View Full Version : Using a Small Shop Bag as an in-flight bag?

04-20-2016, 05:27 PM
On my upcoming trip to London, I'm allowed to have both a carryon and a personal item. I'm wondering if many of you have used the SBS or LBS as personal items. I'm pretty sure I came across a photo somewhere on the forum of someone's shop bag under the airplane seat in front of them. As long as it had enough stuff in it, it stood upright. My only complaint about the SBs is that there's no zipper across the top. I think they're a fine product.

I will have a handbag, but am not sure if I'm just going to fold it flat in my main bag/suitcase, or use it "as is" and put it into a tote. Also in the tote would be my chargers, my tablet and keyboard for the tablet, point and shoot camera, 3-1-1 bag, snacks and water bottle.

Your thoughts?

EDIT: My other option is to buy a tote bag. Under consideration are the LL Bean Carryall Tote and the Pacsafe Citysafe CS400. Both have top zippers, and the Pacsafe locks.

04-20-2016, 05:39 PM
I had a Ristretto as my personal item on a couple of flights recently (BA) and when I had to put it under the seat in front, I used a Large Shop Bag to hold the Ristretto before I put it on the floor.

04-20-2016, 05:43 PM
I used a small shop bag as a personal item recently. It's great because you can shove in extra things bought at the airport in without worry (like lunch!) I think a large shop bag would be even better.

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04-20-2016, 06:51 PM
The short answer: YES

The long answer: I've done the small or large shop bag many a time on a flight; it's never dumped over or felt insecure. You can angle it in front of your body while carrying over one shoulder if you're walking through a crowd. The one thing I would caution is not to overdo it with heavy items. It WILL get heavy, even with the padded handles.

04-20-2016, 06:53 PM
I've used the SSB for impromptu consolidation of personal items - e.g., an EDC and a meal. With the load you described I'd probably put stuff in packing cubes and strap it in.

04-20-2016, 07:07 PM
I've used it too. My solution to the stuff falling out problem was use a couple of small black binder clips to clip the top. Unimaginative and awkward-looking, but it worked...

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04-20-2016, 09:50 PM
I've used both. If I'm worried about thing falling out, I place a scarf or jacket over the top and then attach the keystrap to both o-rings to help keep things in.

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04-21-2016, 03:03 AM
Following a recomendation from kkintea from a while back I used a Smal Shop bag on a flight like this. It was so nice and easy as I was able to let items wasily glide back into the bag due to its top openness. I used a small keystrap feom one o-ring to the other to keep the top from flopping open to its full potential.


04-21-2016, 06:00 AM
I take my steel 200 LSB with me on flights. I like its larger size, more unlikely for stuff to fall out. I use a PCSB or medium OP to coral small items.

My favorite personal carry-on is a Pilot (original black halcyon). I put it inside my steel 200 LSB before putting under seat in front of me. The LSB is easy wash after.

04-21-2016, 07:33 AM
I've used both and they are quickly becoming my bag of choice as my personal item. I do carry a Side Effect and put it in whatever larger bag I use as a personal item. Depending on the season I seem to go back and forth on which size. I like being able to shove my coat into the LSB in winter. Easy bag if you grab something to eat at the airport. I have not had an issue with stuff falling out when under the seat in front of me.

Note my personal item needs to be a shoulder bag because my main carryon is either Smart Alec, Aeronaut, Tri-Star all worn as backpack. I also have a DLBP that I can pack inside if I'm taking the Aeronaut/Tri-Star. If I take the Smart Alec on a trip, then I just synch it down and use it as a smaller backpack during the day or just use the shop bag.

Side Effect is always with me.

04-21-2016, 07:48 AM
What an interesting idea.
I don't think I'd do that, but then I usually pack so as to be prepared for everything from plane crashes to fighting off a horde of Mongol invaders, so I'm fond of zippers and snaps.
I could see having a small shoulder bag, and then using a shop bag as a catch-all for that bag as well as snacks, a coat, etc. Last time I flew the Daylight Backpack pretty much filled that function. I'm not sure which would be preferable, but my thought was that the DLBP did double-duty as a tour bag, though I didn't actually end up using it, so in retrospect a shop bag would have done just as well, and possibly packed down smaller.

04-21-2016, 01:03 PM
Last year I bought a DLBP and returned it, as I felt it was too small for my purposes, especially once I put a cardigan in it. I exchanged it for the SSB, actually. The reason for purchase was a one-week residency in my MFA program. I needed to carry a jacket, wallet, sunglasses and glasses, water bottle, snacks and some books and notebooks. It worked perfectly!

I also had a Side Effect and returned it because my glasses barely fit in it.

I do have a nice camera bag, and a terrific BUILT sleeve for my tablet. The keyboard for the tablet, I will probably wrap in bubble wrap and put a rubber band or packing tape around it.

Has anyone put their SB in the overhead bins? I imagine the same hacks for keeping them closed would work whether you've got it under the seat or in the bin.