Sunday, October 14, 2012

NEWS, and a new bag

News first -- I start a new job tomorrow!  I will still be teaching, but at different center, with slightly older kids, and adding the challenge of learning a new curriculum.  I'm excited for the change and new challenges, and am all packed up and ready to go tomorrow morning.  The only drawback?  I'm saying goodbye to my daily walk to and from work, and am looking at a significant daily bus commute, out to one of the inner-ring western suburbs.

Anyone who has ever commuted on the bus understands the value of a VERY good work bag.  :)  My old backpack, although not actually all that many years old, has started to show its age -- I had had it in for repairs once already, and it's starting to come apart again in the same place.  :(

Know what I think?  I think a new job calls for a new backpack!

I have been on the prowl for a new daypack for ages, and I finally found one -- I'm really excited about Timbuk2's Full-Cycle Amnesia!  I took it for a test-drive yesterday afternoon, on a longish and drizzly hike with John.  While I may never find the PERFECT backpack, this one is pretty close!

~ The entire pack (except for the zippers) is made out of 100% recycled materials, and still boasts Timbuk2's lifetime warranty
~ I love the pockets -- a side-zip external laptop compartment, a nicely large main compartment, one external water bottle holder, one good-sized flap pocket with an organizer, and that AWESOME small pouch across the top for all of those tiny odds and ends I need to carry around!  (Is it weird that I hate bags with too many pockets?)
~ Velcro straps to tie down a bike helmet! (This will be very important come springtime, as my new job is conveniently located right off of a bike trail)
~ Awesome padding and stability, including back ventilation and a sternum strap
~ Although the bag is pretty tall, it doesn't sit too low on my waist/hips (this is an issue for my short self and even shorter torso with most backpacks)
~ The bag is tall, which allows for three "levels" of packing (as opposed to 2 levels in most backpacks)
~ The bag has quite a low profile and hugs my back nicely, which will come in handy on crowded busses -- I don't think I'll ever risk knocking into someone when trying to turn around anymore!
~ While I wouldn't say it was actively raining but for a few minutes during our hike, the inner contents stayed nice and dry despite all of the mist and drizzle for several hours!

~ The sternum strap is detachable, and the snaps aren't strong enough.  They popped loose several times yesterday during our hike.  I plan on solving this problem by super-gluing the snaps closed, although this will mean they are no longer detachable.  Oh well!
~ The bag is so tall, I have a hard time seeing inside the bottom flap pocket when I swing it around to my frontside (this is also due to my super-short torso, I think)
~ Weirdly, (but kind of comically, too,) there is a built-in bottle opener.  Nice to know in case I have a root beer or ginger soda emergency sometime in the future?

What do you look for in a good bag?

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