Baron Fig Guardian Vanguard Leather Case

The moment I saw the Guardian case for the Vanguard I knew I had found my new wallet. I had been using a Mighty Wallet for about four years and it was slowly becoming worn out. I wanted something that would last a long time and be useful. I am not one to carry a lot of cards so the two slots for cards would be perfect. I love the fact that there was a spot for a Vanguard book if you wanted (or you can just use it for more storage). The color I chose was a super bright yellow and yes, it IS as bright (if not brighter) as the pictures online. I have used the wallet for over a week now and here are my thoughts:

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The design of this Guardian case is amazing and the attention to detail is phenomenal. It is very minimalist and the stitching is damn near perfect. Inside the case, "Baron Fig" is neatly debossed into the lower right corner. The two slots for cards are the perfect size and fit my debit card and license with some room to spare. I decided to slip a vanguard into the right side of the case and while It fits just fine, I did have some trouble pushing the cover into the pocket. I think this difficulty will fade with time as the wallet has not broken in just yet. That brings me to my other issue I have had-- sliding money into the pocket under the cards. Again, I think that this will fade as the wallet breaks in, but it is frustrating when you are trying to put all of your things away and there is a line forming behind you. I want to point out that these minor frustrations are not a fault of the product, but merely growing pains that hopefully will fade over time.

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The wallet/case has broken in nicely this past week and I am noticing some wear on the edges. This is great as I like my leather goods to be nice and worn. The wallet/case is a bit long (5.5"x3.8") so while it fits in my back pocket ok, it *just* fits so be mindful of that. (For reference, I wear men's pants so these are deep pockets) None of the issues, if you could call them that, are disqualifications for me. I would buy this product in a heartbeat if you are looking for something that is not only functional and stylish, but well-made. The pocket-sized Guardian case comes in several colors: blue slate, fig wine, charcoal, and yellowgold and is priced at $45. You can find them here

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Product Review: Tom Bihn Cafe Bag

It's been about two weeks since I have last posted a pencil review (or any review for that matter), but I am back.  This time it's with a bag review.  A  lot of us pencil nerds are either students, professors, teachers, tech professionals or office workers that are always on the search of a perfect EDC bag.  You know-- something not too big, but not too small, has ample storage and looks good to boot.  After taking an informal poll via the Erasable Facebook Page (find it and like it!), I decided that Tom Bihn Bags would suit my needs.  The bags had a nice clean design and came in great colors.  This week I will be reviewing the Medium Cafe Bag, but this style of bag comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large.  Now, on to the review! 20160423_150142

The minute I got this bag, I was truly skeptical of its ability to fit everything I needed to carry with me on a daily basis.  This opinion soon changed when I began to load the bag and realized that even after I put everything inside, I still had room left.  I was able to fit a 13-inch Chromebook, a 10-inch tablet, 24-count colored pencil case, a Swell water bottle, a 10x10-inch coloring book, and 2 pencil rolls.  I still had room after all of that stuff!

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Storage space aside, this bag is well made.  Constructed of 1000 denier Cordura® exterior/420d HT nylon Classic Parapack lining, this bag will last a long time.  I have used this bag for a solid month and it looks brand new with no scuffs or frays anywhere in the fabric.  The shoulder strap is plenty long and is made of thick nylon webbing.  There is also a nylon handle stitched to the back of the bag in case you want to carry it briefcase style.  There is a back pocket on the bag and a front zippered pocket that resides under the flap of the bag.  Both pockets are nice and roomy and can fit up to a 10 inch tablet or e-reader.  Inside the bag the main compartment is nice and roomy and there is a small organizer stitched into the inside that can accommodate some pencils, sharpeners, erasers, and a Field Notes-sized notebook.

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I have carried this bag around and while the shoulder strap is nice and long, it can become a bit uncomfortable.  I'd suggest purchasing the Ultrasuede shoulder strap; it seems that that strap would offer a bit more comfort.  The clasp is made of a hard, sturdy plastic and makes a satisfying "snap" sound when closing.  The Cafe Bag also has three "O-rings" inside that allow you to clip on keys or a variety of cases they sell in their store.  Everything about this bag screams quality.  With the minor upgrade of a new strap, this bag is perfect.

(FULL DISCLOSURE: I was provided the bag for free in exchange for a review of the product.  The fact that the bag was free did not impact my opinions in any way whatsoever.)