I think I am leaning toward getting a shop bag, and I think I'm actually going to buy the Steel. The Solar is pretty but I'm not sure it'll match well with my wardrobe. As for the Swift, I keep hesitating. I can afford it right now and it would be nice for traveling as my companion to my Brain Bag. I do want a tote bag or shoulder purse to pair with my back pack. But I'm not sure. I wish there were more pictures of people wearing it. I'm not sold on the aesthetics of it.
Originally Posted by mrae
Ah, I'm good at not overstuffing, and I like having extra space things aren't jammed in too tightly. My current backpack's main problem is that it's uncomfortable, but its second problem is that I tend to 'lose' things in it because it's tall and narrow with only a top opening, like the Smart Alec (which is admittedly much better designed though). I like the two compartments of the Brain Bag and the use of zippers.
Originally Posted by peregrina
My boyfriend thinks I should go with the Brain Bag (in Olive; we both agree on that), and I think I will. Now I just need to decide what else I'm getting. Definitely some Nikwax. Probably a Steel Shop Bag. Probably some organizer pouches even though I have enough... Maybe a Swift in Black/Crimson or Black/Kiwi?
Looooove the solar shop bag - but then, I love bright colours... As for a purse, I can't recommend the medium cafe bag enough. I love shoulder bags like the swift but for traveling, nothing is better than a purse you can wear across your chest. It's safer, keeps your hands free for handling your camera, and its sturdy buckle should keep the pickpockets away...
I second the Cafe Bag/Brain Bag Combo for plane travel, I have used it many times and it is great!
However, I am thinking that next time, I will either place my Cafe Bag in a Swift or a Shop Bag.
There is room to spare under the seat but the Large Cafe Bag has to be lain on the side, or bunched up, which I don't like.
For longer plane trips I plan use a Brain Bag and another TB carryon (to be determined.)
For other travel modes of transportation, I use a Brain Bag, Large Cafe Bag and Swift.
Just like peregrina, many forum members and people who have posted their pictures on Tom Bihn flicker site or blog, I strongly recommend a Cafe Bag of some sort for doing touristy things, long walks and shopping.
I would also recommend adding a Convertible Packing Cube Backpack, it acts as one more long pocket in the Brain Bag and if at all possible a Convertible Packing Cube/Shoulder Bag which is like a long short pocket inside the same bag.
Because they are both made in Dyneema, they weight nothing, yet give you two more removable "pockets" and can also be carried by themselves.
I use The Convertible Packing Cube/Shoulder Bag as an inner zippered compartment on my Swift, one can do the same with the Shop Bag.
hehe, I'm not a bright colors person, and I'm also more of a red/blue/green person. Orange is okay. Yellow is... nearly nowhere to be found in my life. I have a large cafe bag already and I did use it once on a weekend trip. I'm just now realizing that it is a great option to use when I travel this summer! For some reason I don't like traveling with my Imago. I actually would love a smaller cafe bag but it feels a bit wasteful to buy another when this one's okay, just not ideal. I've tried to give it to my boyfriend but he won't use it, which confuses me. He'd rather use his similarly sized no pockets or pouches cheap bag from a south american market. I might try to give it to him again and if he takes it, I will buy a medium or small cafe bag to replace it. The large is generally too big for what I want it for.
Originally Posted by peregrina
When the mini cafe bag comes out however, I almost definitely will buy that.
I have some packing cubes already so I don't think I'll be buying any of the tom bihn ones yet. I also don't think I'd ever carry the convertible ones on their own. I don't travel quite enough for that.
Originally Posted by backpack
Thanks both of you for reminding me that the cafe bags are excellent for traveling! I forget that while my Imago does not sit well over a backpack, smaller across the shoulders bags do! I think I would rather use a Brain Bag + Cafe Bag to travel with than a Brain Bag + Swift...
So I think I'm buying the Olive Brain Bag, a Shop Bag in Steel, sapphire stuff sack, a few more organizer pouches, and maybe a new cafe bag. Whether or not I'll buy a Swift remains a mystery to me. I'm tempted to order one just to see it!
The good thing is that if the Swift doesn't suits you, (I doubt it, it is such a cute and well designed shoulder bag) you can send it back.
Ok, I caved (got tired of having to force/stretch/pull my old backpack over the top of my 4Z Brain Cell).
I'll post pictures later tonight, but I'm keeping the Brain Bag even though i's a bit bigger than I would like (both tall and wide), but it kinda needs to be tall to accomodate my Brain Cell/Macbook Pro, I like the two roomy outer pockets and the mesh pocket to hold my water bottle. The mesh pocket is a lot taller than the average water bottle pocket which usually only comes halfway up my 27 oz Klean Kanteen. The BB mesh pocket reaches above the Klean Kanteen logo.
I'm also pleased to finally own a backpack with a chest strap (much better than being easily pulled backwards by the weight of groceries in my backpack). The compression straps are nice too for keeping the BB to a slightly more manageable size. Love the umbrella strap on the outside (no more dripping on my textbooks!)
Right now, the material/nylon is a bit stiff and rubs uncomfortably right now and I hope to break it in before I switch to short sleeve shirts.
Oh wow. I'm impressed that you like it even though it's so big! Looking forward to seeing your pictures. =) I'll probably be returning mine.
Originally Posted by autumnmist
Here's the pictures of me. For reference, I'm 5'1" more or less. As I said, a bit wider than I'd like but I'm ok with it. My previous backpack was pretty large too. I need the space for school (laptop in Brain Cell plus lunch plus books/papers/etc and for groceries.