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Thread: Question about TB backpack shoulder straps

  1. #1
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    Question about TB backpack shoulder straps

    For years, I've been using cheap, generic Wal Mart backpacks as daypacks. I take my backpack everywhere; to work (construction projects), on road trips, on hikes and volunteer work bees for recreational trails in the woods, etc. I haul a variety of items in my backpack from EDC (Every-Day Carry) items to trip items like clothes and food. In this old thread, I exhibit a couple of old, discarded backpacks I no longer use. The Kensington backpack has since been replaced by a new Tom Bihn Super Ego briefcase. The old Wal Mart backpack was replaced by a newer, cheaper Wal Mart backpack.

    And when I say "cheap", I'm not kidding. These cheap bags inevitably fall apart on me. My second-generation Wal Mart backpack is old a couple of years old, and I noticed that one of the shoulder straps is starting to fray. This bag cost me $9 when it was new.

    Money has been way too tight to replace my current daypack with a really high-quality one. But as this old Wal Mart pack reaches the end of its useful lifespan, I'm looking at Tom Bihn (Brain Bag and Smart Alec) and Red Oxx (Airborne C-Ruck).

    My question is this: How well to Bihn backpack straps wear? Are all back pack straps the same, no matter where you buy them? (By "wear", I mean "wear and tear".
    Last edited by MtnMan; 11-15-2011 at 11:09 AM. Reason: omission of needed text
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
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    I have used the Synapse nearly every day since it came out. The straps are fine.

    Nine dollars for a backpack that lasts a couple of years seems like a good deal.

    Isn't the answer to "starting to fray" "Duct tape!"?

  3. #3
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    Oh, how I would love to avoid that...
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  4. #4
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    If I subjected my cheap Walmart (or was it Costco?) backpack to the horrors I've visited upon my TB backpacks I'm sure they would come back from beyond the grave to haunt me incessantly... and yet I've never myself experienced, nor seen a forum post to the effect of TB backpack straps ever failing.

  5. #5
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    MtnMan I bought my first Brain Bag in Steel in 06.

    I used it to carry two iBooks and their respective power cords and whatnots during a move. Needless to say, the Brain Bag did not get the royal treatment, I was too tired for that.

    It carried weekend clothes when we went on short trips, I loved it so much that I ordered another one in Sapphire before we went on a domestic plane trip.

    Both bags were used on numerous trips and two subsequent moves.

    When I went to a class which required very heavy textbooks, I ditched the bag the set of books came with and used a Brain Bag, probably the Steel one.

    They look perfect, just the way the new ones look at the showroom, the Steel and Sapphire colors show no sign of grime which is a miracle given the fact that they have been moved around so much.


    But most important, the straps are heaven. I usually pack around 30 pounds each trip and the straps are so well designed that it feels very comfortable.

    While I haven't hiked in National Parks with it, I walked many block where I got lost in a city where I had to take a shuttle to get to a suburb nearby and I ran with the Brain Bag and a full Large Cafe Bag almost the whole length of Dulles terminal because I went the wrong way and barely made my flight.

    As I have written before, you cannot make a mistake with the Brain Bag!
    Last edited by backpack; 11-15-2011 at 01:27 PM.

  6. #6
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    Here's a nasty related question: has anyone here ever had to walk in the rain while carrying a Tom Bihn backpack? If so, how did the shoulder straps hold up when wet? How quickly did they dry after you got inside?
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  7. #7
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Good question. I'm interested in the answer also. Must be some Seattle folks around here who can answer this from first hand experience.....


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    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  8. #8
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    MtnMan, I have four TB backpacks. For years mine have been dragged, scooted, tossed and otherwise unceremoniously thrown into cars, buses and airplanes by the straps. I've carried way more than what's reasonable by one strap or both. Actually my preferred carry method is by one strap. All my bags look good as new. You are going to have to work, really work, in order to hurt one.

    As for budgeting issues, one quality bag is WAY better than two tacky bags that you know will fail the only question is when. Start saving and take your time deciding which TB bag best suits you. You will NOT be sorry.
    Moose
    Last edited by Moose; 10-27-2013 at 08:51 AM.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  9. #9
    Registered User Rocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Here's a nasty related question: has anyone here ever had to walk in the rain while carrying a Tom Bihn backpack? If so, how did the shoulder straps hold up when wet? How quickly did they dry after you got inside?
    I've been caught in the rain many times with my Synapse 19, which is my everyday bag. I'm not sure what you mean by how well the straps hold up. They get wet, but don't disintegrate or slip or anything. Usually everything dries overnight if not sooner. I like being out in the rain with my Synapse. It spiffs it back up!


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