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  1. #1
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    Icon v medium cafe bag

    Iíve seen great photos and descriptions which show the difference in size between little swift, icon and small cafe bag and what fits in each - very helpful thank you.

    Could anyone with medium cafe bag and icon describe how they are different to use? Do they fit your body differently? Is one preferable and if so, why?

    Iím struggling to get a sense of the icon in this way.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    TB Ravelry Moderator Mausermama's Avatar
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    I’m not sure I can do it justice, but here are my impressions so far. The orientations of the two bags are different. The Cafe Bag has a north/south orientation, and the Icon has an east/west orientation. The Cafe Bag is pretty much one cavernous space but does feature the back open slip pocket and the front zipper pocket. The Icon really feels more like a two-compartment bag. The back zip pocket easily contains my 3DOP whereas the Cafe Bag couldn’t do that. Of course it doesn’t have that open back pocket. The grab handle on the Cafe Bag makes it easy to pick the bag up to carry in hand. The Icon of course doesn’t sport that.

    So which to buy? I guess it all depends. As a knitter, I tend to prefer open-top bags that don’t catch yarn with the zippers. But I prefer east/west orientations for normal carry. My Imago is my all-time favorite bag. I also like the slightly more organization afforded by the Icon.

    As far as how the two bags carry, I find that the Icon seems to hug my side more than the Cafe Bags do. I suspect that’s because of the strap placement being sewn into the “flat” of the bag. Because it carries so well against my side, it feels a bit lighter to me than the Cafe Bag does.

    Hopefully this will give you some idea of the bag.
    Last edited by Mausermama; 12-06-2019 at 06:06 AM.

  3. #3
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    Hi Kirri. I've been using a medium cafe bag as a large PLO when I want to carry more than my side effect, especially to take extra items to work. I purchased an Icon because zippers, horizontal orientation and did I mention zippers? Also I don't find that I use the full vertical space of the MCB very often.

    I've only test packed the Icon with my MCB load and wandered around my house for a bit. I've found the Icon comfortable to carry, very similar to the MCB. When I wear a bag crossbody it's with the strap on my right shoulder and the bag at my left hip area. I've tried the bag with the two zippers facing out and the single facing out and didn't feel much difference carry wise. It's a little awkward to get inside the main compartment with the two zippers facing my body. Keep in mind this is a few minutes around the house and not out walking for hours. Moving what I carry in my MCB to the Icon there is more room horizontally, which I appreciate. They are pretty similar in size.

    Here are a couple of photos of my MCB and Icon. All the photos are taken inside, late at night using my phone camera.

    Icon v medium cafe bag-img_0925-jpg


    Icon v medium cafe bag-img_0927-jpg

    Typically found in my MCB on work days are:
    Kindle in a medium OP, pocket stasher bag, airpods, hand lotion, chapstick, gum, small op, mini op and size 1 stuff sack with various bits and bobs, 16oz water bottle, cash wallet, and Nik's minimalist wallet. Not pictured are my work badge and cell phone.

    Icon v medium cafe bag-img_0929-jpg

    In the MCB: front zip pocket are the wallets, back slash pocket is the work badge, and everything else in the main compartment with the small things (gum, phone, chapstick, etc) divided between the two pockets.

    Icon v medium cafe bag-img_0930-jpg

    And same items in the Icon with the following changes, no medium OP and the kindle in the single zip (back?) pocket.

    Icon v medium cafe bag-img_0931-jpg

    Icon v medium cafe bag-img_0932-jpg

    The Icon's two pockets in the main compartment are slightly larger than the MCB and fit my miscellany better.

    So far I like the Icon more, but I haven't used it beyond test packing.

  4. #4
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    Thank you - that is perfect!

  5. #5
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    I brought my new Icon to a party/event today, and I wore it a lot longer than I needed/expected. I donít know if itís the softness and position of the strap, wearing it tighter/higher than Iíd usually wear my MCB, the shape of the bag itself, or the flexibility of the bag (mine is Logic Blue 630 recycled) - likely a combination - but itís just so comfy! It fits my body well and felt like part of me, while a full MCB always feels like itís sticking out. The strap seemed to distribute the weight in a way that made it feel lighter too. I love this bag!!

  6. #6
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    I agree, this is the same experience I've had to my ICON in the last week. It's more comfortable that the SCB/MCB. You forget it's there. With the cafe bags (which are my go to EDC bags) you're always kind of aware of this rectangular thing hanging off your body. The ICON becomes a part of you and moves with you rather than swings about. If that makes sense?

  7. #7
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    I just got my Icon today and I don't like it. I love the LOOK of it. I love the fabric. But I find it nearly impossible to see into it. The opening is too small and too awkward. I love my Sidekick, so I guess what I'd love is bigger SideKick. A SideWinder?

    Also, I find the strap is impossible to change length on the fly. Plus, I can't change out the strap for a handwoven strap, if I want a different look.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 12-10-2019 at 06:22 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I just got my Icon today and I don't like it. I love the LOOK of it. I love the fabric. But I find it nearly impossible to see into it. The opening is too small and too awkward. I love my Sidekick, so I guess what I'd love is bigger SideKick. A SideWinder?
    Hi @BWeaves,

    I don't think the Icon is for everyone. And I think the Side Kick is really different in functionality (so I love my Side Kick, but I also love the Icon). What I keep hoping, though, is that the folks who love this bag and who are also knitters will comment on that experience, because that was not something I felt I could adequately do in my reviews. I hope the PIKA may be proving to be more interesting for you.

