Definitely upgrade to the Absolute Shoulder Strap, it is worth it, even with a minimalist packed bag.
Originally Posted by dwschoon
It makes any TB Shoulder Bag feel weightless. All my Large Cafe Bags have one.
+1. I have an absolute shoulder strap with my pilot and can't imagine using it any other way when carrying my 15" rmbp. For the co-pilot or for when you are carrying a lighter load, though, the standard strap is actually better than the absolute strap, especially if you carry your bags cross body / messenger style. The absolute strap doesn't really lend itself well to cross body carrying IMHO. This is because of the sticky material on the underside of the strap. The standard strap is much better for this as it allows you to quickly swing the bag around from the back to the front of your body/etc. I tried this with the absolute strap a few times and I could not figure out a good way to position the strap so I could swing the bag around my body to get quick access.
Originally Posted by backpack
In any case, if you get the absolute strap you'll still have the standard strap so depending on the use for that day you can choose which one you prefer to use.
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Indeed, the Standard Shoulder Strap is wonderful when you have a lighter load. I used to prefer the Absolute Shoulder Strap because, as backpack mentioned, it magically makes your load feel lighter. But as of late, I prefer to carry a backpack if I am carrying a heavier load (and that means even if I am carrying my 13" Macbook Air). So if I am carrying a bag that has a shoulder strap, it means that I am carrying a fairly light load. And for that, I prefer the Standard Shoulder Strap.
Originally Posted by tangfj