There seems to be an influx of duck, duck, goose related photos on the internet today.. I like yours best.
How did I miss those detailed interior pictures?! I've been going back and forth awaiting the "incoming" pictures and there they were!
As I am typing this on my 15" MBP - I think the computer did this to me on purpose...it's mad at me that it doesn't have a Cadet of it's own! So it's complaining that it's jealous and is going on strike.
(No one mentioned the bat by the bed? Aww, come on!)
Nice use of binder clips to hold the bag open for those great interior shots! I was trying to figure it out - clever!
12:45 AM. Time for some sleep; gotta be up by 6:40 AM. If you search on youtube for "Tom Bihn Cadet" you'll more than likely pop up with my video. It's currently uploading and is at about 70%. I'm sorry if I was mumbling in this one--other people were sleeping in the house and I didn't want to wake anyone.
Spoiler Alert: I say um and uh about 100 times in my video. I blame it on lack of sleep and there being 8 years since my last public speaking class to break that habit again :)
Quick Packing List:
13" Macbook Air in Cache (Regular)
Medium Clear/Iberian Pouch
Clear Mini Pouch w/USB Cables
MBA Video Connector
Bottle of Water
Pens, Pencils, etc
Small writing notebook,
Mini padded pouch for headphones
FoT pouch w/ hard drive
Solar Dyneema Small pouch with every audio cable/adaptor every necessary
USB Drive Pouch
12 person hot tub
ok. being silly now. Time for bed.
Funny video. It's the first I've seen that mentions expanding the central compartment into the side-pocket space.
Ask Katy to send you a swatch of Navy. It's quieter than the red. (When I reviewed swatches of the new ballistic colors, I said/warned that they were brighter than the photos indicated.)
I'm still not tired of black.
It's impressive what you were able to fit in the Cache, btw. I'm really looking forward to picking up my own for my next conference. That one is not until March; however, I might just have to get it sooner.
Congrats on your Cadet, misterN. I'm jealous of your Cardinal goods! I really like that color. And kudos on the awesome photos and great videos. You did a fantastic job on all of it and I found them extremely helpful. Thanks so much. Was it fun bringing it to work? And did the contents survive the downpour? Enjoy :)
I used to carry a navy blue briefcase-style bag when I was in college, and then I got this awesome Patagonia brief that I carried for most of grad school, until Apple changed the dimensions of the MacBook. I'm kind of actually looking forward to having a black computer bag again! After all, it's not as if TB black is at all boring.
So glad to hear your choice is working out for you.
The first section describes my day, with a bit of background about me. Skip to part two if you just want my review of the Cadet
Section I: My First Day with the Cadet
A little bit about me: I currently work as a school paraprofessional (fancy speak for teacher assistant/office aide) at a Middle School (grades 6, 7, and 8) with roughly 725 students, (my actual job is to supervise students sent out from their classroom for behavioral reasons.) In early November of each year, we have our state standardized testing. For the past three years, I have essentially been coordinating this standardized testing of 725 students. Today we started our testing—what better way to break in my Cadet then using it all over the school?
What’s in the Cadet? In the main compartment I had the following items: MacBook Air in a Cache, iPad 1, 9”x 5” ledger, Kindle in Kindle pouch, medium clear/Iberian pouch with: mini clear/black pouch full of USB cables, HDMI to Thunderbolt adaptor, Bluetooth mouse, and MacBook Air charger.
In the front compartment I have 1 mini padded organizer pouch with my ear buds, a Friend of Tom (FoT) pouch with my external hard drive in it, and a solar dyneema pouch with every possible audio cable/adaptor any insane person would need. In the built in organization slots I currently have a pencil, two pens, a small moleskin notebook, and my iPod touch. My Cadet was full, but I could still add more to it if I needed to.
So my day started out with me being thankful for being part of the Tom Bihn Ecosystem. I originally was going to just take my spectacular Tom Bihn Super Ego—I had everything repacked in there that I had in my Cadet video from last night. I changed my mind this morning (mind you, before I realized it was POURING outside.) It took me all of about 20 seconds to move my medium organizer pouch, Kindle pouch, and two key-straps with my mini, small, and FoT pouches into my Cadet. I grabbed my MacBook Air, iPad, ledger and put those in the main compartment and was pretty much good to go. I threw my HTC EVO in the phone compartment and left.
