Post By deltagorno
Travel laptop bag for 13" MacBook Air — do things fall out of the Ristretto?
Short question: Do things fall out of the Ristretto for 13" MacBook Air when going through airports? The open main pocket is scary to me.
Longish background: My every day carry bag is leather bag (from another company) that I love. It helps me look like a professor, which is good, because that's my job. The leather bag is huge. I could fit roughly a dozen kittens inside it (two dozen, if I stacked the kittens). The leather itself is utterly indestructible. And when empty that frickin' bag weighs roughly the same as my Subaru, making the bag absolutely suck for travel.
I live in Alaska and travel to the lower-48 a few times a year. Having a good travel laptop bag is something of a necessity. Here's a list of needs and wants:
- Cram it under seat in front of me or overhead bin;
- Invert the bag without junk falling out because I'm clumsy and lazy;
- Carry a 13" MacBook Air, iPad (3rd Gen), related cables, chargers, and a book or two;
- Big enough to carry my stuff but not so big that my stuff swims around in there;
- Double as a light EDC for when I just need my iPad and not much else;
- Cool-lookin' bag that my dad would not carry because he's not cool. He's square.
I'd love to give Tom Bihn money in exchange for a bag. I just don't know which one best suits my needs.
Great questions! I'm also looking at the Ristretto and have similar concerns about the open main pocket. Hopefully there'll be some good reports coming through this thread. :-)
LOL - would the kittens scratch the bag less if they were stacked?
I don't have a Ristretto, so apart from my pointless kitten contribution I can't be of much help. Others will be able to comment on whether you can get all that stuff in a Ristretto. Have you thought about an Imago? I share your fear of open top bags though. It is so much easier for the kittens to escape. (No kittens were harmed during the composition of this post. But most people here seem to be dog people anyway.)
JLE, this is the internet. There are no pointless kitten contributions.
I have considered an Imago. My current travel laptop bag is a horizontal-messenger style, sized for a 15" MacBook Pro and has a drawstring closure for the main pocket. It's a good weight (unlike my leather bag) but it's getting a bit worn and is just a teensy bit too big for the 13" MacBook Air.
I like the size and proportions of the Ristretto. And I like the way the Cadet has a Cache that would be good for making it through airport security. But the design of the Cadet is sort of boring. I'd buy a CoPilot if the 13" MacBook Air would fit in it, but it looks like it won't.
Hey there! I have an old-style Ristretto (without a front zipper pocket. open pocket instead) for MacBook Air 11". Given that this is neither for the13" nor the modern zippered model, my input may or may not be useful.
Originally Posted by paynetc
I use my Ristretto as my everyday bag. It fits a long wallet & Canon S95 (in soft-case) in the front open pocket, with my bank book, company ID, business card case, and portable chopsticks in the inner-front zipper pocket. In the main open compartment I keep a small towel, eco-shopping bag, and an Amazon Kindle (3rd Gen. keyboard in lighted case). This leaves the padded pocket for my iPad or MBA11, and the back pocket for papers. That's just to give you an idea of my usage.
As far as your needs:
1) Cram it under a seat? Absolutely.
2) Invert it safely? I imagine this would be fine. The bag is vertically oriented, so I doubt it would get inverted easily. I will flip mine over something soft when I get home and get back to you.
3) Carry MBA, iPad, cords, books, etc.? Definitely. The MBA fits in the padded pocket, cords + chargers in the front, and the main compartment is spacious enough for an iPad and a book (depending on thickness of book, of course). I have put 85mm-diameter camera lenses in the main pocket before.
1) I got this as a smaller option to my briefcase. It's light and compact. No problems with unauthorized swimming.
2) This is my everyday bag when I'm not bringing my SLR. Pretty great for that.
3) I think it looks cool.
Hope this helps. Will do the inversion test tonight!
Okay. I just loaded the bag with the wallet and camera in the front pocket as above, stuck the iPad in the main compartment, and popped the MBA11 in the padded pocket. I then snapped the main flap shut, grabbed the bottom corners and fully inverted the bag. Nothing came out. I then shook the bag vigorously just to make sure. No problem at all!
Ristretto Inversion Test: PASSED
(The above experiment was conducted in a controlled environment using precision instruments. DeltaGorno Labs, Inc. bears no responsibility or liability for losses, damages, or other unfortunate circumstances which may occur from attempting to replicate the procedure described in this post. This post was made for informative purposes, and should not be construed as a solicitation for investment, purchase, or use of complex financial instruments. Individuals engaging in lateral traversal of roadways should confirm traffic conditions in all relevant directions before proceeding.)
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