This forum seems really active and there are a lot of great discussions going on. I hope some of you enthusiasts can help me give Tom lots of money.
I recently splurged on one of the new 15" retina display MacBooks, so I figured now would be a good time to splurge on a nice bag as well. Unfortunately, I've never purchased a bag online, so I'm not really sure how best to compare my current bag to a potential new one. My old bag was picked up at Sam's Club about 10 years ago where I could inspect it in-person. I can't find any reference to it online, so I can only provide pictures for comparison.
The ID seems to be the closest match to my current bag - the Wasabi accent color is even a more professional version of my current neon green. I like the styling of the ID as well, it's not too crazy, but it does have some flair and personality. However, I do have a few questions...
The ID is listed as 15.75 x 12 x 5.5", but exactly which dimensions are these? Is it the size of the entire bag, like what I would need if I were putting it into a box for shipping? Or is this the size of the main compartment? Is the size measured when the bag is compressed, comfortably expanded, or stuffed to the max?
For reference, here is the front and bottom of my current bag:
This bag could be anywhere from 15 to 19 inches wide, depending on where you measure from.
Similarly, is the volume (20.9 L) for all pockets of the bag, just the main compartment, or some other combination?
With my current bag, there was an existing spot for a laptop, but it wasn't big enough for my laptop proper. Instead, I used it for my AC adapter and power cord.
I don't like to wrap the attached power cable around the power brick - the tight coiling caused my old adapter cord to fray prematurely. It also ends up with a weird shape that didn't fit well in my bag. Instead, I fold both cables in half a few times (without tight bends) and then bundle them together with a velcro tie. Where and how do other people pack their power bricks inside this bag? Space doesn't seem to be a problem, just the logistics.
3. Top handle
I love having a handle on my current bag and I use it all the time - when I am putting the bag on or taking it off, moving around the room, etc. My girlfriend has a Timbuk2 bag, and I think the handle on it is terrible! It is on the flap of the bag, which means it is unavailable while the flap is open. If the flap is closed but not buckled, then trying to use the handle tilts the whole bag precariously, threatening to dump everything out.
My old bag had one solid handle that went through a cutout in the flap (you can see this towards the top of the "inside" picture above. This worked well for my purposes, but probably allowed for more weather to get in than is desirable.
While watching the review video, I see that there is both a normal handle as well as an internal handle. This sounds great! I'm a little worried that this isn't mentioned on the product page - was this a feature that was removed in a revision along the line? I sure hope not!
If both handles are still there, do people find both of them useful? Can you safely carry the bag while it is open as well as closed? If the inner bag is now missing, does anyone have experience putting it back?
4. Strap attachment durability
As I mentioned, I've had my old bag for quite a while. In fact, I had it long enough to completely wear through multiple metal pieces that held the strap on! There was a metal ring sewn onto the bag, then a metal clasp sewn onto the strap. When the clasp broke, I replaced it with a ziptie, which then eventually sheared through the ring. My girlfriend took pity on me and sewed the strap directly to the bag, after I Dremeled the metal down so it wouldn't stab anyone.
I can't really tell from the pictures or the video how the straps on the ID are attached, but I know that you can switch them out for alternates. How durable are the connections? Has anyone had any problems with them?
5. Laptop protection
I have an Incase neoprene sleeve for my current MBP, but the both the Brain Cell and Cache have caught my eye. I have no complaints with the the Incase, the only reason I'm considering anything new is to better fit the thinner rMBP.
Other than living in my bag and keeping my laptop protected, the only time my sleeve gets any kind of action is when I put my computer through the X-Ray machine at the airport. The Cache boasts that it is checkpoint friendly, but what about the Brain Cell? Could I detach it and put it through the scanner by itself?
Again, thanks for reading all this and for any insights you have!
(Sorry for the double posts - something is screwy with the forum software or my use of it)