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  1. #1
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    Question Little Swift or small cafe bag?..which one

    Hi,
    Im trying to decide between the little swift or small cafe bag.
    I intend using it as my day to day 'handbag' to carry essentials, I want a bag thats small enough not to be too bulky but big enough so I can add the odd book or odd things whilst shopping. Would also be using it whilst travelling, but my main concern with the swift is the fastening and how secure it is, ie no zip.
    Has anyone else had this dilemma?, and if so what did you decide and why?
    Also does anyone have any pics of these 2 bags side by side?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I have 2 Small Cafe bags, I love them.

    The bag is perfect for the essential and a paperback book or e-reader.

    I don't have a Little Swift but I have several Swifts, both bags have O rings where Pouches can be clipped and they have generously sized pockets.

    Check Tom Bihn flicker group for customers pictures
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/57753561@N00/

  3. #3
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    Owner of Little Swift

    I have a Little Swift and I think it's a great everyday bag. I have found the contents to be as secure as I make them. If I just throw things in unclipped and don't button the top of the bag of course the contents will dump if the bag is tipped. It's also easier for my clepto 3 year old to make off with something I con't want her to have. I kind of learned this the hard way via trial and error when I first got the bag.
    I am learning more about using various pouches to customize my organization and levels of security. Over all I am coming to believe that the "bucket" design allows for greater usefulness in various applications. Whereas I think a bag with space for certain sized specialized pockets is more limiting.
    An example is that some people choose to use their smart phone for planner, notes, as a mp3 player, camera, video camera etc. So those persons wouldn't need several pouches for smaller electronics. Just one. Another person may have several, and the smaller padded organizer pouches give them the protection and organization they need. Without bulk for pockets that they don't need.
    If you couldn't tell by now I do not have a small cafe bag. My impression of the two bags side by side is that the LS is more of a bucket shape and the SC is more of a vertical folio shape. If you will sometimes have bulkier items that are not flatfish they look like they would bulge the sides of the cafe bag.
    In the end get the one that makes you feel good. And remember you can always place a 2nd order!
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  4. #4
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    Alternatively, you could order both...

    try them in the house, then send back the one you don't like.

    Warning: you might keep both!

  5. #5
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    I have both bags and will say that I've decided that my general, everyday bag will be my Little Swift. The cafe bag messenger style closure felt cumbersome after just one errand. I still love my small cafe bag, but honestly, I love my Little Swift more.

    Backpack's advice to order both and send one back is smart advice, though. You never know how you'll like something until you hold it, pack it, and carry it around. One might just scream out to you.

    Joyce

  6. #6
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    Good idea, I had thought of it, unfortunately the cost of shipping it back would probably cost more than the bag itself!.Not quite sure what the returns policy is, or cost of shipping back from the UK and the US.

  7. #7
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaffa View Post
    Not quite sure what the returns policy is, or cost of shipping back from the UK and the US.
    My thoughts exactly! But, I think that's the price we pay for living in the UK and shopping on the far side of the USA. If you do find a cheap way to return stuff, safely, and I'd love to hear about it.

    Eric

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaffa View Post
    Good idea, I had thought of it, unfortunately the cost of shipping it back would probably cost more than the bag itself!.Not quite sure what the returns policy is, or cost of shipping back from the UK and the US.

    From Tom Bihn FAQ

    http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/CTGY/_FAQ#faq35


    "How do I return a bag?
    You have 60 days after you've received your bag to return it to us for a refund/exchange, provided it is still in its original, unused condition: we do not accept returns of used merchandise.

    In the unlikely event that we goofed and sent you the wrong bag or the wrong color bag, or you received damaged merchandise, please notify us immediately. We will either arrange for a UPS pick-up or we will reimburse you for the cost of returning the package to us; we will not charge you for the shipping costs of replacement merchandise. Shipping charges are refundable only if a product has been misrepresented, misshipped, or is defective in materials or workmanship.

    You may ship the bag back to us at the address below. No return authorization is required. Please download, print, and include this handy return form.
    TOM BIHN
    Attn: Returns
    4750 A Ohio Ave S
    Seattle, WA 98134
    U.S.A.
    Phone # 206 652 4123

    Please ship the item(s) back to us in the original packaging if possible. If the original packaging is not available, package the item(s) in a generously sized, crush-proof box: do not fold, roll or otherwise stuff the product into a smaller container, as this can permanently damage the product, and then we won't be able to refund your money.

    We strongly recommend that you insure and track your return shipment, as items lost in transit are not our responsibility. Please include a copy of your receipt or print out and use this return form and let us know why you are returning the bag.

    If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-729-9607 (US & Canada) or +1 260-652-4123 or email us.



    How do I exchange a bag?
    If you've received your order and you've decided that a different TOM BIHN bag would better suit your needs, we're happy to make an exchange. We recommend placing a new order online for the bag that you'd like instead, and sending the original bag back to us for a refund. This is the fastest and most efficient way to exchange bags. If a bag was sent to you as a gift and you would like to exchange it, please call us at 1-800-729-9607 (US & Canada) or +1-206-652-4123. We would be happy to help you make the arrangements.

    You have 60 days after you've received your bag to return it to us for a refund/exchange, provided it is still in its original, unused condition: we do not accept returns or exchanges of used merchandise. You may ship the bag back to us at the address below. No return authorization is required.

    In the unlikely event that we goofed and sent you the wrong bag or the wrong color bag, or you received damaged merchandise, please notify us immediately. We will either arrange for a UPS pick-up or we will reimburse you for the cost of returning the package to us; we will not charge you for the shipping costs of replacement merchandise. Shipping charges are refundable only if a product has been misrepresented, misshipped, or is defective in materials or workmanship.

