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  1. #1
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    How about an Expandable Imago ?

    I was rummaging through my Grad school memorabilia yesterday and ran across my first Messenger Bag the MELO ! It looks as though it was hardly used and yet I lugged a ton of books on long hikes between transit stations from home to school and back. I reckon I did this for 300 days or so often in the rain and snow. Not a stitch unraveled and there's just some light abrasion on the bottom. I know I've washed it at least a dozen times. The most conspicuous feature of this bag is it's expanding zipper!. I'm not sure if any Tom Bihn bags have this feature but I loved it and would really like to see the next iteration of Imago have it . I say this because although it's easy to plan the Imago's contents at the begining of a journey- it's amazing how much stuff we can pick up on the way home!
    Last edited by Zephyrnoid; 08-19-2006 at 08:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    Well that's something I've never seen in a messenger bag. I wonder why. It's a very interesting concept.

    I can't decide if I like the way it looks once it's been expanded, with the zipper teeth. I kind of worry that they'll get snagged on things. Or in my hair.

    I do wish though, that the imago had more depth (and less height... but that's just me. I don't really see the need for the extra inch or two or three of height on a bag that's meant to be small. I think the way to downsize a bag is to make it a little shorter and less long first, then maybe make it a little thinner. If you look at the dimensions of the ID vs the Imago, the main differences, aside from pockets, seem to be that the ID has more depth and width than the Imago, which strikes me as weird).
    Last edited by timarelay; 08-20-2006 at 11:34 AM.

  3. #3
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    MELO Transformer

    The width is to accomodate a 13" laptop in a sleeve, the height is fine proportionately and ensres that the flap fully covers the opening.It's the depth that is a bit stingy. Even an extra inch would help. The exposed zipper teeth on my old MELO never caught on anything, look 'Uber Industrial Chique' and the results put a smile on your face when your bag can only hold 1/2 your cargo when compacted.

    Quote Originally Posted by timarelay
    Well that's something I've never seen in a messenger bag. I wonder why. It's a very interesting concept.

    I can't decide if I like the way it looks once it's been expanded, with the zipper teeth. I kind of worry that they'll get snagged on things. Or in my hair.

    I do wish though, that the imago was wider(and shorter... but that's just me. I don't really see the need for the extra inch or two or three of height on a bag that's meant to be small. I think the way to downsize a bag is to make it a little shorter and less long first, then maybe make it a little thinner. If you look at the dimensions of the ID vs the Imago, the main differences, aside from pockets, seem to be that the ID is wider and a tiny bit longer than the Imago, which strikes me as weird).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyrnoid
    The width is to accomodate a 13" laptop in a sleeve, the height is fine proportionately and ensres that the flap fully covers the opening.It's the depth that is a bit stingy. Even an extra inch would help. The exposed zipper teeth on my old MELO never caught on anything, look 'Uber Industrial Chique' and the results put a smile on your face when your bag can only hold 1/2 your cargo when compacted.
    I use width and depth somewhat interchangeably, which I need to stop doing. When I say I want the bag to be wider, I mean I want more depth(I correlate vertical measurement with height, horizontal measurement as length and then I think of what's actually depth as width).

    I'll edit my post to be more clear, but my gripes with the imago(keep in mind I've never seen it but am basing what I would think of its dimensions off of what I think of the large cafe bag) were that I would like it to have less height and more depth, but mostly the more depth. It is amazing how much an extra inch or two does to allow a bag to hold more.

    My previous bag had a height of almost 10" which was perfect for me(same width as the imago, two inches more depth). I don't think shaving an inch off the height of the imago would hurt, but especially as I've never seen the bag, it's very possible that I'm wrong.
    Last edited by timarelay; 08-20-2006 at 11:44 AM.

  5. #5
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    This is an interesting topic! Thanks for starting this thread.

    Well, I must confess that I donít favor expandable bags for the most part because the extra zipper adds weight & complexity (and I need an incentive not to carry too much stuff). I quite like the Imago just the way it is but I do acknowledge that space is a bit tight in the depth dimension when a brain cell is carried inside.

    I used to have a Tenba camera bag in a messenger format that expanded. I looked and it appears that model is discontinued. There do appear to be manufacturers that do build expandable messenger bags but IMHO they all lack the elegance of the Bihn messengers.

    Tumi has several. Here are links to two of them:

    http://www.tumi.com/backpacks_messen...?modelid=57322

    http://www.tumi.com/backpacks_messen...?modelid=41681

    Manhattan Portage has one:

    http://www.manhattanportage.com/cata...roducts_id=112

    Kipling has one but their website is a nightmare so here it is on ebags:

    http://www.ebags.com/kipling/madhous...?modelid=11761

    While it feels odd putting links to competitor products on Tom Bihnís forums I have no doubt that after looking at these other products at least 9 of every 10 people will find them severely lacking compared to the Bihn products.

    Another take on the expandable bag concept is to have compression straps on the sides. TB employees this approach on the Brain Bag and it works well. I suppose it could be done on a messenger like it is on a backpack but if I needed more room than the Imago has I would just step up to the ID.

  6. #6
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    The MELO looks cool in that rugged way. That looks like a heck of a lot of additional space once it is expanded.. jealous, because none of my expandable bags expand that much! The label is a bit distracting though.

    I think rather than an expandable Imago, I'll wait for the Ego! Thing should be pretty flat/thin if nothing's in it anyway.

  7. #7
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    Kipling Madhouse Expandable Messenger Bag is very much the same expansion design. The strange part is that MELO doesn't made the expanding Messenger anymore.


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