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Thread: Travel purse that folds up

  1. #1
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Travel purse that folds up

    I'm looking for a travel purse that will let me briefly slip out of looking like a tourist, and walk amongst the populace disguised as a native. Not fancy but good enough to blend in. It would be best if it was a cloth or nylon bag that folded small enough to fit into the lower pocket of my Synapse 19. It needs to fit a kindle, passport, largish camera (not DSLR but not pocket-sized either), wallet, iPhone, and hopefully have space for a water bottle or umbrella on the outside. Something larger than a Side Effect but smaller than a Co-Pilot. I have the Co-Pilot and the TB shoulder bag. They're both great, but I am looking for something that is more like a purse, that I'd feel ok about wearing to a restaurant.

    I would appreciate suggestions, particularly if you know of something comfortable enough to walk around all day with. I'm considering a Baggallini, Vera Bradley, something along those lines. Better if it is made in the U.S. and I can feel good about the purchase, but I'd settle for anything that works.

    I'm visiting Jordan, Israel, and will have a day-long stopover in Zurich. In Zurich, particularly, I want a shoulder bag rather than a backpack, so that I can take it into museums without checking it. I intend to carry a Synapse as well for the flight, but that will be stowed in an airport locker while I explore the city.

  2. #2
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    Have you looked at Maruca? They have some lovely designs, they are cloth, so they should easily fold up, they are washable too. I have one, and if it wasn't trumped by my LS, it would be carried frequently, but my LS Trump all. Another suggestion is Overland Equipment. I do not own any, but have seen a few that I think would work for you. The Donner and Amburn are my personal favorites that I think are very stylish (yet haven't ordered yet because I don't feel the need with owning 3 LS). The Donner looks like it would easily accomodate your entire list including the Water Bottle.

    And now I'll just state the obvious. What about the PCSB in Steel? It has the capacity you seek, and will definitely fold down to virtually nothing. If you blacken the white like Lani did, it makes a very stealthy bag. You could use OP internally to organize it and help it maintain it's shape. . .
    Si non aptus in Peram, ego opus ad buy magis quisque.
    my bags: S, LS, KP, mg'11, S, LS, COW, MCB, LS, COW, LSB, SE, LSB, TT, SB, SE, TSS4, PCSB, PCBP-A, SC, BB, SCB, FJN, BB, FoJ, RS, F.O.T., LSB, S25, PCSB K, LS, I w/AS, A, PP FJN, SE, 3-DC, MCB, PCBP-T/WF, PCSB, CQPC, S19, LSB, SB, TT, SE, S, C-P, P, WF, UT, LSB, CQPC, PCBP-T/WF, SE2, MCB, RiPad, SB, LSB

  3. #3
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    The Maruca bags are EXACTLY what I was looking for. THANKS!
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    Dorayme: "And now I'll just state the obvious. What about the PCSB in Steel? It has the capacity you seek, and will definitely fold down to virtually nothing. If you blacken the white like Lani did, it makes a very stealthy bag. You could use OP internally to organize it and help it maintain it's shape. . . "


    I second Dorayme, the PCSB in Steel, with it's stylish checked patterns passed the test at a fancy dinner in the U.S and everywhere in Europe.

    As a matter of fact, even Nordic passed the test.

    If anything look out of the ordinary or garish, French people would be very quick to point that out. Dyneema blended everywhere, in European capitals' nice hotels as well as tiny provincial towns.


    Believe me, it looks classy in Europe, it looks classy in the U.S, so I am sure it does everywhere.
    Last edited by backpack; 06-16-2013 at 08:13 AM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Yes, but I am looking for a purse. Not the packing cube. I already own a packing cube, along with a huge amount of other Tom Bihn products.
    Specifically, I need something small enough to fit into the bottom pocket of the Synapse. I think the Maruca bags might be on the right track. I will go to a local store that sells them this week and check it out.
    I'll take any other suggestions that answer that question - thanks!