    You may ship the bag back to us at the address below. No return authorization is required:
    TOM BIHN
    Attn: Returns
    4750 A Ohio Ave S
    Seattle, WA 98134
    U.S.A.
    Phone # 206 652 4123

    Please ship the item(s) back to us in the original packaging if possible. If the original packaging is not available, package the item(s) in a generously sized, crush-proof box: do not fold, roll or otherwise stuff the product into a smaller container, as this can permanently damage the product, and then we won't be able to refund your money.

    We strongly recommend that you insure and track your return shipment, as items lost in transit are not our responsibility. Please include a copy of your receipt and let us know why you are returning the bag.

    If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-729-9607 (US & Canada) or +1 260-652-4123 or email us."

  9. #9
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    I've found myself carrying the Little Swift more than the small Cafe Bag except in situations when I want the security of the closed bag and to be able to wear it close to the body (days when I know the subway will be very crowded, for example).

    I also use the pouches to keep the Swift sort of organized, but I also like the "just toss that in my bag" convenience.

    If dressiness is ever an issue, I think the Swift looks more like a purse and I feel more comfortable carrying it to the theater or nice restaurants.

  10. #10
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    Hi, Jaffa,

    The Little Swift is a large bag. I can fit everything that I normally carry in my Imago into my Little Swift - with a Small Cafe Bag I leave some things out, like my Nook and my water bottle. Depending on what your essentials are you would probably have room in a Small Cafe Bag to add a paperback or small hardcover. If you want to carry a book, plus a few small purchases, gloves, cap, sunglasses - you will need a larger bag.

    For travel I find the cafe bags to be more secure than the Little Swift. The Little Swift does have two zippered pockets and four O-rings to which you can attach pouches and key straps, but it is essentially an open tote bag and a pickpocket would find it very inviting to slip a hand in. I use a Medium Cafe Bag for my travel day bag and I feel very secure with valuables in pouches clipped to O-rings under a buckled flap. I also like the security of being able to wear the strap on the cafe bags cross-body.

    I agree with Abita: the Little Swift does have a dressier appearance. It is also an easier bag to find things in quickly due to its shape. You end up having to pack the Small Cafe Bag a bit more carefully due to its shape.

    I have both bags and use both bags. If you can only afford one bag, then get the one that you think will best fit what you need. If you can afford both, I think you'll find that you use both.

    Hope that helps.

  11. #11
    Registered User marbenais's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    I have both -- the Small Cafe Bag definitely has a smaller volume than the Little Swift, and is less able to be overstuffed -- positive or negative qualities are up to debate.

    The Little Swift, if not too full, can be closed fairly securely with the closest button on the top. The Small Cafe Bag has the flap and buckle, which are a bit more secure, but not by much. I haven't tested them, though.

  12. #12
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    I have a (large) Swift. For what it's worth, I was concerned about using it as a more than a knitting bag at first because I was worried that items would fall out if the bag was tipped over. I discovered through experience, however, that due to the design of the bag being wide at the base and narrow at the top, when the Swift is fastened using the most proximal slit on the tab, items are unlikely to fall out if the bag falls over. The structure of the bag is such that these items sit at the "base" of the triangle formed by the sides of the bag, and so they would have to squeeze through a relatively narrower space to fall out, which requires a reasonable amount of force. Also, the Urethane pockets that line the sides of the bag are actually a little grippy, which further decreases the chance of something sliding out. Very small items (e.g. pens, flash drives, etc.) I keep in these pockets, of course. Though I don't have a Little Swift (yet), I imagine that the design of the Swift is similar, so I hope that might help you with your decision...

  13. #13
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    I've sold my Small Cafe bag in favour of just using my Little Swift. The clip on the Cafe Bag is a nuisance to me - I need 2 hands to get into the bag - while the Little Swift is easy to get into, easy to organise for packing and has lots of excess capacity for unexpected purchases.

    Last week I had a full Little Swift, with a warm wrap, 2 largish books, water bottle, large wallet, small umbrella, mobile phone, and assorted smaller items, and bought a 6" diameter antique clock, packed in a 2" wide box. I just undid the button and slipped the clock in its box right in - the bag no longer closed but everything was still secure.

    Try that with a full Small Cafe bag!

    Audrey

  14. #14
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    Mar 2007
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    I have a Lux tote, which was the predecessor to the Swift. It's the same size and shape, but does not have the button closure. I have never had a problem with anything falling out of it. I think the shape of the bag keeps that from happening. I do make sure that my purse-type valuables are in a pouch, clipped to an o-ring - not because I am afraid they will fall out, but because I want them secure when I am using the bag as a tote and taking large things out of it.
    Happy owner of a medium cocoa Cafe, small plum Cafe, plum/green Utility Tote, black/purple Lux, mini cork pouch, mini kiwi pouch, mini clear pouch, small blue pouch, assorted key straps, prototype Stuff Sacks, and navy/storm/sapphire Imago!

  15. #15
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    It all depends what you want to do with the bag(s).

    The Swift and the Little Swifts are great city bags.

    Stylish with dreamy soft handles, secure side zippered pockets, O-rings for Keys Straps securing Pouches holding bus passes and the like which make them easy to use on public transportation.

    They look good holding just the essentials and some knitting/needlework items or bursting with books, homework, yarn shopping spree...


    The little Swift in Ultrasuede can go from commute, to daily activities to evening.



    The Small Cafe bag hold the essentials, it is extremely light, one can run in trains or bus stations and airports with it, it is great for biking (worn cross body with the waist strap keeping it secure). strolling or shopping in style.

    The flap and the front pocket zipper as well as Pouches keep everything secure. Adding a Shop Bag in the back pocket gives the versatility of the Swift in lightweight and packable Dyneema.


    Hope this help!

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