Photos and Performance
So the way 1Up keyboards works with their sleeves is you can pick from the sleeves available on their website and anything listed other than the custom order options is available to ship right away. You can also contact them directly and order any of the sizes as well as custom sized in any of the materials available on THIS page. For our testing I am testing out a sleeve designed for the Vortex Pok3r, their third 60% keyboard. I seriously considered the ErgoDox sleeves but my Pok3r gets dragged to and from every event that we go too and it desperately needs the protection.
So before we jump into everything I do want to point out that this is a keyboard sleeve, not a motherboard with 1000 features we need to run though so I’ve combined our photos and features section with the performance section to keep things simple. So the Pok3r sleeve is 5.75 inches by 14 inches. This when read two dimensionally seems a lot bigger than the keyboard it needs to fit. But the Pok3r is 11.6” x 4.01” x 1.5” so the extra width and height give the sleeve room for the thickness of the Pok3r, especially a Pok3r with tall SA profile keycaps. The outside material is made from PVC coated polyester and feels a lot like canvas but a little lighter weight.
The sleeve does have a drawstring opening at the end so you can secure your keyboard inside. The drawstring is made of black paracord and they use a basic plastic clip to keep things tight. The cord is run through a stitched buttonhole rather than a cut for additional durability. Seriously they did a great job on all of the stitching, it’s hard to get a good photo of it but everything is perfectly straight and on point. When really the sleeve is only made of a few materials sewn together it’s very important that its done well.
I love that inside the opening they have a 1UP Keyboards tag inside. It’s a small touch but it looks great to have a little branding, especially with that kickass logo. Plus, I’m sure having small tags with the logo made is no small thing for custom made sleeves.
Inside the sleeve they have put a black fleece coating for that soft touch without dropping weird fibers onto your keyboard. It is just as soft and fuzzy as the photo below implies!
So I busted out our Pok3r, tossed the 1UP keycap on it next to our last LanOC event keycap, and checked out how well it fit in the sleeve. For starters I was a little concerned that the tall (and expensive) KeyKollectiv paw keycap might give us issues due to its height but it wasn’t an issue at all. The Pok3r slide right into the sleeve and even sliding it in I could feel how soft the fleece inside was. The sleeve still had a little extra room but fit the keyboard well.
To keep the keyboard in and to lower the chance of dust, dirt, and water getting in the sleeve has its drawstring on the opening. I gave it a hard pull and it closed up enough that I knew my keyboard wouldn’t be able to come out. The opening wasn’t completely covered so keep that in mind. You can’t run off and toss your keyboard in a lake or anything. If I pulled harder I might be able to get it to bunch up better but while the outside material is more flexible than canvas it is still a little stiff and this does keep it from bunching up a little. I sat trying to think of a better solution, a zipper would work but could scratch things up so that’s a no go. I think a Velcro flap would be perfect though and would add additional protection. Maybe it could be something 1Up Keyboards could consider as an upsell item on custom orders, I know I would be interested.
The sleeve is made of a PVC-coated polyester. The material feels a lot like a standard canvas to the touch. Like Canvas the PVC coated polyester is spill proof but it handles it a little differently than canvas. The way canvas works is it absorbs water then the fibers swell and prevent the water from getting through. This works great for a tent but for a keyboard bag it doesn’t work well at all, who would want to carry around a soaked bag. The polyester with a PVC coating completely resists the water. In fact as you can see below from when I tested by pouring water on the 1UP Keyboard sleeve the water actually just beads up and runs right off. It’s completely un natural, a little freaky, and exactly what I want to happen to any bag or in this case sleeve that has my expensive components in it.
Sadly in my testing I didn’t really have the chance to take the sleeve to any LANs. But I did spend a little to much time in the office taking my keyboard in and out and also tossing it in my LAN bag. For one I have no doubt that the construction is going to hold up to anything you throw at it. But more importantly I felt like it did a good job of keeping my expensive keyboard safe, somewhat water proof, and the padding is going to prevent it from getting banged up. Honestly it’s a little on the excessive side, but I’ve seen a lot of people boxing up their monitors and other hardware into the original shipping boxes to go to LANs, this is simpler and most likely more protective. Plus for some reason something bad happens, like to this keyboard enthusiast on Reddit, you are going to be happy its one less thing you have to worry about.