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  1. #61
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    Great photos! Thank you for posting them!!
    Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!

  2. #62
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    FYI, here's what I typically carry in my Wal Mart backpack:

    LARGE MAIN COMPARTMENT
    Canon PowerShot S2IS ultra-zoom camera, stored in Sportsman's Guide gun holster sling
    (sometimes I carry an Olympus C3020Z digicam, in its own bulky padded case

    SECOND MAIN COMPARTMENT
    Small, zip-shut notebook organizer w/ mechanical lead pen
    Pair of walkie-talkies
    Jar of handi-wipes (always lost at the bottom of the bag, probably dried out by now)

    TOPSIDE MINI-COMPARTMENT
    Pens
    Nametag on lanyard
    Sometimes include pencils and handheld micro-pencil sharpener
    Portable magnifying lens
    Checkbook
    Small, fliptop notepad


    LARGE, LOWER ZIP-SHUT POUCH
    Cell phone ciggie auto power adaptor
    I used to also carry a flashlight in here, but it kept turning on and running its batteries down

    UPPER ZIPPER POCKET ON POUCH
    Mini bottle of hand sanitizer
    Velcro-shut pouch containing ultra-portable 21x binoculars

    LOWER ZIPPER POCKET
    Nothing


    The cheapie backpack also offers external netting pockets that look cheap and never see use. It also has compression straps with those buckle thingies; I attached one of them once and I've never been able to get it loose again.

  3. #63
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    Mar 2009
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    Midwest
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    I think the biggest issue you will run into with MEI is customer service. I set out, intending to buy a bag from MEI, and went as far as contacting the company. They did get back to me in less than a week, but I read far to many stories about how difficult it was to maintain any sort of contact with them, let alone repairs after purchase, that I shied away.

    Now that have purchased Tom Bihn, I don't see ever switching to anything else. I opted for the Aeronaut, and I love it. I had to send back my waist strap retrofit, as well as a packing cube for minor issues, and Darcy arranged to send them to me with the return packing slip. It was very seamless, and makes me want to stay loyal.

    Just my two cents! I know you've recently made a purchase from Tom Bihn. I hope you're enjoying it as much as I do mine!

  4. #64
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    I forgot one item in the Second Main Compartment:

    Case Logic iPod Case, with iPod, cassette adaptor, and ciggie power adaptor

  5. #65
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    Dec 2008
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    I have both an Aeronaut and TriStar. But there are no hard scientific criteria I use to chose which Iíll use for a trip. Sometimes it comes down to a coin toss. Mostly because I donít carry a lot of stuff for the sake of carrying a lot of stuff. What I need, sure. But none of my bags has ever been loaded to capacity. I plan it that way to always have space left over for something else.

    Sometimes it might be the length of the trip, but thatís less likely to be a factor because I plan laundry stops on any extended trip. Usually three to five days apart. Where Iím going, and when probably dictates the bulk of the clothing. If I need a suit(s), I can either use my rolling garment bag (which I check). Or, Iíll pack it in the Aeronaut and have it pressed at the hotel when I arrive. Weekend trips to the desert, I might have a change of clothes for day and for evening.

    If Iím concerned about looking too ďtourist on holidayĒ I might opt for the TriStar (even though it is Indigo). My Aeronaut is Steel, so it looks pretty subdued based on how I normally dress when I travel. If Iíll be making use of public transit, Iím leaning towards the TriStar (if not my Brain Bag).

  6. #66
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    What would the color of your Tri Star say, fashion-wise?

    The reason I ask is that I love my new Super Ego with the Indigo flap color. I'm pleasantly relieved that it looks even better than I expected. I actually had mixed feelings about the overall looks of the Super Ego on the TB web-site. I bought it based on function and capacity, not style. It turns out to be better-looking in person than any high-end nylon briefcase I've seen; no fooling. If my Super Ego makes me look too casual, I'd just have to say "guilty as charged"

    Out of curiosity, what kind of accessories do you use with your Tri-Star and Aeronaut bags? Have you ever carried a suit in one?

  7. #67
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    Feb 2006
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    I saw on the hem... Synapse thread that many forum enthusiasts have received their Synapses.

    I am going to copy the link of this thread to the Synapse forum and see if any of the new owner can help you with gear distribution in the Synapse.

    It might take a while for them to respond...

    Now, you understand the feeling we all get while opening our Tom Bihn boxes and... when we first play with our gear.


    Let me know if it is ok to copy this link to the Synapse thread and if not I'll delete it.

  8. #68
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    I have no problem, and appreciate your input.

    Be advised, though, that the Synapse has not been high on my list of options. It's not completely ruled out, but my first choice would be the Ruc's Sack and the second would be the Smart Alec. I suppose at this moment Synapse would be tied with the Brain Bag for #3.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    I have no problem, and appreciate your input.

    Be advised, though, that the Synapse has not been high on my list of options. It's not completely ruled out, but my first choice would be the Ruc's Sack and the second would be the Smart Alec. I suppose at this moment Synapse would be tied with the Brain Bag for #3.

