We just got a sample Q-AM (Quick Adjust Messenger) Strapyesterday and of course- I couldn't resist giving it a try.
- This is one of three strap options for the ID Bag and I imagine, any Messenge type bag that uses the same ladder-lock as is on the ID Bag (1.5" 1/2 toothed)
- The other two strap options are the Standard strap and the Abolute strap.
- Whereas the other strap options are one length of strap that are then threaded into the ladder lock on each end of the bag, the Q-AM attaches that way but then pulls a neat trick as well.
- A messenger/bike rider using the ID with any of the other straps would customarily drape the main strap across thier chest and then anchor the base of the bag using the waist strap. This is a pretty standard arrangement.
- The Q-AM strap however, allows the user to attach the male end of the waist strap directly to a short sliding intermediary straplette on the main Q-AM structure. This effectively draws an angled anchor coming from the bottom of the bag to the chest.
- The ergonomics of this new option wasn't lost on me as I discovered that it was really faster to don and doff the ID bag using the Q-AM when in a hurry. I can see why professional messengers may prefer this as they must perform this routine many times over the course of a day.
-This arrangement has additonal pluses and only a couple of minuses to it.
(+) Because theQ-AM padding is NOT the stretchy kind used in the Absolute strap, it mitigates 'bounce' .This makes for a controlled carry of a loaded messenger bag when on a bike.
(+) The weight distribution and comfort in carrying the bag makes more sense for a rider bending over in a riding posture- as no tension is placed on thier waist - as would occur if the customary waist strap was used. This is contrasted to someone climbing a hill on foot-for example. In that case, the waist strap is preferrable as it mitigates bounce and shares the load better from the shoulder.
(+) Detaching the secondary strap is easier/faster for a rider using the Q-AM since it's positioned up near the chest rather than at the waist.No more reaching down under layers of outerwear to find the buckle release.
(-) Some riders sitting up straight, may prefer the waist strap since it may better suit thier anatomical build (See> Anthropometrics)
(-) Unless you're wearing the bag, the short intermediate connection looks a bit lonely when detached- this is a minor aesthetic gripe.Once the rig is set, a solitary one half of a waist strap remains dangling off of the bag. Unless I missed something, it just hangs down, waving.
(-) Well endowed female users may discover that the tethering strap lands at a problematic location on their anatomy - this predicament dosn't occur when using the waist strap normally and again, it really depends on personal preference as well as individual anatomical topography.
Consclusion- the addition of the Q-AM strap to the Tom Bihn strap lineup, gives customers yet another excellent option for specialized use of the ID Bag as well as similar messenger bags . Professional messengers will love it
What's Missing? Nothing at all except for the Tom Bihn logo tag