MacBooks are fairly robust as laptops go, but thin aluminum panels are far from indestructible. Neoprene slip-cases and fancy leather man-bags are fine, but when it comes to protecting my main computer during travel and the harsh trials of life, a second skin is simply not enough.
Pelican cases are waterproof, crush-proof, and the best high-end value for protecting sensitive gear. They are typically heavy and bulky, but two smaller models are suitable for use with the Retina Macbook Pro, and I’ve tried both of them.
The Pelican 1490 is a briefcase-style case with room for a power adapter and extras. The 1490CC1 variation has a rubberized tray at the bottom instead of the pluck foam. A more compact case, the 1085 does not have room for much other than the Macbook itself, but for a crush-proof case that can possibly fit inside a messenger bag or backpack, it’s the only real contender. The larger 1095 is recommended for 15″ laptops, but with the minor modifications below, the 1085 fits the Macbook Pro with Retina Display very well, albeit with slightly reduced padding.
Here’s more detail: