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Thread: Icon strap

  1. #1
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    Icon strap

    Any tips on how the strap on the Icon is supposed to work? I am trying to shorten it, but pushing the end back into the bag is nearly impossible. I feel like I must be missing something about how this works. There are no instructions with the bag. Am I really supposed to spend several minutes trying to shove the strap further into that slot every time I need to shorten it? Any chance they start making these bags with the regular strap that comes on the Cafe bags? I get that this looks less cluttered, but it also seems to be less functional.

  2. #2
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    While I'm at it, there was a ziplock baggie of what seems like random parts in the small pocket of my bag. Little things that look like parts of clips and short segments of cords. Are those supposed to be there? What are they for? It feels like this bag came to me partially assembled or something.

  3. #3
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    Hi, @RSK, and welcome to the forums! I hope that we can help you with your Icon, and I'm sorry to hear that your first experiences haven't been positive.

    Regarding the Icon strap, there are a couple of videos in this thread about adjusting it: https://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vi...hlt-1-2-a.html
    As far as I can tell from those descriptions, yes, shortening the strap does require pushing more excess into that slot. Others in that thread had some tips on how to make that easier, and some speculation as far as the reasoning for this design (if you only change strap length very infrequently, then perhaps it would be worth the trade-off to have the excess strap out of the way).

    The little baggie of parts sound like the included cord zipper pulls: https://www.tombihn.com/products/cord-zipper-pulls
    You can attach them to the built-in zipper pulls if desired. Some people prefer to have a larger "handle" to pull on, or to reduce "rattling" of the zipper pulls against the zipper slider; the page above has a video with some techniques for attaching them; other forum threads have additional techniques not described there.

    I hope this helps, and feel free to ask if you have any other questions!

  4. #4
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Tom Bihn seems to be experimenting with this new strap style, and the idea is that once you find the best length it won't need to be adjusted too often. Your mileage may vary, and I'm sure they'd appreciate feedback!

    My experience with the Icon was that the best way to shorten the strap is to use a flat, rigid object. @moriond had the plastic Tom Bihn ruler, but lacking that, I just used a butter knife. By holding the strap against the flat surface, it's a lot quicker to push it into the side slot vs. with fingers alone.

    Three advantages of the new style: (1) the cleaner look, (2) it can be removed entirely from one end if you want to remove the shoulder pad, (3) it can go as short as necessary, whereas the Cafe Bag straps have a limit beyond which they can't be shortened.

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited by bchaplin; 12-09-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I happen to change the length of a shoulder strap frequently and wonder about the Icon. Sometimes I make a strap shorter to wear a bag higher up on my back; other times it's longer so that the bag is near my hip at the front--and these changes can happen several times in a day.

    Question: if the Icon is filled with a usual amount of stuff and the latch on the strap opens, can the weight of the bag cause the strap to slide all the way out and disconnect completely?

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the strap question, RSK. I clearly haven't paid enough attention to how the Icon strap works because I hadn't realized what a production it is to shorten.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fluff View Post
    I happen to change the length of a shoulder strap frequently and wonder about the Icon. Sometimes I make a strap shorter to wear a bag higher up on my back; other times it's longer so that the bag is near my hip at the front--and these changes can happen several times in a day.
    Ditto. All day I adjust bag position and strap length depending on context: walking vs standing, strolling vs rushing, alone vs in crowds, hands full vs hands free, etc. Plus when my spouse (who is a different height) or I needs to hand a bag off to the other, which happens more often than you'd expect. We both need the ability to change strap heights with a quick yank or release while running for a train and dodging tourists simultaneously.

    Interesting as the Icon is, looks like I'll continue to stick with Cafe Bags.

  7. #7
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    I got my icon yesterday so I haven’t worn it yet, but I was shortening the strap last night and I don’t think I’ll be starting an icon collection. I too adjust the strap throughout the day, especially with the temperature fluctuations this time of year. I lengthen it when my coat is on and shorten it when I take my coat off. I also adjust based on who/what else I’m carrying, where I am, what I’m wearing (work clothes in the am then jeans in the pm,) and where my bag will placed when I get to my destination. Often the full length of the crossbody strap gets in the way so I shorten it to set it down and then lengthen it when I put it back on. Because I adjust it so often the ruler and butter knife hacks are definitely not solutions for me. I’ll try carrying it for awhile to see if it gets easier though.

