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Thread: Request for slight Cafe Bag redesign

  1. #1
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    Request for slight Cafe Bag redesign

    Hi TB--

    The release just a few days ago of five new bags/accessories was quite a feat! I am looking forward to receiving my spankin' new Aeronaut 30.

    At the risk of diminishing the 'new bags' glow of accomplishment, I want to lobby (again; this has been previously mentioned) for a couple of modifications to the Cafe Bag. I have been looking at the cafe bags for a long time but have hesitated to make a purchase. I can see myself buying multiple MCB and LCBs if only they had two additional features: a pocket with diagonal zipper (I love the diagonal zipper style on other bags) on the front of the main flap and a zippered main compartment. I currently have a non-TB cross-body bag with the front flap pocket feature (it's slightly gusseted for expansion) and I use it constantly to hold my sunglasses, metro pass, a pen, and chapstick. The front pocket flap is such a useful feature that I would love to see it on the Cafe Bags (my old bag needs to be retired, hence my wish for this on the CBs asap!). The zippered main feature would be great, as well, for security on the metro and when traveling, and to keep stuff from falling out (I'm not the most careful with my bags!). The top flap zipper is my top priority but the presence of both features would really make this this best EDC/travel/every day for every body-bag!!

    Curious to know if others also support the addition of these features!

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    I would agree with this! The outer zipper would be good for quick access, but more secure than the open back pocket. The inner zipper would help not only for additional security but for a bit of weather proofing and for keeping things from falling out. These two modifications would make it perfect!
    Holly likes this.

  3. #3
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    It's mostly lack of a zippered main compartment that has kept me from ordering one, also. And the flap compartment sounds good, too! I would go so far as to even request a small zippered inner compartment, since I like to keep things I don't use often in a place like that (e.g., keys to my husband's car.)

  4. #4
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    The way, we Cafe Bags users deal with this is to use the various Pouches, Cubes and Kits affixed to the bags numerous O-rings via Key Straps and/or Double Carabiner.

    Most public transports agencies, in major metropolitan areas, use touch cards as means to collect fare, they fit perfectly in a Small Clear Pouches and do not need to be removed from it to be validated.

    A Simple Strap is long enough to have one side clipped to an O-ring and the other side to the Small Clear Pouch clip housed in a coat, jacket or pant pocket.

    The back open pocket of the Cafe Bags can be zippered by inserting one or more Pouches secured via Double Carabiners and Keystraps to the top handle.


    I do understand how you feel about the lack of main compartment zipper because I felt the same way when I received my first Cafe Bag. However, I have always used little containers inside my purses.

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    Although I completely agree with the benefits suggested for these two features, I can't help but feel they would ruin the simplistic design of the bag. I don't think I'd welcome the look of the zip on the top flap even though it would be useful.

    I have a Ristretto 13, Large Cafe Bag and my daughter has a Small Cafe Bag. I think the features each have today are the right balance of style and function.
    Last edited by Perseffect; 07-05-2014 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Correcting Spelling Mistake
    A vote for "Portable Culture"
    Tri-Star ([Black/Steel), Aeronaut (Steel/UV), Pilot (Black Dyneema/Wasabi), Zephyr (Black/Wasabi), Synapse 25 (Black/Iberian), Ristretto 13 (Navy/Solar), Large Cafe Bag (Linen/Navy), Small Cafe Bag (Plum/Wasabi), Side Effect (Navy/Solar) (Black Dyneema/Wasabi)(Aubergine/Wasabi), Travel Trays (UV/Iberian/Nordic/Black), Large Shop Bag (Nordic)

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    I use the SCB to throw a camera (Olympus OM-D EM10) and would love a zippered main compartment to at least keep it enclosed. I use zippered pouches for smaller items.

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    I know this is slightly off topic but another easy mod I did was cut off the hard plastic shoulder rest. I use it without a pad or if I have a heavier load, the ultrasuede shoulder strap. I find the one that came attached extremely hard and in the way. It works just fine, if not better, without that plastic.

