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: 14,493   Posts: 187,444   Members: 6,454   Active Members: 329
Welcome to our newest member, bored_and_agitated.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Purse Paradigm

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

    The Purse Paradigm

    Tom Bihn sent me the Zeitgeist and Paradigm free to review.

    TL; DR: as a purse, the Paradigm wins head and shoulders over the Zeitgeist but there is still scope for improvement as adding a couple more pockets to the Paradigm could make it a truly great purse.



    The long version:
    On the Paradigm and Zeitgeist pages, it states that “Tom designed the Paradigm and Zeitgeist specifically for folks who’d been asking him for years to design a small backpack PLO (Purse-Like Object). For the purposes of this discussion, I’m taking that to mean that these bags were meant to be used as purses. How do they fare, looking through this lens?


    What is a Purse/PLO?
    I’ll declare this up front: I like pockets. I’m known for my devotion to the most pockety of TB bags, the Parental Unit. I’ll also admit that I’m a harsh critic.

    My argument, however, is this: a purse should have pockets. It should have pockets for ‘purse items’ (more on that below), and this will be a major factor in evaluating the Paradigm and Zeitgeist for use as a purse or a purse-like object.

    I’ve never written a formal definition of a purse before, but to me it is something that you use because you have too many little bits and pieces to carry around in your pockets, if you’re lucky enough to have clothing with pockets. Those items may include (in addition to the keys, wallet & phone): medication, lip balm, powerbank, hand sanitizer, a snack, and maybe a small paper notebook and pen. These ‘purse items’ are all small 3D items. The 3 dimensionality of them will prove a tough test.

    Paradigm
    The more I found out about the Paradigm and it’s 3D front pocket, the more excited I got. It sounded a lot like a Side-Kick tacked onto a mini Paragon, which seems ideal for sort of purse + jacket + tea setup.

    As it turns out, the front pocket on the Paradigm is indeed quite different from the Side Kick, though similar in size. The dividers are handy for separating small and medium-sized items.

    In this front/3D pocket setup, which I anticipate using on the school dropoff, I have sanitizer, lip balm and other hygiene items in the left pocket, a hair brush and masks in the center, and wallet and keys on the right.
    Front pocket of Paradigm
    That leaves the main pocket for larger items like a 16oz travel mug of tea, a folding plate, a small first aid kit, a shopping bag and my raincoat.
    Main pocket of Paradigm

    Paradigm Room For Improvement
    This setup works pretty well, but to excel as a purse, the Paradigm needs a couple more pockets. It needs an internal-top-front zippered pocket in the main compartment like on the Zeitgeist, Paragon or Luminary, as well as open-top pockets in the inside of the front/3D pocket (on the front panel of the front pocket, opposite the existing ones).

    Zeitgeist
    The Zeitgeist, well… as soon as I saw it, I knew it couldn’t be a purse, not as-is. It does not have any organization for purse items. So I read the TB blog post about organizing these bags and I bought myself two Freudian Slips: Small and Medium Cafe Bag. I never saw the point of them before but this was my only hope of getting the essential purse pockets in such a small, flat bag without just sticking an actual purse (like the Side Effect) inside.

    Can the Cafe Bag FSs make the Zeitgeist into a purse? Kind of. I had to do some surgery on the MCB FS because the FSs are engineered for office supplies, not small 3-D purse items. I don’t need 4 pens in my purse, so I left one pen slot and ripped out some of the seams forming the other pen slots. On the right I made a 1.5 pen slot by taking out the last seam before the end.

    Here is the result in the Medium Cafe Bag. I gained a spot for a hand sanitizer and inhaler, as well as a spot for my powerbank cable.
    MCB FS with some seams ripped out
    Here is what it looked like originally:
    Screenshot of MCB FS

    So, my final judgment on the Zeitgeist as a purse this: the burden is on the user to make it work as a purse, and while it can be hacked into one, I’d rather have something designed to be used as I want to use it.


    Zeitgeist (Freudian Slip actually) room for improvement

    My plea here is actually about the FS. Wouldn’t it be great to have a Freudian Slip that was meant for several small 3D items and only one pen? With a secure, zippered 3D pocket? It would be like an inside-out purse.

    Overall Summary:
    I like the Paradigm very much. It’s a great size for the in-between, when you need more than a purse but less than a big bag.

    The Zeitgeist is not a purse by nature but I can see it being a really handy bag for a sort of minimalist school/work setup, if you can get away with a notebook, a Freudian Slip and a tablet. And maybe you can fit a small purse inside too. ;-)
    Last edited by Cristina; 08-31-2021, 03:11 PM.

    #2
    It seems like the Everyday Cubelet could be used in either the Paradigm or Zeitgeist. I use one unzipped in the Icon and plan on trying it out in the Z when it arrives. I've ordered the Z in black halcyon/royal/island that will match many of our other TB items. I love the looks of the Z and think it will be great even for just walking around the neighborhood due to small profile.

