I started looking at Tom Bihn bags seriously when I made arrangements to go see my fiancé in Liverpool (UK) in October. That trip is now 13 days away and I finally started securing some Tom Bihn bags. At first, I thought of just the medium café bag as a purse rather than my normal purse. Then I considered the Imago, going assofar as calling the office and talking about the new bag colors with Tom himself (super, super nice man). Then I happened to check Ebay and saw a used ID, complete with Brain Cell and pouches, for sale in colors I really wanted that were no longer available. So, I grabbed it and it arrived today.
I'm really glad I got it, especially over the Imago.
First thing I did was put on the bag empty. It has the standard shoulder strap, which is still far more comfortable than anything I'd ever used to that point. I'm most likely going to get an Absolute Shoulder Strap within the week to replace it with. I stand just under 5'5 and the bag hangs comfortably on me. Even full, my arm was at the right height to where it could rest on the filled bag.
Then I filled the bag with everything on going on this particular trip. The contents included:
- Brain Cell containing a MacBook
- Yarn stuff sack with an in-progress project knitting project
- Canon PowerShot S5 IS
- Medium organizer pouch with a pair of socks, bra, and underwear in case my checked bag doesn't make it to the UK with me. My glasses will also be tucked in here for safety
- Inflatable neck pillow
- Clear organizer wallet
- Mini organizer pouch with iPod nano and headphones
- Small organizer pouch with assorted girl-type necessities, extra contacts, lens case and small amount of saline (liquids and gels to be removed before I head to the airport)
- Second small organizer pouch that houses the USB cables to my iPod and Kindle and the Kindle charger. Will also have two plug adapters for UK plugs.
- MacBook adapter tucked into one of the pockets
- Chapstick once I'm past security
- Spare batteries for the camera
- Clip-on light for the Kindle
Zippered pocket in front of the front pouch
- Kindle 1 in its original leather case. Originally I popped the Kindle into the medium organizer pouch, but it proved to be too big and not enough padding for my comfort. Once I relocated the Kindle back to its old home and slipped it into the pocket, it proved to be the perfect home for my Kindle.
Front electronic pockets
- iPhone is in the one on the left. The one on the right hasn't been used yet but will probably be home to my Ziploc of liquids
Very front and back pocket:
- Front zipper pocket will hold my passport, ticket and proof that I am not going to remain in the UK to illegally marry my fiancé. Back magazine pocket hasn't found a use yet, but I'm sure it will!
Here's how it looks filled with everything except the documents. Pardon the low quality, I used the built-in webcam on my iMac because I'd packed the camera:
It bulged out a lot more than I expected, but the weight was nothing. And if this is with the regular strap, I can't wait to see what it's like with the Absolute strap. Any advice on reducing the bulk would be greatly appreciated. I actually still had room in the main compartment.
I mostly have a single concern and that's my camera. The camera bag was too big to fit in the ID along with the Brain Cell, so I took it out. Right now I have it nestled between the medium organizer pouch with the spare clothing and the uninflated neck pillow. I don't want anything to happen to it. Is there any advice on how to carry it? The camera resembles a small SLR in shape (here's a picture).
All in all, the ID is not only going to be a great travel bag, but I plan to use it as a work bag as well. But, so I'd have a smaller bag with me, I also got a small café bag that I'll wrap up small and tuck in my luggage.