Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    37

    better travel bag: imago or large cafe bag?

    Hi, all,

    I'll be going on an extended trip to Asia. I'm already bringing my Smart Alec, but I also want to bring a messenger or sling bag with me. It's between the Imago and LCB. I would be using it as an every day carry in crowded pickpocket-infested areas, as well as on planes, trains, taxis, subways etc. Things I'd like to bring with me: phone, camera, Kindle, the Kit (chapstick, first aid kit, sunscreen, USB stick, meds), pocket Moleskine, sunglasses. I may need room for souvenirs or kids' items. Here are some thoughts I had.

    LCB pros: lighter, can be packed into Smart Alec, seems to hug the body, could pass as a large purse/tote
    LCB cons: seems more open because it's floppier, only one zipper pocket, less organization

    Imago pros: like the many pockets and zippered compartments, can tighten buckle to adjust to contents
    Imago cons: heavier, doesn't seem to expand as much as LCB (because it's more stiff)

    My impression is that more people travel with the LCB. Anyone had experience traveling with either? Any other considerations? How about making the bags more secure? I'd appreciate any input! thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    57
    I would say the Large Cafe Bag. It has plenty of pockets. You can aways add a pouch or something if that is what you are after.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,543
    Ever since I got my first LCB it has been my personal item on every trip.

    It performs splendidly during plane, car and train trips and does the best of job while commuting by bus or metro.

    Because it is deep and the bottom is really ends up low, for me it is mid thigh when worn cross body, it would take more work for somebody to sneak and steal from it.


    With the Absolute Strap is really fits perfectly in front, on the side or on the back and worn cross body is ready for a dash to the plane, train or bus.

    I speak from experience as I have done all three with the Large Cafe Bag and with zillions of other bags.

    The Large Cafe Bags gets an A.

    The other from an F to a Z because their cumbersomeness made my terminal trip hell or assured that I miss the bus.


    The Cafe Bag can be organized with the help of the O rings in the main compartment and Pouches which you can color code for ease of use.

    It holds a ton as you know, thieves don't like to get caught and if what they feel putting their hand in your bag are hooked stuff hard to remove, Pouches in O ring they go on to take on an easier bag to pick on.

    Another idea is to clip a Key Strap or Large Key strap to both O rings inside the main compartment, clip a key ring on the other side, (it would be nice if Tom Bihn In sold their cute O rings by themselves) then clip your Pouches on the key ring.

    For more thieves deterrent add a little bell on each key ring.

    Wear it cross body and under something if only a wind breaker.


    I don't have any feedback about the Imago I came really close to get one when it was offered in Navy/ Sapphire/Storm and again now the Indigo/Plum/Steel calls to me.


    But... north/south bags are much more comfortable for me to wear, the Imago would only be used for storing reading or calligraphy related supplies, in other words paper, bookmarks, clips...

    I can only justify its purchase if I become independently wealthy, but one can dream.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    425
    I don't have any experience with the Imago. When I got the LCB, I found that I preferred its vertical orientation. For extra security, wear it with the flap against your body and the waist strap buckled.

    Room for souvenirs or kids' stuff? I'd throw in a Small Shop Bag, just in case.

    Now it's time for the Imago wearers to chime in.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    225
    My LCB is a trooper. And I can tell you I've thrown a lot of demands at it.

    Personally, I like the versatility of having more open space since I have so many of the various TB pouches I use regularly. As gmanedit mentions, the vertical orientation has worked very well for me, both for security and configuring the contents.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    613
    Besides clipping pouches to the O-ring, you could get a Side Effect and clip that to the o-rings. Put your camera, phone, and wallet in that, and zipper it shut. Even if a pickpocket got his hand inside, he'd come across another obstacle. Or, if they try to cut the bag to grab whatever falls out, your stuff would be attached to the LCB and not drop out.

    And, if for any reason, you weren't allowed to take the LCB into someplace, you would than remove the Side Effect and wear it around your waist. No need to "check' your valuables.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    37
    Thanks Pord, backpack, gmanedit, KarlJ, and fbrown627! Great ideas, like the side effect connected inside, using bells ;) and I forgot about the waist strap that came with it! I do have pouches I can use to better organize the inside. I think LCB would work well for me.

    Anyone prefer traveling or experience traveling with the Imago? Would love to hear your thoughts on it...

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    22
    Last year, I took my Imago on a trip to Warsaw and Prague. (It was getting bored with its daily routine in Toronto). In terms of being able to access things quickly, it was great. The o-rings and pouches are also very useful for maintaining organization and adding a sense of security from pickpockets.

    My only hesitation in taking the bag again would be that as the day went on, it seemed to get heavier (or, it may be that I was getting tired). The bag starts out at a bit more than 1.5 lbs when it's empty. I had it a packed with a tour book, dictionary, pens, a bottle of water, my pocket camera, a large Moleskine journal, travel documents, wallet and Ipod. It holds a lot so there is the temptation to fill it up. The experience would have probably been very different if I didn't spend the trip walking all day and didn't need the extra books.

