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Cambiata - First Look

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  • G42
    replied
    That makes perfect sense organicfarmer thanks for sharing more of your thought process.
    It's definitely a more specific/less general sort of bag that won't fit a lot of use cases.
    I often have aspirations for one bag travel, but it usually doesn't end up making sense for the work travel I do, with the stuff I have to haul.

    Leave a comment:


  • organicfarmer
    replied
    I only looked at United for domestic airlines and seen one out of dimension size, so I was wrong not looking at all of them before my statement. I was comparing international airlines personal item allowances and how the Cambiata exceeds many of these in at least 1 dimension. (Lufthansa, LOT, KLM)

    The other concern with these dimensions for the Cambiata is the piping and structure of the bag is less than compared to "squishy" bags like Synapse, etc. The Cambiata is malleable, just not quite the same way in my mind. This was my concern of sizing for not being a personal item, yet not being a traditional carryon size.

    I should have also prefaced my statement that I was looking through the lens as a travel bag and short term one bag travel. It has some nice pocketry and a capacity to fit one bag travel, but at a 21L bag that could get loaded to weight allowances, the backpack straps are minimally padded compared to other bags and the dimensions not fitting budget airlines personal item only tickets. So I overstated my issue with personal item size as its effect is more in regard to international travel specs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chicagoan
    replied
    I’m honestly surprised personal item allowances are as large as this, but it does check out, even on airlines where it matters most like Spirit - their PI allowance is 18 x 14 x 8 (and the Cambiata is smaller than all three of those dimensions).

    Leave a comment:


  • G42
    replied
    Thanks for posting your thoughts on the Cambiata organicfarmer !


    Your comment on the sizing was interesting - which airline is of concern for you?


    I had checked when I first got mine, to see if it would work for the airlines I usually fly, so sharing here in case anyone finds it useful.

    Cambiata 12.8 x 15.9 x 7.5"

    Southwest 13.5 x 16.25 x 8” (interestingly, this used to be 13.5 x 18.5 x 8.5... the updated smaller size now says it reflects the smallest size available)
    American 14 x 18 x 8"
    Delta no stated size, must fit under the seat
    United 10 x 17 x 9" (another one that changed at some point)
    Alaska no stated size, must fit under the seat
    Jet Blue 13 x 17 x 8"
    Aeromexico no stated size, must fit under the seat

    So for me, United would be the problem on paper, though I know I've flown them with larger items under the seat, so I think they may be another one that changed to designating the smallest space, not what I'd necessarily encounter.

    Even the ones that have a stated dimension cover themselves by saying that it must fit under the seat in front of you, so overstuffing and some of those seats with the entertainment systems or supports stealing some of the space are always potential issues.

    The smaller regional planes are all different. Based on ones I've flown in the past, I'd have to put the Cambiata into the smaller overhead or plane side check, just like all my other laptop backpacks.

    Leave a comment:


  • organicfarmer
    replied
    I got a Cambiata at the preorder for FOMO. There was not many photos and reviews to go on at the preorder nor did I follow the description on how the sling and shoulder carry worked. I also didn't want to miss out on the Shoulder/Sling/Backpack carry options and organization it offered. It would be an alternate to Cadet/Pilot/Copilot for me. My target use was a vertical carry personal item for flying and a do anything item when around home. It doesn't appear it will work out for me.

    *The thin, almost unpadded, shoulder pads will be unbearable in a short period of time with a normal carry for me.
    *The dimensions exceed most all airlines' personal item size allowances. (Is conforming daily use items to airline dimension categories no longer a thing at TB post-CV?)
    *If it is not a personal item, then I would want to backpack it. Lacking comfortable backpack straps, it is a no go for me.
    *If the backpack straps were removable with gatekeeper snaps like the shoulder straps, I would lean to liking the Cambiata more. (or have upgraded padded backpack straps available)
    *The internal laptop compartment is adequate
    *The pockets fit my expectations of what flat pockets can do
    *The shoulder carry clip adapted design to allow the other straps is a great idea and I would like to see on other bags that may not need shoulder straps (for streamlined look and use)
    *Use of the top flap mesh pocket following the legacy of the aeronaut is convenient


    Maybe a smaller version sized to a personal item sized with removable backpack straps option and removeable shoulder carry clips would fit my desire. Maybe a vertically orientated Cadet like bag. I didn't think I was a cafe bag type user, but the adaptability of the Cambiata made me think in ways of the cafe bag's utility.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chicagoan
    replied
    Super fair and thorough review, Walker.

    I agree with everything you had to say.

    The carry just doesn't ever feel convenient - it rests flat and hard against the hip, hangs too low, and there really isn't a compartment within reach you can grab something from without having to take the bag off and set it down first.

