I recently bought a RS Convertible Carry-on and the padded shoulder strap and was wondering how useful the shoulder strap is. How often is it used?
Rarely. I generally use one back pack shoulder strap or both when completely on the back or rarely carry it just by the handle. Not sure I know where the shoulder strap is.
I think you are talking about the single strap worn over one shoulder. I no longer use mine; in fact, I've stopped even taking it along with me. I found it was difficult to keep on my shoulder. It kept trying to slip off. If I have time after pulling the bag out of the overhead bin, I usually put on just one backpack strap or, if I'm in a hurry, I hold my bag by the handle. It's a short trip to the concourse where I put on both backpack straps, and it's easy to hold by the handle because my bag, packed, only weighs 11 to 12 lb (mobility is a big advantage of packing light).
When I first got my convertible I purchased a better shoulder strap, one by OpTech. I carried it for a while, then realized like Frank and Lee that I was just using the backpack straps or the handle so ditched the extra strap. I do use that OpTech strap on the RS Veloce bag.
I basically cannot carry my packed backpack (let's say 25 pounds) in any format other than a backpack, using both shoulder straps and the waist belt. I might carry it by the handle or on one shoulder for a few feet, but not for any significant distance.
I think you will find, like Lee has, that the strap will slip off your shoulder, unless you lean the other direction in a way that is unhealthy for your back, or wear the strap in a cross-body position which is awkward. Best to just sling it on with one backpack strap for short distances, or both for a longer one.
The supplied strap will slip off your shoulder. That's true for almost all manufacturer provided straps.
I use the strap rarely, when I'm trying to make my bag look smaller to Gate Agents. "Oh, it's hanging off her shoulder, it can't be that heavy". When on business I would take the shoulder strap off and attach it to my computer laptop sleeve, creating a mini-briefcase ( I was traveling one bag only).
The curved Optech SOS strap is the best I've come across as far as comfort and non-slip. I bought mine through Amazon.
I agree with the others here that the OTS strap will slide off. The only way I have gotten it to work is crossbody style. If my bag is heavy I find that I need to switch shoulders periodically as all the weight is on one side. Because of that I only use it for short distances. It's much easier to use both straps in the traditional way.
Add my vote to the previous comments -- I use the top handle or side handle of the convertible carry-on for short distances, like from the curb to the end of the security line at the airport, or from the overhead bin to the gate area at the airport, and one shoulder strap for things like the front desk to the room at the hotel or through the terminal hall, and both shoulder straps for anything longer. Rarely need to untuck the waist belt at all.
I do like that there are rings for the shoulder strap attachment, though, because they can serve as extra points for hanging odds and ends, like a thermos mug or damp boots. The convertible carry-on is a fine jack-of-all-trades piece of gear!
Only slightly related -- I use the shoulder strap cross-body on the Euro tote when getting on and off trains (the tote is on the handle of my rolling bag the rest of the time) and it's great for having a free hand to get up the stairs. So if you have the strap, you can at least use it for other bags.
Thanks everyone. I tried it on at home, but without much in the pack. I was looking for another way to carry it if I got tired. Probably not take it along.
I did buy a nice strap for my "personal item" bag.....the extra padding makes it great to carry (although I attach it to my roller when going through airports etc.) But never used the strap on my RS Convertible or Classic (before I started using rollers.)
On the other hand, my DH has a RS Convertible Carry-on and ALWAYS uses the padded shoulder strap in preference to the other carry options. But, he's a big tall guy. I myself am shorter and would not use the shoulder strap, but like everything else folks will find that different things work for them.
If you do ever decide to use a shoulder strap, the Tom Bihn Absolute Strap is absolutely the best one on the market (at least IMHO).....
@Ken and company: The Absolute shoulder strap is manufactured by OpTech, which I referenced above.
I will agree that it is the most comfortable strap I ever used. I put it on my overloaded laptop bag and commuted with it for years and years. I also think it distributed the weight of my carry on bag. The neoprene strap is definitely non-slip.
Thanks for the feedback. I didn't realize the TB Absolute Strap was made by another firm, as for the most part TB only sells gear that's made in their factory. They've sewn a TB label over top of the Optech label, so I've never noticed that.