So after a lot of thought, too much thought , I plunked down my money and ordered the Tom Bihn Ristretto. Of course as soon as I ordered it they were back ordered for a few weeks. But I figured that was due to the large amount of press they had received from bloggers and fans. I was fine as the site told me right up front. I had to travel in about 2.5 weeks so there should be plenty of time.
As my trip approached I got a phone call from the Eliam in the shipping department telling me that the order was complete but one of the little organizer pouches was not available in the color I wanted. He asked me if I wanted to wait for that color and get it later or swap it out for something else now. He left me a very detailed message and number to call back. I can not remember when I got a proactive call like that telling me about an issue and offering to help correct it. And it was a phone call ! not an email.
I immediately called back and spoke to Katy and made the adjustment to my order and they told me it would ship out later that day. I inquired when they thought I would receive it and they told me on Tuesday. “Damn I will be on travel” I thought to myself. I politely asked is there was a was to expedite the shipping so I could get it on Saturday before I went away. I figured this would be a great time to try the bag out. Katy to said Sure I can help you with that ! (again I expected to have my head bit off by changing an existing order). We made the shipping changes and they shipped it out for me and it arrived the next day.
There are so many picture on the web of people unboxing their products, so I will spare you that, but it was a great feeling. Everything was there, a few little extras and on time.
Immediately I emptied out my other bag and looked at all the crap I had accumulated and thought to myself - I think the bag is too small. I sorted through the odds and ends and grouped them into the things I really needed. I proceeded to load the bag up with all my computer needs, paying close attention to what I need - and resist the urge to through everything and the kitchen sink in the bag. 13″ MBA went in, iPad2, Moleskine, pens, cleaning cloth, mints, business cards, lens pen sidekick, wireless keyboard, magazines, keys etc. Now loaded up I lifted the bag and realized how light it really was. The absolute strap with the neoprene on the shoulder was amazing.
Now I had to face my biggest fear. Did it look like a Murse? While there is nothing wrong with a European Man Purse I was not a fan overall of most of the styles. I have always had bags with a horizontal orientation so this was a HUGE change for me. Before I looked I actually did not care because this bag was exactly what I was looking for. A well organized system bag that allowed me to swap pouches in and out without concern. Glancing in the mirror I reviewed it and it was great - no issue !
The bag is great - quality is amazing - the customer service was incredible - the company stands behind its products. I am fan now for life. Now how to see how well it travels.