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Ristretto internal sizes - 13" Mac in 11" bag?

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    Ristretto internal sizes - 13" Mac in 11" bag?

    Hi everyone! I've been staring longingly at the Tom Bihn bags for a while, and I think it's about time to take the plunge, particularly since I'd like something sexier than a backpack to carry my laptop around in.

    The dimensions for the 13" Ristretto seem to be quite a lot larger than a 13" MacBook Air - even the 11" Ristretto looks like it would have ample space inside it, when comparing the dimensions of each. Is this space for padding, perhaps? I'm used to carrying my laptop in unpadded bags, mostly to avoid bulk, and I'd still rather skip it and save a couple of inches on the bag dimensions. Is there an easy way to extract the padding from the 11" Ristretto and slide in a 13" MBA, or is it all fixed in place?

    I notice in photographs that most people seem to fill the main compartment with everything else they carry, rather than the front compartment. Is there something about the seams that makes the front compartment harder to fill with stuff, or is it maybe not as secure? I carry a mirrorless camera around (an NEX-5 - again, generally without padding) that I'd love to have some easy and quick way to get to without having to fumble around in the depths of the bag (or have it share a compartment with too much other stuff); would the front compartment work for a camera that's about 4.5" wide, 2.5" high and protrudes about 4" with a lens attached? Is there any TB magic that can help with making an easy-access camera pouch inside a Ristretto (that isn't build for huge SLR-scale cameras)?

    Thanks for any advice anyone has to share!

    The curiosity wasn't leaving me be, so I flew over yesterday to find out.

    The short answer is that the 13" MBA will pretty happily fit in the 11" Ristretto. The padded internal flap doesn't close over it quite as securely as it ought, and the top of the laptop is visible in the bag, but it works. I tried it on for size in the Co-Pilot as well, but it seemed to be too tight a fit. And the camera fits happily in the front section, though only time will tell if it's sufficiently secure. I'm intending to investigate foam inserts at B&H or Adorama to see if there's something intended to live inside a real camera bag that could be repurposed into the Ristretto.

    So did I buy the 11" Ristretto? No. There was one, solitary, lonely PURPLE 13" Ristretto hanging on a hook (from an older run, with metal D-rings), and they said that colour wasn't going to be available in the future. So I bought it!

    (And despite looking significantly larger than the 11", there's still remarkably less space inside the 13" than in the backpack I normally carry around, so in retrospect I'm quite glad that I didn't opt for the smaller one)


      There are a lot of us Plum lovers on the forum, and we're all envious right now that you snagged the last lonely purple Ristretto! Hope you enjoy it.


        Originally posted by ncb4 View Post
        There are a lot of us Plum lovers on the forum, and we're all envious right now that you snagged the last lonely purple Ristretto! Hope you enjoy it.
        Yes, what she said. I thought they were all gone so the Ristretto held little appeal for me.
        I really, really like TB Bags!