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Using a backpack?

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  • mep
    replied
    Originally posted by pretzelb View Post
    I think it's a personal question of what motivates or irritates you the most.
    I think that you have identified the problem. Different solutions for different situations.

    Mtman, I have been using Bihn organizer pouches to carry my books that I don't want messed up. I have a very nice leather bound Bible that I carry and I put it in a large dyneema pouch. Hasn't got messed up yet.

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  • falconea
    replied
    Originally posted by MtnMan View Post
    Has anyone devised a system for carrying books that protects them from getting sloshed around, bent, and ripped?
    I used to use a modified letter file (a plastic sleeve open on 2 sides) which I cut and sticky-taped together to form a pouch with one opening where I could neatly slide the book.

    Nowadays I've decided that my morning commute isn't long enough to justfy lugging a book around with me all day. If I still did, I would use a Tom Bihn organiser pouch of an appropriate size.

    Tom: this could be a good application for some "vertical" pouches, with the zipper on the short side and not the long side?

    Audrey

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  • pretzelb
    replied
    Originally posted by mep View Post
    Maybe my awkwardness with a backpack comes from the fact that I am 6'3" and pretty broad (ok, overweight) and I feel like I am going to throw my shoulder out putting a backpack on. The Synapse says it works on all sizes of people but I still hesitate.
    I think it's a personal question of what motivates or irritates you the most. If I know that I'm going to be walking a fair amount then I am irritated by having to hold a bag briefcase style. On trips, I find that I prefer the backpack straps on my Aeronaut over the Absolute Shoulder Strap. I just get very annoyed (quickly) with something on my shoulder.

    But if I'm on a trip and out dining with a bag then the backpack annoys me. If I'm sitting I want my bag stable at my feet or on an extra chair. A backpack never sits perfectly like a Co-Pilot type bag would. I'm always fussing with the bag to make sure no one trips on it or it doesn't fall.

    For your situation it depends on how often you'd have to load/unload the backpack. I don't take a bus or train so I'm only guessing but I can't imagine having to load/unload many times at all when commuting to a destination. If my walks to and from the mass transit location were even moderately long then I'd go for a backpack very quickly over the briefcase style. But that's me.

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  • MtnMan
    replied
    Here's a practical question:

    Sometimes I need to carry a book or two with me when I travel to work or on a road trip. Whether I'm using a backpack or briefcase or any other kind of bag, I find that it tends to put lots of unnecessary wear on the books. It can even ruin books. Has anyone devised a system for carrying books that protects them from getting sloshed around, bent, and ripped?

    Some of the books can be library books or textbooks, but some can be large or small paperbacks as well.

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  • mep
    replied
    Maybe my awkwardness with a backpack comes from the fact that I am 6'3" and pretty broad (ok, overweight) and I feel like I am going to throw my shoulder out putting a backpack on. The Synapse says it works on all sizes of people but I still hesitate.

    Leave a comment:


  • timarelay
    replied
    Originally posted by mep View Post
    I guess I am more concerned about the constant on / off process with a backpack. It seems like it would always be slowing you down. Whereas with a shoulder bag you just shift it onto your lap and can leave it on one shoulder or cross body.

    When I have used a backpack on one shoulder, I always felt like it was falling off my shoulder. But I still want a Synapse.
    How often do you need to access your bag? I travel with my synapse as my carry-on and it's really not that big of a deal to take it on and off to access things. It's a nice small backpack so it has a fairly low profile in crowded situations (I hate it when people stand in the metro with huge backpacks on their backs ), plus since it's not bulky that makes accessing it easier.

    I also do take it to school sometimes (I commute) and when I sit, it's really easy to swing it over a shoulder and rest the bag on my lap.

    I would really recommend giving the Synapse a shot. If you have a few items you really, really need to access easily, then I would say pair a backpack with a really small messenger bag for things like your phone and wallet. Women have been pulling off the backpack + purse combination for a while now, and it's a great solution! There are also small pouches you can buy that velcro onto your backpack strap, but I haven't found one I like yet that fits my phone.

    Leave a comment:


  • Akilae
    replied
    I've never had problems commuting with a backpack. I live in NYC (I suspect so does gmanedit, given his talk about MetroCards, lol), and a lot of people commute with backpacks. I don't have a TB backpack, but I've used a lot of other bags, from small 1000 cu-in bags to 2300 cu-in packs with internal frames and hip belts.

    I usually have no issues leaning back. All New Yorkers lean back onto the doors with their packs. Sitting down is a matter of mastering the slinging maneuver. Loosing the left (or right) shoulder, sling the bag forward, and jam yourself into the seat. Airplane or train travel are similar enough. It's really just a matter of getting used to it.

    Generally speaking, for the same amount of weight, distributing it on both shoulders is better than one. Messenger bags (that is, the traditional black canvas bags) are horrible as they carry way too much weight on one shoulder to be walking with. Everyday shoulder bags are better.

    Leave a comment:


  • pw1224
    replied
    I have been trying to convert myself from being a backpack addict to a messenger bag person. It's been tough going but I do like my plum Large Cafe Bag.

