What a Bag!

I know that I’ve only mentioned it in passing, since it was eclipsed momentarily by the big power outage we had over the holiday weekend, but I’m now the happy owner of an iPad.  Actually, as I’m discovering in iPad forums, I should probably be identifying myself in a manner such as this: “Dee/ 64GB Black WiFi iPad” and then, if I really wanted to be an Apple hardcore, I’d go on to also list the attributes of my iPhone and any other Apple devices I might own.  Back to the reason for this post, however.  Today the bag arrived that I had ordered to carry my iPad around in – a Tom Bihn Ristretto.  Tom Bihn makes the most fantastic bags and this one doesn’t disappoint.

The general measurements are around 12″ x 9″ x 5″ (click on the link I provided you to see the exact measurements) and it is designed slicker than our driveway after an ice storm.  There is plenty of space for my “must-have” gadgets and also my necessities to get out the door.

The back inside compartment has special padding with a clever padded flap that folds over your iPad after you slip it in.  The front divider has room for your e-reader (I put my Nook Color in here just because it is bigger than my Kindle 3 and I wanted to test the limits of my new bag), a small notebook, and a billfold.  There is also a zippered pocket where you can put things like your keys or credit cards.  The front section, which is under the flap when closed, has spots for pens, your cellphone, plus another small pocket where I intend to put a small pouch that holds some of my less frequently used credit cards and frequent-buyer cards.  Oh, and let’s not forget the nice big slip-in pocket on the back of this bag.  It’s not made for thick things but it is perfect for slipping in datebooks or airline tickets.

Comfort is always important to me and the Ristretto does not disappoint.  There is a very nice shoulder strap that can be worn either over your shoulder or across your chest like a messenger bag strap.  That’s the way I prefer to carry my bags simply because I have such sloping shoulders that any straps I try to just sling over a shoulder are forever falling down my arm.  There is also a nice nylon web loop near the top back that is quite handy when you are just wanting to quickly grab the bag off a table or chair.  If you are so inclined to wear this bag around your waist, Tom Bihn has provided for that option as well.  There is a detachable waist strap included.

The proof is in the pudding, though, so let’s take a look at what I put in the Ristretto.  I easily fit my iPad, my Nook Color, an iPhone, my wallet, a date planner, 2 pens, a small notebook, lipstick, and keys.  There were still plenty of small spaces to slip in other things like a pack of kleenex or other small items.

You might be wondering if Tom Bihn bags are durable.  Well, if past experience is any indicator, I have no doubt that this well-made bag will last a good long time.  I am already the proud owner of a Tom Bihn Swift bag that I have had for about 4 years now.  I carry it with me on all plane rides and use it as a purse and to carry my knitting supplies when I’m traveling.

It’s made of the same sturdy fabric as my new Ristretto bag and this bag still looks new.  I recently took it to Indonesia with me where it saw some hard use for five weeks over there.  I LOVE this bag.  The only thing I would change on it is to have the option of a shoulder strap that I could wear across my chest but that’s just me. 

The inside has clear see-through pockets, straps with clips for things like your keys, and the neatest little bag for holding a ball of yarn.  You can check here to read how this bag was designed specifically for knitters.  The company truly listened to the types of things we knitters wanted in a bag. 

But back to the Ristretto…..I tell you all this about the Swift just to illustrate how responsive this company is to the wants and needs of their customers.  I have no doubt that the same careful attention to the needs of iPad owners went into the design of the Ristretto.  I’m sure there are other good bags on the market for the iPad but I really don’t think you can go wrong with a bag from Tom Bihn.  I know that I’m one happy 64 GB WiFi iPad owner. 

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • nice. Jim was given an iPad this week – at work. He did not take it with him when he went up north, but I’m not getting my hopes up that he’s not too interested in it. He probably just didn’t have time to ‘play’ with it before he left to the land of no wi-fi. But we’ll see…I think it makes a great ‘brag book’!

  • Hi,
    Thanks for the great review of the Ristretto. I wonder if you could please tell me the colour of the pictured bag. it looks different to the blue on on the Tom Bihn site. I love that colour and will order it if available.

    Thanks for your help.
    Kind regards,

  • Dee

    Hi Will,
    The color of the Ristretto in the post is the Steel/Wasabi combination. It’s not really a blue. It’s a steel gray. I took the picture out on our sunporch so the color might have come across slightly different than on the Tom Bihn website but it’s definitely the Steel/Wasabi combination. I’m still loving the Ristretto, by the way. In fact, I’m using it as a daily handbag and when I want to carry my iPad or Kindle along, I just slip them in. Works great.

  • Hi,

    Many thanks. On reflection I might get the Risetto in black/wasabi since I’ll be taking it with my Ipad and Kindle to some off the beaten track places in Europe.

    Thanks again for the review.


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