Earlier this month, I suggested to one of my former colleagues that he pick up a TB bag to house his brand-new 13" MBA. He has some major issues with his back, and I thought he might appreciate the Absolute Strap. Like me, he also obsesses over purchases of this nature, and I knew the craftsmanship of TB would really appeal to him.
So, lo and behold, he's just received his new ID and he sent me an email extolling its virtues. He said I can post it here, and so here it is:
Got my Tom Bihn ID Messenger Bag yesterday. Very cool! Pretty much exactly what I've been searching for for a couple of years now. It's the perfect size, it's very well made, and I love the Absolute Strap. Makes a huge difference on my shoulder and back. Even the box it came in was well-designed! I also got the Horizontal Brain Cell for my MacBook Air, and it's really nice, too. The top flaps don't seem to completely close down all the way—it's almost as if the Air is about 1/8 of an inch too big, top to bottom when it's in the Brain Cell case, but it's not a big deal at all. I suspect that over time the flaps will loosen up a little and the padding in the bottom of the bag will compress a little, allowing the bag to close all the way. I love the way the Brain Cell attaches to the inside of the ID bag. Super nice touch. And I now won't worry about carrying around the laptop, as it's very well protected in the Brain Cell.
The ID bag has not only a shoulder strap but also removable straps to put around one's waist. If I were riding a bike, for instance, those straps would prevent the bag from sliding around. It's genius the way they can be removed and stashed away somewhere. I looked at bags from Keen, Timbuk 2, Scooba, etc. Many of them had those waist straps, but when they did, in no case were they removable, so you end up with these stupid, long straps hanging off the bag and getting in your way 95% of the time. Not so with the Tom Bihn bag.
I have one small, niggling complaint about the ID bag: There are two zippered pockets just inside the front flap, I guess for a cell phone, glasses, etc. They're lined with a soft, suede-like material. My cell phone fits in one of them just fine, as does my iPod, but my case for my reading glasses does not fit. The pocket needs to be about 1/4 of an inch bigger for the zipper to close. It puzzles me why they didn’t make the pockets slightly bigger. I wish I could keep the glasses in one of those pockets, as they're easy to access and I reach for the glasses all the time, but it's a no-go. I'll look for a smaller case for the glasses, but the one I have is already pretty small. There are other pockets for the glasses case, of course.
[NB: he's since found a case that fits in the side pocket.]
Do you have any of those little organizer pouches they sell? I think I'm going to buy a couple for the bag, for change and such stuff. That Freudian Slip insert is pretty darn cool, too. Are you familiar with that? If not, it's an insert that will hold pens, files, etc. I may get that at some point. My god does this all appeal to my need for organization.
[Update: he's getting an Organizer Wallet and an extra key strap.]
I'll tell you, you've not steered me wrong with recommendations and such: that awesome restaurant, the MacBook Air, and now the Tom Bihn bag.
I'm getting a Corgi.
Take care, and thanks for the sweet advice.