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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonty View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion Backpack.

    I had actually considered the Ristretto for iPad. It's pretty close to the medium cafe bag dimensions. A little taller and narrower. I really like the outside front organiser pocket with the curved cutaway on both ristrettos - that alone is almost enough to make me bite the bullet.

    The reasons I've ruled it out are that it costs twice as much as a cafe bag, black/steel is out of stock (as are all colours except plum - although I could probably manage to wait a month), and to a lesser degree it's thickness. One of the things I like about the cafe bags is they have a reasonably low profile (3") while the ristretto is 4.75" thick.

    But since you've mentioned, I'm starting to wonder again. I really do like the front organizer pocket.

    Jonathan

    It is only 1" thicker but if you want to wait for the Medium Cafe Bag in Black/Steel go ahead.

    I have 2 Large Cafe Bags I use all the time and one Small one for errands and just because it is cute in Storm/Indigo.

    Cafe bags or Ristretto they both have the same quality and nice workmanship, it just depend on how long you are willing to wait and if the thickness of the Ristretto is something that is not really an issue.

    The Medium Cafe Bag is available in Black/Steel.
    I don't have any Medium Cafe Bag but you had Maverick feedback.


    I hope I helped a little.


    When I ordered my first Tom Bihn bag, I was not aware of the forum, I have found the other people feedback, shared experiences with real life use and wonderful pictures to be invaluable.

  2. #17
    Registered User gonty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    I hope I helped a little.
    You have helped. Thanks :-)

    I suspect that I will be very happy with whatever I get, but I also suspect there will be times I will carry the amount & combination of things for which a different bag would be perfect.

    jonathan

  3. #18
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    Hello again, gonty.

    I would suggest that, among the factors influencing your decision, waiting time should rank last, if it even makes the list. A month will go by, but you'll have the bag forever.*

    As to size, for me, going hands-free trumps everything else, so larger better accommodates the unexpected. When I'm carrying the Large Cafe Bag, I can just drop in unanticipated acquisitions (a book or newspaper; cans of cat food).

    For the same reason, a Small Shop Bag lives in the bottom outside compartment of my Synapse. I like being able to carry more than I had planned for.

    So when you say "I also suspect there will be times I will carry the amount & combination of things for which a different bag would be perfect," I'm thinking you could put less in the Medium but not more in the Small.

    *Also, am I the only one who has learned to enjoy the pleasure of anticipation? My last order included an out-of-stock item, and every night I went to sleep thinking how nice my new bag would be. It was like a second Christmas.
    Last edited by gmanedit; 05-02-2010 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Added footnote.

  4. #19
    Registered User gonty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmanedit View Post
    I would suggest that, among the factors influencing your decision, waiting time should rank last, if it even makes the list. A month will go by, but you'll have the bag forever.*
    Thanks for reminding me of this. You're right of course. It's well worth waiting a measly little month for the right bag.

    You're also right about being able to carry less in the medium but not more in the small. I guess I imagine there are times I'd like to be able to carry a smaller bag. My problem is that with shipping costs to Australia, I'm not really in a position to order one, try it out, & then exchange if it's wrong.

    But I think I've made up my mind.

    Jonathan

  5. #20
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    Hi gmandedit,
    Quote Originally Posted by gmanedit View Post
    For the same reason, a Small Shop Bag lives in the bottom outside compartment of my Synapse. I like being able to carry more than I had planned for.
    This really isn't about small vs. medium cafe bags, but I agree with you about keeping a small Shop Bag in my Synapse -- only I use a side pocket instead of the bottom compartment.

    moriond

  6. #21
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    Hi, moriond. I'll give a side pocket a try. That bottom pocket holds a lot—I just added a lightweight windbreaker.

    The Shop Bag is so handy. The other night, I met a friend at a restaurant. Halfway through my chef salad, I'd had enough and asked the waiter to bag the rest. The container was too large for the Synapse, but not for the Shop Bag.

  7. #22
    Registered User gonty's Avatar
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    Agreed. I don't have a Tom Bihn shop bag but I almost always have some sort of extra bag (envirosax or some other random cotton bag I've picked up) inside whatever bag I'm carrying.

  8. #23
    Registered User gonty's Avatar
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    Now to choose a colour...

