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Thread: Swift vs. Little Swift and handle drop length

  1. #1
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    Swift vs. Little Swift and handle drop length

    Can someone give me the handle drop length for the swift family? Thanks! And for anyone that has both bags, how are you using/stuffing them? For EDC, which seems to be your go-to? I am coming from the perspective of a mom juggling work and kids rather than as a knitter, FYI. Thanks in advance!
    Oh, and how does the side effect work for you in each bag?? (LOVE my side effect!!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by luvdabags View Post
    Can someone give me the handle drop length for the swift family? Thanks! And for anyone that has both bags, how are you using/stuffing them? For EDC, which seems to be your go-to? I am coming from the perspective of a mom juggling work and kids rather than as a knitter, FYI. Thanks in advance!
    Oh, and how does the side effect work for you in each bag?? (LOVE my side effect!!)
    I have the Little Swift as my EDC, so I can give you that right now: if I shoulder carry the LS, it's about 9.5-9.7" from the underside of the poron handle to the top of the bag. (That's measured with the Little Swift lying flat on a table, and with no weight bearing.) Suspended (e.g. held vertically in my hand), it's about 10.25" from the underside of the handle to the top piping of the bag. I carry this bag all the time with a Side Effect that holds my iPad Mini and Kindle Paperwhite, among other items. I also use it to hold iPads in cache(s) (can take a couple as well as my Side Effect. You can take a look at peregrina's old post on the Little Swift to see the bag that I usually carry (Little Swift in Hemp, which I had on order when she posted the pictures). She also made a YouTube video demo from the thread A Packed Little Swift:
    penny likes this.

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    I have both bags, and it depends on where I'm going. I use the Side Effect as my 'purse' and just switch it in and out of the two sizes (and/or my other TB bags). For work, I take the Swift. It can hold a 13" computer inside a Cache plus a multitude of other things. Today I had a 3D cube full of cables, a pack lunch, a cardigan, an umbrella, and a file folder, plus the Cache and the Side Effect. Last week I used the Pilot for work, but it can't accommodate the lunch/sweater/extra item on the fly that well as the Swift. For any other non-work purpose, I take the Little Swift. Over the weekend I was toting around 2 Shop Bags, the Side Effect, and a few misc items when I was out on errands. For around-the-town type activities, the Swift would be too much for me. However, if you were packing it like a diaper bag, it might be the better choice. I also find the pockets on the Swift to be gigantic. They are see-through though, so it's not hard to find stuff, just very deep digging around. Another comparison to the Pilot: the Swift/Little Swift has greater access when in motion. The top fastens at three 'widths' and you can save yourself the time of tugging individual zippers when you're on the go with either of these bags.

    Using the trusty TB ruler that comes with both bags, it looks like the drop is ~9.5 inches. I am 5'10" and have never had any trouble with the 'carry' of each of these bags. I find that the ballistic holds up better when stuffing the Swift, but this could be a consequence of using it to tote around a laptop. The Swift/Little Swift style is great for EDC for non-knitters. Hope this helps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkintea View Post
    Using the trusty TB ruler that comes with both bags, it looks like the drop is ~9.5 inches. I am 5'10" and have never had any trouble with the 'carry' of each of these bags. I find that the ballistic holds up better when stuffing the Swift, but this could be a consequence of using it to tote around a laptop. The Swift/Little Swift style is great for EDC for non-knitters. Hope this helps!
    Agree with this and the earlier comments. I have the Swift, too, but I'm still using the Lux bag (Swift predecessor, made only in Ballistic Nylon and with fabric pockets instead of clear urethane for the interior), so while I could measure the bag that is immediately to hand, I couldn't guarantee the dimensions would be exactly the same as the Swift. (I have other Swifts and Little Swifts, but the habit dies hard to use my "original" purchase, and these bags just don't wear out.) Ballistic Nylon does hold up better at carrying items that may be sprawly and unbalanced and staying open. that was mostly noticeable in the comparison between the Cordura Swifts and Little Swifts (that had great colors like Azalea, but are now no longer sold). The 400d Dyneema options are somewhere in between the Cordura and the Ballistic Nylon in that ability, and the older fabrics like Hemp and Cork (if you can find these bags) are basically in the same category as Ballistic Nylon for those purposes, with Ultrasuede (I think this may have only been an option for the Little Swift) being more like the 400d Dyneema. I think you'll find the 400d Dyneema works just fine for the Little Swift (have this in the 400d Black Dyneema/Iberian, which is gorgeous, and more impressive in person than in the pictures -- basically this is the combination that led me to order the Pilot in a Black 400d/Wasabi Dyneema option). In the larger size Swift, you may notice the difference in the way the bag stays upright when empty or filled with an unbalanced load more when using the 400d Dyneema instead of Ballistic Nylon. (This is an extreme case, like putting in a laptop in a cache or filling an otherwise empty Swift with sprawly cables that expand to fill the available volume and having the bag to still stay upright, even when otherwise empty.). In the larger size Swift, the plus trade off for the 400d Dyneema (that I have in 400d Nordic/Steel Dyneema) may be that the bag may mold a bit more to your side when carried, while still working reasonably well in standing upright when carrying other items (though Ballistic Nylon is the best for this of the currently available options I've tried.)