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    Hi all,

    I'm not suggesting that the Cafe Bags aren't great--they are! But for me, a zipper for the main compartment is more than a want; it's a need. I use pouches and such and they're fine but not perfect. As for the top pouch zipper, I never expected to love such a thing as much as I do on my older non-TB bag I described in my original post but for me it's so convenient for those items you need at a moment's notice (and accessible in a tight crowd such as is a daily occurrence on the DC metro) that I think it would become a quick favorite. Anyway, to each his/her own!!

  9. #9
    Registered User daisy's Avatar
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    On a recent trip I carried my small camera in a padded pouch attached to an inside o-ring by a long keystrap - most times the pouch was in the back open pocket but moved inside the bag when i felt more security was appropriate. Easy to grab the camera and just one zip to undo (the one on the pouch). Often i would just let the empty pouch drop to get my picture.

    I like the clean look of the CBs and would not buy one with more zips ...
    Last edited by daisy; 07-06-2014 at 12:13 AM. Reason: typo
    List under construction ....

  10. #10
    Amy
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    I have a bbp hybrid messenger bag (older model) with a single large zip in the front flap, and found that pocket incredibly useful because of its size and accessibility. I love the look of the cafe bag, but i dont see myself getting one because I find messenger bag flaps to be kind of fiddly.

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    I wonder if the fabled cross body knitting bag would serve some of the needs you mention. Perhaps it is still on the drawing board? Any word there, Bihn-makers?
    CTQuilter and jess like this.

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    There already is a zippered compartment running the whole width of the front. Leave the Cafe Bag ALONE!

  13. #13
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    JM2C, but I think all the suggestions for improvement are best implemented in a new horizontal cross-body-- perhaps something like a larger and fancier version of the Battle Lake Outdoors Horizon Shoulder Bag. (I have this bag. It's great! I just wish it was larger.)

    As some have pointed out, the aesthetics of the cafe bags militate against a diagonal zipper on the front flap-- again, this is merely my (strongly held) opinion, but it would really mess up the bag's 'clean' aesthetic. Also, including a zipper for the main compartment would require some major re-engineering and make it a quite different bag from the construction perspective, though I'm no sewing expert. I imagine you would have to cut the cloth very differently, etc.

    These are wonderful suggestions, though. Could they be incorporated into the fancy-fied PCSB equivalent of the DLBP? Or a knitting bag that can be used for non-knitting purposes too? Pretty please?
    Last edited by adalangdon; 07-06-2014 at 12:08 AM.
    ISO: Old TB stuff! But especially Turquoise/Cayenne MCB, Pine MCB, Kiwi, Ultrasuede LSes, Pink Swift, Ego seat belt buckle strips, anything in Sage, Hemp, Crimson ballistic & Indigo ballistic

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    You know, ever since this thread was started I quietly thought about closing the main hatch with a zipper close or not.
    I use my small cafe bag a lot, and I have to say I would stick with the original concept.
    Using an SE as my inner organizer, with other pouches within that solves the issue of things flying out.
    I agree with the poster above that a zippered close under the flap would kill the simple aesthetics of the bag.
    Do I want a mini copilot, hmmmm, no.

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    The first additional zipper I'd want on the Cafe bag is to close the top against dip-n-go theft, as well as when sitting on an seat, floor, or overhead on short- or long-haul transportation.

    I've got a Timbuk2 tote (overseas era) that has a zippered "skirt" that tucks down out of the way when you don't need it, and zips neatly shut when using it as the "personal item" on a plane, or in a place that theft could be an issue. (It looks like it may be a Tartine Tote Bag, or its predecessor or mass-produced version). Because of its relative unobtrusiveness when unzipped, that type of closure would be very welcome on the Cafe bag.
    Last edited by jeff; 07-06-2014 at 09:47 PM.

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