Empire Builder Questions
Thanks everyone for these excellent reviews. Very helpful! :D
I am still unclear as to what the filing system is like in the Empire/Zephyr. webw's pics are no longer linked. Does anyone have a clear picture of the dividers and the capture bar, perhaps both in and out of the bag?
Originally Posted by webw
Also, in the tri-color listings for the bags, is the third color the lining for the entire bag, or just the side gussets?
Is Cayenne going to make a comeback as a lining in the Empire Builder, or Zephyr?
Thanks all for the help. :)
(Sorry, I don't have the actual picture you want, but I can give you a description!)
Look at the Cayenne picture. You can clearly see the dividers in that picture.
The side bellows are padded with stiff foam, perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick (photo b on the Zephyr shows this) and extend to near the bottom third of the bag. (Oooh! Just checked my Zephyr and it doesn't do what I think it does!) Near the bottom, just before the bellows ends, this foam is double thickness. This creates a nice little edge for the dividers to hold on to.
The bottom of the dividers is shaped like one side of an arrowhead meeting an arrow, and fits neatly against the bottom of the bellows. The foam is flexible enough that if you want to remove the dividers you can, but otherwise they stay firmly in place.
2 observations about this.
1. The dividers themselves are heavy. I don't use mine for just this reason. They're made of a solid black plastic.
2. You can get up inside the lining of the bellows from the bottom of the bag. I think this would make a fantastic place to hide spare cash when travelling!
PA: I did find the photo!
Thanks Falconea, for your very helpful description! I had seen that pic but it was inadequate without your description. BTW, here is another (I found C and D the most helpful.) :)
So, for future searchers:
The file dividers run the depth of the bag.
The file dividers are held in place via pressure exerted by closed cell foam rails.
The rails sit in a notch toward the bottom of the divider.
The dividers are plastic.
No animals were harmed in the making of this post. :P
Doesn't look like a lot of activity on the thread anymore. I have owned my EB for many years and believe it to be a great bag. My only compliant has always been that the bag tends to fall over on me. I wish that it would stand upright better than it does.
Thanks for reviving the thread, jonhoffm.
We've just posted new photos of the Empire Builder, including photos of all new color combinations. See them here.
I ordered my Empire Builder on 28 September, 2011 5:02:48 PM EDT and it arrived at my Hamilton, Ontario door just past noon today. This is the black/navy/wasabi with 4Z brain cell and Absolute strap. Followed the tracking online and went home at lunch to swap out my American Tourister for the EB. This was my 2nd American Tourister and while it was a decent bag, the rear stiching began to fail (same as 1st) around where the strap attaches to the bag. Failure is from daily use with various amounts of stuff packed in - the bag owes me nothing as it served well, but when I was looking to replace the 1st AT, Tom Bihn was at the top of the list. Unfortunately, I needed the replacement in a hurry so I went back to AT with the promise I would buy the EB "soon"... Well this time I orderd at the first sign of trouble and shipping was extremely quick. Having received the TB EB today, I really wish I had purchased it sooner. The quality of the bag is quite apparent when it's in your hand. It seems quite well thought out with easy access to all items. The Absolute strap is truely gravity defying. What was a hefty load before lunch, transformed into an easy to carry load after lunch. I had debated Zepher vs Empire Builder because most reviews comment on how "big" and "cavernous" the EB is - turns out it wasn't a real choice because my laptop 15.4 MBP doesn't fit the Zepher. Still, I was worried about this "big" bag. It honestly is not that big. It feels less bulky than the AT, but easily consumed everything I was previouly carrying... and there's more usable space to go. The AT had no end of pockets, but the EB has them better organized. All-in-all, awesome bag. Wish I had made the move sooner.