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  1. #1
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    13" Macbook Pro in Medium Cafe Bag?

    My current everyday bag is a Side Kick but I want to upgrade to a bag that's big enough to hold my laptop on the rare occasion that I take it home, and I'm considering a Medium Cafe Bag. It's a 2017 13" Macbook Pro without Touch Bar. Based on the measurements I think it will fit fine, but I wanted to check with anyone who's tried it. Does it fit comfortably?

    Since I will only be carrying the laptop occasionally I might not use a Cache and just be careful not to bump it into anything. I do plan to get a Freudian Slip; will the laptop fit in that comfortably?

    The things I carry every day are my phone, compact wallet, glasses in a hard case, keys, small hand lotion, small pouch with personal items, AirPods, and two pens. Will the bag hold all that and my laptop?

  2. #2
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    Also, any thoughts on whether I should get the Ultrasuede Shoulder Strap Wrap? I think it would make carrying the laptop more comfortable, but would it get in the way or be annoying when I'm carrying a lighter load?

  3. #3
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    I have a medium Cafe Bag, and can't imagine comfortably carrying anything bigger than an iPad in it, even if it technically fits.

    My current solution for rare occasion that I need to carry my laptop is to use a large Shop bag. I can comfortably fit the MCB or a Sidekick, plus laptop with a Cache. The padded carrying handles make it a comfortable carry, though of course I can't sling it across my chest.

    I always use the Ultrasuede shoulder strap, and love it for any load weight.
    --Amanda

    Packing and gadget geek, collecting bags to disperse to my family.

  4. #4
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    Not an exact comparison, but I used a MCB with a Surface Pro 3 (and a lot of other stuff) quite happily. No cache, just a piece of 1/4" closed cell foam at the back and bottom of the bag, which gave more than enough protection and a bit more comfort carrying.

    And the Ultrasuede shoulder strap should be a standard fitting!

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    loma,

    I have an MCB and until recently I had a 2017 13" MacBook Pro. It fits, and I have occasionally used that for my commute, but it's uncomfortable to carry that amount of weight with the Cafe Bag strap (and the Cafe Bag straps are permanently attached). For what you say you'll be carrying, I think a Daylight Briefcase would work much better for you. It's the same capacity as the MCB and you can trade out the strap for an Absolute Strap (or a Mini SOS Strap from OpTech, which is basically a mini Absolute Strap).
    Last edited by aedifica; 11-23-2018 at 06:00 PM. Reason: I wrote iPad but meant MacBook. Not sure how that happened.
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toblerhaus View Post
    I have a medium Cafe Bag, and can't imagine comfortably carrying anything bigger than an iPad in it, even if it technically fits.

    My current solution for rare occasion that I need to carry my laptop is to use a large Shop bag. I can comfortably fit the MCB or a Sidekick, plus laptop with a Cache. The padded carrying handles make it a comfortable carry, though of course I can't sling it across my chest.

    I always use the Ultrasuede shoulder strap, and love it for any load weight.
    Bummer! Do you think it would fit, even if not comfortably? I would really like my main bag to be able to fit the laptop, rather than carry around an overflow bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemming View Post
    Not an exact comparison, but I used a MCB with a Surface Pro 3 (and a lot of other stuff) quite happily. No cache, just a piece of 1/4" closed cell foam at the back and bottom of the bag, which gave more than enough protection and a bit more comfort carrying.
    Glad it worked for you! The Macbook is a bit larger in all dimensions, and quite a bit heavier. Do you think you had enough wiggle room that it would work?