    Best

    moriond

  9. #9
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    Hi Moriond:

    Different strokes for different folks, definitely! Unfortunately I didn't like the PIKA either. It was too big for my phone and too small for my keys and Allett wallet. Other people will love it though. I only carry 2 keys and a giant car key fob, and that key fob does not fit in the front pocket of the PIKA. If I had to carry my husband's car key and key fob, too, it would be even worse. Even though I carry a small, thin, man's Allett wallet, it's still a hair bigger than the Nik's wallet, and my wallet doesn't fit easily in the PIKA. It's OK. I got to see it in person. I still love my Sidekick which I own in almost every color, so it's all good. By returning my Icons and PIKA, someone who missed out gets to buy them.

  10. #10
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
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    The Icon appears to solve one of my biggest complaints about the MCB: The flap.

    The flap for me is problematic when I'm on the subway, seated, bag in my lap, strap still over my shoulder.

    I tend to cross my legs. This pitches the bag at a backwards angle and any loose stuff inside always manages to fall right out of the unsecured top. As much as I love the feel, wear, and casual look of the MCB, I find myself reaching for the Co-Pilot more often (especially when it's raining) because all those zippers lock everything down securely.

    The Icon appears to be a MCB without the flap. But it also appears to have an oddly-placed top zipper. I would have preferred the top zipper to be at the actual top, and even slightly down the sides for maximum interior accessibility.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYCWriter View Post
    The Icon appears to solve one of my biggest complaints about the MCB: The flap.
    Hear hear. I love the size of the SCB but its utility is limited for me because of the flap. Now that the Icon has come out in a size that is close to the MCB, I'm ready to campaign for a smaller version that is more SCB-sized. I'd also prefer the east-west orientation as verticals are less beneficial to me.
    Bags - S25 (Mars Red balistic/Northwest sky/halcyon), S19 (Deep blue balistic/Iberian/halcyon). S22 (Aubergine)SCB (Nordic)
    Accessories - including Nik's #4 wallets, ghost whales, Q-kits, pouches, stuff sacks, travel trays.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    What I keep hoping, though, is that the folks who love this bag and who are also knitters will comment on that experience, because that was not something I felt I could adequately do in my reviews.
    I finally got a chance to pack some knitting in my Icon. While it may not work as well as a flap top bag like the Cafe Bags where itís possible to knit while walking with the flap closed, I think it works perfectly fine for knitting while sitting with the Icon next to you and the main compartment open. (It may still be possible to knit while walking with the Icon, but I havenít tried.) The main compartmentís zipper placement actually helps because the top of the yarn stuff sack can be pulled up and out of the bag a little to alleviate any concerns about yarn getting stuck on the zipper (which doesnít worry me much anyway with the size and smoothness of the zipper).


  13. #13
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    I’m on the fence about my Icon and PIKA. I loved them a hours ago when I opened the box. I’m thinking perhaps the problem I’m having with it feeling awkward has more to do with my shoulder than the bag.
    Icon: I’m telling myself switching from shoulder carry to cross body would be awkward with any bag so I’m going to give it some time, but not take it out in the world for a few days. My “souvenir” wallet is about the size of my iPad mini, but thicker. My iPad, not in a cache, will fit in the back pocket but my wallet will not. (I would be fine with a smaller wallet. Nick’s works fine for me. But this one is very pretty, features a map of our area, and was a gift from a dear friend.) There aren’t as many o-rings as I was hoping but they’re not as essential with this bag.
    I’ve found it difficult to get things in and out easily but that’s probably not a fault of the bag. The strap is on the usual shoulder but since it’s cross body I have to reach with the other hand. My original hope was to be able to rest my arm on the bag to give my shoulder some relief. Honestly, until I get my shoulder working again anything will be awkward.
    PIKA: I was so sure this was perfect for me I ordered 2. (And I couldn’t decide between Seapine and UV.) My epipen, inhaler, emergency meds, and “hip” flask fit perfectly. Problem is that’s all that will fit. I saw a post showing one in the back pocket of an Icon stating it does not interfere with the zipper. Mine does. I was hoping I would be able to go out with my allergy necessities, ID, and phone all in one bag. I’m sure I’ll find it indispensable soon but ATM I’m not feeling it.

  14. #14
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    Just waiting for the Icon to restock! Expecting email from the fabrication crew any day now.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by teresapoet View Post
    I finally got a chance to pack some knitting in my Icon. While it may not work as well as a flap top bag like the Cafe Bags where it’s possible to knit while walking with the flap closed, I think it works perfectly fine for knitting while sitting with the Icon next to you and the main compartment open. (It may still be possible to knit while walking with the Icon, but I haven’t tried.) The main compartment’s zipper placement actually helps because the top of the yarn stuff sack can be pulled up and out of the bag a little to alleviate any concerns about yarn getting stuck on the zipper (which doesn’t worry me much anyway with the size and smoothness of the zipper).

    Are there specific circumstances to knit while walking? Like, just when you are waiting in line or something, or do you walk down the street knitting? Apologies if this comes across as snarky - I am legitimately curious. Smilie

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