets for a magnetic closure. This helps to prevent any pressure being placed on the Switch or its joy-con that a snap closure would have created. Getting the magnets close to each other triggers a partial closure, but you will need to make sure the magnets are aligned to completely close the case. This can be difficult to do if the flap is misaligned which was a bit frustrating at first, but over time it became easier to close on the first try.

Once the front flap is opened, five game slots are revealed at the base. There are individual cutouts for each of the five slots that were designed to remove the game cartridges with ease. However, I found that this design actually fixed one of the major problems that I had with the majority of the other cases I have owned. Those other cases had game storage slots as well, but usually when the cartridge was slid into the slot, all that was visible was the top of the cartridge that reads “Nintendo Switch”. There was no way to differentiate which game was in each spot. With these cutouts on the Cityslicker Max case, it shows just enough of the center of the cartridge to recognize the game title. It’s a small change that saves time that would have been spent searching for the specific game you were hoping to play.

On the bottom of the case, there is a pull tab meant to help take the Nintendo Switch out of the main compartment with ease. Grabbing onto the tab helps to keep the Cityslicker Max in place while simultaneously removing the console. This small feature that Waterfield Designs added that ended up being quite useful.

Storage

YOOWA Dockable Grip Case on the Nintendo Switch

This case features a few different options for storing your extra, smaller items. Once opened, there is a pocket in the back. This pocket is deep enough to hold spare joy-con and even a Hori 24 game card holder.

Up close, inside the case

In the front, there is a very slim red pocket for your less bulky items such as a microfiber cloth, USB-C cable or a Tile Bluetooth tracking device. Additionally, the red pocket is lined with microsuede so that your Nintendo Switch’s screen can actually be cleaned as it is inserted and removed from the case. The microsuede pocket, while a minor detail, felt like such a thoughtful design choice, making it one of the many features that had me so impressed with this case.

On the back, there is a mesh, zippered compartment which nicely features YKK locking zippers. A problem I’ve faced in previous other cases I’ve owned has been the zipper getting caught or coming apart. The zipper on the Cityslicker Max instead is smooth and stays in place no matter where on the track I stopped unzipping it. The compartment is actually a bit deceiving in terms of what it can hold as the fabric is able to stretch to fit bit bulkier items. In fact, I was even able to place a thick power bank in the compartment, though day-to-day I carry a game cartridge holder and a Genki Bluetooth audio adapter.

As an extra note, be aware of the size of any items being stored in the main compartment pockets. The main compartment is not completely closed in -- the flap actually sits slightly above the rest of the case leaving a bit of a gap where small items could potentially escape. Any smaller items would be safer if placed in the zippered back compartment.

Quality

Waterfield Designs handmakes each of their products which personally was one of the selling points of the brand itself. With a good number of handmade products, the pride and passion behind the creation of the item is evident in its quality, and this case is no exception. Waterfield Designs chose premium materials such as leather, ballistic nylon and YKK zippers to ensure that their case would last their consumers for years to come. The case appears mature and looks professional, unlike most of the Switch cases on the market. As someone who brings their Nintendo Switch to and from work, it doesn’t stand out as a game console. Instead, it blends in as if it fits at the office.

Customization

Waterfield Designs offers a few different color choices for the Cityslicker Max. There are solid colors available such as the blue, black and crimson. Additionally, chocolate and grizzly are offered. These two options are the “better with age” options, where scratches, oil and scuffs only add to the aged look of the leather. I’ve found that the blue flap color, the option I chose, does scratch. Unfortunately with the colored options, the scratches don’t seem to belong as well as the more natural chocolate and grizzly choices. The scratches makes sense due to the fact that the flap is leather material which historically will scratch, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind when choosing which color option makes sense for you.

Offered at an additional cost are add-on accessories. A 1” adjustable heavy-duty shoulder strap, 3/8” non-adjustable -- and rather long on my 5’9” frame -- leather shoulder strap, 3/8” leather wrist strap in brown or black and a couple different carabiners are all available as accessory options for the Cityslicker family. Since the case is a bit larger, I found that personally, a strap or carabiner was necessary to be able to quickly grab and secure the case while carrying it around.

After receiving the case and realizing how much it was capable of holding, I wondered if the Cityslicker Max would be able to double as a bag to carry my everyday items. Sure enough, I was able to fit my phone and slim card wallet within the case with room to spare. When wearing the Cityslicker Max with the ?” leather shoulder strap attached, it didn’t appear as if it was even a gaming case and didn’t feel out of place. This felt like a major score, as it helped to narrow down some of the bulk since I don’t necessarily need to throw it in a larger bag to have everything I need.

Weight

The Cityslicker Max is a very comfortable weight to carry around. By itself, the case weighs 0.7 lbs or 11.2 oz. Of course, depending on what accessories are added to the case the weight can increase quickly. The Cityslicker Max has enough weight to where it feels like there is substance to it but not too much that it is uncomfortable to hold or carry. It’s a completely reasonable weight to throw in another bag for travel or carry on its own.

Final Thoughts

After all of that, we come down to the final question --  is the Cityslicker Max worth the price? If you’re looking for a quality premium case, absolutely. Prior to receiving this case, I wasn’t sure if I would feel that the value was there especially with so many cheaper cases available on the market. However, after consistent use, I’m now planning to check out additional Waterfield Designs items. With the quality materials used, the attention to customer desires and concerns and the many choices made by Waterfield Designs to thoroughly protect the Nintendo Switch, the Cityslicker Max is worth every dollar.

Is it for everyone, though? I don’t believe so. There are plenty of cases on the market that are more around the $20-30 price point that can carry and protect the Nintendo Switch just fine. However, if you’re looking for a mature yet functional case to fit your Nintendo Switch with an attached grip case, I highly recommend checking out the Cityslicker Max.

Pros

  • Doesn’t look like a typical gaming case- appears more professional and mature
  • Easily store and view five game cartridges
  • Several color options
  • Deliberate protective design
  • Great amount of storage for accessories
  • Ability to view game cartridge title through storage cutout

Cons

  • Much higher in price than most cases on the market
  • A shoulder strap, carabiner or wrist strap are additional costs

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.