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  1. #1
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    Need some good daypack selection advice

    Hello all,

    I am new to the forum and want to thank you for your help in advance. I am in search of the ultimate travel daypack. After 2 North Face, Arc Teryx, LL Bean, Jansport (ugghhhh) and 3 or 4 more... I still have not found it.

    The pack would serve two purposes for 3rd world travel:
    1. A great light daypack to lug my stuff around (book, camera and lens, sweatshirt, snacks) in cities, villages and safaris.
    2. A carry on for plane necessities plus electronics I would not put in my checked pack (camera gear, I pod, Epson P2000, Batteries...)

    My buddy has a Brain Bag and it is sweet, but about 30% too big for what I need. Ideally, I need a backpack with 1700-2000 cu in, with some decent organization capabilities. Past packs have been too heavy, or a heavy load would sag the pack, too difficult to find things... the usual list.

    I really like the Smart Alec, but worry that it is too small. I also worry about the single canister compartment when holding loose electronics. I keep my DSLR in a wrap, but just drop it into my bag. Small may be offset by great design and usable space though.

    I was also looking at the Crumpler bags (no place for a water bottle) and the Timbuk2 Underground. Not really concerned about the cost, I would much rather spend the money and love the bag.

    Can anyone relate any good or bad experiences with these packs, or make any other suggestions? Any and all help is much appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I'm searching for the "perfect" bag myself to meet similar demands as you. Have you looked at the Kata camera bags? I have their smallest backpack right now. It's great for protecting my SLR and 2 lenses but it's not good for much else. They make larger versions though. The primary reason for the bag is protection so it might not be what you want.

    My Kata worked well as the carry on and fit under the seat in front of me with extreme ease. But now I may search for something more generic and protect my SLR and lenses with individual bags which then go in the main daypack.

  3. #3
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    Look into the Airborne C-Ruck by Red Oxx (another great "made in USA" company like Tom Bihn!). It has a lot of versatility and is carry-on compliant. www.redoxx.com

    Kata (as the previous poster stated) is well known for camera bags.

    A friend of mine also has a Brain Bag and loves it.
    Last edited by smp315; 08-28-2007 at 03:25 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the 411. I had a Crumpler pack but like Pretzelb said about his (or her) Kata, it protected my camera and could not hold much else. I was suprised how small the Red Oxx bags were (although 1800cu in with exterior pockets is nice). How do you think that they would compare with a Smart Alec? I WISH the brain bag was about 30% smaller. That is a lot of bag to lug through the bush.

  5. #5
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    You may have checked out the red oxx mini-ruck. The larger ruck has 2400 cu. in. with exterior pockets.

  6. #6
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    One thing to determine is if you have a preference for shoulder bags or dual strap backpack type. I know that for me a dual strap backpack with ergo straps is tremendously more comfortable for long walks, but it's more of a pain to get access to. A shoulder bag isn't as comfortable for me but I can get to my stuff quicker. If you can pick one style that might help limit the options (dang - just realized that maybe you already said that in your first post and I missed it). A bag I was considering was the Red Oxx Gator bag which is a shoulder bag but LOOKS like it's a neat bag (I wish it had more pictures). From the pictures I think the Tom Bihn bags have more comfortable or ergo straps when it comes to back pack style.

  7. #7
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Tom's working on a few different backpack designs right now: at least two of them are smaller than the Brain Bag, and one is going to be basically a smaller version of the Brain Bag.

    Stay tuned!! I'd expect to see one of the new backpacks by December.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  8. #8
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Tom's working on a few different backpack designs right now: at least two of them are smaller than the Brain Bag, and one is going to be basically a smaller version of the Brain Bag.

    Stay tuned!! I'd expect to see one of the new backpacks by December.
    I foresee a Merry Christmas for myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
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    Bummer... too late for this trip, but the smart alec will be a good stop gap measure until the PERFECT bag comes out.
    THANKS ALL

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Tom's working on a few different backpack designs right now: at least two of them are smaller than the Brain Bag, and one is going to be basically a smaller version of the Brain Bag.

    Stay tuned!! I'd expect to see one of the new backpacks by December.
    Finally. I've been waiting for this. The brain bag is perfect except for it's size. Can you post the colors when they're decided on?

  11. #11
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrae View Post
    Finally. I've been waiting for this. The brain bag is perfect except for it's size. Can you post the colors when they're decided on?
    Most definitely. I'm not sure if the bag will be one color or two...
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  12. #12
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    Oh, I hope we see the new smaller version Brain Bag in Sapphire.

    Can you tell us what size brain cell will fit in the upcoming smaller size?

    I think this may be the perfect gift for my husband's Christmas surprise!

  13. #13
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    I second Sapphire as a great bag color!

  14. #14
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylark View Post
    Can you tell us what size brain cell will fit in the upcoming smaller size?
    Not quite yet. I'll let you know as soon as there is news!

    I am sure the new backpacks will be available in Sapphire -- as long as they're made out of 1000d Cordura like the Brain Bag is.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  15. #15
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    I'd love to see something bigger than a Ruck and smaller than the Smart Alec. I own the Smart Alec, and it's great for traveling, but I'd like something smaller as an everyday bag.

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