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Thread: anybody NOT use the absolute strap?

  1. #1
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    anybody NOT use the absolute strap?

    Hi there,
    With the Western Flyer and other travel bags, everybody highly recommends the Absolute strap. I was wondering whether there is anybody who DOESN'T use the Absolute strap with their Tom Bihn luggage, and how they fare without it. For example, do you get along well with just backpack straps?

    Here is why I'm asking: I have small shoulders that slope a bit, and straps fall off. In fact, all straps fall down. Back pack straps, bra straps, etc... I like to use the sternum strap on backpacks just so the straps will stay on -- not for weight distribution.

    So I'm thinking that the Absolute might be no different, and that the strap would fall off. Perhaps it would not fall off in cross-body mode, but it seems slightly uncomfortable to carry a bag this size in cross-body mode.

    My naturual inclination would be to NOT purchase the strap, since I've never had luck with them in the past. The only reason I'm waffling is because the Absolute strap comes so highly recommended by everyone.

  2. #2
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    I have the same shoulder configuration, everything, but the Absolute Strap and the Brain Bag straps falls off.

    While the most comfortable way to use the Western Flyer is the backpack mode, especially inside transportation hubs, I would recommend you get the Absolute Strap, it will allow you to carry the Western Flyer briefcase style giving you two bags in one.
    Last edited by backpack; 07-28-2011 at 09:29 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered User Flinx's Avatar
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    Hi thisisme.

    My experience with the Absolute Shoulder Strap is that it's the most comfortable shoulder strap I've ever owned.
    I have to carry a monster (ie. heavy) laptop in my SuperEgo, which I carry cross-body, along with a bunch of other miscellaneous everyday stuff, and the Strap acts as both padding and shock absorber, distributing the weight nicely over the shoulder it sits on. I have not experienced chafing, rubbing, bruising, or any discomfort from the Strap itself, even while using it with just a t-shirt on. The wide neoprene portion of the strap also tends to "grip" nicely, preventing slipping.
    I'll be posting a review of my new Aeronaut later this year after a trip to Croatia, and I'll be carrying it around with... Yup! An Absolute Shoulder Strap!

    I highly recommend it!
    Ted

    SuperEgo in black/steel/wasabi; Aeronaut in cardinal/steel; Horizontal Cache (2M) in charcoal; Travel Tray in Ultraviolet

  4. #4
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    I am 5'2" and have a small to medium build. I use my WF in backpack mode only, except when I am transferring it like putting it into my car. It is very comfortable carried with the backpack straps in this way. I see no reason to carry it over my shoulder unless I was traveling with my Synapse or eBags Motherlode which is also a convertible backpack.
    I have an Absolute Strap, but use it on my Imago. FWIW the Absolute strap hugs and grips, so it would probably surprise you with how well it did stay on your shoulder. But you don't need it to comfortably manage the Western Flyer IMHO.
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  5. #5
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    I don't use an Absolute Strap. Incidentally, I don't have one either :'-(

    Black/Steel/Wasabi Super Ego, Cardinal/Steel 15"/13" Cadet, Cardinal/Steel Aeronaut, Olive/Cayenne 13" Ristretto, Camera Insert/Outsert, Horizontal Freudian Slip, 13" MBA Cache, Brain Cell for 13" Macbook, Steel Snake Charmer, FoT/FoJ pouch, Organizer Wallet, and more organizer pouches than I can shake a stick at.

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    I have a couple of absolute straps that I switch among various bags. In the past I have attached it to my TriStar but found I used either one of handles or the backpack straps. A bag the size of the TriStar just seems to get a bit too heavy or is a bit too awkward fro me to use with a shoulder strap. Same for the WF when I had one. (I am fairly average sized 5' 9", 160 lbs). The absolute straps are great for smaller bags - Tom Bihn and others
    Last edited by rabergnc; 07-28-2011 at 11:28 AM. Reason: typos again

  7. #7
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    I'm 5'8" and have relatively broad shoulders, for a woman (they go well with my long gorilla arms). And yet I too have problems with shoulder straps: though not necessarily with them sliding off. The Absolute Strap, which I have used with both my Imago and my Tri-Star, will grip your shoulder, so it's not going to fall off. And it is soft and cushy, and does make carrying a bag less stressful and painful. The problem I have is that it's so wide (about 2 5/8 inches) that it feels too big in that dimension, too bulky riding on my shoulder. That's just my own little quirk. :P

    Don't get me wrong: the Absolute is a remarkable strap, and I don't regret purchasing it. I do keep it permanently affixed to my Imago, though I've stopped using it with my Tri-Star; the backpack straps help me carry a heavier load more comfortably than any shoulder strap could, even the Absolute. However, sometimes I do find myself picking up my Medium Cafe Bag and using it for the day, precisely because it does not have an Absolute Strap attached. I find the narrower strap of the MCB more comfortable in situations when I'm going to be taking it off and on a lot: say driving around and doing multiple errands in my car. If I'm going to be walking around town all day with all my gear in tow, then I use the Imago with its Absolute Strap.

  8. #8
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    The absolute shoulder strap is clearly the best strap out there. I almost have the same level of comfort with heavy loads in my Aeronaut using the absolute strap as I do in backpack mode.

  9. #9
    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Count me and my husband in for this. My husband says the leather reinforcement portion that's sewn on the edge of the neoprene section feels extra stiff to him, and unfortunately tends to dig into his collar bone and he says it's actually physically uncomfortable for him.

    I don't have the same problem, but I'm not a fan of the "bouncy feel" you get from the Neoprene.

    Currently for my WF and our Tri-Stars, we use Rick Steves' extra padding shoulder strap. It's pretty sturdy and has no bounce.
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  10. #10
    Registered User marbenais's Avatar
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    I prefer to use the Standard Strap for the Large Cafe Bag & Imago & Co-Pilot because I really like having the pad stay in place while the strap moves. I do not like repositioning the strap when I swing a messenger bag around -- with the separate pad, the strap slides through without manual adjustments.
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  11. #11
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    I prefer using the backpack straps with my Aeronaut. Especially since I was able to add the waist strap to mine. I have an absolute strap, but the only time I use it is when I need to carry my spinning wheel (since that goes on my back)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzporah View Post
    I prefer using the backpack straps with my Aeronaut. Especially since I was able to add the waist strap to mine. I have an absolute strap, but the only time I use it is when I need to carry my spinning wheel (since that goes on my back)
    @Tzporah -- does the waist strap tuck in when not in use?
    Thanks!

  13. #13
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    Mine was an add on and actually comes off. I'm pretty sure this is how the newer ones work as well.

  14. #14
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    I'm glad I have the Absolute Strap, but that's because my husband is a fan of it. I much prefer the backpack straps for my TriStar. If the bag isn't very heavy, I just carry it by the suitcase handles.

  15. #15
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    Western Flyer. Tried the Absolute Strap, I don't doubt it's the best of its breed, but I will be returning it. Backpack straps are way more practical. Shoulder straps are annoying when you aren't using them - they can't tuck into the bag like the shoulder straps do, and the Absolute Strap is pretty bulky to be putting in your bag.

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