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  1. #1
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    laptop conveyance for G4 12"

    This coming paycheck, I want to get myself a new bag, specifically for my 12" G4 laptop when I travel. At home, I have one of those slim slip deals, that I just slide right into my Smart Alec, not the same protection as a Monolith, but it's reasonable at the moment.

    I don't really want a big honking bag, mostly because I need it to qualify as a laptop case when I travel, and not carry-on. My local Monoply airlines allows 1 carry-on and 1 laptop. You can get away with just a shade more if you catch them on a good day, but sometimes they really nail you on it.

    When I travel, I have to carry on a 60G iPod, a PDA, a folder for my paperwork, one or two mid size books, a pen case for six pens (Pen holders that come stock with most bags, Bihn included, aren't generally wide enough for the barrel of my favorite fountain pens), a digicam, a cellphone, a notebook, a wallet, snacky-bits (nothing huge), and sometimes the odd purchase or item that didn't get packed at the proper time (such as toiletries).

    So, bearing in mind I'm allowed to have 1 carry on, and 1 laptop...

    I already have a Smart Alec for most of that, so the Aeronaut is for another time for me, though I naturally want it. How can I resist the call of something new? *laugh* I really just want a laptop case with just a bit of extra storage in it, for say... the books and the paperwork and the ipod, so that my carryon can be stashed in the overhead, and the briefcase/messanger would be at my feet, filled with the more entertaining carryon items, so that I don't need to constantly stand up and try and get at the overhead.

    I plan on getting a size 5 Monolith for my Smart Alec, at the same time.


    I'm thinking that the ID is probably the right bag? Or possibly the Empire Builder? The bag will not be used just for travel, but I'm selecting it with travel in mind.

    *edit: If I got an ID, would I be able to get away with using a Monolith or Soft Cell style case in it, temporarily? I know it wouldn't be as secure, but I'm nervy about having a bunch of bags and a bunch of bag inserts sitting in my closet.

    *editx2: Oh, damn. I just realized that the horizontal Brain Cell will also snap into place in my Smart Alec, and I'm not restricted to the Monolith. So I'll probably get a Brain Cell instead of a Monolith, so that it can snap in both the messanger/briefcase and the backpack. The question stands, though. It's made simpler knowing that I don't need a second laptop case.
    Last edited by l3gray; 04-26-2006 at 09:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    Unless you need the more businessy look of the Empire Builder and it's marked size increase I'd definately go with the ID. Though to be able to get it past the check-in dragons you might want to make sure the ID is packed VERY light, since even that looks like a large bag. And the ID can pack an insane amount of stuff, almost as much as the Smart Alec (I've tried and documented it with pictures
    So go with the ID and then clip in the Braincell in the one you are using atm.

    Cobos
    If you are not part of the solution you are part of the precipitate!

  3. #3
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    I've been comparing sizes (in inches) on the site for a bit, today, getting ready for the decision I'm going to have to make in very short order. For about 20 wild minutes, I even thought about getting the Super Ego... but it's 17x14.5x6.75 might be a bit too robust to sneak past security. The Empire Builder is 1.25" longer, .75" taller, and 1.5" wider than the ID, but I gather that it looks quite a bit bigger, for it...

    Er, sorry for musing aloud. I think after researching all the while, I've decided that the ID is definately, most likely the bag for me. Do you have a Brain Cell with your ID? How much room is left in there when the Brain Cell is clipped in?

    I just re-read our carry-on allotments, and they say that we're allowed 1 carry on, plus 1 personal item, and they list "purse, laptop, or briefcase" as the personal item, but that the personal item must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. I know for a fact that the Smart Alec is too long for that, but I was once able to brutally kick it into place when in a desperate situation. *laugh* (Dear Bihn People, thank you.)
    Last edited by l3gray; 04-27-2006 at 12:49 AM.

  4. #4
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    How much stuff you can fit in the ID depends a bit on which pockets you use and which you leave open, but look at this link: ID stuffed to the gills pictures Big clunky pictures but they do show you how much stuff you got left with the size 5 Braincell.

    Cobos
    If you are not part of the solution you are part of the precipitate!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobos
    How much stuff you can fit in the ID depends a bit on which pockets you use and which you leave open, but look at this link: ID stuffed to the gills pictures Big clunky pictures but they do show you how much stuff you got left with the size 5 Braincell.

    Cobos
    ... Oddly enough, I think I remember when you first posted these pictures. I've been lurking here for quite some time.... longer than I thought, even.

