Brain Bag v. Empire Builder
I'm looking to draw on the collective guidance of the Binhster community as I work through the decision on which model bag to purchase.
I travel rouglhy 85K miles a year within North America and work for a high-tech startup based out of Silicon Valley. Here is what I need to carry:
laptop ( IBM T42 OR 15PB) + power adapter
ledger/notebook for customer meetings/notes
resumes (I do a lot of interviewing)
up to 2 WAN emulators (6"x6"x1") plus power supplies
couple of CDs/DVDs
Couple of pens/pencils and USB FlashDrive
CellPhone + power
Blackberry + USB power
iPod + Bose Noise Cancelling headphones
Serial console cable
various reading material for the many airborne hours
I upgraded from a early 90s tumi briefcase 4 years ago to a Briggs&Riley computer backpack for two reasons: 1) the Tumi was a pre 9/11 design where the protection scheme for the laptop was both crude and a big pain in the tuckus at a post 9/11 security checkpoint and 2) it was HEAVY when loaded.
The Briggs&Riley bag has held up well, but is not large enough to carry the above list, especially after adding a standard trade paperback book and the bose headphones. I find many of the power adapters have to be carried in my carryon and i've never been able to accommodate the WAN emulators in the Briggs&Riley and have to hand carry those into the customer site.
Another area where the B&R falls short is there isn't a convenient place to stow travel documents/ID.
I've reviewed the web site and believe that the choice to be made between the EB (or soon to be released "smaller" EB) and the BrainBag along with the accompanying brain cells, snake charmer and possibly Freudian slip.
I stand 5'6" and and am not a "big" person so I'm interested in the opinion of other folks of this stature about the EB and it's size. Also, I'm curious for the opinions about the BrainBag and whether it passes the "professionalism" test as I see many folks carrying bags through the airports and they appear better suited to schlepping into high school rather than a customer site.
If I've overlooked another viable bag choice, please don't be bashful and I look forward to the replies.