Let me tell you why I love my Large Cafe Bag
1. The size is perfect for what I want to put in it. Today I took it to the park, and it carried a letter-size Circa notebook, a paperback book on baby sign language, the new Stampin' Up! catalog (which is roughly letter-size and a half inch thick), my personal items in a medium organizer pouch, my fold-up floppy sun hat, my wallet, my phone, some pens, 2 Baggu shopping bags, and 2 snack bars. It held everything comfortably. Last night I took it to the movies and instead of books, I stuffed a sweater in it.
2. The colors is very attractive. I'm partial to a lined bag, and the Navy/Wasabi combination rocks. The Wasabi inside makes it easy to find things that fall to the bottom, and Navy is an attractive neutral-seeming blue that doesn't call attention to itself but still has a little pep.
3. The design is minimal but functional. My phone and pens and snack bars have pockets inside. My Baggus hang out in the zippered compartment in the front. I slide random things into the open pocket in the back and then sort them out when I return home from my adventures.
4. It's comfortable to carry. I took off the sliding pad on the shoulder strap, but even without it the bag was easy to carry cross-shoulder when loaded.
5. It doesn't have a rigid shape, so it can conform to the things I stuff into it. Today it was slim because it carried books but yesterday it was rounder because a soft sweater was taking up most of the inside space.
6. The offset buckle makes it possible to slide your hand under the flap and fish out something small without unbuckling - which is nice if you just need your wallet or keys or a pen.
7. The flap is long enough to fully cover the opening if you are in a hurry and don't refasten the buckle right away. This happens to me frequently at the checkout in stores. I open my bag, take out my wallet, do the transaction, then stuff my wallet and receipt back into the bag and walk away. (I then straighten things up a few steps away from the register so that I don't hold up the people behind me. I also review the receipt to make sure I paid what I expected to.)
I think a Medium and a Small Cafe Bag will be future purchases. I can see how smaller versions of the same basic style would work well on days when I don't need as much carrying capacity. I would be thrilled if TB offered a set, one of each size in a particular color combination, perhaps with some organizer pouches bundled in.
A deeper XL Cafe Bag would make a good short-trip diaper bag (hint, hint). We were gifted a "manly" diaper bag of roughly the same height and width as the Large, but it's about 5" deep. It packs a surprising amount of stuff and is light to carry since diapers and most other baby items are bulky but not heavy.
Thanks, Tom, for another great design!