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Thread: Looking for advice on a bag so I can stop feeling like a bag person

  1. #1
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    Looking for advice on a bag so I can stop feeling like a bag person

    I guess it's inevitable to feel like a bag person when one has been bitten by the Tom Bihn bug. Don't get me wrong: I love all my TB bags. But lately when I've been traveling I've had a hard time consolidating bags.

    I fly almost every week and use my Western Flyer as my main bag for clothes, athletic shoes, toiletries, etc. I use one of my Imagos to carry either a Mac Book Air or an HP EliteBook, along with an iPad (sometimes naked, sometimes in a Breve), and assorted pouches with chargers, cables, etc. I also have a Small Cafe Bag as a purse. So if you're counting, that's three bags, and I'm OK with that The difficulty arises when I want to take my Field Journal Notebook. Sometimes I can stuff it into the WF, but sometimes not. Four bags feels too awkward.

    One possibility to to start using my Swift (carrying the laptop, iPad, and FJN, plus assorted pouches). But I'd rather have a bag that can fully close. Or maybe I'm just rationalizing getting another bag

    I'd rather have a briefcase or messenger bag than a backpack, and would like to be able to carry the PC in cache, iPad in Breve, FJN, and still have room for those pesky chargers, cables, etc. Any thoughts on which bag can accommodate this?
    Owner of Crimson/Steel Western Flyer, Forest/Steel Zephyr, Olive/Cayenne Ristretto for iPad, Olive/Cork/Steel and Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Linen/Steel and Conifer/Steel SCB, Steel Breve, Plum/Black Swift, Steel FJN, Horizontal Freudian Slip, black Brain Cell, Iberian Packing Cube Backpack, Ultraviolet Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, and various organizer pouches, caches, and other odds and ends.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Two ideas come to mind. Option #1: buy a Tri-Star and use to carry your clothes, shoes, cables, FJN, and your empty SCB. Carry your laptop and iPad in the Imago, along with your wallet and other items that you would normally put in your purse and would still want ready to hand.

    Option #2: buy an Ego or Super-Ego and put in the contents of your Imago, along with the FJN and SCB. This would make more sense, admittedly, if you wore your WF as a backpack and carried the E/SE as a briefcase or over one shoulder.
    moriond likes this.

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    I second Badger's Option #2 - I got an Ego last November specifically to consolidate the bags I was taking to work every day, and I love it. I used to bring my regular purse stuff in a SCB or MCB, my laptop (13" MacBook Pro) and notebook(s) in a non-TB laptop bag, and water bottle and coffee thermos mug separately. Now I put them all in my Ego with room to spare.

    This reminds me that I've been meaning to post in the packing lists thread....

  4. #4
    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Either of Badger's suggestions sound good. I don't have an Imago or an Ego/SuperEgo so I can't really speak on how those would work, but here are some more little thoughts to chew on.

    - How much do you use the various organizers and pouches? The Small Cafe Bag should easily fit in oneof the zipper-divided front sections of your Western Flyer. You can actually put your iPad in your SCB and slide it into the WF. If you're brave (or stupid) like me, you can even put your iPad in the tall FRONT zippered POCKET of your WF. It's a very snug fit and it won't work if you have a huge iPad case, but if you're using a thin one with a Smart Cover it fits nicely. That opens up your SCB to put your 3-1-1 toiletry kit into.

    - Take a look at the contents of your purse (SCB). While you're traveling, can you make do with having some of its contents tucked away in the WF? If so, keep a lot of the stuff in the SCB that you tuck into the WF... then pare down to your basics (wallet, keys, sunglasses) into a Side Effect and tuck your Side Effect in your Imago and treat THAT as your purse.
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
    Editor, MousePlanet: Detailed park guides, daily news & stories from all over the Disney kingdom | Technical writer | Marathoner

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    I would look hard at the Ego/Super and the Zephyr/E.B if it were me.
    I have the large versions of each and am always carrying one of them it seems.

    The E.B is a little more structured with stiffer walls and not as clearly HUGE as the S.E. to me but the S.E. has amazing capacity and more organization to boot.

