Got an EmpireBuilder a few weeks ago. Like it much.
I just wish it had feet on the bottom to keep it off of the usually dirty floors found in airports and other places.
I wouldn't mind seeing 4 feet attached on the "hard" bottom, and maybe two feet on the lower bulge of the pocket, just to keep it off of the floor.
Feet in general
The idea of feet on a bag is one of those things that sounds good but in reality doesn't work out so well. Let me explain (or "explainify"):
Take three or four quarters (or loonies or what-have-you), stack them up, then stand up from your chair and then sit back down on them. Now imagine that your bottom is the bottom of the bag, and the stack of coins is one of those little feet things they put on luggage.
See? Even on a bag with semi-hard base like the Empiore Builder, the feet ultimately just leave dents in the bottom of the bag, and except for the very specific area where the feet are attached, they do little to protect the bottom of the bag.
One solution would be to make the bottom of the Empire Builder significantly stiffer, but we concluded that the change would alter the look and feel of the bag too much.
Hope that helps!
I still love my Empire Builder. It's been with me on a number of international trips. 4 to Beijing, 2 to London, and a trip to Frankfurt/Rome/Madrid.
My bag is in good shape still. The flap latch has taken some scratches from the bottoms of airline seats when I try to put this bag underneath one.
I understand what you said about the feet. Thank you for clarifying.
However, my bag has a tendency to fall forward, especially when my laptop is removed. As a result, I have to lean the bag up against a wall or heavy object, obscurring the nice looking front and Tom Bihn logo tags. Ever so slightly annoying.
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