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned how the strap pocket is so lumpy when the strap is shorter. The bulge wasn’t too obvious by sight last night but I also didn’t have it fully packed out. I could definitely feel it though and my slight ocd was struggling with it. Because you can’t access the pocket or fold the strap neatly before inserting it just bunches up as you keep feeding the strap in. It twisted and turned. It’s way too much strap to be able to smooth out. Ever get the elastic band or thick tie twisted around inside a pair of sweat pants? It’s not easy and is time consuming and frustrating to straighten back out. It doesn’t affect functionality but those sorts of things irritate me. I’m afraid this might be the case with the icon.

    In other news, I LOVE logic blue! I really like the zippers and the division of the icon. I hope I can adapt to its strap. I think I’ve got enough time to really use it before the cafe bags are available in logic blue.

  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator bartleby's Avatar
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    I think the new strap solution might partly be inspired by folks complaining about excess strap dangling around. And in terms of aesthetic I think it is a wonderful solution! For me it also works great. Up to now I always managed to shorten the strap without the help of any devices just by pushing it with my fingers or thumb into its designated pocket (@x3n0n already mentioned my video).

    My impression is that this works best when the bag is placed on a solid basis e.g. a table or a chair. It also helps when the bag is packed (though not completely stuffed).

    There are some downsides: It takes more time to shorten the strap (although not really much once you found out how to do it). The excess strap pocket bulges but I think this only becomes an issue in terms of space when the bag is really stuffed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluff View Post
    Question: if the Icon is filled with a usual amount of stuff and the latch on the strap opens, can the weight of the bag cause the strap to slide all the way out and disconnect completely?
    Yes, if the latch opens unintentionally this might happen although I think that the new buckle works quite well and the latch really has a tight fit. However, if you want to be safe and if you think you'll never need to completely remove the strap you might fix a button or something similar at the end of the strap which would prevent the strap from sliding completely through the buckle
    Last edited by bartleby; 12-10-2019 at 06:07 AM.
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood Smilie Rainbow Cheers
    current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

  9. #9
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    I also change the length of my strap frequently, and the Icon doesn't allow me to do that. Plus I like to swap out my strap for a handwoven strap (using the connection components I bought from the accessories page), and I can't do that on the Icon, either.

  10. #10
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    I've just updated the Icon description with the below information, and I hope will be helpful to folks who are deciding on whether the Icon is for them or not. I'll note this update to the description in the restock information email that we send out. If anyone's not happy with their Icon because they are in the "The Rabbit Hole shoulder strap design probably is not for you ifÖ." category below, definitely emailus@tombihn.com Smilie



    But you know us: even in the most simple of designs, we make an effort to sneak in a bit of innovation. The Icon is the first bag to utilize the Rabbit Hole design solution engineered by Tom that hides excess shoulder strap length; instead of dangling down or doubling back on the strap, the excess webbing of the Iconís shoulder strap gracefully disappears down into a hidden rabbit hole in the side of the bag.

    Will the Rabbit Hole shoulder strap design work for everyone? Quite simply, no. Feeding the excess webbing into the hidden rabbit hole takes a little bit of time and effort; itís effort we feel is worth it if you donít adjust your strap all that often, as itís an elegant solution for excess strap webbing.

    Youíll appreciate the Rabbit Hole shoulder strap design ifÖ..

    Youíre a set-it-and-forget-it type shoulder strap person. In other words, you adjust the length of your shoulder strap only occasionally.

    You donít like excess shoulder strap webbing hanging down; you prefer clean lines and a tidy aesthetic.

    Height-wise, youíre a shorter person, or, for some other reason, you want to be able to adjust the strap down to be quite short, and possibly even handle length. (Though, of course, the Icon works great for taller folks as well due to how adjustable the strap is.)

    Youíd like the ability to remove the included shoulder pad entirely (using just the webbing as the strap or perhaps replacing our pad with one youíve made yourself.)

    The Rabbit Hole shoulder strap design probably is not for you ifÖ.

    You frequently adjust the length of your shoulder strap.

    You want the shoulder strap to be fully removable.

    Some messenger-style bags with quick adjust buckles have straps that are sewn to the bag; others do not, and the Icon is one of those that do not. If you fail to fully close the cam buckle, or you open the cam buckle without first setting the bag on to a surface (like while youíre wearing the bag), it might fall to the ground. Just like how, if youíre wearing a cross-body bag with a side release buckle strap (so, like a Side Effect worn cross-body sling bag style) and if you undo that buckle, itíd fall to the ground. So, definitely donít do that, but if you think you might, we recommend taking a look at our Small and Medium Cafe Bags instead ó they have sewn-in shoulder straps.
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    I've just updated the Icon description with the below information, and I hope will be helpful to folks who are deciding on whether the Icon is for them or not..
    Darcy, I was just looking at the Icon page and noticed that the last paragraph about the main compartment opening is now lost after the lengthy strap info - someone skimming might think it was another paragraph about who the strap is not for. Bolding the ďGood to knowĒ might be a quick fix?

