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Travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

Ristretto for 11

The Ristretto for 11" MacBook Air is great for realizing the dream of a mobile office: work at the coffeehouse, on the light-rail, at the airport, or on the plane. The Ristretto is a vertical messenger bag with an interior, padded compartment sized specifically for your 11" MacBook Air and a few accoutrements (power supply, pens, notebook, wallet, phone, magazine).

(Also available are the Ristretto for 13" MacBook Pro or Air and the Ristretto for iPad.)

Your 11" MacBook Air is protected in the built-in, interior, padded compartment, in the main compartment of the Ristretto. The padded compartment is made with 1/4" (6 mm) open-cell foam laminated with durable 4-ply Taslan on the outside and features an interior of supersoft brushed tricot. The back side of the Ristretto is padded with 1/4" closed-cell foam.

The main, open-top compartment and front, zippered pouch of the Ristretto are covered by an asymmetrical flap that closes with the distinctive TOM BIHN offset buckle.

Under the flap, you'll find a curved, #8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zipper, which secures the front pouch of the Ristretto. Inside this front pouch is an organizer with pockets for pens, iPhone, and passport or wallet. There's also plenty of room inside this pouch for power supply, phone charger, sunglasses.

This front pouch has one O-ring. The main compartment of the Ristretto features three O-rings. Attached to one O-ring is an 8" Key Strap. (Additional and extended-length Key Straps can be purchased separately.) The Key Strap is useful for keeping track of your keys — many folks leave their keys attached to the Key Strap.

The back of the Ristretto has a slanted, open-top pocket ideal for storing papers, a magazine, or a newspaper. An easy-to-grab handle on the top/back is padded with PORON® foam. Included with the Ristretto is a removable waist strap — great for use if you ride your (motor or push) bike while wearing the Ristretto. The waist strap attaches to two of four available points on the back of the Ristretto: you can attach the strap so one end is high and the other low, or both high or both low, whatever is comfortable. We also considered those times you don't plan to use the waist strap; it is easily removable and leaves no hardware behind.

You can choose between two different shoulder straps to use with the Ristretto. The Standard Shoulder Strap is included in the price of the Ristretto. A 1-1/2" wide heavy-nylon-webbing strap, it features a comfortable, wide foam pad that won't slip off your shoulder and is designed to conform to your shoulder and back. For an extra $20.00, you can switch out the Standard Strap for the Absolute Shoulder Strap.

Most people will be satisfied with just one kind of shoulder strap, but, should you choose to do so, you can purchase more than one kind of shoulder strap and switch between them.


Exterior of U.S. made, 1050 denier high tenacity ballistic nylon
Lined with 200 denier Japanese Dyneema®/nylon ultralight ripstop fabric
Padded Compartment: .25" / 6 mm thick foam padding laminated between black 4-ply Taslan and brushed tricot
#8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zipper
PORON® foam padded handle


Made in USA
100% finished seams


Dimensions: 13.25" x 10.5" x 4.75" / 335 x 265 x 120 mm
Padded Compartment for 11" MBA Dimensions: 11.8" x 8.2" x .9" / 300 x 208 x 24 mm
Weight: 1 lb 4 oz / 560 grams

Videos and Customer Photos

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel.

View customer photos on Flickr.

External Reviews

As reviewed by
"I've been using Tom Bihn Ristretto messenger bags for a few years now. When my original was stolen, I promptly bought another. I've used them for everything from going to the local coffee shop to going to Macworld and WWDC. 99% of the time, my Tom Bihn Ristretto goes where I go, because it carries most of the stuff I need to do my job." Read the full review.

As reviewed by Gear Diary:
"Tom Bihn’s updated Ristretto has a lot going for it as well and is really a contender for “best new bag for traveling light”. It holds the laptop or tablet in profile, thereby creating a leaner, meaner bag and, at least in the case of the all-black review sample I have, it looks unassuming and professional. Throw in an amazing assortment of organizational pockets, a wonderful selection of shoulder straps and some great available accessories and you have a bag that is one of the most functional I have ever carried." Read the full review.

Want to read more reviews? Here's our complete list of external bag reviews.

people who have the Ristretto for 11" MacBook Air say:

Review of my new Ristretto
"I'm very happy with my new Ristretto and it really is ideal for those who are determined to carry as little as necessary, but in a structured way. My old favourite bag has only had one outing in the last 2 weeks, and that was because I had 5 books to return to the univerity library. Since there will no doubt be other occasions when I will be required to carry some books in the future, the next TB purchase has already been earmarked, and this will be the ID messenger bag - and man, I'll really have to think about filling those o-rings up as well, so there will no doubt be some more pouches in the box to keep it company on it's journey to Scotland!" — posted by davys

3rd Gen Ristretto versus 1st Gen Ristretto
"Anyway, the G3 is my more-perfect bag. Didn't think I'd like the steel-iberian combo but I do. The new sealed zipper pouch is great. The poron grab handle is a significant upgrade. I like the curved absolute shoulder strap but that's nothing new for most folks. The ballistic nylon is an improvement in that the stiffer structure keeps my little pouches of stuff from tugging the upper lip of the main compartment down." — posted by Hadler

A few hours with my new Ristretto
"I immediately grabbed what I would consider a full load to be on a normal day and packed it up. I had the original-style Ristretto for my original iPad, and I liked it then." — posted by DQBunny

Read more customer reviews posted in our forums.

Post your review in our Forums, on our Facebook page, or email it to us.

Ristretto for 11" MacBook Air

(September 2014) Whoa! The Ristretto for 11" MacBook Air is so popular, it's sold out in all colors. Our Seattle factory crew is hard at work making more but it'll be a little while. Want to be notified when the Ristretto for 11" MacBook Air is once again available for order or backorder? See below. Enter your email below to get notified when this item is available again. Enter your email below to get notified when this item is available again.

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