    It is a very "rob from Peter to pay Paul" kind of bag, where using the capacity of one compartment decreases the available room in the adjacent compartment - most the compartments compete against another for available space, and it's a great case study to show why it's not always productive to try and put pockets on both sides of the same surface.

    Another strange thing is how flat the pockets are on this bag - very few are gusseted or balloon outward (I believe the two elastic-top pockets along the side of the main compartment are, and that's it).

    If you do manage to fill the entire bag, the shoulder straps aren't cushioned enough to make it a comfortable carry - I spend a lot of my down time wilderness backpacking and it doesn't take very long after putting a bag on my shoulders for me to tell if it's going to be comfortable to carry or not. I couldn't find a comfortable way to carry this bag, and the longest I would want to carry it would be the walk from my apartment to my car, or from my office parking lot into the building, and no further than that.

    When I consider buying and using a bag for everyday carry, the first and most important test is "where can I store my wallet and keys and is that someplace I can reach without having to remove the bag?" This bag fails that test.

    My CP conforms against my right hip like a six-shooter inside a holster, and I feel I can grab things out of that bag about as quickly as dueling cowboy told to "draw!"

    Thanks for giving this bag a try, and for taking the time and energy to compile such a thorough summary of your experience! I really wanted to love this bag, too, and also wound up returning it, so your situation is completely relatable.
    Last edited by Chicagoan; 09-28-2022, 11:31 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Walker
    replied
    Mine arrived on September 22. Between work deadlines and life, I did not get to play with it until this past weekend.

    Why I bought the Cambiata - I wanted a bag that converts from cross body to backpack. Carry it in cross body mode to complement a backpack and use as backpack on its own.

    At the price point, I also want to use the Cambiata to replace my current set up of using 2 bags to carry my EDC items to work.

    I hoped that the Cambiata is the magic bag. Sadly, the Cambiata is NOT it.

    My current EDC to work set-up:
    1. Backpack - Flowfold Commuter Center Zip
      • Company-issued laptop
      • Yellow pad + 1/4-inch thick pile of printed copy paper
      • Scarf inside a size 2 TSS
      • External drive
    2. Tom Bihn Pickup Truck - as purse
    One end compartment:
      • Zojirushi 20-oz bottle (water).
      • Flatware (knife, fork, spoon) in long plastic container
      • Zojirushi 12-oz bottle (coffee).
    Middle compartment:
      • Lunch box + linen placemat packed inside a large YSS) laid lid up at the bottom.
      • EC as purse (wallet notebook, small DOP with cash, pen, tape measure, mini flashlight, comb).
    Other end compartment:
      • Dual compartment eyewear hardcase case (eyeglasses/sunglasses in each compartment).
      • Coyote mesh mini GWOP (headphones for iPhone and laptop) + original Nordic mini OP (lip balm, doodahs) + face mask clipped to medium double carabiner and then clipped to one of the O-rings.
    Outside flat pocket with TB logo - bunch of keys attached to key straps and clipped to O-Ring.

    Outside flat pocket without TB logo - my iPhone (or left empty if I put my iPhone on top of my EC in the middle compartment).

    What went where in the Cambiata:
    1. Laptop pocket - company-issued laptop
    2. Long side pocket - Zojirushi 20-oz bottle.
    3. Front open top pocket - bunch of keys attached to keystrap and clipped to one O-ring. I can put my phone in this pocket next to keys for the short walk from parking lot to office building.
    4. Mesh pocket under top flap - external drive.
    5. Main compartment
      • Back elastic top back pocket - yellow pad + 1/4-inch thick pile of printed copy paper.
      • Bottom elastic top side pocket - Zojirushi 12-oz bottle.
      • Lunch box + linen placemat packed inside a large YSS) laid lid up at the bottom of the main compartment
      • EC as purse (wallet notebook, small DOP with cash, pen, tape measure, mini flashlight, comb).
      • Flatware (knife, fork, spoon) in long plastic container
      • Dual compartment eyewear hardcase case (eyeglasses/sunglasses in each compartment).
      • Scarf inside size 2 TSS.
      • Attached to one of the O-rings - Coyote mesh mini GWOP (headphones for iPhone and laptop) + original Nordic mini OP (lip balm, doodahs) + face mask clipped to medium double carabiner
    Observations:
    1. Good news - all my EDC items went into the Cambiata with a lot of empty space.
    2. Bag is heavy empty and looks bigger than I expected. I read the description and specs prior to pre-ordering. The weight and size of the Cambiata in person still surprised me.
    3. The 2 small exterior side pockets with zippers and the top interior side pocket with elastic top became useless with my Zojirushi 12-oz water bottle pocket stored inside the bottom interior side pocket.
    4. Load in the long side pocket eats into the space in the main compartment bag.
    5. With my Zojirushi 20-oz bottle filled with water and nothing of similar weight loaded on the opposite side of the bag, the bag feels heavier on one side.
    6. The zipper on the flap struggles along the curve. I found it easier to move the 2 zipper pulls down instead of moving one zipper pull up.
    7. Carried as a backpack, it sticks out too much for the full length and width of the bag.
    8. Carried over the shoulder, the bag is too long. I am under 5 ft, so YMMV.
    9. Carried cross body, it feels and looks like carrying a rectangular box on my hip.
    10. Carried cross body in front of me, too awkward with my thighs bumping against the heavy bag when I walk.
    11. Overall impression carrying the Cambiata in backpack, shoulder and cross body modes is awkward. No polite way to say it.
    12. In backpack mode, I can see this bag bumping into people on public transportation or other tight spaces and accidentally toppling piles of stuff at the grocery, market and other places where items are stacked, sending them tumbling all over the place. The bag sticks out throughout - makes me understand why backpacks are generally deeper front to back at the bottom and taper flatter towards the top.
    13. The added accessory to allow use of a clip-on shoulder strap may be useful for tall people but not for me.
    I did not bother test-packing the items I usually carry in a personal bag during airline travel.

