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  1. #1
    Forum Member
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    Nov 2017
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    Pop Tote vs. Swift

    Hi all, Iím trying to decide between a Pop Tote and a Swift to replace the handful of cotton totes Iíve acquired. My initial thought is that the Pop Tote seems huge, but I know judging size online doesnít always work, so Iím turning to you!

    In this magical bag Iíd like to carry: a fully packed Side Effect, a water bottle, teeny umbrella, coffee cup, a lunch container and snacks, and a jacket/cardigan/scarf/warm thing as the weather requires. I might also carry my iPad 10.5Ē, and mayyyyybe my MacBook Air 13Ē but thatís super rare and not a particular concern.

    Itís also really important to me that I can sling the bag over my shoulder (sometimes tote straps are too short for me) and I donít want the bag to be too big (Iím a fairly solid, 5ft 10Ē lady but it happens!).

    Which do you think would be best for my needs? How do you use the Pop Tote and Swift?

    Thanks a million!

  2. #2
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    Jul 2013
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    VA
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    Pop Tote is less structured, lighter, and a bit larger than the Swift. I like both, but find I use the Pop Tote more. I do like the built in zip pockets to the Swift more than the pockets in the PT. Straps are pretty much identical in the two. I find them easy to throw on my shoulder, but they can be slippery. Both are awesome bags. Might be worth ordering both and returning the one you like less. Beware, of course, the tendency to make that the plan, and then keeping both!!

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
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    You could also try the Large Shop Bag which is also in that size range, but even less structured.... no way to close it, but if you're just walking from car to office, etc., that may not be an issue.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2016
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    I prefer a bag that zips closed, so Pop Tote for me. When I sling my tote around, I don't want anything falling out.

  5. #5
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    Another vote for the shop bag over the others. I use those most of all. I haven't yet bonded with my pop tote but can see the potential when I need to zip it closed, which is more travel them day to day. I prefer the structure of the swift if reaching in and out all the time. The lightweight-ness of the shop bag and the ability to close of the pop trots. In other words, get all three.

  6. #6
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    How do you generally get around, lizalou? I love my shop bags, but because they're naturally so big and open, I wouldn't really recommend them as EDCs if you're taking public transportation or walking in the elements every day rather than driving. I have carried groceries, packages, etc., in the LSB in both the rain and snow on foot, but I wouldn't call it ideal. If you're hoofing it on foot, by bus or train, etc., I'd go with the Pop Tote. If you're driving, though, like G42 said, it'd work. I'm a little taller with hefty arms, and I find the LSB straps plenty long enough to shoulder.

    ETA: Re-reading your post, and want to correct, because I was originally thinking this might be your main EDC bag -- but if you're really thinking of it as a supplemental bag (a la those canvas totes we all accumulate over the years), then, as others have said, the shop bags are pretty perfect.
    Last edited by kmw; 02-09-2018 at 08:15 AM.

  7. #7
    Forum Member blueflax's Avatar
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    Here's my case for the Pop Tote! (disclaimer: I don't have a Swift so can't compare apples to apples)

    The snap-down top gives it enough rigidity to stay open on the floor so you can lean over and get things in and out of it (Shop Bags are more collapsible); being able to zip it closed is wonderful when it's full, it's raining, or it's going to get thrown around (looking at you, guilty Maker's Bag that drops everything small out when it goes sideways);

    It is an empty cavernous space (the Swift has more built-in pocketry) inside, and you do have to wrangle it a bit to organize it to your liking. When I am using it as a knitting bag I drop in a Maker's Bag Freudian Slip that I can stuff all my tools and patterns in. It can be a bit of a black hole if you don't have some sub-organization strategy.

    Because of that, I wish it had more o-rings on the inside to hitch things to. And while the outside pockets are nice to have to tuck a water bottle in or umbrella, or anything you want to keep upright or separate, they are fairly tight and narrow. The zippered end ones are handy for things like pens that are tall and won't get lost at the bottom of the pocket. The side pockets are also nice to have if the bag is at your feet on a plane.

    Dept. of Best of Both Worlds: It's nice if you're using the PT as an everyday schlepping bag to have a small (or large) Shop Bag inside, maybe in a stuff sack, in case you end up shopping or acquiring more gear during your day.

    I find it comfortable to carry over my shoulder (although if I have a lot of heavy books / computer I use a Maker's Bag with an Absolute Shoulder Strap cinched up high messenger-style.) if it's not stuffed full—then it gets kind of boxy and is easier to carry by the handles.

    I especially like having it in these cold winter months: when I get where I'm going I can put all the winter gear I'm wearing in it and not have to have gloves, hat, scarf, sweater strewn all over.

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