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!
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!