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 Post subject: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:40 am 
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Emotionally Allergic to Dairy
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Location: San Francisco
So, currently I am carrying all of my school stuff (my laptop, a billion pounds of grading, lesson materials, books, my lunch, my coffee, etc) in a Zipcar reusable grocery bag. All things considered, this bag has taken a beating and does not stop.

However, I am pretty certain that one day soon it WILL stop. The straps are straining, I'm carrying something ridiculous like 20 pounds of junk (at least? my guess), walking a couple miles with it, and I can feel the thing getting ready to break apart. Which I don't want to have happen when it is full of stuff. This morning, I noticed a fork for my lunch had punctured through the bottom of the bag.

EEK.

So, I need a flipping enormous tote bag that isn't stupid expensive and can hold up to carrying a LOT of stuff on a daily basis.

I am thinking about this bag: http://www.alternativeoutfitters.com/bu ... e-bag.aspx

Do any of you have totes that you absolutely love that were reasonably priced?

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:56 am 
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Semen Strong
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Just because of all the weight, have you considered getting a backpack?

I have gotten tote bags, only to find that I get backaches from being unbalanced and then go back to the trusty backpacks that distribute weight better (ideally onto your hips not just one shoulder).

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:07 am 
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Should Spend More Time Helping the Animals
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Yeah, I kind of hate it, but I definitely have to carry a backpack or else my right shoulder kills me. I have a North Face backpack that I love.

ETA: I have an older version of this: http://www.zappos.com/the-north-face-borealis-deep-water-blue-moutain-blue

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:58 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I like Le Sportsac a lot. They can be crazy expensive, but my Marshalls always has a bunch of their stuff cheap.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:16 am 
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Discovered unobtainium
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They fail at reasonably price unless you buy a discontinued pattern, but the Vera Bradley bags, as ugly as many are, are sturdy as fork. I used to wear through bags like mad, but those are indestructible even carrying laptop, textbooks, and whatever else I throw in. My main one lasted through 3 YEARS of school year abuse without any damage at all. They are even apparently waterproof, though I'm not sure how.

I've got a messenger, backpack, and ginormous tote and they are all great. College bookstores are good for finding them much cheaper.

Inlike the messenger best because it's easy to distribute the weight evenly. Usually, I arrange it so it rests on the small of my back.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:40 am 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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My Food Fight tote has been through hell over the last 3 years, and it's still pretty much as good as new. http://www.foodfightgrocery.com/miscellany-1/totes

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:30 am 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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I'd go with a backpack as well. I love my North Face one (it's pretty water resistant) and I have another one I got at Marshalls for super cheap that has help up well over the years!

I tend to wear out totes and messenger backs faster than backpacks.


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:11 pm 
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Baggu has some cute backpacks (among all their other bags). I don't know how sturdy they are, but I have another one of their bags that has held up really well.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Should Spend More Time Helping the Animals
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I can't remember--do you bike, DC? This one looks COOL: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/timbuk2-mission-pannier-tote-bag-medium~p~3766j/?utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=PaidShopping&utm_term=Timbuk2_Mission_Pannier_Tote_Bag_-_Medium&utm_campaign=PCGOOGLEBASE11&codes-processed=true

Also, Timbuk2 is on Rue La La today, in case you're interested in that. I didn't know they made pannier bags.

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I would eat Dr. Cow pocket cheese in a second. I would eat it if you hid it under your hat, or in your backpack, but not if it was in your shoe. That's where I draw the line. -allularpunk


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:04 pm 
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I have a bucket bag from Harvey seatbelt bags and they also do totes (coveting). They are usually around $100-200, which is a bit of a hit up front, but they last freaking forever. I've known people who have had them for like 10 years or something insane. cause seatbelts just don't die. love these bags

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:47 am 
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I have this bag which I love:

http://www.baggallini.com/product1.asp? ... BRUG423%27

Image

It's not super huge, but it holds a lot of stuff, has plenty of pockets, very durable nylon fabric, and best of all it converts from shoulder bag to crossbody to backpack.

It was expensive, but I figured it better to spend a lot of money on one bag that I love and will last a long time than continuing my previous hunt for the "perfect" bag which involved buying things and then having them fall apart or just not working out.


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:04 am 
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Should Spend More Time Helping the Animals
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Ooh! I like that bag, Pixel.

DC, which way are you leaning? (Just curious/shopping vicarious through you. What?)

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I would eat Dr. Cow pocket cheese in a second. I would eat it if you hid it under your hat, or in your backpack, but not if it was in your shoe. That's where I draw the line. -allularpunk


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:54 pm 
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I ended up buying the first from Alternative Outfitters. It should arrive today!

Basically, I really like totes over backpacks for a number of reasons (a major one being easy access to phone/keys/BART pass, and so on) and it's HUGE. Although Pixel's bag is super cute, that would NEVER hold all the stuff I carry! I'm not even sure it would fit my laptop, and the document folder I use to carry all my grading and lessons is even bigger.

I really want to get a seatbelt bag someday--I'm so happy to be reminded of them! But they are WAY out of my price range right now. Even if the bag I buy now wears out in a couple months, that's fine. But right now I'm recovering from the cost of moving across the country, and that's several thousand dollars on my credit card that I want to take care of before I start investing in nice things. Which is sad. But oh well.

I'm thinking the Bungalow tote should be pretty good--they use pretty strong fabric, so it should last me a while, and it looks like it'll hold everything, so I can stop carrying a tote AND a purse. Just one bag. Yay!

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about... your totes!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:31 pm 
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I don't know if it's a tote, not quite sure what qualifies something as a tote, but I have a bag I got on holiday, hand woven multicoloured cotton. I love it, it is my baby, I am never parting with it


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