View Full Version : Practical Hacks Reviews the Absolute Strap

05-28-2009, 11:10 PM
In today's article at Practical Hacks (http://www.practicalhacks.com/) the subject is Travel Gear: Shoulder strap comparo - 4 contenders for “best bag strap” (http://www.practicalhacks.com/2009/05/28/travel-gear-shoulder-strap-showdown-4-contenders-for-best-bag-strap/). Guess which shoulder strap was rated #1 (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0505)? Kevin writes:
Whether credit is due Op/Tech USA or Bihn, whoever designed the Absolute Strap got two fundamentals just right. The key to its superiority is its generous 2” width and neoprene material … Coupled with Bihn spec’d hardware, the Absolute Strap is of uniformly high quality and durability.
The Absolute Strap (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0505), like most Tom Bihn products, has evolved over time in response to customer inputs and Tom's own design thoughts. I recall at least two major design changes to the structure of the "grippy surface" of the absolute straps I have, as well as changes to the clips used at the end. Just for fun, I'm referencing a few old forum posts I was reminded of while reading Kevin's article:
here's one early change (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?p=2608&highlight=#post2608)
and here's a post containing a speculation on how the strap works (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?p=4653&highlight=#post4653) (anti-gravity?)
then there was Darcy's post about Preventing Shoulder Woes: What's Your Solution? (http://forums.tombihn.com/newreply.php?p=3388&highlight=#p3388) that referenced this "Ouch! My bag is killing me!" (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/07/fashion/07ouch.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ei=5087%0A&em&en=d290203f649d3dad&ex=1165640400) article from the NY Times, which provoked this answer:

The guy in the next quote sounds as though he has all of us beat for what he is carrying around.

I've had my Empire Builder for over 2 years now, and it's still in perfect condition.


The strap is comfortable. The reviewer is right. In fact... how about this one... I am a teacher. Just before midterm grades were due, I put a bunch of papers in my bag to grade... along with a bunch of memos... lesson plans... all divided up nicely in the bag. I put the bag on my passenger seat and the airbag engaged. The airbag engages at 60 pounds. I was carrying around 60+ pounds and had no idea!

It's amazing how much I can put into it.

All I can say is that the 60+ pounds must be a much smaller fraction of his weight than it is of mine! Carrying this on a shoulder strap -- even the Absolute Strap -- I'd definitely be lopsided.

A late addition: when iceblink said, The reviewer is right, this is the review he was responding to (parts of an Empire Builder review (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?p=3285#post3285) dealing with the strap):


The shoulder strap is easily the most comfortable I have ever used. I move it to my other bags when I need to go on a trip (I’m a OneBagger, at least I try). I may end up buying another one, and I’m thinking about buying some as gifts for others I know are carrying bags a lot. Try this experiment: load up the bag, attach any other shoulder strap you own and carry it on your shoulder for 5 minutes. Then switch to the Absolute strap. It will actually make the bag seem a little lighter.