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Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    37

    Ristretto advice please

    I'm about to get a MacBook Air and am thinking about a Ristretto to hold it while flying. In addition to the Mac the other must-have at the seat with me are some noise-canceling headphones in a case that measures 8" x 9" x 2" thick. Does anyone have enough experience with the Ristretto to tell me if it has enough room for the Air and the (admittedly bulky) headphone case?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    13
    It would, but not a huge amount in addition to those and the power supply. I frequently carry a chunky paperback with me, plus other stuff.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Southeastern NC
    Posts
    408
    It would fit. I use the Ristretto for a MacBook and at least a couple of inches of other stuff most days. It all fits pretty well without significant bulging. That said, for travel I am using an ID with Brain Cell as I tend to carry more than the typical daily load. My travel stuff tends to overwhelm the capacity of the Ristretto. (There are days when I think I should just use a single bag rather than my schizophrenic-like switching.... but that would take all the fun out of it!!)

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    37
    Thanks much—I think I'll try it!

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    38
    If you aren't very careful with how you knock around or set your bag down with your MacBook Air in it, I would not recommend the Ristretto. It is a very nice looking bag like all things Bihn, but it has very limited protection and cushioning, being more of a lightly padded Cafe Bag than a true protective case. I ordered a Ristretto but returned it, and am much happier with the Zephyr/Brain Cell combo I lug my MacBook around in. I wish the Ristretto was as protective as a Brain Cell, because then it would be my bag of choice.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    134
    I'll chime in to say that I love my Ristretto with my MBA. It feels secure, yet accessible, which is what I wanted. The built-in case is suspended within the bag, so the bottom of the case (and, therefore, the MBA) does not touch the bottom of the bag itself. I do sometimes put the MBA in another sleeve (an Incase neoprene one) and then put it in the Ristretto (it's a very tight fit, but it does go in), but that's only when there's the possibility of some rough(er) handling.

    Btw, I slipped in my older (and larger) Bose noise-cancelling headphones in their case into the Ristretto and they fit fine. The newer, smaller, ones would leave more room, so should work well for you.

    The Ristretto isn't a large bag, but it's great for carrying the MBA and assorted goodies (AC adapter, cell modem, etc., in their individual organizer bags) as well as a paper notebook (in my case, a Circa letter size from Levenger), a medium organizer bag with post-its and such, and so forth. If I had to ask for any changes to the Ristretto, it would be to make it a tad thicker (front to back). If Tom Bihn had a Ristretto without the built-in case, I'd probably buy one of those, too, for when I wasn't carrying the MBA. I love the vertical form.


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