If you need a large backpack for everyday carry, the Brain Bag is the one for you. You'll be blown away by not only its size, but also its utility, versatility, and longevity.
The Brain Bag debuted in 1996 and its design has stood the test of time. The ultimate on-your-back student or business organizer, the Brain Bag is our Slant-6 of backpacks: it will surprise you with its utility, versatility, and longevity. Long after lesser bags have frayed their seams, blown their zippers, and popped their straps, the Brain Bag will continue to be your faithful companion.
Two Main Compartments
In both of the main compartments (on the back panel of each) are two unobtrusive webbing loops (that we call "rail loops") to which you can secure the optional Cache. Many of us will appreciate this functionality on a daily basis: the rail system can be a convenient and quick way to remove one's laptop from the bag.
Four External Pockets
On the front of the Brain Bag are four external pockets. The small top pocket is perfect for a wallet and cell phone and has an inside snaphooks for keys. The two vertical pockets are large enough for water bottles or even a small thermos; inside both of these pockets are pen/pencil organizers. The left pocket has an outside flat mesh pocket for brochures, plane tickets, or even a small U-lock bike lock. Between the pockets are two lash straps for an umbrella or a raincoat, and above these straps is a heavy-duty snaphook so you can attach a water bottle, coffee mug, or what-have-you.
Side Compression Straps
Side compression straps compress the Brain Bag when it is not full and stabilize the load; you can also tuck a raincoat, hoodie, or yoga mat under these straps.
Breathable Back Panel
The back is made of Spacer mesh and is padded with 3/8", high quality, closed-cell foam. This combination of mesh and smooth nylon is designed to provide maximum breathability while still being gentle on your clothing.
Edgeless Shoulder Straps
Conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of the Brain Bag shoulder straps allows them to more softly conform to your shoulder — we find that this increases comfort. Yet the straps aren't too soft: the 1/2" thick EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® certified foam means the strap is robust enough to carry a heavy load.
Durable Materials + Expert Construction
No bag lasts forever, but choosing the best and most durable materials and taking care not to abuse it (no washing machine or dryer!) can help a quality bag serve most people well (with maybe a repair or two) for up to 10-20 years.
This bag requires significant skill to sew and construct; it's not just any sewing factory who can pull this off and do it well, it's ours, and it's because of the talent of our crew. They're the reason why our designs can be made in an ongoing practical fashion.
- Robert R.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Good Storage Size, Comfortable5 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Good Storage Size, ComfortableRated 5 out of 5 starsThe Brain Bag is a No-Brainer!
Even though I had known about Tom Bihn for a while, I had mainly focussed on the Aeronaut 30 & 45 and then discovered the Synic 30. However, I really needed to replace a backpack with closer to 40 Liter capacity. I already own a 46 Liter (maximum carry-on, duffel-style size) bag, so I didn't need another one. I guess I really developed "tunnel-vision" because I didn't notice the Brain Bag until I was very close to my departure date. I'm sure glad I found it though! With a Basic Economy ticket from Raleigh, NC to San Francisco and back, I figured I'd be among the last to board and would have difficulty finding a spot for a roll-aboard bag. It might need to ride under the seat in front of me. One-bag travel looked like the way to go on this trip. Well, while those fears were not realized, the Brain Bag was ready to deliver. With its 36 Liter capacity, I carried clothes for 3 days+, a compact umbrella, N/C over-ear headphones, a fluffy neck pillow, & snacks (including a pair of 1/2 lb. bags of beef jerky, ha ha) all inside the Brain Bag. Total weight, including the Brain Bag, was about 22 lbs. With the 2 separate main compartments (a feature that I have searched for for a long time, BTW), I was able to organize my things very well, making accessibility a breeze. Actually, I used a 12 Liter Fanny Pack to organize my iPad, Tom Bihn Small Snake Charmer, 25000maH battery, snacks, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, etc. into one unit. I simply slipped the 12 Liter pack in and…
- Darcy1 year agoRated 5 out of 5 starsBest backpack *ever*
I bought this bag on the recommendation of a friend during a trip to the US. I've been using this bag for the past 16 years, and it still looks like new. The zippers all work fine, there are no rips or tears, and with the exception of a single buckle that I broke while closing it in a car door (that I have since replaced), this backpack functions like the day that I bought it. I cannot recommend this backpack enough. I would be more than happy to purchase another one of these bags, but I highly doubt that this one will wear out before I retire (easily another 16 years). This bag is awesome to travel to conferences with, as you can use the backpack for all your stuff, but still pull out the smaller laptop bag for meetings and the like. I consider this bag "buy it for life".
- Hilary C.Verified BuyerBought For OtherProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Easily Adjustable, High Quality Finishings, Durable7 months agoBought For OtherProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Easily Adjustable, High Quality Finishings, DurableRated 5 out of 5 starsGreat for School
My son is in middle school and his school does not have lockers. He has to carry a laptop, 3 binders, several spiral notebooks, composition books, school books, lunchbox, water bottle, random markers, pens, scissors, etc. When we got his school supply list, we realized that the things he has to carry would not physically fit in the backpack he had been using. So I got him a Brain Bag. Everything fits with room to spare. It's a little big on his body (he is quite tiny for his age), but this backpack will be able to go with him through high school and college. When he doesn't have to carry as much stuff, we can cinch the sides down so that it hangs better. But he can now carry everything he needs and not have to worry about it fitting.
- Karen T.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Good Storage Size, High Quality Finishings, Sewn in USA10 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Good Storage Size, High Quality Finishings, Sewn in USARated 5 out of 5 starsMore than just a bag for your brain
I purchased a Brain Bag in black, and I love it. I have a Synik 22, which is also an awesome bag, but got the Brain Bag for its roomier space which I like for traveling. The interior has enough room for anything I might need to carry, and room for the handy Freudian Slip organizer. My 14" MacBook Pro, even in its protective case, leaves plenty of leftover space. The construction is top notch with sturdy ballistic nylon that is not weighty. My Brain Bag came with black zipper pulls so I ordered a set of zipper pulls in Island (blue), which has added a pop of color. Looks great!
I highly recommend this bag, or any other for that matter. You'll love and appreciate the style, functionality and quality build from Tom Bihn!
- James H.Verified BuyerBought For OtherProduct Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Made in USA, Good Storage Size, High Quality Finishings, Durable1 year agoBought For OtherProduct Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Made in USA, Good Storage Size, High Quality Finishings, DurableRated 5 out of 5 starsUltimate Kit for High School!
All five of our children have Brain Bags! The Brain Bags have carried some of them through Middle School, High School, and, now, College. Don't think their is better backpack for school. Ample room for binders, laptops, chargers, art supplies, water bottle, snacks, more chargers - everything but the kitchen sink (but that might squeeze in as well).
Personally, I have been carrying an Empire Builder for at least 15 years. Everything we have from Tom Bihn is of the highest quality.
Sewn in Seattle
Our bags are designed and sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?
Intrigued? You can find out more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.
THE BIHN Guarantee
Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business since 1972 and we stand behind what we make.
If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.