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  • 2 Post By Ms. Ferret
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Thread: Small Cafe Bag in 420d Parapack

  1. #1
    Registered User Ms. Ferret's Avatar
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    Small Cafe Bag in 420d Parapack

    I just picked up YET ANOTHER Small Cafe Bag, because I am overly excited about the new Parapack exterior fabric/Dyneema interior fabric offerings. It has replaced my Azalea Cordura SCB as my EDC for a week or so, and may now be my favorite Cafe Bag.

    I got the Olive Parapack/Wasabi Dyneema combination, which is just as stunning a combo in Parapack/Dyneema as it was in Cordura. The Parapack is lovely, but the Wasabi Dyneema interior is the real hero -- bright linings are always good, and Dyneema makes everything even better IMO. I'm hard on my Cafe Bags so I'm curious to see how the new materials hold up to constant jostling, rain, and bus-commuter grime.

    I was probably the only person who actually liked the stiff straps on the Cafe Bags, because they were better at holding the shoulder pads in place than the old soft straps (on my old Cafe Bags with soft straps, the shoulder pads always work themselves off my shoulder and slide down to the very bottom of the strap by the end of my commute). So I was a little worried about the return to the soft material.

    However, the NEW soft strap somehow manages to hold the shoulder pad in place all day -- no sliding whatsoever. And the pliable material makes it much easier to pack the SCB into another bag for traveling. So I will have to admit that I actually like the new strap better than EITHER of the old ones.

    Kudos to Tom Bihn for making an old favorite even better. Now make more (bright!!!) colors!

  2. #2
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    How do you like the Parapack texture vs. the Cordura in the Small Cafe Bag? I'm curious since I am another owner of the Azalea Small Cafe bag (obviously in Cordura). I do agree that the Olive Parapack is really attractive in person (despite the fact that I'm not really an Olive fan) -- much more than the photos indicate. And the Olive/Wasabi combination has always been attractive.

    I agree that I do like the new strap, too. But, oh, I miss the bright color options of the Cordura.

  3. #3
    Registered User Ms. Ferret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    How do you like the Parapack texture vs. the Cordura in the Small Cafe Bag? I'm curious since I am another owner of the Azalea Small Cafe bag (obviously in Cordura). I do agree that the Olive Parapack is really attractive in person (despite the fact that I'm not really an Olive fan) -- much more than the photos indicate. And the Olive/Wasabi combination has always been attractive.

    I agree that I do like the new strap, too. But, oh, I miss the bright color options of the Cordura.
    It's definitely slicker than the Cordura (more like Dyneema), but that doesn't bother me. It also doesn't seem to be bad with pet hair (futile since _I_ am always covered in pet hair, but whatever). +1 for the bright colors, obviously -- my non-Olive Cafe Bags are all Punch or Azalea!

  4. #4
    Registered User Gumby's Avatar
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    I recently acquired a small cafe bag in (Parapack) steel/iberian. I really like the Parapack material. I was afraid the color would be dull, but it really has a nice sheen to it. All of my other bags have some flavor of Dyneema exterior, so it's nice to have one solid-color bag. And I love the fact that the Parapack doesn't accumulate pet hair! Of course, now I can't decide which bag to use when I leave the house each day. Synapse 19? Co-pilot? Small Cafe Bag? Side Effect? I love them all -- tough to choose...
    Synapse 19, Co-Pilot, Side Effect, Small Cafe Bag, Western Flyer, Tri-Star, Travel Tray, Passport Pouch, Small Organizer Wallet (this is the little guy that started it all...), several Shop Bags and Organizer Pouches. More to come, I'm sure...

  5. #5
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    Pictures, please! The MCB in Olive 420d/Wasabi and the SCB in Steel 420d/Iberian are exactly what I am eyeing . My current MCB is cocoa/wasabi and current SCB is linen/olive.

  6. #6
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    I too would love to see some photos of the SCB in parapack. I've been contemplating on steel/iberian or black/solar, for days when I'm just running out and need the basics like phone, wallet, sunglasses, and keys. I LOVE my Co-Pilot but sometimes it's just too much.

  7. #7
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    The Small Cafe Bag is the best minimalist EDC, ever.

    I have used the Large Cafe Bag, the Swift or even the Packing Cube Backpack as EDC.

    During a particularly hot summer, I realized that the Small Cafe Bag was just right to hold the essentials for grocery shopping.
    Because of the stores bad habit of turning on Artic air during the hottest days, I always need a cardigan to prevent chills and a waterproof shell to avoid getting soaked.

    So the Packing Cube Backpack, then, after getting the Field Journal Notebook, the Synapse 19 (for commuting, tasks or errands which require space for documents and the first class organization of this bag) or the Large Shop Bag (for grocery, single mall or outlet shopping, especially during sales) are paired with the Small Cafe Bag.

    The first day I took out my Synapse 19 was a really hot day, which turned rainy so the sun hat was replaced by a waterproof shell in a hurry, then into a fierce thunderstorm forcing me to abandon my exposed bus stop for a nearby department store.


    The Synapse 19 and Small Cafe Bag are the perfect sightseeing pairs (in tourist traps, it is best to add a Passport Pouch as an extra "foundation garment" for important stuff) and keep a cheap plastic wallet in one's pocket with a few coins within reach.


    It would be lovely if Parapack was offered in purple, especially with UV lining, just sayin ...
    Last edited by backpack; 01-14-2014 at 09:52 AM.
    maverick and WenV like this.

  8. #8
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    My son and I just got matching parapack cafe bags: his is small, mine large. Both great bags and I really like the fabric. Been packing mine up and very pleased what I can hold.

    His SCB works great and he was thrilled to also get his first wallet in there Now I just need to get a clip to hold the strap better. He's a little short still and we had to adjust the strap, shortening it and doubling up the strap 2/3rds of the way around...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless View Post
    My son and I just got matching parapack cafe bags: his is small, mine large. Both great bags and I really like the fabric. Been packing mine up and very pleased what I can hold.

    His SCB works great and he was thrilled to also get his first wallet in there Now I just need to get a clip to hold the strap better. He's a little short still and we had to adjust the strap, shortening it and doubling up the strap 2/3rds of the way around...
    I would suggest Strappez in black, the color blends with the strap's, it is made of secure velcro, strong enough to withstand everyday use by computer people.
    Strapeez - Unruly cables are no match for these handy straps - TOM BIHN

  10. #10
    Registered User
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    I have been using mine daily for the past few weeks and love it! The top photo is a more accurate representation of the navy parapack.

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  11. #11
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    I ended up preordering the SCB in steel parapack/iberian and was prepared to wait until April but surprisingly I got it last week. I have to say it is amazingly lightweight even loaded up with stuff. I love the shoulder strap but in a bag this small and light I would prefer no shoulder pad at all....width of the strap is sufficient enough (for me) to distribute the weight comfortably. When I first started using the bag I thought it was a bit too tall but the more I carry it, I'm not bothered by that at all as it allows room for gloves or sunglasses on top. I have lightened my load and carry only my essentials now and I love it, literally it carries light as a feather compared to my fully stocked Co-Pilot in dyneema, which is exactly what I was going for. Of course dyneema is just as light as parapack but I wanted a solid color choice this time around.


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