    Surface Pro 3:

    11.5 inches (29 cm) (width)
    7.93 inches (20.1 cm) (height)
    0.36 inches (9.1 mm) (depth)
    Weight: 1.76 pounds

    13" Macbook Pro:

    Height: 0.59 inch (1.49 cm)
    Width: 11.97 inches (30.41 cm)
    Depth: 8.36 inches (21.24 cm)
    Weight: 3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)


    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    I have an MCB and until recently I had a 2017 13" iPad Pro. It fits, and I have occasionally used that for my commute, but it's uncomfortable to carry that amount of weight with the Cafe Bag strap (and the Cafe Bag straps are permanently attached). For what you say you'll be carrying, I think a Daylight Briefcase would work much better for you. It's the same capacity as the MCB and you can trade out the strap for an Absolute Strap (or a Mini SOS Strap from OpTech, which is basically a mini Absolute Strap).
    I have a Daylight Briefcase, and while I do like it for when I know I'm carrying my laptop, it's not really what I'm looking for right now. It doesn't have as much internal organization as I'd like, doesn't have a FS made for it, and I'd prefer a vertical orientation for the 98% of the time that I'm not carrying my laptop.

    Not too worried about comfort, since it will be very rare that I am carrying my laptop in it. Just want to make sure everything fits. The Macbook is about the same width as the iPad, but almost an inch longer. Do you think it would fit?

  7. #7
    Forum Member yeg780's Avatar
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    I have a 2017 13Ē MBP. Iíve used it on occasion with my MCB and it fits with its cache. Itís not a perfect fit as in the flap doesnít completely fold over the bag. There is a minor gap at the top of the bag when the bag is clipped closed. I like the MCB for its vertical orientation and the way I can pack it.

    I too have a DLBC. The DLBC is my main edc bag for work. There are days, though, where Iíll be out during the day and Iíll leave my MacBook at work. Thatís when the MCB comes in handy. On those days I donít mind the small gap in the bag because Iím mainly using the bag for non-laptop carry.

    I will carry my sunglasses, AirPods, wallet, keys, phone, and a few extra things that I would need.


    Using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    13" Macbook Pro in Medium Cafe Bag?

    Quote Originally Posted by loma View Post
    Bummer! Do you think it would fit, even if not comfortably? I would really like my main bag to be able to fit the laptop, rather than carry around an overflow bag.



    Glad it worked for you! The Macbook is a bit larger in all dimensions, and quite a bit heavier. Do you think you had enough wiggle room that it would work?

    Surface Pro 3:

    11.5 inches (29 cm) (width)
    7.93 inches (20.1 cm) (height)
    0.36 inches (9.1 mm) (depth)
    Weight: 1.76 pounds

    13" Macbook Pro:

    Height: 0.59 inch (1.49 cm)
    Width: 11.97 inches (30.41 cm)
    Depth: 8.36 inches (21.24 cm)
    Weight: 3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)




    I have a Daylight Briefcase, and while I do like it for when I know I'm carrying my laptop, it's not really what I'm looking for right now. It doesn't have as much internal organization as I'd like, doesn't have a FS made for it, and I'd prefer a vertical orientation for the 98% of the time that I'm not carrying my laptop.

    Not too worried about comfort, since it will be very rare that I am carrying my laptop in it. Just want to make sure everything fits. The Macbook is about the same width as the iPad, but almost an inch longer. Do you think it would fit?
    @loma, I don't have any recent pictures up on the forums with the Medium Cafe Bag and any non-Touchbar recent MacBook Pro, but since you have the Daylight Briefcase, take a look at the pictures that I posted of the Medium Cafe Bag holding a 13" MacBook Air on top of a Daylight Briefcase:





    You should go read the original post and thread titled About to buy first TB - Cafe Bag vs DLBC, even though it is old (December 2014) and the 13" MacBook Air shown in the picture is longer than any of the current 13" MacBooks (or even my older 13" Retina MacBook Pro before they came out with the touchbar option), because there is extensive description about the way the bag fits, and how the depth at the bottom of the bag is larger at the bottom.

    You can also take a look at the July 2015 discussion thread Medium Cafe Bag: the perfect size for a new 12" Macbook... that @PaulT00 started (and read to the last post which gives a verbal description of the fit to the 13" Retina MacBook Pro at that time).

