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  1. #1
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    Empire Builder Weight

    So I've been using the empire builder for quite some time, but I just stopped using because it is a cumbersome bag for some strange reason. Am I being just a wimp or does anybody else find that the empire builder not a light bag.

  2. #2
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    It was my first TB acquisition in late 2009, but over time I gravitated away from it. Not only do the bag and brain cell come in close to 5lbs empty, but I found I packed too many things into it to keep to standing up (with just a single laptop and brain cell, I found it would tend to fall on its back). It wasn't uncommon for me to be carrying 18-20lb over one shoulder. Once I turned 40 my back started rebelling.

    I do still use the Empire Builder when I know I need to carry a lot - two laptops for example (my company's and my client's). And the thoughtful design opened my eyes to other TB products. I recently bought a 15/13 Cadet to force me to keep the weight and bulk down in my laptop bag. I'm glad I made the switch - this should work for me about 80% of the time.
    Enlightened traveller since 2009

  3. #3
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    we have had our empire builder since 2010. in 2012 we got the cadet to use instead; its now in daily use. empire builder is a very very nice bag. but it was too heavy for us too.

  4. #4
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    Let me add some context to my answer, as I do believe the Empire Builder is a great bag for certain uses. I fly most weeks for work; a typical trip is 4 days away, 3 nights in a hotel. If I carry the Empire Builder on one of those trips, it's in addition to my Western Flyer or before that, my Tri-Star. I do pretty well to keep the weight down in my travel bag, but even at ~12lbs for the Empire Builder with brain cell, laptop and a few essentials, the combined weight is more than I wanted to carry. The last time I did that was the first week of January, which prompted me to order the Cadet.

    If I were commuting for work daily, either in my own car or by public transportation, then the Empire Builder or the Zephyr would be a more practical choice.
    Enlightened traveller since 2009

  5. #5
    Registered User ChrisG's Avatar
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    I don't think it's necessarily any heavier than other bags of comparable size that I've owned, but it is certainly not the lightest bag out there and it's size does make it easy to over-stuff. I've had mine loaded to the point of being too heavy before, though this is only an occasional problem as I try to keep it down to the basic load most days.

    Quote Originally Posted by lotuseater View Post
    If I were commuting for work daily, either in my own car or by public transportation, then the Empire Builder or the Zephyr would be a more practical choice.
    That's how I use mine and I agree it's a great bag for that purpose. I have traveled with it a couple times, but I prefer a backpack as my carry on so I rarely take the EB on planes anymore. But it is my EDC bag for going to and from work.

  6. #6
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    At 3 pounds, 5 ounces empty the Empire Builder is not light. But I've never considered it cumbersome as it always moves well with me whether its almost empty or completely full. Like some of the other posters, I realized that most of the time I don't need its capacity so I bought a smaller briefcase. The smaller of the two Cadets suffices most of the time and the Empire Builder the rest. Its great to have the larger capacity in a well made bag when I need it.
    Last edited by JohnDel; 01-29-2013 at 10:27 PM.

  7. #7
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    I used my empire builder while traveling through an airport. Its nice, but its get really cumbersome when walking between terminals and stuff. Its gets kind of heavy after a while. Especially if you have a long trip and have everything packed into an aeronaut. Its sad that it just sits and gathers dust right now in my garage.

  8. #8
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    I really like my EB and probably next to the Synapse is my most carried TB bag.

    I alternate between the EB and the SE a lot though and I like each for different things.
    When I travel I don't really trust the SE anymore as I have had repeated trouble with the shoulder strap sliding out of the buckles when racing through airports?
    The Clip on attachments on the EB never have let me down at all.

    The problem with the EB and SE and every single well designed bag that I have owned or used is that they simply encourage my over loading them with the slick organization and great shoulder hanging performance!

    It is a constant in my world and only exercising packing discipline seems to solve it for me.

    I have been using another great bag recently and really like it a lot as it offers a lot better organization for work than any TB bag I have tried but in the end it is also not as spacious and that can be as frustrating as having so much space and carrying too much!

    Luxury Problems,don't you think?
    At least I am having fun trying.

    Ed

  9. #9
    Registered User daisy's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    The boy has an empire builder and I have an Ego for our tech hauling needs - mostly involving car travel. He uses his EB for the rare trip to a client site (most work is done remotely from the comfort of his home office) and for travel to our weekender. My Ego mostly sits near my desk with my stuff handy and travels to the weekender too. The boy sometimes decants his 17in macbook into a minimal (non TB) case and takes that - or just takes his ipad in our shared cadet. The EB is quite heavy once loaded up but is really very good for a his purposes. The bag itself is not light but it would be difficult to reduce the weight without reducing the awesomeness.

    I have used the Ego for a short trip (just the ipad + clothes and toiletries) and it was great - although shoulder and back issues are pushing me towards a Synapse.
    List under construction ....

  10. #10
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    @Auha can I ask how tall you are? I tried an Empire Builder early on -- when the Buzz was only made for 12" laptops, and the Aeronaut was newly released. This was before they designed the smaller Zephyr. The issues I found when traveling was weight relative to size and contents. It wasn't that I couldn't carry the weight, because I have no problems with a fully loaded Aeronaut, even on a shoulder strap. I'm just under 5'4", and the bag is just a bit too wide and heavy for me to carry comfortably in terms of where the center of gravity of the weight load falls as I walk. I suspect this would not be a problem with the Zephyr or if the bag's center of mass didn't lie so far out from my body (or if I were taller and weighed more).

    moriond


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