    Those pictures are extremely helpful. I think that the ID is the bag for me. It looks like it would be good for the sort of junk I carry about during a regular day, and useful for a 'briefcase/laptop' for carry on.

    And now the hard part.

    Color.

    I'm thinking of the black/steel/crimson, or the black/crimson/steel, or one of the kiwi lined ones. I like the bright lining, makes it slightly easier to find stuff in a bigger bag.

    This is pretty cool, I'm getting a new Bihn-bag. I'm a repeat offender. I have a Buzz, a Smart Alec w/Freudian Slip, and a Cafe bag (I can't remember if it's small or medium).

  6. #6
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    l3gray, you shouldn't arouse the attention of the carry-on-allowance-enforcers with the ID. I'm a pretty small girl and they don't even blink when I travel with a carry-one and my ID, particularly if work diagonally so that it's on my back. And it's perfect size for under the seat in front of you. (I can even fit it standing upright in the little space under my own seat -- behind my legs, but before the metal bar that prevents you from putting luggage under your own seat, if that makes sense.)

  7. #7
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    Thanks, that's heartening to hear.

    I know my Smart Alec fits under the seat, it's just too long (tall). The ID is shorter, so I am pretty sure it'll be cool.

    I'm pretty set on getting one, but I'm curious, does the ID have a tendancy to flop over when set on its narrower side, or does it stand on its own? And does it have the little loops for waist straps on it, like the Cafe bag?

  8. #8
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    Feature!

    I've fit the Smart Alec under the seat a couple of times. It sticks out a bit, but if you put the lid side toward you, it makes a nifty footrest. The only place I've had trouble fitting the Smart Alec is in the overhead bin of an absolutely tiny Qantas plane, but after some shoving I made it fit.

    I had no problem going through SFO airport security with a Smart Alec and an ID last week. I've also had no problem with the Smart Alec plus an Aeronaut-sized carryon.

  9. #9
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    Yep, it has the waist strap. It can stand on it's side pretty well if there's something in the main compartment. If the main compartment is empty, it usually flops over.

  10. #10
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    That's great to know. I'll be ordering my ID and Brain Cell tomorrow night. I can hardly wait.

    Isn't it silly how much of a fan a person can become over a bag manufacturer?

    I've had horrible luck with nearly every brand I've ever tried, from the most expensive to the cheapest. I've bought $1 bags at the second hand store, so as to avoid guilt over their eventual trashing (funnily enough, these bags often lasted the longest), and I've researched endlessly beforehand. I've written lists of what I often carried and meausred them, weighed them, thought about how I treat them... and finally, after how many years of searching... I find Tom Bihn. *laugh* People think I'm nuts.

  11. #11
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    So, my bag and case have arrived. I gotta say, I'm very impressed. The only thing I'm slightly dissapointed with, was my color selection. I wish I'd gotten something a little more 'fun', but I guess the slightly less garish selection will be easier to use in more formal or buisness like occasions.

    I think it'll be the perfect solution to my specific problem.

    I may review it again, after it seems some real use with me, but I imagine you all get enough reviews on here to ever need more...

  12. #12
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    l3gray, what color did you get? I have black/steel/wasabi, which I particularly like because the wacky color is not apparent from the outside. Kind of like wearing leopard-print undies with a suit.

  13. #13
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    Hah! We got the same color.

    I really like the 'wasabi' color. My cafe bag is cocoa and wasabi, and I quite dig it. Looking over the new bag's thread, it seems that there aren't many people out there who do.

    I was torn between the grape/wasabi, the kiwi/deep blue, and the steel/wasabi. Eventually got the steel/wasabi because I figured it'd match most occasions and dress.

  14. #14
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    The best pictures I've seen of the ID bag were from this Italian site and featured the bag in black/charcoal/wasabi -- really nice. I think that color combination looked even better than the current black/steel/wasabi. Alas, since I posted that link in the thread for pictures back in December, most of the pictures have gone away, leaving only the outside of the bag, and one shot of the interior, with no more of the detailed inside shots. And those two pictures probably won't be available for much longer.

    I wish the current product pictures and links to review sites could reflect changes that have been introduced as a result of user suggestions. For example, Siv's post suggesting that the postion of the inside pocket that hold can hold tickets be moved was incorporated into later versions of the ID bag. I waited for the newer models to come out before buying mine.

    However, since most reviews appear when the product is first released, you don't see the modfied bag. The Pockets 3 mouse-over view on the product page still shows the original design. The only picture I've seen that depicts the current arrangement is in the recent review on the Pop Wuping site, and that's only listed in the News and Events blog for mid-March. There are no links to it among the product page reviews.


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