  6. #6
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    Check out Sherpani. They make small purses, with organising functions. I have the Milli purse, but there are smaller models.
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    LCB, S19, SE, Co-Pilot, wallet, pouches

  7. #7
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    Yeah, all of my internet research when I was looking for a "cute" option after my LS had been carried nonstop for over a year paid off! I adore the designs of Maruca bags, and some of the prints (some years are better than others), as well as the fact that they are also USA made, and custom milled fabrics. But for functionality, I had to return to my LS. For now I have moved past looking for a cute option.
    Si non aptus in Peram, ego opus ad buy magis quisque.
    my bags: S, LS, KP, mg'11, S, LS, COW, MCB, LS, COW, LSB, SE, LSB, TT, SB, SE, TSS4, PCSB, PCBP-A, SC, BB, SCB, FJN, BB, FoJ, RS, F.O.T., LSB, S25, PCSB K, LS, I w/AS, A, PP FJN, SE, 3-DC, MCB, PCBP-T/WF, PCSB, CQPC, S19, LSB, SB, TT, SE, S, C-P, P, WF, UT, LSB, CQPC, PCBP-T/WF, SE2, MCB, RiPad, SB, LSB

  8. #8
    JLE
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    You could also look at the Longchamp folding styles. Lots of sizes and colours (some changing seasonally) and some styles have straps that are long enough to be carried over the shoulder. I have a larger tote that travels with me (folded in my main bag) on most trips in case of Shopping Excess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    Yes, but I am looking for a purse. Not the packing cube. I already own a packing cube, along with a huge amount of other Tom Bihn products.
    Specifically, I need something small enough to fit into the bottom pocket of the Synapse. I think the Maruca bags might be on the right track. I will go to a local store that sells them this week and check it out.
    I'll take any other suggestions that answer that question - thanks!

    I reread your post and realized that I didn't see that you already have the PCSB.

    Sorry, medication induced brain fog.

  10. #10
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Oh, not a problem at all.
    I'm just very focused on this specific need ... I have so many Tom Bihn bags now it's ridiculous. I probably don't need another bag at all, but I really do lack a purse that falls into the 'cute' category, and is light enough to travel with. If I don't find what I want I will use the packing cube -- it will certainly work and does fold up better than anything else I own.

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    I can't extol the virtues of the Overland Equipment Donner bag enough! Twice I've been in the TB store when someone asked the rep if they could see "that bag" and pointed to my purse. Oops! TB staff never took offense, though, which was awesome. I have two small cafe bags, which are great for EDC and for travel, and I recommend those highly. For an all-day trek that takes the place of a backpack, the Donner bag is perfect. The organization is great, and the two hidden water bottle pockets (or umbrella pockets) are just perfect. It's comfortable to carry on your shoulder yet large enough to hold all your things.
    Indigo/Solar Western Flyer, Aubergine/Steel Tri Star, Nordic/Steel Aeronaut, Indigo/Solar Synapse, Cocoa/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Aubergine/Hemp/Steel Imago, Wasabi Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Small Shop Bags, Solar Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Large Shop Bags, Indigo, Wasabi Dyneema, and Plum 3D Organizer Cubes, Wasabi Dyneema Travel Tray, Wasabi Dyneema Large Yarn Stuff Sack, Small, Mini and Pen/Pencil Pouches, an assortment of key straps

  12. #12
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Thanks, dwright17! I will check that out too.

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    I used Overland Equipment's Donner & other bags for many years. Also purchased them for presents. Those were years ago when their bags were made in the US. About 2 years ago, I bought some Donner bags online. The workmanship was shoddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walker View Post
    I used Overland Equipment's Donner & other bags for many years. Also purchased them for presents. Those were years ago when their bags were made in the US. About 2 years ago, I bought some Donner bags online. The workmanship was shoddy
    I could have written your post. The Donner was my beloved travel (and everyday) purse for years. The US made version was pretty fantastic. In fact, I found Tom Bihn bags while searching for a replacement for my ratty old Donner, as I didn't want to buy one of the newer, lesser quality versions of the Donner.

    Now, my MCB is my go to travel purse. I do miss those exterior bottle/umbrella pouches from the Donner, but really love my MCB otherwise.
    --Amanda

    Packing and gadget geek, collecting bags to disperse to my family.

  15. #15
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    I second the Longchamps. I love my le Pliage for travel...folds flat, long straps to carry over the shoulder and fits a fair bit. I also have several Cafe bags (one in each size). The large works well as a day bag and would hold everything you list above. Also, Baggallini has several bags that would fit the bill. I've had the Big Zipper bag for years and use it everyday. It still looks new, is great for travel, has tons of organization and can be wiped off very easily should it get a bit dirty.
    Black/Iberian TS, Steel/Steel Synapse, Black/Wasabi LCB, Linen/Steel MCB, Plum/Wasabi SCB, SE, Absolute strap, TT, small YSS, small TSS, Clear organizer wallets (Plum & hemp), TS packing cubes (L, M, S), PCSB, PCSB, Cork OPs, Dyneema OPs in Steel , UV , Iberian , and Solar , Cordura OPs in Plum and Azalea, Plum clear OP, Padded OP, think I'm running out of room here!

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