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Thread: Key Troubles

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    Hi @bluedawg,

    I never used keystraps until I got my first Tom Bihn backpack, which was the (original) Buzz Sling Backpack If you look at the Sapphire (redesigned) Buzz photo in my post, you can see the pen pockets in the front section are angled. That's because the sling format was designed to let you swing the backpack around without taking it off your shoulder and unzip the front compartment. The angle for accessing pens, etc. and the keystrap was exactly right -- all without taking the bag off your shoulder. We had forum members reporting that this design made it possible for them to use that backpack easily even when they had their leg in a cast and were hobbling around on crutches. I still have this backpack, which predates the first Synapse.
    we used to have a buzz in our household too! it was my husband's, and i never used it myself, but he really liked it.

    i think maybe part of my problem is that if i'm "out and about" i'm using one bag (e.g., a sidekick, a small cafe bag), but if i'm going to campus i'm using another (e.g, a synapse, a maker's bag). in those smaller bags, my keys just plop in and don't get "lost" (so a keystrap seems unnecessary?) -- whereas in the bigger bags, i am usually pulling my keys out of the bag as soon as i get there anyway, because if i leave my office (one million times per day, ha ha), i bring my keys along, but not my bag. so i feel like i don't get how the keystrap helps me, other than to slow me down because i have to unclip it. maybe if i didn't switch bags constantly this would seem less baffling to me.

    today i took my travel cubelet out for its debut run, and i made myself attach my keys to the keystrap in the front pocket, specifically because i outed myself in this thread as a clueless ding-dong. Big Grin

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluedawg View Post
    we used to have a buzz in our household too! it was my husband's, and i never used it myself, but he really liked it.

    i think maybe part of my problem is that if i'm "out and about" i'm using one bag (e.g., a sidekick, a small cafe bag), but if i'm going to campus i'm using another (e.g, a synapse, a maker's bag). in those smaller bags, my keys just plop in and don't get "lost" (so a keystrap seems unnecessary?) -- whereas in the bigger bags, i am usually pulling my keys out of the bag as soon as i get there anyway, because if i leave my office (one million times per day, ha ha), i bring my keys along, but not my bag. so i feel like i don't get how the keystrap helps me, other than to slow me down because i have to unclip it. maybe if i didn't switch bags constantly this would seem less baffling to me.

    today i took my travel cubelet out for its debut run, and i made myself attach my keys to the keystrap in the front pocket, specifically because i outed myself in this thread as a clueless ding-dong. Big Grin
    I usually carry my clump 'o keys in my front jeans pocket, but I leave one of the 8" keystraps attached to it all the time. It makes it easy to yank them out of pocket, idly swing them to offset boredom, etc. If I'm doing something strange where I think they may fall out, I can clip them to my belt loop whilst they stay in my pocket.
    When I travel or need to stow them, I clip them into whatever TB bag I'm carrying.
    I find it easier to leave the 'leash' attached to the keys for clipping/unclipping then to take the keys off of the clip. And I'm just using a double ended clip keystrap, not even one with the split ring or the o-ring.

    And you are not a clueless ding dong, everyone has their quirks - keeps the world from being boring Smilie
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  3. #18
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    I have an s-carabineer on my keys that predates getting anything from here. I tend to clip my keys to the side of my pants, or occasionally to the d-rings on my actual work bag (my Market bag is my purse, so I carry both to work) I adore the key straps to attach to pouches that are in my Market bag so I don't have to go digging if I need a pen or a band-aid.

    Otherwise, I've seen the organizers that collect your keys like a swiss-army knife. That might make hauling your keys out of your bag easier.

  4. #19
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    I’ve struggled with what to with my keys too. I’ve been keeping them in the right side pocket with my minimalist wallet. I only need them for my car, which is sometimes persnickity about starting my supposedly keyless engine unless I pull them out and hold them close to the start button. I don’t need the car fob every time but just enough that the fob needs to be accessible and not buried inside too many layers.

