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  1. #1
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    Newbie question: Ego, Id or Zephyr?

    I am looking for a medium size (for a woman) shoulder/messenger bag that I will use when flying either hanging from my roller bag (I use a strap to hang it not a sleeve) or alone when I check luggage (when traveling with kids). I am not sure which bag to choose-the Id, Ego or Zephyr. I usually travel with a Macbook Air 13, a couple of magazines, a kindle, my stuffed full quart ziploc bag , small cosmetic case, misc items like tissues, hand sanitizer, sunglasses, wallet, pen, notebook, granola bar, iphone, chargers for phone and computer, ear buds and travel docs. I also like to pack a lightweight travel wrap and a change of undies. If I could squeeze in a spare shirt, rolled up, that would be a plus. My current bag has one large center compartment and no dividers or organization so the electronics, books, etc. all move around and I can't find anything-drives me crazy.

    I prefer a bag that has a carry handle in addition to a shoulder strap and an outside pocket for a water bottle. I want something comfortable on my body, preferably messenger style, with organization. I don't need a bag specifically designed for a laptop as I already have a sleeve-just big enough to fit my Macbook Air and my other things without it all falling over into a jumble. I don't need the special laptop features-as great as they must be for frequent travelers- so I'm leaning toward the Id or Zephyr. I like the more structured look of these two but am not sure they will hold all of my stuff and the Ego seems bigger. It looks to me like the Zephyr is the smallest and the Ego the largest, with the Id in between? As much as I try to travel light, I end up carrying all of the stuff that moms tote around!

    Anyone with experience with these bags who can help?

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Feb 2006
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    I don't have any of the Tom Bihn Briefcases, I listed them in order of size.

    Your best bet is to watch the videos and the pictures associated with those bags.


    Volume: 17.5 liters (1070 cu. in.) Zephyr (scaled down Empire Builder)

    Volume: 20.9 liters (1275 cu. in.) ID ID - Midsized laptop messenger bag - TOM BIHN

    Volume: 22.5 liters (1375 cu. in.) Empire Builder Empire Builder - 3 years of R&D went into this laptop briefcase - TOM BIHN

    Volume: 23 liters (1400 cu. in.) Ego

    Volume: 27 liters (1680 cu. in.) Super Egp Super Ego - Our largest laptop messenger bag. Holds a ton of stuff. Built to last. - TOM BIHN

  3. #3
    dlg
    dlg is offline
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    And to look at the packing list section of the forums, where other people describe what they fit into each bag.

  4. #4
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    Birmingham, AL
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    Travelmom4, I recently ordered an Ego to use for that very purpose (no longer traveling with children, but I still need a good "personal items" bag). Although I got it for international travel, I tried it out on a car trip this past week and was generally pleased with my choice. It easily held my iPad2 with Logitech keyboard cover and charger; all the usual gotta-have-it-handy things like wallet, hand sanitizer, reading glasses; a ziplock of snacks and tea bags; a TB yarn stuff sack with a knitting project and a medium TB OP with knitting accessories like markers, small scissors, measuring tape, etc.; two bottles of water. One of the zip pockets under the front flap was a good place for fuel and food receipts. Sorry now I didn't take photos!

    It isn't feather-light, but it carries cross-body quite comfortably and is fine over the shoulder for a short time. The handle makes it easy to grab and the strap adjusts easily.

    Hope this helps a bit!

  5. #5
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    Jan 2013
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    New Orleans, LA
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    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I am going to do some more research before making my decision but I can see how this TB thing can become an obsession!

  6. #6
    smj
    smj is offline
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    Oh, wow. I just posted my review of the Zephyr in the Bag Review section, then came here to see your question! Maybe this will help: Zephyr review
    Based on your description of uses, I'd go with the ID.
    Black/Wasabi SCB + Navy/Solar Aeronaut + Black/Black/Steel Zephyr + Black/Wasabi Co-Pilot + Black/Wasabi Pilot + several accessories...

  7. #7
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    Colorado Springs
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    I used my Zephyr a couple weeks ago as my personal item on our trip to Kauai to carry pretty much what you've listed, except I took an iPad 2 with a Kensington keyboard case. The Zephyr also held my new Fluxus scarf (thanks, LauraA). I had 2 small organizer pouches in the front pocket with stitching projects and small office supplies. I used only 1 of the plastic dividers this time (to separate the Ipad from everything else), and that worked well. The dividers are sturdy and very useful. The back sleeve slid easily over my roller carryon.

    I took the clips out of the center pocket (which usually hold Brain Cells) and attached a small carabiner clip. Attached my 3D bag for 3-1-1 toiletries to that clip with a long strap (thanks for that idea from ForumFolk also). When I went through security, I just pulled out the 3D bag on the outside and left it tethered. Worked great!

    Really like the structure of the Zephyr. It sits up on its own, and so it works hard in my (sigh) non-vacation life as a book bag for teaching classes. The Absolute strap is terrific with it. Mine has wasabi interior, so it's easy to see everything.
    Last edited by TavaPeak; 01-07-2013 at 01:40 PM.


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