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Thread: SCB vs. MCB - my experience

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    SCB vs. MCB - my experience

    I have an all-Dyneema SCB and an all-Cordura MCB. I started off with the SCB and it was my daily bag for two weeks straight, holding wallet, pens, keys, ID. The O-rings (or are they D-rings?) are a huge plus for me. I am a person who misplaces keys often, and though I already had my keys on a leather strap with a hook, my previous bags didn't have O-rings. I did not think it could get any better, and I really liked the way I can grab the base of the SCB and hold it against me in crowds for security.

    I decided to try a Cordura MCB because I figured the additional heft would be useful in a larger bag. The Dyneema crumples fairly easily, which is what I want in a small bag (actually in most bags). My first few days with the MCB, I thought I had made a mistake, as my usual contents bounced around a little and I had a lot of empty space at the top of the bag.

    Well, it turns out that the MCB showed its true strength as I began accumulating items as the day went by today and the weather changed. In went some cards, a small paperback book, and then a scarf. An extra pouch found its way in with some electronic cords. There still is room to spare. I can just about grab the base of the bag, quite easily if I tighten up the strap.

    To summarize, if you are thinking about these bags, each one has its own uses. I can now see why people collect all sizes of the cafe bags. I am holding off on an LCB because it just looks like too much bag for me, but you never know. Plus I am very intrigued by the fact that a take-out pizza can fit in the LCB!

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    Thanks for the review I currently own a LCB which is a nice bag, but just too big for my specific needs. I’ve decided to get a MCB and was just curious what your opinions are of the dyneema fabric for a café bag. I have several other bag in dyneema which I really like, but was just curious if you felt the café bag would have enough structure in dyneema or be too “floppy”.

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    I really appreciate your comments as well. I had ordered a MCB which arrived two days ago, but my daughter has claimed it. I am very much of a minimalist with regard to my EDC and carry the SE for this purpose. There are obviously times when the SE is lacking. Now, as I face another Cafe Bag order, I have been wondering about the smaller version. I did use the MCB yesterday just to try it out. My, it carries a lot of stuff! But, I too was a little put off by all the unused space at the top of the bag. I'll give it some more thought.....before I decide.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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    @Gostanford
    Thanks for the sharing, it's technically "enabling" all those on the fence about getting different sized Cafe bags lol
    Including me >.<"

    I got a MCB for my mum, she was using a leather monstrosity that weighed more than the stuff she put in. I was considering a SCB, am especially stoked about the all Parapack options. Then I found out about the return of Storm Cordura.

    Just to let rest of you guys know, I've emailed the folks at TB, they've confirmed the Storm options are in stock! And the new bags are all lined with Parapack!

    So my dilemma, I'm considering an MCB instead of SCB as Storm is only available for the MCB and LCB right now, and @Gostanford just posted the equivalent of "get both!" Lol

    Not to mention that very interesting fact that a LCB can fit a take-out pizza... Really?!
    That just made me want a snack....

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryLee View Post
    was just curious if you felt the café bag would have enough structure in dyneema or be too “floppy”.
    Keep in mind I am a relative novice with TB bags - however! I am a big fan of Dyneema for the SCB because I toss my bag in the car, on shelves, have to carry other large totes with gym or sports gear. The Dyneema is light as can be and has lots of give, plus it seems to repel dust and lint very nicely. In contrast, my Cordura MCB picked up enough sweater lint today that it needed a conscious brushing off. I suspect that Cordura or Parapack could be better for MCB/LCB to help them hold their structure, but even my MCB collapses in on itself a bit. I see lots of photos in the Flickr stream in which the MCB/LCB look rigid. They must be packed quite full.

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    I am very much of a minimalist with regard to my EDC and carry the SE for this purpose....I did use the MCB yesterday just to try it out. My, it carries a lot of stuff! But, I too was a little put off by all the unused space at the top of the bag.
    Yes, it took me most of this week to get more used to the space, and it was only today that the extra space really came in handy. If you tend towards minimalism, I would suggest based on my limited experience that the SCB is a great place to start. I do have a SE and I find it very useful for quick walks and errands, but as a daily purse, I like the SCB.

    Quote Originally Posted by icebeng View Post
    @Gostanford
    Thanks for the sharing, it's technically "enabling" all those on the fence about getting different sized Cafe bags lol
    Including me >.<"....
    Not to mention that very interesting fact that a LCB can fit a take-out pizza... Really?!
    That just made me want a snack....
    Me?? Enabling? All I can say is that these TB bags are a wonderful guilty pleasure - I'm delighted if my experience is useful to anybody out there. I distinctly remember another thread in which pizza was mentioned - maybe one of the moderators or superusers will find it. While I'm finally appreciating the different uses of the SCB/MCB, and I'm lucky enough to have both, if I had to choose one, I would choose SCB over MCB (depending on materials and colors available). Just talk to me the next time I order pizza!

    A couple of additional thoughts - some of the other threads about CB vs. CB mention that the LCB can carry documents in a folder. I haven't tried to put a file folder in the MCB but I don't think a standard file folder will fit easily even when vertical unless you are OK bending it a little. I also saw that paper mockups were mentioned - this could be very helpful, or at least taking a tape measure out and laying out your daily carry items to see if they will fit.

    Despite putting my paperback book into the MCB when needed today, I really want to have a field journal-like book cover that I can use to protect my books from errant keys and other sharp objects.
    Last edited by GoStanford; 05-03-2014 at 12:04 AM. Reason: new info

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    There's definitely something to be said for having the right-sized bag for the job! My workday PLO is a Side Effect, because it can hold just the essentials/valuables I want to keep with me at all times (phone, wallet, keys) - bigger and less-used items go in the S19 which is my other EDC.

