Welcome!

We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

TOM BIHN Forums Statistics

Collapse

Topics: 14,524   Posts: 187,774   Members: 6,485   Active Members: 303
Welcome to our newest member, questah043.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Back Pain and Bags

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Back Pain and Bags

    I am a preschool teacher, full time student, mom of 3 year old and weekend knitting instructor. I wear a lot of hats currently and I got slowed down by the fact I recently was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and have some massive back pain on and off from nerve damage.

    I am wanting to really pair down what all I carry so that I can be kind to my back but also wanted to ask about functionality.

    What I always carry in my EDC is my planner, school supplies, pair of shorts and underwear for my son, a multi tool, phone, either a 13" MacBook Air or my iPad mini, my kindle, iPhone, charging cables, and a sock or dishcloth project. I am seriously looking into the Maker's Bag.

    What I need to know is how does this loaded bag feel, and also does the absolute shoulder strap make a difference.

    On a minor note if anyone has a recommendation on ear buds I am also looking to lighten my load by removing the big ol noise canceling head phones.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    #2
    Sorry to hear about your back pain! A physical therapist might be able to recommend something; perhaps a backpack would be best?

    I carry the Makers Bag so I'll talk about that: The strap that comes with it is pretty good, and the best bet, as someone else in the forum recently pointed out, if you wish to carry the bag asymmetrically. But personally I prefer a third-party strap from Op-Tech. It is a lighter version of the Absolute Strap and works well for medium-sized bags. It feels better to me, though I'm not sure what the overall effect, if any, is in terms of actual pressure.

    But the more important thing is probably to reduce the overall weight that you carry. Bose makes amazing noise-cancelling headphone buds, but they are pricey. And perhaps think about consolidating things, particularly electronics? Keep your planner digitally? Use the Kindle at home but read on one of your other devices when you're out (as the pages will all sync if you are using the Kindle app, allowing you to switch from one device to another seamlessly).
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

    Comment


      #3
      I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles with your back. As someone who also has struggles in that area, I commiserate!

      With the load you're carrying (and by the way, I also teach--English and knitting--and wear a lot of different hats), I think I would recommend you get a backpack. The trouble with the Maker's Bag (or any bag of that style) is that your load isn't centered. That causes undo stress on your muscles. You can mitigate it with the waist strap, so if you really want that bag, make certain you avail yourself of that feature. And definitely get the Absolute Strap, too. It does help, for sure!

      A backpack works better because the load is centered. The Synapse is the one I would recommend. I carry the 19, but if you're carrying your MacBook Air frequently, you may find the 25 to give you more flexibility. I rarely carry my laptop out. I usually work remotely with my iPad. I like the Synapse because it features a slim profile, allowing you to carry a more centered load.

      When I carry my Maker's Bag fully loaded, I can only manage it for short periods of time. I love the bag; I own two of them. But I find that my back is happiest when I keep it stabilized and balanced. My other favorite backpack to carry for EDC is the Luminary, but I am pretty certain it would not allow you the space you need for what you want to carry. You could always order one of each style and test pack them to see which works best for your needs.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by bchaplin View Post
        Sorry to hear about your back pain! A physical therapist might be able to recommend something; perhaps a backpack would be best?

        I carry the Makers Bag so I'll talk about that: The strap that comes with it is pretty good, and the best bet, as someone else in the forum recently pointed out, if you wish to carry the bag asymmetrically. But personally I prefer a third-party strap from Op-Tech. It is a lighter version of the Absolute Strap and works well for medium-sized bags. It feels better to me, though I'm not sure what the overall effect, if any, is in terms of actual pressure.

        But the more important thing is probably to reduce the overall weight that you carry. Bose makes amazing noise-cancelling headphone buds, but they are pricey. And perhaps think about consolidating things, particularly electronics? Keep your planner digitally? Use the Kindle at home but read on one of your other devices when you're out (as the pages will all sync if you are using the Kindle app, allowing you to switch from one device to another seamlessly).
        I have been using a Augur 20L backpack and I just can't get into it. It drives me bonkers having to take it off every time I want to get anything from my bag.

        I totally get the consolidation. Right now we are doing a ton of beginning of the year training on Fridays so it's been computer time all the time. It's more I need the ability to carry if it's a training day.

        I looked a lot into the synapse and will look at a few more videos to see if I could access what I need without taking it off.

        Also those earbuds are super nice. They are definitely on the wishlist for this Christmas [emoji7]

        Do you use your waist strap with the makers? That was one of the more appealing features I noticed was I felt if I used that and had it cross body it would center the weight.





        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jess.lehr.rocks View Post
          Do you use your waist strap with the makers? That was one of the more appealing features I noticed was I felt if I used that and had it cross body it would center the weight.
          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
          Yes, I've used it. It certainly takes the weight off my shoulders, but to make it work I need to shorten the shoulder straps so it sits higher on my body. It's kind of a process so I don't always do it... Normally, during the week, it isn't that heavy for me, but when I do need the waist straps they are helpful.
          ----
          All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
          Edmund Burke

          Comment


            #6
            I actually prefer the regular strap to the absolute. The absolute causes my bag to bounce up and down as I walk- which actually makes it feel heavier, not lighter. But I seem to be the only one who thinks so cos nobody else really talks about this...

            And I'd second synapse 25. It's really the perfect bag if you're allowed to carry a backpack. I use the stowaway now so I use it sling style when formal, and in backpack style when say on the way home.

