Brain Bag Initial Impressions (and lots of pics)
When I got home from work this evening, guess what I found on the dining room table?
My brand new Brain Bag had arrived! I also ordered a Snake Charmer to go along with the bag. I thought some initial impressions would be good to post here, along with the obligatory "what fits in your bag" shots to help others who are still debating.
First off, here's a picture of the Brain Bag next to his little brother, my beloved ID messenger bag. Just to give you a sense of size comparison between the two (I have posted a bunch of pics of my ID in prevous posts):
My primary reason for getting the Brain Bag was to have a bag that could handle large loads. I work full time and go to school at night, so there are often occasions when I need to leave the house in the morning with everything I need for the next 12-18 hours (meals, school books, change of clothes, etc.). I love my ID and it is a great day-to-day bag, but it's just not big enough for these occasions.
Boy, does the Brain Bag solve that problem.
Here's a "typical" load on a school night for me. We have the following:
- One IBM T60 with power brick & neoprene sleeve
- Pair of sneakers
- Pair of Jeans and t-shirt (we miss you, Joey!)
- Heavy sweatshirt (it's cold in PA right now!)
- Freudian Slip with several folders and notebooks
- 1 6 by 9 sketchbook
- iPhone and assorted charging thingys
- Assorted sundries (sunglasses, business calculator)
- Water bottles, lunch bag (not shown)
And now... it's all gone!
Amazingly impressive. And I am not even packing things carefully... I just stuffed it all in to see what would fit!
Some quick initial impressions:
- As others have reported in their reviews, this bag is deceptive. It does not seem as big when you pull it out of the box until you start stuffing. It really does swallow up all of your gear and patiently wait for more.
- The strap design and weight distribution is excellent. Once you put it on it snuggles in firm and tight against your back and does a great job of comfortably distibuting the load.
- The cinch straps are a really clever innovation. Pull them tight when you have less in the bag, and the extra bulk just disappears.
- I also like how all the external zippers are "hooded" to protect your gear from the elements. Really nice feature that does not impede your ability to get into the pockets and compartments to get to your stuff.
- As with every Tom Bihn product, the build quality is top notch right out of the box.
I'll post more after I road test it for a few weeks, but my initial impression is that I have found an ideal travelling companion, and the perfect partner for my ID. Once again, I am impressed and thrilled with the Tom Bihn products so far!
Hope this helps!
Does the Horizontal Freudian Slip work well in the Brain Bag?
Nice pictures. The Vertical Freudian Slip was the original version of the Freudian Slip -- designed as an organizer for papers, etc. carried in the Brain Bag and Smart Alec. The Horizontal Freudian Slip was added in response to requests for a similar product for bags like the ID bag. (See this forum thread for details.) How do you find using the Horizontal Freudian Slip in the Brain Bag? Is it easily accessible or does it tend to slip to the bottom of the bag? The Vertical Freudian Slip is basically matched to the height of the Brain Bag and Smart Alec for easy access, and also has more room for pockets for small gadgets on the reverse side.
Incidentally, while it's great that the Horizontal Freudian Slip fits into both the ID bag and the Western Flyer, it's unfortunately slightly too large for the Imago. Otherwise, it's a great way to transfer documents between bags.