It’s been about two weeks since I have last posted a pencil review (or any review for that matter), but I am back. This time it’s with a bag review. A lot of us pencil nerds are either students, professors, teachers, tech professionals or office workers that are always on the search of a perfect EDC bag. You know– something not too big, but not too small, has ample storage and looks good to boot. After taking an informal poll via the Erasable Facebook Page (find it and like it!), I decided that Tom Bihn Bags would suit my needs. The bags had a nice clean design and came in great colors. This week I will be reviewing the Medium Cafe Bag, but this style of bag comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. Now, on to the review!
The minute I got this bag, I was truly skeptical of its ability to fit everything I needed to carry with me on a daily basis. This opinion soon changed when I began to load the bag and realized that even after I put everything inside, I still had room left. I was able to fit a 13-inch Chromebook, a 10-inch tablet, 24-count colored pencil case, a Swell water bottle, a 10×10-inch coloring book, and 2 pencil rolls. I still had room after all of that stuff!
Storage space aside, this bag is well made. Constructed of 1000 denier Cordura® exterior/420d HT nylon Classic Parapack lining, this bag will last a long time. I have used this bag for a solid month and it looks brand new with no scuffs or frays anywhere in the fabric. The shoulder strap is plenty long and is made of thick nylon webbing. There is also a nylon handle stitched to the back of the bag in case you want to carry it briefcase style. There is a back pocket on the bag and a front zippered pocket that resides under the flap of the bag. Both pockets are nice and roomy and can fit up to a 10 inch tablet or e-reader. Inside the bag the main compartment is nice and roomy and there is a small organizer stitched into the inside that can accommodate some pencils, sharpeners, erasers, and a Field Notes-sized notebook.
I have carried this bag around and while the shoulder strap is nice and long, it can become a bit uncomfortable. I’d suggest purchasing the Ultrasuede shoulder strap; it seems that that strap would offer a bit more comfort. The clasp is made of a hard, sturdy plastic and makes a satisfying “snap” sound when closing. The Cafe Bag also has three “O-rings” inside that allow you to clip on keys or a variety of cases they sell in their store. Everything about this bag screams quality. With the minor upgrade of a new strap, this bag is perfect.
(FULL DISCLOSURE: I was provided the bag for free in exchange for a review of the product. The fact that the bag was free did not impact my opinions in any way whatsoever.)