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  1. #1
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Need bag advice - work bag

    I just started a new job and need a bag for my changed needs. I took a picture of the things I carried in my DLBP today so you can get a bit of an idea what I want to take with me.

    Need bag advice - work bag-img_5519-jpg

    Some remarks:

    • I usually don't take a book and just carry my e-reader
    • I plan to buy a more compact umbrella soon
    • I want to add a lunch box
    • the papers and writing utensils are going to change, but I need to fit DIN A4


    This would be for my days in the office. I take public transport everyday, with a few changes in between and some walking.

    Then I will need to do quite a bit of traveling, with public transport and sometimes with the car - meet ups, conferences, work shops. There might be a new laptop in my future for that purpose, but probably just a small one (13"). I might get by with a tablet.

    I love my DLBP, but with its lack of structure I don't think it looks professional enough and I want better organisation.

    What I don't want:

    • I don't like the feel of Cordura
    • I'm not a fan of the detachable shoulder strap with hooks
    • no crazy color combination
    • but not too conservative either


    I wondered if a MCB might work, but I'm not sure it would be comfortable to carry fully packed (I'm 5'3") and if everything would fit. A backpack would be more comfortable for travelling, but I'm not sure I would like to carry one at those conferences. The Synapse 19 might be an option, but I'm just not sure if I would love it enough to justify the cost. I love my DLBP and in comparison I feel lukewarm about the design of the Synapse.

    I also wondered about the DLBC, but I have an irrational dislike when it comes to the shoulder strap (that is the case with all similar bags, not just Tom Bihn). And of course there once again wouldn't be much structure.

    Any recommendations? I think I need to compromise... Which colors would you pick for a work bag? I thought about Black Halcyon, but I also like the new Black and Deep Blue Ballistic. Ideally with Dawn, but now we know that won't happen.

  2. #2
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, what sort of shoulder strap do you specifically dislike? Do you mean anything that attaches with clips to the bag, vs. the built-in shoulder strap of the Cafe Bags? Because that would narrow the field considerably.

    Colorwise, I think steel, black and dark blue (particularly the Deep Blue vs. the Navy), are all work-appropriate for most environments. Even Burnt Orange in some contexts.

    If you prefer open-ended bags without a lot of built-in organization, the Maker's Bag in Ballistic with a Freudian Slip is brilliant. It can carry just a laptop and the basics, but would probably let you fit in a lunch too, or an extra sweater; that kind of thing. It looks a little bit casual, but no more so than the Cafe Bags. But whether or not it's a choice depends on what exactly your concern is about the strap. On mine, I use the mini version of the Absolute Strap, which I buy from a third party.

    Another option: If they start making the Daylight Backpack in the new 525 ballistic fabric, it may be a good option. Depending on how it's packed so it keeps its flat shape and doesn't look all bulgy. But you may find a shoulder bag more practical.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 08-08-2017 at 02:25 PM.
    ----
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  3. #3
    Forum Member tuskegee7294's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1gsky View Post
    I just started a new job and need a bag for my changed needs. I took a picture of the things I carried in my DLBP today so you can get a bit of an idea what I want to take with me.

    Need bag advice - work bag-img_5519-jpg

    Some remarks:

    • I usually don't take a book and just carry my e-reader
    • I plan to buy a more compact umbrella soon
    • I want to add a lunch box
    • the papers and writing utensils are going to change, but I need to fit DIN A4


    This would be for my days in the office. I take public transport everyday, with a few changes in between and some walking.

    Then I will need to do quite a bit of traveling, with public transport and sometimes with the car - meet ups, conferences, work shops. There might be a new laptop in my future for that purpose, but probably just a small one (13"). I might get by with a tablet.

    I love my DLBP, but with its lack of structure I don't think it looks professional enough and I want better organisation.

    What I don't want:

    • I don't like the feel of Cordura
    • I'm not a fan of the detachable shoulder strap with hooks
    • no crazy color combination
    • but not too conservative either


    I wondered if a MCB might work, but I'm not sure it would be comfortable to carry fully packed (I'm 5'3") and if everything would fit. A backpack would be more comfortable for travelling, but I'm not sure I would like to carry one at those conferences. The Synapse 19 might be an option, but I'm just not sure if I would love it enough to justify the cost. I love my DLBP and in comparison I feel lukewarm about the design of the Synapse.

    I also wondered about the DLBC, but I have an irrational dislike when it comes to the shoulder strap (that is the case with all similar bags, not just Tom Bihn). And of course there once again wouldn't be much structure.

    Any recommendations? I think I need to compromise... Which colors would you pick for a work bag? I thought about Black Halcyon, but I also like the new Black and Deep Blue Ballistic. Ideally with Dawn, but now we know that won't happen.
    It's best to stick with what you love and what works for you. If you really love your DLBP then I'd just get the black Halcyon because if its flexibility. I like my original Halcyon DLBP and have learned my lesson about going with stuff that doesn't work for me...if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Go forward and never lose sight of your dreams."