    I definitely fall into the appreciate camp. Iíve always managed to make my Cafe Bag straps short enough, but for one bag it required moving the strap pad to the other side of the plastic adjuster thing (not easy!) and on another bag the strap is at a non-optimal length because otherwise that plastic thing sits on my shoulder (ouch!).

    The only thing I donít like is how much excess strap is bunched up, so Iím considering cutting off some of it. 1) Do you have any suggestions on how to do this? Iím not sure if regular scissors would be up for the task. 2) I understand it would affect the bagís warranty, but Iím hoping it would only affect the warranty on that part of the strap. If thereís an issue where the strap attached to the bag or with the plastic adjuster thing, would it still be covered?

  12. #12
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teresapoet View Post
    Darcy, I was just looking at the Icon page and noticed that the last paragraph about the main compartment opening is now lost after the lengthy strap info - someone skimming might think it was another paragraph about who the strap is not for. Bolding the “Good to know” might be a quick fix?

    I definitely fall into the appreciate camp. I’ve always managed to make my Cafe Bag straps short enough, but for one bag it required moving the strap pad to the other side of the plastic adjuster thing (not easy!) and on another bag the strap is at a non-optimal length because otherwise that plastic thing sits on my shoulder (ouch!).

    The only thing I don’t like is how much excess strap is bunched up, so I’m considering cutting off some of it. 1) Do you have any suggestions on how to do this? I’m not sure if regular scissors would be up for the task. 2) I understand it would affect the bag’s warranty, but I’m hoping it would only affect the warranty on that part of the strap. If there’s an issue where the strap attached to the bag or with the plastic adjuster thing, would it still be covered?
    Fixed that! Thank you!

    Cutting it is fine, and only voids the lifetime guarantee regards that particular aspect: so, one couldn't return it and say "Hey, the strap is too short". Big Grin

    At your own risk, and exercising caution and care... consider only cutting off the minimum amount to begin with. We say that because it's way easier to take length off than add it back; in fact, it's difficult for us to repair an Icon/replace its strap. Use a sharp scissors and taking care to cut it as evening across as possible. Then, using a lighter or a match, take the whole thing outside and lightly touch the cut end with flame to melt the nylon yarns so they don't fray. The nylon isn't flammable, so it's not going to explode or something, but there will be fumes. You needn't take the strap end out of the buckle to do this, BTW.

    Hope that helps!
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Fixed that! Thank you!

    Cutting it is fine, and only voids the lifetime guarantee regards that particular aspect: so, one couldn't return it and say "Hey, the strap is too short". Big Grin

    At your own risk, and exercising caution and care... consider only cutting off the minimum amount to begin with. We say that because it's way easier to take length off than add it back; in fact, it's difficult for us to repair an Icon/replace its strap. Use a sharp scissors and taking care to cut it as evening across as possible. Then, using a lighter or a match, take the whole thing outside and lightly touch the cut end with flame to melt the nylon yarns so they don't fray. The nylon isn't flammable, so it's not going to explode or something, but there will be fumes. You needn't take the strap end out of the buckle to do this, BTW.

    Hope that helps!
    Thank you, Darcy! Iíll probably wait to see how much the bunched up excess bothers me, as Iíd be nervous to cut it.

    While checking how much excess there is (2 feet! Iím really short Smilie ), I paid attention to how I feed the strap back in to share my method here. It may only work if you have small fingers, but...

    From the back of the strap, I pinch the strap just below the plastic thing (picture 1) and pull it down until my fingers hit the bag (picture 2). It only moves the strap about half an inch, but at quick to do and repeat. I was able to feed 2 feet of strap in well under a minute.

    Picture 1:


    Picture 2:

  14. #14
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    Ok, having had a little time and play, yes, the Icon strap works for me! Once you get the knack it is not too difficult!

    By the way, I love the new recycled fabric, lovely and supple and perhaps even more flexible than halcyon. The Nebulous Grey is very smart and I like the red zippers more than I thought that I would.

  15. #15
    Registered User webdoyenne's Avatar
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    I have to say I'm not a huge fan of the strap design. I'm 5'1", so I've had to shorten the strap quite a bit, which means there is a fair amount of excess. I've got some arthritis in my hands, so my manual dexterity is not top-notch. I was finally able to get the excess strap down into the pocket, and it's not really that bunched up, so I think I'll hang onto the bag, since it's lovely in all other respects, and I really don't change the strap length often. A suggestion...maybe some kind of small slit at the bottom of the strap pocket that would let you reach up from the bottom and tug the strap down with your thumb and index finger?

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