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LGD: Expectations vs. Reality

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    LGD: Expectations vs. Reality

    "The LGD is primarily designed to be worn as hip pack," they said. "Don't buy this if you're looking for a bag specifically designed to be a sling bag," they said.

    Well, I went ahead and bought it anyway - despite the fact that I've never been a big fan of hip packs and was mainly looking for a new sling bag - because I was smitten with the design and somehow willed myself into believing that this would still be The Perfect Bag For Me.

    And what do you know? It just didn't work ... and I have no one to blame but myself.

    It goes without saying that the LGD is sturdy and beautifully made, especially for a smallish bag with so many components. I'm reminded once again how much attention Tom Bihn puts into every aspect of their bags, from materials to design and features. (I'm especially a fan of those inconspicuous yet hugely useful O-rings - I'm always peeved when I grab one of my non-TB bags and remember that other bag manufacturers haven't caught on to them yet.)

    I love the LGD aesthetic (yes, I'm an early 90s baby through and through), and it was certainly worth the wait to finally see and handle the bag after endless hours spent poring over details, discussion, and photos on the website. There's a personality and charm to the design that really comes across in real life. It really is a sweet bag.

    But after loading it up with what I was hoping to use it for and taking out for a few extended test carries over the past day, I'm finding that it's simply not for me.

    I intended to mainly use my LGD as a EDC and travel bag for my iPad Air, Kindle, notebook and sketch pad, and miscellany (phone, charger, Carmex, snacks, etc.) The problem isn't the bag's capacity: it swallows up all of that with room to spare. In fact, there's so much room inside its main compartment that I found myself wanting a few more organizational features, a la the pockets and panels in the Side Kick.

    But in the end, the LGD is both too much bag for me in one sense, and not enough in another.

    Any way I tried to carry it, it just felt like too much bag. I was hoping to mostly use it as a sling (despite the caveats in the product description and preview blog post!) but bought a Simple Shoulder Strap to go with it in case I wanted to have another carry option. Its main design as a lumbar bag/fanny pack was low on my list of priorities, which I realize now was a huge miscalculation on my part.

    As a sling bag it felt super awkward and boxy. It stuck out from my body instead of laying flat against my back and side, and the weight distribution made the attached straps on the erstwhile hip belt dig into the side of my neck. The 1000 Cordora fabric - I ordered the Beaver Camo version, because it's clearly the most awesome - also probably had a lot to do with how uncomfortable it felt as a sling: I'd forgotten how rigid and scratchy 1000 Cordora is, and the sling bag of my dreams is made of something that feels better against the skin of my arm and slides more easily around fabric and curves of the body.

    The LGD did work better for me as a shoulder/crossbody bag, at least as far as comfort and balance are concerned. But even then, it felt a little awkward and rigid. The (admittedly minimal) added bulk of the hip belt once it was tucked away added to the rigidity and just plain felt weird hitting against my side - and moreover, kept reminding me that I wasn't using the bag as it was primarily designed to be used.

    Unfortunately, using it as a lumbar bag was the most awkward experience of all. I found that even while moderately full the LGD was difficult to put on or take off without its weight being supported somehow. I had to sit down on the edge of my bed every time I wanted to put it on or take it off, lest the straps slipped through my fingers while I was getting the buckle in place and the entire bag (with my iPad and other electronics inside) fall to the floor. Once I did get it fastened around my waist, it felt like the weight was dragging me down butt-first instead of being evenly distributed on my hips. (And I won't even mention how silly I thought it looked on me in profile, because that's even more subjective. But ... wow, this was not a flattering look on me.)

    So that's the "too muchness" of the bag. On the other end of things, I found it too small for carrying more than just the basics if I wanted to add lunch or a water bottle to the items I listed above. (The bottle holder that slides onto the hip strap just didn't/doesn't appeal to me, and in any case only seems to work when it's used as a lumbar bag.) If I wanted a bag for for an all-day outing or hike that required something like a jacket or blanket, I'd probably find myself reaching for a smallish backpack instead of the LGD, both for the increased capacity and carry comfort.

    In addition, that zippered outer pocket felt awfully shallow - I could barely fit a Field Notes pad and pencil into it when the main part of the bag was half full. Maybe a more flexible fabric or even mesh panel on the zippered pocket would help in that regard. The flap pocket with the buckle is nicely sized, though, and the gusset gives it some useful extra volume.

    So with regret, back it goes. (Kudos to a company that makes returns simple and easy.) I'm not sure if there's anything in the current TB lineup that appeals to me as a potential replacement, though suggestions are welcome. I do know that a Side Effect and/or Side Kick is/are in my future. But alas, in its current iteration and with its current fabric options the LGD won't be a part of my collection - though I could see myself reconsidering if a smaller version (Le Moins Grand Derrière?), especially in a Halcyon option, were offered at some point.

    Apologies if this all came across as too long-winded or self-indulgent. It's my way of working through some of the disappointment over something I've been looking forward to for some time, even though I'm well aware that it's "just a bag" and that there are much bigger things in the world to feel bummed about. And in any event, it's definitely offered in the spirit of constructive criticism / "secondary reality" as discussed in this recent blog post.

    And the main moral of the story? When the wise folks at Tom Bihn offer their perspective on the best use(s) for a bag, listen to what they have to say before clicking that "Order" button. I wish I had!
    Last edited by MisterJacques; 07-21-2021, 10:09 AM.

    #2
    Great insights on the bag.