    Sadly, this bag is going back.

    I am happy for those of you for whom the Cambiata works.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • G42
    replied
    I've been carrying the Cambiata for work EDC most days since I received the bag, with brief detours as knitting bag and secondary bag on a work trip to Mexico. I'm very happy with how easy the bag is to work and live out of, except for the hand carry part.

    As mentioned before, I'm too short to carry this at arms length with the provided strap as short as it will go and the single grab strap makes the bag unbalanced & annoying for long carry.

    For shoulder carry alone, the existing strap is fine. If I want to shoulder carry whilst also wearing a backpack, I'll use an Absolute or the smaller Op-Tech Mini and the new Gatekeeper+ Snap Hook extra pieces that TB made. It's nice that they're cushy, but the real driver for me is that they conform and stay over the backpack straps so the bag doesn't slip off my shoulder all the time.
    N.B.: that's just how any shoulder strap on top of backpack straps works on me; nothing to actually do with this particular bag.

    So I took the shoulder strap to a shoe/luggage shop and had them quickly cut the strap and make a single short strap that bridges the top of the bag. I could have used the older style waist strap webbing from my BB, but this new smooth webbing is nicer. I now have a way to balanced hand carry. It's a simple length of the webbing plus the Gatekeepers.

    Bag with new Hand Strap

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    New strap with Ultrasuede Wrap added in case I'm carrying gold bricks

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    Hand Strap+Ultrasuede attached to the Gatekeeper+Snap Hook add on. Less attractive but functional/convenient if I need to quickly add a shoulder strap

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    All of the above + Absolute Strap

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    It's sightly more finicky to get into the top flap/main compartment but not by much. I intend to leave the new simple hand strap on all the time even though I primarily use this in backpack mode.
    Last edited by G42; 09-02-2022, 02:12 PM.

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  • G42
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Walker
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • G42
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • melminimalist
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • G42
    replied

    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.

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    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; 08-06-2022, 08:26 AM.

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  • nsh
    replied
    Originally posted by nsh View Post
    Thanks for sharing this information G42. I pre-ordered a Burnt Orange Cambiata (I chose a COLOR other than black!). I will be excited to see if it fits my needs- especially as I am leading a series of outdoor seminars and forest walks (and carrying a medical kit, thermos for a tea ceremony, and some other books) as part of a new peace building/conflict transformation class I am teaching at the college this fall.
    Well, I thought was going to be able to shift to color but then I saw the newsletter today. Upon reflection, I decided a Black exterior with zest interior speaks to me more so I changed my order (thanks TB crew for helping me). I really try to be wild and crazy, but in the end, I am a simple on the outside-zesty on the inside kinda person, ha.

    PS- and upon deeper reflection, I added a bummer bag in black to my order…I tried the LPD and it wasn’t for me. The bummer will pair nicely with Cambiata!
    Last edited by nsh; 08-01-2022, 03:15 PM.

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  • hedd
    replied
    Originally posted by G42 View Post
    I'm out visiting various factories this week and next.
    Normal EDC load of stuff as seen in first post of this thread plus SSC of cords... And my bump cap & safety vest fit inside! ?

    Click image for larger version

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    OK the way the safety gear fits is pretty cool.

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