    I think my opinion is that, if you had the Touchbar model of the 13" MacBook Pro using the Medium Cafe Bag as your plan would work better for you. It certainly can work as an option in a pinch, but it also depends on how comfortable you feel carrying your laptop with no additional protection and with its top poking up on the flap. I do use a cache with the Daylight Briefcase, and at minimum I would use a clear shell for additional protection, but these are only opinions.

    Another vertical carrying option is the Ristretto, which has always been one of the favorite options of @tpnl (he has lots of posts about how to optimally pack this). But, for most people, the extra cost of the Ristretto, the fact that it is only currently available in Black 1050d Ballistic Nylon/Northwest Sky, and not in any of the new 525d Ballistic Colors, and that it has a dedicated laptop compartment that they find more constraining than the Cafe design, removes this as an option.

    Maybe some forum member can post a recent picture with exactly your model laptop in a Medium Cafe Bag? You don't mention whether you plan to carry this in a cache or hard shell. (And with regard to your comment:
    I have a Daylight Briefcase, and while I do like it for when I know I'm carrying my laptop, it's not really what I'm looking for right now. It doesn't have as much internal organization as I'd like, doesn't have a FS made for it, and I'd prefer a vertical orientation for the 98% of the time that I'm not carrying my laptop.
    -- some people use the Small Cafe Bag Freudian Slip with the Daylight Briefcase; I think @maverick showed some pictures of that setup. I admit that the organization feature that I use as mini-Freudian Slips for this are the now-retired Field Journal Notebook Inserts.

    I agree with @Toblerhaus that you might be better off carrying your laptop in one of the new zip-top Shop Bags. (I'd get the zip-top option now.)

    HTH

    moriond

    ETA: I hope someone can comment on the non-Touchbar/Touchbar length difference in the recent 13" MacBook Pros. I only have the Touchbar version in the latest models, and I did notice the difference in length for some of the fits. So I try be exact in my descriptions of what is shown and what the experience is.

    ETA2: I recall that you only got the DLBC in February, so you were marginally in the window for still being able to order the FJN Notebook inserts -- I specifically asked Darcy whether they would add a last run of these before retiring the Field Journal (and also that they make this before the retirement announcement), because I knew people would want to use this as an accessory for the Daylight Briefcase

    Also, off topic, if you need to hack the current design of the Side Kicks to carry the original straps, you can successfully hack this by buying a pair of 1" Triangle Hooks from Parts, slipping the webbing loop ends meant to attach to the current generation Side Kick Shoulder Straps on the current models of the Side Kick through the bottom slot of the Triangle Hook, and then pass a cord-pull through the webbing end, and knot it to keep the clips in place. I prefer the original design, but I've checked that this works for the new Side Kicks to let you use the original 1" Shoulder Strap distributed with the earlier models of the Side Kick, or any other shoulder strap with snap hook ends that you want -- like the Op Tech Mini SOS strap, etc.
    Last edited by moriond; 11-23-2018 at 09:03 PM.

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loma View Post
    I have a Daylight Briefcase, and while I do like it for when I know I'm carrying my laptop, it's not really what I'm looking for right now. It doesn't have as much internal organization as I'd like, doesn't have a FS made for it, and I'd prefer a vertical orientation for the 98% of the time that I'm not carrying my laptop.

    Not too worried about comfort, since it will be very rare that I am carrying my laptop in it. Just want to make sure everything fits. The Macbook is about the same width as the iPad, but almost an inch longer. Do you think it would fit?
    I don't know how I ended up typing iPad. What I had was a MacBook Pro! And it did fit, just, as I said, not comfortably. If comfort isn't a concern for you, then go for it.
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeg780 View Post
    I have a 2017 13” MBP. I’ve used it on occasion with my MCB and it fits with its cache. It’s not a perfect fit as in the flap doesn’t completely fold over the bag. There is a minor gap at the top of the bag when the bag is clipped closed. I like the MCB for its vertical orientation and the way I can pack it.
    Sounds like it's worth a try! I don't think I'll be too bothered by a small gap.

