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brantroz
08-14-2007, 05:10 PM
I am the proud owner of both the Medium and Large Cafe Bags... and while they serve my needs well as an "excursion bag" and in the case of the Large Cafe a laptop bag for my 12" IBM x31, I find myself out of luck on my primary daily bag need.

It came time for me recently to replace my commuter bag... the one I take to work 5 days a week. I just got a new widescreen, 14" HP nc6400 that accompanies me on my daily commute. Now, I don't take this laptop (or bag) on a plane very often. In fact, it very rarely leaves my shoulder. Unfortunately, the laptop is too big (by about 1") for my Large Cafe bag, and out of preference I like the vertical arrangement--I just think it is more stylish and gives a less "bouncy" center of gravity.

My proposal is for a modified Large Cafe Bag... whose internal dimensions would give it 13.5/14" clearance. Perhaps an additional internal pocket would be good, but room to accommodate any of the size 4 cells is the niche essential. NOT something as robust as an ID mind you--more like a vertical Large Cafe/Imago love child.

For what it is worth... NOBODY makes a good vertical messenger anymore. The only thing close is Wakefield designs, but their bags are the fashion equivalent of celery. Plain-Jane, no flavor, no fun.

Seeking the perfect "commuter bag,"

-Brandon

Darcy
08-14-2007, 05:14 PM
Tom's working on something like what you're suggesting. Our factory has already made a version of it that's a Small Cafe Bag designed to fit the upcoming Eee PC. Stay tuned!!

brantroz
08-14-2007, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the quick reply! I'll keep checking the site for updates/photos. Good news if it fits the bill... I love the rugged simplicity of Tom's bags; that's what keeps me coming back for more.

Best,

-Brandon

jchinds
10-03-2007, 05:09 PM
I posted separately shortly after this thread about a similar "Extra Large" Cafe bag, and I'm still holding off on any bag purchase until I can at least check out what happens (and I hope very much that it ends up being big enough for my MacBook Pro). Darcy, I know you mentioned on my thread that something along the lines of both these similar suggestions might be out by the end of the year - any updates on this would be greatly appreciated - my current bag is starting to pale in comparison to the possibilities!

Darcy
10-08-2007, 12:52 PM
Let me ask Tom about this...he has so many things on his design schedule right now (two new bags will be out very soon).

jchinds
10-08-2007, 02:11 PM
Thanks so much, Darcy...I can only imagine how busy you guys are since you make some of the best-quality bags around. I'll keep my eye out for an update, I really appreciate how responsive you guys are to this forum!

Darcy
10-08-2007, 02:15 PM
You're welcome!!

Tom said he's working today on a taller, padded Medium Cafe-style bag that will fit the 13" MacBook. If it's popular, the next size would be for 15" laptops like the MacBook Pro 15".

jlee97
10-08-2007, 06:56 PM
Hey Darcy! I just saw this post about a vertical messenger bag. I wants it, yesss! I was thinking that if Tom was making them specifically for laptop use, then how about a spin-off of the Brain Cell? I imagine a bag with a Brain Cell-like compartment for the laptop in the back, and in front an extra inch or so of space for files, books, etc, which is closed by a waterproof zipper, and covered by a flap like the Cafe bags over an open pouch with organization pockets ala Super Ego/Ego. Add a rear slash pocket, maybe an umbrella/rolled newspaper/water bottle pocket on the side and finally an Absolute shoulder strap - voila! All the protection of a vertical Brain Cell with added carrying capacity. Call it the--- I dunno, Brain Pan? Brain Vault? Medulla Oblongata? ;) Whaddaya think?

Darcy
10-09-2007, 10:34 AM
I was thinking that if Tom was making them specifically for laptop use, then how about a spin-off of the Brain Cell?

We used to make a bag called the Cafe Computer Case that was like a Brain Cell/Cafe Bag combo but without the hard, corrugated plastic insert that the Brain Cell has. I think what Tom is working on right now is an updated version of that bag. Maybe the larger version will be more like the kind of bag you're describing.

jchinds
11-30-2007, 07:39 AM
Darcy, I was just wondering if there had been any progress on the bag you mentioned in previous postings. I know everyone's busy with the two new bags, but I'm hopeful that this one's still coming along!

AVService
11-30-2007, 09:42 AM
Just an FYI as I just saw this thread.
I have a Briggs & Riley Vertical bag that is very much like what you are seeking.
I know it is not Bihn in any sense but it is a well made bag and has some very nice features and a great form.
I really like it and it is also very understated for what it is.
At least worth a look.

Darcy
11-30-2007, 06:38 PM
Darcy, I was just wondering if there had been any progress on the bag you mentioned in previous postings. I know everyone's busy with the two new bags, but I'm hopeful that this one's still coming along!

