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  1. #1
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    May 2008
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    12

    messenger bag versus backpack

    Hi Everyone.
    Looking for some advice on the purchase of a new tom bihn bag. Currently I use a brain bag daily for work. I either walk (40 min each way) or ride my bike (15 min each way). The bag itself is fantastic. However, being a backpack it has a few common drawbacks:
    - I always have to pack an extra shirt b/c my back is soaked by the time I get to work
    - when I periodically have to 'dress up' the backup isn't cutting it aesthetically/professionally

    So, always looking for a justification to buy a new tb bag, I have been eyeing up the ego/super ego/id. Given I always carry a 15" MBP, I have ruled out the id. I have in my head that the messenger style bag will never be fitting as tight against my back as the brain bag and thus maybe I can get away without packing extra shirts all the time. I am looking for comments on that assertion as well as the comfort of the messenger bag for the commute described above with the following packed in it:
    - brain cell with 15" MBP
    - assorted cables in snake charmer
    - freudian slip with assorted papers
    - text book
    - ipod
    - thermos
    - lunch
    - gym clothes (no shoes though)

    Thanks
    Mike

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    2,154
    hi emhine,

    welcome to the forum!

    you should be able to pack all that you describe comfortably inside the ego messenger bag.

    do you have the unibody 15" macbook pro or the design that came before that? you can actually pack the prior design in a size 4x braincell inside the id messenger bag. but depending on what you pack for lunch and how large thick the textbook is, the id may prove a bit tight for your needs.

    let me know the approximate thickness of your textbook and what you pack for lunch and i'll let you know how it will fit in the ego and id.

    as far as comfort while biking, i cannot speak from personal experience. hopefully someone can speak on that.

    i would recommend the use of the quick-adjust messenger shoulder strap regardless of which bag you choose when you're biking.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    12
    Hi Maverick
    Currently I have the older MBP but soon I will have a unibody. I definitely think the ID is too small. Sadly text books are usually 2-2.5" think and there are times when I need to carry two. Lunch is usually some form of leftovers in a 10"x3"x2" container plus 1-2 bananas and 1-2 apples. Also carry a thermos full of coffee and water bottle.

    Thanks for your reply.



    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    hi emhine,

    welcome to the forum!

    you should be able to pack all that you describe comfortably inside the ego messenger bag.

    do you have the unibody 15" macbook pro or the design that came before that? you can actually pack the prior design in a size 4x braincell inside the id messenger bag. but depending on what you pack for lunch and how large thick the textbook is, the id may prove a bit tight for your needs.

    let me know the approximate thickness of your textbook and what you pack for lunch and i'll let you know how it will fit in the ego and id.

    as far as comfort while biking, i cannot speak from personal experience. hopefully someone can speak on that.

    i would recommend the use of the quick-adjust messenger shoulder strap regardless of which bag you choose when you're biking.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    St Petersburg Florida
    Posts
    285
    I have the Ego.

    I would suggest it or the Super Ego. The Super Ego would give you more room.

    Order it with the Absolute strap and the Q-AM strap as an alternative. I ordered mine with the Q-AM strap, but later ordered the Absolute for heavier loads.

    The Egos are very versitile.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Outside of Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    221
    I love my ID, but I hear you about the capacity issue. I have the ID and BB, and swap between them based on the payload required for the day.

    One of my co-workers has the Super Ego, and it is a beautiful and cavernous beast. I would think, however, that strapping any bag across your back on a bike would result in the same sweaty situation. I have a Q-AM for my ID, and it does a great job of keeping the bag high and tight to your body for long walks (I go to school at night, so I know that feeling).

    Have you considered the Empire Builder? It's definately more professional, but I don't know if it would fit into your commute requirements.

    (And +1 here on the absolute shoulder strap whichever way you go... just brilliant. And the new one looks even better.)
    ----------------
    Bob P.
    Magic Tiki Studios

    Empire Builder (black/steel), Brain Bag (steel), Small Padded Organizer Pouch, Clear Wallet, Soft Cell, Snake Charmer (cayenne) and assorted trimmings.

  6. #6
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    Join Date
    May 2008
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    12

    Wink

    Thanks for all the replies.

    MagicTiki: I don't like the built-in file folders in the empire builder. It would limit the functionality of the bag for me. I like when the bag can serve multiple purposes. Also, it doesn't seem like the empire builder can be used with the QAM strap which I think is a necessity for commuting. I actually think the ID might work if I went with a 13" MBP instead of the 15"

    WRT Ego vs SuperEgo: Chances are the Ego is big enough. The problem is there are none available til the end of Jan.....arrghh

    Finally a question for all. One thing I didn't mention that I often do is to pack 2-3 dress shirts at the start of the week and just hang them up in my office .... sometimes I even wear them ;-) Right now, they just get folded and placed loosely into my Brain Bag. I would like to pack them in 'something' (packing cube?) so they stay perfectly clean. Wondering if anybody else does this and if so what packing container they use. I would want said container to fit comfortably into both my existing brain bag and new Ego/super ego.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
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    216
    Quote Originally Posted by emhine View Post
    MagicTiki: I don't like the built-in file folders in the empire builder. It would limit the functionality of the bag for me.
    They are very easy to remove.

    Audrey

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Dec 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    225
    Quote Originally Posted by emhine View Post
    Finally a question for all. One thing I didn't mention that I often do is to pack 2-3 dress shirts at the start of the week and just hang them up in my office .... sometimes I even wear them ;-) Right now, they just get folded and placed loosely into my Brain Bag. I would like to pack them in 'something' (packing cube?) so they stay perfectly clean. Wondering if anybody else does this and if so what packing container they use. I would want said container to fit comfortably into both my existing brain bag and new Ego/super ego.
    I have a pair of the Aeronaut Large Packing Cube for use in my Brain Bag. Perfecto! But I use it more for a complete change of clothes on a simple day or overnighter (a pair or two of jeans or Dockers, one or two polos, undies, socks). I can overnight or "two-day" a Brain Bag pretty easily. And that's with a full size laptop.

    Going by dimensions, I might guess one of them should work in the Ego/Super Ego as well, but would leave that to those who can factor in the use of Brain Cell's, etc.
    Last edited by KarlJ; 11-12-2009 at 01:49 PM. Reason: add.
    Karl

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    May 2008
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    12
    Thanks again everyone who has helped me out.

    @Falconea: I didn't realize that the folders were removable.
    @KarlJ: I'll try to do some math and figure out which packing cubes might work with the Ego/Super Ego.

    mike


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