Love my Ristretto for iPad!
I'm a new member of the forum. I currently own one Tom Bihn bag, a Ristretto for my iPad. Actually, it's now for my iPad 3. I've upgraded my iPad, the new one fits perfectly in the bag, but there's absolutely no reason to change the bag.
The Ristretto's just perfect. I own other bags but I rarely use them. Everything I need fits into the Ristretto so nicely. In fact, I keep finding new things to carry in it and the Ristretto just swallows the new items with no problems. It's just perfect.
I just purchased my first Apple laptop and I'm trying to figure out which Tom Bihn bag I'll be using to carry it. There are a lot of good possibilities and I'll be checking with you guys to help me make my decision.
Zephyr versus Empire Builder
Originally Posted by ErinS
The Zephyr and Empire Builder are practically identical with respect to features (pockets, material etc). However, the Empire Builder, at 22.5 liters, is the bigger brother of the Zephyr, at 17.5 liters.
If you have the 13" or 15" MacBook Pro or the MacBook Air models, no problem at all for either bag. Be sure to use a sleeve, though, or better still, one of Tom Bihn's Horizontal Brain Cell which clips right into the bag and can be used as a separate laptop carry sleeve as it has handles and clips for a strap. If you go with the Horizontal Brain Cell, be sure to size it correctly.
Both bags also have these stiff, padded sides that make them very solid and professional-looking. Additionally, there are some stiff dividers inside for papers and files. I ended up removing these (easily done) from my Zephyr as I rarely use papers anymore. That bought me a little extra space.
While I have used my wonderful Zephyr for about six years, I have needed to carry more tech stuff with me over time, and found that it was a tad small with respect to depth. In retrospect I would have done better with an Empire Builder from the start, but I don't even know if that was available six years ago.
I recently purchased a Super Ego, which is even larger (a whopping 27 liters) and works great for all the "stuff" I need to carry in addition to my MacBook Pro in the Brain Cell and my iPad in a Tom Bihn Cache for iPad.
You will need to examine your needs. Either bag will have no problem with your laptop and iPad, but you need to analyze how much else you want to carry. Don't hesitate to call TB Customer Service if you need guidance.
Oh ... and one more thing ... no matter which bag you order, be sure to specify the Absolute Shoulder Strap for the extra $20 (when placing the order along with the bag). You won't regret it. It's the best, most comfortable strap in the luggage industry!
I know it's tough deciding which bag ... but it's even tougher waiting with great anticipation once you pull the trigger and place your order. It's called the TB Anticipation Syndrome... there's a whole thread on this malady elsewhere in these forums.
Someone please help me!
I have BAS (Bihn Acquisition Syndrome)!!