    SE (2), SC, DLBP (2), Swift, LS, Spiff Kit, SK, SCB, MCB, LCB, LSB, SSB (2), PT, FJN (2), Pilot, BB, Synik 22, Strap Keepers, Synik 30, TT (6), TSS (lots), COW, PCSB, 3DOC (2), Smart Alec, Cubelet, Pocket Pouch, GWP and other pouches/cubes

  4. #4
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    Why don't you start your new job and see what your co-irkers carry as a briefcase?
    That will give you a feeling for what constitutes "professional" for this particular job.
    You may want to carry two bags. One that's a sleek briefcase, and maybe a backpack that's bulkier and insulated for lunch.

  5. #5
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    Just to be clear, what sort of shoulder strap do you specifically dislike? Do you mean anything that attaches with clips to the bag, vs. the built-in shoulder strap of the Cafe Bags? Because that would narrow the field considerably.
    Yes, that's what I meant. I know that's problematic and narrows the field quite a bit... Definitely love the blues, greys and black is alright. A DLBP in the new fabric sounds intriguing. Maybe I should try to find a new way to pack my existing DLBP that works better for shape.

  6. #6
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuskegee7294 View Post
    It's best to stick with what you love and what works for you. If you really love your DLBP then I'd just get the black Halcyon because if its flexibility. I like my original Halcyon DLBP and have learned my lesson about going with stuff that doesn't work for me...if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes, you're probably right! I guess I love that it is so light and I can fit so much into it. And it forces me to leave the unnecessary things at home, I like that too.

  7. #7
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1gsky View Post
    Yes, that's what I meant. I know that's problematic and narrows the field quite a bit... Definitely love the blues, greys and black is alright. A DLBP in the new fabric sounds intriguing. Maybe I should try to find a new way to pack my existing DLBP that works better for shape.
    Gotcha.
    Yes, maybe look into getting a Freudian Slip (or create something) that lets you take advantage of all the vertical space? I think @Ilkyway and others have some great posts with photos showing how that works. It might be good to eventually add a shoulder bag to your toolbox once you discover something you like.
    ----
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  8. #8
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    Why don't you start your new job and see what your co-irkers carry as a briefcase?
    That will give you a feeling for what constitutes "professional" for this particular job.
    You may want to carry two bags. One that's a sleek briefcase, and maybe a backpack that's bulkier and insulated for lunch.
    Good idea in general, but in my case not very helpful. I have already started this job (and just used my old DLBP so far), but looking at my colleagues isn't overly helpful. Dresscode is very casual for a lot of them and pretty laid back, certainly nothing where I would need to have a classic briefcase. They wear jeans, tees and sneakers to work. On the other hand my function on those out of house appointments is a representative one and I might talk to local politicians etc. I like to be a bit more dressy in everyday life anyway so that's not a big problem for me when it comes to clothes. I just need my bag to keep the balance between everyday life and slightly dressed up and not look out of place. The problem with two bags would be that I might be three hours on an appointment, but five hours on public transport to get there and back again. And I need to take everything for the day with me in the bag I use at the conference.

  9. #9
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    I just saw the post by Darcy that a combination with Dawn and a more suitable color might still be made! Keeping my fingers crossed for a MCB in either Black or Deep Blue paired with Dawn. I'm going to wait for that announcement I think before I decide on anything. And try to do some research on the way I could set up my current (or a future) DLBP.

  10. #10
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    I'm new to the forum, but have been using TB bags since 2011. I'm in the same boat trying to balance practicality and uniqueness while still looking professional without being same-same. I really like the balance struck by the black Dyneema / Halcyon material between weight, durability and aesthetics. My first bag was the Ristretto (Olive Nylon), then the Pilot (Black Dyneema) and I just ordered a Western Flyer (Black Halcyon). My Ristretto is the first generation model without the zipper on the front pocket, which allowed small items to slide out if I wasn't careful (not great when stashing a full bag under an airline seat). The olive color didn't always feel appropriate and I was looking for a bit more capacity anyway, so that's when I bought the Pilot. I've been super happy with the Pilot and I'll still use it for local and shorter trips, but I like that the Western Flyer is twice the capacity and can be used either as a backpack or a shoulder bag (I have an Absolute Strap that I'll use with it).

    I really like the Cafe Bags, especially the Large in Halcyon, but apparently even the large isn't large enough for a 13" laptop cache. It's not available in Halcyon, but you may want to take a look at The Stowaway.

  11. #11
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    Update: I found the Western Flyer to be too large. I returned it and ordered a Synapse 19 in Black Halcyon which suits me far better. The Synapse packs much like the Pilot w/ more space and backpack straps.

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