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Cambiata - First Look

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    #46

    Sorry, this is a long post of mostly words... TL/DR: I still like the Cambiata and the new Gatekeeper/Clip accessory is dandy



    I just returned from a hectic 5 day work trip to several cities in Mexico that involved hours and hours in cars & planes and extensive walking; we were constantly on the move.


    Originally I was going to one-bag it, but for various reasons decided dividing the work from the personal was best for this trip (plus I ended up bringing a bit more work stuff than I originally planned), so I went with the Synapse 19 for the work stuff and the Cambiata for clothing, toiletries, etc.


    The Cambiata handled it with aplomb and I had the smallest bags of the group!

    I cannot overstate how cool it is that the bag stands up on it's own and that it has such a trim profile. For me it's a very easy bag to live/work out of and my favorite A/T30 Small Laundry Cubes are perfect for it.




    My S19 was loaded fairly standard for me... a few less EDC items and addition of neck pillow & knitting (no pics):

    -Chin Pocket: SSC with all the cords & a Kindle in it's case

    -Side Pockets: wipes, sanitizer, pens, headlamp, etc. etc. - all the typical smaller fiddly stuff

    -Center Pocket: tissues & ear plugs

    -Water Bottle Pocket: water bottle

    -Main: laptop in a zip case, neck pillow in a GB, fabric 3DOC of misc. stuff (incld granola bars that were a life saver during massive traffic delays), mYSS of knitting; small OP with Passport, Global Entry card, extra cash, vax card, etc.

    (yes, the knitting & neck pillow weren't work stuff, but they were unobtrusive)



    The A/T30 Small Laundry Cubes are my cubes of choice for clothes; I usually have at least one with polo shirts and one with socks/undies/sleep clothes... sometimes a third with more shirts & misc if it's a long trip. This time, I only needed two cubes, plus I folded a pair of jeans to be that same size. No pics, it's pretty similar to things shown previously.

    -Those three things fit really nicely in the Cambiata, stacked flat.

    -On top of that stack were two extra Moleskin Cahier notebooks & then a fabric 3DOC & a clear 3DOC (containing toiletries), and a large sunglasses case.

    -Large inside pocket held backup work/reference paperwork.

    -Front exterior pocket had a magazine

    -Backpack straps stayed tucked away the whole trip

    -I chose to maximize using the interior space of the bag (which takes space from the side interior & exterior pockets), so I only had tissues & car keys in the upper exterior side pocket.

    -The top inside pocket had extra masks and other quick stuff.


    Carrying a Backpack & the Cambiata

    I had the S19 on my back and the Cambiata alternated between shoulder and hand carry. The lack of a balanced hand carry for someone my height is the biggest drawback of the Cambiata for me.

    I was pretty rushed to get out the door for this trip (back to back travel) so I forgot to grab the strap hack I had worked out earlier and only had the included smooth shoulder strap.


    With the S19 on my back and the Cambiata on one shoulder, it took effort to keep the strap on my shoulder. The strap is super smooth and slippery, which is great by itself, but not so good if you're trying to get it to stay on top of a backpack strap. I'd have to fidget with it & readjust, which takes away from having that hand free.... so sometimes I'd just hold the bag by the hand carry strap, but since there's only one, it's awkward at best, since it angles out and then takes up more room. Definitely doable [I did it a lot, (holding the bag to the side and also in front of me) it was that hard to keep the strap hitched on my shoulder], but awkward and annoying.


    I can put the Cambiata shoulder strap on first and then the backpack - that really locks/secures things. That works if you're walking that way for a long distance, but then untangling all that to sit down, put down the bag, etc., takes longer/is awkward. The last thing I want on a trip, especially on one that is not leisurely, is to fight my bags.

    Note that I find any smooth shoulder strap on top of backpack straps to be awkward. To me the Cambiata is great for the slim aspect ratio and stand up'idness... I just want to be able to have it shoulder and hand carry equally.
    Oh, and my Cambiata was a touch over 13lbs/5.9 kg on this trip.



    The new Gatekeeper/Clip attachments from TB arrived whilst I was gone, but I tried them out once I got home.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	PXL_20220806_145217367.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.09 MB ID:	341505

    They're going to be great for anyone who wants to attach their own strap that uses a clip. I tried both the TB Absolute Strap and the smaller Op-Tech Mini strap and both work great. And as I suspected, the grippy material plus the form fitting nature of those straps kept the bag on my shoulder, over the backpack straps, as I walked around my apartment. Just note that the new attachments add 4"/10cm to each side, so 8"/20cm total - you'll have to shorten your normal strap length.

