Results 1 to 14 of 14
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By nukediver

Thread: Backpack for daily commuting?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    11

    Backpack for daily commuting?

    My heavy, clunky rolling laptop bag has finally given up the ghost. I want to replace with a backpack and would love input on which bag would be best.

    Key details about me:
    I'm 5'5" and rather... uhm... let's say "round" for my height. :-) I have a few block walk to my car each day and I hate messenger bags. Even my well-loved Super Ego left me with an aching shoulder when schlepping my laptop. However, I can stuff a week's worth of clothes in a backpack I bought from E-bags and cruise through the airport. That leads me to conclude a backpack is the way to go.

    For work I carry:

    • Dell Latitude 6400 laptop (13 1/2 inches, approximately
    • Ipod and earbuds
    • Cell phone
    • Charger for cell phone
    • Charger for Ipod
    • 8 1/2 X 11 planner
    • 1 pair clunky Dansko clogs
    • Lunch bag
    • wireless mouse
    • wallet
    • keys
    • Id badge
    • Kindle
    • sunglasses
    • pens, highlighters and post-its



    Ideas?

    Thanks!
    Beatriz
    Owned by a black/brape/wasabi Super Ego, wasabi Brain Cell, Absolute Shoulder Strap, large plum/wasabi Cafe bag, mini and small pouches in assorted colors

  2. #2
    Registered User Tizi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    157
    I have the Synapse and use it every day. Carry similar stuff that you describe. If you need a little more room, might wait for the larger version or get the Smart Alec?

  3. #3
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Metuchen, NJ
    Posts
    426
    I'm with @Tizi here - the Synapse or the larger Smart Alec are both excellent choices. I mostly use the Synapse, but when I need more space (although it's less structured) I go for the Smart Alec.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    11
    Thank you both! Sounds like the Synapse might be the right solution. I love the low-key organization of that bad.

    Does anyone know the measurements of the bottom pocket? If I can fit my Rubbermaid Lunch Blox in the pocket it would be the perfect EDC bag for me.

    Thanks!
    Beatriz
    Owned by a black/brape/wasabi Super Ego, wasabi Brain Cell, Absolute Shoulder Strap, large plum/wasabi Cafe bag, mini and small pouches in assorted colors

  5. #5
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Calgary AB
    Posts
    326
    I have a synapse and tried putting the lunchblox in the bottom pocket. The icepack, sandwich case and one of the smaller cntainers will just barely fit but no more.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    94
    I use a Smart Alec for my general daily commute. It handles anything I can throw at it for a general day to the office / commute / EDC, plus room to pack in extra. I have an Upper Modular Pocket added for some additional quick access items, and find the overall package very handy and efficient.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    11
    Thank you, everyone! It sounds like the Synapse will be far too small for my needs (I have a 15" laptop for work) and the Smart Alec, while the right size, would drive me mad with the complete lack of structure. I'm not sure that adding the Upper Module Pocket to that bag would be the best solution for me.

    The BB is huge, from what I've read/seen but it might be the best solution for my organization/space needes.

    Does anyone use a BB as an EDC? If so, how do you love it?

    Thanks to everyone for helping me make a decision on my next TB purchase!
    Beatriz
    Owned by a black/brape/wasabi Super Ego, wasabi Brain Cell, Absolute Shoulder Strap, large plum/wasabi Cafe bag, mini and small pouches in assorted colors

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4
    Personally, I would use the Smart Alec with the Brain Cell for your laptop, and have a separate bag tucked in that has the structure you need. that way, just in case you need to carry something somewhere without your laptop, you can.

    That's how I'm going to carry my Smart Alec... when I get around to carrying it. I have a medium cafe bag as my "purse", yarn stuff sack that carries my current project, and another medium cafe bag as my camera bag. I also have both of the modular pouches, and those will likely get used too.
    SCB (C/S), MCB (P/W), LCB (P/W), S(H), LS(H), SE(P), CQPC(I), SA(B/C), misc KS and YSS

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    358
    My 5'10" middle school son uses the BB as his EDC to school. Granted, he's a student, but in addition to texts and binders he also carries post -its and lunches and PE clothes and pens and headphones and the like. The BB can handle it all! But, I wanted to comment that I've been impressed by how it looks even relatively empty. It retains its shape well even when empty, doesn't sag or look silly IMO.