    I also have a tendency to carry too much. I accumulate papers like dirt on Pigpen from the Charlie Brown comics. Hence, I find backpacks are more practical and easier for me to use -- but the LCB makes me parse through all of my junk and reject the stuff I really don't need to carry everywhere. But after 20 minutes of carrying a messenger bag (no matter how light it might be), I find I always want to distribute the weight on 2 shoulders.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eliam
    replied
    I use my Synapse

    Originally posted by MtnMan View Post
    Does anyone in this forum ever use a Tom Bihn backpack as a dual-purpose daypack? (Carrying your "commuter" items for business/work/personal interest, plus also carrying a change of clothes for a different use later on; maybe commuting to work, followed by an evening at the "Y" or at play in the park)

    If you do, which Bihn backpack do you use, and how do you pack it?
    Hey MtnMan! I have been using a Synapse for a while now. I don't always carry clothes in it but when I do this is what I pack:

    1) 13 MacBook
    2) Small Box of lunch
    3) A small change of clothes (Sweat pants or shorts, t-shirt, sock or similar) for the gym or a hike.
    4) A 1 liter water bottle
    5) Sunglasses case, Organizer Wallet, Small umbrella, tea bags, energy bars
    6) And if I am using my bike I add a small air pump just in case

    The only thing I can't fit are my boots if I'm going hiking because they are too big.

    Leave a comment:


  • gmanedit
    replied
    Hi, mep.

    The Synapse is a great bag. I have no problem getting into or out of the shoulder straps. I also have a Buzz, which I use when I don't have a lot to carry. It has one advantage over the Synapse—if I need to get something out or put something in while I'm walking, I can unbuckle the waist strap and swing the bag around; it's still on my shoulder, so I have both hands free, whereas I have to hold the Synapse with one hand or find someplace to put it down. I bought the Buzz when I realized how often I have to retrieve my reading glasses (what's in this can of cat food? what's my MetroCard balance? what does that price label say?) or a pen and scrap of paper. If you don't need this kind of access, the Synapse is perfect. I don't find commuting with it a problem at all.
    Last edited by gmanedit; 08-20-2010, 09:21 AM.

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  • Moose
    replied
    Originally posted by Just View Post
    I usually carry a backpack the wrong way - using only one of the shoulder straps on my shoulder and hanging onto it with my hand - and it takes me the same half second to take it off and put it on my lap as it takes to put a shoulder bag on my lap.

    However I don't think it would really take that much longer to take off the backpack if I were using both straps, unless I had tightened the shoulder straps all the way.
    Like Just I too carry it the "wrong" way. I usually throw one strap over my right shoulder and hold it with my right hand. Getting it on and off is a snap. If I wish to use both straps its a simple matter to slide my left arm into the other strap. My every day "stuff" weighs about 10 pounds. I carry my lunch, an extra pair of shoes, jacket, small purse, a kit with odds and ends and a few other bits. I LOVE my plum Synapse. I found it a bit small. All my stuff is bulky but not heavy. I got an olive Brain bag last week. Its really big but all my stuff fits with room left over. The Brain bag is plenty big enough for several days worth of stuff. I've also got a Timbuk2 Shagg bag on the strap. Great for keys, a bit of money and a credit card if need be. Out of curiousity, how much do other people's everyday bags weigh? I wonder if my 10 pounds is normal or excessive.
    Happy travels,
    Moose

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  • Just
    replied
    I usually carry a backpack the wrong way - using only one of the shoulder straps on my shoulder and hanging onto it with my hand - and it takes me the same half second to take it off and put it on my lap as it takes to put a shoulder bag on my lap.

    However I don't think it would really take that much longer to take off the backpack if I were using both straps, unless I had tightened the shoulder straps all the way.

    Leave a comment:


  • mep
    replied
    I guess I am more concerned about the constant on / off process with a backpack. It seems like it would always be slowing you down. Whereas with a shoulder bag you just shift it onto your lap and can leave it on one shoulder or cross body.

    When I have used a backpack on one shoulder, I always felt like it was falling off my shoulder. But I still want a Synapse.
    Last edited by mep; 08-19-2010, 09:50 PM.

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  • maverick
    replied
    Originally posted by MtnMan View Post
    Does anyone in this forum ever use a Tom Bihn backpack as a dual-purpose daypack? (Carrying your "commuter" items for business/work/personal interest, plus also carrying a change of clothes for a different use later on; maybe commuting to work, followed by an evening at the "Y" or at play in the park)

    If you do, which Bihn backpack do you use, and how do you pack it?
    you can carry a change of clothes in any of the tom bihn bags - it just depends on what else you're carrying.

    to take the smart alec backpack as an example - i had demonstrated this for shiva in a video that you can place a computer in a brain cell, gym clothes in a small packing cube (or a larger packing cube if you're carrying other clothes requiring more space), and a variety of other items (a book, computer accessories, etc.). you can place the shoes under the bungee cords outside.

    Leave a comment:


  • MtnMan
    replied
    Does anyone in this forum ever use a Tom Bihn backpack as a dual-purpose daypack? (Carrying your "commuter" items for business/work/personal interest, plus also carrying a change of clothes for a different use later on; maybe commuting to work, followed by an evening at the "Y" or at play in the park)

    If you do, which Bihn backpack do you use, and how do you pack it?

    Leave a comment:

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