Archive Reviews

Review: Small Cafe' Bag from Tom Bihn

Sometimes you need a bag for day to day use, and not always one to tote your notebook computer in. To solve this simple solution, Tom Bihn has come up with a very cool bag. One of the most intriguing things about the Small Cafe bag is the simplicity of it. It has some basic compartments, enough to throw some your mobile phone, sunglasses, and more.

Let's take a deeper look:

The Small Cafe' Bag is a small 7.5" x 11" x 3", weighing in at a super-lightweight 11.25 ounces. The exterior is made from an extremely durable 1000 Denier Cordura. It features a rear compartment on the backside that traverses 3/4 of the bags height. Plenty of room to throw in a small magazine (Jet & Readers Digest size), or something along those size lines. Rear CompartmentRear Compartment The front of the bag is covered by a flap that closes with a large high quality buckle that is easy to open and close. Like many of Tom Bihn bags, the buckle is also offset on the front, instead of right down the middle. This distinction adds to the attractiveness of the bag. Front Open up the flap, and you will uncover a zippered compartment featuring a YKK zipper. High quality components like this really add to the overall feeling of the bag, and set it apart into a different league than similar offerings by competitors. YKK on your ZipperYKK on your Zipper

Ample Room

The inside of the bag is very basic, but functional. It includes two small pockets large enough to accommodate items roughly the size of a PDA & Cell Phone. This leaves a cavernous compartment to put all of your stuff in. I had my glasses case, checkbook, camera, battery charger, iPod, etc, and had plenty of room for it all. During testing, to add to the functionality, we also used one of the neat little Tom Bihn organizer pouches. Since they feature a clip on the side, it was easy to hook it into the Cafe Bag. If you choose not to use the clip for the organizer pouch, it's perfect for snapping onto your keys, which will keep them from getting lost in your bag. For most of the use, the organizer pouch held up great. Until some gum was left in there and our Yellow Labrador with veracious ravenous-itus decided she wanted it. She got what she wanted, but quickly chomped through the pouch. It's certainly not a sign of poor quality. This dog can eat through anything. Keep away from dogs.Keep away from dogs.

Adjustable Strap:

The bag features an adjustable 1-1/2" strap, which was plenty comfortable for the amount of weight that you would carry in this small bag. For an additional cost, you can add a 'waist-strap' to this bag, but since it's so small, I don't really think the average person would need it.

Colors Galore:

One of the nice features of the Small Cafe' Bag is the wide variety of colors available. They are all two-tone schemes and you have a choice of 10 to choose from. Our test unit was the Plum/Steel and it looked great.

Overall Quality:

Construction quality was high, and we have come to expect that from all of the items from Tom Bihn. Most of the construction is done in their own factory, right here in the USA. They pay a great amount of attention to detail, it's obvious that they are out to make long lasting, high quality gear. Conclusion: We loved the simplicity of this bag. I tested it with my camera gear and it performed very well. It doesn't feature padding inside, but that's not really what this bag is meant for. It's intended purpose is to be used as a day to day throw your stuff in and head out. 5 out of 5