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    Cafe Bags - praises & uses

    With the upcoming special colours/fabrics for the Small, Medium, and Large Cafe Bags - including the revival of the Large - I'd like to hear what current users love about their Cafe Bags and what their most favored use cases are.
    There a historical threads in the Forums, but I'd like to hear what people are thinking right now...

    I briefly had a SCB, but only test packed/never took the tags off - and traded it away. I have so many bags and the open top/unzipped aspect made me a little nervous (I'm a klutz and assumed I'd tip things out)... but I recently started taking sketching classes and I'm thinking that a Small or Medium would be good to hold a small sketch book, a zippered case of pencils, etc. I know that my Nalgene bottle or Microlite or Zoji would fit - especially in a Medium.

    When I look at the Large it immediately sends my brain into comparing it with the Maker's Bag - and both feel like they may be too large for a cross body bag on my short torso 5' 4" self.

    So - let's hear from some of the folks who love their Cafe Bags!
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

    #2
    I’m one of those who loves the Café bags. Right now I have two SCBs and three MCBs. I’ve never had a LCB before, but I’m definitely going to get one in the preorder (probably two, I love the idea of Ursa/Dawn and I also feel like I need to complete the collection and get an Aubergine/Cloud one to go with my Aubergine SCB and MCB). I get you on worrying on the size, I’m 5‘3“, but I think it’s going to be fine. What I like about the LCB over the Makers bag (at least on paper) is that it’s not so deep. I think I can cope with the added dimensions in the other directions. I don’t plan to fill the LCB to the brim, but I would like to carry all my EDC stuff from my MCB with the additional possibility to add some DIN A4 papers to it. That’s the only reason why sometimes the MCB is just a tad too small for me. Otherwise the MCB has become my most often used bag for EDC, more so than any other bags or backpacks I have. I just love that I have quicker access to things and can swivel the bag around and carry it in front if I want. I’m also a fan of the flap because I like the easy access. When the bag is underpacked I can even get my phone out without opening the buckle. I tried the Icon as an alternative to the Café bags, but found the zippers much more bothersome than the flap tbh. All a matter of taste I guess. What I totally reject though is the wish from some to have a zipper added to the Café bags. Worst thing you could do in my opinion. You would lose the easy access option but would have to fold the flap over completely every time you wanted to open the zipper. I once had a leather bag with flap and zipper which I used as EDC for a while and I hated that with a passion.

    To me the Café bags are simple but have just the right amount of organization. I don’t worry about losing things, in fact I never have so far. I throw small items that might be lost easily into the zipped pocket, my other stuff simply floats around the main compartment. My water bottles get tethered to one side with the same method I use in my DLBP. I find that if you don’t stuff the bag overly much, there isn’t any danger of things falling out. I’ve also carried my Café bags on public transport in big cities for years and while travelling and never had anything stolen. I carry my Café bags relatively high and always in front (to the side) in crowds, I just got used to have my hand or arm on the top and it was always fine. I actually think it’s more secure than a backpack you have on your back... Just be aware of your bag and look as if you are aware of it.

    As for use cases, my Café bags are EDC for me and I pick the size depending on itinerary and load. I carry them everywhere. I encourage everyone to give them a try if they like simple but great designs. The bags are maybe not right if you are someone who organizes his stuff down the smallest little dongle, but if you are fine with a bit of intermingling, give it a try. I think if you like the DLBP you might like the Café bags too. Oh and if you are someone who rides a bike to go places, get a messenger Stabilizer. Most ingenious little thing ever!

    Comment


      #3
      Hi All,
      Can we hear more inputs from people who are excited about the return of the Large Cafe Bag? And a question for Darcy will the Messenger Stabilizer be restocked before the upcoming Cafe Bag restock in April? For those of you unfamiliar with this accessory, there’s a blog post
      https://www.tombihn.com/blogs/main/n...r-stabilizer-2

      And there’s also an old (Sept. 9, 2013) YouTube video on the 1” Café/Ristretto Messenger Stabilizer


      moriond


      Originally posted by b1gsky View Post
      What I like about the LCB over the Makers bag (at least on paper) is that it’s not so deep. I think I can cope with the added dimensions in the other directions. I don’t plan to fill the LCB to the brim, but I would like to carry all my EDC stuff from my MCB with the additional possibility to add some DIN A4 papers to it. That’s the only reason why sometimes the MCB is just a tad too small for me. Otherwise the MCB has become my most often used bag for EDC, more so than any other bags or backpacks I have. I just love that I have quicker access to things and can swivel the bag around and carry it in front if I want. I’m also a fan of the flap because I like the easy access. When the bag is underpacked I can even get my phone out without opening the buckle. I tried the Icon as an alternative to the Café bags, but found the zippers much more bothersome than the flap tbh. All a matter of taste I guess. What I totally reject though is the wish from some to have a zipper added to the Café bags. Worst thing you could do in my opinion. You would lose the easy access option but would have to fold the flap over completely every time you wanted to open the zipper. I once had a leather bag with flap and zipper which I used as EDC for a while and I hated that with a passion.

