A Brain Bag in Nebulous Grey (grey) 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Nebulous Grey (dark grey) 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Brain Bag in Nebulous Grey (dark grey) 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Island (bright blue) 210 Ballistic interior. A Brain Bag in Mars Red (red) 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Mars Red 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A Brain Bag in Black 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Black 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Brain Bag in Nebulous Grey (dark grey) 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Mountain Grey (grey with light grey grid) 210 Cerylon interior. A Brain Bag in Black 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Black 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Island (bright blue) 210 Ballistic interior. The Brain Bag in Black 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Cobalt (blue with light blue grid) 210 Cobalt interior. A Brain Bag in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior.\ A Brain Bag in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A Brain Bag in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Island (bright blue) 210 Ballistic interior. A Brain Bag in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A Brain Bag in Coyote (light brown) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Brain Bag in Coyote (light brown) 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Coyote (light brown) 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A Brain Bag in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Brain Bag in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A Brain Bag in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A profile shot of the Brain Bag in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic. A Brain Bag in Ursa (greyish-brown) 525 Ballistic. The Brain Bag in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with the front main compartment zipper opened to reveal its Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior.
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Brain Bag

$225.00

A serious backpack that can fit two (or more) laptops.

36 liters / 2200 cu. in.

Black Ballistic/Cobalt 210 Cerylon
Black Ballistic/Mountain Grey 210 Cerylon
Coyote Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Ursa Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Aubergine Ballistic/Cobalt 210 Cerylon
Deep Blue Ballistic/Mountain Grey 210 Cerylon
Nebulous Grey Ballistic/Cobalt 210 Cerylon
Wilderness Ballistic/Mountain Grey 210 Cerylon

TLDR

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.

  • 2 main compartments plus 4 external pockets
  • Small top front pocket with interior snaphook for keys
  • 2 vertical front pockets with pen/pencil organizers
  • Left pocket with outside flat mesh pocket
  • 2 lash straps for umbrella or raincoat
  • Heavy-duty snaphook above lash straps
  • 2 unobtrusive webbing loops on the back panels of the main compartments
  • Side compression straps
  • Top handle made of 1/2" PORON® foam with wrapped 1050 denier ballistic nylon fabric
  • Comfortable, durable, edgeless straps
  • Removable 3/4" sternum strap and 1-1/2" waist straps

Full Description

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.

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.

Materials

Back

Spacer Mesh back

Straps

Edgeless EV50 1/2" / 12mm shoulder straps (EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® foam)

Grab Handle

PORON® foam handle

Components

Duraflex®, Nexus, and Woojin buckles and related components

Zippers

#10 YKK coil zippers on main compartments
#8 YKK coil zippers on pockets

Specs

Dimensions

14" (w) x 18.1" (h) x 9.1" (d) / 355 (w) x 460 (h) x 230 (d) mm

Weight

525 Ballistic Nylon: 2 lb 15 oz / 1345 grams

Volume

36 liters / 2200 cu. in. (ASTM Standard Measure)

Straps

.5" / 12 mm padded and contoured shoulder straps with .75" / 20 mm removable sternum strap

Total O-Rings

9

(3 in the back main compartment
3 in the front main compartment
1 in the top small pocket
1 in left side pocket
1 in right side pocket)

Lifetime guarantee image

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.

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5.0
Rated 5.0 stars
Based on 55 reviews
100%would recommend this product
55 reviews
  • Darcy
    1 year ago
    Rated 5 stars
    Best 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".

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  • Christopher K.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings, Durable
    4 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings, Durable
    Rated 5 stars
    They still make it for a reason

    Brain bag has been around for years, because it’s a classic design that does its job. The exrerior 3D pockets hold a HUGE amount. The water bottle clip is essential for me as well. Love this backpack.

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  • Brian
    Verified Reviewer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Comfortable, High Quality Finishings, Thoughtful Design, Good Storage Size
    2 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Comfortable, High Quality Finishings, Thoughtful Design, Good Storage Size
    Rated 5 stars
    Since 2014 and still going strong

    I bought the Brain Bag back in December 2014 and still use it almost daily 7 years later. I was talking with a friend about our love of Tom Bihn products, which prompted me to come here and give a 7 year update. This thing still feels like the day I got it. I take it everywhere. It always has enough space and when it is basically empty, it still sits on my back well. If you're looking for a nice backpack, you can't go wrong with this one.

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    TB Profile picture for TOM BIHN
    TOM BIHN
    2 months ago

    Hi Brian! Thanks for stopping by to leave this review. Hope the Brain Bag will accompany you for many more years to come!

  • Hilary C.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Other
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Easily Adjustable, High Quality Finishings, Durable
    1 month ago
    Bought For Other
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Easily Adjustable, High Quality Finishings, Durable
    Rated 5 stars
    Great 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.

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  • Seth L.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Comfortable, Durable, Good Storage Size, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA
    4 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Comfortable, Durable, Good Storage Size, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA
    Rated 5 stars
    My 1st, and not my last

    This is my first bag. It is big and can carry a lot of stuff. I carry a lot in my job, and this helps me to keep it all organized.

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