Ristretto for iPad woes
After years of using an absolutely perfect Eclipse from 2001 which still looks as good as new, I finally decided to switch to a Ristretto for iPad as I don't carry my laptop around as much anymore.
While the bag is superbly assembled and top quality as you would expect from Tom Bihn, I can't help but think the iPad version is a shrunk-down version of the Ristretto that hasn't been given enough thought. The design doesn't scale well to that small size.
The main issue is that the opening of the main pouch is much smaller than the pouch itself. I can slip in my hand flat open, but if I want to remove my closed hand, say for taking a power brick or a book out of the bag, I have to force my way out, and the seams rub very unpleasantly against the knuckles. This is when wearing the bag, if I'm not wearing the bag and I reach inside, my hand won't even go in at an angle. This might not be a problem on the larger Ristrettos, but on the iPad one it creates more friction than is comfortable. On an everyday bag it's annoying. For the record, I'm size L for gloves, but even my wife with smaller hands noticed the issue to a lesser extent.
Another detail is the O-ring in the front pouch: it is mounted on the right side of the bag. That means that if I carry the bag on my right shoulder, I can't just sling it to the front, pull my keys and open the door like I've been doing for years with the Eclipse. Instead I have to remove the keys from the key strap, and then put them back. I'm curious why this changed.
On the positive side, the Ristretto for iPad does hold a Macbook Air in the main compartment for the occasional day where I need a laptop, and the iPad pouch can hold two full-size iPads easily. And the bag looks really great!
The bag would be awesome without the tight opening, so now I'm wondering if I should start using it in the hope I'll get used to the friction, or return it and try a Cafe bag instead. Anybody here with similar issues?
I have a Ristretto for iPad and have not experienced the problems you described. But I purchased it used on eBay so it may not be the same version -- and I only use it once in awhile, preferring the Synapse 19 for everyday use.
After reading your post, I checked and would agree that, because of the ballistic nylon fabric, there isn't as much "give" in main compartment's opening as there is in my Large Cafe Bag. With the bag facing me, the o-ring in the front pouch is on the left and, wearing it on my right shoulder, I can reach the door lock just fine with my keys attached to a 16-inch key strap.
Sorry I cannot be of help with your woes.
I have not had problems like you describe - however my ristretto is an original design ipad size (plum/wasabi cordura)- I think perhaps yours is the newer style.
BTW ... Is an Eclipse a superceded TB bag - or another brand entirely?