I've been lurking in the Forum since late summer and have learned alot about TB bags. I thought I was the only one going through mental gymnastics over finding the perfect bag for each occasion, so I feel soooo at home reading all of your trials, tribulations, and triumphs.
Right now, I'm a newbie with only a SCB. It worked well during the summer when I wanted something small and unobstrusive when wearing lightweight, minimal warm weather clothing.
A few things have changed to send my SCB to the closet: my daily carry items have changed (my wallet and cell phone have both gotten bigger.) Plus, I'm now working PT in an office and need to transport paperwork (never more than 1/2" thick) back and forth. I walk two blocks from parking space to office. I am small (5' and of slight build) so I can't carry big bags since they look like a piece of luggage on me. I also want something lightweight and no backpacks for me since I am small and don't want to give the impression of an truant schoolgirl!
Currently I am carrying a Timbuk2 XS Messenger because it has a horizontal format and multiple pockets and zippered pouches perfect for me since I like carry a Portable Office: (5 pens in various colors, 2 highliters, tiny stapler + staples, eraser, little scissors, thumb drive) in addition to my small cosmetic bag for girly supplies, chunky wallet, checkbook, filofax, .6 Sigg, iphone + headphones, pack of gum, sometimes a small snack. The paperwork has to be folded in half and crammed in there.
All this gets heavy, and of course the Timbuk2 strap is unyielding, unremovable, and very uncomfortable
I am hesitant on the bigger Cafe Bags because I never quite got the hang of the vertical orientation. Things needed to be stacked and I felt like I was digging around. I want to be able to open up my bag and see everything at a glance.
I would love all your your questions, suggestions, and input.
Thanks in advance!!!