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Thread: Medium Cafe Bag vs Small Cafe Bag

  1. #1
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    Medium Cafe Bag vs Small Cafe Bag

    I've been looking for a bag to hold my iPad Mini and my Canon EOS M with extra lens along with batteries, recharge cables, etc.

    Basically, something small that won't weigh me down.

    I am a professional photographer who normally carries a couple of DSLRs and multiple lenses, but I am looking to downsize when I am about out and about.

    I really like the Small Cafe Bag and it will fulfill my needs but I don't like the color options. I want it in black.

    So I started looking at the Medium Cafe Bag, which comes in black, and I'm wondering if I should buy that, even though it exceeds my needs at the moment, on the basis that I might end up using it to store more things.

    I already have a bunch of camera bags in all sizes, but they are all designed for my DSLRs, so I'm looking much slimmer and smaller to accommodate the Canon mirrorless camera.

    If I go with the SCB, then I would have to go with the olive/wasabi, but I really don't like that color, even though it's better than the other ones available.

    If I go with the MCB, I would go with the black, but then I would be walking around with a bag that may be too large for my needs.

    My goal is to downsize everything, so I can go about my daily business with the basic necessities. I already have the bags for the larger cameras or laptop.

    So my questions are:

    Why doesn't Tom Bihn offer the SCB in black, which is one of the most basic colors?

    Would the MCB be too large for me or would I end up being glad I have the extra space to store whatever else i need to store (which will bring me back to the original issue in that i carry too much crap that weighs me down)?

    I really like the Tom Bihn bags and I like the company from what I've seen (although that jigsaw puzzle Captcha requirement was a little overkill), but I am considering buying a small bag in black from another company.

    I found this question from three years ago from a person who is basically looking for the same thing I'm looking for now, so I'm not alone in wanting something small, slim and discrete, which is why black is the best option.

    Help me find the perfect murse - manbag bag | Ask MetaFilter

  2. #2
    Registered User pegolas's Avatar
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    I say go with the Medium Cafe Bag. I'm a hobbit-sized woman, and I carry the Large Cafe Bag as my EDC, and it really works.

    The cafe bags are unstructured, so even if the size is a bit bigger than you think you need, it won't seem like it. Honestly, I think the MCB is a good size for what you're carrying, and I'd suggest maybe an organizer cube or two to keep things where they need to be.

  3. #3
    Registered User daisy's Avatar
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    The SCB has been offered in black in the past (MrDaisy has one) so it may come back at some point - or perhaps check for used ones on eBay.

    I have a SCB (navy) and often think a medium would be better....
    List under construction ....

  4. #4
    Registered User bunchgrass's Avatar
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    I own both the SCB and the MCB. To give it some perspective - I was able to fit a file folder in my MCB along with keys and an organizer wallet and assorted personal stuff. I think the MCB would be a better choice than the SCB for what you want to carry. The MCB really isn't all that huge. IMO the MCB is a good general purpose size bag.

  5. #5
    Registered User Ms. Ferret's Avatar
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    Another vote for the MCB. My EDC is a SCB and I think your described loadout, while it would technically fit in the SCB, would be a bit of a squeeze if you're carrying anything else (keys, wallet, phone, sunglasses, etc.).
    If you are just carrying things from one place to another and unloading at your destination, that may not be a problem. If you're going to be digging for stuff en route, the MCB would do the job more comfortably IMO.

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    The SCB does exist in black. Just not right now.

    Like basically everyone else here, I think that it would be a bit of a squeeze to get everything you describe into a SCB, frankly. The MCB does not actually have too much bigger of a profile than the SCB. I second the suggestion of an organizer pouch or cube to contain the cables.

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    The SCB is under renovation. So if you're set on the SCB and can wait, you might get your black SCB.
    Small Cafe Bag Colors?

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    Thanks for the responses. Interesting that the SCB is under renovation. I wonder how long will it take to introduce the new bag.

    As it is now, the olive/wasabi color is no longer available in the SCB, which was the one I would have purchased.

    And while the MCB will fit my needs, it defeats the purpose of what I'm looking for. If anything, I would like a SCB to carry my iPad Mini and camera and lenses with batteries and maybe a LCB for those day when I want to to carry all that plus my MacBook Pro.

    I'm looking into Manhattan Portage because they have bags in the size and color I want (with great review just like TB receives), but from what I can tell on the internet, the TB bags seem a little better.

    So can anybody who works at TB give me a clue as to how long it might take to see the renovated SCB?

  9. #9
    Ken
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    Quote Originally Posted by PINAC View Post
    Thanks for the responses. Interesting that the SCB is under renovation. I wonder how long will it take to introduce the new bag.

    As it is now, the olive/wasabi color is no longer available in the SCB, which was the one I would have purchased.

    And while the MCB will fit my needs, it defeats the purpose of what I'm looking for. If anything, I would like a SCB to carry my iPad Mini and camera and lenses with batteries and maybe a LCB for those day when I want to to carry all that plus my MacBook Pro.

    I'm looking into Manhattan Portage because they have bags in the size and color I want (with great review just like TB receives), but from what I can tell on the internet, the TB bags seem a little better.

    So can anybody who works at TB give me a clue as to how long it might take to see the renovated SCB?
    A couple of quick notes. First, always call TB to see if there are bags on the showroom floor in the color that you desire. Second, I own a MCB and just recently bought a SCB, primarily to carry an m4/3rd's camera w/viewfinder and a second lens. I do not believe that you are going to fit an iPad Mini, a DSLR and additional lenses in a SCB in a way that wil make you happy. And if you did, it would look quite pregnant! The MCB may better meet your needs because if it is not overfilled, it is soft enough to conform to its load and yet it should avoid that overfilled shape of an overstuffed SCB. You may want to give it some thought.

    Good luck,

    --Ken

    P.S. IIRC, as of Friday, I beleive there was an Olive/Wasabi SCB on the showroom floor.

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    From the "Small Cafe Bag Colors?" post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Exactly! It's gonna be a long-ish wait, too. But we think everyone will think it's worth it...

    Probably not the answer you wanted to hear.

    I have both the SCB and the MCB. I can easily fit my iPad mini with Logitech ultra thin keyboard (no additional pouch yet), 5"x7" spiral notebook, chunky eyeglass case, and a couple of organizer pouches as well as some other small odds and ends in my SCB. I'm not sure how your camera relates to the size of these items, but hope that helps. I really like my MCB too. It's nice for minimal study supplies - a letter-sized notebook and folders as well as my normal SCB contents.

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    The bag is not for my DSLR, but for my compact mirrorless camera with extra lens, which you can see here.

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget....addsc00140.jpg

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    You can see here the camera I'm referring to is much smaller than a DSLR.

    Canon EOS M Review

  13. #13
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    My chunky eyeglass chase is 6" x 2.5" x 1.75", comparable to your camera or lens? I have easily fit this eyeglass case, a bottle of water (16 oz.), 5" x 7" spiral notebook, and organizer pouches in the SCB; no iPad mini in that scenario, however. Don't know the size of the extra lens, but it seems like your mini, camera and lens would fit. It might be snug or require some specific arrangement. Are you patient enough for the new release? Or as someone mentioned earlier, call TB directly and ask if a black SCB is in store.

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    I will wait to see what TB has in store for the upcoming SCB.

    In the meantime, I just purchased this one that seems to suit my needs. I have several Lowepros and they are good bags, but I was hoping for something a little different this time around, but it's really hard to find decent bags that accommodate mirrorless cameras as well as tablets.

    Lowepro StreamLine 150 Shoulder Bag LP36589-PWW B&H Photo Video


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