Small Cafe Bag... one month review
I've had my small cafe bag for about a month, so I feel comfortable giving an enthusiastic review now.
Since I'm a guy who was buying my first everyday bag (ok, man purse) to hold all my stuff that usually burdens my pockets (cell phone, keys, pen, compact digicam, etc.), I definitely wanted a bag that wouldn't be mistaken for a purse. :-) I spent quite a long time looking at different bags from various sources online, but the Tom Bihn cafe bag seemed like the best combination of style and utility. A short while later, I finally decided on the small cafe bag in Olive/Wasabi and clicked the order button. Next week when the box arrived, I enjoyed the cookie that fell out of the box along with my bag... a nice, quirky touch like that is always appreciated. (mmm...cookie)
As for the bag itself, I was impressed right out of the box at the quality of the stitching and overall workmanship. A small but nice surprise is my small cafe bag's strap. It's constructed a little bit differently than the photos currently available on the product page... The photos depict a adjustment buckle that slides on the length of the strap itself and a small plastic shoulder pad... just like a typical shoulder strap. On my small cafe bag, the shoulder pad is much nicer... it's larger and contoured, with fabric on one side and a grippy, rubbery material on the other. Strap length on mine is adjusted using buckles attached on both sides of the bag, so the "extra" strap ends hang from both sides. I think this makes the bag look quite good. I'm not sure whether it's a recent revision, but I definitely prefer the strap that is on mine. When you're wearing it across your body, you also don't have an adjustment buckle digging into your body and this shoulder pad is quite a bit more pliable and comfortable. I'm perfectly content with this bag, but it you had to press me for any quibbles I would only have one: the zipper jingles a bit when I'm walking. Not necessarily annoying, but you notice it when it's quiet around you.
After a month, the small cafe fits my needs perfectly and it still looks brand new. I can see this bag lasting a long time while still looking smart years from now, so I'm glad that I spent the extra money for a Tom Bihn bag. The best thing is that no one has made fun of my "man purse" at all. Thanks for the great bag and friendly discussion forum...
You'll long get sick of looking at your small cafe bag before the
bag will ever show any significant wear and tear from everyday
use. The workmanship and quality materials means this bag
will last you up to 20 years.
BTW, I just recently retired and now use my small cafe bag as an
everyday carry (EDC) bag, with my Imago now used as a briefcase.
Last edited by PM4HIRE; 11-26-2007 at 02:53 PM.
I laughed at this comment. I face this problem myself all the time. I can't stand all the junk in my pockets but every bag I look at seems too much like a purse to me. In fact, I passed on the cafe bag for that very reason but I'll give it another look after reading your post. Right now my only alternative is cargo shorts and a good belt to keep them on me after filling the pockets.
Originally Posted by PanicKing
PM4HIRE: 2 months of use and still looking brand new...
I think the fact that you're supposed to wear the cafe bag's strap across your body helps keeps it from looking like a purse, as does the strap's big shoulder pad. In the olive cordura fabric, I think it looks very much like a updated version of those gas mask and map bags that soldiers used to carry.
I actually took the my strap's big shoulder pad off. For me, what
keeps the small cafe bag from looking like a woman's purse is the
1 1/2" strap, as opposed to a much narrower strap used on most
I have seen those army surplus map bags, they're a bit crude
and heavy for my taste.
Buy the best and cry once!
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