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Thread: Shop Bag convert

  1. #1
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Shop Bag convert

    When I first discovered Tom Bihn bags, I was easily sold on the travel bags and backpacks with their great organisation capabilities, but I really didn't see the appeal of the Shop Bags. After all, I already had a whole slew of reusable shopping bags, including some pretty ones made of recycled PET that scrunch up into a pouch about the size of a hen's egg. Why would I want an expensive, bulky bag instead?

    However the bags I already had were either cheaply made and inclined to fall apart and/or being ultra-compact had no padding on their handles, so after yet another long walk home from the supermarket with bag handles cutting off the blood supply in my fingers, the TB Shop Bags started to look a lot more tempting! I was a little worried that, being only 5'2", I would find the bags scraping the ground if I held them with my arms down by my sides, so I decided to start with the Small Shop Bag.

    I added one to my next order, tried it out, and was converted! Not only is it far more comfortable to carry than my old bags, but the "inside-out trick" is pure genius! (The Shop Bag features two inside pockets that, on turning the bag inside-out, become - hey presto! - outside pockets.) I took my shop bag into town when I was buying clothes, and was able to use this feature to carry a bought bottle of water (forgot to bring one with me) safely separate from my new purchases.

    Of course the bottle pockets also come in handy for grocery shopping, as seen below. I sometimes make use of the o-ring to attach my Clear Organiser Wallet with bank cards, loyalty cards and vouchers, but my favourite feature for grocery shopping is the padded handles. They're long enough to loop over my shoulder and carry the bag tucked under my arm, but also short enough to not let the bag scrape on the ground if I hold it hanging down - perfect!

    Name:  Photo 19-07-2014 12 59 11.jpg
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    I also love the little design detail (also seen on the Swift), of including a strip of the main bag fabric alongside the black handle fabric (visible in the photo above). My only complaint is that the Shop Bags hold so much, I only need one on most shopping trips so I get fewer loyalty points for using my own bags!

    Nowadays I carry the wasabi Small Shop Bag in the bottom pocket of my S19 for everyday grocery shopping, and an ultraviolet Small Shop Bag in the back pocket of my Medium Cafe Bag for weekend trips into town. I also ordered a Large Shop Bag in Nordic, partly to see what Nordic looked like (since it was being discontinued) but also to have a bigger bag for major grocery shops.

    I still carry a bag-in-a-pouch in the S19 as a backup, as it takes up almost no room, but these days it sees a lot less action. From being a Shop Bag skeptic, I've become an enthusiastic fan. Thanks, Tom Bihn, for another fantastic, well-thought-out product!
    Collections:
    Work EDC: SE + S19 (summer); SE + SA (winter)
    Leisure: some combination of SE/SCB/MCB/Swift/LS/FJN/DLBC/Imago/SSB
    Travel: WF + Pilot/DLBP + SE/SCB or SA + SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini + Moleskine; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  2. #2
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    This is a great review! Comprehensive, balanced, and with a photo to boot. Thanks for sharing. I acquired shop bags primarily in 400d when they were being made in steel and Nordic, and I since got a small solar, which I like quite a bit. I need to practice folding mine into neat stacks like many of you know how to do.

  3. #3
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Thanks! I've been meaning to write something up for a while, hence taking a photo of my grocery shopping when it looked particularly pretty (and wholesome - that's a bottle of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil in the righthand pocket).

    Quote Originally Posted by GoStanford View Post
    I need to practice folding mine into neat stacks like many of you know how to do.
    I confess it took several watches of the video, including many pause-and-rewinds, before I could get the hang of it!
    Collections:
    Work EDC: SE + S19 (summer); SE + SA (winter)
    Leisure: some combination of SE/SCB/MCB/Swift/LS/FJN/DLBC/Imago/SSB
    Travel: WF + Pilot/DLBP + SE/SCB or SA + SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini + Moleskine; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  4. #4
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    Great review @scribe.
    An another +1 to justify to get my first Shop Bag.

    But I have a dilemma again. I could only justify to get 1 in the mean time and I'm not sure which to get Small or Large.

    I kinda wish to go ahead with Solar Small but I got a feeling that it is quite overpowering for such big pieces of Yellow Bag. What do you guys think?

    Im a solar fan by the way.
    Sent from •41Lumia via TPTalk
    scribe and eWalker like this.
    A45 Navy/Solar, Pilot Steel 400d/Steel, PCSB Nordic, UMP Steel 400d
    BC VerticalSize1, HorizontalM2
    TTIberian+Solar, SC Olive, YSS Tall/Clear/Solar
    DOP Medium/Olive, COP Small/Olive, PP Navy/Solar

    Buy List Wouldn't mind Like New: Solar CP, Ristretto
    ~Live Long & Prosper by Vulcan

  5. #5
    Registered User flaneuse's Avatar
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    Great photo scribe! I love the shop bags too. They are super comfy and I love that they are made to be reversed! I know though--I usually can get my week of groceries easily into a reisenthel carrybag and a large or small shop bag.

    Personally I love the solar in both the large and small shop bag. It's so vibrant, but not blinding.
    scribe and eWalker like this.

