I believe handheld gaming offers a level of flexibility, ownership and familiarity that console gaming cannot provide. I can take my Nintendo Switch to work, to the laundromat, or to the local botanical center (as seen in these review photos). The ability to carry it around wherever I go makes it feel like an extension of me more than any home console or even my laptop ever could. Given the cost and portable nature of current handheld consoles, a high-quality protective case is almost a non-negotiable purchase.
I will be reviewing the CitySlicker case for the Nintendo Switch OLED model, made by Waterfield. Specifically, this case is the “Switch OLED in Skull Case (#5)” size, as it was designed to fit a Switch in a Skull & Co. gripcase (another necessary purchase with any Nintendo Switch!). My history with Waterfield goes back about a decade, when I purchased a CitySlicker case for my 3DS XL. I was so impressed with it that I decided to pick up a CitySlicker for my OLED Playstation Vita. Over the past year, I have picked up a CitySlicker for my second Vita (Waterfield released a limited run of them), and now this CitySlicker for my Switch OLED.
Looks and Quality
Aesthetics is where Waterfield knocks it out of the park. Everything they make is of the highest quality, the materials are always premium, and the craftsmanship is second to none. The moment you hold this case, you know you have something special. That quality comes at a price that is more premium than a case you might pick up at your local department store, but with a $300+ console investment, and considering some of us hang on to our gaming systems for years and years, the investment is absolutely worth it.
I can’t help but think that Waterfield is targeting a specific demographic with their gaming cases. Some people really like the Nintendo brand case, with the logo displayed prominently, and perhaps even a graphic of Mario or Link on the front. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but there are many of us who want a case that doesn’t scream “Hey, I’m holding a video game!” when we carry it around. That’s one of the biggest selling points for the CitySlicker case. It just looks like a small messenger bag, or a small utility pouch. My other CitySlickers (for my 3DS and Vitas) are small enough to look like they might be checkbook cases, and I absolutely love that. Nobody knows what I’m carrying around!
On the topic of looks, Waterfield offers MANY options for size and material colors. You can get a case designed to hold a plain Switch, as well as one in a gripcase. You can get waxed canvas or black canvas. You can get white leather, chocolate leather, grizzly leather, black leather, blue leather, or crimson leather. My other cases are all black canvas with black or grizzly (light brown) leather, but I chose the waxed canvas with chocolate leather for this particular case, and it is absolutely gorgeous. My cases of 10+ years have actually become more comfortable to carry as they have aged, and I expect this one will follow suit.
On the back of every CitySlicker case, you will find a black mesh pouch that spans the entire rear surface and is VERY stretchy. This pocket can hold many things – in it, I’ve seen people store their usb cables, cases for extra cartridges, earbuds, joy-cons (though I wouldn’t feel good laying the case down on them), or anything you might need to take with you. I’ve seen people store their keys and cell phones in there, and the Switch CitySlicker really is big enough for that. My house keys and iPhone 13 Pro Max fit in the mesh pouch with no trouble. If you are planning a long trip and need to bring your charging cable, it will not fit in this case.
Under the Hood
The large leather flap on the front is secured by two magnet snaps, which was a pleasant surprise as my 3DS and Vita cases use standard snaps that require a little pressure to close. I think this is a smart design choice by Waterfield, as the magnets securely stay in place, keeping the contents of case in place without requiring you to push on the front of the Switch. The pressure needed to close standard snaps might have damaged the joy-con sticks, so again, the magnets were a great choice.
As you lift the large leather flap, you find room for five Nintendo Switch cartridges stitched into the horizontal leather strip. The leather holds the cartridges in place firmly, while allowing you to see what games you are storing, and easily remove them by sliding you finger up from underneath them. It is a standard design from Waterfield because it works, and it looks really nice, particularly the chocolate leather.
As much as I love the looks of this case, it would serve little purpose if the case didn’t keep the Nintendo Switch safe and secure. That should matter more than the aesthetics of any case, and CitySlicker cases hold their ground beautifully when it comes to protecting your investment. The case’s interior is comprised of a soft, padded plush cloth with serves to keep your Switch from getting scratched and provides a fair amount of shock protection. I wouldn’t feel good if I dropped this case from 20 feet, but for your daily bangs and bumps, this case will hold up just fine and provide the peace of mind that you expect from a quality case. The interior front has a red microfiber patch stitched into it which serves to further add padding in front of Nintendo Switch screen, as well as providing protection against scratches.
The interior of the case contains two stitched-in compartments – one from the red microfiber patch, and one on the opposite side, which sits on the backside of the Switch, between the gripcase grips. These pouches provide more storage, albeit small storage, for anything else you might want to bring along. I always keep the microfiber compartment empty and I keep my earbuds in the opposite compartment, though either compartment would work well for an extra cartridge case, or maybe cash or cards.
This case functions beautifully, and it does so with class and elegance. It keeps your Switch protected without advertising what you are carrying. The storage space is functional for trips around town, or maybe a weekend trip. The charging cable doesn’t fit, which might be a turn-off for some consumers, but I suspect the majority of us don’t need that function in a travel case. It carries five cartridges which again is sufficient for most of us. Between five extra cartridges and the mountain of digital titles I have on my Switch, I’m all set.
As stated earlier, I have the “Switch OLED in Skull Case (#5)” size, and am using my Switch in a Skull & Co. gripcase with the trigger grips on it. I tried this case with my Plus Grips and my Snap Grips, and all three worked with this case. The Plus Grips were a tad snug, but if those are the grips you like, this case works just fine.
The Skull & Co. gripcase with Trigger Grips and my CitySlicker have become my combination of choice for comfort in playing and protection, function, and looks in storage. I honestly don’t know that there’s a better combination out there.