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Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2

    Thoughts on Brain Bag or Other Backpacks

    I currently have a Empire Builder that I have been very happy with. However, my job is now taking me to a location where I must walk a very long distance and the EB gets a bit heavy when loaded. I am considering moving to something like a Brain Bag.

    I would like to hear opinions from those who have used both. I'm also open to other backpacks

    Important Requirements

    - Must fit under an airline seat with the typical load of laptop book and files ( even the small airplanes like comair) my EB does this without issue
    - Comfortable straps
    - External Pocket for water bottle

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    57
    I do not have an Empire Builder, so I can't compare the two bags, but I can tell you about my Brain Bag. I have carried my Brain Bag fully packed and it was able to fit under the seat of any plane in which I have flown with it. Although I only fly a couple of times each year, I typically fly out of a small regional airport and nearly always fly on smaller regional planes. The straps are the most comfortable of any backpack I have owned. Although the Brain Bag does not have a dedicated external water bottle pocket, I have used the mesh pocket on front to hold a water bottle. Most of the time, however, I clip a carabiner to the front straps (designed to hold an umbrella originally, I think) and attach my water bottle to the center front of the pack with the carabiner and straps. This works quite well for me. The newer Brain Bags have an attached clip to hold a water bottle in this fashion. The Brain Bag is by far the best backpack I have ever owned; I heartily recommend it.

  3. #3
    roh
    roh is offline
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    3
    I just bought a brain bag during a visit to Tom Bihn. I had travel light with only one bag (also a Tom Bihn) but ended up with the various "gifts, and please take this back home" from relatives in the Seattle Area. The Brain Bag carries an ENORMOUS amount, much more than you would imagine. While not totally technical the suspension is much better than any you'll find on the made in China brands. I also like the cinch straps on the sides and the water bottle/umbrella holder on the back. It fits easily in the overhead compartment and will also fit easily under the seat IF it is not overstuffed (by overstuffed I mean loading enough gear to distort the profile of the Brain Bag.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    48

    Brain Bag Improvement

    I love my Brain Bag. But...there is one thing I do not like and that is the 2 front pockets. They are so small as to be almost useless. I wish there was one large pouch on the front that one could fit a couple of 3D Clear Organizer Cubes in, etc.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for the feedback. I really wish they made a slightly smaller version for everyday carry.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    157
    Quote Originally Posted by triumphguy View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. I really wish they made a slightly smaller version for everyday carry.
    I'm using my Brain Bag as an every day carry and it works beautifully. That's the great thing about the cinch straps, you can turn it into a pretty compact looking (at least from the side) bag. Of course, the height of the bag is the height of it, no adjusting that. But if you're comfortable with that, I wouldn't have any reservation about using the Brain Bag as an EDC.


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