    I also played with adding my previous hand carry/handle hack of a waist strap inside the Ultrasuede Shoulder Strap. I ended up with my hack attached to the bag and then the new Gatekeeper/Clip accessories attached to the webbing of the waist strap and then the Absolute strap attached to the clip point. I can shoulder carry, hand carry, and still get into the flap/bag.

    That all sounds terribly confusing, hopefully the pics will help.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	PXL_20220805_223236546.jpg Views:	0 Size:	773.6 KB ID:	341501
    Click image for larger version  Name:	PXL_20220805_223016988_exported_450_1659738683015.jpg Views:	0 Size:	447.3 KB ID:	341500

    Click image for larger version  Name:	PXL_20220805_223034978.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.31 MB ID:	341502

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    Click image for larger version  Name:	PXL_20220805_223002932.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.59 MB ID:	341504


    It may not look elegant (I can sense TB wincing and really, these bags are way more elegant than I am) but it WORKS and I value the functional utility more than the looks.

    With that being said, there are more elegant solutions...
    I'd like an accessory handle: a piece of strap material (regular or ideally one centered Poron handle or even the Techonaut side handle) with 1.5" Gatekeepers at either end, that is sized to fit just a tad longer than the width of the bag (so you can access the flap like I showed), that could be used on it's own and/or in conjunction with the included smooth shoulder strap or the new Gatekeeper/D-ring/Clip accessory.
    It could fit by daisy chaining the way I've been doing it or put two webbing loops right next to each other on the bag.
    MikeV :) maybe the TB elves will experiment
    Last edited by G42; Yesterday, 08:26 AM.
    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


      #47
      This is super helpful, thanks! I’m beginning to believe this may not be the bag for me, especially in light of pack hacker’s video review. As a petite 5ft female it’s looking like it’ll be too long in backpack mode, and hang awkwardly on the back. Plus what I really needed was a double handle tote-like bag with backpack straps rather than a crossbody messenger with backpack straps. I’m debating canceling my order. Too bad because it looks like a great bag and I love the 20 liter capacity.
      "Not all who wander are lost"
      "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
      Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

      Comment


        #48
        Originally posted by melminimalist View Post
        This is super helpful, thanks! I’m beginning to believe this may not be the bag for me, especially in light of pack hacker’s video review. As a petite 5ft female it’s looking like it’ll be too long in backpack mode, and hang awkwardly on the back. Plus what I really needed was a double handle tote-like bag with backpack straps rather than a crossbody messenger with backpack straps. I’m debating canceling my order. Too bad because it looks like a great bag and I love the 20 liter capacity.
        The overall length of the bag is 15.9" which is basically the same as the Synapse 19 at 16", but the straps are different. I wear the Cambiata mostly at the absolute shortest strap length and I'm 5'4".

        Torso length is key here... the lady in the Packhacker review is 2" taller than me but wore the pack at the same fully shortened strap length.
        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


          #49
          I visited the mother ship last week to pick up an order and eyeball the Cambiata. One in burnt orange was on display. Its long side pocket was loaded with a 48-oz Hydroflask water bottle.

          I tried the bag on my back - it hangs on my back like my Synapse 19.

          G42, I like your idea of a tote handle accessory BUT is one more piece to carry. I just wish for a simple grab handle on the long side that can be used to carry the bag by hand, crosswise.

          I ordered one in aubergine.

          Was/is there any discussion/info on whether the Cambiata will be made in halcyon? Many thanks.

          Comment


            #50
            Originally posted by Walker View Post
            I visited the mother ship last week to pick up an order and eyeball the Cambiata. One in burnt orange was on display. Its long side pocket was loaded with a 48-oz Hydroflask water bottle.

            I tried the bag on my back - it hangs on my back like my Synapse 19.

            G42, I like your idea of a tote handle accessory BUT is one more piece to carry. I just wish for a simple grab handle on the long side that can be used to carry the bag by hand, crosswise.

            I ordered one in aubergine.

            Was/is there any discussion/info on whether the Cambiata will be made in halcyon? Many thanks.
            oooh, what was in the order you picked up? :)

            Between having attachment points that don't stress the bag and access to pockets, I can see why they didn't put a handle on either long side and why it's an issue across the top short side, the way the hatch/U top pocket is done.

            With that being said, I'm pretty sure that if I had a short webbing or otherwise handle that Gatekeepers across the top (just long enough to allow access to the pocket) I'd simply leave it attached all the time, whether carrying shoulder or backpack.

            The mill that makes 400d halcyon shut down and so far TB hasn't found anyone else to make that weight of halcyon, so it's not looking good for supply, especially for a new bag pre-order. I don't recall if they specifically said it, but I also think that the nature of the Cambiata bag design requires a stiffer fabric to work with the piping to give the structure to stand up, etc. Similar with the Luminary bags that TB said didn't work with 400d halcyon.
            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

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