Tom is still thinking of it and making sketches. It's really hard to give you a timeline, though: if the inspiration strikes him you could see the vertical messenger as soon as March. Or it might be as far off as next fall.

brantroz
12-02-2007, 12:24 AM
Glad to hear this hasn't lost steam. My Medium and Large cafe bags get my by for most occasions... but the vertical messenger is still my "ultimate any-occasion bag." Go, Tom--GO!

-B

scholar
12-03-2007, 07:41 PM
I'm definitely interested in this, even if my imago is serving me well as a daily carry bag, simply because it was the vertical stylings of the large cafe bag that brought me to this wonderful company, when I was looking for a bag to carry my toshiba u205 in

dra2d
12-26-2007, 01:29 PM
I just stumbled on this thread and I would like to add my voice to those asking for a new cafe bag. I use my large cafe bag all the time-it is my standard carry. For work I use a Waterfield Designs VertiGo bag because it is big enough to hold my work laptop and all of the other junk that I carry back and forth.

I also have a personal MacBook, the 13.3 inch version. I can fit it in the large cafe bag, but there isn't any protection for it. My current solution is to carry both a brain cell with the MacBook and my large cafe bag. While this works, it is not ideal.

If we are asking for a new cafe bag that can carry a laptop, I would like to have one that is not too much bigger than the current large cafe bag. It is just about the perfect size for me.

EGL
01-03-2008, 12:16 PM
This thread identifies a hole in the product line: the Brain Cell is great for carrying just the laptop, but if you also need to carry a notebook, book, or a few file folders, you have to jump up to Brain Cell + Id/Empire/etc. This is a big jump in weight and cost. Something minimally featured like a Cafe bag but with a little more room plus Brain Cell clips would do the trick.

brantroz
01-11-2008, 11:14 AM
UPDATE:

Found this bag from Case Logic that comes VERY close to what I would love to see in this product suggestion: http://www.caselogic.com/xn_vertical_messenger_bag/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=90261

One might ask: "Well, why don't you just go and buy that one then?"

My Answer:

1. It is not a TB bag (implies that I am suspect about quality of construction and durability/quality of materials).

2. It is JUST a bit larger than I am looking for... (laptop bag fit space is oddly out-proportioned with overall bag size... see dimensions for details.)

3. IT IS NOT A TB BAG. Duh.

I post this link in hopes that it inspires the creative juices of TB and crew.

Thanks!

-B

Darcy
01-18-2008, 03:26 PM
Hey brantroz:

Take a look at the Ristretto Vertical Messenger Bag (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/200/TB0223) that Tom is designing to fit the 13" MacBook Air and MacBook. (Other sizes will be introduced later.)

brantroz
01-23-2008, 09:35 AM
Darcy,

Wow---that is a REALLY beautiful bag.

My only wish is that it were just 1/2 an inch taller--so it could fit an industry standard 15 inch widescreen laptop. Literally... just 13" tall instead of 12.5" tall.

Maybe I just need to wake up to the fact that I cannot get a lightweight/minimalist bag for a 15 inch widescreen... but I really don't want to give up hope.

I REALLY think that extra 1/2" would open this bag up to a much wider variety of both business and personal use laptop models.

-Brandon

Darcy
01-23-2008, 09:39 AM
Hi Brandon,

The idea is that the Ristretto would be made in several different sizes for various laptops. Tom has already made one for the tiny Eee PC, and the next size would most likely be for 15" PC laptops. Can you remind me which make/model of 15" laptop you'd be carrying in this bag?

brantroz
01-23-2008, 09:46 AM
Darcy,

Have I mentioned that you are not only a courteous and sensible forum host, but also as quick as the wind at staying on top of threads and replies??? Whatever Tom's paying you... it CANNOT be enough.

For work I use an HP Compaq NC6400... roughly:
13 in x 9.4 in x 1.3 in

For pleasure I carry an IBM x31... which actually fits into both the Medium and Large cafe bags with the custom clamshell padded case I use from Booq. (Not sold anymore.)

Sorry I missed the message on this being a custom sized project... HAT's off to great design. I should not have doubted that you guys were thinking scalability when you came up with this design. I also LOVE that you have multiple shoulder strap design options.

It probably goes without saying that the other thread we have going about a cafe bag zip-pocket organizer would ABSOLUTELY be relevant to this line of bags as well.

Thanks!

-Brandon

wildgeese
01-23-2008, 02:21 PM
um, I really like the heft of ballistic too. It makes the bag keep its shape better...

wildgeese
01-23-2008, 02:25 PM
oh wait. Maybe since the whole bag is padded, it stands up better than the regular cafe bags anyway?

wildgeese
01-24-2008, 08:22 PM
Does the fact that you are offering a choice of strap with the Ristretto mean that the strap is removable? That would be cool.

