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Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

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  1. #1
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    I think TB needs another messenger bag

    Unless I'm so far out in left field, I need a road map to get back to home base, I think TB needs another offering in the small size messenger bag department. Something bigger than the Imago, smaller than the ID. They have two mid-sized ones, why not two small ones?

    The Imago clocks in at 825 cu. in with no outside pockets for water bottle(s), just ones for accessories. The Id is 1275 cu in, although with an outside water bottle pocket. Maybe I'm kvetching, but the volume of the Imago is greatly lowered once you have to pack a water bottle inside of it. Also, in many instances, I would not be keen on opening my bag and exposing the contents to strangers in certain areas, just to get a drink of water.

    I'd love to have TB offer a "packable" messenger bag. One you can cram in the main bag, when you travel (I hate traveling with two bags, because you are overpacking); so it must be crushable, light, and just big enough to hold a daytrip's worth of supplies. Yes, I know the Synapse 19L bag would be ideal, but I prefer, and I know I'm not alone in this, a messenger bag in crowded areas for security concerns. I used Pacsafe's 825 cu. in. messenger bag previously, but it is not a TB engineered product and it showed.

    The Imago would almost suffice, but not outside pockets for water, so that's out. The Id is too big= would eat up too much room in the main bag. I'll probably get the Id and if I don't like how it packs in my main bag, I'll just use it for work.

  2. #2
    ceb
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    Everyone has their own picture of the perfect bag. Your picture will be radically different from mine. I think that TB has too many messenger bags (which I dislike because you always have to open the flap) and what TB really needs is a miniature Western Flyer.

    Why am I saying all this? This is one of those first world problems where we have too many choices as it is. Me? I'd get the ID - actually I just said that because of the way that sentence sounded, because I'd just get an Ego, but you may want to wait for the upsized co-pilot (rumored to be called the "pilot") that may fit your needs.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  3. #3
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    ceb,

    You phrased it better than I. There are enough of the same style messenger bags. The Pacsafe Ventruesafe 400 I mentioned was shaped liked the TB Id, but opened at the top with locking zippers. The front had the same type of layout as the Id, but it was accessed by locking zippers also (my wife calls it a true man-purse). The bag is nowhere near the well thought out ergonomic nature of a TB bag, hence my “cry” for a messenger bag that is larger than the Imago, smaller than the Id, but, as you distilled for me, accessed like the Pacsafe.

    My wife had a messenger bag that was constructed like the Id with the flap, but you could access to the contents of the main compartment by opening a zipper or the flap. It was pretty slick. That bag is long gone, and she misses it. Paging Mr. Bihn.

  4. #4
    ceb
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    Its funny. For the life of me I can't see the advantage of a traditional messenger bag. It rains in because of the way the flaps are made and you need two hands to open it and get things out. Then there are lots of people that swear by them.

    I look at these designs and say to myself "I could design a better bag than that" (which is what TB said to himself) but the resulting bag would be perfect for me and probably "meh" for most other people.

    Luckily we have a company here that gets most things "right" for most people and listens to comments for improvements.

    Me? If I were TB then I'd take the top 5 selling bags (Aeronaut, TriStar/WesternFlyer, Cafe Bag, whatever) and make each in a handful of sizes. I'd bet most everyone could find their perfect bag that way.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  5. #5
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    Ceb,

    Thank you for the tip on the "pilot". Hopefully, it will be around 950-1050 cu. in., which would be perfect for me. By the way, I do have the WF and love it. I have several bags from different manufacturers and I use which one I think will fit my travel needs for the trip, but I find myself overpacking the WF, just to use it. It looks like a pregnant turtle, but it works just fine thank you.

  6. #6
    ceb
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    I've found the trick is to not overpack any bag. I lay out what I need and then find the bag that is just a bit too big. That way the bag looks and feels much lighter.

    I've taken my lightly packed TriStar onboard as a personal item while my wife got stopped with her fully packed western flyer that "looked" bigger than mine.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  7. #7
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    I know it is heresy, but I'm not a fan of too much compartmentalization, so I'm not a fan of the TriStar. I have the MEI Executive Overnighter and the RO Airboss. Just too much "wasted" room for me. Two compartments is the most I want to use now. I have a few two compartment bags, TB Western Flyer, RO Sky Train and one compartment bags, B&R 20", MEI Convertible. It is what I prefer. They are like putters, you go with what works for you.

    By the way, my wife said the messenger bag that she could access through the flap was a converted camera bag that allowed quick access in that manner. She just took out the camera padding.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2004
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    15
    I just got done with a 2 week trip with an Imago as the daybag, and I agree a better place for the waterbottle would be great. Also, I wish the rear pocket was zippered. Otherwise a great bag at a great size.


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