My poor bag was exposed to the cruel November rains here in Wisconsin. After a downpour, I arrived at school and dropped off my coat and threw my Cadet over my shoulder messenger style, while stuffing my test information papers in the back exterior slot of the Cadet. I managed to go up and down three flights of stairs and ended up forgetting that I even had the bag on. The Absolute Strap is quite an amazing strap!
The Cadet was my mobile office today. Once testing was started, my office at school was being used by a small group of students being tested by a teacher. No big deal, since the Cadet, like almost all Tom Bihn bags, have Hermione’s bottomless bag spell woven into the fabric. I set up in the student office and was able to build the spreadsheet I am using to keep track of students missing testing (no student left behind—erm, untested!)
Once testing was finished, I collected all of the tests for the day and moved them to a secure location. My Cadet was with me once again, bringing my laptop along so I could update my spreadsheet as I went through attendance for every testing group here at school. I kept my HTC EVO in its compartment with the WIFI hotspot enabled so I had Internet access. I had to bounce around 3 different rooms doing this and the bag carried everything I needed with ease. After all of that—my bag finally took its resting position next to my desk as we returned to a normal school schedule.
Part II: Simple, One-Day Observation/Review
My observations of my first day are this: The Cadet is a great bag. I have a tendency to over pack my Super Ego (well, not really but I do like keeping my camera gear with me.) This bag allows me to keep my mobile office with me, in a refined, stylish, and practical manner. I am very glad that I got the 15/13 version versus trying to see if I couldn’t make the 11/iPad version work for my 13” MacBook Air. One fear I had with the Cadet when I ordered the larger version was that it was going to be too big. I personally don’t need another big bag—my Super Ego covers that spot perfectly. The 15/13 Cadet is not a big bag (at least to me who’s everyday bag was a Super Ego) and the 11/iPad version would not have worked the way I wanted it to.
Cardinal. Cardinal is vexing. Don’t get me wrong—I like the color. There’s a reason why red cars get pulled over more often. The bag is very bold—under the right light. Depending on the lighting, the bag can be a deep dark red, or more of your standard red. At work today, it looked like the Cardinal color I’ve seen online. At home here, it seems a bit brighter. Apparently this Cardinal changes!
I love the sewn in pocket in the main compartment. It’s hard for me to explain—but here goes. I own a Ristretto for 13” MacBook. In the main compartment of that, is a padded section for your laptop, and then the rest of the main compartment. Maybe it’s because the Ristretto is vertical—but I felt like when I put other things into non-padded part, that they either were hanging too high, or way too low. The result as me having to use key straps to be able to pull my organizer pouches out from there. The way the main compartment is set up with the Cadet, I haven’t had to do this. My Kindle pouch clips on nicely to the O-Ring and fits and sets nicely the smaller divider compartment. I also can clip my Medium organizer pouch that carries the majority of my Air’s accessories and have it set nicely in the main compartment. Perhaps why I like the main compartment of the Cadet so much more than the Ristretto is due to the fact that where the laptop “area” is, is all bag. It isn’t a special feature added to the bag (if that makes any sense.) The smaller divider section isn’t anything trying to be special. It’s a storage space for holding your smaller items. Wow, I went on a bit of a tangent there.
The front compartment of the Cadet can hold its own share of goodies. As I stated up above, I’ve got a mini and two small sized pouches clipped in there. In this compartment I felt like it was a better idea to have them connected with key straps so they could stay in the lower part of the compartment as to not obstruct ease of access of the sewn in organizer pockets. If there is anything that I could say about this bag, it would be that for me, the organizer pockets are a bit small. The far right pocket is obviously (maybe not) made for business cards. The pocket next to that, to the left, is a bit more of a mystery to me. I don’t really have anything at the moment I want to put in there. There is still probably space for a bottle of water and you could put in one of those neat sandwich tins that Maverick uses in his videos as well.
The handles! The handles are weird—but in a good way. Maybe later I’ll take a picture comparing it to my Super Ego and my Shop bag—they are a lot smaller. I do like how Tom designed them to come very closely together and are easy to grab when the bag is zipped up. The handles maintain their form very well. One might think that since the handles are smaller, that they might cut into your hand as you’re holding them. I didn’t find that to be the case—however I didn’t hand hold a huge amount yet.
Thinking about it now—the zippers are sort of small. I realize you don’t want huge zippers make a ton of noise on the briefcase—but I found that sometimes they are a bit difficult to get a hold of. Just my two cents on those.
I’ll close this section as I opened it: the Cadet is simply amazing, and follows Tom’s design philosophy of having a simple, yet refined and feature rich bag.