I think I just figured out why I've been using my utility tote as a daily bag instead of my medium cafe bag, which is a better size for what I've been carrying lately. It's because I like to put the handles of the UT over my shoulder!

So last night, I cut off the rubber grip/padding thing in the middle of the strap and I completely doubled up the strap so that it is very short. I like it much better this way, just kind of under my arm. But, it still doesn't feel quite as good as the handles on the Lux and Utility totes.

So, what about a handle like that that could be added to the Ristretto? Is that too weird? It would have to be test worn to see how it feels, but I think it might feel good. Hmmm, maybe I should think about sewing the strap of my cafe bag doubled over a padding...

brantroz
01-24-2008, 09:54 PM
Does the fact that you are offering a choice of strap with the Ristretto mean that the strap is removable? That would be cool.

I can't tell from the pictures if it would be removable... but I agree that would be a cool option.

In all honesty, I cut the sliding plastic "gripper" on both my medium and large Cafe bag straps as soon as I got the bags, because it just seemed to get in the way or be uncomfortable for common wear.

The stock strap is perfect for my daily cafe bag carry items (which excludes a laptop, btw)... but the second you add the extra 2-6 lbs a laptop brings--you really need some additional padding. You don't want the strap to overwhelm the bag--and thus offering customer options just makes so much sense.

I love the idea of offering the padded laptop slip to even your current cafe bag sizes. I think if I were to end up getting an Eee PC (which I'm considering)... my ideal bag would actually just be my regular Medium Cafe bag, plus that padded laptop "pocket". That way, I could carry my regular everyday items PLUS the machine, and not really notice the difference.

Oh, an I would imagine an eBook Reader such as the Sony 505 would be perfect in that little spot as well.
____________________________

So after a long digression here (apologies on the eyeballs)... I guess I'm saying: GOOD on the new bag. GOOD on the strap options.

Is there a possibility of adding the padded "gizmo" pouch to the current cafe series???

I would imagine that I'll end up getting whichever version fits both my work and home laptops... but might be ideal for future customers as well??

pretzelb
01-25-2008, 06:11 AM
Hi Brandon,
The idea is that the Ristretto would be made in several different sizes for various laptops. Tom has already made one for the tiny Eee PC, and the next size would most likely be for 15" PC laptops. Can you remind me which make/model of 15" laptop you'd be carrying in this bag?

I might be interested in a vertical messenger bag also for my Dell D810 which is wide screen. I am trying to wait for the latest redesign of the Smart Alec before I make a decision but this might be an option also.

Maybe this is on the Ristretto and we can't see from the pictures but I would HIGHLY recommend a hand strap on the back if possible like the image from the non TB bag a few posts ago. I find that with my Imago (which has no handle) it can swing wildly by picking it up by the strap. If you're keeping a laptop or other delicate item in your bag you don't want it to swing. I think a short handle type strap should be pretty much required for any bag that will carry a laptop.

rabergnc
01-25-2008, 07:15 AM
I would have to agree that a grab handle would be an excellent addition to this type of bag. While not as pleasing aesthetically as it would detract from the sleek look of the bag, it would be highly practical.

brantroz
01-25-2008, 09:41 AM
I would have to agree that a grab handle would be an excellent addition to this type of bag. While not as pleasing aesthetically as it would detract from the sleek look of the bag, it would be highly practical.

I'd like to jump on the "must have handle" train as well. I love this about the current Cafe line... and find the simple inclusion of a minimal handle just makes too much sense in everyday use not to offer.

-B

Darcy
01-25-2008, 10:15 AM
Don't worry: there's a grab handle on the design already. Just like the Cafe bags.

pretzelb
01-25-2008, 10:31 AM
Don't worry: there's a grab handle on the design already. Just like the Cafe bags.

Ah, my bad. I don't have a Cafe bag (yet) and didn't think they came with a grab handle.

rabergnc
01-25-2008, 10:44 AM
Excellent news! This has now become a "must buy" bag. Next time we are up Seattle way, my wife plans to come by the store and talk with you about not letting me buy any other bags no matter how much I beg and plead!!

Darcy
01-25-2008, 11:11 AM
Next time we are up Seattle way, my wife plans to come by the store and talk with you about not letting me buy any other bags no matter how much I beg and plead!!

hehe! Let us know when you'll be up next time and we can give you a tour of the factory (as long as you'll be here during factory hours.)

rabergnc
01-25-2008, 01:38 PM
Thanks - I may take you up on that invitation. Maybe May-June time frame? My brother is in Bellingham and we always go thru Seattle.

brantroz
01-25-2008, 01:56 PM
I agree with rabergnc.... Ristretto is shaping up to be my ultimate dream bag.

