New bag - Imago? Id?
Me: Librarian (prone to carrying books) who is short (5'1") and comes from a long line of European peasants good at surviving famines (not a small woman: broad shoulders and a chest to match, and waist straps are rarely comfortable for me.)
My current bag: A large Cafe bag which is great, but slightly too small for my dream bag, especially the 3" dimension. I've had it for 3+ years, and the strap's starting to wear out (the padding that goes over the shoulder) after daily use all that time, so a new bag makes sense.
What I usually carry:
- Keys (clipped to key strap)
- Wallet (small pouch, but would like to tuck somewhere secure but accessible)
- Notebook (8.5 x 11 sketch book or slightly larger) or thin 3 ring binder.
- 1-3 books (normal reading books, not textbooks)
- cell phone
- water bottle
- Insulated mug for tea (after it's empty: before that, I hand-carry).
- 3x5 Index cards or small notebook
- I expect I might add a netbook or something similar in the next year.
- I live in a tiny house: one bag that's really flexible is important to me.
What I sometimes want to use it for (taking some stuff out if needed):
- Walking to the library, collecting new books, and walking back. (about a mile each way, and usually 4-8 books.)
- Personal travel (airport + plane stuff to do, plus maybe a simple change of clothes/underwear or another layer.)
- Hobby materials (drop spindle + wool - think the size of a wine bottle or so) or a couple of large books.
Colors: Black, steel, storm, and sapphire all go with the things I wear and my personal tastes. Plum is not out of the question, but (as cool as I think the wasabi/cayenne/scarlet/cocoa are) they just won't go with anything else in my life.) I'd be a lot happier with the Imago's navy/storm/sapphire choice if it were black or steel instead of the navy.
- I'm really interested in more details on inside pockets and side pockets: something secure but accessible is really important to me. (Every so often, stuff slips out when my bag gets over turned in the car now - cell phone, iPod, etc.) I always notice, but it's also a pain. How do the pockets hold for you? How accessible are small things you need once or twice a day, but want secure the rest of the time?
- Size. Is the ID *way* too big for what I want to carry, or will it just be roomy but not have things rattling around?
- I'm probably not going to buy until May or June, and if there's a new bag coming down the line or new color combinations in process that would be a great fit, I'm open to waiting a bit for that, too. (I've been checking the forums, but might miss something cool.)
At first glance, the Imago seems to fit your size requirement (bigger than Large Cafe) but it has the same top as the Cafe bags, i.e., no zipper. The ID does have a zipper.
Weight-wise, I think the Imago has the advantage (depending on the person, of course), because it is almost a pound less than the ID.
If plum were your color, I would suggest some contact because I have a plum/olive Imago that has not really grown on me. Only used it once or twice. I am moving toward trying the Cafe bags :-)
Good luck with your deciding. It will be interesting to read anything Darcy can share re: colors, etc.
ps: polite ahem, yes, the "lib" in my name is for librarian. Cheers!
I'm very similar in build and very similar in bag contents, so here goes:
I would say the Imago and spring for an Absolute shoulder strap; makes a HUGE difference in weight distribution over the regular shoulder pad. As for color, there's a lovely Imago in ballistic Steel with cork accent. The wasabi interior is not a garsih as one would think and really does contrast the contents.
You certainly could add a large Stuff Sack (which is made for spindles/spinners) with little difficulty. I carry a small Stuff Sack w/knits in progress (KIP) daily.
I agree with scotlib and cancoi - the Imago would be the best choice for you. Have you considered the Black/Black/Wasabi or Steel/Steel/Cayenne color combinations? The Wasabi or Cayenne would only show once you open the bag - and because they are lighter colors, they will allow you to see the contents of the bag more easily. We did just add several new color combinations of Imago and don't plan to add or change color combinations again for a while. It sounds like the color combinations that most closely match your preferred colors are the Black/Black/Wasabi, Steel/Steel/Cayenne, or Navy/Storm/Sapphire. You didn't mention either liking or disliking the Olive - Olive/Cork/Olive is also an option.
Much thanks for the comments! It does look like the Imago is the way I'll probably go.
Darcy: even as an inside color, still so not me. (And I think it'd give half my friends a shock, as I'm well known for my aversion to having certain colors around me - and cayenne and wasabi are both in that group.) But the more I look at the navy/storm/sapphire, the more it's growing on me.
Thanks as well for all the advice on the benefits of the Absolute Shoulder Strap - I've been going back and forth about it, and it helps to know it's really that useful.
For the record, I found your sentence about your long line of European ancestry to be very funny. But I have owned the Imago for a while so I can comment a bit on it.
Originally Posted by Jenett
I kind of go back and forth on the Absolute Shoulder Strap. It is awesome for keeping my Imago secure to my back and not letting it flop around. But when I do want to grab something out, it isn't long enough so I can get a clear view of what's in the bag. But that is just a function of how tall you are. One thing to consider is how would it feel to have rigid books strapped secure to your back? On the flip side, it would drive me nuts to have rigid books bumping my leg as I walked if the bag were just hanging over my shoulder. I do think the Absolute strap is more comfortable in the long haul.
The pockets on the Imago are very nice and I really enjoy the style of the inside ones. but when it comes to 100% secure pockets you are limited to the zippers.One irk of mine is the side zippers are mostly unused by me. My very old cell phone used to fit in there but most modern fancy phones are tight or don't fit at all. Even my large iPod doesn't fit but a smaller one would. One thing you could try is a small pouch attached to the outside ring that sits in the outside non-zipper pocket. I do this now and it works fine.
I would say go for the Imago Navy/Storm/Sapphire.
I thought long and hard thinking of buying one, as it is soo gorgeous but I went for the Sapphire/Steel Large Cafe Bag instead, the north south orientation fits me better.
I have a Storm/Sapphire Small Cafe Bag and together the color are astonishingly beautiful.:)
I also have a Black/Sapphire Swift. Gorgeous as well. :)
I am with you on Wasabi. While I am not completely adverse to Cayenne, it is beautiful, I don't own anything in the orange or red family, it clashes with my outfits in the blue, pink and teal families.
Steel on the other hand is the most beautiful neutral ever. A Tom Bihn bag or even an accessory such as the Kit or a Pouch is worth a try to experience it.
If anything, this too is one of my pet peeves about all the TB side pouches... They work fine if you just use a cell "phone". But these days lots of us use smart phones/cameras/GPS/personalelectronicsecretary... They really could stand to be widened up by a few...
Originally Posted by pretzelb