Tuesday, July 5

Man Purse or Bag Boy

Steve Goes Purseless for a Day
I've been using a purse for quite some time. Me being a man, that'd make it a "man purse." I actually wrote about it here.

Still, my purses are not ideal. The smaller one, shown below, claims to carry 8 liters. That'd be a lot if we were talking engine displacement - my Jaguars run between 4 and 4.2 liters displacement, but it isn't a lot when we're carrying stuff to work. Eight liters is enough to carry a shirt, pants, a few spare bike items, and lunch. That's about it. A bigger one carries 16.6 liters with 2 flop-down panniers. Unfortunately, the panniers limit it as a purse. Looking at purses other than Topeak, none are really both larger and more convenient.

So I resolved to consider giving up my purse for a shoulder bag. Partly influenced by Chandra, I looked real hard at the Arkel line. I queried Andy of Carbon Trace about his choice of their "Metropolitan." What clinched the deal was their sale on that same bag, making it only very pricey instead of ridiculously expensive. The bag carries a claimed 23 liters. That is three times what my small purse carries. A shoulder bag started to look very stylish. That was last November.

Well, being one to not rush into things, I tried my bag for the first time today. It easily took a couple of shirts, a pair of pants, a bath towel and coat hanger, along with body wash and the usual other items I carry in my purse. Bag boy.

Still, I'm feeling a certain fondness for the purse. I really don't want to lug all that stuff around every day - my v3 shower has no lockers and I'm somewhat inclined to simply get a dry bag and keep the stuff at work somewhere. We shall have to see. The bag lets me bring a lot more in one trip. Combined with my larger trunk bag, I could bring over 30 liters in one trip, making the purse more than adequate for most commutes.

I'll try various combinations. It may be that the "laundry schlepper" becomes the shoulder bag combined with a trunk bag and that a dry bag works to keep the wallet and phone secure while I shower.

My Purse Pretty Much Gets Filled Up Between Clothes, a Small Towel, and a Few Spare Bike Bits

The Purse in its Traveling Position



7 comments:

Chandra said...

Love Arkel - great choice!
Bigger the better, for hauling stuff on the commuter.

Is your bag waterproof or do you need use a cover?

Peace :)

Justine Valinotti said...

It looks like a great bag.

Don't worry about whether it's a bag or purse. Sometimes I still find myself referring to my purses as
"bags!"

Anyway, everyone loves accessories. Yes, men do, too. Trust me, I know! ;-)

Justine Valinotti said...

It looks like a great bag.

Don't worry about whether it's a bag or purse. Sometimes I still find myself referring to my purses as
"bags!"

Anyway, everyone loves accessories. Yes, men do, too. Trust me, I know! ;-)

limom said...

You know, some red cable end crimps would really look nice on that bike!

Big Oak said...

I've got a couple different purses, er, bags, er, rack trunks for my bikes. They are very handy, although I tend to put too much in them, but I'm prepared for almost any eventuality.

For work, I use a pannier, however. It provides more room for clothing, and for my work boots/office shoes (depending on what's on tap for the day).

The Arkel bag looks like it is well built, and I hope it offers many years of good service.

Steve A said...

Accessorize! Red crimps are for the hoi polloi. The elegant minimalist solution is to solder the ends of the cables which also lets you reuse them if they need lube or other fiddling.

I keep my work boots at work.

As for the Arkel bag, I think it is more waterproof than most of their bags and there is an inside liner that is removable in case your milk spills on the way home. I will know for sure when it pours on the way home. It also rides higher than most panniers. I do think that I will wind up tweaking my light setup to accommodate the Topeak purse and the Arkel shoulder bag.

Mr Christopher said...

I thought the cool term was "messenger bag" (even if you don't store messages in them)?

Chris!

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