Review: Tom Bihn Ristretto for 11″ MacBook Air


I recently added a Tom Bihn Ristretto for 11″ MacBook Air to my bag collection (ok, I admit I have an obsession with bags). I recently changed my computer to an 11″ MacBook Air from a 15″ MacBook Pro. I opted for the small computer as I’m doing more with Mobile Learning and wanted to stay as lightweight as possible.

That said, I knew I wanted a bag designed to hold the 11″MBA and an iPad Mini. Having owned a Tom Bihn bag in the past, I knew it would be quality and well-designed. I looked at the Ristretto and ordered one and several organizer pouches to help keep track of power cords, hard drives and cables. It was fun unpacking the box.


My Tom Bihn Ristretto for 11″ MacBook Air and the accessories for keeping track of power cords, hard drives and cables.

I’ve had the bag for three weeks and I’ve got to say, it is a perfect bag to grab and go on a daily basis. It’s going to hold everything I need to help professors get up to speed using Mobile Learning, and my everyday back and forth to work. I use my iPad Mini quite a bit, but there are a lot of times I need to use the MBA.

The Bag has a nice padded compartment which cradles the MBA while protecting it. The top has a fold over pad to keep it secure while traveling. The compartment is roomy and in fact there is enough room in it to slide my iPad Mini behind it. I’ve got a Zagg invisibleShield Full Body on the Mini to protect against scratches.


Neoprene pad covering the MBA compartment and the area in front of it which will hold organizers and a small camera

This bag has enough room to allow me to carry the accessories that I need in just about any situation. By having the the extra pouches and organizers, I’m able to keep everything compartmentalized and secure. I don’t need to worry about something falling out of the bag. In front of the MBA compartment is another area that holds several organizers. In this area I have a 3D Clear Organizer Cube which I keep my power supply, cables, adapters and flash drive in and a small Padded Organizer Pouch for my external SSD hard drive. Just this past week, I started carrying my new Fujifilm X100s in this area. there is plenty of room left over. i am amazed at how everything is so compact.


The Tom Bihn 3D Clear Organizer Cube.


The Tom Bihn small padded organizer which holds my external SSD hard drive.


Additionally, all of their bags utilize an ‘O” ring inside the pockets. This allows you to attach straps that will hold your keys, flashlight, or even the pouches and organizers.  I have really used this feature to keep track of my office keys which I have had a tendency to misplace during the day. Now, when I come into the office, I unzip the front pocket and pull out the Key Strap and unlock my door. During the day, I always know where my keys are. I also have a clear Organizer Wallet for some cash. This bag has gone through a couple of revisions, and Tom Bihn is known for listening to his customers and making improvements. One of the best new improvements is putting a zipper on the front pocket which allows you to keep small items even more secure when you open the main flap.


Contents of the from pocket attached using a key and utility strap

Overall, I’m very happy with the bag. it has made it easy to grab and go in the mornings. If there is one thing I would change, it is the handle on top of the bag. I don’t have large hands, but it is tight to get a good grip. I think it would be great to widen the strap about 3/4 of an inch. This is my EDC bag now and I’m extremely happy with it.



One thought on “Review: Tom Bihn Ristretto for 11″ MacBook Air

  1. Pingback: iPads in Higher Education on the Ristretto - TOM BIHN Blog: We make travel bags in Seattle, Washington

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