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Thread: So overwhelmed...what should I get?

  1. #1
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    So overwhelmed...what should I get?

    Hi everyone,

    I am receiving a new 15" MacBook Pro for work and have been looking for the right bag for weeks. I really like the looks of the Tom Bihn bags but am totally overwhelmed by the options.

    Here's what I hope to carry:
    My 15" MacBook Pro w/retina
    My iPad
    One or more sketchbooks/notebooks
    Water bottle
    A variety of colored pencils/pens
    Dry erase markers
    Phone
    Chargers, dongles, etc.
    Wallet
    Sometimes a snack
    Sometimes an A4 sized book

    I don't want to get a backpack. I think the messenger bag/briefcase style is more professional looking. That being said, I do commute via bus and sometimes (on more adventurous days) a 20 min walk. The bag would mostly be used to haul stuff to/from work and to the coffee shop on coffee shop days.

    What do you all think? Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    ceb
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    Because of the water bottle I would lean towards the Western Flyer. You can get the version with the hide-away backpack straps and when the straps are stowed it looks completely professional. If you don't want to ever use it as a backpack then you can get the version with the rolling bag sleeve.

    It would all fit into the Zephyr (possibly even the Cadet) too but I think the WF is more versatile and is the only one with a dedicated water bottle pocket.
    Last edited by ceb; 02-27-2013 at 08:59 PM.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  3. #3
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    In addition to the plethora of messenger style bags that those with the relevant experience will suggest, what about considering a convertible bag, I.e. a "briefcase" with a handle and shoulder bag option (don't forget the legendary absolute shoulder strap), but it also "hidden" rucksack straps for when you are carrying the heavy load for longer walks or on the bus. The Western Flyer might be just the thing to look at!

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    The Western Flyer does look pretty nice, and I do like the convertible backpack straps. I also like the versatility (that I could use it for travel). But it also looks awfully big to me in the pictures I've seen. I'm 5'3" and I'm concerned it will look like I'm going off on a business trip every time I go to the office, and am also concerned about weight.

    How does the ID compare in size? It also has a water bottle holder. And what if I forego the water bottle? (Although I shouldn't -- I'm trying to drink more water!)

    Thanks!

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    Also would the Cadet hold all the things I want to carry or does it seem small? Although I am leaning away from it anyway because I don't like the available color choices. The green one in the main picture for the bag is so handsome, I wish that was available...

  6. #6
    Registered User cucciasv's Avatar
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    Zephyr/Super Ego

    Quote Originally Posted by Hlogas View Post
    I am receiving a new 15" MacBook Pro for work and have been looking for the right bag for weeks.
    Hi, Hlogas...

    Over the years, I have worked my way through three 15" MacBook Pros ... AND ... have carried and protected each and my other items in several TB bags. Of interest to you, for the 15 MBP, iPad, necessary cables, papers and books and other necessary bits and bobs, I have enjoyed using the Zephyr (Cardinal). Love the Zephyr. Not too big, not too small. Versatile. Professional. With removable dividers for papers. And all the other things that make Tom Bihn bags ... well, Tom Bihn bags!

    One thing, I can't advise about the water bottle, since I don't carry one.

    Last year I wanted a messenger bag that could hold more. As an Apple Consultant and educator, I need to carry more than what I list above. And so, I went with the Super Ego (Black/Forest/Cayenne)... kind of like a Zephyr on steroids. Perfect! Though sometimes, I have plenty of room to spare in the Super Ego.

    For added protection of the MacBook Pro when in the Zephyr, I use the Size 4Z Horizontal Cache for the Unibody 15" MacBook Pro (this one is not the Retina model; there is another cache for that). In the Super Ego, I use the Size 4Z Horizontal Brain Cell for the Unibody 15" MacBook Pro, which clips into the bag utilizing the bag's special internal clips.

    Both bags are fitted with the Absolute Shoulder Strap appropriately named because you ABSOLUTELY need this strap instead of the stock strap.

    Though I am not familiar with it, you might also consider the Ego, the smaller sibling of the Super Ego but larger than the Zephyr.

    Enjoy!





    Someone please help me!
    I have BAS (Bihn Acquisition Syndrome)!!


  7. #7
    ceb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlogas View Post
    Also would the Cadet hold all the things I want to carry or does it seem small? Although I am leaning away from it anyway because I don't like the available color choices. The green one in the main picture for the bag is so handsome, I wish that was available...
    The Cadet would probably hold everything except the water bottle but it would be tight.

    Because of the design of the WF, it never looks like luggage but looks more like a traditional 15" laptop brief.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

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    Thanks to everyone for your input! I was wondering if anyone could tell me more about the ID? Do you think it would hold all my stuff? The aubergine panel on the black bag is very nice looking, and it looks a little less bulky than the Western Flyer.

  9. #9
    Registered User Tizi's Avatar
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    I got my wife a black/cardinal ID for Valentine's day. She uses it for school. She carries a MBA 13 inch, books and all the stuff you mention. She absolutely loves it. The water bottle holder is nice, it gives her an option to carry one or not. She also got it with the absolute strap, great upgrade. I have one on order for myself (black/steel).

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    A couple of notes:
    1) I don't think the Id will hold the size 4Z braincell for a 15" MBP. If you're OK with carrying the computer in a size 4Z cache, then you'd be OK.
    2) Others have suggested the Super Ego which is a pretty big bag. If you're concerned that the Western Flyer is big, then you'll think the Super Ego is gi-normous. I don't think the Western Flyer would be big for a 5'3" woman; my wife has no trouble carrying my Tri-Star.
    ~Adam
    ~~~~~~~~
    Bags: Aeronaut, Tri-Star, Super Ego, Buzz, Brain Cell Size 4Z & 6X, {Small Cafe & Synapse - Controlled by Wife!}
    Accessories: Backpack packing cubes (aeronaut, tri-star), Various Packing Cubes, Passport Pouch, Absolute Straps, QAM, Various Other Pouches, Freudian Slip

  11. #11
    Registered User ChrisG's Avatar
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    Other than the water bottle, that's pretty much what I carry daily in my Empire Builder.

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    Western Flyer it is! I went with Forest/Steel. I went ahead and got the upgraded shoulder strap and also a Freudian Slip (because it just looks so super useful)! I just ordered and admit I'm a little nervous -- this is more than I was planning to spend -- but given all the passionate Tom Bihn fans on here I'm sure I will be happy with the purchase. Thanks to everyone for their help!
    Rory likes this.

  13. #13
    ceb
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    Yes, but TB bags are ones you won't be replacing because you found a "nicer" bag that's a bit more perfect.

    The downside is that you'll be replacing all of your other bags with TB bags soon.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  14. #14
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    You know...I have to say that it is delightful to find a forum of people who get the "perfect bag" thing. My husband thinks I'm crazy.


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