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  • 8 Post By misterN

Thread: Cadet vs Ristretto for MBA 13 - which one?

  1. #1
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    Cadet vs Ristretto for MBA 13 - which one?

    I've recently acquired a Macbook Air 13 which I love. It's light, fast and does everything I need it to. Especially coming from a MBP 15. But now I have a bit of a dilemma. I currently use a SuperEgo with a BrainCell sized for the MBP to carry the MBA, which is obviously oversized. Overall, while I love my SuperEgo, for most tasks it's "too much" bag. So I was considering the Ristretto 13 for use, but then Tom introduced the Cadet 13/15. Now I'm not sure which way to go. Any advice would be welcome!

  2. #2
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    Are you an landscape (east/west) or portrait (north/south) bag orientation kind of person?

    Are you tall or petite and curvy or thin?

    Look at all the pictures of each bag in each color and think of which is the most attractive.

    At the last resort, order both, try them on indoors, return one or (most likely scenario for the forum Tom Bihn Bags fans) keep them both.


    I am tall and curvy and love and own mostly portrait orientation bags which fit comfortably.

  3. #3
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    Actually, I've never owned a vertical bag before, so I'm not sure how I would like it, but buying both would be an interesting option - but potentially dangerous with the wife! I was wondering if anyone out there has experience with both bags and have any thoughts - pros, cons, that sort of thing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlee97 View Post
    I've recently acquired a Macbook Air 13 which I love. It's light, fast and does everything I need it to. Especially coming from a MBP 15. But now I have a bit of a dilemma. I currently use a SuperEgo with a BrainCell sized for the MBP to carry the MBA, which is obviously oversized. Overall, while I love my SuperEgo, for most tasks it's "too much" bag. So I was considering the Ristretto 13 for use, but then Tom introduced the Cadet 13/15. Now I'm not sure which way to go. Any advice would be welcome!
    You are me. Seriously--well almost.

    I currently own a Super Ego, Cadet, and Ristretto for 13" MBP/MBA. My Ristretto hasn't left the house since I got my Cadet last week. To be honest--it hadn't been seeing much action unless there was a day when I absolutely knew that I didn't want to take my camera equipment with me to work.

    When I originally purchased my Super Ego, I was using a 2008 White Macbook and I eventually ended up buying a brain cell and getting all that jazz for my Super Ego. Then I traded my Macbook at Best Buy and picked up an Air. My Super Ego was much too big, so I ordered a Ristretto and Cache for my Air. The Ristretto is a nice bag--but I find that I prefer horizontal messenger bags compared to the vertical. In order to have everything be "even" in my Ristretto, I had to daisy chain pouches off of keystraps. Then those would be in the bottom of the bag and I'd have to fish them back out.

    I very much prefer the Cadet. But to help you out, I've attached some model shots with a hideous model of all three bags.






    Black/Steel/Wasabi Super Ego, Cardinal/Steel 15"/13" Cadet, Cardinal/Steel Aeronaut, Olive/Cayenne 13" Ristretto, Camera Insert/Outsert, Horizontal Freudian Slip, 13" MBA Cache, Brain Cell for 13" Macbook, Steel Snake Charmer, FoT/FoJ pouch, Organizer Wallet, and more organizer pouches than I can shake a stick at.

  5. #5
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    PS - Cadet was full. The Super Ego and Ristretto were empty.

    Black/Steel/Wasabi Super Ego, Cardinal/Steel 15"/13" Cadet, Cardinal/Steel Aeronaut, Olive/Cayenne 13" Ristretto, Camera Insert/Outsert, Horizontal Freudian Slip, 13" MBA Cache, Brain Cell for 13" Macbook, Steel Snake Charmer, FoT/FoJ pouch, Organizer Wallet, and more organizer pouches than I can shake a stick at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misterN View Post
    I've attached some model shots with a hideous model of all three bags.
    Wow, thanks for the pics. It really helps to see them all to gain perspective. Although you favor the Cadet, I feel it's still a bit big for what I want. The more I look at the Ristretto, the more I like it except for the built-in sleeve. If I decide to go sans-MBA, then it may take up too much room. Maybe if Tom decided to modify the Ristretto to have a sliding, and removable, Cache like the Cadet, then I think he would have a winner! Would that be even possible though?

    Anyway, thanks for your help!
    Last edited by Just; 11-25-2011 at 09:02 PM. Reason: Removed images. Don't need same three pics twice in the same page of the same thread.

  7. #7
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    If you like the Ristretto look, but don't want the sleeve, look at the Large Cafe Bag. I'm currently in that boat, and seriously considering the LCB as a new bag. Its about the same size, and the pockets are slightly different, but you could get a cache to carry your lappy when you want.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlee97 View Post
    ...... The more I look at the Ristretto, the more I like it except for the built-in sleeve. If I decide to go sans-MBA, then it may take up too much room. ....
    I have the ristretto for iPad and often carry it without the iPad. I've not found the padded partition to be a problem (space wise) and it has the advantage of maintaining the structure of the bag, which appeals to me because I like a bag that holds its shape despite a light load.
    List under construction ....

  9. #9
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    Like misterN, I very much prefer my Cadet to my Ristretto. However, I understand the concern about the Cadet 13 being too big for your needs. It's not a "small" bag. I recommend ordering both Cadet sizes. I believe I read in the Cadet thread that a 13" MB (not sure if it was MBP or MBA) fit in the Cadet 11 without a case. If you can fit your MBA in the smaller Cadet, then you have a nice, compact viable option to the Ristretto, which is not a bad bag by any means, but I prefer horizontal to vertical--less digging.

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    MacBook Pro fits in 11MBA Cadet

    Quote Originally Posted by BagMonkey View Post
    Like misterN, I very much prefer my Cadet to my Ristretto. However, I understand the concern about the Cadet 13 being too big for your needs. It's not a "small" bag. I recommend ordering both Cadet sizes. I believe I read in the Cadet thread that a 13" MB (not sure if it was MBP or MBA) fit in the Cadet 11 without a case. If you can fit your MBA in the smaller Cadet, then you have a nice, compact viable option to the Ristretto, which is not a bad bag by any means, but I prefer horizontal to vertical--less digging.
    I bought The cadet for 11" MBAir but I can algo put my 13"MBPro with a clear case. I do have to take out the cache.


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