Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bags

I have a bag obsession. I own six backpacks, four shoulder bags, and I'm still not satisfied.

Among my shoulder-bag harem are a prized LL Bean messenger bag, LL Bean Big Easy, Domke Journalist Satchel and my classic, worn in, perfect Duluth Pack Carry-On. I say "prized" LL Bean messenger because it was the first messenger I owned, back in 1998/1999, when no one wore shoulder bags.

I saved up my money, and bought the bag in December. It was perfect. Then my school outlawed backpacks, in response to some fear people would carry guns in them -- even though countless masses pointed out you could fit a gun in a purse, no matter how small you made the size requirement (I believe it was 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches, which is still large enough to pack an Uzi, I'm sure). I suppose their rationality was you could fit a less-damaging gun in a purse. Go logic.

Anyway, after that I think my senior year I bought an LL Bean Big Easy, because it had the attractive quality of converting from backpack to shoulder bag. And it had a lower compartment for shoes. This was OK, but eventually proved not as good as the ol' messenger, which I gave up because the clasps had broken. Little did I know Gander Mountain offered replacements.

Freshman year of college I again wanted an update to my bag situation, and cycled through a revamped LL Bean messenger bag, which I gave to Lee, an Atlas Snow Shoe Day Pack, which proved just too small for hauling my books around, before settling in to my Duluth Pack Deluxe Carry-On. That lasted me the rest of college, on and off (I would switch between it and backpacks, depending on how heavy my load was, and where I lived. E.g., When I lived on King Street and walked 15 minutes to campus every morning and afternoon (and some lunch breaks), I wore a backpack).

Sophomore year I bought a The North Face Recon, because I needed something to take with me on bike rides. The Recon was perfect, as it was designed for bikers, with a mesh basket of sorts to hold your helmet when you weren't wearing it. I also bought a The North Face Terra 35 to use for groceries and laundry and an all around cargo bag -- I used to bike to the grocery store sophomore and junior year.

Then I bought a The North Face Recon II, because they had updated many of the features I found problematic in the Recon. I used that senior year, and still now, as an every day backpack, and when I bike on long, long trips.

For our trip to England, I knew I needed a bigger bag to carry around London, so I looked into the Big Shot from The North Face, and Kelty's Redwing. In retrospect, I should have gone with the Big Shot, because the Redwing just proved to be too big for what I needed it, but on the plus size, I didn't have a bag that size, and now I do.

And I bought a Domke Journalist's Satchel as a sort of present to myself for actually graduating college in four years. I figure it would make a great bag to carry with me to and from work, and to anything like fires or accidents I would have to go cover. I've been using that bag for just that for four months now, and it's really too small for what I need. It works wonders as a journalist's bag, but it's a satchel, and not large enough to throw a bottle of water and sandwich in in the morning.

Over the summer, I bought a Big Shot, which is more suited to someone my height. I haven't used it much, but I can see it easily replacing the Recon II for when I pack a bag for a trip home or to visit friends. It's just got the capacity I need to pack clothing. The downside of being 220, 6-4 is your clothes are physically bigger, and take up more space.

Now, I'm looking at a TImbuk2 Commute to replace my Domke bag. It has a built-in laptop sleeve, and is larger than the Domke, but small enough it doesn't look like I'm living out of my bag and bringing a steamer trunk to work every day.

Although I have noticed I'm the only one who brings a bag to work, which kind of embarasses me. But I need everything in it. And I need more space, like for my sandwich and bottle of water.

Sigh, I guess I'm the only weirdo that likes bags.

Oh, plus, all the bags I mentioned above except for the Big Shot, Domke and Duluth Pack, are Russian-dolled inside the Terra 35. Thought I'd throw that in there.

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