Main TOM BIHN website
 
emailus@tombihn.com

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Welcome! We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

x

First, select your desired search engine:

  • Google Search
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Original Forum Search Engine

User Tag List

Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    2
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Ristretto or braincell?

    So I had to get my screen replaced on my MBP, not sure if it was a problem with the laptop or if putting it in the bottom of a backpack is the problem. Anyhow, I like the look / convenience of the ristretto but the cell looks tougher and I could just toss THAT into a backpack.


    Thoughts / experiences?

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Share
    Portland-ish OR
    Posts
    60
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I thought the Ristretto was too difficult to get things in and out of. It was difficult enough with a regular size iPad much less a MBP. Not much else could fit in there either. Haven't laid hands on a Brain Bag tho. Just my 2 cents. It went back.

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Share
    Toronto, Canada (GMT+5)
    Posts
    1,385
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The current Ristretto (a Ristretto 13) is my EDC for work (there used to be smaller Ristretto 11 and iPad versions). I carry a Lenovo Carbon X1 currently in it (I also have carried a Dell E7440 / E7450). Note that if you have a MBP 15, the Ristretto is not a good fit.

    I find it very easy to get the laptop in and out of the bag (with the caveat that it is messenger style bag so you will have to lift the up and then the cache flap - same as for the Cafe bags and Maker's Bag). The spacious zippered front compartment can also hold a lot securely. Looking at the design of the built in cache, I find that it is quite protective from drops. I say this because the bottom and sides have piping and heavy duty stitching that resist deformation and provide harder cushioning if dropped. That being said, its only weak spot is the top where just the Cache padding protects the laptop (the same protection as any cache would have in a bag). It is acceptable to me but it is worth mentioning. Also remember that your laptop will not shift in the bag as a normal cache might - increasing the protection value. Here is a picture of my EDC Ristretto:



    I also like that you can add some of the TB Accessories (e.g. Side Kick, Side Effect) to the back of the Ristretto with some single gatekeeper clips to increase capacity:



    I have put my Ristretto in my backpack and it is a good bag in bag option - though not as efficient space-wise as a Brain Cell.

    As background, I am very protective of my laptops and prefer more protection than people usually want / need as I am clumsy (and do not like dents in my toys ). In fact, I discovered Tom Bihn because of their Brain Cells. The Brain Cell would definitely be more protective than the cache or any bag that has a cache in it. The trade-off is more bulk. Another advantage is the ability to use the Brain Cell on its own as well as in a bag. It is a good option with using a Western Flyer or TriStar for travel. Here is a picture of a vertical size 6z being carried on its own:



    I use the Brain Cell in all my backpacks (Synapse 25, Smart Alec, Brain Bag, Daylight Backpack) and in the larger briefcases (Empire Builder, Zephyr). I like that I do not have to worry about my laptop with the Brain Cell. Here is a picture of 2 Brain Cells (Size 1 and 6z) in my Synapse 25:



    I have also used my Brain Cell with other TB accessories to create a minimalist briefcase:



    Hope this helps
    Cheers!

    BTW - be quick if you want a Brain Cell as they are discontinued and once stock runs out, there will be no more made
    Last edited by tpnl; 02-28-2017 at 09:42 PM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  4. #4
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Share
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    834
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I came very late to the Brain Cell party as I always assumed the caches would work for me. In most cases they do but for my western flyer and Tristar I really wanted the brain cell as they could be 'fixed' into the bag rather than simply hanging from cache rails.

    I bought a horizontal 6 from eBay and just this week picked up a horizontal size 1 (again from eBay). I think these are great items, albeit a bit bulky, although not as much as a Ristretto would be. Their strap attachments and fabric pockets hold the essentials and turn it into a minimal laptop bag.

    I think they are a great item and surprised they aren't more favoured by others due to their versatility.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    2
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Great info everyone.

    I have a 15" MBP, I like the style of the ristretto but it sounds like the braincell vertical is the way to go.

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Share
    Toronto, Canada (GMT+5)
    Posts
    1,385
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I forgot to mention a possible incidental feature I did not even realize until recently. I always wondered why my backpacks seems to feel better on my back when I had a Brain Cell in it.

    IMHO, when the Brain Cell is in a backpack, it acts like an internal frame sheet providing some structure to a backpack - e.g. S25 now stands on its own, helps transfer weight to the optional padded hip belts.


    Ego and S25 with Brain Cells in them

    The Brain Cell also provides extra structure to the Halycon bags I have. Here is my S25 fully loaded with 2 Brain Cells and standing on its own:



    Hope this helps
    Cheers!
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •