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  1. #1
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    Question Small Shop Bag as EDC?

    Hello everyone!

    So I'm currently using a Synapse 19 as my EDC, and my back is thanking me! Recently, however, a friend gifted me a reusable tote, and I've been really liking its lightness and grab-and-go qualities, especially since I don't generally carry much. But the tote is entirely black (can't see anything inside!) and the handles are no Poron-pads, so I've been thinking about transitioning to a small Shop Bag for my EDC.

    I've only read amazing things about it, but it's mostly been in the context of using the shop bag as auxiliary. Does anyone currently use it as their EDC? Anything I should be concerned about? Will small things fall out easily? I'm not too worried about security since I'll o-ring-it, but should I be?

    What I usually carry:
    • phone
    • keys + TB pocket (my wallet set-up)
    • insulated water bottle
    • glasses case
    • 4 pens
    • 2 notebooks, A6ish size
    • first aid/hygiene miscellany


    Thanks everyone! Stay warm~!

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Your load would fit without a doubt and it is a great bag for many purposes. I am not sure if I would be happy with the Shop Bag as an EDC due to its non-existing structure but the two inner pockets plus O-Rings make it totally capable to do the job.

    I'd suggest the little Swift it was still available but maybe you want to wait for the new to come knitting bag? It might be top-open too and who knows, could be the exact thing you are looking for?

    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  3. #3
    Forum Member adalangdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    Your load would fit without a doubt and it is a great bag for many purposes. I am not sure if I would be happy with the Shop Bag as an EDC due to its non-existing structure but the two inner pockets plus O-Rings make it totally capable to do the job.
    Yeah, I was gonna say that I've noticed that my LSB is really floppy, even with the piped edges. It's great for packability and holding a ton of stuff (I once crammed Thai takeout for 5 people into the LSB) but I'm not sure if either shop bag is great for EDC unless floppy is really your thing. Your load-out is pretty small, and I think there will be a lot of fabric flapping about even with all your stuff inside.

    One good thing about those recyclable paper cloth bags is how they keep their shape pretty well even when mostly empty!

  4. #4
    Forum Member sturbridge's Avatar
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    I use a small shop bag as my weekend EDC. Since I usually have at least a Klean Kanteen in one of the pockets, and sometimes two (one water bottle, one thermos), it really isn't that floppy for me. I also typically carry items that provide additional structure, like a thermarest seat (uninflated), an umbrella, or a fleece shirt. I'd really prefer that Tom Bihn make a zippable version of this one, but it mostly works for now. I found the Little Swift to be floppier, mostly because I didn't have enough room for the size water bottles I typically carry to provide structure.
    Getting to the point with too many bags to list them all. Current daily carry is a PickUp Truck and Everyday Cubelet. Love all my shop bags, ghost whales, cubelets. Hoping to travel again soon to use my A30 and co-pilot.

  5. #5
    Forum Member brendabethman's Avatar
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    I agree that I find the shop bags can be pretty floppy when not very full. What about one of the cafe bags? I think your load would fit in a small, and it would definitely fit in a medium. (And as we all know, I love to push the cafe bags since they are my most favorite bags ever :-) In this case, though, I really do think it could work -- and they are about the same shape as those cloth tote bags. I also find the newer cordura to be stiffer than the older bags, so even when underpacked they don't flop around too much.

  6. #6
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    I used my small shop bag as my work EDC for almost a year and a half (just switched to my old Imago).

    My Work EDC items:

    Main Compartment:
    - 16oz zojirushi thermos
    - Breakfast, lunch and snacks (generally in a smaller tote, like the smallest baggu size. This would usually be two 16oz or smaller tupperware + a few other things)
    - Stethescope (optional)
    - Random papers (optional)
    - A book or two (optional)
    - 16oz water bottle (optional) or 12oz thermos (optional)
    - Ziplock or organizer pouch with earbuds and a mini usb cable
    - Gloves and ear muffs (seasonal)
    - Sometimes my jacket would get stuffed in there temporarily, varying degrees of success depending on jacket

    Side pocket #1:
    - Smart phone
    - Various work IDs, credit cards, etc
    - hand lotion, chapstick
    - Home keys
    - pouch/ziplock with feminine hygeine products & some OTC meds like ibuprofen
    - earrings

    Side pocket #2:
    - chlorox wipes in a small snack size ziplock bag
    - Car key
    - Pager
    - Work keys
    - Pens
    - a couple individually wrapped hand wipes


    It worked reasonably well for me, and the main reason I switched is that I do prefer to have both my arms more free when I'm walking, and I realized that if I swtiched back to the Imago, I would have to buy fewer new pouches to better organize my stuff (though I really wish the Imago was just a tiny bit wider). I also switched for aesthetics, as I realized I wanted something that looked a bit more professional. I never had anything fall out of my shop bag, and I've definitely dropped the bag a few times. I've also used it as an EDC on beach vacations, and it works very well for that as well.

    I agree that a medium cafe bag (my non-work EDC, alternates with a leather coach purse that's roughly large cafe bag size) would suit you better unless you plan to add and remove large items frequently (purchases from stores, jackets, scarves, etc).

