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  1. #1
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    Question Travel Bags - Practical Considerations

    As you can see from my sig below, I've been busy over the past year acquiring great new luggage items from Tom Bihn.

    In the coming months, I'm looking at acquiring carry-on travel luggage and accessories, possibly including an Aeronaut or a Tri-Star. I'm also looking at getting a garment sleeve such as Eagle Creek's PackIt! 18 so I can carry a suit on a trip, as well as other gear (Tom Bihn 3D Organizer Cube, etc.)

    Looking over these items, the reviews of them on the Web, and discussion threads in the Tom Bihn Forums, I got to thinking about some practical issues. This raised some questions for me...

    1. As you can see, I own a Super Ego, which I call my briefcase. It is large, but ideal for my needs. I love how it (and the Brain Cell) carries and protects my MacBook Pro. To date, I have never taken it on a flight. The got me to wondering... If I took my Super Ego / Brain Cell combo on a flight, how hard is it to remove the Brain Cell, send it through TSA checkpoint, and then re-attach the Brain Cell while in line? I would expect it to be a challenge is the Super Ego is packed for business travel. Is there any trick to learn when dealing with those Brain Cell clips? I tried removing the Brain Cell once and re-attaching it with the MacBook Pro inside the Cell, and it was tough. Any pointers on how to handle this?
    2. I've read in these forums about a few instances where people bought a combination of Bihn gear for travel. One interesting combination I read about involved using a Tri-Star and a messenger bag, hauling the messenger bag inside the Tri-Star while boarding the plane, and then pulling the messenger bag out while stowing the Tri-Star in an overhead compartment (or under a seat, I presume) and having access to your iPod or other personal goodies in the messenger bag while in flight. This "one bag, but with an enclosed bag" strategy made me wonder... I saw the Cafe Bags mentioned in this strategy. How big of a Cafe Bag can you haul in a Tri-Star, and how do you pack it in the Tri-Star so I would be easily removable while on-board a flight? How well does this work, and what do you carry in the messenger bag? How well does this work in an Aeronaut?
    3. Does anyone have experience carrying-on a Tri-Star or Aeronaut on a flight, along with a Super Ego? Do TSA and the U.S. airlines let you get away with that on domestic flights?


    Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences!
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
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    I combined the Aeronaut with the Super Ego for a round trip between LA and Paris and I didn't have any problems on the airplane. I crammed the Aeronaut with great carry-on's and then I made sure to keep the Super Ego as thin as possible.

    The Super Ego ended up underneath the seat in front of me and it had my computer along with other want-to-access-during-the-flight things. The Aeronaut had the I-don't-trust-that-this-would-survive-underneath things.

    Nobody batted an eye. I plan on using this combo again in the future. Hopefully, I don't sent off any size alarms. Of course, provided the Super Ego still has space, I feel that the soft sides of Bihn luggage allow it to squeeze into the measuring racks that airlines have out.

  3. #3
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    I travel with my Aeronaut and Swift. The swift looks enough like a purse that no one has ever given me an issue with it, even when I carry my laptop.

    Because the Swift is a bit big (and usually stuffed) I also bring my medium cafe bag along with me. With nothing in it, it lays totally flat in the middle section of the Aeronaut, even when that section is packed to the gills. There was one time I couldn't get it in the middle section, so I slipped it down the back pocket that normally holds the backpack straps. Since I leave the straps out for travel, there was plenty of room for it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    If I took my Super Ego / Brain Cell combo on a flight, how hard is it to remove the Brain Cell, send it through TSA checkpoint, and then re-attach the Brain Cell while in line? I would expect it to be a challenge is the Super Ego is packed for business travel. Is there any trick to learn when dealing with those Brain Cell clips? I tried removing the Brain Cell once and re-attaching it with the MacBook Pro inside the Cell, and it was tough. Any pointers on how to handle this?
    The Brain Cell isn't Checkpoint Friendly in the first place. So that means the notebook computer within the Brain Cell would still have to be removed. So yes, you'd be making extra work for yourself, and probably contributing to a jam-up at security as others rush around you to recover their belongings while you're re-assembling yours. Just remove the notebook so it can be scanned by itself.

  5. #5
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    So, if you want a "checkpoint friendly" briefcase for air travel, the only way to go (Bihn) is the Checkpoint Flyer? That would not be a big surprise, but it would take longer to budget for the additional luggage.
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  6. #6
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    Post An alternative if you travel infrequently

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    So, if you want a "checkpoint friendly" briefcase for air travel, the only way to go (Bihn) is the Checkpoint Flyer? That would not be a big surprise, but it would take longer to budget for the additional luggage.
    Not the most elegant solution, but you could attach a lockable cable to the laptop that is wrapped around the EGO's handle. This would allow a clear view of the laptop and if someone decided to rip off the laptop, they would make a lot of noise when they drag the EGO. Or see the cable and decide it wouldn't be a good idea.
    The cable I mentioned is the type we use in business to secure our laptops at work when we leave for the night.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  7. #7
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    I have praised my Swift before for how well it works for me with everything I carry in either a zippered pocket, an accessory pouch or attached to a key strap, all clipped on to the O-rings, so you could literally turn my Swift upside down and everything is secured.

    On this last trip, I ended up in a bulkhead seat that forced me to place my Swift in the overhead instead of under a seat in front of me. I had no worries of anything shifting and falling loose from the open top!
    In fact, a flight attendant moved my Swift to make room for another bag and my camera's padded pouch attached to a key-strap fell out and hung there. I laughed and told her to just shove it back in! She said that was very handy! :-)

    Before I sat down, I had unclipped my knitting sack, the organizer wallet and another pouch I use for cash and the large zippered pouch of reading material and knitting pattern. I tucked the large pouch behind my back, and clipped the clips of the the wallet and pouch to the knitting sack and tucked it between me and the armrest and all ready for take-off!

    So, I smiled with all I needed for the flight, plus room to stretch my legs!

  8. #8
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    On my recent trip to Italy I took my Aeronaut and my Co-Pilot and found them to be an ideal combination. On the long flight I could put the Aeronaut in the overhead bin and use the Co-Pilot under the seat, giving me easy access to my iPad, headphones, water, snacks, etc. Once I arrived I could use the CP with a shoulder strap as my daybag with camera, rain jacket, water bottle, and anything else I might need

  9. #9
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    I have had a Super Ego for years. And I have Brain Cells galore for every laptop I could travel with..

    This combo is more travel friendly than you think, as long as you use a horizontal Brain Cell. When you arrive, unzip the Super Ego and undo the velcro on the Brain Cell - the laptop comes out easy! This is the advantage of this particular pairing. The ID doesn't do it as well because you have undo the flap, too, because it covers the zipper.

    The problem is that the Super Ego is large, although much smaller than the average business person's laptop bag/briefcase...

    Honestly, I prefer to put my Brain Cell into my Aeronaut. When I arrive at my hotel, I swap my Absolute Strap to the Brain Cell, which serves as my briefcase. Note: I travel light. I use Rickshaw's Moleskine Folio which carries my Moleskine, two pens, and my iPhone. My iPhone and laptop chargers fit snuggly on the outside pocket of the Brain Cell. Get a larger Brain Cell, and you have space for some meeting handouts and extra paper.

    If I had one wish, it would be for a Brain cell with a bigger pocket....


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