Well I am a big public transport user and advocate so I had to learn the penguin hold when I was living in rainy, snowy places.
Originally Posted by tbessie
I learned it with non-Tom Bihn bags which gave me some serious discomfort but with my Brain Bag, it is a breeze.
My husband and I love our Brain Bags, they are great for domestic (U.S) plane travel, workhorses during car travel, lifesavers during moves, great classroom bags (which involved many heavy books) and wonders on metro, trains and shuttles.
We got ours in 06, they have been through so many trips, in freezing cold and burning hot temperatures, shuffled in airport lines and piled up in the car... and they look like new.
Before I got them, travel was difficult but now, it is much easier, in a dealing with my stuff so it is not interfering with my travel enjoyment kind of way.
I know I sound very much like a fan girl but it feels so nice to have beautiful travel and everyday bags which are so easy to live with, one forgets about them, well... until I come on this forum. :)
Now what kind of penguin are you?
Thanks to you I went to Wikipedia and found out about new penguin species I knew nothing about. :)
Thanks folks for the advice. I did purchase a Smart Alec and it came today. I have a bag similar in size to the Brain Bag it just does not compress down. In the end I felt the Brain Bag was too similar to that one which I use for travel. The SA isn't going to work out. Nice bag just not my thing and I really wanted to like it. Oh we'll not even TB can have the right bag for every use. Maybe my next job will involve a car commute and I can recycle my zephyr.
Out of curiosity, how was the Smart Alec not quite your thing? I'm on the fence about the layout of the SA, myself.
I tried to make a post earlier but it would not go through. Sorry if this response comes through twice. I have a MCB, copilot, Tristar, and Zephyr. So I am a fan of TB products. However, I think the Zephyr and Tristar has worked so well for me because it was more structured with compartments, pockets, etc. The Aeronaut is a great bag but its more open format would not have worked as well for me. The SA appears to me in IMHO more like the Aero. Pockets and some built in organization but a large open main compartment. There is room for a Brain Cell which I do not use and lots of hooks for pouches. I have a few pouches but I am not a huge utilizer of them. It is just not the way I tend to pack and I generally only use one at a time. The SA is a very nice bag like all TB products. But in the end it was redundant to an existing large backpack I have had for years that is still in good shape. I made the terrible mistake of not paying attention on my mobile device when I ordered it and somehow I ended up with 2 day delivery. My fault I know but it meant that I was really motivated to try and like this bag since all the shipping here and now back will eat into a lot of what I will get back but it just doesn't work for what I need. I will say is larger than I thought and something more streamlined is what I am looking for. The design is streamlined but it is a substantial bag and I can see why people like it.