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  1. #1
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    New Bag advice please!!

    Hi everyone!

    I've spent ages trawling through posts on the forum and looking at all the different types of bags, and would really appreciate some advise. I'm ideally looking to buy a bag asap to solve my needs!

    I live in the UK and have a 90 minute commute from my house to central London every day (90 minutes in, 90 minutes out). I currently have a laptop bag, a gym bag, and then a suit bag, which is obviously bit of a nightmare to carry on the rush hour trains and tube.

    I'd like to get one bag to carry all of my below items (which I've tried to itemise as carefully as possible), but it needs to be a professional looking bag that I can wear over the shoulder, as the professional work I do is very customer orientated and a 'suited and booted' environment.

    Items that I regularly carry are as follows:

    Work:
    Lenovo ThinkPad T400 - 14.1 inches + extended battery
    Umbrella
    2 x Notepad (1 A4, 1 x A5)
    Various A4 Customer papers (contracts etc)
    2 x mobiles (1 x iPhone, 1 x Blackberry)
    Earphones, Calculator, Pens, Keys, Business Card Holder
    Computer Cables (iPhone USB Charger, Blackberry USB Charger, Laptop Power Lead, 3G Card)

    Gym:
    - Trainers, Socks, Underwear, Shorts, Shirt
    - Swimming: Goggles, Swim Shorts, Flip Flops
    - Change of clothes: Jeans, T-Shirt
    - Wash Bag
    - Suit Bag, Plastic Hanger
    - Sports Drink

    I would also like at least two seperate sections, essentially one for work items and one for gym items, rather than a shared compartment, for obvious reasons.

    It would also be great to have a bit more spare space in the bag, in the event I need to carry any other bits and pieces such as additional clothing for business travel, but I appreciate this might be too much to ask for! It is most likely I would carry the suit seperately.

    I have looked at so far:

    Checkpoint Flyer - I really like this design and seperation of the different bags, but concerned I may have too much stuff to fit in here

    Empire Builder - It doesn't appear to have multiple sections, just one big section

    Super Ego - I'm concerned whether this is going to be too big, which wouldn't look great in the professional environment. Also not sure on the sections?

    Obviously with any bag recommendations, if you think any accessories would be useful too, any advice would be really appreciated! I've been looking at the Absolute Shoulder Strap, Freudian Slip (in the event the checkpoint flyer isn't the best bag), packing cubes etc.

    If there are any clarifications required, please let me know. Hopefully someone can help!!
    Last edited by tc2001; 07-28-2010 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Changing title of post

  2. #2
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    Hi and welcome

    The E.B. actually has 3 sections really,one more than the S.E. althought he S.E. is a bigger bag.

    I would think the it is between the E.B. and S.E. as the checkpoint is not that large.
    Actually I don't really even understang the appeal of the the checkpoint but that is for another thread.

    I do have both of the others though and I would go with the S.E. as it sounds like you have a lot of stuff to carry.
    I think the S.E. also rides closer to your body in crowded spaces and looks very nice in a solid dark color.

    Have fun
    Ed

  3. #3
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    Hi Ed,

    Thanks for the response. By sections, I essentially meant main compartments.

    For example, looking at the pictures on the site, both the E.B. and S.E. appear only to have one main large compartment, and then other sections for smaller items.

    Do either have two main large compartments i.e. one that could contain laptop and A4 pad etc, and then the other main compartment for gym kit? I could then use any smaller sections for the computer leads etc....

  4. #4
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    Hi: I am not sure what size clothes you wear; but I would vote for Western Flyer or the Tristar. I think these will fit all of your stuff very well, and look like bigger briefcases more than anything else.
    Western Flyer has TWO compartments; the front can also be divided up. I love the WF. The back can easily carry your laptop + suit; and the front your sneakers and gym stuff. The WF does not look any bigger than a briefcase, and it looks very sharp in a Steel and would look businesslike. It also has the backpack carry option; and carries by the Absolute Shoulder Strap which you can get for extra and that I would highly recommend.

    The Tristar is a bit bigger than the WF but would work for you too. I am very small made (just 5 feet), so I find the Aeronaut way too large for me; even the Tristar feels a trifle big fully loaded up; while the WF feels just right.