            Comment


              #7
              I don't generally use a backpack, but when I do, I use a Side Effect carried cross-body so I can quickly access wallet, keys, cell phone, etc. I've also done the same thing with a Side Kick, but overall prefer the smaller Side Effect if pairing with a backpack.
              EDC: SCB/MCB, Swift for knitting, small shop bags
              TRAVEL: A45
              FAVORITE TB COLORS: kiwi, verde, nordic & black halcyon, viridian, alphaviolet, ursa
              FAVORITE LINING COLORS: wasabi, northwest sky

              Comment


                #8
                Sorry to hear about your back troubles. I recently fractured my hip and wrist and suffered a concussion-- my back is about the only thing that doesn't hurt right now.

                We're all built a little differently, of course, but I do much better with a backpack where the weight is centered on both shoulders rather than any sort of one-shouldered bag, including messenger bags. I recently purchased my first Tom Bihn bag: a Synapse 25 in ballistic/halcyon (Cloud/Island). I love the centered water bottle pocket that accommodates a 32oz Nalgene or Hydro Flask. I keep my credit card wallet and my bus pass & ID badge in a side pocket. It's (relatively) easy to slip my fractured-in-a-brace left arm out of the left shoulder strap then reach around under my right arm to unzip that right side pocket for my wallet or badge. I can access my water bottle or the small front pocket the same way. If I need to access pens, pencils, my Apple Pencil, etc, I slip my right arm out and reach under my left side. I'd hoped to order a padded waist strap to put some of the weight burden on my hips but they're out of stock; I might try again later, especially when my regular carry includes a laptop and all of the requisite cords and cables again.

                My mother (79), visiting to help out while my body heals, says backpacks hurt her back. She's played around with lots of options we have around the house -- a small messenger bag, a regular messenger bag, a small cross-body bag, a well-padded small Eddie Bauer women's backpack, and an older less-well-padded full-sized EB backpack. And my new S25. She doesn't like any of them really but the only thing that doesn't leave in pain after two or three days of use is the very small cross-body bag. But it holds no more stuff than my husband carries in his pants pockets.

                I know I could never the carry the stuff/weight I need in a cross-body, single-shoulder bag. Unless you know you do better with a cross-body bag, I'd consider looking at a backpack like the Synapse.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jess.lehr.rocks View Post

                  On a minor note if anyone has a recommendation on ear buds I am also looking to lighten my load by removing the big ol noise canceling head phones.
                  I am sorry to hear about your back issues. I have dealt with disc and nerve issues in my neck and lower back for almost 20 years, and as you well know, it is no fun. Regarding ear buds, I would highly recommend any of the IEM's made by Etymotic Research. They have three main models at three price points, and all do a good job of blocking out sound rather than cancelling it. The hf5 is probably a good choice if you like music. Here is a link to their website: https://www.etymotic.com/consumer/earphones.html . They have been in business for a number of years and basically wrote the book on IEM's. They also offer a large number of hearing safety products, and are popular with musicians. I wish you healing and relief from pain.

                  Good luck,

                  --Ken

                  Comment


                    #10
                    As a fellow sufferer you have my sympathy. That being said I'd still suggest a backpack. I have fallen in love with the Daylight Backpack in halcyon which is less than a pound and you barely notice it on your back. It holds an astonishing amount of stuff. I pair it with either a cross-body Sidekick or a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag (always in halcyon). This makes important things reachable so you don't have to deal with constantly pulling off your backpack. You can easily fit the ipad mini in the Sidekick (I can fit my full size ipad air in it). Along with a number of the things you mentioned. I use my ipad as a Kindle or my iphone as a Kindle so I'd drop the Kindle. I don't know what planner you use but I'd highly, highly (HIGHLY) recommend Hobonichi. My planners had gotten larger and more elaborate until I discovered the tiny A6 which is astonishingly small yet an absolute joy for function. It does just as much as a much larger planner (I was carrying a full size Erin Condren). The Hobonichi's paper is lighter yet more durable and has literally saved me. I definitely second the noise-cancelling earbuds.

                    My biggest problem with the Synapse is I couldn't function with it. The bag is twice as heavy as the DLBP because it is slightly larger but the weight comes from all the organizer pockets. The problem is even with organizer pockets I was still storing everything with halcyon pouches/stuff sacks or with eagle creek spectre packing cubes. That meant I had the weight of the bag as well as the weight of the organizing items regardless. We're talking less than 2 pounds total but for me some days two pounds might as well be 20.

                    I can't give any advice on the Maker's bag because I've found carrying a heavy bag asymmetrically just doesn't work for me.

                    In my experience, halcyon has saved me, the Sidekick has saved me, and the DLBP has saved me which is why I own several of each. Love them all.

                    Anyway, that's my two cents. Best of luck, I know how frustrating it can be!
                    Last edited by TRD; 09-17-2017, 06:51 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have back and neck issues too. Light is key... on really bad days, the lighter the better. Carry less stuff. Leave stuff at other locations when you can and only carry what you absolutely need to.

                      My EDC is a small cafe bag or side kick, and if I need to carry a computer, then a Halcyon S25 or the Pilot with the absolute strap. I do find the absolute strap makes a big difference. Honestly, either is pushing it on bad days -- for those, the daylight backpack or a small shop bag work better.

                      Edited to add: my #1 strategy is to put stuff on wheels whenever possible. My kids laugh at me for getting a cart in stores when I'm only getting 1-2 small items, but it means I don't have to carry my purse. Also, I don't have a leather wallet anymore... too heavy. I use a Vera Bradley zip ID case and strap it inside my TB bag.
                      Last edited by catherder; 09-17-2017, 12:49 PM.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X