Can't wait to see the various sizing dimensions once they become finalized. I'd love to beta test this bag. :)

-B

rabergnc
01-28-2008, 11:36 AM
If the design for the Ristretto has not been finalized, y'all might consider some type of "ruggedized" exterior bottom panel. (maybe an extra layer of material on the botton?) All of the computer bags I use end up on the floor of some pretty gross places. I see patients in nursing care facilities and other health care sites. As you know the floors can be fairly messy and while I try to be careful, sometimes, stuff happens...

maverick
01-29-2008, 09:24 PM
hey darcy,

could you provide a shot of the inside of the ristretto showing how the compartment for the computer will look?

thanks,
maverick

Darcy
01-30-2008, 09:50 AM
hey darcy,

could you provide a shot of the inside of the ristretto showing how the compartment for the computer will look?


No, not quite yet.

FYI: The Ristretto shipping date has been pushed back ever-so-slightly to late February.

maverick
01-30-2008, 12:16 PM
No, not quite yet.

FYI: The Ristretto shipping date has been pushed back ever-so-slightly to late February.

they say patience is a worthwhile virtue... :)

indigo
02-01-2008, 10:23 AM
Really good news! I've been trying to figure out which TB bag would work best for me and my new MacBook Pro 15". I have some colour suggestions...
plum/cocoa, plum/steel, wasabi and anything! :)

Darcy
02-06-2008, 02:24 PM
s that too weird? It would have to be test worn to see how it feels, but I think it might feel good. Hmmm, maybe I should think about sewing the strap of my cafe bag doubled over a padding...

That's not too weird. How about we send you such a strap to try out? Are you going to be ordering a Ristretto?

There might be one or two extra straps for others to try if they'd like...PM me!

fitzDaug
02-15-2008, 02:48 PM
Hey Darcy,

The Ristretto Messenger would be exactly what I'm looking for as my everyday/personal_carry-on bag.

I love my Brain Bag (and Brain Cell), but it really is huge for day-to-day stuff.

I'm going out of the country during the second week of March, would the Ristretto that would fit a MacBook Pro 15.4" be shipped by March 7?

If so, I will have a review of my Aeronaut and the Ristretto by the end of March.

Thanks,

Fitz

beancurd
02-16-2008, 06:09 AM
I'm going out of the country during the second week of March, would the Ristretto that would fit a MacBook Pro 15.4" be shipped by March 7?

I think your MBP15 is too big, the bag is only 12.5" tall, perfect for 13" only, the MBP15 is about 14.5" I believe.

fitzDaug
02-16-2008, 11:16 AM
I think your MBP15 is too big, the bag is only 12.5" tall, perfect for 13" only, the MBP15 is about 14.5" I believe.

You are right, beancurd. I was just hoping based on what Darcy had mentioned earlier.


Hi Brandon,

The idea is that the Ristretto would be made in several different sizes for various laptops. Tom has already made one for the tiny Eee PC, and the next size would most likely be for 15" PC laptops. Can you remind me which make/model of 15" laptop you'd be carrying in this bag?

rabergnc
02-20-2008, 03:42 AM
Is the Ristretto still on track for an early March release? Haven't heard much about it for a bit. Thanks.

Darcy
02-22-2008, 11:55 AM
Is the Ristretto still on track for an early March release? Haven't heard much about it for a bit. Thanks.

Tom made a few more pattern/design changes to the Ristretto: the design is now completed and our factory is working on the bags, though the shipping date has been pushed back to late March. If you have a backorder for the Ristretto, you should have received a call regarding this.

maverick
02-22-2008, 01:36 PM
yes, indeed! josh called yesterday afternoon.

waiting patiently... :)


Tom made a few more pattern/design changes to the Ristretto: the design is now completed and our factory is working on the bags, though the shipping date has been pushed back to late March. If you have a backorder for the Ristretto, you should have received a call regarding this.

rabergnc
02-22-2008, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the update. I guess it's now time to order!! This weekend for sure!

iammeiam
02-28-2008, 10:31 PM
The Plum/Wasabi Ristretto looks awesome. I know future sizes are in the planning stages, but I have to ask: Would a version for a 17" MBP/PB be practical? It's basically exactly the bag I was looking for when I wound up buying my Super Ego (Which, don't get me wrong, I love, but it's sort of huge for a personal item at the airport), but I can't tell if the increased size necessary for a much bigger laptop would make the vertical style more impractical.

Darcy
02-29-2008, 12:34 PM
The Plum/Wasabi Ristretto looks awesome. I know future sizes are in the planning stages, but I have to ask: Would a version for a 17" MBP/PB be practical?

Totally practical for those 6'8" and taller! :)

Tom will probably make a prototype of a 17" MBP Ristretto in the future to test out the proportions. But if it ends up being too long for just about anybody to carry, we won't offer it.