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  1. #1
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    Looking for a Unicorn Bag: Backpack with Single Shoulder Strap Carry Option

    I'm looking for a backpack that can double as a single shoulder bag when I have a backpack carry-on (Aeronaut 45). The problem is that most of these bags are either very large (I need this to fit under an airplane seat) or they are more messenger style and don't work well for bulky items.

    My ideal carry is stuff like this for the plane:

    Bose QC 25 headphones in case
    Nintendo Switch in hard case
    Nintendo 3DS in hard case
    Kindle Paperwhite e-reader
    Kindle Fire 8in Tablet in case
    Inflatable neck pillow
    Roll-up travel blanket
    Water Bottle
    Large Ravpower battery pack
    Various charging cables
    Cell phone
    Small Wallet

    And then dump it all out when I get to the hotel and take it as a daypack/overnight bag with the following:

    Medium packing cube of clothes
    311 bag of liquid toiletries
    Small packing cube of other toiletries
    8in tablet
    Cell phone
    Small wallet
    Water bottle

    I was thinking maybe the stowaway might work, but I'm not sure how well the bulky stuff would fit. I'm also not a huge fan of the briefcase style look, but it may not be too bad if I choose a different color besides black.

    Does anyone have any suggestions, either Tim Bihn or otherwise? I was hoping to spend under $200 on this, if possible.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  2. #2
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    I've searched for this very same unicorn - convertible backpack & over the shoulder bag. The Patagonia Lightweight Travel Tote is the closest I've found.

    My mom has one that she loves for travel, so I borrowed it for a day, with my EDC stuff in it, and I found it disappointing. The load was just too heavy for how little support/structure it had, for my 25 minute walk to work. However hers is an older model, and the current version has both a waist belt and a sternum strap, so it might be more comfortable with a heavier load.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizpdx View Post
    I've searched for this very same unicorn - convertible backpack & over the shoulder bag. The Patagonia Lightweight Travel Tote is the closest I've found.

    My mom has one that she loves for travel, so I borrowed it for a day, with my EDC stuff in it, and I found it disappointing. The load was just too heavy for how little support/structure it had, for my 25 minute walk to work. However hers is an older model, and the current version has both a waist belt and a sternum strap, so it might be more comfortable with a heavier load.
    Same here, I have also been looking for a convertible shoulder bag / backpack AND my mother also has a Patagonia lightweight Travel Tote! I don't think she has a sternum strap on hers either Looking for a Unicorn Bag: Backpack with Single Shoulder Strap Carry OptionLooking for a Unicorn Bag: Backpack with Single Shoulder Strap Carry Option

    I used to rely on a convertible bag from a company that doesn't exist anymore (Cambridge Outdoors I think?) but it was a bit heavy even with nothing in it.

    For short errands I've used an A45 Packing Cube Backpack together with a Large Shop Bag or Pop Tote, as this allows for the tote to be placed in the backpack if the load gets too heavy, and the backpack can also be placed in or unpacked into the tote so that you can set it down in a way where it won't fall over.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    Same here, I have also been looking for a convertible shoulder bag / backpack AND my mother also has a Patagonia lightweight Travel Tote! I don't think she has a sternum strap on hers either Looking for a Unicorn Bag: Backpack with Single Shoulder Strap Carry OptionLooking for a Unicorn Bag: Backpack with Single Shoulder Strap Carry Option

    I used to rely on a convertible bag from a company that doesn't exist anymore (Cambridge Outdoors I think?) but it was a bit heavy even with nothing in it.

    For short errands I've used an A45 Packing Cube Backpack together with a Large Shop Bag or Pop Tote, as this allows for the tote to be placed in the backpack if the load gets too heavy, and the backpack can also be placed in or unpacked into the tote so that you can set it down in a way where it won't fall over.
    That's an interesting idea to combine them, not sure if would work in my use case though. Speaking of Patagonia, it looks like they have something called the "tres pack 25l" but I have no idea how it is. It doesn't have many reviews.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    I don't remember which thread it was on, but there's an absolutely mind-blowing picture of @Ilkyway using an S19 as a shoulder bag. You could probably do the same with a Luminary.
    Current Everyday Carry: S19 in Cloud/Island, 15C Cache, SE in Wasabi, SC in Fjord; Cubelets in Dawn, Canyon, and Grass, COW in Original Halcyon
    Current Travel Carry: A30 in Original Halcyon/Ultraviolet, DLBP in Nordic, PCSB in Sitka, Large TT in Sitka, SSK in Wasabi, 3DOC in Solar

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kieri View Post
    I don't remember which thread it was on, but there's an absolutely mind-blowing picture of @Ilkyway using an S19 as a shoulder bag. You could probably do the same with a Luminary.
    Thanks! I've seen that picture, I'm curious how well that would hold up overtime. I don't remember when it was posted, maybe she has an update?

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  7. #7
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    itís not TB, but I have been using an osprey trillium 30 duffle for the gym lately, which seems like it could fit the bill. the strap (which has a densely padded part built in) can be cinched up to carry by hand, let out to carry over the shoulder, or adjusted to carry like a one-strap backpack. I generally carry it one-strap backpack style and find it to be quite comfortable.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by capncat View Post
    itís not TB, but I have been using an osprey trillium 30 duffle for the gym lately, which seems like it could fit the bill. the strap (which has a densely padded part built in) can be cinched up to carry by hand, let out to carry over the shoulder, or adjusted to carry like a one-strap backpack. I generally carry it one-strap backpack style and find it to be quite comfortable.
    Thanks for the suggestion! I'm really looking for a 2 strap backpack, because when I carry a bag over my shoulder, it's always crossbody and always over my right shoulder, it doesn't feel right/secure otherwise. If I'm walking all day with the bag, carrying it one shoulder is really going to wear on me.

