Now that I have started testing Ultrabooks it was only natural that I would seek out a bag to carry them. It is equally that I would turn to my absolute favourite bag maker..Tom Bihn of Seattle, WA. He recommended the stylish Cadet Laptop Bag.
As you can see this is a nice looking bag..it is the 15/13 model designed for small Windows laptops as well as MacBooks. This one is Steel gray with a cheerful yellow (Solar) interior. It is made of of 1050d U.S. ballistic nylon, which has twice the abrasion resistance of 1680 denier fabric, and an interior of ultra-lightweight Japanese Dyneema/nylon ripstop fabric. In between the exterior and the lining is .25″ / 8mm closed cell foam on the front, back and bottom. Mine came with the optional ($20) Absolute Shoulder Strap..the most comfortable shoulder strap I have ever used. Bag and strap weighs nothing..a mere 1.1Kg (2 pounds 8 ounces) which is especially important when you are dealing with small laptops..I have seen bags that weigh twice as much as the laptop they were designed to carry…not a Tom Bihn bag!
My cadet is also equipped with the Cadet Cache: a specially modified version of the company’s Cache laptop sleeve. Using two Gatekeeper clips, the bottom edge of the Cadet Cache is attached to two vertical pieces of webbing sewn into the Cadet. When passing through a TSA checkpoint, you can easily slide your laptop/iPad (still in its protective Cadet Cache) out of the Cadet for X-ray inspection; your laptop remains protected and attached to the Cadet. You will notice the separator between the sleeve and the bag ensures magazines or files remain in place when you slide out the laptop for inspection.
While this is not a huge bag, there is plenty of room to store your power cord and other accessories as well as pens, business cards and smartphone or MP3 player. There is a zipper pocket on the front lined with ultrasuede to protect your smartphone or music player. and behind that there is a contoured zippered compartment that opens a to a little more than half the bag..it contains organizer pockets for pencils or pens, your passport..a mouse and there is even room for a snack.
You will notice O-rings in both large compartments..there are one of my favourite features of a Tom Bihn Bag..there is a complete line of accessories to attach to the handy rings. straps for keys, a light and even a TSA approved small bag to store carry-on liquids..Ton Bihn thinks of absolutely everything..for example there is a back pocket on the Cadet that is handy to hold a newspaper..but it has a zipper on the bottom so you can open it and use this pocket to slide the Cadet on the handle of rolling luggage
If you are looking for a bag to carry just about anything, you can’t go wrong with a Tom Bihn product..He makes a full line from tiny utility bags to travel bags to backpacks.. I have been using one of his Ristretto bags for my iPad for over a year… I love it and it still attracts remarks for its cool look.
The Cadet Laptop bag is available in two sizes, 11/iPad or 15/13 in six colour combinations. The price is $170 including the Cache Laptop Sleeve and standard shoulder strap..I also recommend the Absolute Shoulder Strap for an extra $20 especially if you are planning to carry a heavier 15″ laptop. You can order online at Tom Bihn’s website.