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  1. #1
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    Small/large shop bags vs Pop Tote

    Hi all,

    Can anyone point me to a thread about the different tote types? Why would I pay twice as much for the Pop Tote vs the small shop bag in ballistic, for instance? And how big is the big one, really?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Forum Member sturbridge's Avatar
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    Here's a blog post describing all the totes: https://blog.tombihn.com/?s=tote+bags

    As far as why you'd spend more for a Pop Tote: well I did because the zip top bags didn't yet exist. For me, the Pop Tote is overkill with all the pockets as a daily bag, but I like it as an overnight/weekend bag so I dedicate various things to different pockets (like when I wake up in the middle of the night for something, and don't want to have to dump the whole bag to find it).

    I use the small zip tote the most- almost everytime I need something larger than my Travel Cubelet. I use the Truck for road trips, where I want things accessible but organized - one section for snacks, one section for picnic items, another for books and maps. I don't have a large shop bag, but I did briefly. Too big for me, because I am the type of person who, if I have the space, will fill it up.
    Proud owner of: Pop Tote in cloud, Aeronaut 30 in steel/iberian, Travel Cubelet in Dawn, Travel Cubelet in Nebulous Grey , SE in steel parapack, SSB in black halcyon, Pilot in steel dyneema/steel, , Truck in Nebulous Gray, Small Zipped shop bag in black, Small Zipped shop bag in Dawn numerous pouches, 3D cubes, Q kits and straps, Cubelets and Ghost Whales!

  3. #3
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    I have a pop tote and I really enjoy it. I love that it holds it's shape and stands up on it's own. I use it for carrying my water, essentials, and whatever I need for work that day. It's also good for road trips and overnights. One of my favorite features of the pop tote is the open top pockets for quick access to my phone on one side and my keys on the other side. (I used one colored zipper pull on one of the outside pockets to make the pockets more identifiable) I also decided I absolutely prefer my bags to zip shut. At the time zip tops were not available. I don't have any shop bags (yet) and have convinced myself that I have other compact grocery bags that are good enough -but they don't zip up.

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    I use a PT for my gym bag and as others have mentioned, I stands up on its own. The side pockets are small, but I use them for tissues, my locker padlock & key, small toiletries, etc.
    For the same stand up reason, I use a second PT for carting around some of my jewelry making supplies if I go to a friends house or from one work table to another in my apt.
    The Zip Top Shop Bags are formless so they collapse down a lot when not full and can fit weird shapes. It's my usual carry-on for under the seat on a plane.
    The now discontinued original Shop Bags (esp the small) are my grocery bags...
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  5. #5
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    The Pop Tote fits an umbrella on the outside, which I prefer on a rainy day. It is also slightly larger than the Small Shop Bag and the fabric seems more work-appropriate. I've used it as my primary bag for short flights, as it can hold a packing cube of clothes along with other items, and everything stays in place and is accessible.

    The Small Shop Bag is my favorite for actual shopping, or as a carry-along, folded up inside of another bag, in case it is needed later in the day. And I have used it as an EDC (every-day carry). It has less shape than the Pop Tote but is actually a little more comfy for me to carry. It just depends on what my needs are that day and where I'm going.

    I don't have any Large Shop Bags, zippered or not.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 03-18-2019 at 12:08 PM.
    ----
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  6. #6
    Forum Member readmore's Avatar
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    I have all three. I've tried to make myself let go of the Pop Tote because it does seem to overlap in features with the zipped shop bags, but I can't seem to quit it. Like others said, it stands up on its own. It looks more formal, which I like for my EDC. I hardly ever zip it, but when I do, I'm very grateful for it. When it's unzipped (most of the time) it's quite neat and tidy (unlike the zipped shop bags). When traveling, I have tended to use my large zipped shop bag b/c it fits more and works well enough as a daily bag while traveling.

    Unlike others, I almost never use the pockets and wish the side pockets were deeper so that it could carry my water bottle or coffee thermos. My (expensive) workaround has been to use a Co-Pilot as an in-bag organizer.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by theswiftbiker View Post
    I don't have any shop bags (yet)
    That is wise. They have babies. It gets expensive.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejvc View Post
    Hi all,

    Can anyone point me to a thread about the different tote types? Why would I pay twice as much for the Pop Tote vs the small shop bag in ballistic, for instance? And how big is the big one, really?

    Thank you.
    The Pop Tote is more formal, for those who value that. I use mine for work, whereas I would probably not use the shop bags or the truck. The Pop Tote material is also opaque, whereas some of the shop bags can be translucent, showing the contents of the bag. I absolutely love my Pop Tote!

  9. #9
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    I bought PopTote because the zip top shop bags weren't made yet. I don't like the pockets on the PT. I love the pockets on the SBs. I don't like the zipper on the PT because the zipper pulls hide down in the pockets. I love the zipper on the SBs because it's easier to use. Once my ballistic shop bags arrive, I will rehome (sell or swap) my PopTotes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejvc View Post
    Hi all,

    Can anyone point me to a thread about the different tote types? Why would I pay twice as much for the Pop Tote vs the small shop bag in ballistic, for instance? And how big is the big one, really?

    Thank you.
    I don't think I've seen this mentioned yet, forgive me if I restating a point. The Pop Totes are in 525 Ballistic which is the medium weight of what TB use. The Shop Bags use 210 Ballistic or the Halcyon (white grid). 210 Ballistic is lighter weight, 525 is medium and 1050 is heavier weight.

    Here is each weight and an example:
    210: PCSBs, ZT Shop Bags
    525: Pop Tote, Synapse 19/25
    1050: Aeronaut, Tristar, Western Flyer

    Some small accessories come in 210 and 525 but they handle completely differently, in my opinion. The 525 is thicker and heavier than 210 and likewise 1050 even more so.

    210 and 525 have different colors, but when you select one to buy it will list the fabric next to the color so you know what you're getting. Deep Blue and Alphaviolet are only 525 colors while Dawn, Grass, and Viridian are only 210 colors. Black is available in all three weights.

    As for the question you asked, the Pop Tote also has zippered pockets and snaps that keep the top out of the way if you want it more open, so there is more labor involved in making a Pop Tote than a Shop Bag.

    Hope this helps!

  11. #11
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    To me, the PT and SBs have very different functions.

    The weight of the fabric gives the PT structure, and doesn't show lumps or shapes of what's in it. It's literally twice as much fabric by weight. Also, it's the perfect size for my Windows Surface Pro 4 in a padded case. But it's flexible enough to carry groceries. It looks good enough to go to professional events, but is sturdy enough to use at the gym or outdoors. I love the external pockets for tea -- I got a skinny travel mug to fit it better, and now that's my favorite mug anyway. I also put a pen/pencil pounch in the other external pocket, and my keys and phone in the external zip pockets. I love my PT; it's my favorite Tom Bihn bag.

    The shop bags are very light. They are more packable than the PT. They are tapered: narrower on the bottom than the top, while the PT is straight up and down.

    I posted some size comparison photos here: https://forums.tombihn.com/packing-l...-trip-nyc.html

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