  6. #6
    Registered User Poker Face's Avatar
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    Hi weirdguy!

    Solar is very tempting indeed. It is very bright, a great summer bag!!
    However...
    I bought a SSB and SE in solar, but ended up returning both. I found the solar a little too "transparent" for me. I had ordered a SSB and SE in Nordic at the same time though, so maybe I got biased with the heavier nordic fabric... And I also prefer a visible checkered pattern of dyneema: that wasn't super visible on the solar SSB.

    In fact, I prefer Solar as a lining color. But that's all about your preferences in the end: you can't go wrong with dyneema.

    Yesterday I have ordered a SSB in Iberian, wait and see...

    Poker Face
    Last edited by Poker Face; 07-26-2014 at 03:38 AM.
    Big fan of Nordic dyneema (aeronaut, PCSB, PCBP, TT, LSB, SSB, SE, SCB, MCB, co-pilot, synapse 19). OK, so where am I going to put all that stuff...

  7. #7
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    Yep, if you move close enough, you can see through Solar Dyneema. Some like it though, so it's really up to individual preference.
    1 more thing, you can spot the user of a Solar Shop Bag from a mile away :P it's THAT bright lol

  8. #8
    Registered User Gumby's Avatar
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    My shop bags are among my favorite TB items. I have large and small in a rainbow of colors, and I use them just about every day. Gave a few as Christmas gifts last year -- they were the hit of the family gathering!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    scribe and eWalker like this.
    Synapse 19, Co-Pilot, Side Effect, Small Cafe Bag, Western Flyer, Tri-Star, Travel Tray, Passport Pouch, Small Organizer Wallet (this is the little guy that started it all...), several Shop Bags and Organizer Pouches. More to come, I'm sure...

  9. #9
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    I love my shop bags, ssb in UV and NORDIC, lsb in UV and NORDIC.
    However, I have yet to use them for grocery shopping. Call me weird, but I think they are too " nice", and besides I already have a couple of insulated shopping bags for groceries.
    I do use them regularly: for going on car trips( even just day trips)- great for coralling sweaters, jackets books, etc. As a library bag.
    For going shopping ( not groceries) since here even department stores charge for bags...
    They pack flat for an extra tote bag when flying. Then use as a tote bag or pool bag at the destination. Our last trip to europe included 10 nights on a ship. I used a tote bag to keep various items together and easily accesible in the room.
    I have also used one as a carryon container for my CP while going through secuirty and then placing on floor in plane. Those otems that I needed to have readily accessible, I took out of the CP or bigger bag, and placed next to or on top of the CP in the Shop bag. Easy access during flight!

  10. #10
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    A couple of years ago I moved and now have several grocery stores within 2 blocks of me, so I use two of the large shop bags in 200D steel Dyneema for my regular shopping. They hold a lot and it's nice being able to walk and not worry about the bags breaking or having thin handles that are uncomfortable. I end up using them a lot while running other errands too.
    scribe and eWalker like this.

  11. #11
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    Hi, weirdguy. Another Solar fan here. I have the large and small shop bags in Solar and don't find them overpowering at all, just cheerful. And it's now or, shortly, never, as Solar is being retired again.

  12. #12
    Registered User eWalker's Avatar
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    Loved the review and even more the picture (just pinned it!) !

    The Shop Bags just found itīs way to my wish list and Christmas Shopping List!!
    scribe likes this.
    Orders are here! Unpacking A45, A30, NF20 & CP10! TB Crew rocks!!

  13. #13
    Registered User blackbird's Avatar
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    I never really considered the shop bags before these posts...now, I think they'd help make shopping a much happier experience.
    Collections:
    EDC for Work: SA (with cache) + CP (with workout gear) + SE
    EDC for Play: SA + SE/CP + SE
    Travel: SA + SE + CP
    Organisation: Large + Medium YSS, Small + Medium DOP, 3DCO, 3DMO, Small WFPC, TT, Q-Kit!
    Favorite TB colors: black dyneema, forest + conifer, wasabi, iberian, olive, burnt orange
    On my wish list: Large WFPC, Snake Charmer, DLBP, Q-Kits + LS (for my crafty sister)

  14. #14
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    This post pushed me to finally order a small and large shop bag to try. I use several different types of reusable shopping bags now and would like to streamline to a single system. This is also a chance to test the limits of the dyneema fabric!
    scribe and eWalker like this.

  15. #15
    Registered User RhoFro's Avatar
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    Excellent review!

    Shop bags & the side effect are my most used Bihn product, daily. I expanded from a YSS to a small shop bag for gym gear (headphones, water, towel) and hang it from the treadmill rail. And I often use a black small as a purse. It's hard to nail down THE best shop bag feature - the awesome padded handles, inside out compression, but the ability to shoulder carry due to perfectly sized straps is my favorite.

    Word to this wise: never say "I'm only going to buy what can fit in my shop bag." I did this at Macys once and nearly wiped out the store thanks to the mysteriously cavernous shop bags.
    ~ one of virtually everything ~ Happy victim of Tom Bihn mind control

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