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Thread: So many bags to choose from, so little time!

  1. #1
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    Question So many bags to choose from, so little time!

    I desperately want to purchase a Tom Bihn bag but I cannot decide for the life of me which one that I want. Currently I use a large backpack, and I need to reduce my weight a bit. I sold my MacBook Pro and got an 11" Macbook Air, and I need to find a smaller bag. I want to get away from a backpack (even though the Synapse looks like an amazing bag!), so I am going to stick to a messenger or briefcase format.

    I need to carry the following items: 11" MacBook Air, iPad, PlugBug Combined Mac/USB charger, 500GB Wireless Seagate HDD, a few pens and thumb drives, a couple small cables/headphones, a handful of small person items like gum, Mio, etc., my work badge/keys/RSA tokens, and a wallet. (Occasionally

    I have the following PREFERENCE, though this is not a must: I would prefer that the iPad and Macbook are stored vertically as this is what I am used to.

    I have considered the following bags, and I have listed my reservations about each bag:

    Imago: I like this bag, though I am concerned that the iPad and MacBook will not sit side by side vertically, nor will it store all of my required accessories

    Ristretto: I love this bag, but the new one is not available until April. I have seen the old one in person and I know that it will hold all of my required items, but the new one almost seems to have less storage space? Mainly I don't want to wait until April

    Cadet: Looks too briefcase-ish, I would like to carry this bag daily more than just going to work.

    Empire Builder: Amazing looking bag, but I think I would cram it full of too much junk....more than I need.

    Co-Pilot: I do not know if this will fit all of my required items??

    ID/Super Ego/Checkpoint - All look way to large

    Any thoughts, suggestions, advice, etc is welcome. I thank you all in advance for your time and consideration.

  2. #2
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    It seems that the best bet for you is the Ristretto for iPad 11". I don't think the new design actually holds less -- it's mainly that that front pocket is zipped. Take a look at mouse-over view g of the interior. If you really don't want to wait until April, you can use an original style Ristretto, which is available in Navy/Steel for the 11" Air size, or ask Darcy or Katy to check whether any other colors are available in their store. With the Imago, your MacBook Air would sit horizontally, and you might want to use a hard case, sleeve, or cache in the larger Imago compartment, which is unpadded. This should hold your contents, but the organization of the Ristretto, with the separated outer pocket, may be more optimal for carrying the iPad and MacBook Air plus your accessories. Maybe someone else can chime in with suggestions.

    moriond

  3. #3
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    Large Cafe Bag?
    WhiteStar in Colorado
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    LCB (Azalea/Sapphire, Turq/Wasabi), MCB (Plum/Cayenne), Swift (Cork), Co-Pilot (Iberian), Synapse (UV), Citizen Canine (Kiwi/UV), Shop Bag (UV), key straps and pouches galore!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteStar View Post
    Large Cafe Bag?
    I second that, get a Large Cafe Bag with the appropriate Cache for the 11" MacBook Air and the iPad, PlugBug Combined Mac/USB charger, 500GB Wireless Seagate HDD, a few pens and thumb drives, a couple small cables/headphones, a handful of small person items like gum, Mio, etc., my work badge/keys/RSA tokens, and a wallet.

    In addition, get a couple of Padded Pouch(s) for your electronic and (regular) or Clear Pouch(s) for things like your thumb drives or the little stuff that are always needed but end up in the bottom of the bag the minute they are needed.


    The Large Cafe Bag is a great, everyday gear bag, that function just as well without the electronics or with just the iPad as a great purse.

    I am extremely biased, I have 4, in different colors. The 2 oldest have traveled a lot around the U.S in many modes of transportation, they are, hands down, the very best vertical bags around.
    Last edited by backpack; 02-11-2012 at 05:12 PM.

  5. #5
    Registered User WhiteStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    I am extremely biased, I have 4, in different colors.
    So me wanting a second one isn't crazy after all? (Turquoise/Wasabi keeps calling my name....)
    backpack and Katy like this.
    WhiteStar in Colorado
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    LCB (Azalea/Sapphire, Turq/Wasabi), MCB (Plum/Cayenne), Swift (Cork), Co-Pilot (Iberian), Synapse (UV), Citizen Canine (Kiwi/UV), Shop Bag (UV), key straps and pouches galore!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteStar View Post
    So me wanting a second one isn't crazy after all? (Turquoise/Wasabi keeps calling my name....)
    No, it is not crazy, all my bags match the different colors in my wardrobe and accessories.

    Ooooh! Another color with Turquoise, let me check the Large Cafe Bag page.

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    Ok, I never really considered the Cafe bags but this may work. Do I really need a large cafe bag though to hold everything our would a medium be sufficient?

  8. #8
    Registered User WhiteStar's Avatar
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    I'd go with a large. It's not that much bigger than the medium, and better to be able to pack the bag easily than have to figure out the exact way it has to be packed to fit everything.

    I went back and forth between the LCB and the MCB for several weeks before going with the large. So glad I did. Most days it's got a ton of empty space (but still looks good and carries easily) and I could use a medium, but on those days when it stuffed, I am so glad I got the large. Definitely spend the extra money for the Absolute Strap, its amazing. When my LCB is fully loaded, it feels like it weighs less than my old bag on a light day!
    WhiteStar in Colorado
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    LCB (Azalea/Sapphire, Turq/Wasabi), MCB (Plum/Cayenne), Swift (Cork), Co-Pilot (Iberian), Synapse (UV), Citizen Canine (Kiwi/UV), Shop Bag (UV), key straps and pouches galore!

  9. #9
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    I agree. I ordered the MCB and the LCB trying to decide between them. I decided on the LCB. The LCB works very well and holds just a little more than the MCB, but it is not that big. Best wishes OrionLethe with your decision.

  10. #10
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteStar View Post
    So me wanting a second one isn't crazy after all? (Turquoise/Wasabi keeps calling my name....)
    It's even more beautiful in person.. just saying!
    http://www.tombihn.com
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  11. #11
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrionLethe View Post
    Ok, I never really considered the Cafe bags but this may work. Do I really need a large cafe bag though to hold everything our would a medium be sufficient?
    I think the Large Cafe Bag would give you more flexibility. I've found that it's good to have flexibility. It's better to have a little extra room than not enough room . If you're still having a hard time deciding, you can always do as Marcus did and order both the Medium and Large Cafe Bags, fill them up with your stuff and see which one works best for you and send back the one that doesn't .
    http://www.tombihn.com
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    I agree that the Large would be better if you need to fit both the iPad and the Mac. I use my MCB for my iPad and assorted daily stuff, but I don't think a Mac in addition would fit comfortably in there.

  13. #13
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    In addition, The Large Cafe Bag has the Absolute Strap as an option, which makes any load feel like nothing.

    As Kathy said, you can order both, keep the one you like and send the other back.


    I strongly suspect that if another household member loves great bags, you might be keeping them both. It has happened before.

  14. #14
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    Ok, so I made my first purchase! I decided to get the old Ristretto, and I will likely also purchase either a medium or large cafe bag in the next few weeks. I will let everyone know which one I like and why. Thank everyone for their feedback, the Tom Bihn community is amazing!!

  15. #15
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    So I got my Classic Ristretto and then returned it in favor of an Imago. The Ristretto is a nice bag but it is fairly restrictive in what it can hold. If the laptop pad was able to be removed then I believe I would have kept the Ristretto. It seems I should have heeded everyones advice! Thanks for all of the help everyone, and thanks to Tom Bihn for amazing quality, products, and customer service!

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