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Thread: Thoughts on my new TB acquisitions

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on my new TB acquisitions

    So, I got my first order of TB bags last month. I don't live in the US so I had many months of poring over the website and considering before I took the plunge; I placed an order to have waiting on a work trip to Chicago. I ordered an S19 and an S25, cafe bags in small, medium and large, and a shop bag. I thought I'd return all but one Synapse and one Cafe bag; as you can probably guess, I kept almost all of it. (I did return the SCB, because the navy interior was too dark.)

    I am besotted with the Large and Medium cafe bags, which I have in black dyneema/UV and plum/olive. The Large easily fits my iPad mini in Survivor case, the Hadaki large cosmetics pod I use as a diaper bag (containing diapers, wipes, a change of clothes and a small blanket), my wallet, phone, pens, inhaler, keys, bus pass, change purse and tissues. I also have a medium clear organizer pouch that I use for passports when necessary and a small clear organizer pouch that I keep the iPad charger in. The Medium bag is beautiful, and also holds all of the above although with not quite as much room to spare. I've been using the S19 as my everyday carry bag because it is light and easy to wear on top of the baby carrier (I have a 6 month old who is usually riding in a Chibuki, carried in front). The S25 is a little big for what I need every day, but fits an astonishing amount when I need it to. And the cocoa/wasabi is so pretty!

    I'm trying to feel the love for the Shop Bag, but so far, I haven't seen anything about it that makes it worth the price. It's strong, nice-looking, and fits nicely in the bottom pocket of the Synapse, but so does my $4 Trader Joe's cotton bag. It would be make all the difference if the Shop Bag had some kind of non-slip material on the bottom of the Poron handles. If I pull it out of the Synapse to go shopping on my way home, then I'm carrying it loaded along with a loaded Synapse, and that means putting the handles on a shoulder that already has a backpack strap on it. So it slips right off, and I wind up wrestling with it for a while before giving up and carrying it in my hand. Today I took it out of the Synapse, hung it on a hook and stuck my TJ's bag in there instead; the TJ's bag handles are wider, flat, and not as slick, so stay put a bit better, and can be slid under the shoulder strap of the Synapse. The Shop Bag will probably become a Pool Bag for me.

    Anyway, that aside, I'm very, very happy with my new acquisitions. These bags really are in their own league in terms of materials and workmanship and I find myself plotting excursions just so that I can use them.

  2. #2
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Yay! That's a great first order! I'm glad you were able to time it for US shipping, too!
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  3. #3
    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
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    I love my shop bags; however, I purchased them when they were $$25 small/$35 large. Even then, I thought they were a bit pricey for a shopping bag. I cannot justify the current prices, so I am glad, now, that I purchased when I did. Some of the features I have come to really appreciate, though, are the padded handles and the fact that I can wash and sanitize them.
    Cork/Iberian Swift, Cork Organizer Wallet, Cardinal/Steel Western Flyer, Cardinal OP, Iberian Yarn Stuff Sacks (all 3 sizes) Black/Iberian Side Effect, Iberian PCSB, Iberian Travel Tray, Nordic Travel Tray, Steel Travel Tray Iberian Travel Stuff Sack Navy/Solar Synapse 25, Black/Iberian Ristretto for iPad

  4. #4
    Registered User eightspokedb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
    I love my shop bags; however, I purchased them when they were $$25 small/$35 large. Even then, I thought they were a bit pricey for a shopping bag. I cannot justify the current prices, so I am glad, now, that I purchased when I did. Some of the features I have come to really appreciate, though, are the padded handles and the fact that I can wash and sanitize them.
    I'm not saying that I will NEVER own a TB Shopping Bag, but I LOVE my Baggu shopping bags, mostly because they take up so little room when not in use and I can tie the handles together to secure the contents. Nearly every time I go shopping someone asks me who makes the bags.
    never skate faster than your guardian angel can fly....black and gold til I'm dead and cold....

  5. #5
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    I like my small shop bag much better than the large one. The small shop bag fits my lunch perfectly. The large shop bag is a bit too big for me, even for groceries. If I don't carry it on my shoulder, it drags on the floor (I am short.) I might sell the larger one. I also bought both when they were cheaper....

    I have to check out Baggu. Thanks for the reco eightspokedb!

  6. #6
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abby View Post
    I'm trying to feel the love for the Shop Bag, but so far, I haven't seen anything about it that makes it worth the price. It's strong, nice-looking, and fits nicely in the bottom pocket of the Synapse, but so does my $4 Trader Joe's cotton bag. It would be make all the difference if the Shop Bag had some kind of non-slip material on the bottom of the Poron handles. If I pull it out of the Synapse to go shopping on my way home, then I'm carrying it loaded along with a loaded Synapse, and that means putting the handles on a shoulder that already has a backpack strap on it. So it slips right off, and I wind up wrestling with it for a while before giving up and carrying it in my hand.
    How about using an ultrasuede strap wrap around both handles?
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    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

  7. #7
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    Pool Bag is a great use for the Shop Bag!

