The Cadet in Nebulous Grey 525 Ballistic The Cadet in Nebulous Grey 525 Ballistic with a Island (bright blue) 210 Ballistic interior. The Cadet in Nebulous Grey 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Cadet in Black 525 Ballistic The Cadet in Black 525 Ballistic with a Island (bright blue) interior. The Cadet in Black 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) light grey interior. The Cadet in Aubergine (purple) 525 Ballistic The Cadet in Aubergine (purple) 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Cadet in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic The Cadet in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Cadet in Mars Red 525 Ballistic The Cadet in Mars Red 525 Ballistic The Cadet in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic The Cadet in Coyote (light brown) 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Cadet in Ursa (dark brown) 525 Ballistic The Cadet in Ursa (dark brown) 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Cadet in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic The Cadet in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Cadet in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic The Cadet in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. Top of Cadet showing the zippers and front of the bag. Front pocket of the Cadet with multiple interior pockets and an attachment point at the top
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Cadet

$180.00

EDC (every day carry) laptop briefcase. Checkpoint friendly.

13.5 liters (825 cu. in.)

Black Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Black Ballistic/Island 210 Ballistic
Aubergine Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Coyote Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Mars Red Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Nebulous Grey Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Ursa Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Burnt Orange Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Nebulous Grey Ballistic/Island 210 Ballistic

Description

The strong, silent type of briefcase: straight-forward and handsome with lots of features inside.

The Cadet is a minimalist briefcase designed to fit your laptop, a few files or magazines, power supplies, pens, notebooks, and other small accessories.

Inside the main compartment of the Cadet are two unobtrusive webbing loops (that we call "rail loops") to which you can secure the optional Cache (available in sizes specifically for every Apple laptop and iPad; PC users, click here for our Laptop Bag Fit Guide). When you add the Cache, the Cadet becomes a "checkpoint-friendly" laptop briefcase. Here's how it works: on the back (or bottom, depending how you look at it) of the Cache are two parallel "rails" of 1" wide lightweight nylon webbing which extend from the top to the bottom. Included (and already attached for your convenience) when the Cache is ordered with the Cadet are two Gatekeeper Rail Clips: unclip the side that isn't clipped to the Cache, slip it through the webbing loops in the Cadet main compartment, and flip it shut. Slip the Cache inside the Cadet, and pull it back out: you'll see that the Gatekeeper Rail Clips ride the rails of the Cache, allowing you to remove your laptop from the Cadet entirely while it is still encased in the protective Cache. Doing this at the airport security checkpoint means the X-ray machines (and TSA personnel) will have a clear, unobstructed view of your laptop — allowing you to keep your laptop in the Cache and the whole affair securely held together as one unit. (We think that's much better than having to remove your laptop and dump it in one of those buckets.) Many of us will appreciate this functionality on a daily basis as well: the rail system can be a convenient and quick way to remove one's laptop from the bag. If you can't find your laptop on that list, email us and we'll help.

Between the exterior and the lining is .25" / 6 mm closed cell foam on the front, back, and bottom — this gives the Cadet its shape and provides additional protection for your laptop; if you choose to go au naturel (no Cache), this foam will provide some protection for an unprotected laptop.

The Cadet can be worn three ways: across-body (messenger style), on one shoulder, or carried in hand as a briefcase. Shoulder strap attachment points are on the left and right sides of the Cadet and feature our exclusive (designed by Tom), super-heavy-duty DuPont™ Delrin® eye-loops, tested to 260 pounds each. Our Standard Shoulder Strap is included with the Cadet. You have the option of upgrading to our Absolute Shoulder Strap for an extra $20. Two comfortable padded handles meet above the bag's center of gravity; when the Cadet is zipped shut, the handles come nicely together so you needn't fish for them when it's time to grab and go.

The Cadet features #10 and #8 YKK Racquet-Coil water-repellent zippers with metal pulls. Want cord pulls? You can buy our Cord Zipper Pulls separately here, allowing you to add them to the metal zipper pulls or replace the metal zipper pulls entirely.

The Cadet has three exterior-access compartments, six interior organizer pockets, and one exterior open-top pocket (on the back). The first of the exterior pockets is small horizontal zippered pocket. Like the other compartments of the Cadet, this pocket zips with a YKK Racquet-Coil water-repellent zipper. Behind the small zippered pocket is a contoured zippered compartment that opens to about half of the height of the bag, revealing organizer pockets sized for a Magic Mouse or similar-size device, cell phone, passport, plus three pen/pencil pockets. There's plenty of additional room in this compartment for a power supply and phone charger as well — even a small notebook or snack. Inside this front compartment you'll also find two O-rings.