    I would also recommend the folding shopping bag or the backpack cube---I have been on those UK tubes many times; these will be really handy for you to carry things back and forth sans weight.
    And I am totally gob smacked how you managed all those bags for all this time on the tube too!

    s

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tc2001 View Post
    Hi Ed,

    Thanks for the response. By sections, I essentially meant main compartments.

    For example, looking at the pictures on the site, both the E.B. and S.E. appear only to have one main large compartment, and then other sections for smaller items.

    Do either have two main large compartments i.e. one that could contain laptop and A4 pad etc, and then the other main compartment for gym kit? I could then use any smaller sections for the computer leads etc....
    Not knowing what computers you will be trying makes it hard to say for sure but....
    I can get a 13" MacbookPro in a sleeve in the front compartment of either bag with other stuff so yes I would call them another main compartment.
    Then as I said the E.B. has yet another front zipped compartment that runs the full width of the bag.
    This one looks small at first but once you start sliding stuff in there it just vanishes and waits for more.

    The real problem with all of these I am finding is they hold too much to carry comfortably but what are you going to do?

    It does sound like you have quite a pile of stuff to carry and maybe 2 bags would make it easier but I have learned to make a checklist and try to stick to it.
    When I have a bag packed for a trip and I pick it up it NEVER feels like it does when I have been lugging it around an airport for an hour!

    I always think it will be fine and I also always regret that thought.

    Ed

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    Not knowing what computers you will be trying makes it hard to say for sure but....
    I can get a 13" MacbookPro in a sleeve in the front compartment of either bag with other stuff so yes I would call them another main compartment.
    Then as I said the E.B. has yet another front zipped compartment that runs the full width of the bag.
    This one looks small at first but once you start sliding stuff in there it just vanishes and waits for more.

    The real problem with all of these I am finding is they hold too much to carry comfortably but what are you going to do?

    It does sound like you have quite a pile of stuff to carry and maybe 2 bags would make it easier but I have learned to make a checklist and try to stick to it.
    When I have a bag packed for a trip and I pick it up it NEVER feels like it does when I have been lugging it around an airport for an hour!

    I always think it will be fine and I also always regret that thought.

    Ed
    Hi Ed,

    Lenovo T400 is the biggest laptop.

    It sounds a lot but I guess I've just got used to it, and looks more when itemised! Fully agreed though, good exercise for the arms!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva View Post
    Hi: I am not sure what size clothes you wear; but I would vote for Western Flyer or the Tristar. I think these will fit all of your stuff very well, and look like bigger briefcases more than anything else.
    Western Flyer has TWO compartments; the front can also be divided up. I love the WF. The back can easily carry your laptop + suit; and the front your sneakers and gym stuff. The WF does not look any bigger than a briefcase, and it looks very sharp in a Steel and would look businesslike. It also has the backpack carry option; and carries by the Absolute Shoulder Strap which you can get for extra and that I would highly recommend.

    The Tristar is a bit bigger than the WF but would work for you too. I am very small made (just 5 feet), so I find the Aeronaut way too large for me; even the Tristar feels a trifle big fully loaded up; while the WF feels just right.

    I would also recommend the folding shopping bag or the backpack cube---I have been on those UK tubes many times; these will be really handy for you to carry things back and forth sans weight.
    And I am totally gob smacked how you managed all those bags for all this time on the tube too!

    s
    Hi Shiva,

    Thanks for the note. XL clothes mostly, quite a tall guy!

    I might have to look into the WF a bit more, as the two large compartments is certainly very appealing. I think originally I decided not to look too much at it, as is looked too big, which wouldn't look great in the corporate environment.

    It's certainly fun and games on the tube, but good exercise on the arms! I'm probably asking for the impossible, almost a Mary Poppins style bag! Big on the inside, small on the outside :-)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tc2001 View Post
    Hi Shiva,

    Thanks for the note. XL clothes mostly, quite a tall guy!

    I might have to look into the WF a bit more, as the two large compartments is certainly very appealing. I think originally I decided not to look too much at it, as is looked too big, which wouldn't look great in the corporate environment.

    It's certainly fun and games on the tube, but good exercise on the arms! I'm probably asking for the impossible, almost a Mary Poppins style bag! Big on the inside, small on the outside :-)
    I wouldn't be so sure.
    I carry at least 2 computers all the time and frequently 4 plus an iPad and other endless Tech Stuff.