    After much internal debate and pestering of you fine forum readers I've decided on my planned purchase. Synapse + cache + Medium cafe Bag + some organizer pouches (tempted to get an assortment covering each size and each material).

    Of course, the decisions don't end there do they? Now I have to choose colours. All these things are harder when you order online.

    I think the Synapse looks great in navy, black, or steel, and pretty good in Olive too (depending how dark it is in the flesh).

    For the Medium Cafe Bag I think I'm leaning toward navy/cayenne or black/steel. The black/wasabi intrigues me, but I don't think I'm confident enough in the wasabi to order it without seeing it in person.

    On another note, I think the crimson looks like a beautiful colour for accessories, I'll be hoping I can get one of the organizer pouches in crimson.

    So I know this is a purely personal decision, but feel free to tell me if you have strong feelings about these colours. I don't suppose any of them show/hide dirt better or worse?

    Jonathan the Indecisive.

  9. #24
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    Just a tip for you, as far as pouches go. I try and give people exactly what they want. Sometimes it works out other times it doesn't. If you are really set on a few colors make sure to let me know, usually a list of 3-4 colors that you really like works. Also, if you would rather have them all the same color or different colors. Having those 2 pieces of information makes it alot easier for me to make you happy !
    Last edited by kcee; 05-04-2010 at 09:57 AM. Reason: spelling

  10. #25
    Registered User gonty's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips kcee, I'll be sure to include some preferences.

    One thing I'm not clear about is the colour on the back of the cork pouches. Do they come in different colours too?

    Thanks again.

  11. #26
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    Hi, Mr. Indecisive.

    A good technique is to toss a coin and make your call while it's on the way down.

    I keep things simple: black only, for bags. (For pouches, it doesn't matter, because they're inside.)

    Many people here like wasabi a lot. I'm not one of them (it's the lining on my v.1 Smart Alec). If you get black/wasabi on the Cafe Bag, you'll be looking at it every time you open the flap. But maybe you'll like it.

  12. #27
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    I am very much against the coin toss technique.

    I plan my purchases way in advance by using the Wish List, when the main bag is available in the color I want, I order.

    Don't forget to include Pouches in every order.
    They are wonderful color coding organizing tools, make sure to order Clear and Cordura as well as Padded for fragile electronic accessories.

    This is especially true of people living very far from Seattle. That's you gonty!


    A good way to find out about colors you are not sure about is to order a pouch of that color.
    Mini Pouches are great for coins, bus/train or store cards.
    Small Pouches can hold a pair of glasses or something of similar size.
    Medium Pouches, hold CD and paperback sized items.
    Large Pouches hold letter/A4 size documents in their letter/A4 size folders, they are extremely handy.


    If you don't like a color, leave the Pouch in a place where people you know stick around and say it is free.
    I can guarantee you that the Pouch is going to disappear and even might make it inside your best friend bag.


    About colors... (I try not to write War and Peace of the Cool and Warm Spectrum)

    Crimson is a really nice Vermillon, I use the name of the color shown on gouache tubes because it is the exact same color.


    Wasabi, well..... It is a bright bright apple green

    Below is a picture of a paint tube which look really close to the color.
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/sa...ouache/#photos

  13. #28
    Registered User gonty's Avatar
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    @gmanedit - I may just resort to your technique. Either the coin toss, or just stick with black.

    @backpack - thanks for all the useful suggestions. I was planning on getting an assortment of pouches. I had thought a couple of minis (clear & cordura), maybe a couple of small (cork and either clear or cordura), maybe one medium and one large. Not sure whether to go clear or cordura. Interesting that you say the large are so useful as I'm not sure how much I'd use it. I can see myself putting documents in I guess so I'll get one & see.

    Will also probably grab a wallet and 3D clear organizer cube. I figure if I'm paying for delivery to Australia I may as well load up the order.

    Mind you, I will be in Canada later this year which may provide a cheaper way to get a few extra pouches delivered.

  14. #29
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    If you are in Canada, you might as well stop by Seattle

  15. #30
    Registered User gonty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    If you are in Canada, you might as well stop by Seattle
    We're actually staying in Vancouver for a bit so the thought had occurred to me. But I believe it's about a 2.5 - 3 hour drive plus clearing the border. So 6+ hours round trip to look at bags.

    I'm keen. But perhaps not quite that keen.

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