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Help me decide between a small or medium cafe bag

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    Help me decide between a small or medium cafe bag

    Ever since I saw a cafe bag in linen, I wanted one. It is such a perfect neutral for my wardrobe, plus the fold over top is my preferred style for travel. I'm having trouble deciding between the small or medium cafe bag size. I already have a LCB and 2 LS. The LS are the closest in size to the medium cafe bag. I don't think I have anything as small as a SCB, except for my SE which I use either as quick errand bags/clutches or inside larger bags.

    What I'd plan to carry in the small or medium cafe bag:

    Small YSSS with sock knitting
    Vapur water bottle or small 350ml thermos for tea
    Glasses/occasionally sunglasses
    Small snack like laurabars
    Maybe stuff like my gloves/cowl in winter, or those go into a jacket pocket
    Maybe a SSB

    Can a SCB or a MCB fit into a CP? That way I could use the CP as my travel bag and then use the cafe bag as a sightseeing bag. I'd pack my clothes into the cafe bag. After carrying the CP around for a couple of days with the standard strap, ,y shoulders were killing me. I ordered the smaller op tech strap to see if that will help, but I think I need to move to a smaller bag and less stuff. But the CP was filled with the items listed, plus a couple small things like an extra battery charger for phone, so... :/ Maybe I need to work out more, haha

    I admit I am leaning towards the MCB bc the lining is in olive vs navy.

    I have a SCB, not a MCB, but in my experience, the SCB is quite small. I carry a ballistic SE daily in whatever bag I use, and if I stick in in the SCB (it fits) then add a paperback or moleskine, then it is bulgy and doesn't lay well against my side. I really don't want to take the stuff out of my SE, but if I did so, there would be much more space. I love my SCB, as my hubby got it for me, and it has the portable culture label, but I don't use it much due to size. (this doesn't answer any of your questions, but, there ya go!)


      The MCB is too big to fit in the CP. When its emty you can get it in there, but you loos too much room, or so I see it. The SCB would work but you'd still get less to pack into the CP due to the extra space the SCB takes.
      As for your packing list. That would work (with one class case anyway. If we are talking two that will depend on how bulky they are). Is your Wallet a Tom Bihn one or something substancly lager?

      I think with the MCB you get a bit more flexebilaty room-wise but you will be tempted to make the bag too heavy. The space-limit of the SCB might be helpfull there. I am realy bad with shoulderbags. I tend to make the strap the exact length so that I can support the bag with my outstraged arm by just folding the hand around the bootem of the bag. So that it does not show so much that I am lifting some of the waight of my shoulder. (Does that make sence?)

      “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

      By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth


        I use an SCB as my daily carry, and I think the items you listed above would fit but it would require careful packing and the SCB would be full all the time. I'd go with the MCB.

        My SCB, by the way, is Linen/Navy, which is the perfect color combo for me. Linen, for obvious reasons, but the Navy is a lovely contrast color. The darkness doesn't bother me in a bag so small...also because everything inside is in a brightly colored TB pouch anyway. Everything looks great against the navy. I think the olive would be equally fabulous. But I must defend the navy parapack lining whenever I can!


          I bought a SCB first, but found it was a little too small for what I wanted to carry. My wallet is a little chunky, so it takes up more room than something like a TB wallet. That, plus an ereader (nook with a cover), 16oz water bottle, other small odds and ends (bandaids, lip balm, advil, etc), all fit, but it just seemed too tight and like I'd have to rearrange everything if I wanted to pull something out. I got the MCB and I liked it much better. Everything fit nicely, with enough room for sunglasses (in a hard case) and an extra scarf or light long sleeve shirt and a shop bag! I don't find that I personally pack it more or with heavier items just because it's bigger, but I don't like to carry heavy things. IDK if it fits into a CP; it does fit into a S25, if a little scrunched up.


            It depends how many of those "maybe" items you actually take. I second the notions that you can't pack it all in a small, and if you bring a bunch of stuff you will need to take out something to access the item you want. It depends if that annoys you, as it does me. The Medium will handle a lot more. Even half full it still looks good, so the cowl can go in/out/on/back in.

            My first CB was the large. I decided it was too big for EDC for me. So then I went small. But ended up packing things too tightly. Was afraid medium would feel like it was overlapping the other sizes. But they all definitely feel like different sizes. For me, medium is the sweet spot EDC. Still use the small and large for special purpose days.
            What's better than o-rings? More o-rings.


              I agree that it sounds like all of your stuff wouldn't fit into a SCB. I actually carry both on some days. The SCB as my PLO (wallet, Keyes, glasses, phone, etc.) and the MCB for my laptop and/or iPad, notebook, other work stuff. I tried using the MCB alone but found it annoying to drag a big-ish bag with all my work stuff around when I just wanted to run into the store. Then I tried using carrying an SE in the MCB, to be removed as my PLO as needed, but that was a tight fit. Thus I end up with both somedays -- other days is an SE and a Synapse (19 or 25 depending on how much I have to haul with me). In theory, I really want to be a one bag person. In practice it doesn't seem to work for me.

              Basically, that was a long way of saying that maybe both would work for you, too, depending on the day.


                Thanks everyone for your input! I am STILL undecided. The family and I went to Heidelberg last weekend to enjoy the Weinachtsmarkts and I took my LCB. It did remarkably well (it held everything in the above list plus some items I bought at Lush, thanks to everyone's recommendations in another thread here!), and with the absolute strap, did not fatigue my shoulders, neck or back at all. The fact that the SCB or MCB strap is not removable gives me pause. I think if I use the MCB with this load I will need the mini SOS strap that I bought for my CP.

                The Coyote LS I ordered just arrived so I think I am going to try using my LSs more for these day trips and see how it goes, since it is so similar in size to the MCB. The LSs do feel fairly secure and theft-proof, and I love the Poron handles.