Travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.
Brain Bag
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    Brain Bag

    Tom Bihn bags are proudly made in the USA



    Dimensions: 18" x 14" x 9" / 460 x 355 x 230 mm
    420d HT nylon Classic Parapack: 2 lb 14 oz / 1315 grams
    1000 denier Cordura®: 2 lb 15 oz / 1345 grams
    Volume: 2200 cubic inches / 36 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
    Removable 1.5" / 38 mm waist strap included
    .5" / 12 mm padded and contoured shoulder straps with .75" / 20 mm removable sternum strap
    Total O-rings: 9 (3 in the back main compartment; 3 in the front main compartment, 1 in the top small pocket, 1 in left side pocket; 1 in right side pocket)


    Materials: 1000 denier Cordura® lined with 420d HT nylon Classic Parapack
    Bottom: 1050d high tenacity ballistic nylon
    Dri-Lex® Aero-Spacer® mesh back
    EVAZOTE® foam shoulder straps
    PORON® foam handle
    Tough Duraflex® and Nexus® buckles
    #10 YKK coil zippers on main compartment
    #8 YKK coil zippers on pockets


    Made in USA
    100% finished seams
    38 reinforcing bar tacks


    You can expect your TOM BIHN bag to give you years of hard service. Our bags are guaranteed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the bag. That means if something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it at no charge.

    Same with your Skookum Dog gear: it'll give you years of hard service and is guaranteed to be free of defects in materials or workmanship. If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it at no charge. If your dog chews something up or otherwise damages it, we'll repair it for a reasonable fee if it is repairable.
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    Brain Bag

    Carry two (or three or four!) laptops or just a lot of stuff in this tried and true backpack.

    The ultimate on-your-back student or business organizer, the Brain Bag is our Slant-6 of backpacks: it will surprise you with its utility, versatility, and longevity. Long after lesser bags have frayed their seams, blown their zippers, and popped their straps, the Brain Bag will continue to be your faithful companion. Though designed to accommodate the optional Horizontal Brain Cell or Vertical Brain Cell laptop case, it is for many users so much more than a way to carry a laptop on your back.

    The Brain Bag consists of two main compartments plus four external pockets. The small top pocket on the front is perfect for a wallet and cell phone and has an inside snaphook for keys. The two vertical front pockets are large enough for water bottles or even a small thermos; inside both of these pockets are pen/pencil organizers. The left pocket has an outside flat mesh pocket for brochures, plane tickets, or even a small U-lock bike lock. Between the pockets are two lash straps for an umbrella or a raincoat, and above these straps is a heavy-duty snaphook so you can attach water bottle, coffee mug, or what-have-you.

    Both main compartments can accept the Annex Clips that allow you to clip the Horizontal Brain Cell or Vertical Brain Cell laptop case securely inside the Brain Bag so you can carry your computer or your books against your back, as you like. You can actually carry two Horizontal Brain Cells or Vertical Brain Cells (or one of each), and therefore two laptops, in the Brain Bag. (If you want to carry two Brain Cells inside the Brain Bag, be sure to ask for an extra set of Annex Clips: the Brain Bag comes with one set, but you'll want two sets to carry two Brain Cells.)

    Also in both of the main compartments (on the back panel of each) are two unobtrusive webbing loops (that we call "rail loops") to which you can secure the optional Cache (available in sizes specifically for every Apple laptop and iPad; PC users, click here for our Laptop Bag Fit Guide). When you add the Cache, the Brain Bag becomes a "checkpoint-friendly" laptop backpack. Here's how it works: on the back (or bottom, depending how you look at it) of the Cache are two parallel "rails" of 1" wide lightweight nylon webbing which extend from the top to the bottom. Included (and already attached for your convenience) when the Cache is ordered with the Brain Bag are two Gatekeeper Rail Clips: unclip the side that isn't clipped to the Cache, slip it through the webbing loops in the Brain Bag middle compartment, and flip it shut. Slip the Cache inside the Brain Bag, and pull it back out: you'll see that the Gatekeeper Rail Clips ride the rails of the Cache, allowing you to remove your laptop from the Brain Bag entirely while it is still encased in the protective Cache. Doing this at the airport security checkpoint means the X-ray machines (and TSA personnel) will have a clear, unobstructed view of your laptop allowing you to keep your laptop in the Cache and the whole affair securely held together as one unit. (We think that's much better than having to remove your laptop and dump it in one of those buckets.) Many of us will appreciate this functionality on a daily basis as well: the rail system can be a convenient and quick way to remove one's laptop from the bag.

