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Thread: Large v. Medium Cafe Bag

  1. #1
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    Large v. Medium Cafe Bag

    I’ve got a large Café bag and really like the basic design of the bag, but it has proven to be just a bit too large. I’ve considered getting a café bag in a smaller size and fear the small would not accommodate my gear: hardback book, e-reader, small tablet, note book and assorted bits. The medium would probably be good, but I wonder if it is really that much different from the large.

    So, does anyone have a large and medium Café bag and can you really tell much difference?
    Could someone post pictures comparing the two?
    Is the medium maybe a little more structured or less “floppy” than the larger size?

    While the price isn’t really a deterrent I still hate to spend money on something that is basically the same as what I already have.

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    Here's a thread with comparison photos: Pics: Three sizes of the Café Bag together!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryLee View Post
    Is the medium maybe a little more structured or less “floppy” than the larger size?
    For the most structured versions of the Cafe bags, you can try the new options of 420d HT nylon Parapack fabric.

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    Here's a thread with comparison photos:
    Thanks that does help and I definitely should have gotten the medium to begin with, but just not sure it’s worth $75 for a very similar bag at this point.


    For the most structured versions of the Cafe bags, you can try the new options of 420d HT nylon Parapack fabric.
    Thanks for the tip, but I just received an organizer cube in the new material and while not trying to be too negative I didn’t really like it as much as the Cordura material. The new stuff is just a bit too shiny for me and kind of reminds me of the old backpack I had as kid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryLee View Post
    Thanks for the tip, but I just received an organizer cube in the new material and while not trying to be too negative I didn’t really like it as much as the Cordura material. The new stuff is just a bit too shiny for me and kind of reminds me of the old backpack I had as kid.
    The 420d HT Nylon Parapack is nicer in large pieces than it is in the organizer cubes. However, I personally like the Cordura better for the Cafe Bags. If it helps, the medium size Cafe Bag is less prone to sagging than the large size bag simply because there is less of an expanse of material. The 400d Dyneema will feel more cloth-like in texture and offer more support than the Cordura. I like this fabric much more than I thought I would, and based on the experience of getting a Side Effect in 400d Black Dyneema/Wasabi, I ordered a Little Swift in the 400d Black/Iberian Dyneema as well. (The Medium Cafe bag is currently available in 400d Nordic/Ultraviolet Dyneema and 400d Steel/Wasabi Dyneema)

    The bag that I really like with the new 420d HT Nylon Parapack are the 3D Mesh Organizer Cubes, which I use for cables and power bricks.

    I personally prefer the Medium Cafe Bag size, but that's because if I carry more I prefer to use a different type of bag, like the Swift. So this all boils down to your preferences.

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    @BarryLee You should probably decide whether you are,likely to want a Medium Cafe Bag in Cordura at any time in the future. They are discontinuing the manufacture of Cafe Bags in the wide range of Cordura color choices in favor of the 420d HT nylon Parapack fabric, which appeals to buyers for whom pet hair resistant fabrics are a requirement, and who want solid colors not afforded by the 400d Dyneema options. You can already judge from the Small Cafe color options that only a few colors will continue to be offered in the 1000d Cordura. I believe these will be combinations like Plum/Wasabi, since there is currently no good Nylon Parapack equivalent of this popular color, and Black/Wasabi or Cocoa/Wasabi. If you are familiar with the past color offerings for the Cafe bags, you'll be able to tell that some of the current stock of Medium Cafe bag colors are left over from previous construction batches, since the colors are no longer available.

    If you are happy with combinations like Plum/Wasabi and Cocoa/Wasabi (the first is one of my favorite combinations), then you have some leeway in making a decision, while Cordura options are still being manufactured. (These have the other advantage of being manufactured with the older style, softer and more pliable shoulder straps, which I prefer.) If, however, you strongly prefer other colors, your only recourse when the current batches sell out is to try to swap or find a bag in the color you like on eBay or Craig's list.

    The same comments (minus the comments about the strap) apply to the large Cafe Bags in Cordura. I decided to order a Small Cafe Bag in Plum/Wasabi Cordura (even though they are supposed to keep manufacturing this color combination for a while), so I checked on the status of the other Cordura bags in different colors when I called in. (I also wanted to know which bags had the more pliable straps in the style of a couple of years ago.)

    HTH. Cheers,

    moriond

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryLee View Post
    I’ve considered getting a café bag in a smaller size and fear the small would not accommodate my gear: hardback book, e-reader, small tablet, note book and assorted bits. The medium would probably be good, but I wonder if it is really that much different from the large.

    So, does anyone have a large and medium Café bag and can you really tell much difference?

    Is the medium maybe a little more structured or less “floppy” than the larger size?
    I have all three cafe bags and I prefer the medium and pretty much carry everything you listed: hardback book, kindle, iPad mini, small clipboard, glasses case, phone, small OP w/ lip stuff, pills, etc., wet wipes.

    And yes, there is a noticeable difference between the medium and large cafe bags. The medium is not floppy like the large can be, and the problem with the large is that you may be prone to put in more stuff and it becomes uncomfortably heavy.

    Love the cordura, too.

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    Looks like this problem took care of itself and I found out how true one of the forum maxims can be. I finally decided to place an order for the medium café bag in cocoa/wasabi only to find that over the weekend it went on backorder with April 2014 availability. Oh well I knew the going advice that when you see something you want you had better jump on it, but I snoozed.
    Last edited by BarryLee; 12-16-2013 at 04:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryLee View Post
    Looks like this problem took care of itself and I found out how true one of the forum maxims can be. I finally decided to place an order for the medium café bag in cocoa/wasabi only to find that over the weekend it went on backorder with April 2014 availability. Oh well I knew the going advice that when you see something you want you had better jump on it, but I snoozed.
    There is a good side to this. First, the color combination you wanted is one of the ones they will keep making for a while (Cocoa/Wasabi and Plum/Wasabi), because as yet there are no good HT Nylon Parapack color counterparts to these popular combinations. Secondly, if you do place an order now you will get it sometime -- as opposed to having this combination disappear forever!

    moriond

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    I'm now feeling very pleased I picked up a large cocoa/olive CB on eBay for $30.00 this past week. The cocoa is a color I have always admired, but my first purchase from TB turned out to be a navy/cork/wasabi Imago instead. At a $30 price point, I thought I could afford to try out the CB and see how I like it for myself.

    Unfortunately, I am now stuck in bed because of the flu (strain B) and accompanying pneumonia. So the cafe bag is waiting for me when I rise off my sick bed. I bought the bag quickly, not knowing what interior color it was. Seeing the olive, I had to gasp at its loveliness!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mausermama View Post
    I'm now feeling very pleased I picked up a large cocoa/olive CB on eBay for $30.00 this past week. The cocoa is a color I have always admired, but my first purchase from TB turned out to be a navy/cork/wasabi Imago instead. At a $30 price point, I thought I could afford to try out the CB and see how I like it for myself.

    Unfortunately, I am now stuck in bed because of the flu (strain B) and accompanying pneumonia. So the cafe bag is waiting for me when I rise off my sick bed. I bought the bag quickly, not knowing what interior color it was. Seeing the olive, I had to gasp at its loveliness!
    Get well soon! Lucky you to get the Navy/Cork/Wasabi Imago when it was available. No more cork for now (sniff!). Also, great job scoring with the Large Cafe Bag in Cocoa/Olive on eBay. I have a Ristretto for iPad in that color combination.


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