“The Brain Bag from Tom Bihn. This is a great backpack, with good padding for my laptop, a strap for the tripod, lots of pockets and S-t-u-r-d-y!”
Here’s some recent feedback we’ve received via email.
“Dear Tom Bihn,
My husband and I have just returned from just under one month on west coast USA and in Canada, where we travelled only with one carry-on Aeronaut bag each, plus a small shoulder bag (for this I had one of your backpacks, the one that actually fits into the Aeronaut if required, in which I stowed my handbag, plus reading material and extra clothing for the plane trips). We are in our mid-60s. For packing our Aeronaut bags we each used one large Packing Cube and two small ones. I did some careful selection of clothes ahead of time and we managed fine! It was a liberating experience and we are now getting ready for a trip to South America travelling the same way. None of our friends can understand how we managed it. I told them you need to have, first, the right head-set – who cares if you don’t have multiple changes of clothes, as long as they are easily washed – and second, the correct luggage. Thanks heaps!
“I’ve had my Small Cafe Bag for just over a week, and it’s fantastic. Just exactly what I was looking for – bag big enough to handle a few small electronic devices (camera, phone) plus a bit more, but not too small, and not so big that it’s just a messenger bag. I love the quality, the little rings inside, the zippered front pocket, the back slash pocket, and the color (black/wasabi). Just wanted to say a big thank you to you all.”
“I recently became an owner of a Tom Bihn Super Ego (my first ever TB bag) and I have to say I love it! I carry it everyday to work and even when I pop out to the shops and never complain about it. I even pack in the 2XL brain cell with my Dell Studio 17 …. even when I don’t need to. I had my friend’s 8 week old kittens scrambling all over it with their claws and there isn’t a single loose thread or tear anywhere. The most rigorous use has been to a War Re-enactor’s show where I wore it (with a laptop inside) for 5 hours straight. I made use of the sidebelt but other than that it was fairly comfy. I don’t think your average laptop bag would have survived the trip (or my shoulder). I was also impressed with the box that my Super Ego arrived in. firstly, because you shipped it to England within 7 days! Thats faster than some of the UK national postal companies. Secondly, because it was in a box. When I’ve bought bags and pouches on-line, the retailer tends to stuff the pouches all inside the bag and then fold the bag into as small a space as possible before shipping out to the customer. This deforms the bag to such a degree that creases remain, which I find really annoying. It also makes me wonder just how much they care about their customers. Additionally, all the plastic wrapping and paperwork is also removed. Admittedly, this all saves weight and space but sometimes I do wonder if I have been sold a returned/second hand item. I was amazed to see the Super Ego, Brain Cell, Freudian Slip and Snake Charmer lying in pristine condition in the TB box (oh brown container of lovelies) with all the tags present and accounted for. I think the freudian slip still has the tag attached!
Anyhoo, just wanted to say I think the bag is excellent and I can’t stop showing it off to all my mates! Thought you might like to know that the 2XL Horizontal Brain Cell fits my dell Studio 17 with the extended battery.”
“I used the shoulder straps a lot more than I ever did with the Aeronaut. Not sure why. In backpack mode I was able to run through a crowded Gatwick airport and catch a train (the station is much further away than I thought). With a wheeled case, I wouldn’t be so mobile, and would definitely have missed the connection.”
“I mentioned last week when we were packing to leave for the beach that I was going to take my Western Flyer to use for my folding clothes. Now that we’re back, I can address the usefulness a bit more. The MBR in our Travel Trailer has no drawers. It has a set of cabinets over and around the head of the bed. Two that are squarish actually over the bed and two that are suitable for half length hanging clothes.”
Read the full post by dorayme in the Forums.
“My Take On It: When you first look at the price it can definitely take you for a spin, since it’s not a budget bag! But trust me, it’s worth the money. You can get rid of the check in bags, have a super reliable bag that you know will last and last and last!”
Read the full review by Marina K. Villatoro
See: the Aeronaut.
“Bottom line, obviously the Brain Bag is a premium backpack and Tom Bihn isn’t out to compete on price. The target customer appreciates design, quality and utility. Customers that buy from Tom Bihn tend to be loyal and repeat customers, just check out their forum community to see that, to me that says a lot about a product and company.”
Read the full review at Student Buying Guide.
“It was just an overnighter for work, so I figured it was a good tryout for the small Western Flyer. I packed my clothes in a large packing cube in the non-divided side. In the other side of the bag I kept the divider zipped into the two compartments. In one, I had a Clear Quarter Packing Cube with non-liquid toiletries on one side and miscellaneous stuff on the other (cords, eye mask, earplugs, etc). On top of that I put my 3D Clear Organizer Cube with liquids. On the compartment I put a pair of shoes and next to them, my iPod, inflatable lumbar pillow and a Ziploc of snacks. In the large zip pocket I had my Kindle, a pen/pencil size Clear Organizer Pouch with lipstick, nail file, pen. In the small zip pocket I put my wallet, sunglasses and cell phone so I didn’t need to carry a separate purse.
The best part about the Western Flyer is that it fits under the airplane seat! When everyone was jockeying for position to make sure they could get a space in the overheads, I was stress free, knowing I would not be separated from my stuff. ”
I live and travel in the UK/EU, and I’ve been a Tom Bihn customer since late 2001 – first purchase was a Brain Bag (donated to a colleague), an Empire Builder (sold on, as I move to smaller and smaller computers), several Brain Cells (why oh why no 11″ Air Brain Cell?), an Aeronaut, and now, the latest, a Tri-Star.
I’ve travelled a lot with my bags – especially the Aeronaut, and I thought I’d try and contribute a bit to the fantastic reviews and resources that have helped me in the past.”
“I’d like to thank Tom Bihn for building the best bags I’ve ever used. I’d also like to say that they’ve utterly ruined all other bags for me. Every time I use any other bags, they feel cheap and unworthy of use. I’m going to have to replace my backpack with a Tom Bihn Synapse backpack, I need to replace my iPad and Kindle sleeves, I’m going to have to buy a new awesome 3D Clear Organizer Cube to replace my flimsy liquids bag that I’d been using for security checks, and my messenger bag I’ve been using for work is going to have to be replaced by an Empire Builder If you’re a serious bag enthusiast (those people exist, right?) then you have to check out Tom Bihn’s offerings.”
Read the full review.
Perplexa asked: “So I’m finally going to buy my first real Tom Bihn bag (I just got a Field Journal, which is amazing). I think I’m going to get an ID with a Freudian Slip, but I wanted some opinions on whether this is the best choice for me. I also looked at the Zephyr and the Ego.”