    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    I hope someone can comment on the non-Touchbar/Touchbar length difference in the recent 13" MacBook Pros. I only have the non-Touchbar version in the latest models, and I did notice the difference in length for some of the fits. So I try be exact in my descriptions of what is shown and what the experience is.
    Thanks for the links and photos! My MBP has the same dimensions as the current Touch Bar models, listed here: https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/specs/

    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    I don't know how I ended up typing iPad. What I had was a MacBook Pro! And it did fit, just, as I said, not comfortably. If comfort isn't a concern for you, then go for it.
    Awesome!

  11. #11
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    I was looking for a minimal bag for my iPad Pro 12.9" (2nd edition) that is very similar in size with the MacBook Pro 13". I've sent an email to TB asking if MCB would fit the iPad. Kat replied that a bare iPad would fit but MCB would be too small with a sleeve or a Cache. I didn't want to carry an iPad (or notebook) in MCB that does not have sufficient paddings to protect, so I use DLBC instead.

  12. #12
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    I think it'll fit well enough. this is my 2015 MacBook in it, laptop measurements are:
    Height: 0.14–0.52 inch (0.35–1.31 cm)
    Width: 11.04 inches (28.05 cm)
    Depth: 7.74 inches (19.65 cm)
    Stuffed it with clutch wallet, 7 oz. hand creme, keys, pens, glasses case, stuff pouch, and trade paper book in lieu of AirPods or phone since I am holding the latter to take the pic! In fact I could stuff a light Patagonia nanopuff jacket in it too although then the bag is all puffy. and other small stuff would still fit around the edges.
    13" Macbook Pro in Medium Cafe Bag?-img_3126-2-jpeg
    13" Macbook Pro in Medium Cafe Bag?-img_3127-2-jpeg
    13" Macbook Pro in Medium Cafe Bag?-img_3122-jpeg

    The flap has a bit of give in it so seems like even with .93 in more in width that yours has, it would still fit. A bit tighter with a soft case on it, but still. seems ok. (this below pic is with just laptop in it.)
    13" Macbook Pro in Medium Cafe Bag?-img_3129-jpeg

    P.S. can't speak to suede strap or cache, don't have either.
    Last edited by svea; 11-25-2018 at 04:42 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by svea View Post
    I think it'll fit well enough. this is my 2015 MacBook in it, laptop measurements are:
    Height: 0.14Ė0.52 inch (0.35Ė1.31 cm)
    Width: 11.04 inches (28.05 cm)
    Depth: 7.74 inches (19.65 cm)
    Stuffed it with clutch wallet, 7 oz. hand creme, keys, pens, glasses case, stuff pouch, and trade paper book in lieu of AirPods or phone since I am holding the latter to take the pic! In fact I could stuff a light Patagonia nanopuff jacket in it too although then the bag is all puffy. and other small stuff would still fit around the edges.
    13" Macbook Pro in Medium Cafe Bag?-img_3126-2-jpeg
    13" Macbook Pro in Medium Cafe Bag?-img_3127-2-jpeg
    13" Macbook Pro in Medium Cafe Bag?-img_3122-jpeg

    The flap has a bit of give in it so seems like even with .93 in more in width that yours has, it would still fit. A bit tighter with a soft case on it, but still. seems ok. (this below pic is with just laptop in it.)
    13" Macbook Pro in Medium Cafe Bag?-img_3129-jpeg

    P.S. can't speak to suede strap or cache, don't have either.


    Are you sure yours is a Medium cafe bag, not Large? According to TB website, the size of the MCB is 12.2"X10.6" and 2013 MacBook pro 13 is 12.35"X8.62". So Kat said the height was the problem.

  14. #14
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    yes, it's a medium cafe bag. My laptop is 11.04 in, Ioma's is 11.97 in, so seems like it would work for Ioma.

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