Suggestions for some of TB products ;)
Thought I'd throw in some improvement ideas.
The Large and Medium Cafe Bags, the Ristrettos, the Co-Pilot (and the upcoming Pilot?) sorely need simple slip pockets on outer sides. Use cases: anything that is not that valuable, but needs to be handy, like pouches with coins, shopping bag/folded plastic bag. I have recently taken to wearing a knife with a clip, and it is not every day that I wear something with pockets deep enough for this particular knife—or something the looks of which isn't spoiled by something in the pocket that is not a banana but is approaching its dimensions. And with utter amazement I have discovered that I do not own a bag - and can't seem to see bags around - which would have an open side pocket to which a knife could be clipped for easy accessibility. There had also been a time long ago when I used to wear a mini-pouch with coins and small bills for use in, say, overcrowded public transit when one just needs to pay for a ticket and does not want to fish one's wallet out and show everybody where it is. Now I don't have anywhere on any of my current bags to have that handy...
Just in case that Tom really picks up this idea, a pocket that would solve my knife problem would be 5 inches deep. Even better, 5.1 ;)
The other issue concerns side pockets in bags like Co-Pilot and both of the Synapses—namely, the location where the pen slots and/or the phone pocket is located. Different people wear their bags on different shoulders. I haven't looked at any statistics, but it seems to me that the majority of (right handed) people wear their bag (or their backpack, when it is worn by only one of its straps) on their left shoulder, because they often hold the strap e.g. for stability, and it's better to do it with the non-dominant hand so that the dominant hand can be free for more complicated tasks.
Thus, one side of the bag/backpack is sort of "closer"/under better control, in terms of both easy accessibility and better protection when clutching the bag to oneself while riding in public transit (pickpockets do not sleep nor slumber).
A phone needs to be better protected. A pen needs to be easily accessible. Based on my theory of the majority of people being like me and wearing their bag on their left shoulder, the Synapses do have the pens easily accessible—but the phone more easily accessible to a pickpocket; while the Co-Pilot has the phone securely closer to myself (and accessible) and the pens farther out (not that easily accessible—and if I'd want to carry a notebook together with the pens, then it's two items that are not that accessible; and in case of a pocket leather Filofax which looks a lot like a wallet, a pickpocket taking a peek into the farther compartment might be tempted too).
I'm contemplating what I should get for a shopping splurge that I'm planning for the end of August - beginning of September when I'll be in the United States and can save myself some shipping and customs charges ;) And among other things I'm deciding between a Co-Pilot and a Synapse (or both!), and neither arrangement of pockets/slots brings me full peace. So far I'm thinking I'm going to go with a safer (for the phone) version of the Co-Pilot (since I'm not even sure I need another backpack at all).
However, this conundrum could be solved for both the left-shoulder and the right-shoulder bag-carrying folk with the following design solution: both side compartments (whether on Synapse or on the Co-Pilot) would have the phone pocket on their inner side (where all the pockets are now), while the pen/multitool slots would be located on the "outer wall" of the bag. That is, have both the pen slots and the phone pocket in each compartment, on opposite sides!
For the Co-Pilot, that would require an additional layer of lining for the outer wall; for the Synapse, I'm not so sure there isn't lining on the outer "wall" already, so it's just a matter of sewing another layer of pockets on it. Then any-shoulder type could have their choice of where to have those often-needed-to-be-accessible-and-safe items. And more pockets are good in any case (I, for one, am also a pen nut, so I can easily can carry 6-8 pens with me, and extra pockets for them on all sizes would be terrific! ;) ).
I really hope my suggestions could be considered for future design updates :)
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