Tom Bihn: Why a strap can make all the difference in the world
After three months' daily use I still swear by my Tom Bihn Ristretto case for the 11in MacBook Air. Despite a moderate niggle about the insecure front pocket, which can allow heavier items to fall out, I just love the lightness and convenience of this messenger bag. Yesterday I received a parcel of googies from Bihn HQ in Seattle to further add to the utility.
I now have three organiser pouches which clip onto one or other of the three O rings dotted around the interior of the Ristretto, plus a couple of extra key straps which can be used to secure small items other than keys.
But the jewel on the bag is my new Absolute Shoulder Strap. When I ordered the Ristretto back in January I dithered and couldn't make up my mind whether it was worth an extra $30 for the Absolute strap. Now I know it is. It's a wider, more sturdy design with a large, well-padded shoulder grip. This grip is an integral part of the strap, unlike the sliding sleeve fitted to the standard strap. I was already annoyed with this arrangement; several times a day I had to reposition the shoulder pad because it had slipped down to one side or the other.
The Absolute strap suffers none of these problems. But its real benefit isn't at all obvious. It is just so much more comfortable and, believe it or not, the cushioning does do an effective job of making any bag seem lighter. If you are ordering a Ristretto, or any other Tom Bihn bag, I'd recommend shelling out for the extra security and comfort of the Absolute Shoulder Strap.