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  1. #1
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    my 2 cents on a suggestion for the Ristretto

    I've been lusting after the Ristretto for a while, as a carrier for my 13inch MacBook Pro. I love that it looks so much nicer than a generic laptop bag. I'm stuck on one point though -- why isn't the sleeve removable? I'd rather have that bag offered with no padding at all, so I could buy my own thin sleeve and slip it in and out to get through the TSA, rather than having to remove my laptop and lay it naked on the bumpy conveyer belt.

    I need a bag that could function as both an around-town bag (just my laptop and some basic daily stuff), and for use when I fly. So I'm disappointed in this design decision! Would love if I could get a version with no padding so I could use my own sleeve.

    I've been looking over all the other Tom Bihn bags too. I'm sure I'll end up buying something, though probably not the Ristretto.

  2. #2
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    You may want to look at the Co-Pilot. It is small, works well as a laptop bag, has no built in sleeve, and can hold your phone, keys, water bottle, and a few other things for day to day use. I ended up getting it over the Ristretto for my iPad because of the flexibility.

  3. #3
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Thanks!
    I like that one too and was looking at it.
    But does it fit a 13inch laptop? (In a tight-fitting sleeve).
    Beth

  4. #4
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    Hmm, good question, may be a bit snug for a laptop of that size.

    edit - luckily I have my Co Pilot with me at work - looks like the macbook pro would fit, just. It's about three inches longer and an inch deeper than my ipad, and I think it would fit, but might need a little wrangling.
    Last edited by Peregrine; 09-24-2010 at 08:56 AM.

  5. #5
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    A MacBook (Pro or not) will not fit in a co-pilot, especially with a sleeve. Seems to me like a Ristretto with a removable sleeve would be a cafe bag.....??
    Last edited by rabergnc; 09-24-2010 at 09:37 AM.

  6. #6
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabergnc View Post
    Seems to me like a Ristretto with a removable sleeve would be a cafe bag.....??
    Sadly, no. The Cafe bag isn't tall enough to fit the 13in MB. (Even the large.) It's shorter than the Ristretto.

  7. #7
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    Sadly, no. The Cafe bag isn't tall enough to fit the 13in MB. (Even the large.) It's shorter than the Ristretto.
    I second this. I tried the Large Cafe Bag with my 13" White MacBook and found it to be too tight for my taste. I wouldn't recommend it.

    The Padded portion in the Ristretto does have a little give, perhaps one of those snap on Speck hard shell cases would provide some protection when going through security?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    Sadly, no. The Cafe bag isn't tall enough to fit the 13in MB. (Even the large.) It's shorter than the Ristretto.
    Live and learn!! Thanks for the information. In that case - a Ristretto with a removable sleeve is an intriguing idea!

  9. #9
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    Is a MacBook Pro bigger than a MacBook? My thirteen-inch MacBook fits fine in the Large Cafe Bag. That's why I bought the large in the first place.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmanedit View Post
    Is a MacBook Pro bigger than a MacBook? My thirteen-inch MacBook fits fine in the Large Cafe Bag. That's why I bought the large in the first place.
    Are you using a sleeve or a cache with your MacBook? It's possible to fit the MacBook into a Large Cafe Bag, but Katy's right that the fit is much tighter, assuming you're using some kind of protection around the MacBook. The Ristretto has a longer and slimmer shape that's better suited to carrying these laptops. It is possible to slip your laptop (in a sleeve) into the Ristretto in front of the padded pocket, but that kind of takes away the purpose of having the padding there.

    I know this is a different bag style (backpack, not messenger), but bchaplin, have you considered the Synapse? I have both the Ristretto and the Synapse, and the Synapse gets more use as an everyday bag. It's amazingly well designed, and I love the organization of the pockets and separate compartments. It works extremely well for both light carries (e.g. just the laptop, and a few items), or more substantial loads. Almost everyone's reaction is that it's really small, but then they're amazed at how much you can fit in it if you need to.

    Incidentally, the site's Laptop Bag Fit Guide link on pages such as the main one for Laptop Bags should probably get updated, since bags like the Synapse don't appear at all in the listing, there's no mention of any bags released later than the Checkpoint Flyer and Western Flyer -- no Tri-Star, for example -- and if people start looking for extended definitions of laptops (such as netbooks or the iPad), they won't find any of the new options like the Co-Pilot, the Ristretto for iPad or, another combination that I'm using: the (iPad-sized) Cache inside the Little Swift.

    moriond
    Last edited by moriond; 09-24-2010 at 04:23 PM. Reason: deleted duplicate word.

  11. #11
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    gmanedit - Seconding the question - Can your MacBook fit in the large cafe bag with a sleeve? The dimensions of the 13inch MBP are 12.8in x 8.9in x 1in. The sort of sleeve I use adds about 1/2 inch in every direction (maybe slightly less, it's hard to measure). The cafe bag dimensions are 13 x 12 x 3, so I assume it's the height dimension that can be tricky?

    moriond - Thank you for the suggestion. I'm sure the synapse is amazing, but I'm not really into backpacks. I am too clumsy to wear them without bumping into people on the train, and prefer the security and accessibility of a shoulder bag or purse.

  12. #12
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    Hi, moriond, bchaplin.

    I use a lightly padded sleeve from Muji:



    I'm good about putting things down carefully, so this level of protection has worked so far. It's an upgrade from a plastic grocery bag.

  13. #13
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    The Imago will work for this. I have a MacBook Pro 13inch (the newer one), and it fits there with the sleeve. The old white macbooks fit in the Imago too. It will also carry other things efficiently; and I think it is a very neat, sleek looking bag--and particularly sharp in Steel/Cork. see pictures from the TB fest!

  14. #14
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Thanks, Shiva!
    Since the Imago does not appear to have a zipper on the top, do you happen to know if it is reasonably rainproof, while carrying a laptop in a sleeve inside?
    And if you don't mind answering a second question: with a laptop, could I comfortably fit a Moleskine, iPhone and Kindle as well in the Imago?
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  15. #15
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmanedit View Post
    I use a lightly padded sleeve from Muji:

    I'm good about putting things down carefully, so this level of protection has worked so far. It's an upgrade from a plastic grocery bag.
    That's a nice sleeve. Probably a little safer for your Macbook than a plastic bag :)

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