Inside the main compartment is a large open-top pocket: your files or magazines won't come along for the ride when you slide the Cache out at the checkpoint. Of course, the Cadet works well as a briefcase for those who eschew laptops and just want to carry files or a book or two; you can buy and use it sans Cache. And if the Cadet's native organizational structure is not enough, you can add a Tri-Star/Western Flyer/Empire Builder Freudian Slip so you can be the most organized person on the freakin' planet.

The outside back of the Cadet features a wide, quick-access pocket for a magazine or newspaper (it's the only external pocket on the Cadet that doesn't zip shut). The bottom of this pocket unzips so you can slide the Cadet over the handle of rolling luggage.

Tom designed the Cadet for people who want a thinner briefcase, straight-forward and handsome with lots of features: a safe place to carry a laptop, comfortable handles, and easy-access phone and magazine pockets. Yes, all this, plus the Cadet zips up for use in zero-gravity situations like being turned upside down in your car or under the seat of an airplane. I think we (mine wasn't the only brain working on this) thought of everything.

Everyday Commentary’s Review of the Cadet and Cadet Review Update include this great video demonstrating how they use the Cadet:

Materials

Zippers

#10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent coil zipper on main compartment
#8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent coil zippers on pockets

Components

Tough Duraflex®, Nexus, and Woojin buckles and related components

Specs

Dimensions

16.1" (w) x 12.6" (h) x 4.5" (d) / 410 (w) x 320 (h) x 115 (d) mm

Weight

1 lb 9 oz / 710 grams

Volume

 825 cubic inches / 13.5 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)

Total O-rings

4

(2 in the main compartment
2 in the contoured zippered compartment)

Lifetime guarantee image

Sewn in Seattle

Our bags are designed and sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?

Intrigued? You can find out more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.

THE BIHN Guarantee

Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business for over 30 years and we stand behind what we make.

If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.

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Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 14 reviews
average rating 4.9 out of 5
Based on 14 reviews
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100% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
Quality
Rated 4 out of 5
Customer photos and videos
Review posted
Reviewed by Dan L.
Verified Buyer
Bought For
Myself
Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Comfortable
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • High Quality Finishings
Rated 5 out of 5

Cadet

Great construction!

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Reviewed by Rebecca R.
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • High Quality Finishings
  • Durable
  • Sewn in USA
Rated 5 out of 5

High Quality Computer Bag

I bought this amazing bag to carry my computer and files back and forth to work. It is high quality, sturdy, a beautiful color, and zips easily. Everything has a place, and I’m so pleased with this purchase!

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Rated 5 out of 5
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Reviewed by James O.
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Comfortable
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • High Quality Finishings
  • Good Storage Size
Rated 5 out of 5

Compact, well thought out design!

This is my second Cadet bag. The first one is still going strong and I love how much I can fit into this compact design. The material is very durable and attractive and the protection is excellent for Ipads, laptops and other tech items.

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Reviewed by Luis P.
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Sewn in USA
  • High Quality Finishings
  • Compact
Rated 5 out of 5

Still The Best

This is my third Cadet (I have the original in Black, a 2nd gen. in Burnt Orange and the latest gen. in Coyote) so that should be a good indicator about how much I love this bag. Every iteration is an improvement and I really like how TB went back to placing the strap attachment loops at the ends of the bag rather than across (as it was on my 2nd Cadet). I also like how the front center pocket is roomier now and can fit the larger smart phones (like the iPhone 13 Max Pro). The Coyote Ballistic colour is fantastic—I like everything about it and the bag could both work in a business and casual environment which I'm always in and out of. I also added another Absolute Shoulder Strap, a few organiser pouches, Strap Keepers (love these!), zipper pull cords and the 16A Cache which I ended up swapping for the older (and slightly bigger) 15C Cache since the 2021-22 MacBook Pro 16" ended up being a tad bulkier to fit the 16A Cache comfortably (it does fit with a bit of effort and shoehorning to avoid the zippers from scratching the corners).

PS. I'd still love to see a version where the middle pocket inside is wide enough to fit a MacBook Pro brick charger (the newer and bigger ones) and maybe a small slot/pocket to slip in an Air Tag? I'm in for a 4th Cadet—perhaps in ODGreen? :P

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Rated 5 out of 5
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Reviewed by Nathan D.
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Bought For
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Product Standouts
  • Comfortable
  • Sewn in USA
  • Good Storage Size
  • Versatile
Rated 4 out of 5

Good bag but overpriced

This is a good bag but I don't feel it's worth the price. Also after a couple weeks of use I've noticed a few tiny threads sticking out of seams-I used scissors and cut them off but this is disappointing for a bag that cost almost $200. The handle is a little flimsy without any rubber and doesn't have a solid feel but I mostly use it with the upgraded shoulder strap(a nice upgrade but should really be standard. Overall it is well made and has great zippers. It's a good bag but I probably would not buy it again unless it was considerably cheaper.

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Rated 4 out of 5
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