Tom Bihn’s Cadet (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/700/TB0740) is small, but you can pack a lot of “stuff” into it. How much stuff? How about an 11-inch MacBook Air, an iPad 2, iPhone 4S, power cords for both, a few small accessories, earphones and a couple of magazines.
I admit that I was pushing it. My Cadet (the 11-inch model) was bulging by the time I had all my tech gadgets and goodies crammed in. You may not want to have your case bursting at the seam, but this item — another topnotch offering from Tom Bihn — is like Santa’s bag: it’s a lot more spacious than it looks.
The Cadet comes in sizes for a variety of Apple laptops including the 15-inch MacBook Pro, 13-inch MacBook Pro and both sizes (11-inch and 13-inch) of the Air. The iPad can be inserted with or without a protective cover; mine fit just fine with an Apple Smart Cover attached. It’s checkpoint friendly. which frequent fliers will love.
Using two clips, the bottom edge of the Cadet Cache attaches to two vertical pieces of webbing sewn into the Cadet. When passing through a TSA checkpoint, yuou can slide your iPad (still in its protective Cadet Cache) out of the Cadet for X-ray inspection; the laptop remains protected and attached to the Cadet.
The Cadet also has an Ultrasuede-lined iPhone pocket; however, I’d certainly recommend you have your Apple smartphone in a protective case just in case the Cadet gets banged around. The case has an exterior of 1050d U.S. ballistic nylon, an interior lining of ultralight Japanese Dyneema/nylon, YKK splash-proof Uretek zippers, three exterior access compartments, six interior organizer pockets, and one exterior open-top pocket.
The Cadet isn’t inexpensive, but then it’s hand-sewn and hand-stitched. It costs US$170 and includes the Cadet Cache protective laptop sleeve and a shoulder strap. However, the folks at Tom Bihn are so confident in its appeal and durability, they offer a lifetime guarantee. The Cadet is available in Black/Steel, Black/Iberian, Steel/Solar, Forest/Steel, Navy/Solar, and Cardinal/Steel flavors.
The Cadet isn’t a flashy case, but it’s attractive enough. More importantly, it’s extremely well constructed, tough and flexible enough to accommodate multiple Apple products simultaneously.
Rating: 9 out of 10
— Dennis Sellers