We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

TOM BIHN Forums Statistics


Topics: 14,523   Posts: 187,767   Members: 6,485   Active Members: 310
Welcome to our newest member, questah043.


No announcement yet.

Small vs. Medium Cafe Bag (size wise)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Jenne
    I think the Imago is an excellent Zombie Apocalypse bag. It's my every day bag (in plum/olive). I can actually fit my Dell 620 laptop with extended battery into it if I really have to! (But it doesn't look that big.) I just ordered the medium cafe bag (also in plum/olive) so I would have something a little more subtle while I'm doing the professional conference thing. I chose the medium because it has two inner pockets (cell phone and camera.) I also carry a Moleskine, multiple pens, a foldable sunhat, a wooden comb, and several (Tom Bihn) accessory bags. That IS traveling light for me.

    Leave a comment:

  • ex machina
    Tnx for your useful-to-me post!

    Originally posted by rodrigues View Post
    The main point of my post is this – if you do not tend to travel super light, I suggest the Medium Cafe Bag rather than the small one. Although there may seem to be a fair bit of space once you’ve packed everything into the medium one, if you try to shift it into the Small Cafe Bag it might not work out so well.
    Hi rodrigues,
    Thanks for your post. :)

    I was vacillating between the Small & Med Cafe Bags as well as the Ristretto. A video of the Ristretto bag allowed me to see it was not quite what I was looking for. But, I was still unsure whether to go small or medium (or even large) cafe. I ultimately did go with the medium cafe (on order, awaiting deliver). I appreciated your post as it helps to reinforce some of my thinking on the matter. Your point on the small bag becoming too stuffed/solid is a good one, relevant to my purposes.

    I too, am trying to downsize what I carry. I figured if I went with the large I wasn't really downsizing so much as just using a new bag. I currently use a Manhattan Portage Europa (deluxe), which has held up well carrying my school books (though I did notice some slight fraying on a seam and its less than six months old - I see an ID or SuperEgo in my future). The feature I like A LOT about the Europa is its quick change doubling of volume. It has a great expandability that opens with the pull of a zipper. But, when its not in full textbook mode (expanded and stuffed to the gills), it seems a little big (even in its collapsed form) and I find myself just adding stuff and carrying too much.

    I wanted a bag that can hold my Moleskine (large cahiers), PDA, glasses in hard case, mp3 player, pens, camera (planning to buy), personal radio (uses ear buds), smokes, lighter, keys, pocket knife, micro light, pills/tablets/capsules, and still have room for other items, like an expandable bag (such as the TB Shop Bag, which will be part of my next order), a book, etc.

    I think I made the right choice (hence I ordered it, heh) and will post my experience in bag reviews after an appropriate shake out time.
    Last edited by ex machina; 01-01-2009, 08:29 PM. Reason: Resolved spelling/grammar error.

    Leave a comment:

  • rodrigues
    started a topic Small vs. Medium Cafe Bag (size wise)

    Small vs. Medium Cafe Bag (size wise)

    I just thought I would post on the sizing of the small versus medium cafe bags, because I know some advice would have been helpful while I was deciding which one to purchase.

    I am not a light traveler. I normally carry what I call my “panic bag”, which has everything I could need for a variety of situations – anything from spontaneously staying over at a friend’s house to surviving the first three days of a zombie strike. I had a small Timbuk2 bag that was perfect as my panic bag, but I noticed that as summer rolled into Toronto I was beginning to resent lugging my panic bag out to patio lunches on my work hour when I knew I would unlikely encounter either a zombie strike or a sleep over.

    So I wanted to move away from my panic bag to something I could throw my wallet, work keys, lip chap and sunglasses into and tote with me around the city on short day trips.

    I got the Medium Cafe Bag in Plum/Wasabi, and I love it. Even though I had measured out it’s approximate size, I was still shocked at how large it seemed. I managed to put my water bottle, my Moleskine, my fountain pen case, wallet, keys, cell, lip chap, iPod and huge earphones, glasses (in their case) and my hair stick case into it, with plenty of extra room at the top. It was roomy and gorgeous and I loved it. I actually added a truncated survival kit (basically a mini first aid kit) to the bag and am now using it as my everyday bag. I’ll just have to accept that I’ll only survive the first day of a zombie strike now. Oh well!

    Then I began thinking – if there is so much extra room in the medium, why not try the small? Maybe it would fit better. I ordered it in Navy/Crimson, and although it was equally beautiful, when I transferred all my stuff into the Small Cafe Bag from the medium one, the small one was packed to the hilt, which made it uncomfortable to carry on my hip. That extra space in the bag allows it to mold to your body a lot more comfortably.

    I kept the Small Cafe Bag anyway. I’m leaving it at work to serve the purpose I originally bought it for – something I can transfer my wallet, sunglasses, and keys into when I head out from work for a short trip, errand or patio lunch.

    The main point of my post is this – if you do not tend to travel super light, I suggest the Medium Cafe Bag rather than the small one. Although there may seem to be a fair bit of space once you’ve packed everything into the medium one, if you try to shift it into the Small Cafe Bag it might not work out so well.

    On a final note, I’m still feeling kind of antsy about not lugging everything I could possibly need with me all the time. I like the security of being prepared for absolutely any situation. Therefore, I’m going to try and create a step between the Medium Cafe Bag and my Timbuk2 bag in the form of the Imago – not quite a full panic bag, but hopefully a bit more prepared for the apocalypse than I feel with the Medium Cafe Bag. I got it in Steel/Steel/Sapphire. It’s incredibly beautiful, and I think it will serve me well. But right now I’m too in love with the Medium Cafe Bag to pay it much attention.

    Thanks Tom Bihn, for encouraging me to move away from traveling with everything including the kitchen sink on my shoulders!