On *most* trips I take a laptop and so my "personal item" is a Tumi briefcase, or sometimes a North Face computer backpack...or a ThinkTank camera bag. But for my next trip I am not taking a computer *or* a big camera.
I've been thinking about what I have that I want to take as a personal item. For me the personal item is what holds the things I am actually going to want to access during the flight - iPad, iPod, Kindle, food, etc. I really don't like to get my carry-on down during the flight and access things. (And I've always flown on carriers that allow a personal item.) Nothing I have seems to fit.
I have a man purse that I often take on trips - a nice Port Case by Jack Spade. And as great as it is around town I think it is too small to use as a personal time. (The height and width are a bit more than an iPad. And it's not very deep.) For a 10 hour flight I'll need two of my diet entrees (medically-supervised diets on airplanes are so fun!) and other things. Also, my SO is worried that pickpockets in Paris would be able to steal things out of that Jack Spade bag since it is only held closed by velcro.
So I'm looking for something that is not a full size messenger bag (I've got of one of those), but bigger than that port case. I'm thinking maybe a Timbuk2 Freestyle (wish you could customize that one). Does anyone have any other suggestions for a slightly larger "man purse" to use? Something that is big enough to hold the essentials for a long flight but also good to carry around as a tourist?
FYI You can customize the timbuk2 classic messenger in XS. It's the same size as the freestyle. Only thing different is it doesn't have a built in padded sleeve (though the slash pocket gives that organization, if not that padding).
I'd seriously think if simply putting less stuff in a bag you already have would not be better than buying another bag. I say that as a recovering bagaholic.
Otherwise check out the Tenba Mini Messenger. Or take the real messenger bag you already have. That's what many Parisians use as a day bag. You can put a camera, a map, a guide book and even a sweater for when things get cool or hot and you don't want to wear it anymore. And you can put a bottle of wine or whatever else you decide to buy along the way.
My own daybag is often the Eastpak Madison of which I have also written a review (should pop up with a google search). If I need more room it's the Tenba Small Messenger. If it's a bit more formal I use the Briggs Riley BB107 (also check out the review) which, unfortunately, is discontinued.
The Tenba Mini Messenger is about the same size as the Timbuktu but has better features and looks cleaner. Same price, too. Plus, not every dude is gonna have one.
Also look at Crumpler bags for something more fashionable.
Jacki, I saw something recently that might be just perfect with your new Rimowa.
On my recent LH flight in Business, a passenger with a Salsa Ultralight had a nice, black leather attache sitting on top. This was the classic leather double twist lock model that a physician, prep school student, or attorney might use.
We talked and I asked him how it was to carry it on the top of the Salsa. He said easy, and it could be pulled along with one hand, in one motion with the Salsa. No need for the strap in the back (as the Rimowa Flightcase etc. ), but he had that too, along in attache.
He had nothing but personal items inside, no files, nothing business, just a laptop and his many other personal items. He was in fact on holiday.
Very simple, modern, yet it looked very elegant. Nothing olde school about it.
I'd consider Red Oxx if I could see them in person first, but alas no. One of my reasons I love Timbuk2 is that they're "local" for me.
I checked out the XS Classic Messenger - too small. Only might hold a *little* more than my Jack Spade bag. However, when I looked at the Small I started to think if I was gonna use something that big why not just take my full-size messenger bag? The only reason I had thrown out the idea of using it was that I am not taking a laptop on this trip, and I was going to do what I do on trips where I *do* take a laptop - pack my Jack Spade bag for when I'm just out and about.
I might still go for the XS messenger, but I can't really decide. It seems kinda heavy for what I'm planning on taking. I should probably lay things out for a test packing first...
You are looking for something in between sizes. Collect your stuff, try your current bags and guess at what dimensions you'd like. Do you want a bit more depth than the port bag? Something wider more horizontally shaped? Something in a different factor (small backpack? One shoulder back pack?)
Do you want something heavy duty? with lots of organization? Or light and simple?
Oh, thanks for schooling me. (Although I may not have time to wait for a custom bag, unfortunately. And one color I like is on sale at Amazon.)
Just wanted to share my experience with custom Timbuk2 shipping... I ordered my custom bag on a Thursday and it arrived on a Monday. Paid 2-day shipping, but had a 20% off code to offset it. Love the product and it came quickly!