    Either the S.E. or E.B. will hold a lot more than I ever think.
    Again the load is the solution and the problem.

    I am fairly big too and in shape for it but my shoulders do not like me when I travel.

    The Brain Bag sounds like it would be ideal too except for that business look thing.

    Ed

  9. #9
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    Hey back:
    I think the WF would work well for you. It is not bigger than your average briefcase in the US: cos the dimensions are just 18 x 12x 7 and that is not big for a big person like you! So even the Tristar may work since that is just an inch bigger overall, and gives you the added advantage of a third pocket.
    While the Super Ego does hold a ton of stuff, or The Empire Builder, I like WF or Tristar since it can also do handy duty as a backpack if needed; and a carry on etc., for clothes as well as other odds and ends!
    As you can tell, I think these are the most versatile of the TB bags!

  10. #10
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    I would recommend the Tri-Star. It is big enough to handle all of the items mentioned, yet still retains a modern "computer bag/briefcase" look.

  11. #11
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    I'd recommend the Empire Builder. The main section under the front flap is very large - I have the smaller version (Zephyr) and this section easily holds an inch thick of A4 papers. The EB will be larger. (Photo C of the EB doesn't really give a good idea of this pocket's size - photos A and B of the Zephyr don't show the size but show how the opening works.) I'd carry your notebooks, papers and phones in the front section, the laptop in a Brain Cell in the main section, along with your clothes and everything else. I'd also invest in a Large Organiser Pouch in case you have too many papers on occasion and need to put some in the main section - the pouch will keep the papers clean.

    I'm unclear about the suit bag - do you wear your suit on the train and put it in the bag while at the gym, or are you carrying the suit, and the gym clothes and wearing a third outfit on the train? (Actually, you carry a suit, gym clothes and jeans? And wearing something else on the train? If so I think you should replan your wardrobe!)

    The other bag to consider is the Tristar, but it's bigger than a briefcase and to my eye doesn't look like one - it looks like a carry-on bag.

    I think the Large Tristar packing cube will fit in the Empire Builder but I may be wrong.

    Audrey

  12. #12
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    Hi, tc2001. No advice on the bag—I'm a backpack person—but I too am curious about what you wear when.

    It sounds as if you wear a suit in, change to gym clothes, and go home in the jeans and T-shirt (and maybe a light jacket in the spring and fall?), carrying the suit in its own bag. You don't want to wear the suit home, yes? You do wear the business shoes home?

    All: We need a big man here to weigh in on how to pack a suit in a TB briefcase. Anybody ever done this?

    Alternatively, has anyone packed a suit, or at least the jacket, in a packing cube backpack? Shiva's suggestion is a good one.

  13. #13
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    I love my EB (use it absolutely every day), but I have to confess that I can't see how I could pack a suit in it, esp. with all the other stuff.

    If you need to pack the suit, I think you need to look at some of the other options. Tri-Star or Western Flyer perhaps. I don't have either (yet), so I can't comment.

    I have an Aeronaut, and it would meet your gross space needs, but I think you're going to want more compartments so that you don't need to open the whole thing to get at your laptop.

  14. #14
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    Maybe a Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case in an Aeronaut, with pouches for the work paraphernalia and packing cubes for the clothing? Arrive at destination, remove computer and business stuff, and the rest stays discreetly enclosed.

    The suit seems to be the big deal here. Maybe see how small you can pack it without wrinkling, then reconsider the options.

    Can the Aeronaut pass for a large briefcase?

  15. #15
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    Hey,

    Sorry for any confusion....

    I go into work in the suit, with any change of clothes (gym kit, jeans etc - as listed above) within the bag. I wear the trainers at the gym, but same works shoes in and out (even with jeans), mainly as I don't want to have a total of three pairs of shoes (one wearing, two in the bag).

    After work I go to the gym and then will put the suit in a suit bag, which I will carry seperately. I don't intend to pack this into the bag as I think it would crease too easily.

    From looking at what people have typed and pictures on the TB website, Tri-Star and Aeronaut are too bag and wouldn't pass as business bags. Checkpoint Flyer is too small.

    This therefore leaves the Empire Builder, Super Ego or Western Flyer. I think the WF is looking the most likely at the moment, as although the others have the space, I would still most likely need to put the laptop in the same section with the gym clothes. The WF appears to give completely different sections....

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