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Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

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  1. #1
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    May 2011
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    10

    Question Thinking about ordering the Imago - questions about color, size

    I've been eyeing the Imago for when I need something roomier than my Medium Cafe Bag, but don't want anything too big. If anyone here has both, which one do you prefer using day-to-day? How does the Imago compare with the MCB regarding size and weight with day-to-day use?

    I loved the olive color of the organizer pouch I received. I was actually surprised at the "shimmer" of it. (I don't know how to explain it.) It's just a lot prettier and "deeper" than I thought it would be and I think I'd like to get the Imago in olive/cork colors. Is the olive the same sheen and hue as in the organizer pouch?

    Thanks in advance for your help and advice!

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
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    I had been using a Large Cafe Bag , and I much prefer the Imago now that I have it. They both hold the same stuff (though I think the Imago's technically a bit roomier), but the Imago's horizontal orientation makes it easier to organize things, and I don't worry about the safety of all my electronics now that I don't have to stack them on top of each other. Even though it's got plenty of room, it doesn't feel like a large bag at all. I feel completely comfortable carrying it as my everyday purse, and it tucks nicely out of the way when I need to set it down on the train, or at a restaurant or theater. No matter how much crap I stuff in it, it never feels heavy, thanks to the Absolute Shoulder Strap.

    Here's what I carry in the main compartment of the Imago every day: 12.5" laptop in a slim neoprene sleeve, Kindle, Moleskine notebook, Cowon J3 music player, hairbrush, Tom Bihn Kit. I also have various pills and lipglosses tucked into the pocket, and a medium clear pouch clipped on for change and for when I need to take off my jewelry and not worry about losing it.

    My only complaint about the Imago is that it doesn't have a cup holder, but none of the Cafe Bags have one, either. And my Contigo coffee mug fits inside it nicely even with all that other stuff, though I don't feel comfortable slipping it in when I'm also carrying my laptop.
    Buzz in Black, Imago in Black/Black/Steel, Ego in Black/Black/Steel, TriStar in Black, Large Cafe Bag in Black/Wasabi, SuperEgo in Black/Black/Steel, Side Effect in Plum, a couple Kits, and more clear pouches than one woman could ever possibly need

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    Greater Boston
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    I believe that the pouches and the Imago are made of the same weight Cordura nylon. I have olive pouches and the Olive/Cork/Steel Imago, and the fabric looks the same. I love the olive Cordura: you're absolutely right that it shimmers. And the cork with the olive is really lovely.
    Last edited by wennefer; 06-03-2011 at 11:30 AM.
    Owner of Crimson/Steel Western Flyer, Forest/Steel Zephyr, Olive/Cayenne Ristretto for iPad, Olive/Cork/Steel and Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Linen/Steel and Conifer/Steel SCB, Steel Breve, Plum/Black Swift, Steel FJN, Horizontal Freudian Slip, black Brain Cell, Iberian Packing Cube Backpack, Ultraviolet Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, and various organizer pouches, caches, and other odds and ends.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2011
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    Lone Star State
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    310
    Quote Originally Posted by MyJourneys View Post
    Thanks in advance for your help and advice!
    My advice is I think you should buy it
    Synapse 25 (Steel Dyneema/UV), Organizer Pouches ( Dyneema, Cordura, Cork - various size & colors), FoJ Pouch, FoT Pouch, 2011 TB Mystery gift(Cork pouch), 2012 Mystery Gift (Forest/ Steel) Pocket Pouch, Sm Yarn Stuff Sack (UV), Small Shop Bag (Steel), Large Shop Bag (UV), Various Color Key Straps, Side Effect (Steel Dyneema/Wasabi)

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    132
    I actually bought a medium cafe bag to replace my Imago as my day to day bag. I don't need to carry a lot and found the Imago too big and much heavier to carry over long distances (even with a QAM strap).

    The Imago does hold more, I can get three good size hardbacks from the library in it along with my wallet, phone and small pouch full of junk.

    I do carry my Imago with a Breve for when I want to take my iPad along and I'm not in the mood to be careful about my bag.

    What are you trying to carry every day? Maybe I can approximate it and show you pictures.

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    Mar 2007
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    139
    I have both the Imago and the Medium Cafe, and the Imago is my favorite by far! I have even toyed with the idea of selling my Cafe bag. To me, vertical bags have too much wasted space. I have carried my Imago fully loaded, nearly empty, and everything in between and it behaves perfectly no matter what the contents. I did spring for the fancy strap and have never regretted that decision. I've had it as full as it can get with library books and the strap allows me to carry all that weight without messing up my neck and back.

    When I first got my Imago, it was the only bag I carried for a solid year. If you knew how fickle I am about bags, you'd realize how much that statement says (LOL!)

    I can recommend the Imago without hesitation. I don't think it is at all heavy. My bag is cordura -maybe the people who think it is heavy have the ballistic?
    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!

  7. #7
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    May 2011
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    10
    I think the Imago may be a better fit for me. I like to carry my Kindle w/cover with me everywhere, which is usually fine for the MCB, but when I travel, I need more room for a few extras, and that tends to overwhelm my MCB. I also think I'll like the horizontal orientation and outside pockets for cell phone and sunglasses a lot better. If it fits well as an everyday bag, I may sell my MCB and stick with just the Imago... but we'll see. Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences. It was very helpful!

  8. #8
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    tiny rural town in the Piedmont of the Carolinas
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    1,288
    I used to say that messenger bags and I didn't get along. . . that is until I got an Imago. I had a cordura version which has gone on to a loving home, but now I have a ballistic and cork and I love it even better. Part of my personal issue with messenger bags in the past is that they tended to get slouchy unless they were stuffed to the max. I don't like carrying any bag stuffed to the max if I don't have to so past messenger bags would turn into a black hole for my stuff.
    Tom designed the Imago with plenty of body, useful organization, and o-rings so that you can add even more if you desire. The cordura version kept it's shape for the most part, but the ballistic and cork fabrics do an even better job imho. I thought I would primarily use my Imago for travel, but currently I'm looking for any excuse to carry it. I love the Steel/cork/wasabi combination. Just the right combination of complement and contrast to make the bag serious and fun all at once. The exteriors make a great neutral that isn't boring and the interior pops and helps you to find your contents by not being dark.
    Except for the fact that the side pockets are a little smaller than much of what I would want to put into them, and there is no exterior water bottle pocket, the Imago imho is perfect for what I bought it for!
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    10
    I just wanted to thank everyone for helping me with my questions. I ordered the Imago (olive) and love the color! I also like the size and orientation, although it took me a little while to get used to the extra weight. (I can fit more into it, so of course it's weighing more! ). Now the extra weight doesn't bother me, and I've found that I can reach everything more easily with this bag - everything has its place and so it's more convenient than my MCB for everyday use.

    That said, I think my MCB will work better for traveling because I think I'll be able to one bag better with it (by stuffing it inside the middle section of my Tri-Star). I don't think I'll be able to do it with the Imago. I haven't experimented with it yet, though... maybe I can!

    Anyway, thanks again, everyone!


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