      To me the Café bags are simple but have just the right amount of organization. I don’t worry about losing things, in fact I never have so far. I throw small items that might be lost easily into the zipped pocket, my other stuff simply floats around the main compartment. My water bottles get tethered to one side with the same method I use in my DLBP. I find that if you don’t stuff the bag overly much, there isn’t any danger of things falling out. I’ve also carried my Café bags on public transport in big cities for years and while travelling and never had anything stolen. I carry my Café bags relatively high and always in front (to the side) in crowds, I just got used to have my hand or arm on the top and it was always fine. I actually think it’s more secure than a backpack you have on your back... Just be aware of your bag and look as if you are aware of it.

      …Oh and if you are someone who rides a bike to go places, get a messenger Stabilizer. Most ingenious little thing ever!


      Comment


        #4
        My LCB (and later MCB) were my regular weekend carry pre-pandemic. Things I worry about losing in the zipped compartment, others in the main. Keys and a power bank (in a ghost whale) clipped in. I'm a bit under 5'5" and didn't find the LCB awkward. I wore a Maker's Bag for about two years and I did like it but because it's an east-west orientation, it stuck out a lot more from my body than the LCB and it felt like I needed to be more careful not to brush anyone in, e.g., narrow shop aisles.

        Comment


          #5
          I used my LCB as an ECD with the Swift for errands and trips to libraries and bookstores, on public transports, in 3 states and with the Brain Bag on all my trips from 2006 to 2012.

          I switched to the SCB as an EDC when I paired it with the Synapse 19 for errands done on public transports, including trips to libraries and bookstore, when a Shop Bag took the role of the Swift.

          The switch happened when TB made everything in Halcyon, which at the time was called Dyneema, I love all the different colors, it is soft to the touch and very easy to wipe out after the rain or clean after a mishap.

          Halcyon being a much lighter fabric than Cordura, was the fabric of choice when I needed the save luggage weight on an overseas trip.

          The LCB can hold A4/letter size documents which is essential to hold paperwork of all sorts, as well as EDC items like, a phone, pens, tissues, cards of all sorts (all organized in various TB Pouches), the cross body makes everything easy to reach and the waist strap is great, to keep the bag from flopping, when it is time to run to catch a bus connection or rush to the right airport gate.

          The SCB can hold all the EDC items, when the Synapse or Tristar or Aeronaut are used as backpack to hold everything bigger than A5 paperwork or travel items.

          I think I got my SCB in 2011, it has been carried all that time until I switched to the EDC Cubelet on my first tentative to go out of the house, a year ago.

          I bought the EDC Cubelet and before that the 3D OC, which is a discontinued design which was the ancestor of the EDC Cubelet in landscape orientation.

          The SCB can house 2 EDC Cubelet, which are perfect to organize Small Organizer Pouches, hold keys, pens, lip balm, over the counter pill boxes or foil packets....

          One of the EDC Cubelet can be replaced by 2 Cubelets, 2 Eye Glass sized Ghost Whales or an A5 Ghost Whale to protect a journal, a paperback...


          The EDC Cubelet forced me to become ultra minimalist, it also has less surface to catch things, no flap. Ballistic is as easy to wipe off and is as light weight as Halcyon and seems to be able to handle more energetic cleaning.

          A doc also said that the virus clings to plastic and I was uncomfortable leaving the SBC clasp opened and the flap uncontrolled or having to wipe the clasp and flap, thoroughly, each time I closed or opened the SCB.


          Right now, since more people are getting vaccinated worldwide, I think the SBC is ok, but I will be waiting for a little while, because, in my area, Spring is playing : keep your warm and cold weather wardrobe, at the ready. In cold weather, I need to wear many layers that can be removed or kept depending on the environment.


          The LCB is perfect for a plein air watercolorist, sketch artist, birder, botanist, journal keeper and writer... It is the perfect Indiana Jones small, or big, adventures bag.


          The SCB is a perfect little purse, a great adventure bag in a small size, doing everything above with paper or other items that are A5 size or smaller.

          I am looking forward to use mine again.

          I do not own an MCB.
          Last edited by backpack; 05-09-2021, 09:48 AM.

