Choosing My First (But Not Last) Tom Bihn Bag
I've been pondering which Tom Bihn bag to purchase for several months. Finally, Santa Claus has agreed to bring me one for Christmas, so it's time to make the final decision.
What I really need is two laptop bags, one for "lots of stuff" days, and one for "minimal stuff" days. Right now, I'm only focusing on a larger, do-it-all bag.
<b>A little about me and my bags:</b>
I'm 34 years old, and have used backpacks for most of my life. I used a messenger-style bag for a while back in 2001 and 2002, but that specific bag (a Brenthaven) didn't suit me because it was too small.
While I carry a bag with me almost everywhere I go (usually with a lot of stuff), I've never had a laptop bag that I've really liked. They've all served the purpose, but only barely. I'm currently using a Kelty backpack with a soft-sided InCase sleeve for my MacBook.
Here is what I would like to hold on a "full" day:
MacBook 13" (I'll definitely purchase a Brain Cell for this)
Portable Hard Drive & Necessary Cables
Canon Digital Rebel SLR Camera in a soft, form-fitted case
1 or 2 Magazines and a Paperback Book
Notebook & Pens
Plastic Water Bottle
Cellphone & iPod Nano
Small Digital Camera in a case
Various small things (battery chargers, card readers, flashlight, hand sanitizer, pocket knife, pocket change, etc.)
I'm confident that the Brain Bag would hold all of this (and hold it well), but unfortunately, it just doesn't appeal to me on a gut level the way other Tom Bihn bags do. I think it visually reminds me of other backpacks I've used in the past. It's a silly thing, I know, but on a gut level I don't think I'd enjoy the Brain Bag as much. (That might change if I saw it in person, but I live in Atlanta and can't visit the Tom Bihn store.)
I *love* the look of the Smart Alec (particularly in sage, but I'm too late), but I'm afraid it might not be big enough to hold everything. One of the things I love about the Smart Alec is its clean outside look -- but my daily "stuff" might require more pockets. (Even with the optional Freudian Slip.)
Like I said, I've never been a messenger bag person, but again, that might be because I've never had the right bag. So I'm considering the Super Ego. It looks like it can consume everything I have, while magically keeping everything close at hand. (And I think it would look GREAT in black/black/steel with a crimson strip and a seat belt buckle.)
My biggest concern is fitting the Canon Digital Rebel and a size 6 Brain Cell (for the MacBook) in the same bag. Any idea on how well the Smart Alec and/or the Super Ego will handle both items?
Any other advice from Smart Alec or Super Ego owners? Right now I am leaning toward the Super Ego.
Oh, and I would *love* to use the Buzz for my "minimal stuff" days, but it's too small for the MacBook. I remember a forum post from long ago where Tom Bihn suggested the possibility that the size of the Buzz could be slightly increased to accommodate MacBooks. Has there been any development on that front?
Latest buzz on the "Buzz" and MacBooks
See today's blog for a reference to a Buzz prototype that will hold the MacBook (Pro).
Originally Posted by BJ Nemeth