    I was in the market for a fanny pack around the time the LGD debuted, and while I love the design, I passed on it for one reason: size. It's just too big. I know fanny packs are making a comeback, but I'm still not super confident in rocking one, so if I do wear one I want it to be small, subtle, compact. I'd personally feel a bit silly wearing the LGD as a fanny pack. To be fair, large fanny packs are more and more common now in this digital nomad era. Still, the LGD is such a lovely design and I really was tempted to order it knowing it probably wouldn't work out for me.

    I instead opted for a halcyon Side Effect & a Side Kick and they both have been excellent carries. I use the SE exclusively as a hip pack when I walk my dog or quick market runs. Admittedly I was always hesitant with the SK but this bag is now one of my favorites. One of those should work out great for you if you're still in the market.

    If LGD-mini ever comes into fruition, I would definitely add that to my collection.

    Comment


      #3
      MisterJacques Have you ever used a Side Effect...? The original SE's had built in waist straps that could be tucked away - see this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpEaL-pWMd8

      This may work better as a mini sling bag for you if you find a used one online though it may be too small for what you want to carry...
      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...

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the thoughtful review MisterJacques! Well, if it's true that all life is a stage, as you've made your exit your review has convinced me to make my debut!

        Just placed an order and am looking to finally get into the world of an bits & bobs EDC man-bag ... I've resisted for years and to be forthcoming, I've considered EV.RY.THING from every mfr ... slings bags, backpacks, hip packs, underarm bags, pouches, belt clips ... everything! :scrunch_face:

        Nothing has ever seemed quite right ... I got really close with the SCB, but finally concluded the flap is less preferable than a zipper and the LGD is more versatile as a camera bag, hip bag, hiking bag, etc ... so, if the LGD works for all of these other things then maybe having it as a daily would fit right in.

        I love the hideaway waist straps & side compression - if it lacked those, that'd probably be a deal killer, but the LGD really does have just about every feature one could want AND they added the water bottle pocket AND it's available in Beaver Camo :cool:


        The only possible tweaks I wish the LDG had are:

        (1.) Moveable bottom padding - it be cool to have some flip-up-able bottom pad (for compression) that could be used to stabilize the bottom and protect things

        (2.) The Techonaut back panel mesh design

        (3.) Internal org similar to the LCB / Pilot: a few pen holders would be great

        (4.) A mini-op-tech strap option with duraflex clips (this is fairly easy after-market mod, but a TB mini-op-tech would be great!)

        (5.) 1050D! And less flashy zipper designs, though I love the Beaver Camo


        But pre-ship, these are niggles and overall I'm excited to get this bag and see if it's finally The One!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by GrussGott View Post

          (1.) Moveable bottom padding - it be cool to have some flip-up-able bottom pad (for compression) that could be used to stabilize the bottom and protect things
          Not sure how well that would work given the pocket layout and the side compression straps...

          You could always put a piece of foam or bubble wrap or similar in there... in the past, some folks have mentioned cutting an old yoga mat into pieces to use for inside various bags and for small pieces to sit on if/when it's wet out.
          A lot of craft shops sell fairly thin foam sheets for crafting too

          I just checked and a mini sized padded OP fits well along the bottom front to back but it's not long enough... two get close to full coverage, but are about 1" shy.
          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...

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by G42 View Post
            MisterJacques Have you ever used a Side Effect...? The original SE's had built in waist straps that could be tucked away ...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpEaL-pWMd8
            I've never tried the Side Effect (either version) - though I do have a Manhattan Portage Jogger, which is almost the same exact size and dimensions as the SE and is a little small for what I'm looking for. But I did order a Side Kick on restock day last week - which USPS tells me will be arriving on Monday :cool: Although it looks best suited for shoulder carry I'm feeling pretty good about its crossbody/sling use, and volume-wise it seems right around the sweet spot for me. So here's hoping it works out. Will report back in 48 hours or so after it arrives!
            Last edited by MisterJacques; 07-31-2021, 10:00 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by GrussGott View Post
              Thanks for the thoughtful review MisterJacques! Well, if it's true that all life is a stage, as you've made your exit your review has convinced me to make my debut! ... But pre-ship, these are niggles and overall I'm excited to get this bag and see if it's finally The One!
              Glad you enjoyed my LGD odyssey post, rambling as though it was! Upon further reflection I really do think it was mainly the combination of the stiffness of the Cordora + the bulk of the tuck-away panel that made it an uncomfortable ride for me, thought it's such a great bag in so many other respects - hoping that it works better for you and looking forward to hearing what you have to say about it.
              Last edited by MisterJacques; 07-31-2021, 10:01 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by MisterJacques View Post

                Glad you enjoyed my LGD odyssey post, rambling as though it was! Upon further reflection I really do think it was mainly the combination of the stiffness of the Cordora + the bulk of the tuck-away panel that made it an uncomfortable ride for me, thought it's such a great bag in so many other respects - hoping that it works better for you and looking forward to hearing what you have to say about it.
                me too!

                In general my EDC use-case is a ridiculous amount of glasses - it's funny because I've never really needed glasses but as I've gotten older my vision is just poor enough distance that I need driving glasses, and just poor enough short that if there's small print I can't have my distance on and may need reading glasses. I have a pair of bifocals but I find the mix kind of annoying so prefer not to wear them. And then I live in CA so I use rx sunglasses too! Net-net, I have a LOT of pairs of glasses, most I don't use, but it's nice to have them with me.

                And for tech, I just use my phone for everything (a 6.7" one) so I don't really need a tablet, but do like to have along a PD battery, and a spare phone isn't a bad idea either. I'd also like to get some hi-fi IEMs & portable dac/amp which I've resisted because I don't want to carry the stuff, but if the LGD works then no problems! And then there's modern bulky car keys.

                It'll be really interesting to see if I can find a comfort zone!

                Comment

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