          Comment


            #6
            I have the Medium Cafe Bag and it mostly just hangs on the wall since I got the RISTRETTO. The Ristretto is really my favorite bag (and I have plenty). When I am headed out the door, 9 times out of 10, the Ristretto is with me. I carry my large water bottle (36oz Yeti Rambler), my iPad Pro 12.9", my Handy Little things Pouch loaded with my daily essentials, my cell phone, and possibly a fleece secured by the main flap. My Medium Cafe Bag just couldn't hold my stuff. I'm probably going to pass it on to my niece soon, maybe she will find some use for it. The other thing I like about the Ristretto is the upgraded shoulder strap.. the Medium Cafe bag doesn't have that. Sorry for the Ristretto praise, I just wanted to bring it up since it's very similar to the cafe line and has so many great qualities, I hope some make their way into the cafe bags. The size issue is really the limiting factor for me with the medium cafe bag - It's just too small to be of use as my grab n' go.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Aviation_Designer View Post
              I have the Medium Cafe Bag and it mostly just hangs on the wall since I got the RISTRETTO. The Ristretto is really my favorite bag (and I have plenty).
              I always thought Ristretto is too small. I thought it's similar or even smaller (volume-wise due to the bulky laptop compartment) than my MCB. But then after reading your comment, I tried to look it again and found it is now retired!

              Comment


                #8
                The small has been my everyday carry man-purse since 2017. Still is.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I took my MCB with me yesterday to go for a walk with my Dad and take some photos/video. It was able to easily hold a drink, my gimbal for my iPhone, camera, battery pack, and cables. I could probably have used my Side Kick, but I preferred the depth of the café bag and it's easier to chuck my Travel/Everyday cublet in the MCB! (That's my usual every day carry, contains Nick's wallet #4, lip balm, tissues, mask, super mini ghost whale for change, etc.).
                  Proud owner of a Synik 22 (Aubergine/Northwest Sky), a Medium Café Bag (Alphaviolet), and a whole host of accessories.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have MCBs in my favorite colors, which is to say that I have more than I should!
                    My favorite use for them is as a lens bag when I work photo events. Whether it is a First Communion or charity gala, the MCB lets me keep batteries, another lens, a speedlite and my valuables within reach.

                    At 5'3, with a short torso and very small shoulders, I am always surprised at how comfortable the MCB is for a vertically oriented bag. Most north/south bags aggravate a pre existing shoulder condition, but the MCB does not. I think it has something to so with its ingenious envelope-like shape that gently distributes weight against my hip, rather than pulling down on my shoulder.

                    I was lucky to get the stabilizer strap when back in stock a year or so ago, and find it really useful for bike riding.

                    However, my favorite thing about the MCB, and one that might puzzle some of you (who I know are fans of having lots of them), is the great restraint the MCB shows regarding zippers. It has only one, and for me that is the perfect number! I tried to love the Icon, and while I loved the shape of that bag as well as its strap, the zippers made it a no-go: too noisy, too slow to open, and visually just too busy. For me, the MCB hits a sweet spot of function and comfort and aesthetic that works better for me than almost any bag. My fantasy is that one day it will have its own Guide's Edition with coyote trim and strap. I would purchase such a version in every color, even the ones I didn't like!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Small Cafe Bag has been my EDC over this past winter. Usually I would be a side effect EDC person, but the small cafe is handy when running errands to carry envelopes, random paperwork, cheque book etc plus gloves & buff and possibly a drink or whatever small item I have picked up at the shop.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Cubelets definitely have a good synergy with at least the Medium and Large CBs...they become a pocket-within-a-pocket for all the important little things that might otherwise migrate to the bottom of the bag.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          SCB is my favorite carry. I’m 5’1” tall so the size is perfect. I carry a 12 oz hydro flask, iPhone, GWO (spoon, fork, straw, bandana), hand sanitizer, a mask, and a smooshed up Small Ziptop shop bag in the main compartment. A COW (as a wallet) with handle strap and a second COW (first aid) goes in the front zip pocket. The open back pocket is for my kindle.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I have my eyes on an SCB or MCB, but I'm not sure which. I'm 6 foot and my main goal is a bag I can wear in shops that isn't as intimidating as my huge backpack. I'm leaning towards an SCB but I want to have the option to carry an 11" iPad Pro in a pinch and I'm worried that would be way too tight.
                            Solaris ALL THE THINGS!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hi Selcouth, this thread on IPads and the SCB might be interesting for you. 11'' iPad Pro should be no problem in the SCB! BTW: I am also 6 ft and I love my SCB! It's just right size for a lazy day in town when you only want to carry the bare necessities in a classy looking bag (mine is in Deep Blue/Coyote).
                              ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
                              current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

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