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  1. #1
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    Cafe Bag flap: a question

    I have been meaning to ask this awhile of Tom, Darcy, Katy or users:
    Cafe Bag has a unique flap. What has puzzled me for long is this, and I am not sure I can explain it clearly. When you close the flap and bring the buckle down, the top half of the buckle comes all the way down. So when you clip it in, there is "slack" on the top of the lid. In other words, it does not close on top with a tight fit. I can see that it might be sometimes useful--if you put in taller things...but I have always wondered why Tom did that--given he is so "persnickety" ( about details.....!

    wondering shiva

  2. #2
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    I agree, Shiva. There seems to be too much slack on my bag's flap, too. It bugged me at first, but I guess I've gotten used to it. I do wish there was a way to snug it up.

  3. #3
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    None of my 5 Cafe Bags have any slack in their flaps.


    I only have Large and Small Cafe Bags and they are always packed full.

    If I need a lot things for errands or travel, I take the Large One.

    If I have another Tom Bihn bag either the Swift or Packing Cube Backpack, I bring the Small Cafe Bag as "fast grab the essentials bag."

    The 3 most used Cafe Bags are 5 and 4 years old.


    What size Cafe Bag do you find having slack in its flap?


    I remember having a bag with roughly the same configuration as the Imago and there was a lot of slack between the flap and the body despite the fact that the buckle closure had different slots so the flap could tighten.
    But it was made of cheap slippery nylon.

  4. #4
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    Hi Backpack:
    I have the relatively new Medium and Small cafe bag. It is more noticeable in the small cafe bag. It does not feel like a defect, but part of the design, if you know what I mean. It is just that when you clip the two pieces of the buckle together, in most bags that I have had, that tightens the TOP of the bag. That is what I mean by "slack." Unless there is a way to tighten it that i am not able to figure out. It is more noticeable in my small cafe bag that I just got. I love the cafe bags--but it is the kind of detail that TB does not miss. So if there is a reason for it, I do not know!!! So I am not sure what you mean when you say you do not have a slack. When the buckles clip together, it does not pull down and tighten the top around the opening! Does that make it clearer? I think it is a "design" thing--maybe Tom or Darcy can tell us why it is done that way!

  5. #5
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    I have to agree. My wife uses a cafe bag as a purse and if it gets knocked sideways, something can fall out.

  6. #6
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    On my 2011 Small Cafe Bag, there's a portion of the strap attaching the bottom buckle to the bag that sticks out of the loop at the bottom and can be pulled to tighten it up a little. Do your bags have that? (I can take a picture to demonstrate - I don't see it any of the SCB product pictures.) The buckle doesn't move much (less than an inch), so there's still quite a bit of slack to the flap though. I wish it had a wider range of looseness/tightness like the Imago does, though with the smaller opening I'm not too bothered by it. And the slack can come in handy, like when I slipped a freebie pint glass into an already pretty full bag the other day.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva View Post
    Hi Backpack:
    I have the relatively new Medium and Small cafe bag. It is more noticeable in the small cafe bag. It does not feel like a defect, but part of the design, if you know what I mean. It is just that when you clip the two pieces of the buckle together, in most bags that I have had, that tightens the TOP of the bag. That is what I mean by "slack." Unless there is a way to tighten it that i am not able to figure out. It is more noticeable in my small cafe bag that I just got. I love the cafe bags--but it is the kind of detail that TB does not miss. So if there is a reason for it, I do not know!!! So I am not sure what you mean when you say you do not have a slack. When the buckles clip together, it does not pull down and tighten the top around the opening! Does that make it clearer? I think it is a "design" thing--maybe Tom or Darcy can tell us why it is done that way!

    To tell you the truth for me it is the opposite, sometimes it takes effort to close up the flap.
    Both bags are always tightly packed and most of my things are clipped to O rings.


    In the later versions of the Small Cafe Bag design, there is a way to tighten and loosen the lower buckle closer to the Cafe Bag's body.

    In previous versions, the lower buckle was sewn close to the Cafe Bag body.


    During Q.A inspection, I imagine that the lower buckle is wiggled up and down to see if it slides right.

    I received my Punch Small Cafe Bag with the buckle all the way up but the one in my Storm might have been all the way down because I remember adjusting it.


    For less room between the Cafe Bag flap and the body, just wiggle the lower buckle as low as it can go.

    It makes a significant difference.
    Last edited by backpack; 04-20-2011 at 02:25 PM.

  8. #8
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    Coincidentally, the Linen SCB bag photo just posted on twitter shows both the buckle adjustment and the slack quite well! New photo of the Small Cafe Bag in Linen. on Twitpic

  9. #9
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    Checked my wifes Small Cafe Bag last night. Tried to tighten the lower buckle but the strap going through it is too loose and will not stay tighter. I can't figure out how to view my purchase history on here to determine when we got it. It's been over a year I think.

  10. #10
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    In our opinion, the flap looks fine when the bag is mostly or entirely full. We can see where it looks a little slack when it's less than full, but as pointed out above, that slack is handy when you need the extra capacity. In his designs, Tom attempts to accommodate what he thinks of as the most common uses of the bag; an individuals use of the bag might not fall within Tom's original design parameters.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Shiva -- the slack is caused when your Cafe Bag isn't full. When it is, the flap will sit correctly when buckled. Some bags (not Tom Bihn ones) get around it by having the webbing be adjustable, but I think that it's not really necessary.
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
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