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Thread: Brain Cell plus SleeveCase

  1. #1
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    Brain Cell plus SleeveCase

    As the title suggests, I am interested in thoughts and opinions on using a brain cell plus another case. I currently have a 13" MacBook Pro with Retina with a SleeveCase from SFBags, but it tends to get swallowed in the brain bag. I am wondering whether it might be a good idea to order a brain cell to slide the laptop into when using the back pack for not only more protection, but also for better use of space. Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    Your idea to buy a Brain Cell for the BB is a good idea IMHO. It adds more structure to the BB and keeps your laptop in the right position so you can organize things better. The Brain Cell is the way to go if you want protection and it will be less likely to slide around in the BB given the size of your laptop. The sleevecase looks wonderful (I have a few) but is in no way as protective as the Brain Cell. It is made of neoprene with a ballistic nylon outer layer and so cannot take much of a drop - a bump or scrape yes - but not much more. It is only slightly more protective than a neoprene case IMHO. Also, there are the Brain Cell attachment points using the annex clips that will "suspend" your laptop as well for even more protection in a Brain Cell. The only downside is the Brain Cell is bulker - but not much more IMHO.

    Some ideas if you are still intending on using the sleevecase depending on the situation:

    1) If you still want to use just the sleevecase outside of your TB bag (and no drop protection), perhaps get a bigger Brain Cell to fit a 13" MBPR already inside a sleevecase. By doing this, you can just pull out the sleevecase with laptop inside from the Brain Cell when needed. You get the full protection in the BB + more when using the BB and it will not get swallowed up. Below is a picture of a laptop in a sleevecase which, in turn is in a Brain Cell clipped to the Brain Bag with Annex Clips:

    Name:  BB_SCinBC_Annex Clips.jpg
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    2) If you really like the sleevecase looks but still want to have protection even when outside of the BB, you can buy a custom sleevecase the wraps about the Brain Cell - voila - your very own minimalist bag with a back pocket to hold files. This is what I have done with a Horizontal Brain Cell + sleevecase. It makes for a great minimalist briefcase inside a Tri-Star. Here is a picture of a laptop in a Brain Cell which, in turn is in a sleevecase in the Brain Bag:

    Name:  BB_BCinSC_Key Straps.jpg
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    3) If you are not so worried about drop protection and you have D-rings on your sleevecase (you can have a tailor sew some on if you do not have them), perhaps use some 8" key straps threaded through the Cache with rails loops and attached to each D-ring - voila - your sleevecase is suspended in the bag and should not get swallowed. See the last picture above - you will see have a taken 2 TB key straps and threaded them through the Cache with Rails loops in the BB and then clipped to the sleevecase D-Rings. This will at least keep your sleevecase from shifting around in the bag and provide some suspension capability.

    4) Get a Brain Cell sized for your 13" MBPR and use it. You can store the sleeve case as well in the Brain Bag and use it when you take your laptop out of the Brain Cell.

    I am not sure if I have answered the question you are asking so let me know if there is something else you were thinking of.

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 07-31-2014 at 06:42 PM.
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    Zephyr/SA/BB/Co-Pilot (Black/Black/Steel), S25/WF/TS/A45/Pilot/Cadet (Black/Iberian), DLBP (French Blue), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

  3. #3
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    Wow thanks! You have answered the very vague question I had haha. I think I will order a 4Z Brain Cell. From what I have seen that is the size for the older non retina MacBooks which were a bit thicker if I remember correctly. Once again, thank you so much for your help and wonderful pictures!

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    I am glad that I could answer your question. This is sort of a personal interest of mine - quality sleeves and cases and exceptional laptop protection so I have tried lots of sleeves and minimalist cases.

    BTW - I have a 4Z Vertical Brain cell so if you want me to measure or try anything, let me know. I also have a work Dell E7440 that is a similar size to your 13" MBPR (in fact I use a 13" MBPR case to hold it).

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 07-31-2014 at 08:20 PM.
    moriond likes this.
    Zephyr/SA/BB/Co-Pilot (Black/Black/Steel), S25/WF/TS/A45/Pilot/Cadet (Black/Iberian), DLBP (French Blue), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

  5. #5
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    What laptop and brain cell do you have in the first picture? If you could test the dell and sleeve inside a brain cell that would be awesome!
    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DubbySmurf View Post
    I think I will order a 4Z Brain Cell. From what I have seen that is the size for the older non retina MacBooks which were a bit thicker if I remember correctly.
    @DubbySmurf The vertical Brain Cell size designed for the older 13" MacBooks is the 6Z. The 4Z is the corresponding size for the older 15" MacBooks. You might be able to use the 4Z, but the laptop would sit low in the Brain Cell. Just FYI.

    HTH moriond
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  7. #7
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    Oops. My bad. Thanks @morion! A 6Z is what ok looking for I believe.

  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    @DubbySmurf

    The laptop I have in the first picture is the Dell E7440 (13.2" x 9.1" x 0.8") in a 17" MBP sleevecase and finally a Brain Cell size 2S.

    If I understand what you are looking to do, you want your 13" MBPR in your 13" sleevecase and then put into the Brain Cell size 4Z. If so, I tried to simulate this using my work Dell E774 in a sleeve designed to a 13"MBPR (~14" x 10" x 1.5" with laptop in it) and then into the 4Z Brain Cell. All fit well with no wiggle as per below picture:

    Name:  BC_4Z_Thule13.jpg
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    However, if you are going to put your 13" MBPR directly in the Brain Cell size 4Z with no sleeve, it will be big for it and, as @moriond wrote, the 6Z would be the better fit or the specific 13" MBPR Brain Cell.


    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 07-31-2014 at 11:02 PM.
    moriond likes this.
    Zephyr/SA/BB/Co-Pilot (Black/Black/Steel), S25/WF/TS/A45/Pilot/Cadet (Black/Iberian), DLBP (French Blue), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

  9. #9
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    just to add: I have the current model 13" Retina MacBook Pro that I carry with a protective shell. I usually carry this in a Synapse Backpack -- either the S19 or the S25, using a Cache with rails. (If I'm using the older model Synapse 19, just the cache with no rails suspension works fine -- this was the original design). In the Smart Alec, I have a vertical size 4X Brain Cell that I'd use to carry that 13" MacBook Pro in shell. The 4X is the Brain Cell model for earlier 15" MacBooks -- very close in size to the 4Z, but just slightly smaller (4X designed for laptop size 14.1 9.6 1.0 inches vs 4Z designed for 14.35 9.82 0.95 inches). I can adjust the height of the interior sling slightly to make it shorter, but the 13" Retina MacBook Pro in its shell does sit a little low in the size 4X Brain Cell. It's quite workaable, though.

    HTH moriond
    tpnl likes this.


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