I have the medium cafe bag in navy cordura and I like that as well. Both are excellent fabrics. Do I have a preference? If I had to choose between the two fabrics, I would go with the ballistic. But no one is getting my cafe bag. ;)
By the By, the ballistic fabric is the best ballistic I have ever seen. It has this great sheen, smooth feel, head and shoulders above the rest out there. I would not hesitate to get another ballistic bag (or cordura bag for that matter) from Tom Bihn. :)
So, I received the MCB and stuffed it with my things from my Imago and the small Stuff Sack; strangely, almost everything fit into it fairly well, although acclimating to a north-south from east-west orientation is mildly perplexing. (I've been using messenger-style bags daily for the past 8 years). I do like it, but more for an knock-around bag. If my stuff sack is really full, I am having problems with it bulging, which I know, backpack, you alluded to in your earlier post. And, at times, I will need more room for papers and possibly my laptop at work.
Given that, plus the fact that a color combo I proposed for the Imago is coming in April (steel/cork/wasabi), I'm also going to order another Imago, as my other is relegated for diaper duty and I somehow *need* to have an Imago with a cork panel.
Thanks to everyone who gave feedback.
I have found that a series of pouches and keystraps has been a huge aid in keeping my MCB organized and less trending toward a bulge. I can stack the pouches (small on small) between or behind the medium Clear Pouches. I will be posting my layout (with pics) over spring break (April 8-17.)