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Thread: Help comparing my old bag to the ID (take 2)

  1. #1
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    Help comparing my old bag to the ID (take 2)

    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...

    1. Sizing

    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?

    2. Storage

    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)

  2. #2
    Registered User lonestar6's Avatar
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    Hi, I don't see any response for your question yet and I can not help directly. I would recommend you give a call or email directly to customer service where you will probably visit with Katy who is most knowledgeable and patient.

  3. #3
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    I second what Lonestar suggests, an email to customer service would answer your questions.

    Kathy is indeed fantastic!

  4. #4
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    I sent an email to customer support a few weeks ago, but I haven't had any luck getting answers yet. I thought I might bump this back up to the top to see if any other forum-goers have any information to add. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Registered User lonestar6's Avatar
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    Maybe they were not sure what you are asking. Give them a call Monday, I am confident they will be helpful.

    I wish I could help you, but I have no experience with the bags you ask about. On the other hand, the quality of TB products are beyond compare so I am confident if you find a bag that meets your needs you will not regret the purchase. And, like most people here, I am not compensated for this endorsement , I am just a satisfied customer .
    -LS6

  6. #6
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Wow, sorry we didn't get back to you right away -- must be an issue with our email and I'll look into that.

    I'll respond to your (excellent) questions tomorrow!
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  7. #7
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    First, shepmaster: my apologies that we didn't respond to your email right away. That's incredibly uncool, and it won't happen again. Thanks for joining our forums and for giving us a second chance by posting your questions here. Please feel free to 'cc me on any follow-up emails you send: darcy@tombihn.com

    I'm going to answer your questions below, and I hope some other folks who use their ID as their daily bag will chime in too.

    Quote Originally Posted by shepmaster View Post
    1. Sizing

    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?
    The dimensions of 15.75 x 12 x 5.5" are the overall external dimensions taken when the ID was full of stuff but not overly full or overstuffed. So, I'd say "comfortably expanded".

    The volume listed includes all pockets and compartments. You can read more about how we determine the volume of our bags here.

    Quote Originally Posted by shepmaster View Post
    2. Storage
    Where and how do other people pack their power bricks inside this bag? Space doesn't seem to be a problem, just the logistics.
    It depends on the size of your power brick/power cable. I've only ever used Apple laptops, so that's the size of power supply and power cord I'm familiar with, and I'd put my power supply and cable in the zippered pocket under the front flap or in the open top pocket under the front flap behind that zippered pocket. You could also put it in the zippered pocket in the front flap, or in the main compartment of the ID, either by itself or in an Organizer Pouch or 3D Clear Organizer Cube or Clear Quarter Packing Cube or Snake Charmer.

    Quote Originally Posted by shepmaster View Post
    3. Top handle
    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?
    Both handles are still there: the inner handle wasn't removed. You can read about why we added the inner grab handle here. Basically, it's there so that if you have the flap flipped back/open and the bag is on the floor and you'd like to pick it up to put it on your desk, you can use the inner grab handle to do so. It's not designed to be an additional way to carry the bag for any distance, long or short.

    Quote Originally Posted by shepmaster View Post
    4. Strap attachment durability

    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?
    The three shoulder straps that you can choose from -- Standard, Q-AM, and Absolute -- all connect to the ID via toothed slides that are sewn (and reinforced with bartacks) to the ID. It's a very secure strap attachment method and we've never had any issues with it. Basically, the ends of the shoulder straps are webbing, and you weave them through the toothed slide, which (you guessed it) has sharp teeth that grip the webbing and secure it in place, preventing it from loosening up.

    Quote Originally Posted by shepmaster View Post
    5. Laptop protection

    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?
    The Brain Cell isn't technically checkpoint friendly because it has pockets on the front. That said, many customers use the Brain Cell as a checkpoint friendly bag (taking care not to put anything in those pockets on the front) and have no problems doing so.

    Something you might appreciate about the Brain Cell is that it clips securely inside of the ID bag. It's nice that the laptop stays in one place/doesn't flop forward or backward in the bag and the secure attachments keep the Brain Cell steady when you pull your laptop out of the bag or put it back in.

    That said, the Brain Cell does take up more space than the Cache. Personally (and I just received my new MacBook Pro Retina yesterday) I'd go for the Brain Cell. But on days when I need just a little more space, I might switch it out for the Cache.
    Last edited by Darcy; 07-21-2012 at 12:28 PM.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  8. #8
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    Hey Shepmaster, I've taken on a sometime gig as shower of TB Bags. If you're anywhere close to my area (NYC), I have an ID and would be happy to show it to you. Or even send it to you if ur interested in arranging that.

  9. #9
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmachats View Post
    Hey Shepmaster, I've taken on a sometime gig as shower of TB Bags. If you're anywhere close to my area (NYC), I have an ID and would be happy to show it to you. Or even send it to you if ur interested in arranging that.
    That's awesome of you. Thanks!
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  10. #10
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    Thanks all, I finally got around to placing my order. Now I just have to wait for all my choices to not be backordered! September can't come fast enough!


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