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Best bag for iPad plus 11" MacBook Air?

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    Best bag for iPad plus 11" MacBook Air?

    I get the feeling that the large cafe is the bag for me but wanted to canvass some informed opinion. I'm looking for something to carry my iPad and a small camera on vacation, on occasion I may add a MacBook Air 11" and the chargers etc. My feeling is the small or medium may be limiting while the large is big enough without being too big, am I right?

    Are there other bags I should be considering?

    It looks like all three are the same depth so I guess it's time to measure my MBA and base the decision on that, I have a bunch of laptop bags but want to complement them with something much smaller, just big enough basically....


    I carry around an iPad and 11" MBA most days. I use an Imago, and there is room to spare. I just got back from two two-week trips and that was my standard bag. Everything went well.


      The Medium Cafe bag is bit too short to hold your 11" MBA (bag dimensions are 10" x 11.5" x 3" and your MBA without a case is about 7.56" x 11.8" x 0.68"). Bags that would work are the Ristretto for 11" MBA, Large Cafe Bag, and the Imago. The Ristretto design would probably provide the snuggest fit to your MBA and iPad (not meaning tight, but that the width of the bag is more closely matched to the width of the iPad and MBA so it wouldn't slide from side to side as much as in the Large Cafe bag, which is 12" x 13" x 3"). The Imago has similar capacity to the Large Cafe bag, but a horizontal layout. As bramhubbel states, it can carry this combination pretty well. Are you using a cache or other case with these devices? That might also enter into your preferences.



        My MBA lives in a fabric sleeve, my iPad will have an InvisiShield plus the Smart cover - as such both are essentially the same size as when uncased.

        I like the look of the Imago but it looks a little bit bigger than I want in this case, I'll certainly take a look at the Ristretto, I did have a brief look at it but though it cost a fair bit more for essentially the same configuration as the Cafe. Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it.


          Okay... I'm leaning toward the Ristretto for 11: MBA as it is 1.5" smaller and I'm assuming the padded pocket should take the MBA and an iPad, is that a reasonable assumption? My only other concern is that the shaped pockets may make it less flexible inside but I don't think it should be too much of an issue... hopefully.


            You can fit an Air 11, an iPad, and a wireless keyboard in the MC Bag

            ukchris, you may already have made your decision and placed your order, but I thought I'd chime in. I just received a Medium Cafe Bag today, intending to use it to carry my 1st-generation iPad in a PDO slider case, an Apple wireless keyboard, and sundry other stuff. There was so much room left over that just as a test, I also put my Macbook Air 11 inside: and all three items fit with room to spare. I don't have either my Air or my iPad in a Cache. I sewed a form-fitting sleeve for the iPad out of 3mm industrial felt, and the Air is in an even thinner RadTech Optex Sleeve, which is only enough to keep it from getting scratched. If your Air and iPad are in more substantial cases, you might find it more difficult to fit everything in. Also, I should note that my iPad fits horizontally, but the Air only fits vertically: it probably juts out a couple of millimeters above the top edge of the bag, but there is plenty of room to fold over and secure the flap to close the bag. I probably wouldn't carry my Air around like that; I just wanted to see how much would fit in the Medium Cafe, and the answer is yes: it is possible to put an 11-inch Air, an iPad, and a wireless keyboard in it. I could also fit my point-and-shoot camera alongside as well, in its neoprene case. (I think you mentioned wanting to carry a camera as well.)

            As I said in another thread, the Medium Cafe is like Mary Poppins' bag: it magically seems to be bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.



              Thanks Nancy, I have not ordered yet so I appreciate your comments. Is there any way you could post a picture of the bag with the MBA and iPad in it? My MBA lives in a microfiber sleeve so I don't have to worry about scratches, iPad has a SmartCover and an InvisibleShield - basically both of them aren't much bigger than thir naked form.

              Do you feel the Small cafe would be too small? Is the medium "just right"? In addition to the MBA and iPad all I'd want to carry are the chargers which are small and maybe a compact camera.



                Photo for Chris

                Hi Chris,

                I've never owned a Small Cafe, but based on the video Maverick did showing all the different options for carrying an iPad, it looks like the iPad alone is a pretty tight fit in the Small.

                [Note: when I tried to attach the URL for the YouTube video, it got translated into garbage characters. So just search under "Bihn iPad," though I'm sure the video is in the video/photo forum here as well.]

                I'd say go with the Medium, but see what you think after checking out this photo. I apologize for the quality; it was a quick shot in poor lighting, but I hope it gives you an idea. I couldn't find my Radtech sleeve, which sounds a lot like your microfiber sleeve, so the Air is in there naked. The iPad is in its flannel sleeve, vertically this time; and the keyboard is caseless as well. You could easily slide more stuff in the bag; it's nowhere near stuffed.

                Click image for larger version

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                Hope this helps you decide what the right size Cafe bag is for you.



                  Medium cafe it is! My only frustration is that black/wasabi is backordered... ugh! Looks like it'll have to be black/steel!



                    Glad I could help; just wish you could get the color you want.


                      I keep thinking I want a bag this size too but then I realize I always wish I had room for more stuff when I buy a small bag?
                      I will be all over in August via Planes and Car and need something versatile enough for both.
                      When flying I am thinking of bringing just an iPad and 11" Air but have a feeling I will chicken out at the last moment.

                      So far for me I end up with a Super Ego or Empire Builder everywhere I go.
                      I can always use the space but it is frustrating when I don't have any space left.


                        Originally posted by moriond View Post
                        The Medium Cafe bag is bit too short to hold your 11" MBA (bag dimensions are 10" x 11.5" x 3" and your MBA without a case is about 7.56" x 11.8" x 0.68").
                        @moriond, hope it's ok to revive this old thread:

                        I was searching to find out if a Medium Cafe Bag would accommodate my 11 inch MacBook Air, and noticed that the dimensions in this thread are different than what is currently listed on the TB product page for a medium cafe bag:

                        10" x 11.5" x 3" >> 10.6 " x 12.2" x 2.9"

                        Has the medium cafe bag increased slightly in height? Can anyone with the current iteration comment on whether or not it can fit an 11inch MacBook Air? It would be helpful to know if you carry it inside a cache or a similar sleeve.
                        All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
                        Edmund Burke


                          @bchaplin, I have a Red Blend MCB which I just purchased last spring, so I am assuming that is the current iteration of the bag. And I can carry my 11-inch Macbook Air in it. I use a 3mm wool felt case that I sewed myself; it measures about 12.5 inches in length, and yet it still fits inside the MCB. It protrudes very slightly above the top edge of the bag, but not very much; I am easily able to snap the flap closed over it.

                          I hope this helps you make your decision.



                            My wife uses a MCB with an 11 MacBook Air and a4 pad. Fits fine but she uses a non TB sleeve for the air. I'd think it would still fit though even with a cache.

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