A few comments on the Brain Bag...
I just received my snazzy red Brain Bag today (after an AGONIZING wait!) and it's a really great pack! However, there's a couple things which I think could be improved...
Firstly, the water bottle pocket is kinda wonky. I carry around a 1 ltr. Nalgene bottle (the de-facto standard for water bottles) and it fits great in the mesh pocket. However, with that big a bottle, the pocket underneath becomes almost entirely useless, and very, very, hard to access with the water bottle in place.
Placing the bottle pocket on the side of the bag (as on many hiking packs) would alleviate this problem and would also move more of the weight toward the back, which is nice with such a deep pack.
Another thing I'd like (and I will probably just add it myself) would be some hooks or loops at the top of the pack. Then I can attach anything with a tether on it up at the top and easily access it. With a mini carabiner, I could attack my Snake Charmer or Freudian Slip to the top of the bag as well. Might be convenient.
In the side pocket under the water bottle, there's a bigger pen pocket, which is just the right size for my swiss army knife. It'd be nice to have another big pen pocket in the other side pocket, or even a slightly larger one that could fit, say, a cell phone.
Lastly, I'd love to see a bit more work on the waist strap. I've been using a Kelty day-and-a-half pack which has a nice beefy padded waist strap, and when you have 40 lbs. of school books and laptop in your pack, it really pays off. I know some customers just hate the waist strap in general, but I figure they've all got backaches for not using it.
Anyhow, nice pack. I intend to post a review after I've used it for a week or two.
I LOVE my Brain Bag! Hoooraay!
I second the motion for a padded waist strap. It's a huge bag, which I have because I need a huge bag to carry all my stuff, but carrying all my stuff might be more comfortable with ye olde padded waist strap.
We are going to be redesigning the Brain Bag in the coming year. We will look at incorporating a padded waist strap in the new design.
We hope to have a better water bottle pocket through new design. The current water bottle pocket was intended to be an "either/or" pocket, as in you'd put either your water bottle in or you'd use the zippered pocket underneath of it, not both at the same time.
Loops at the top would make the Brain Bag more of an outdoorsy bag than our intention is.
Thanks for your suggestions. How do both of you like the bag after using it for a while?
Liking it fine...
We both really enjoy our bags! (Sunda's my partner, if that wasn't already clear -- can't imagine it was.) Check out the review on our blog!
After using it for a while though, I still love it. The bag's super-sturdy, which is terribly necessary since the thing is HEAVY with all my school stuff in it (probably around 40-50 lbs)! Despite the small waist strap, the pack's comfortable for short trips when it's that heavily loaded, and really, that's what I need it for.
The accessories (Snake Charmer, Freudian Slip) are what really make it #1 for me. Can't think of a more convenient way to keep myself organized.
Sunda's classmate referred to her as a "tortise" the other day, on account of her huge Brain Bag "shell." He's just jealous!
As for the re-design, I was actually talking about putting loops INSIDE the bag, not outside. Just to sort of compensate for how deep the thing is. I agree that putting them on the outside would detract from it's "school pack" look. I've managed to work around the water bottle either/or pocket by putting the bottle in the umbrella (?) loops at the middle of the bag. If you redesign it, you could always put the water bottle mesh there instead of the current strap setup.
Still loving it after all these weeks
I am still most appreciative of my Brain Bag. It does wonders for keeping me organized and my laptop snug and secure! It is a fantastic addition to my life.
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