Waist strap on Brain Bag
Within the last couple months, I've purchased a Brain Bag, an Aeronaut, and an Imago (plus a 2nd Aeronaut for my girlfriend). I like them all, the build and quality are excellent, and I plan to write reviews of the Brain Bag and Aeronaut soon. I do have a couple minor gripes with the Brain Bag, however -- the most irritating being the waist strap. I can't find a way to effectively get it out of the way. It's really uncomfortable buckled behind your back, if you leave it unbuckled the straps nearly hang down to the floor, and if you try to tie them into some sort of knot between the two front pockets -- well, it just looks "bootleg" (as my 8th grade students would say).
So I've come to the reluctant conclusion that the only solution is to cut the waist straps off (I say reluctantly because I'm sure there will come a time when I wish I had them back). My question is: Can I just cut them off with scissors? Will the fabric start to unravel? Before I start snipping, I want to be sure that I'm not going to make things worse.
What's worked for me is to wind them around the straps under the shoulder straps. That way, they're still there when I need them for a heavy load.
I twist them around the compression straps on the side of the bag.
I have no need for them while on a car trip but... I would never cut them, because they make carrying any load a breeze, no matter if I am walking, on buses, trains, subways, in their respective stations as well as in airports.
The waist strap helps balance the load from the shoulder to the lower back.
Cutting the waist strap off won't hurt the rest of the bag but it will void the lifetime guarantee for that part of the bag. In other words, you won't be able to send your bag back to have the waist strap repaired because you cut it off. :)
If you cut the webbing with a scissors and do not heat-seal the cut end, the webbing will fray. But eventually it will fray back inside the seam and more or less disappear.
National Molding/Duraflex, one of our plastic part suppliers, has recently introduced a very cleaver plastic clip that I'm hoping will be the solution to your problem; I've tested it a little on a day hiking pack I use and it seems to work quite well so far. It's cool because it allows you to remove a waist strap or what-have-you and leave behind only a very small loop of webbing.
If you want to be a beta-tester, you could return your Brain Bag to us for retrofit - just give us a call or email.
Sounds like a great solution for all the hanging tails on the waist straps. I'm thinkin' my Imago tails. smile
Actually it's really only useful for removable straps, not so much for the tails created by the adjustable portion of straps. There are a few gizmos for keeping the free end of an adjustable strap from flagging around, but none that I've found really work.
I'd love to be a tester for the plastic clips you mention. It'll be tough living without my Brain Bag for awhile (as a teacher/college professor, I've gone through LOTS of bags, and this is far and away the best I've owned), but it would definitely be worth it to have waist straps that are removable. I'll call tomorrow for info on how/when I should send it in for the retrofit.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read these posts and to respond. You guys are great.
Tom was kind enough to modify my new Brain Bag with these clips before shipping it to me. I've lived with the bag for a bit over a week now and I'll offer my feedback.
I have found the bag to be especially easy to carry, even with all the things I cram in. The waist straps are fully functional when attached, and the clips are barely noticeable when I've removed them. I very much like the ability to remove the straps when I'm going into a slightly more formal setting, such as a meeting. The clips seem to be a good compromise between being easy to open without falling open accidentally.
Overall I'm exceptionally happy with the bag, and I greatly appreciate the ability to tuck the straps away when I'm not carrying a full load. My only regret is that I wasn't daring enough to order the bag in a color other than black. :)
Great work Tom.
I just buckle mine together but adjust the buckle to one side. I keep it on the side that contacts less of my back if I only used one shoulder strap. By doing this I also don't feel it against my body when using both shoulder straps.
Originally Posted by gmich
I second the comments of amw. Tom allowed me to test out the clips that make the Brain Bag's waist strap removable and for me it's a perfect solution. They're there and securely attached when you need them (which, for me, is rarely), but easily removed and out of sight when you don't.
Thanks again, Tom!