I blame Steve Sande for my newest iPad-related purchase. Well, there’s a lot of things to blame Steve for, but it was his reviews of the Tom Bihn Western Flyer and Checkpoint Flyer that had me checking out the company he bought the bags from last year.
Tom Bihn is based in Seattle and has the distinction of being among those rare companies that still makes its products in the U.S. using mostly U.S.-produced materials. Only a few components are sourced from overseas, but those parts are fully disclosed.
Tom Bihn was also had gear designed specifically iPad right off the bat, announcing its offerings — The Ristretto and the Cache for iPad — just hours after the original iPad announcement. The US$110 Ristretto, which also comes in a larger size designed to hold a MacBook, is a vertical messenger bag with a padded area that is large enough to hold a netbook or an iPad.
After having my iPad and accessories bounce around a larger bag for a few weeks, I caved and placed a Ristretto order to see if it suited my needs. I could have gone cheaper, I could have used a regular netbook case, but I’m glad I held out for the Ristretto.