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  1. #1
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    Laptop + dSLR and on planes: Super Ego vs. Ego vs. Empire Builder?

    Hi all,

    I'm in the market for a messenger bag, as my Brain Bag doesn't go too well with business settings. I'm specifically looking for a bag that can hold a dSLR (Nikon D40) and a 13" laptop in a Brain Cell along with having plenty of pockets for small gadgets and the like. Which would be the best answer? Super Ego? Ego? Empire Builder? Are these bags wide enough to handle a camera and a laptop without overbulging?

    I'm also concerned that the Super Ego might be too big for my 5'6" frame and too big to fit underneath an airplane seat. Anyone with experience with the Super Ego on aircraft?

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dormouse View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm in the market for a messenger bag, as my Brain Bag doesn't go too well with business settings. I'm specifically looking for a bag that can hold a dSLR (Nikon D40) and a 13" laptop in a Brain Cell along with having plenty of pockets for small gadgets and the like. Which would be the best answer? Super Ego? Ego? Empire Builder? Are these bags wide enough to handle a camera and a laptop without overbulging?

    I'm also concerned that the Super Ego might be too big for my 5'6" frame and too big to fit underneath an airplane seat. Anyone with experience with the Super Ego on aircraft?

    Many thanks in advance!
    hi dormouse,

    i believe that the 13" laptop in a brain cell + nikon d40 will definitely fit into the ego. but it also depends on what lens is attached to the d40 and what else you're going to carry.

    if you can tell me what lens and what else you'll want to carry, i can share some pictures of similar items in my ego.

    i don't have the super ego or empire builder, but i'm sure others who do can advise on the capacity of each for the items you intend to carry.

  3. #3
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    Maverick,

    Many thanks! I've got the standard kit lens 18 to 55mm. Also need to carry a notebook and a few papers in a folder, a paperback for reading material, and a charger for the laptop. Are you able to get all this into an Ego? My guess is that that's the best bet, but I've heard that once a Brain Cell is inside, there's not a whole lot more room left.

    Dormouse

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dormouse View Post
    Maverick,

    Many thanks! I've got the standard kit lens 18 to 55mm. Also need to carry a notebook and a few papers in a folder, a paperback for reading material, and a charger for the laptop. Are you able to get all this into an Ego? My guess is that that's the best bet, but I've heard that once a Brain Cell is inside, there's not a whole lot more room left.

    Dormouse
    hi dormouse,

    i've got the d700 (which is bigger than the d40) and a 50mm f/1.4G lens (which is a little wider and a little shorter than the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G that you have - 2.9" long x 2.7" diameter vs 2.1" long x 2.9" diameter).

    i think you can place the brain cell, notebook, paperback, and papers in the zippered compartment of the ego. and place the camera, lens and charger in the front compartment of the ego.

    please confirm that you want to leave the lens attached. detaching it will require less room, but you have the extra steps of attaching it when you want to use it and detaching it when you want to store it.

    the camera and lens can be placed in some sort of wrap or neoprene case of your choice.

    let me know if you have any questions.

  5. #5
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    In my Ego, my daughters slr camera will fit in the zippered compartment along with the brain cell- Camera case is 9 1/2 h x 9 w x 5 1/2 d. Not a square, the usual trapezoid.
    However, not much room left in the front pocket.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  6. #6
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    Thanks, guys. I would definitely want to keep the lens attached, as I do a fair bit of wandering and never know what I might come across to shoot.

    I didn't think that the camera would fit in the front pouch, but if it does, that would be quite good. I usually also carry a Domke pouch, and it would be optimal if that fit in the front pouch. The pouch is 8"W x 4.5"D x 7.25"H.

    It sounds though that the Super Ego might be a safer bet if I'm looking to carry much else. Then it's a question of whether the bag would just seem too large. I'm going to hope not.

  7. #7
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    I have a question:

    I'm wondering how this kind of cargo would fit into a Checkpoint Flyer. Could a laptop, SLR-style camera, and accessories and papers (Freudian Slip) all fit into a Checkpoint Flyer?

  8. #8
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    I didn't even think about the Checkpoint Flyer because of the stated capacity. It'd be nice to be wrong though.

  9. #9
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    hi dormouse,

    please find at this link what i call a quick, not much thought or editing went into it, off the cuff video showing how you might carry the items we discussed (and a couple of other items) inside of the tom bihn ego messenger bag.

    please forgive the poor quality - i'll revisit this when i get a little more item and reshoot it with better lighting, a proper voice over, close ups, editing and all of that . now i need to get ready for our trip tomorrow...

  10. #10
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    Maverick,

    Holy cow! Thanks so much for putting together the video. That is incredibly helpful. Seems an ego will hold everything I need, so I'm headed for that bag. Thanks once again. If you're ever around Boston, I owe you a beer.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dormouse View Post
    Maverick,

    Holy cow! Thanks so much for putting together the video. That is incredibly helpful. Seems an ego will hold everything I need, so I'm headed for that bag. Thanks once again. If you're ever around Boston, I owe you a beer.
    hi dormouse,

    the ego is just one option. now, the ego has a capacity of 23 liters.

    the super ego holds 27 liters.

    the empire builder holds 22.5 liters.

    i think all of these bags, and perhaps others that tom bihn offers, will work well for your needs - it is a matter of which design you prefer.

    also keep in mind the d40 body will be smaller than the d700. your lens is about the same size as the 50mm f/1.4G i had in that video with its lens hood attached.

    let us know what you end up ordering, and please share some pictures and videos if you can!

    thanks,

  12. #12
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    The Super Ego may also be a good choice in the fact that it holds more.
    If you filled the Super Ego to capacity, it may not fit under an airplane seat.

    However, if isn't maxed out, it would probably fit underneath the seat since it is flexible enough.

    Plus you can do what I did. I was trying to decide between the Ego, ID, and imago. I did mockups of the outside dimensions using newspaper. This gave me a rough view of the capacity for what I wanted to carry today and in the future.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.


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