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Ristretto vs. Co-Pilot (as an iPad bag)

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    Ristretto vs. Co-Pilot (as an iPad bag)

    I had been planning to purchase the Ristretto for iPad for a few months now, and just as I'm about to pull the trigger, I see all these great images of the Co-Pilot and learn that the iPad fits it pretty well. I already own a regular Ristretto, so I have a pretty clear idea of the Ristretto for iPad. But I don't know much about the Co-Pilot, so I have a few questions for those of you in the forums.

    1. How much thicker is the Co-Pilot than the Ristretto for iPad? Perhaps it's just an optical illusion because of the tall shape of the Ristretto, but the Co-Pilot seems a bit "bulkier." Does anyone have any photos of the two bags side-by-side? (Taken from the side?)

    2. Does anyone out there use the Co-Pilot primarily as an iPad bag? What are your experiences like?

    3. Does the Co-Pilot fit an iPad that is in an Apple case?

    I think the biggest thing that appeals to me about the Co-Pilot is the dedicated pouch for a water bottle, but I'm not sure if that's enough to overcome the Ristretto's quick access. On the Ristretto, there are no zippers to open (except for the one on the flat pocket), and you can just quickly unbuckle it and slide out the iPad -- or whatever else you need.

    While I travel a LOT, I'm looking for an iPad bag that will mainly be used around town. Because I need to travel with a laptop, an SLR and an extra lens, neither the Ristretto nor the Co-Pilot makes an effective +1 carryon item for me. (On work trips I'll just slide my iPad into my Smart Alec.)

    I'm still leaning toward the Ristretto for iPad, but wanted to get some additional information on the Co-Pilot first. The shipping delays on the Ristretto for iPad won't affect my decision; I want the best bag for me, not the quickest bag. After all, what is an extra six weeks when you're talking about a bag that will last a decade or longer?

    (For comparison purposes, I own the following Tom Bihn bags: Aeronaut, Brain Bag, Smart Alec, regular Ristretto, and used to have a Super Ego until I passed it on to a friend for her birthday. I also have 8-10 organizer pouches, the Passport Pouch, several packing cubes, a clear cube, a Snake Charmer, and a Kit.)

    For the record, I am a man, though neither of these bags strikes me as particularly feminine. I'm very comfortable using my regular Ristretto with my MacBook Air, but it's a little too big when I'm iPad-ing it about town. The Co-Pilot seems just as gender-neutral to me.
    Last edited by BJ Nemeth; 07-29-2010, 12:01 PM. Reason: Added the last paragraph
    Aeronaut (Original in Hunter Green), Aeronaut 30 (Forest), Smart Alec (Hunter Green), Pilot (Forest), Co-Pilot (Coyote), Synapse 25 (Black Dyneema), Two Large Shop Bags (Iberian and Steel), Passport Pouch (Iberian), Two Travel Trays (Solar stays in the Aeronaut, Iberian stays home), more than a dozen accessories.

    Hi there:
    If you already have a Ristretto, I am puzzled why you would want another one! I guess I am always inclined to do double duty with bags, if not triple or more. If you just want a smaller bag, I guess I would go with Small Cafe bag or Medium cafe bag which tend to hold a lot. You can always get the cache; and if you are not toting the Ipad around, you can always carry it for other things.
    I was very surprised to find that the MacBook Unibody 13" fit into my Medium Cafe Bag really well!
    I think Co-Pilot might be more versatile since you can also pack it as a carry on bag for clothes and other stuff if you are not taking other stuff.
    Just my thoughts...