In my quest for the ever elusive perfect (or near perfect) bag for my laptop, specifically, my MacBook Air, has been nothing short of daunting. It seemed everywhere I looked, every company had the same style, shape and size for pretty the common laptop computer. But I treat my MacBook Air as if it were my baby. After all is little bit machinery with a hefty price tag, which I couldn’t settle any more for something out of the ordinary.
My MacBook air has been used with all kinds of bags: backpack (mostly too big), standard laptop bag (never enough room), and of course my personal favourite over the shoulder, but is generally too small. Now with my back problems, I should over the shoulder as it balances my weight properly and doesn’t cause stress on my back. Nevertheless, the largest over the shoulder bag I could find was the Swiss Gear you could find at pretty much any staples, but is too small. It can easily carry an iPad or the smaller 11″ MacBook air. But I have a 13″ MacBook Air. So I kept looking and finally I stumbled upon Tom Bihn.
Google’s initial search pulled up the Ristretto for 13″ Macbook Pro or Air. I looked at this bag and though I like the design, it seemed simple the way the compartments are organized. For me, this is extra bonus points as I like things that are well designed. You can call me a fanatic when it comes to well designed products as I find that most companies don’t take the extra time to design and build great products like Apple or in this case Tom Bihn.
I had initially placed an order for this bag as my journey to find the perfect over the shoulder bag for my laptop came to an end. But the waiting time upon placing an order was nearly 2 months. WOW. I figured this must me some special bag.
After having waited nearly 2 months, my bag finally arrived and on a cold and wintery day in Ottawa, went to the UPS depot to pick up my bag. Went home and checked it out.
At first the bag looked modest and simple, and was expecting a few more pockets (that’s just me, I like compartments). But looking at it and trying it out, the first thing I noticed is this bag has nearly no weight to it. Now that is an amazing feat. Next I tried putting my MacBook Air and started filling it with the usual: power cords, hard drive, mouse, files, books, pads, pends, glass case and whatever else I could throw in it.
When I connected the strap to the stirrups on the sides of the bag, and placed it over my shoulder, it felt so light, I thought ‘Am I actually carrying my laptop’. Well frankly the answer is yes. So I loosened my bag over my shoulder just to check out the weight by picking it up by the back handle and could feel the weight. But then I noticed that the strap had an extra cushiony pad that goes over the shoulder thus compensating for more even weight distribution. And this part of the strap is important to me, as I find most shoulder straps rub, burn and weigh on my shoulder. But not Tom Bihn’s.
The other thing I noticed after having carried my computer over my shoulder how easy and accessible everything is. The front strap is rugged, sturdy and easy to open and get access to the front compartment. Even the back compartment was easy to get to and I usually have a rough time getting to this part of any bag. And another handy feature I found is that where the laptop sleeve sits, is a folding cover to probably hold the laptop in place.
So in conclusion, the only thing I can say is that I would definitely recommend Tom Bihn to anyone looking for that special bag for their 13″ Macbook. I have included the link to Tom Bihn’s Ristretto in case any of you want to take a look at this bag. You should check it out.