    So sorry MtnMan, having 3 Brain Bags I can tell you that all you gear would beno problem for a Brain Bag.

    Having said that I suggest adding size appropriate Pouches to house your gear in the Brain Bag.
    It is deeeep!


    I don't have a Smart Alec or a Ruck Sack so you might have to browse the blog, Tom Bihn flicker site and view Maverick's video of these 2 bags over and over and in slow motion.

    You can ask him more questions when he comes back from his trip.

  10. #70
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    Aug 2007
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    Topeka, KS
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    I'm probably not a good TB owner to respond as since retirement I never travel with a suit or even a sport coat. I also pack and wear clothes that I can wash out easily and will dry overnight. When ordering a bag sometime ago the important thing to me was "bag bloat" which to me means how the bag tends to go "barrel shaped" when loaded to the gills. Tom Bihn has done an amazing job in creating a bag, the Aeronaut, that holds its rectangular shape when packed. I was so impressed after receiving my Aeronaut (I had intended to look it over and send it back if it didn't work like I thought it would) I ordered one for my wife. Now we are both happy Tom Bihnners.

  11. #71
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    The reason the Brain Bag is low on my list of candidates is because it costs twice as much as the Ruc's Sack.

    And Maverick's video of the Ruc's Sack definitely helped me to push it to the top of my list. I had not ruled anything out, but your suggestion definitely reminded me that the Synapse does have something to offer.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    What would the color of your Tri Star say, fashion-wise?
    In the fashion sense, I can't imagine it would say much. My main concern is avoiding unwanted attention to me or my belongings. So I counter that by looking the part of an average person on the street. If I were to do it over, the TriStar definitely would have been Steel or Black.
    Out of curiosity, what kind of accessories do you use with your Tri-Star and Aeronaut bags? Have you ever carried a suit in one?
    Again, it all depends. I guess as a rule: a 3D Clear Packing Cube (toiletries); and a Side Effect (wallet, phone, pocket stuff). If I'm taking a Notebook or Netbook, that along with a Snake Charmer (chargers, adapters, cables, etc.). Maybe an Organizer Pouch or two for the end/front pockets. Usually a large and maybe a small packing cube takes care of clothing for either bag. A sportcoat in the Areonaut, I might pack, but more often I'll just wear it.

    If I really need a suit, I probably need more than one. In which case I travel a day, then whatever business takes place, then a travel day home. I prefer to just use my garment bag. I've had it for almost fifteen years, it stills looks and functions wonderfully, and carries my suits, ties, dress shoes, etc. very nicely. Because it's designed for the purpose, the suits look great when I get where I'm going.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    The reason the Brain Bag is low on my list of candidates is because it costs twice as much as the Ruc's Sack.

    And Maverick's video of the Ruc's Sack definitely helped me to push it to the top of my list. I had not ruled anything out, but your suggestion definitely reminded me that the Synapse does have something to offer.

    I am sure you know but let me list the volumes Ruck Sack Volume: 16 liters
    Brain Bag Volume: 36 liters, it holds 3 times as much.
    4 times if packed really well with packing cubes(for travel) or Vertical Freudian Slip, 2 laptops in their Vertical Brain Cells and/or Caches and Pouches to carry all the little extras.
    It is a great stuffing it all in bag...
    and the price is only twice as much.


    However, I can see the attraction of the backpacks with the smaller volume but I don't own any.

    Maverick, owns all of the smaller TB backpacks.
    When he returns we can ask all the questions we wish and even ask for more videos.


    The Brain Bag is perfect but at the mall or The Mall, especially on Capitol Hill, it looks big. But...I have seen how hefty the hard copies of laws can be.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    I am sure you know but let me list the volumes Ruck Sack Volume: 16 liters
    Brain Bag Volume: 36 liters
    indeed, the ruck's sac and brain bag are two completely different backpacks.

    the ruck's sac was designed to be a backpack that could be used by those with smaller frames, even by kids.

    on the other hand, there are people who can run their business out of a brain bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    Maverick, owns all of the smaller TB backpacks.
    When he returns we can ask all the questions we wish and even ask for more videos.
    i'm back

  15. #75
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    KarlJ,

    What kind of garment bag do you use? I was thinking of the ones from Red Oxx (simple, top-of-the-line) but people have been trying to persuade me to look at carry-on bags like the Aeronaut and Tri-star instead.

    Red Oxx's Gypsy Suit Cover (the "simple" link above) is never going to be carried as a backpack, and doesn't even offer a shoulder strap. But it is only $75 and it can definitely carry a suit without any hassle. By contrast, the Aeronaut, Western Flyer and Tristar are all backpackable and carry-on ready, no hassle there. But they are all dramatically more expensive and I'm not 100% clear how effective they would be on a trip like my Washington safari. Then there's the monster of them all: the Red Oxx Flying Fortress, (the top-of-the-line), at over $300. It would never be a carry-on, but it would be an ideal garment bag and it does offer a shoulder strap.

    Are you saying the TB bags aren't the answer?

    I like the idea of replacing that ill-fated garment bag with a carry-on that's backpackable, but only if it would work.

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