    But speaking of Osprey, I'm looking for something similar to a Farpoint/Fairview 40. It's marketed as a backpack and also has the option for shoulder strap carry. Unfortunately, it's too big to comfortably fit under an airplane seat.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by nolegrl; 06-13-2018 at 06:36 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kieri View Post
    I don't remember which thread it was on, but there's an absolutely mind-blowing picture of @Ilkyway using an S19 as a shoulder bag. You could probably do the same with a Luminary.
    The pictures were in the second page of the Two Bag trave with backpacks onley?

    @tpnl showed a way to carry a Smart Alec on his back, with a Synapse 25 on an Absolute Strap:



    And @Ilkyway showed this with her Aubergine Smart Alec and a Nordic Synapse 19:



    I'm guessing that these are not the solutions the OP is looking for. I haven't tried this out, but maybe something like the Eagle Creek Packable Daypack? (I first tried to link to the Eagle Creek site instead of Amazon, but got a message that they're in the middle of redesigning the relevant web pages).

    I like the Luminary, but I think that the shape wouldn't give you the capacity you need. The comments about the Eagle Creek Daypack estimate this at 18l. The Top Pack of the Hero's Journey is similar volume to the Luminary (10l), but more rectangular -- still on the small side but can transform between backpack and messenger style (but not sold separately).

    I don't have a Stowaway, so can't comment.


    HTH

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    The pictures were in the second page of the Two Bag trave with backpacks onley?

    @tpnl showed a way to carry a Smart Alec on his back, with a Synapse 25 on an Absolute Strap:



    And @Ilkyway showed this with her Aubergine Smart Alec and a Nordic Synapse 19:



    I'm guessing that these are not the solutions the OP is looking for. I haven't tried this out, but maybe something like the Eagle Creek Packable Daypack? (I first tried to link to the Eagle Creek site instead of Amazon, but got a message that they're in the middle of redesigning the relevant web pages).

    I like the Luminary, but I think that the shape wouldn't give you the capacity you need. The comments about the Eagle Creek Daypack estimate this at 18l. The Top Pack of the Hero's Journey is similar volume to the Luminary (10l), but more rectangular -- still on the small side but can transform between backpack and messenger style (but not sold separately).

    I don't have a Stowaway, so can't comment.


    HTH
    Thanks! I've seen both of those pictures and I just wonder how that will hold up overtime. They mention in the thread to "pack it light" to use it messenger style, and I'm not sure if roughly 5lbs of electronics are considered "light".

    I have something similar to that Eagle Creek daypack and it's a nice little pack that I tried to use as a personal item once. Unfortunately, I had to hand carry-it around or hook my arms through the shoulder straps (can't attach a messenger strap) and that got tiring pretty fast. Wearing it along the front didn't feel very secure (like it would fall at any minute).

    I love the idea of the Synapse 19, and if that makeshift crossbody solution seems to hold up, that may be a viable option. I just wish they made an actual option for a crossbody strap connection since it seems people do want it and it wouldn't hurt the people that don't.

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  11. #11
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    Omg! TB made a one strap backpack called the buzz sling bag (I think). It was a few years ago, but I just happened to see one for sale on eBay a few days ago. They pop up on there every so often. It seems like it would fit the load you've listed. But maybe some other forum members have pics for you to see better.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    "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

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by melminimalist View Post
    Omg! TB made a one strap backpack called the buzz sling bag (I think). It was a few years ago, but I just happened to see one for sale on eBay a few days ago. They pop up on there every so often. It seems like it would fit the load you've listed. But maybe some other forum members have pics for you to see better.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    Thanks! But I'm actually looking for a bag that has two straps, but can also be carried with a shoulder strap. Single strap bags get very tiring under heavy loads, so I'm trying to find one that has both carry options.

  13. #13
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    Here is a "Unicorn Bag". It is an aeronaut that can accommodate a small laptop in a more padded zipper flip flap that would be in a in a cache plus a freudian slip. Note that the flap flips down from the top carry handle. The current bag open up to the handle.

    Looking for a Unicorn Bag: Backpack with Single Shoulder Strap Carry Option-a45_2verde_new_closed-jpg

    Looking for a Unicorn Bag: Backpack with Single Shoulder Strap Carry Option-a45_verde2_1new-jpg

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbailey View Post
    Here is a "Unicorn Bag". It is an aeronaut that can accommodate a small laptop in a more padded zipper flip flap that would be in a in a cache plus a freudian slip. Note that the flap flips down from the top carry handle. The current bag open up to the handle.

    Looking for a Unicorn Bag: Backpack with Single Shoulder Strap Carry Option-a45_2verde_new_closed-jpg

    Looking for a Unicorn Bag: Backpack with Single Shoulder Strap Carry Option-a45_verde2_1new-jpg
    Thanks, the Aeronaut is actually what I plan to wear on my back, so I'd want a smaller bag for my electronics stuff as my side bag/daypack.

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  15. #15
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    Heimplant Monolith Daypack converts from a backpack to a messenger/briefcase. I have one, and it is a nice bag. It doesn’t have the quality of Tom Bihn or any other premium bag, but it’ll get the job done.

    QWSTION also makes a convertible bag, which is also called the daypack. I believe it is more of a handheld briefcase/tote thing rather than a shoulder bag.

    Peak Design Tote converts to a shoulder bag, and it can also be carried like a backpack. I have their backpack, and it is really really nice and thoughtful. It’s a bag that feels engineered, and I imagine the tote is the same way.

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