Hey there forumers!
Have been reading through old threads to get some clue about this but need to ask. I'm about to place my first TB order and as I'm ordering it shipped to Europe I'd rather get everything I need at once and hopefully not end up with a need to return or swap anything.
I have already settled for the Small Cafe Bag. It seems perfect for those essentials when I want to roam the streets with a light luggage but still keep the bare essentials with me (money, phone, a couple of pens, micro four-thirds camera with lens attached). No other small bag I've seen comes with a waist belt / stabilizer strap which I imagine really helps when wearing the bag for hours at a time.
Now then, I still have a need for a bigger shoulder bag. Daypack on travels that rides snuggly on trains and metros but can also hang on while doing very light hiking on hills and medows. EDC that I can walk and bike with without fear of it flopping around or killing my back. Would fit the above mentioned objects plus a separate zoom lens for the camera in a padded puch, small pen case and small hardcover notebook, a 16 oz / 0,5 L water bottle plus a few small knick knacks -- and yet be able to squeeze in a spare coat or scarf, a spur-of-the-moment purchase and/or something my husband aquires and doesn't have a pocket for (hah).
I've made paper mock-ups of the Large and Medium Cafe Bags (with a sketch of how much room camera + extra lens would take because that is what I need the bag for mainly) and the size of the medium seems better. Roomy but still so compact that it can't be overloaded above my carrying abilities. Would fit my everyday items and a small thing extra, not a whole lot more though. The large seems huge, at least on paper, and I'm afraid having all that extra room I would just fill it -- and end up with back pains. I have 14 L and 20 L backbags that I use when I really need a lot and the 11 L LCB already gets very close to the lower end of that range.
My main problem lies with the strap. I get easily tired of wearing a shoulder bag and need something sturdy and comfortable. I imagine the waist strap already helps a lot, as well as the stabilizer. But with the camera equipment and a water bottle I know a bag quickly gets heavy to have on one shoulder (eventhough I always carry my bags cross-body). Which is why I look at the LCB in the first place: the Absolute strap just seems to be what I would need.
So help a sister out here: how much weight are you comfortable carrying in your Medium Cafe Bag (with or without suede strap wrap)? Does it gets painful when the bag is very full? Or Absolute Strap owners: how big of a difference does it really make? LCB owners: does the bag look gigantic on a skinny not-that-tall lady and how does it work when not filled to the max, can it be scruched down?
Questions, questions. Making expensive orders from across the Atlantic can be tricky.