    My Imago is in ballistic nylon. That means the shape is maintained very well. This is a good thing especially if you forget to zipper one of the side pockets. I had my Ipod in the side pocket and forgot to zipper it and was relieved to find that it did not slip out. However, because it keeps its shape, it does not expand very well. It may be that a cordura bags have a bit more give.

    Would I take my Imago again on a trip again? It depends. If I am planning on walking around all day with it, probably not. If it is a trip that mixes business and leisure, definitely yes.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    235
    LCB is more prone to pick-pocketing, due to easy access to main compartment. Ironically, it's why I love the LCB for my Run-n-gun video kit.
    I've timed myself at 5 seconds from "Go" to camera "On". Not something you want in a pickpocket safe bag. On the plus side, I drape the absolute strap around my neck when I'm shooting, so I can access the contents more easily. For the contents that you listed. Imago gets my vote or ID bag if padding and space is important.

    Quote Originally Posted by drpher View Post
    Hi, all,

    I'll be going on an extended trip to Asia. I'm already bringing my Smart Alec, but I also want to bring a messenger or sling bag with me. It's between the Imago and LCB. I would be using it as an every day carry in crowded pickpocket-infested areas, as well as on planes, trains, taxis, subways etc. Things I'd like to bring with me: phone, camera, Kindle, the Kit (chapstick, first aid kit, sunscreen, USB stick, meds), pocket Moleskine, sunglasses. I may need room for souvenirs or kids' items. Here are some thoughts I had.

    LCB pros: lighter, can be packed into Smart Alec, seems to hug the body, could pass as a large purse/tote
    LCB cons: seems more open because it's floppier, only one zipper pocket, less organization

    Imago pros: like the many pockets and zippered compartments, can tighten buckle to adjust to contents
    Imago cons: heavier, doesn't seem to expand as much as LCB (because it's more stiff)

    My impression is that more people travel with the LCB. Anyone had experience traveling with either? Any other considerations? How about making the bags more secure? I'd appreciate any input! thanks!

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    37
    Thanks, Zephyrnoid, for your input! Have you (or any other forum members) used the Imago for traveling? Some of the pockets on the Imago seem more pickpocket-accessible than the LCB to me, like the side ones and the open one directly under the flap. I don't have an ID because it's too big for me, although I really like that the main compartment is zippered.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    285
    I'm using the Imago right now in my month long trip to China. It holds everything I need to carry, whether I am touring around for the day or I am working and carrying my computer and papers. The horizontal form and the wasabi interior make it easy to find things inside. If you are carrying anything heavy--books or computers--the Absolute Strap makes them feel so much lighter!

    As far as security goes, I clip a pouch for my camera and my Tom Bihn wallet containing money, a credit card, and an ATM card to the O rings, which I think makes them pretty secure. In the zippered pocket under the latched flap, I keep things like my hotel key, extra camera battery, SD card, thumb drive, subway pass, and other items that are small and that I would be unhappy to lose. I use the non-zippered pocket adjacent to the zippered one for maps, business cards, a small notebook--things that are not valuable but that I want handy access to.

    I don't keep anything in the two zippered side pockets that I would be devastated to lose--packets of tissues, snack items, lipbalm, etc.

    I've even used the Imago as an overnight bag in a pinch--here's where the horizontal form for me, since my rolled clothing seems to fit better that way.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    37
    Thanks, Espresso and flitcraft, for your insight on using the Imago!

    I agree with Espresso that the Imago is quite a bit heavier than LCB even empty. I haven't carried my Imago for long periods of time, like an all day tour, but I can imagine that it would get heavy over the course of a day.

    On the Imago plus side, I can find and organize things easier in the Imago because of it's horizontal orientation (vs LCB's vertical orientation), and I can see how it would work well for packing rolled clothing. It would also be great for the plane since I wouldn't be carrying it the whole time. I do have a tendency to carry more if the bag is bigger, so I would need to be careful of that. On the other hand, when I need more space, it's nice to have that as well.

    By the way, flitcraft, I will also be in China for most of the summer. Thanks for the tips on how you use the pockets - really good to know! How is your trip going? Any tips for China-specific traveling?

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally Posted by drpher View Post
    By the way, flitcraft, I will also be in China for most of the summer. Thanks for the tips on how you use the pockets - really good to know! How is your trip going? Any tips for China-specific traveling?
    Whereabouts in China?

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    37
    hi, Akilae,
    we'll be touring Shanghai area first and then spending the bulk of the summer in Beijing.
    cheers,
    drpher

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    285
    Hmmm...China specific travel advice? These days China is pretty easy to travel in, compared to how it was ten years ago. Beijing has expanded its subway system dramatically--there are 9 lines open now, with 6 more to come in the next few years. One piece of advice--get an up to date subway map--ones printed in guidebooks are usually out of date and missing some of the current lines. There's no real advantage in getting a subway card in Beijing--unlike Hong Kong, for example--because you don't get a discount by using one. Not that you need one--fare for anywhere in the city is 2 yuan--about 35 cents. One last piece of subway advice--only buy one ticket at a time from the machines. The tickets are only good at that station and on that day. You can use one yuan coins or bills larger than one yuan, and you'll get your change in coins. Use a big bill and a cascade of coins pours out--a bit like winning a slot machine!

    And with that, I'm out to catch the subway right now.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0