    I think they are equally easy to carry and comfortable until I start cramming them as full as will get but the EB is easier to use with the Absolute Strap I think and may edge out the SE for that.

    They will both hold way more than you asked about and the smaller versions would be perfect I would think.

    This is fun and I am not spending money!

    Ed
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  6. #6
    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    This is fun and I am not spending money!
    Back-seat shopper. Hehe.
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
    Editor, MousePlanet: Detailed park guides, daily news & stories from all over the Disney kingdom | Technical writer | Marathoner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    Back-seat shopper. Hehe.
    Exactly!

    At least for now.

  8. #8
    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    Exactly!

    At least for now.
    Yes, but all too soon you find yourself wanting more...

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    Thanks all for the tips! I just love these forums.

    So I decided to try the Zephyr. My goal is to have the smallest bag that will accommodate and I think it will work. I like the slightly more "professional briefcase" look of the EB/Zephyr. I did think about a TriStar, but on some of the planes I fly, a packed TriStar starts get a bit too much. And besides, I love my Western Flyer.

    I've placed my order and I'll let you know how things work out in a couple of weeks!
    Owner of Crimson/Steel Western Flyer, Forest/Steel Zephyr, Olive/Cayenne Ristretto for iPad, Olive/Cork/Steel and Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Linen/Steel and Conifer/Steel SCB, Steel Breve, Plum/Black Swift, Steel FJN, Horizontal Freudian Slip, black Brain Cell, Iberian Packing Cube Backpack, Ultraviolet Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, and various organizer pouches, caches, and other odds and ends.

  10. #10
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    wennefer - I love my Zephyr in navy/wasabi. The structure keeps the bag upright, and the file dividers are nifty. I put my kiwi Breve in one of the dividers, which keeps it tidy from my other stuff. I mostly carry my Zephyr with books/materials when I teach, but she also kept me organized on a roadtrip to Santa Fe. Hope you'll report back and let us know how it works for you. --Sherry

  11. #11
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    I've now taken two trips with the Zephyr, one was a day trip with just the Zephyr and the other was an overnight with the Zephyr and Western Flyer.

    It seems that every time I get a new Tom Bihn bag I wonder "where has this bag been all my life". And the Zephyr is no exception. As TravaPeak said, the structure keeps the bag upright, so it's very easy to get to everything inside: you can really work out of the bag. It holds an amazing amount of stuff, but at the same time (again because of the structure) looks quite compact.

    On the first trip I took my PC, so in the main compartment I had the PC in a cache, iPad, Field Journal Notebook, and a large organizer pouch with a couple of files (there were times I left the Zephyr behind and just carried the FJN and pouch). In the front compartment under the flap, my pens, tissues, cellphone, and a Moleskine journal went into the organizer pockets. In addition, I have a couple of medium organizer pouches with various chargers, cables, headphones, etc., and a small cork pouch for business cards. I think the only thing I'd like to see is another o-ring in the front pocket. I haven't made much use of the pockets on the flap: iPhone sometimes went into one of the zippered pockets when not in my pocket and the open pocket is great for boarding passes.

    On the second trip, I took my 13' MacBook Air, which went into it's Brain Cell. The iPad went into the front mesh pocket of the Brain Cell, which kept it secure. Otherwise, everything was much the same.

    I also carried my SCB. If TSA or the airlines had wanted me to consolidate bags, I would have been able to put wallets, glasses, etc. in the Zephyr and folded up the SCB to put in the Zephyr or WF.

    Thanks to all for the advice. I'm really enjoying the Zephyr.
    Owner of Crimson/Steel Western Flyer, Forest/Steel Zephyr, Olive/Cayenne Ristretto for iPad, Olive/Cork/Steel and Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Linen/Steel and Conifer/Steel SCB, Steel Breve, Plum/Black Swift, Steel FJN, Horizontal Freudian Slip, black Brain Cell, Iberian Packing Cube Backpack, Ultraviolet Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, and various organizer pouches, caches, and other odds and ends.


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