    When we got wind of the fact that many people were using the Brain Bag as an ad hoc camera pack, Tom started working with his brother Dan to design what is now the Camera I-O (Insert-Outsert), a padded case to protect your DSLR and lenses. With the Camera I-O inside either of the two main compartments of the Brain Bag, you can still carry a laptop inside a Brain Cell (Horizontal or Vertical) in the other compartment. How cool is that? The Camera I-O also works as a stand-alone, shoot-from-the-hip camera bag, but you're better off going here to read all about it. And yes, it can clip inside the Brain Bag with Annex Clips just like a Brain Cell.

    Side compression straps compress the Brain Bag when it is not full and stabilize the load; you can also tuck a raincoat, hoodie, or yoga mat under these straps. The Brain Bag has a top handle made of 1/2" PORON® foam wrapped in 1050 denier ballistic nylon fabric; the contoured shoulder straps are padded with 1/2" thick EVAZOTE® EV50 foam and are lined with ETC anti-friction knit for improved comfort; removable 3/4" sternum strap and 1-1/2" waist strap are there if you need them but are easy to remove if you don't. The back is made of Dri-Lex® Aero-Spacer® mesh and is padded with 3/8", high quality, closed-cell foam.

    If the organizer pockets on the front of the Brain Bag just aren't sufficient, or if you need to carry papers, folders, etc. and keep them neat, consider adding the Freudian Slip. One side will protect those papers; the other provides extra organization for pens, business cards, and small electronics or laptop accessories.

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    Our Brain Bag was designed in the mid-1990s as a backpack that could carry my padded laptop insert. (It was originally called Lap Dog, and later renamed Brain Cell.) The name Brain Bag comes from my father's "Brain Bag": the oversized briefcase in which he carried his maps and charts when he flew for Pan Am back in the day. My Brain Bag initially came in two versions: Brain Bag and Big Brain Bag. The standard version had one main compartment, and the "Big" version had two. However, in terms of customer demand, the two-compartment version was the hands-down winner, so I ditched the single-compartment version and focused on the double. It was still called "Big Brain Bag" for some time, but the "Big" eventually dropped from use (as there was no "Small" or "Standard" size anymore), and so it was just Brain Bag.

    The two main compartments allowed users to segregate their stuff, as well as to choose between carrying their laptop or having their jacket/clothing against their backs. I added side compression straps pretty early on; folks liked to be able to cinch the thing down when it wasn't full, and also to overload it by tucking a sweater or raincoat under the straps.

    For many years, Brain Bag had a set of four metal snaps set into the lining so that you could snap the Lap Dog/Brain Cell into place. We replaced the metal snaps in the early 2000s with removable Annex Clips® (when they first became available); we still use Annex Clips® today - we like the way you can remove the clip if you're not using it and have just a loop of webbing, rather than an intrusive metal snap, left behind.

    The pocket design on the front of Brain Bag was conceived as a way to have a reasonable number and variety of easily accessible pockets, but still maintain a relatively svelte exterior. The design of the pockets allowed them to be sewn on with zero exposed fabric edges inside the pockets (having no exposed, raw edges of fabric is pretty much religion here). I added the simple pen/pencil organizers inside the two main pockets after folks thought that'd be a useful thing (though I personally tend to just throw all that little stuff into a pocket higgledy-piggledy). We added more "O"-rings and replaced the leather handle with a Poron®-padded one. We changed the 2" webbing waist belt to a 1-1/2" webbing waist belt (more in scale with the bag, IMHO), and we made the waist belt removable and the sternum strap removable too, as soon as appropriate hardware was available. We added a Dri-Lex® Aero-Spacer® mesh back panel, and a large snap hook at the base of the top pocket for your umbrella, water bottle or travel mug.

    Over the years, though we've tweaked and modified and added features to Brain Bag, its basic form is still unmistakable and somewhat iconic. Keep on truckin’, Brain Bag!
    - Tom