    My approach is to tether almost everything in the pocket, especially the vertical ones. That way, I can grab something out of a pocket and not risk other things falling out, especially my wallet.
    Bags - S25 (Mars Red balistic/Northwest sky/halcyon), S19 (Deep blue balistic/Iberian/halcyon). S22 (Aubergine)SCB (Nordic)
    Accessories - including Nik's #4 wallets, ghost whales, Q-kits, pouches, stuff sacks, travel trays.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by yvandermeer View Post
    Here's another "vote" for keeping your keys in one of the side pockets.
    It sounds like most people are not using the pencil/pen holders in the side pockets. Maybe that is my problem. I normally carry several dry-erase markers and a pen or two in the side pockets. When I try "the maneuver" to get my keys, my markers and pens try to escape--often successfully.

  6. #21
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    i do use the pen holders in the left side pocket, but in the right side pocket, i use that little sleeve for my phone. i can definitely see how loose markers in that pocket would be challenging to wrangle, though! maybe it's a job for the long GWOP!

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    I carry 1 pen and a slender flashlight. My smallest flashlight fits in a pencil slot but my other larger one doesn’t fit in the S22 (but it does in the S25). For the S22, the larger flashlight so it goes into an organizer (to keep the light crystal from scratching) and I tether it. Still deciding the best pocket.

    You might consider a halcyon organizer for you pens/highlighters that can’t fit into the slots. There are also some clear knitting organizers that are tall and narrow that might work. Then you can tether them to a side pocket or the bottom one.
    Bags - S25 (Mars Red balistic/Northwest sky/halcyon), S19 (Deep blue balistic/Iberian/halcyon). S22 (Aubergine)SCB (Nordic)
    Accessories - including Nik's #4 wallets, ghost whales, Q-kits, pouches, stuff sacks, travel trays.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by synapseslouch View Post
    It sounds like most people are not using the pencil/pen holders in the side pockets. Maybe that is my problem. I normally carry several dry-erase markers and a pen or two in the side pockets. When I try "the maneuver" to get my keys, my markers and pens try to escape--often successfully.
    (also a college prof) I'm using an S19. On the side without the pen holders is where I store my keys. Similar setup as mentioned, only I keep my windbreaker there instead of a pouch, but same idea. House keys go on top. Office keys go on a retractable lanyard that clicks to my pants and the keys go in a pocket. The number of times I've locked myself out of my office to grab something from the main office... keys stay on my person until I'm home, then they go in the chin pocket.

    For the pesky dry erase markers, I keep those in either a small ghost whale or a 3DOC (right now the highlighters are in the GW and the DE markers in the 3DOC along with the GW and some post-it notes. The 3DOC I put in the main compartment because I got tired of things falling out of the side pocket with the pen holders, just like your problem)

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by earth5 View Post
    (also a college prof) I'm using an S19. On the side without the pen holders is where I store my keys. Similar setup as mentioned, only I keep my windbreaker there instead of a pouch, but same idea. House keys go on top. Office keys go on a retractable lanyard that clicks to my pants and the keys go in a pocket. The number of times I've locked myself out of my office to grab something from the main office... keys stay on my person until I'm home, then they go in the chin pocket.

    For the pesky dry erase markers, I keep those in either a small ghost whale or a 3DOC (right now the highlighters are in the GW and the DE markers in the 3DOC along with the GW and some post-it notes. The 3DOC I put in the main compartment because I got tired of things falling out of the side pocket with the pen holders, just like your problem)

    Great stuff from everyone! Since so many of you posted very detailed (and very helpful) ideas. I am going to try several and post a follow-up. Thank you again!!!

  10. #25
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    Key Troubles

    To add on to moriond's ideas: I keep a long keystrap attached to my bunch of keys, like a loop/handle. (I clip both ends of the key strap to different points along the central ring, or you could also clip the keystrap to itself.) I can then use the loop to pull it out of my bag, and it makes the location of the keys more obvious because the strap is brightly colored (mine is Ultraviolet).

