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Small or Medium Cafe Bag

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    Small or Medium Cafe Bag

    Hi all, hoping for some help here. My wife has a LCB which she loves, but would like something smaller when she doesn't pack as much - something more like a casual purse. I'm undecided on the MCB vs the SCB. It's hard for me to know exactly what she will be carrying. Is the SCB too small for everyday use? The MCB too close in size to the LCB? Any help would be appreciated. Sorry I can't be more specific on what she will be using it to carry. Thanks.
    Navy Brain Bag, Navy/Iberian Aeronaut, Black/Steel Tristar, Black/Black/Steel Ego, Several Organizer Pouches

    I've found the SCB to be quite spacious for use as a casual purse - I used it along with my Smart Alec on my last trip and it was able to hold my iPad, kindle, iPhone, and some other bits as my under-seat bag. Hope this helps.
    Eat well, travel often.


      That helps a lot. I was leaning toward the SCB as she already has the LCB for when she has a lot to carry.
      Navy Brain Bag, Navy/Iberian Aeronaut, Black/Steel Tristar, Black/Black/Steel Ego, Several Organizer Pouches


        If I'm carrying normal purse stuff, the SCB is perfect. If I'm also carrying and iPad and insulated coffee transportation system, the MCB is what I choose. I'm not sure if my decision would be different if I had a LCB.


          Mrs B. carries a SCB as her purse. There's plenty of room for all her day-to-day items, including a small makeup bag, TB organizer wallet (crammed to the brim with old, nasty receipts--wtf), huge sunglasses case, Field Notes, pens, and other things. There's still plenty of room for her to stuff in the Citizen Canine if needed, and/or her Kindle, and/or my sunglasses case.


            I carry a SCB as an everyday purse. It fits everything I need to carry for day to day use, except maybe a water bottle. I think you just have to make decisions on what you really need. When I carry a larger purse I have a bad habit of carrying way too much and hurting my shoulder. I purposely bought the smaller size so I'd be forced to downsize a bit.


              I normally carry an SCB as my everyday bag for commuting via train to work. In the main compartment, I carry a Nook Simple Touch in a TB padded sleeve, my Bluetooth earpiece in its case, small folded shopping bag, tatting in a small, flat candy tin (about the size of an Altoids tin), earbuds and folding stand for my Nook in a mini cork OP, smartphone and a tiny Moleskine in the slip pocket, and a couple of pens in the pen slots. That's the main compartment.

              In the front zippered compartment, I have a TB wallet attached to a keystrap attached to the O ring. I have another keystrap with a keyring that has all my shopping cards on it (the mini keyring kind of course). I have a third keystrap with my work ID card that I need to access my floor. (Hate that thing--they just gave them to us to replace our little keyfobs, which were much easier to use--I kept it attached to a keystrap in the main compartment of the SCB and just pulled it out when needed and then tucked it back in.) I also carry a powder compact, lipstick, chapstick, blotting papers (for the face--it's like a flat square package about 3" square), and a small microfiber cloth for my spectacles/gadgets. In the back pocket I tuck a clean hankie, a small tin of mints, a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer, and a small package of hand wipes, in case I want to tat (make shuttle lace) and my hands are dirty from public transit and being in the city. Any odd papers or envelopes I pick up during the day usually end up in the back pocket as well. I could probably get an 18-oz Klean Kanteen in the bag, but that would make the bag pretty full.

              This makes a small and light bag that I can wear cross-body in the city and feel very neat and stylish and that my bag is safe. I'm not hung up on labels or fashion (I am wearing hand-crocheted socks and Croc clogs today, for instance; cute, warm, and comfortable, but it won't get me in Vogue) but I don't like to look like a pack mule hauling everything I own around with me, either.

              I can carry a very small crocheting project as well--like a doily--but anything bigger or involving yarn, I would need to switch up to the MCB, but then I could put my lunch in it as well.

              This being November, I'm doing NaNoWriMo, and carrying my netbook every day, so I've switched to the Synapse for the month. I have also considered using my LCB or Co-Pilot for that purpose if I decide for whatever reason I want a cross-body bag on a particular day.

              Sorry for the length--hope it helps!
              Last edited by MaggieScratch; 11-01-2012, 10:46 AM.


                It all depend on what she carry everyday. If she is very minimalistic and into tech gadgets, she will be able to use the Small Cafe Bag without any problem.

                However, the Medium is more suited for somebody who needs to carry letter size paper, but in this case, it is better to go for the Large Cafe Bag.

                I have Large and Small Cafe Bags in various colors.

                The Large is used if I need paperwork, the Field Journal Notebook and various Pouches(public transport card, change, wallet stuff) pens, and a Clear Quarter Packing Cube with makeup on one side and emergency/lunch utensils in the other.
                It gets full and I need the Absolute Strap.

                The Small Cafe Bag can carry the Pouches, pens and small electronics.

                It is ideal for biking (with the waist strap), shopping for fashion items (clothes/shoes/scarves/jewellery) because it is small and light enough that it is not in the way, as a matter of fact, one has to remember to take it off.

                It is also a lifesaver in very bad winter weather, when one is trying to walk away from black ice and into fresh snow while feeling out if it is too deep or there is a curb or a hole that is going to twists one ankle. In those time, one wants nothing hindering movements and the Small Cafe Bag is perfect for that.

                It is also a great "grab stuff fast" bag when one carries an accompanying backpack either for travel or commute with a computer.

                In addition, it is really cute and very easy to dress up and down.


                  Thanks everyone. I'm going to order the SCB because I think she would like something to hold her essentials. The posts were all very helpful!
                  Navy Brain Bag, Navy/Iberian Aeronaut, Black/Steel Tristar, Black/Black/Steel Ego, Several Organizer Pouches


                    I bought a medium cafe bag a few months ago and it's been an amazing everyday bring bag. I considered the huge too huge for an everyday bring bag. I bring another bag, either extra or instead of the cafe bag, if I need to bring my laptop. An iPad suits easily in it.