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Practical Hacks Reviews the Absolute Strap

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    Practical Hacks Reviews the Absolute Strap

    In today's article at Practical Hacks the subject is Travel Gear: Shoulder strap comparo - 4 contenders for “best bag strap”. Guess which shoulder strap was rated #1? 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 2¾” width and neoprene material … Coupled with Bihn spec’d hardware, the Absolute Strap is of uniformly high quality and durability.
    The Absolute Strap, 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
    • and here's a post containing a speculation on how the strap works (anti-gravity?)
    • then there was Darcy's post about Preventing Shoulder Woes: What's Your Solution? that referenced this "Ouch! My bag is killing me!" article from the NY Times, which provoked this answer:
      Originally posted by moriond View Post
      The guy in the next quote sounds as though he has all of us beat for what he is carrying around.
      Originally posted by Iceblink View Post
      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 dealing with the strap):
      Originally posted by mruseless View Post

      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.
    Last edited by moriond; 05-29-2009, 04:51 AM. Reason: added original reference mentioned in one response