    If I'm juggling a lot of things (books, packages, bags), I can also use the loop to wear the keys around my wrist till I get through the door and can put the keys away properly.

    You could also slip the loop (NOT clip it) through one side of the double carabiner as described in moriond's post - which means the "hang"/drop of the keys is shorter, therefore keeping them closer to the top of the bag.




    Another thing I do in many of my TB bags is to attach a large split-loop key ring to an O-ring - it's a larger, shinier target if I want to clip on a key strap.



    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    Hi @synapseslouch,

    I like @Lia's solution (even down to the access maneuver, which is something I used with my original Synapse [from the first production batch when there was only the smaller size] -- see, for example, @GEOcyle's Synapse continues to surprise. thread from 2012 about accessing the side pockets). It may be easier for you to access the Synapse 19 side pocket from having the bag on your shoulder, but here's a section of the Pack Hacker video review of the Synapse 25 that shows the presenter swinging the bag across to access this side pocket (around 7:25 into the video review; I'm only posting the screen capture so you can scrub to the section of one way to access the pocket with the bag on your shoulder):

    This is from the video review at: https://packhacker.com/travel-gear/tom-bihn/synapse-25/ . where the sequence starts around 7:25 into the clip.

    However, I'll offer some alternative suggestions/modifications that can either help organize the side pockets along the lines of her suggestion and/or help to contain your keys (along the lines of suggestions made by both @carrot and @yvandermeer) if you are looking for ways to keep your keys from tangling with other items in your pockets or main compartment and getting lost (although the cleanest solution would be an organization scheme that still lets you keep them at the end of the keystrap)

    It's most usually the side zippered pockets where you can improve the organization, and in addition to Size 1 Travel Stuff Sacks, I would most particularly recommend the Small Ghost Whale Organizer Pouches (GWOP) for recent accessory additions that are particularly good for organizing the Synapse side pockets. Here are some options for controlling your keys with small accessories:


    These are Color Zipper Ghost Whale Organizer Pouches and a Mini Q-Kit
    Mini Spacer Mesh/Ultraviolet Zipper, Super-Mini ScrapBlack/Iberian Zipper, Mini Q-Kit Kiwi (retired color)

    Here's an overview with a few different sets of keys:


    Closeup views:


    Closed up with keys inside these are very flat


    From your initial post, I wasn't sure whether you wanted to use the main compartment of the Synapse 25 for tethering your keys, but just wanted a way to keep the end of the keystrap from falling down where it couldn't be recovered. One way to solve this is to use the fact that your Synapse is filled with paper, folders, etc. but move the tether point so that you're not using the O-ring that drops your keys behind your cache. I've indicated the location of that O-ring by tethering a (retired color) 16" solar keystrap to that O-ring at the left.

    You can use the same webbing loops that are used to suspend your laptop's cache with rails to tether your keystrap. What I've done here is to hook one loop of a medium size double carabiner clip into this webbing loop.


    At this point, you have a lot of options: you can choose to tether a regular keystrap to the double carabiner clip (either to the metal opening or to the loop itself). It may not be obvious from the picture, but if you go back to the earlier picture of the Ghost Whale pouches and Mini Q-Kit with keys, and see a Wasabi double carabiner clip, you'll see an Iberian Split-Ring keystrap with a snaphook that can slide along the Double Carabiner Clip loop. This is because the surface of the clip (a hardened material that is not plastic) is both smooth, and slightly flattened.

    So, you could tether the snaphook of a keystrap to that Double Carabiner Clip (and shift the tether position so your keys are unlikely to fall down the side of your bag where you have to grope through and disentangle them). You could lay part of the key strap over the adjacent carabiner loop, to get more control of the keystrap position. You could tether one of the Ghost Whale Organizer Pouches in the Super Mini or Mini sizes that are holding your keys directly to the Double Carabiner, or you could tether them to the end of a keystrap that ends in either an O-ring or a larger metal Split Ring that is hooked to the Double Carabiner.