    Comment


      #3
      Yes absolutely, the EC fits easily inside the main compartment of either bag. In my review I’m arguing that the Z isn’t a purse by itself, but you could easily put a Side Effect or an Everyday Cubelet inside for purse items. Realistically, that’s probably how I’ll use the Z because it would leave room for a tall bottle next to it, whereas the FS doesn’t.

      Originally posted by kjquilts View Post
      It seems like the Everyday Cubelet could be used in either the Paradigm or Zeitgeist. I use one unzipped in the Icon and plan on trying it out in the Z when it arrives. I've ordered the Z in black halcyon/royal/island that will match many of our other TB items. I love the looks of the Z and think it will be great even for just walking around the neighborhood due to small profile.

      Comment


        #4
        Great post, Cristina ! I think there are two ways of doing things: some of us keep our belongings 'encapsulated' in pouches and minibags so that they can easily be moved from one pack to another, and some spread things out for easier access. For the latter, the Paradigm and Synapse/Synik lines might be better.

        I don't personally use the Freudian Slips much, but I appreciate your pics and the review! Having little ones around must tip the equation towards quicker-access. You're going to be rocking the dropoffs!
        Last edited by bchaplin; 09-01-2021, 07:08 AM.
        ----
        All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
        Edmund Burke

        Comment


          #5
          bchaplin! You have just described the tension that plays out every time I pack a bag. On one hand I want to have that little capsule of essentials that goes from bag to bag, so I can size up or down quickly. On the other hand, you’re right that I need quick access to everything since I need to get something every 30 seconds or so. But also have my hands free. It’s a lot of conflicting needs 🤣

          My ideal situation thus far has been either the Everyday Cubelet inside the outside center pocket of a Parental Unit, or a Side Effect in the right hand outer pocket of a Synapse 25. The smaller bag in each setup is oriented along the zipper so you can get inside each small bag while it sits comfortably in the larger bag’s pocket. It’s the best of both worlds.

          Originally posted by bchaplin View Post
          Great post, Cristina ! I think there are two ways of doing things: some of us keep our belongings 'encapsulated' in pouches and minibags so that they can easily be moved from one pack to another, and some spread things out for easier access. For the former, the Paradigm and Synapse/Synik lines might be better.

          I don't personally use the Freudian Slips much, but I appreciate your pics and the review! Having little ones around must tip the equation towards quicker-access. You're going to be rocking the dropoffs!

          Comment


            #6

            Paradigm Room For Improvement
            This setup works pretty well, but to excel as a purse, the Paradigm needs a couple more pockets. It needs an internal-top-front zippered pocket in the main compartment like on the Zeitgeist, Paragon or Luminary, as well as open-top pockets in the inside of the front/3D pocket (on the front panel of the front pocket, opposite the existing ones).

            I second that, I watched the video multiple time and was disappointed that the Paradigm didn't have the internal top front zippered pocket compartment.

            Otherwise, the Paradigm is a pretty sweet mini backpack. Please, Darcy, let us know when there will be another order for them.

            Comment


              #7
              It's all very interesting to hear the different perspectives.
              I don't ever carry a purse unless I'm wearing some sort of formal dress, which has happened maybe a handful of times in my life. I normally carry a very small wallet (currently a Nik's) and cash in my pockets. I do not own pants without real pockets. My phone is either in a pocket or in a holster that clips on.
              When I look at bags to carry, it's all about size and carry style.
              So the two new bags to me are all about overall volume and backpack vs shoulder/cross body carry. The amount and type of internal organization is subordinate to that, for me.
              Also, if/when I carry stuff beyond what fits in my pockets, it's either bulky (coat, water bottle, book, etc) or a smaller container of small things (ie, first aid kit).
              So mostly I prefer the bags that tend towards more open space vs pockets and sub divisions (basically, I'm opposite Cristina that way), with the exception of the S19, where I keep things that are used infrequently or just in case, in the pockets. To make it easy, that stuff lives in the bag. The everyday accessed stuff is in the main compartment and switches bag to bag.
              Last edited by G42; 09-01-2021, 10:40 PM.
              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


                #8
                Little update after first day at school drop off and a little shopping trip. Really loving the way that the Paradigm is so easy to swing down one shoulder to access the front pocket. It is so easy to swing it down and retrieve my keys without disturbing the other bags I’m carrying! It is also easy to carry the Paradigm as a shoulder bag for short periods if you’re in and out of that pocket a lot.

                Comment


                  #9
                  After reading all the reviews, watching and rewatching the videos and studying the photos I ordered a Paradigm with 10 minutes to spare before pre order closed. Zeitgeist was already ordered in black Halcyon with blue stripe. Waffled back and forth on Paradigm fabric and color. I love black halcyon. Love the color and appearance of red blend cordura and think it is great in large zip top bag I use for grocery shopping. Was concerned about my shedding white hair and possible abrasion to clothes so regretfully passed on RB. Decided on Aubergine and it will join Pick-up, Pop Tote, Little Swift and Co-Pilot in same color.

