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My 13" Ristretto for Macbook/Macbook Air...

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    My 13" Ristretto for Macbook/Macbook Air...

    So I received my 13" Ristretto today, along with a cache for a 13" Macbook Air, an Iberian Ultra Suede cloth, and a spare simple strap. Tom Bihn package days are always good days!

    In my excitement over a new package, I didn't do any unboxing pictures because I couldn't wait to drive the 6 blocks to where my camera was. I did end up taking some pictures though--never fear!

    Now I'm trying to figure out which forum I should put this in--Thought's about Bags, Bag Reviews, or Customer Pictures.... Pictures it is!

    Initial Impressions
    When I opened up the box--I was surprised to find myself surprised about the size of the 13" Ristretto. I knew it would be bigger than my Ristretto for iPad--but I was still taken off guard by it. You see a an extra inch or two on the dimensions, but until you get it infront of you it's hard to sell. When I was swapping my stuff over from my Super Ego and Ristretto for iPad--my Aunt asked me why I bought one of the same bag. "They're not quiet the same," I responded--and that the truth.

    I hate to start off on a negative note, but it's something that I had overlooked. My 13" Ristretto doesn't have D-Rings, while my iPad version does. It wasn't something I noticed until I went to hook up my strap to it. The strap connectors on my 13" version are these thick molded plastic pieces--whereas I believe (I think?) that the D-Rings are constructed of metal. They function perfectly--but I just find myself preferring the D-Rings to the plastic.

    On the bright side-- because of the extra width on this bag, the organizer pockets in the front compartment work out much better for me. My pads of paper I have can now go in the right pocket, which is slightly harder to access. I can put my phone in the middle one now. It was reversed on my iPad version--a minor annoyance

    On an unexpected factor: Due to the added height of the bag, my Kindle pouch doesn't *quiet* make it down to the bottom of the bag. Obviously I'm not worried about it getting damaged, but it was something different.

    Anyways, enough of the initial impressions--time for pictures.

    Pictures and Comments

    The left is the 13" version. Like I said--I was a bit surprised by the difference in size. Everything is just a little bit bigger in proportion now. (Note for all these pictures: The 13" is stuffed with my 13" MBA, iPad, Ledger, Kindle, Headphones in a Small Padded Pouch, a few pens and small notebooks. The iPad is stuffed with 4 mass market paperbacks.)

    I purchased the Ristretto for iPad used. It was in very good shape when I received it--but the Cayenne color seems a little bit lighter compared to the new one. I know it varies per roll--just seems like the 13 is a bit more red and the iPad is a bit more...salmon.

    The dreaded triangle ring versus the D-Ring. I just feel like it looks nicer with the D-Ring--it doesn't look cheap. (Not that I'm saying that the plastic *is* cheap--the Tom Bihn -- Made in the USA molded into the plastic is a nice touch...unfortunately...it is plastic :-\)

    Not sure if you can make out the "Tom Bihn - Made in the USA" molded into the plastic.

    (Sorry for tiny image) The loaded 13" with the flap open. Nothing is flashing out--whereas on the iPad version you definitely would be seeing the tops of the phone/writing pads.

    So as of right now--I am putting my MBA into the Cache and then into the padded portion. When I read the description of this bag being able to fit a 13" Macbook Pro--I was a little worried. How much protection would my Air get--with it being at least 1/2 as thick as a 13" MBP.

    Speaking of the Cache--here's an odd bit I didn't expect; unless I am mistaken, the Cache is made for the narrow end of the air to go in first. I didn't expect this to be designed into the Cache, but it was. 1-up for Tom & Friends. Anyways--13" MBA + Cache.

    The 13" with: MBA in Cache in padded section, iPad, Ledger, Kindle inside of a TB padded Kindle Pouch (I read outside--iPad sucks for that, thus the Kindle), and if I'm not mistaken--a large Moleskin notebook that wasn't supposed to be in there. Oh, also an external HD inside of my FOT pouch. (All in the main compartment.)

    The Ristretto does have the same O-Ring layout as the iPad version. Here I'm demonstrating the 3 O-Rings in the main compartment. (The Iberian is actually holding iPad stuff in the front compartment--this is for display only.

    My padded pouch holding my earbuds inside of the zippered compartment in the Ristretto. This compartment is quite large in the 13" version. The iPad version it was a good size--now I feel like I might lose something ^.^
    Super Ego w/Seat Belt Buckle [Black/Steel/Wasabi], Cadet 13/15 [Cardinal/Steel], Aeronaut 45 [Cardinal/Steel], 13" Ristretto (Old) [Olive/Cayenne], Synapse 19 [Indigo/Iberian], Camera I/O, and a whole bunch of other goodies.


    Finally, the key strap showing off the single ring in the front compartment. I sort of felt like it wouldn't have hurt on the 13" version to have one on the right side.

    This picture sort of fails at showing the organizational pockets in the front. With the extra width--I can fit my sort-of-wide notepads in the right most while having my HTC EVO in the middle pocket, where it is much more accessible.

    Up until this point--I had forgotten about my Iberian cloth. When I finished taking my pictures and opened up my computer to import them, vola--there it was sandwiched between my screen and my keys. Suffice to say--it is very nice.

    Now this next picture might be a little weird. I've watched almost all of the videos that Mav has put on youtube. His videos are always very good, and I love him unpacking all he has in his bags. That being said--several times in his videos Mav has described the weaving in a strap as "luxurious." Each time, I was like, "C'mon--you're overselling it. It's a standard strap--how can it be luxurious? Well....

    Guess what? IT IS luxurious. The weaving pattern in it is a really nice touch--something different I haven't ever seen before. The little TB logo on it is the frosting on the cake. The snap hooks are very good as well.

    In Summary/TL:DR
    The 13" Ristretto is a magnificent bag--like all Tom Bihn bags. It was larger than I was expecting--but it's functional. The only thing I can really gripe about on it are those plastic connectors for the strap. If they were the D-Rings this bag would be everything I could want it to be.
    Super Ego w/Seat Belt Buckle [Black/Steel/Wasabi], Cadet 13/15 [Cardinal/Steel], Aeronaut 45 [Cardinal/Steel], 13" Ristretto (Old) [Olive/Cayenne], Synapse 19 [Indigo/Iberian], Camera I/O, and a whole bunch of other goodies.


      Great photos and narrative comparisons! Thanks.

      This post plus your previous post about your Ristretto Ipad loaded with your camera (among other things) MIGHT just encourage me to put the Ristretto back on my wish list. I would use it as a walking bag - the padded section looks like a secure place for wallets, etc. I experienced losing items to pickpockets, so I like bags with secure pockets inside the main compartment. I do not use computers small enough to load in a Ristretto. And I do not use an ipad either. So I maybe the one person buying a Ristretto NOT for its primary purpose.

      P.S I actually like the plastic ring for the strap instead of the D-ring - if it is lighter. I imagine it is. Every ounce that can be shaved off weight counts for me. I do agree that the D-ring would look nicer on a bag as sharp as the Ristretto.