Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Day Bag

It's nearly a year since we moved here to France and I started using my 'man bag' on a daily basis, I guess you might have read the post I put on Philofaxy. I find this size of bag quite a convenient size of bag to use most of the time and it's perfect of a pocket Filofax and my other clutter I carry.

However, it it more or less full all the time and it is too small if I also want to carry a personal size Filofax. I have numerous bags that are considerably bigger, but they are almost too big for daily use. I've looked and been tempted by TimBuk2 and RickShaw bags, but their availability this side of the Atlantic was one of the limiting factors.

So in order to look for something slightly larger I started looking at what size of bag I actually needed. It was essential that it could take a personal size Filofax in addition to things like my reading glasses (can't cope without them these days!), my mobile phone needed to be easily accessible, space for other things but preferably in pockets rather than rattling around in a mess.

There are a lot of bags on the market, but in the end I started to look again at my favourite Lowepro camera bags. The one thing I like about this brand is that they make bags in various styles and in many sizes in increments from small to large, so it was relatively easy to choose a bag style I liked and then pick the size I needed. They are also good quality and good value for money.

I found their customer service people very helpful in answering questions about my target bag to ask if the padded dividers could be removed which they can.

I didn't really need another camera bag, I have two quite large ones all ready and my camera with it's add-on grip/battery pack is quite a bulky item, so I concentrated on my other requirements first.  The grip does detach, but I prefer to use it with the grip on all the time.

I also found You Tube useful for looking at video reviews people had done about possible bags I had chosen from the range of bags available.

So the decision was eventually made and I ordered my bag from Amazon, it arrived within 3 days from Amazon UK which I thought was quite quick.

And here is my new bag, it's a Lowepro Nova 170 AW in Ultramarine Blue, yes a bit of colour co-ordination to my new car! But it was also available in black and beige. I am very much a blue person so there wasn't much of a decision to be made there.

The bag has a main compartment, plus other pockets and additional elasticated pockets at either end. In addition to the carry handle there is a decent shoulder strap too.

Here it is with my film camera minus it's battery grip and a flash gun. The flap over cover is zipped and there is a buckle too.

Take out the camera gear and one of the padded dividers which are held in using velcro and it becomes a great bag for a Filofax or two!

This is my personal Malden and my French English dictionary and there is still plenty of room to the left for my reading glasses to slip in. The outer zipped pocket will hold my compact camera and the zip pocket in the outside flap will be the perfect place for my phone.

Then I thought I wonder what it will hold without any dividers in it...

Yes it will take an A5 Filofax, in this case my grey A5 Malden, so there are lots of Filofax possibilities with this bag!!

I'm very pleased with my new 'addition' I'm sure it will get a lot of use in the coming summer months.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What size?

If a bag comes in different sizes or several sizes, how do you choose which one to buy?

So excluding looks and colours and that sort of thing, you have decided on that already, but then the bag range of your choice comes in different sizes, how do you decide which size to buy?

I'm going through this decision thing at the moment. May be I'm taking it too serious!! (Yes ok I am!!).

I'm looking for a bag that is slightly bigger than the one I use at the moment as my 'Man Bag' which accommodates most things comfortably, but not everything.

The danger as I see it is going too big, so I have tackled this in a fairly systematic way. OK I've got this bag, what else do I want to carry.... this this and this. Then I realised, ah but if you wanted to carry all of that..... what about this bag you already own...

OK that solves that problem, but I'm not going to be carrying everything everyday.... so something smaller but not as small as what I'm using now...

So I have ended up measuring things for their sizes and then looking to see what size bag I actually need. I'm getting close to making a decision, which I suppose is a good thing.

I'm often accused of having too many bags, but to me they all serve a purpose, I never like to have a bag that is over or under sized. I prefer it if the bag I'm using is about 80% full. Then it's 'just right'

To me you can never have too many... as long as they all have a purpose then it's ok to have more than just a few... a bit like Filofax organisers I suppose!!!!!!!

So have I lost the plot..... or do you thing I have found a different way to approach the decision making process.... or just buy it Steve... enjoy it!!!
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