                  Thank you and everyone else who provide so much information to help make decision making a little easier.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi Cristina love the "Purse Paradigm", sounds like a suspensed-packed movie about the secret agent who almost missed to save the world as they coudn't find the MacGuffin in their crammed backpack ;)
                    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
                    current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

                    Comment


                      #11
                      bartleby I love it, I was definitely going for a spy kind of vibe with that title! In my version, a well-stocked purse is the key to saving the world. Just like in life! 😂

                      Originally posted by bartleby View Post
                      Hi Cristina love the "Purse Paradigm", sounds like a suspensed-packed movie about the secret agent who almost missed to save the world as they coudn't find the MacGuffin in their crammed backpack ;)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Cristina View Post
                        Little update after first day at school drop off and a little shopping trip. Really loving the way that the Paradigm is so easy to swing down one shoulder to access the front pocket. It is so easy to swing it down and retrieve my keys without disturbing the other bags I’m carrying! It is also easy to carry the Paradigm as a shoulder bag for short periods if you’re in and out of that pocket a lot.
                        Yes to this! I had the Paradigm as our family bag on a tourist outing today and every time someone wanted the water bottle, the mints, the other mask (or the other other mask)…I could easily swing the Paradigm around and access said item without taking the whole bag off.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Cristina View Post
                          bartleby I love it, I was definitely going for a spy kind of vibe with that title! In my version, a well-stocked purse is the key to saving the world. Just like in life! 😂

                          That's even better 😂
                          ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
                          current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I have to add: of the two mini-backpacks Tom Bihn sent me, after reviewing them, I ended up keeping the Zeitgeist and giving the Paradigm to my sister. She seemed to really like it! She does a lot of short trips, like going into DC for the day (as she lives nearby), and it's just big enough to hold all her stuff without being too heavy or making it difficult to walk in a crowd. She also carries a water bottle regularly. So, a perfect bag for day trips.

                            A funny background to this is that years ago, in an effort to thin my collection, I gave an Alphaviolet Luminary 12 to her daughter, my niece. So a week ago when I offered my sister the Paradigm, this same niece piped up, "Hey, mom, does this mean you could give me back the purple backpack?"

                            The small packs are popular in my family!
                            ----
                            All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
                            Edmund Burke

                            Comment


                              #15
                              bchaplin interesting! What is it about the Zeitgeist that you prefer? How are you using it? Even with the Freudian Slips I just can’t see the Zeitgeist as a purse. I can see it as a pretty cute mobile office, though.

                              I was working on an update post this morning, so here it is but I’m going to have to do another one in a week because I’ve just changed the internal organization around.

                              My Daily Purse: a week with the Paradigm
                              I have been using the Paradigm as my main bag since the kids started school a week ago. I really love it.

                              The front 3D pocket is easy to access and the bag itself is proportioned such that if I need to carry it on one shoulder, it’s very easy and it feels like a shoulder purse/handbag.

                              The Medium Cafe Bag Freudian Slip (modified as described several posts up) has been sitting in the main pocket organizing my calendar, first aid kit, battery, and some other stuff. If I needed to put something bulky in the main pocket I would have to take the FS out but I haven’t needed to do this yet. I am really just using it as a purse/handbag. When I need to carry bigger stuff, I use a bigger bag.

                              Last night I decided to try the Side Kick as a purse organiser inside the Paradigm. So far so good, and I have room on top for a jacket now, which I didn’t with the FS. The one downside is that I really need a light inside it now to put things back in the correct SK pocket. Another consideration is that any jacket or drink I perch on top of the SK obscures it’s contents completely, but I put lesser-used items in there so in a week I’ll update with how that went.

                              A feature that I am struggling with slightly is the dividers in the front pocket. I think I would like them to be shorter because they make these tall narrow divisions and I think the proportion of height to width makes it just a little bit hard to get at stuff at the bottom of one of those divisions.

                              Further thoughts on Good PLO Management:
                              I am going to double down on my initial request for another small internal pocket, because having a small pocket on top would mean that a snack or a slim phone battery would remain unsquashed and accessible. Also, in my mind good PLO management includes keeping the same things in the same pockets, so you always know where the important stuff is. An extra pocket at the top gives a dedicated space to a delicate yet important item.

                              Here is the Paradigm in the park, at the top of a very steep hillside we scrambled up:
                              Paradigm in the woods

                              It’s a really good bag!

                              Originally posted by bchaplin View Post
                              I have to add: of the two mini-backpacks Tom Bihn sent me, after reviewing them, I ended up keeping the Zeitgeist and giving the Paradigm to my sister. She seemed to really like it! She does a lot of short trips, like going into DC for the day (as she lives nearby), and it's just big enough to hold all her stuff without being too heavy or making it difficult to walk in a crowd. She also carries a water bottle regularly. So, a perfect bag for day trips.

                              A funny background to this is that years ago, in an effort to thin my collection, I gave an Alphaviolet Luminary 12 to her daughter, my niece. So a week ago when I offered my sister the Paradigm, this same niece piped up, "Hey, mom, does this mean you could give me back the purple backpack?"

                              The small packs are popular in my family!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X