  7. #7
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    I like a bag I can a) close and b) use no-handed. I always feel awkward / nervous on behalf of women carrying those tiny no-handle purses that seem designed to be lost or stolen, and sorry for people carrying groceries on public transit in open-topped bags ... I've seen things spill and roll around the floors of buses / trains. Cans are OK if recovered, grapes not so much.

    Despite all that, the shop bags look good and are now on my wishlist, having just watched the video.

  8. #8
    TB Ravelry Moderator dorayme's Avatar
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    Cunctator, the shop bag could be used to tote your stuff, but the MCB would hold it in a more secure fashion and allow you to be totally hands free if you carry it cross body. If you use the Waist strap, it would even offer some of the back saving features you like in your S19. The MCB is relatively light with no padded sections or bulky/excessive hardware adding weight.
    The shop bag would do what you are wanting though, I would recommend a bit of internal organization in pouches or cubes, and tether them to the O-rings to keep contents secure.
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timothy View Post
    Despite all that, the shop bags look good and are now on my wishlist, having just watched the video.
    Are you stating here, that you do not own even ONE Shop Bag despite being on this Forums since 2008? When I might have said I was impressed before I did not know what I was talking about. THIS is impressive.

    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  10. #10
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    "Are you stating here, that you do not own even ONE Shop Bag despite being on this Forums since 2008?"

    I'm caught. I do have several open-top bags (various brands) that don't have a cross-body strap or backpack straps, but before watching that video have not thought of purchasing one. I do like the shoulder-friendly strap-length on the Shop Bag, something I'd never paid attention to before.

    I have a few Chicobags, mostly from conferences like the rest of my shopping bags, and I'll admit they have come in handy sometimes, which is why I keep one clipped on my Night Flight Travel Duffel; on my recent Texas <--> West Virginia trip, American Airlines (long story*) made me gatecheck my Synapse 25; since that held my laptop, I ended up quickly decanting a few things into the Chicobag instead, so I wasn't relinquishing to American Airlines my laptop. But I'm nervous with any open-top bag, and I tied the handles together as best I could.

    * The short story is ... poor judgment Smilie There was plenty of space for the S25, and the overhead bin next to me went empty. Many people on this flight were similarly required to check quite-small bags, and fumed when the unload process took far longer than it should have; I made my connection, but only by sprinting as best I could -- was the last one aboard.
    Last edited by timothy; 02-24-2015 at 09:23 PM.

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Glad you had this extra bag to save the day!
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  12. #12
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    I used the small shop bag as an EDC for a few weeks last summer with wallet, planner, phone, water bottle, paperback, and a OP or two. I really liked it, but it does flop over when you set it down. As a carry, it is fine, and seems to hang closed against your side. And it weighs NOTHING, so that is really great.

  13. #13
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    I'm more interested in a Shop Bag than the Cafe bags because I like how extremely light, open, and multifunctional it is - it's definitely going to get some use as a under-the-seat travel bag and as a "bought too many souvenirs" travel bag. The foldable aspect is also really appealing - I like the idea of finding myself one day with little to carry, and just ending up folding up the Shop Bag and stuffing it into my pocket! I have an Imago, and I've mostly stopped using it because of how heavy-duty it is for my EDC purposes (I have the ballistic version). I have the shoulder strength of a toddler, and combined with the large (on 5'4'' me) and extremely grippy Absolute Shoulder Strap, the Imago feels too business-like, too much, just for errands. I like the Shop Bag because it's the complete opposite!

    Now that you've mentioned it, I was envisioning adding/removing large items frequently in the shop bag. I get cold very easily, so I recently ordered a light windbreaker that I will be carrying everywhere, and I do sometimes end up with lunchboxes, books, and notebooks coming in and out of my bag like an airport throughout the day. Maybe the light windbreaker can function as a kind of closed-top? Per sturbridge's comment, I could also put an umbrella in the other pocket to balance out the load. Re: timarelay - I keep forgetting how much stuff the Shop Bag can carry...

    The floppiness that you guys have mentioned is definitely something I'm considering, and as is how wide the opening to the Shop Bag is. I do take public transportation often, and I am generally extremely thoughtful and vigilant about pickpocketers (which is why I got the Imago - Imago + o-rings = steal-proof).

    I am not very active on the forums, so what have you guys heard of the new knitting bag/other designs that might fit this niche?

    My friends think I'm crazy how much I'm overthinking my choice of bags, but you guys make me believe this is important!!!

  14. #14
    Forum Member brendabethman's Avatar
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    Small Shop Bag as EDC?

    Quote Originally Posted by cunctator View Post
    My friends think I'm crazy how much I'm overthinking my choice of bags, but you guys make me believe this is important!!!
    It's your friends who are crazy! :-) Bag choice is totally important. I know I am much happier when my bags do what I need them to do and look good doing it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    In my opinion, a small shop bag is something that is handy to have around even for occasional use (such as going to the beach, quick shopping outings, general travel use, etc), so you could always start with a shop bag, and then if it turns out that it's not your ideal EDC, then consider buying a different bag later? Although it also depends on how much room you have in your budget for multiple purchases.
    Owner of:
    Imago in Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi, Large Cafe Bag in Black/Wasabi, Various organizer pouches/stuff sacks/travel trays, Small Shop Bag in Steel and Iberian, Synapse in Steel/Steel, and a Medium Cafe Bag in Plum/Wasabi.

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