If you’re looking for a new laptop bag, Seattle-based Tom Bihn has a new one that’s expressly designed for holding Apple’s laptops and iPads, along with a few files or magazines, power supplies, pens, notebooks, and small accessories. Called the Cadet, the bag comes in two sizes, a 15/13 and an 11/iPad. Both include the Cadet Cache, an appropriately sized removable laptop sleeve for the 15-inch MacBook Pro; the 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook; and the 11-inch MacBook Air or an iPad. It has three exterior access compartments, six interior organizer pockets, and one exterior open-top pocket, along with a shoulder strap.
With details that sound as though they were pulled from a James Bond novel, the Cadet is built from 1050d U.S. ballistic nylon and lined with ultralight Japanese Dyneema nylon, and it boasts an Ultrasuede-lined iPhone pocket and YKK splash-proof Uretek zippers. Depending on the size, it weighs between 1.6 pounds (725 g) and 2.1 pounds (945 g) before you start adding your gear (for more thoughts about laptop bag weight, see “Why Laptop Bags Are So Heavy,” 21 May 2011).
It has a lifetime guarantee and is made in Seattle. Colors include Black/Steel, Black/Iberian, Steel/Solar, Forest/Steel, Navy/Solar, and Cardinal/Steel — check the Cadet’s Web page to translate the Crayola names to something you’ll recognize.
One especially nice feature is the way the Cadet is checkpoint friendly for going through airport security. The bottom edge of the Cadet Cache sleeve attaches to the Cadet, so you can slide your laptop out of the bag — leaving it in the sleeve — for X-ray inspection without exposing it or detaching it from the Cadet.