Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6

    Western Flyer sling strap

    As i said in my comment on the review of the Western Flyer, there's one big problem (to my mind) with the design of the Western Flyer: either (a) you have to pack the sling strap away in the back outside compartment of the bag, when you're not using it, or (b) you have to leave that compartment partially unzipped so as to get the strap out, since it's sewn in inside the compartment. As someone who might use that strap once in ten times when taking the bag somewhere, (a) is the major disadvantage for me, but for someone who actually uses it, (b) would be a real downer, too.

    My suggestion would be to offer a bag just like this, only without the sling strap altogether. Alternatively, you could make the strap detachable, and attach it at the top with a pair of recessed fittings (comparable to the fitting at the bottom of the strap) entirely external to the compartment on the back of the bag.

    Just a thought. A compact travel bag with room for a couple of days clothes as well as papers, miscellaneous stuff, and a laptop (like my new MacBook Air) would be fantastic. That's what I thought I was getting in the WF, but alas, it didn't quite live up to the promise. At least not for me.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    546
    What would you be putting in that back compartment that wouldn't fare as well in the main compartment? Say, with a Horizontal Freudian Slip or something? I'm curious, since you're not really losing out on space... maybe just organization.

    If you don't use the sling strap, you could still put some stuff in that pocket along with the strap.. it's not that huge. Maybe a bit awkward if you wanted to put your files in there or something and didn't want them creased.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Just View Post
    What would you be putting in that back compartment that wouldn't fare as well in the main compartment? Say, with a Horizontal Freudian Slip or something? I'm curious, since you're not really losing out on space... maybe just organization.
    Of course there's no particular object that could only go in the back compartment .... but I tend to carry a lot of stuff, and I want all the room the bag offers. If the main compartment is full, I want to be able to put things in this other compartment, which I can't do if it's got that strap in it.

    If you don't use the sling strap, you could still put some stuff in that pocket along with the strap.. it's not that huge. Maybe a bit awkward if you wanted to put your files in there or something and didn't want them creased.
    Exactly. If the strap is in there, it interferes with whatever else I might want to put in (papers, files, etc. -- the obvious candidates for a compartment like this). And if the strap is out and in use, the compartment has to be left partly unzipped, which is also less than optimal.

    My remarks here are motivated by my disappointment when I actually received the bag and saw how it would have to work -- not just by a theoretical analysis based on pictures on the web site..... And as I say, the bag would be just about perfect (for me, at least) if the sling strap were entirely external and detachable, rather than permanently attached (at one end) to the inside of one compartment.

  4. #4
    CEO
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Upper left hand corner of the U.S. map (lower 48 states)
    Posts
    242
    I used to own a Subaru Legacy wagon - an OK car really. Now I drive a VW Golf TDI - way more fun, but that's another story. Anyway the important part is that the Subaru wagon had a roof rack, built-in. It came with the roof rack as a standard feature. Now, I have lots of friends who owned the same or similar Subarus, and they all loved the built-in roof rack, and used it all the time. But I never used the roof rack. And because my gas milage was lower with the roof rack than it would have been without the rack, the roof rack was not a good feature for me. For my friends who loved their Subarus with built-in racks, the compromise on the fuel efficiency was worth it. But not for me.

    However, I think it would be a stretch to call the roof-rack-as-standard-feature a design flaw. I'd call it a feature that, while perhaps useful to most people, was not useful to me.

    In the same way, the sling strap on the Western Flyer is a feature, a feature that some people might not find useful, but I disagree that it's a design flaw.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6
    I use the roof rack on my Subaru Legacy wagon roughly once a year: to bring home the Christmas tree. The rest of the year it's up there where I don't notice it, unused. Perhaps it has a small effect on gas mileage, but it doesn't really affect the functionality of the car.

    That's different from the way the sling strap on the Western Flyer bag is implemented: it would have kept me from using the back compartment, either by occupying a good bit of the space there or by forcing me to leave the compartment partially unzipped while dashing through the airport.

    I agree that the strap is (potentially, at least) a feature. What I was trying to say was that the way it's been done, sewn permanently into the interior of the back compartment, has a negative effect on the overall functionality of the bag, at least for me, and that (not the presence of the strap, but the way it's attached) seems to me like a design flaw. If I had kept the bag, I would have used that strap roughly as often as I use the roof rack of my Subaru, but regardless of whether I was using it or not, it would have had this consequence for what I could put in the bag.

    As far as I know, there's no other travel bag on the market like the Western Flyer, and the basic idea is just what I need. I'm just a consumer, trying to provide some feedback on the implementation of that idea, which I found to be in need of some change. But perhaps I'm wasting my time.

  6. #6
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    The far west
    Posts
    4,410
    Quote Originally Posted by linguist View Post
    I'm just a consumer, trying to provide some feedback on the implementation of that idea, which I found to be in need of some change. But perhaps I'm wasting my time.
    Hey linguist,

    We listen to the feedback of all of our customers. Due specifically to your feedback, we have considered and discussed introducing a version of the Western Flyer that doesn't have the zip-away sling strap.

    Thus far, most of the feedback that we receive about the Western Flyer sling strap (and the Aeronaut zip-away backpack straps) is positive. People find the utility of the zip-away straps and the extra carrying option they provide to be a feature of the bags. Before you provided us with your feedback, we hadn't heard from a customer who didn't like the zip-away strap feature. That (thus far) your opinion is a minority opinion doesn't mean we don't listen to your feedback: I think our replies show the exact opposite. We've listened to and continue to consider it, and we're glad that you've provided it: you really care, and we do too, and that's a great thing.

    Now: there are two threads on this subject in two separate sub-forums (Product Suggestions and Bag Reviews) that are receiving the exact same replies. In an effort not to be redundant and to better serve those who browse these forums, we need to keep this topic to one thread. I'd like to give you the option of which thread you'd like to keep this discussion in -- this thread in Product Suggestions or this one in Bag Reviews. (Should we keep this discussion in this thread in Product Suggestions, we can leave a link in the thread in Bag Reviews after your first post in that thread pointing folks to this discussion.)
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Thus far, most of the feedback that we receive about the Western Flyer sling strap (and the Aeronaut zip-away backpack straps) is positive. People find the utility of the zip-away straps and the extra carrying option they provide to be a feature of the bags. Before you provided us with your feedback, we hadn't heard from a customer who didn't like the zip-away strap feature.
    Just for the record, I've been trying to point out that I don't have a problem with the sling strap per se. I'm sure it's useful under some circumstances for some people - maybe even for me. My sole objection is to the way it's attached: permanently sewn to the inside of the back compartment. I really think it would be possible to provide the same strap with a buckle attachment outside that compartment, making it possible to remove it altogether when not in use, and to fully close the compartment when the strap is in use. Though of course I'm not a bag designer.

    Now: there are two threads on this subject in two separate sub-forums (Product Suggestions and Bag Reviews) that are receiving the exact same replies. In an effort not to be redundant and to better serve those who browse these forums, we need to keep this topic to one thread. I'd like to give you the option of which thread you'd like to keep this discussion in -- this thread in Product Suggestions or this one in Bag Reviews. (Should we keep this discussion in this thread in Product Suggestions, we can leave a link in the thread in Bag Reviews after your first post in that thread pointing folks to this discussion.)
    As you like. I've said what I have to say, anyway.


Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0