Here's an interesting article ("Ouch! My bag is killing me!") from the NYTimes about how the current oversized handbag craze is taking a toll on women's shoulders and backs.
No, none of us carry Chanel or Hermès handbags. But, the article features excellent advice from doctors on how to ease the burden on your shoulders and back, including being sure to use the pockets inside your bag in order to evenly distribute the weight of your stuff.
My question: What do you do to prevent the shoulder and back pain so many of us are prone to now that we carry just about everything we own with us?
If you're using a Tom Bihn bag, I think you're already ahead of the pack. Our shoulder straps and waist straps are tested and designed with weight distribution and comfort in mind. They won't make a heavy load light (although a lot of people say that the Absolute Shoulder Strap actually does), but they do ease and lessen the stress that is put on your body. Alex, our Shipping Associate, has been testing the up-and-coming Quick Adjust Messenger Strap that Tom has designed on his bike rides to and from work. His bag weighs about 25 lbs. fully loaded, and he says the strap is the most comfortable he's used. Plus, it looks really cool.
Personally, I clean out my bag once a week, as the NYTimes article advises. I find that once I clear my bag of all of the stuff I don't really need, it ends up being significantly lighter.