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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Ristretto for iPad -- Real-world carry capacity?

    Two weeks ago (!!!), I posted a thread asking whether I should get an Aeronaut or Tri-Star. That thread is literally the 5th thread on the 1st page of the "Questions" forum. :O

    I received the Aeronaut 3 days ago, and love the quality so much that I'm not going to buy a Ristretto for iPad for my dad. The material makes my Cordura messengers feel cheap and dirty. Ok TB, you've got me hooked.....

    How much does the Ristretto iPad version fit? I've spent hours reading every single Ristretto review I could find, and have looked at lots of photos, but since the bag tapers towards the top, and photos generally only show the narrow opening, I can't really get a good feel for the dimensions of the bottom of the main compartment.

    My dad is not a bag person. He's not. He used to carry a briefcase-messenger style bag to work, but now he's retired. When he's with my mum, he either carries his stuff in his pant pocket, or asks my mum to carry it in her purse! However, I think that if I get him a small bag, but one that's still big enough to be useful, that he would see the light and get a "murse".

    When he needs it, he would only need to carry the following:

    • 1 or 2 softcover or hardcover books
    • an iPad (infrequently)
    • a case for his glasses (?)
    • perhaps an umbrella (even if it doesn't fit and sticks out the top)
    • winter gloves
    • a water bottle.
    • On vacation: small camera, his passport, maybe a magazine.
    • a sweatshirt. This isn't a requirement, because he wouldn't do it very often. However, it would be nice because he will try to jam stuff in there.

    I'm leaning towards the iPad version. He doesn't normally carry a bag, but if he's going to carry one, it cannot feel cumbersome, because otherwise, he would never use it. Nevermind that millions of men around the world frequently carry larger bags as their EDC. It's illogical because he's a big guy, but I think smaller is better because he'll be less "bothered" when carrying the bag.

    The Ristretto for iPad and 11" MacBook Air are similar in size. They're the same depth (4.75"), but the 11" MBA version is ~1.5" wider, and 1.5" taller. The 11" MBA Ristretto's laptop compartment is the same depth as the iPad version's, so an iPad would still be a perfect fit in the 11" MBA version.

    For my dad, smaller would be better, but if the 11" MBA version is a lot more practical, then perhaps I'll get that instead.
    Last edited by Nawksi; 07-17-2013 at 09:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    If he doesn't always carry the iPad, does he need the built in sleeve protection in the Ristretto? You might find a Cafe Bag (which has similar styling to the Ristretto) plus a Cache gives him more flexibility because he'll be able to use the space more efficiently when he doesn't need to have the iPad with him. Bigger colour selection, too.

    Are you leaning towards the Ristretto because you want ballistic rather than cordura?

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Tukwila, WA
    Same reply as JLE. I carry my Ristretto for iPad regularly without an iPad in it, but much preferred the styling to the Cafe Bag.

    That stated: hardcover books are going to start eating up a lot of the space. Two hardcovers might get challenging for the rest of the main part of the bag. Other than that configuration (based on my usage), I think everything would fit. The sweatshirt, maybe not, but it could get pulled through the top handle and secured that way when slung over his shoulder. There is a lot of room in the front zipper area (small camera and passport, for starters, plus more like glasses case), and the magazine can go in the back open pouch area.

  4. #4
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Beau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Seattle, WA, USA
    JLE and tCook offered some great, sound advice so I'm going to jump on the same train: if the iPad is going to be carried only occasionally, you might want to check out some other bags before committing. Most of what your dad carries could probably fit in the Ristretto for iPad, but he might find the Ristretto's built-in interior Cache to be somewhat in the way on those days he isn't taking the iPad with him. If you really want something in Ballistic Nylon, the Co-Pilot is an alternative to the Ristretto that might be worth checking out.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Fat Crip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    I live a little South of Edinburgh in Scotland's border hills
    I've been carrying the iPad Ristretto (old style) as my everyday carry for over two years and I'm very sad to say it's starting to come apart at the seams I'll be buying a new one at some point presumably, but I really like the one I've got in Steel 1000d Cordura with 500d lining in wasabi (what else?!). Usually it has an A5 size notebook, a medium clear organiser pouch, a small organiser wallet, my iPhone, some pens, some medicines and, most, but not all of the time, my iPad. It's not packed to the gills and there's room for a few extras from time to time, but I wouldn't want to carry much more day to day.

  6. #6
    Forum Member nukediver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    My two cents - it sounds like the cafe bag would be better than the iPad Ristretto, although if you must have ballistic, then definitely a Co-Pilot. Both are more flexible in what they can carry than the Ristretto (I have all three of these bags, and can say this with certainty). Hope this helps.

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