The folks at Tom Bihn of Seattle, WA literally saved my backside at CES. How? They overnighted me their Ristretto bag for me to take with me and try out in Vegas. The Ristretto for 11″ MacBook Air is one of a very small handful of currently available bags made specifically for Apple’s new mini laptop. At $110 it’s not cheap, but Tom Bihn’s stuff is always really well made, providing good protection for your gear and comfort for your body.
I managed to pack my laptop, camcorder, laptop AC adapter, extra camera battery, and a bunch of cables and data cards into my Ristretto with room to spare. And between the lighter weight of the Air and the smaller size of the Ristretto, my gear bag was easily half the size and weight of the bag I took to last year’s CES. After four days at the show I had a little bit of soreness in my shoulder, but none of the days-long lower back issues that plagued me after the CES and CTIAs I attended last year. And I didn’t even use the belt strap which, while kinda nerdy, would have made life even healthier by distributing some of the load to my hips (though I did carry the bag by the handle whenever possible).
Ristretto’s styling is conservative, and the “Absolute Shoulder Strap” will run you an extra $20. But it’s a great bag, comes in a bunch of colors, and is made to fit the 11″ Air. Check out the video for details, and check out the product page for more details.