Which EDC Bag?
Very new Tom Bihn Aeronaut owner and I need advice.
I need an every day bag for the office. Must be briefcase style, with a shoulder strap option. No backpacks. I have used recently a Club Glove style briefcase (similar to but not exactly like this one Shoulder Bag II by ClubGlove ) and a Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger. Neither really fit the bill. I am overwhelmed and uncertain about my choices. I have looked at the Freudian Slip as a must have for any choice, is this true? It would generally have the following in it each day.
15 Macbook Pro Retina inside a zipped sleeve. Associated accessories, adapters, mouse, cables
Ipad w/ charger
Portable hard drives and optical drive w/ cables
Moleskine style notebook
Pens, pencils etc.., business cards.
On rare occasion a Lenovo G550. The ability to pack this in is not a must have.
Headphones in a case
Occasional book or binder, legal pads
Water bottle, no must have size.
Sunglasses in case, readers in case
Charging cable for phone
Occasionally I might have to stuff in gloves or a very light rain shell.
Occasionally a small camera.
I'd rather err on the side of too small than too big. The 2nd laptop would be a rare thing.
Fitting under the seat in front of me is fairly important, I fly and would be carrying the Aeronaut most likely.
I have to say that making my first trip with the Aeronaut and not a roller will take some getting used to. I'll admit to a couple of occasions wishing that I was pulling it along behind me rather than slung over my shoulder.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Any suggestions on how someone with a similar loadout uses their bag would be great too.
I think that the ID might be a good choice for you. It's capacious enough that it can handle the bulky items on your list but it's not honking huge. You say you may have some papers and folders, so I'm not sure that a Freudian Slip is a must-have, per se. What may be handier is a couple of mesh or Dyneema organizer cubes to help contain the cables and chargers. The Pocket Pouch is great for business cards.
I have a similar load out, and I use the Empire Builder as my EDC to the office. Here's my daily gear list:
IPhone attached to the shoulder strap (I use a Timbuk2 3-way for this)
Hard back 6 by 9 sketchbook/notebook
thinkpad Power brick, iPad & iPhone chargers, iPhone headphones
Assorted pens, highlighters, stylus
Assorted accessory pouches for tiny sundries
Various folders, occasional binders
I find that I still have plenty of room for extras: camelback water bottle, tall/narrow lunch bag, additional binders/books, umbrella, etc. as needed.
I can't speak to the bag fitting under an airline seat, but I find that this config does not require the extra Freudian slip because the built in organizer features and accessory pouch additions take care of things nicely. The hard dividers that come with the bag are perfect for keeping papers organized and wrinkle free, and you have the rear pockets for extra room for quick grab stuff. My iPad usually ends up there.
Some cons: I would point out that the EB does not have a dedicated external water bottle pocket, but a standard water bottle does fit into the open pouch on the flap. Something to consider if you are moving fast through crowds (I would make sure the bottle is tightly sealed if it goes inside). It's also a big beastie, so it's not quite a slick as a messenger and does not work in a cross-body configuration. It's also not the best for loose stuff in the built in organizer if you are constantly putting it on its side. I don't find this to be an issue, because I keep small and loose stuff in org pouches or the zipped pockets on the flap.
Some pros: the absolute strap is wonderful. Some don't like the attachment points for the shoulder strap on the bag, but I find them to be excellent at balancing the load. It also has a bit of built-in padding, so I don't typically use additional protection for the laptop going back and forth to the office (I use a body glove sleeve for the laptop if I travel). The extra padding and dividers give it a traditional briefcase-style flexibility for papers, files, and "flat, rectabgular" stuff. It also offers fantastic access to everything if you're doing the mobile office thing.
I used to have an ID, and I would highly recommend that as well... If extra room and briefcase/office styling is your concern, however, I would recommend the EB or the Zephyr. Those were the big reasons I switched to the EB.
Hope this helps!
I would add a second vote for the ID. I have one and it works extremely well as a briefcase. I am pretty close to paperless so I don't know much about that, but a Freudian slip or even a large organizer pouch could probably help keep your paper documents in order. I use mine with the QAM strap which I miss sorely when I switch over to my large cafe bag when I don't need to carry a laptop.
Thank you. If you had the Zephyr instead would you not be able to fit everything in? My only concern about the EB is the overall size, I have seen reviews online now and it seems the Zephyr might work. Would I be able to fit in the cubes or pouches you mention into that bag?
Originally Posted by MagicTiki
Thank you. Are you able to compare the ID with the Zephyr?
Originally Posted by Badger
I'm going to guess that you could, but I have not seen a Zephyr in person to compare. There are some excellent articles on comparing the Zephyr and the EB in the forums, however. Just do a search. I read every one of them when I was shopping. :)
Originally Posted by Blutarsky
My philosophy has always been that (slightly) bigger is better for work, since I tend to swicth up needs quite a bit.
I can try; NB: I don't own either of these bags so I'm simply comparing what I'm reading on the product page for each bag.
Originally Posted by Blutarsky
With the Zephyr, you're losing 3 L of carrying space vs. the ID. That is a bit of a concern given that you have headphones and the occasional need to store a jacket and gloves. However, you're gaining a bit more internal organization and a couple of extra pockets, which may be helpful. I really think that for the load you're describing, you should be considering the Empire Builder vs. the ID, but (and this is according to my friend who has an ID) the ID fits readily under an airline seat, since you mentioned that was important to you.
Hope this helps!
I have the ID. I just tried loading it with:
- Laptop in Horizontal Brain Cell
- iPad-sized tablet
- Moleskine-type notebook
- 2 pens and a ruler
- Headset, chargers, cables, external HD in Snake Charmer
- Small camera
- Eyeglasses in case
- Sunglasses in case
- Water bottle
This fits fine in the ID with some room to spare. I could certainly add a light jacket and a pair of gloves, or a lunch bag.
I don't have a Zephyr to compare -- but in the photos it looks like the Zephyr's front pocket layout (under the flap) is more or less the same as the ID's. The ID, however, has two additional zippered side pockets for cameras/phones or smaller eyeglass cases. It also has a water bottle holder on the side, which is unobtrusive when not in use.