    That being said, I'm with C. Shuy in encouraging you to take a look at the Smart Alec. A Freudian Slip gives it a lot of structure and organization, especially when used with a Brain Cell for your laptop.

    If it were me- and yes, I've been known to do crazy things like this- if it were me and assuming you live in the US, I would order both. Heck, I might even throw in the Synapse too. Because TB's bags are magical in terms of space. Really. And I really like to try things in person. Pack it up. Wear it. See what you think when it's right in front of you. Send 2nd and 3rd place back. Of course, the danger is that you may see reasons for keeping more than one....ask me how I know

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4

    Synapse & 15" macbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Beatriz View Post
    Thank you, everyone! It sounds like the Synapse will be far too small for my needs (I have a 15" laptop for work) and the Smart Alec, while the right size, would drive me mad with the complete lack of structure. I'm not sure that adding the Upper Module Pocket to that bag would be the best solution for me.

    The BB is huge, from what I've read/seen but it might be the best solution for my organization/space needes.

    Does anyone use a BB as an EDC? If so, how do you love it?

    Thanks to everyone for helping me make a decision on my next TB purchase!
    I use a Synapse with my 15" MacBook. Its a tight fit and I use a thin sleeve but it works well for me.

    Even took the Synapse (including MacBook) on an 8 day trip with no other luggage.

  11. #11
    Registered User Ms. Ferret's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    95
    I regularly commute via public transportation with my big fat work laptop. If I'm carrying JUST my laptop, I love my ID and quick-adjust strap. If I'm carrying my laptop and a bunch of other crap, I love my Smart Alec. I carried a Brain Bag for years before admitting it didn't actually fit me all that well (I'm 5'0") when loaded up. I don't have a Synapse mostly because 1) I don't think there's a place to clip a Brain Cell and 2) it doesn't come in Azalea yet.

    At first glance the Smart Alec seems to just be a cavernous tick of a bag, but it does have bit of sneaky organization to it. There are zippered pockets on the inside of the top flap that could work well for your valuable small items. I clip organizer pouches into the exterior side pockets for my smaller chargers/cables. I also use the exterior side pockets for pens/glasses/mice/umbrellas/other random-yet-necessary stuff.

    I do miss the spiffy cinch straps on my Brain Bag, so I sprang for the Smart Alec accessory straps, which I tighten up to make the bag feel less unstructured when it's empty-ish (also very useful for holding my rolled down vest on those "snowing in the morning, sunny in the afternoon" Spring days (yay Seattle)).

  12. #12
    Registered User dnarud13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vicenza, Italy
    Posts
    101
    I used a Brain Bag with the proper Brain Cell for years as my EDC. I got it originally to haul an 11lb laptop because the typical shoulder sling briefcase would kill me with that load. The BB was very comfortable for that. The various pockets work great to organize my smaller items and a Snake Charmer was the best for cords, chargers and stuff. The cinch straps are perfect to tighten down to a flatter profile on the lighter carry days. Since I just carry my Surface and W8Phone now, I've since downsized to a Copilot and save the BB and Aeronaut for travel.
    [2003] Brain Bag (w/Snake Charmer & 3 Monolith/Brain Cells)
    - [2010] Aeronaut (w/Absolute, 1lg/2sm Packing Cubes, Travel Tray & 3D clear cube)
    - - [2013] Co-Pilot (w/ mini-'Absolute', Cache, Clear Org wallet, S.O.S., 3D Clear & mesh cubes, Passport pouch)
    - - - Small dyneema Shopbag, packing cube shoulder bag & various TB stuff (organizers, straps, whistles, etc.)

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Tukwila, WA
    Posts
    248
    I'm agreeing with what people are saying that the Smart Alec still might be worth a shot. I put an extra pair of (women's size eight) tennis shoes in the bottom and that is the basis for the structure. A Brain Cell with the laptop will give it a nice back. I put my iPad Mini in one of the outer pockets, and a Kindle (with keyboard) in the other outer pocket. Stack a few goodies on top of the shoes and you're all set.

    I also have a Brain Bag and it is ginormous in comparison.

    Otherwise, definitely wait for the bigger Synapse. It could be perfect for you if you're certain the Smart Alec won't work!

  14. #14
    Registered User Pocketz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    41
    SA or larger Synapse - totally agree.


Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0