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Thread: Will my winter hat and gloves fit in the Ristretto for 13" Macbook?

  1. #1
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    Will my winter hat and gloves fit in the Ristretto for 13" Macbook?

    I just moved to Montreal from the southern US, and am adjusting to city life from many years in the driving culture. I walk 1.6km (1 mile) to work, and am looking for a bag to carry to or from work to hold my Macbook Air, various cables, a few personal items, and some paper. But I'll also need to shove my winter hat and gloves into the bag a few times a week when I have meetings away from my home base.

    Given the weather here I'll be walking through ice and snow and not always well cleared sidewalks, so I want a bag that fits relatively symmetrically on my back so I'm not unbalanced. The Ristretto looks high end enough for work in this metropolitan environment, but I'm not sure how much I can get into it beyond the Macbook Air and a few odds and ends. Will I be able to stash my winter hat and gloves into that bag?

    I may also want to stash my lunch in the bag too. That may rule out the Ristretto. What other options should I consider?

  2. #2
    Registered User terayon's Avatar
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    I think a Large Cafe Bag (or a Synapse if you'd consider a backpack) would work. I don't know about the Ristretto, but I'm guessing it'd be too small.

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    I would go for a Synapse with a cache to protect your MacAir from the cold and a possible fall.

    It should meet your symmetry requirement and provide you with a place to stash your hat and gloves once you arrive.

    It is certainly large enough for everything you mentioned and more... I use a monbento bento box for lunch and have never regretted it... and it provides you with a place to stash a hot Contigo thermos full of whatever you want....

    I have a small cafe bag for running around, but it rarely gets used.... instead, I use my synapse and a side effect.... for additional goodies, I carry a co-pilot
    Proud owner: Aeronaut Navy/Wasabi (wish it was Navy/Solar); Synapse 19 Navy/Ultraviolet (wish it was Navy/Solar); Co-Pilot Navy/Solar; Side-Effect Navy/Solar(piggy-backed onto my Co-Pilot); Side-Effect Black/Wasabi (wish it was Black/Solar); Snake Charmer Sapphire; Yarn Sacks Sm Solar, Med Iberian, Lg Solar; Travel Sacks Sz1 Ultraviolet, Sz4 Steel; and Key Straps of many colors plus many many pouches

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    The ID with a QAM strap might also be a good option if you are looking to stick with a messenger bag. Using that strap the pack stays very close on my back and is stable.

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    Thanks for the advice. I'd been looking at a Synapse, but hadn't considered the large cafe bag. Off to read some more!

  6. #6
    Registered User bunchgrass's Avatar
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    This is another vote for the Synapse. I own the large cage bag; my husband owns a Synapse 19. I vote for the Synapse because it's a backpack and the weight is distributed evenly. This can help you keep your balance when sidewalks are slick. My husband carries an amazing amount of stuff in his S19, so I am sure it will hold the items on your list.

  7. #7
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    Welcome to Canada! I travel often to Montreal (love it in February!), so I can understand the need to carry extra winter items. I own the S19 and a LCB. I am using my S19 a lot more and I can fit mitts, touque, and arm warmers in the bottom front pocket. I also frequently carry a 13-inch laptop with its case, and the rest of my stuff (electronics, etc.) in a very well-balanced manner. I do not doubt that the S19 would be perfect for your needs. I recently wrote a review in the forums, so you can easily see how much you can fit in this wonderful bag.

  8. #8
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    By the way, we recently traveled through the Eastern Townships in QC and this bag was my EDC. I love it!

    Finally! My formal review of the Synapse 19!

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    I'm 5' 9" - will the S19 be uncomfortable for me? I see it recommended only for people up to 5' 4".

  10. #10
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    The other plus for the Synapse is the organisation. With the Ristretto I find myself pulling out things like gloves and so on trying to reach my pen or note pad. Whilst sitting in front of a client, that's not exactly professional. With the S19 you have pockets for your hat and gloves, your lunch and your computers and papers.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

  11. #11
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    I am around 5'6" tall and it's fine for me. My husband is 6'2" and he has worn the bag and found it very comfortable.

  12. #12
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    Here are some photos of my husband wearing the bag. He is very slim and tall. He really liked the way the bag fit on him.

    Synapse 19 goes to Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

    I do find the bag very comfortable for my height as well. Even with heavy loads.

  13. #13
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    Here are three photos I took just now when I walked to the grocery store. I am wearing a thick winter coat (not sure why, it's mild outside today, go figure), so you can more or less see the size.

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  14. #14
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    Check this out as well. A lot of very good photos and pack size information:

    Who says short people can't carry big bags?

  15. #15
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    Really helpful, especially the pics. Thank you!

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