I've had an Empire Builder since Dec 2007, purchased at TB's most excellent factory store. In the time since, I've been through a couple of jobs and laptops, with variously more and less travel, and the EB has been a champ.
The current position requires that I carry two machines - an older Dell and current Lenovo - two phones, and various accessories (power supplies, USB gear, cell-data card, et cetera). I'd been considering replacing the EB with a backpack, but found that everything fit more or less neatly into the EB. It's heavy but it holds everything and then some.
It's had about 110k air miles since I bought it, and it still looks brand-new.
Way to go, TB. I can't recommend this highly enough.
What's that weigh, loaded? Do you use the Absolute strap?
On a recent trip to San Francisco, I carried two computers in a Checkpoint Flyer ;) But it's not quite a fair comparison, because the 2d computer is a 3lb netbook, and the first isn't so bad either (15" MacBook Pro). It worked fine; my neoprene netbook sleeve is, however, not "checkpoint friendly"
(ha!), so I had to run that through separately. Hmm. I wonder if the new netbook sleeves from TB are in fact checkpoint-friendly ...
It was about 25 lbs fully laden - that's two full-size laptops, two power supplies, two phones, notebook, book, assorted wires & other bits, medicine, passport, pens and assorted other detritus.
All I can say is that it works.....that it zipped up at all blew me away.
Ouch. 25 lbs? That would make me miserable even using a backpack.
I agree that it's amazing how well the TB bags seem to hold up over time. Just when I think one is showing some signs of age, I brush it off a bit and suddenly it's back to new again. Just amazing.
Originally Posted by pretzelb
I use a good quality, smooth ultrasuede cloth dampened with a bit of plain water and wipe down both my Ego and my husband's Empire Builder. Works like a charm and virtually no drying time! Easy, peazy!
I've had an Empire Builder for a good year and a half or so. It's a wonderful bag. I was carrying a similar amount of stuff and mine was weighing in around 25-30lbs. With the Absolute Strap, it seemed manageable and never felt like I was stressing myself, but one day on the way to a job I threw my back out bad. I wasn't walking fast or holding the bag in an odd way - just had it on me like a standard messenger. I really, really recommend you don't put that kinda weight on one side. I woulda argued otherwise before it happened to me.
Since then, I use a Brain Bag too. It's perfect. I'd highly, highly recommend looking into one.