    All of these variant solutions still put your keys in the main Synapse 25 compartment and out of the way of the side pockets, water bottle, and bottom pocket where you're finding insufficient room. It also makes use of the fact that your Synapse is loaded with papers to make the keys or pouches sit on top of this load.

    Here's a closeup shot of how you might tether your keys in the Mini GWOP to the Double Carabiner:
    Attachment 23929

    You also have the option of using the Ghost Whale Organizaer Pouches or Mini Q-Kit to keep your keys from sprawling and put them into a side, bottom, or center pocket. If you do want to organize the side pockets, I'd suggest the Small Ghost Whale organizer pouch is likely to be the most useful size for that pocket, since it is well shaped for the narrower side pockets and is about the size of an eyeglass case (but has 3-dimensional capability).

    You can also combine this with some kind of retracting key fob, as suggested in previous posts.

    Finally, although the Double Carabiner Clips won't be on sale separately until early next year, you can still get one of these (in Wasabi Green) free, if your order contains any Knitting Tool Pouches I've linked you to the Size 2 Knitting Tool Pouch which I use to store my computer connectors (reinforced ballistic nylon ends help here; this pouch is also good for cutlery for the same reason; it can also be used as a shorter pen/pencil pouch if you want to put an A5 notebook into an A5 size Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch).

    If you happen to order any of the new Handy Little Thing pouches, a pair of Double Carabiner Clips are included

    HTH

    moriond

    ETA:

    Hi @bluedawg,

    I never used keystraps until I got my first Tom Bihn backpack, which was the (original) Buzz Sling Backpack If you look at the Sapphire (redesigned) Buzz photo in my post, you can see the pen pockets in the front section are angled. That's because the sling format was designed to let you swing the backpack around without taking it off your shoulder and unzip the front compartment. The angle for accessing pens, etc. and the keystrap was exactly right -- all without taking the bag off your shoulder. We had forum members reporting that this design made it possible for them to use that backpack easily even when they had their leg in a cast and were hobbling around on crutches. I still have this backpack, which predates the first Synapse.
    Last edited by haraya; 12-12-2019 at 03:01 PM.

  11. #26
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    I love that idea of folding a long key strap to make a loop - particularly then putting it around your wrist.

    I use a long key strap with my little Swift and the keys are at the bottom all the time but it works really well to pull them out and use them still attached. However when I swap to my MCB, the keys seem to get tangled if I pull them up. I attached a key split-ring to the shoulder strap point and attach to that, which helps a little compared to clipping the key strap to the o-ring in the bag. Perhaps attaching outside means I can find strap and pull with more force.

    But I will definitely try this idea to see if it helps.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirri View Post
    I love that idea of folding a long key strap to make a loop - particularly then putting it around your wrist.
    I do this, too!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #28
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    I prefer keys at the hip.

    I use a 3doc that I wear like a hip pack with the strap running through the belt loops on my pants and the 3doc slung along my left hip, towards the back as my EDC and my keys are always in there.

    I'm wondering if there are any pouches that would slide on to a gatekeeper strap and then you could keep your keys at your hip. I'm thinking something similar to the pockets that are often built into the hip belts on backpacking/hiking backpacks. Here's an aftermarket diy example: https://sectionhiker.com/mountain-la...-belt-pockets/

  14. #29
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    I have a pouch (not TB ��) that wraps/Velcro’s around the shoulder strap of the S19 i’ve been carrying every day for years. Really good for keys, a bit of cash, a card or two, I stuff receipts in it, works like a champ.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

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    Have you considered one of those key holders that holds your keys like a Swiss Army knife? Seems like it might make them get caught less often. I thought of KeySmart but then I found this guy’s page where he lists a ton of them. SniperCool.com - The Ultimate Key Holder Guide

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