    However for my shopping trip in town today, I took my MCB. It has plenty of space for everything that I normally carry in the SE, plus a compact brolly, a couple of shopping bags that scrunch up into tiny pouches and a medium yarn sack - I travel into town by bus, so I like to have something to occupy myself. Even with all that, there was still room for a couple of small purchases before I needed to break out the shopping bags!

    Still, it's a bit large for when I'm not shopping/knitting, so I've also order the SCB (in steel parapack, to match my FJN). I was thinking it might be good at conventions, when I often need to carry around a programme booklet and a paperback or iPad for my author reading session, but don't want anything too heavy because I'm on the move all day.
    Collections:
    black/aubergine + wasabi (WF, SA + UMP, CP, TT, TSSs, SE, Swift, QK, YSSs & KTPs)
    forest/cork/linen + steel/olive (Imago, Pilot, SCB, COW, QK, OPs)
    olive/plum + steel/UV/wasabi (S19, SE, MCB, TSSs, SSBs, YSSs, LSS, 3DOCs, OPs)
    black/steel + iberian (S25, DLBP, SE, SCB, FJN, TSSs, YSSs, 3DFOC)
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

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    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    I recently went through this decision myself and chose the SCB. There was too much space at the top in the MCB for how I intended to use it 90% of the time and it didn't lay right under filled. I really wanted black parapack (not available now in small) but things have a way of working out. I exchanged the black MCB for the SCB in linen, and I couldn't be happier.

    And now I've learned a new word thanks to @scribe: brolly.


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    Last edited by kkintea; 05-03-2014 at 08:47 AM.
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    * Favorite TB: Steel Little Swift * Latest TB: Nordic/Solar Synapse 25 * 2014 Wishlist: New 400d Color

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    This past week I gifted my LCB (in Cocoa/Olive, with the Portable Culture logo) to my 16 year old son. He absolutely loves it. As much as I loved the color, the size was just too big for me. So now I am expecting a box to arrive on Thursday containing a MCB in cocoa/olive (I wish it was the Cordura lining) and an SCB in linen/navy.

    I expect the SCB will function as a summery PLO for church and other lighter days, while the MCB will likely be carried more often. This is because I make it a policy to never leave the house without a knitting or spindling project or my Kindle. If I have a spare minute or two, I pull something out to work on or read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mausermama View Post
    This past week I gifted my LCB (in Cocoa/Olive, with the Portable Culture logo) to my 16 year old son. He absolutely loves it. As much as I loved the color, the size was just too big for me. So now I am expecting a box to arrive on Thursday containing a MCB in cocoa/olive (I wish it was the Cordura lining) and an SCB in linen/navy.

    I expect the SCB will function as a summery PLO for church and other lighter days, while the MCB will likely be carried more often. This is because I make it a policy to never leave the house without a knitting or spindling project or my Kindle. If I have a spare minute or two, I pull something out to work on or read.
    Woohoo linen/navy! I think it'll fit right in with your blue TB collection. I have a navy small double organizer pouch on the way to accessorize mine. I am finding more and more uses for the double organizer. So glad they introduced it.

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    Whenever I go out and about, I use my Linen/Steel SCB and it's perfect! It's the bag that I carried all the time when I was in Berlin and it's my purse when I carry more than my keys, phone, and wallet. I don't think I could put a MCB or LCB to good use, because there would be too much space for what I generally carry with me. I have an Aubergine/Steel Ristretto for my iPad, so when I do want to take my iPad with me, I just transfer the contents of my SCB over to the Ristretto and it gets the job done, so it doesn't look like the MCB or LCB are in my future, although you all are wonderful enablers! :P

    I forgot to mention that I also have a few PCSBs on the way, so I may use one of those as a purse when I travel instead of also taking my beloved SCB with me. We'll see what happens! A girl (or dude) can never have too many TB bags! Hehe!
    Last edited by Moosezilla; 05-03-2014 at 09:02 AM.
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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkintea View Post
    Woohoo linen/navy! I have a navy small double organizer pouch on the way to accessorize mine. I am finding more and more uses for the double organizer. So glad they introduced it.
    Please, do tell! I ordered one and it is sitting on my desk empty, never used. I could use some inspiration.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    Please, do tell! I ordered one and it is sitting on my desk empty, never used. I could use some inspiration.
    Sure! The one that I have at the moment is actually in the car. I have a wrist strap on it that I have slung unobtrusively over the gear shifter. It holds reward cards for things like gas, grocery, etc. that I don't need to carry around everyday and consequently often forgot to bring when I went out on errands before. I also throw coupons in there and a few pens for impromptu shopping lists. Because I can see through it, it's easy to remember to actually use the coupons. You could also fit your iPhone in there if needed and even the TB organizer wallet for a quick shopping clutch. @taminca has great photos here with even more ideas.

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Thanks, kkintea! What a great idea! As I have said elsewhere in the Forum, I tend to stay too literal with TB products, using them for travel only (as in an airplane). It's kind of embarrassing. It's helpful to figure out ways to extend the uses of pouches and cubes.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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    I have a linen/olive SCB and cocoa/wasabi MCB from the Portable Culture days. They are my walking bags.

    I use the MCB if I plan to pick up a few stuff on my way back. Otherwise, the SCB is great.

    I sometimes use my SE for walking. I prefer the SCB and MCB.
    Last edited by Walker; 05-03-2014 at 10:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mausermama View Post
    MCB in cocoa/olive (I wish it was the Cordura lining)
    Olive is parapack and not Cordura? Ohhhh....

    Is there an Olive Cordura?

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