    That said, it's certainly an individual preference (much as the S19 - while supremely well-organized - is not super-comfortable for me, or at least not yet). Like Melissa I acquired my Shop Bags before the price increase. I do find them ridiculously useful - my favorite features are the padded handles because I can carry huge quantities of things (gym gear, library books, a lamp ) without fatigue; and the wipe-clean, super-strong nature of Dyneema. Runner-ups are the O-rings and pockets - I love being able to clip the tote "closed", or clip in things that I don't want to lose, and being able to carry water or wine bottles with less chance of them tipping and spilling.

    I assign different colors to different activities, so that I can stock each bag ahead of time and grab the right one as I run out the door. Both sizes came with me on our most recent trip. I used the Small for carrying my SLR when I wasn't taking pictures; the Large was variously used for groceries, buying souvenirs, protecting my backpack from grungy undersides of airplane seats, and carrying on the aforementioned glass lamp. They don't fold down quite as small as my nylon Chico bag, but the comfort and easy-care quality more than make up for the size differential. Anyhoo, YMMV, but just wanted to mention some different ways that I've used my Shop Bags!

  8. #8
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    I sometimes use my small shop bag (in the lovely Nordic!) for an EDC for my SE, a book, my planner, a first aid kit, and whatever kid bits need to come along or get added along the way! I love an open tote for this reason. I can stick two small water bottles for the kids in the pockets, and that bag weighs nothing, so it is light and easy to carry. I have never had the straps slip when in use.
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  9. #9
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    I have 7 shop bags (3 large, 4 small) and there are days when all 7 are in use. Right now, a large Nordic is my diaper bag. When I pack a picnic for the kids, which is most days, I use a small shop bag. My husband takes a small shop bag for his lunch (coffee thermos in an inside pocket, food in a Built NY neoprene bag). Another small shop bag is the designated pool bag for my son. The other bags are left empty for shopping and other adventures (beach bag, for example). A large shop bag will fit 6-7 beach towels folded properly (probably would not be able to stuff that many wet and crumpled ones in there). A large shop bag has been my airport carry on for a long time. I put smaller TB bags in there so I don't worry about the open top, which I partially close with a key strap. It's awesome for being able to stuff a jacket quickly on top, or the take out food from the airport food shop, etc. It also protects my other bags from the airport and airplane floors.

    I do use them for shopping but I no longer have to walk long distances with groceries and a backpack. I would say over 50% of the time, the bagger compliments the bags. That is not an exaggeration. In the past I used to bring my Smart Alec and two shop bags - those would get loaded up and I would walk them home about 4 blocks. I appreciate the point about the poron handles slipping off the backpack straps, but the comfort was worth it.

    I've not used Baggu but have had several Chico bags - I appreciate their value due to their compactness but the seams have not held over the years - I'm sure at times I stressed them more than they were designed to, so I don't hold it against the product. It's just that 90% of the time, the shop bags are better for me. The only time the Chico bags work for me is when I have to keep it with me at all times (in my SCB, for example).

    I bought all of them before the price increase and think they are well worth the price. I have a "buying rule" for shop bags (large in every 400d color, small in every 200d color - except steel b/c I have a large 400d in steel). Now that I'm down that road, I will be buying new ones even at the increased price when they introduce new Dyneema colors, or if they start making them in other fabrics. But I see why, especially at the new price, it seems too expensive given that other bags perform similar functions. I used to be a big fan of those Lands End and LL Bean totes, but they were so heavy and got dirty. I gave most of them away. For me, the shop bags perform like the cheap grocery bags that are light and hold a ton AND the tote bags, which are strong and nice enough to carry around (n.b. similar price to the TB shop bags unless you get them on sale). It's just simpler for me to have one system and stick with it. Do I want to do the math and figure out what my 7 shop bags would cost now? NOPE!

  10. #10
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eightspokedb View Post
    I'm not saying that I will NEVER own a TB Shopping Bag, but I LOVE my Baggu shopping bags, mostly because they take up so little room when not in use and I can tie the handles together to secure the contents. Nearly every time I go shopping someone asks me who makes the bags.
    +1 on the Baggu. I love mine, too!
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  11. #11
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    My wife stole my shop bag and won't give it back.
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  12. #12
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    @carl0 there is a new word you should know. When you're in a lifelong partnership "mine" kinda goes out the window. When my partner takes something of mine instead of saying, "hey, that's mine." I say "hey, that's m-ours." say it with me. It's not mine, it's not ours, it's mours. That's mour shop bag.

  13. #13
    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by readmore View Post
    Do I want to do the math and figure out what my 7 shop bags would cost now? NOPE!
    Me either! I also have 7, pre-price increase. Oddly, in the same ratio....3 large and 4 small, all different colors. If Tom offers a new Dyneema, I would buy another. And.... another. I've also used all of them at once.

    I would reckon 75% of the time I get shop bag feedback when using at the store. Either wow, love the color or holy ****, I can't believe you got all that in there (I always bag myself to showcase my ninja packing talent).


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