    If you're worried about the hand carry drop distance of the Swift, this works pretty well for a range of heights. (I'm 5'4", and I believe that dorayme has some photos that demo these bags and the large shop bags hand carried),

    Another accessory that works well in the Swift is the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, which you can fit in as an easy separate bag. how old are the kids? There are other threads outlining use of the PCSB and the Snake Charmer for diapers, although the PCSB will work more generally carrying items for older kids.

    I also agree that the Swift can carry a LOT -- also in terms of weight, if you need to load it up. Hope,others will weigh in here.

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    Thanks for all the info. My kiddos are out of diapers (thank goodness!) but now revel in handing me stuff to carry like drawing pads and pencils, books, skylanders, rocks that look like princess shoes, mittens, hats, etc. I need to be able to carry my paper (old school!) planner that is a bout 8x10, my SE, a small OP with 2 iPod and earbuds, a small OP with first aid type stuff, and a mini OP with sunscreen/chapstick/mints. I have an open tote I use successfully, and I like the pilot for the organization, but I am going crazy with the cross body strap over poofy winter hooded coats! I feel sure that spring will return someday...! I like to have the quick access for just running around town doing errands or kid adventures. And, I forever quest for (and fail to achieve) minimalism. And, I don't really like messenger flaps. So, there you go. Do you think the Little Swift fits that bill? And, Darcy, will they make the ballistic Aubergine/Navy outer color combo again ever?? That is my DREAM combo.

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    Personally, I would recommend the Swift. As much as I like my Little Swift, I find I don't carry it much because it's just a smidge too small for my needs most of the time. I like to carry my Side Effect plus a knitting pouch and a small travel pouch with a few essentials. While it will fit in the LS, it doesn't give me the margin I would like to put more in it without it feeling over packed.
    Last edited by Mausermama; 02-25-2014 at 07:36 AM. Reason: Spelling

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    Mausermama--That is my concern with the smaller size, and, that is also why I never achieve minimalism! Thanks to all for the info. Would love to hear more!

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    I would also go with the Swift, given those constraints. With the different items, I would choose ballistic also.


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    I have used my Swift as an EDC before I had my Synapse 19.

    It could carry lunch, a rectangle able to fit a typical microwaved single serving dish; two isolated long mugs, one can fit into the Co-Pilot water bottle pocket, as a fellow forum member showed in a picture or described; Medium Clear Bottom Yarn Stuff Sack with a skein and plastic canvas small squares (which means it couldn't squish that much); a paperback; a cardigan; a packable rain shell and small purchases.



    Sometimes the bulk of the load was books, everything else was placed in or clipped into my Large Cafe Bag and lunch was replaced by snack bars.

    The Swift is extremely roomy and very convenient to reach in, pull out stuff from, find small stuff (those unique clear pockets), you can also use inner button to make tight closure.
    Perfect if the bag sits in the passenger seat on car trips and want to nose dive after hard breaking or in public transport during pickpocket season.

    The Packing Cube Shoulder Bag is the perfect fit inside the Swift, it make for a wonderful extra zippered pocket.
    Someone posted a picture of a Side Effect on top of a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, the former is slightly smaller than the latter, so yes, the Side Effect fits.


    I have a Little Swift on my list for those times when cute should prevail over utilitarianism, girls nites, date night, reception or diner where dressing up is important but it is not fully formal.
    Last edited by backpack; 02-25-2014 at 11:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    I have a Little Swift on my list for those times when cute should prevail over utilitarianism, girls nites, date night, reception or diner where dressing up is important but it is not fully formal.
    Exactly that. That's why I have a black/black/UV Little Swift on my wish list. My current Little Swift is Navy/Steel, and while I love it, most of my dressier things are in the black family. I'm holding out for now just because I'm curious about the upcoming cross-body knitting bag, but once it's released, I hope to purchase the black bag. It will be my first black Tom Bihn bag, as I love color and tend to go for brighter hues.


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