I am a network security consultant, and travel probably 30 weeks out of the year. I have been through probably 10 different bags over the years, and while the Tom Bihn bag is an awesome product, I would like to see a couple more features.
What I tyipcally carry in my bag:
> Laptop (duh)
> freudian slip with pens, meds, cd drive for laptop, ac inverter, assorted papers
> in the front compartment, I put my CD case, extra drves, my snake charmer bag, and another targus bag similar to the snake charmer. I typically also keep a small wireless access point in there.
> I don't put much in teh front pockets; I have an exra latop battery and a few protein bars. I'll explain why further down.
- Small top pocket on front: I think this should be bigger. This pocket would be more useable if it could comfortably hold something like a CD player. This is an easy access pocket on the plane, but it is really small. Not much more than your iPod fits. I realy liked the larger pocket that was between the two large compartments on the Swiss Army packs.
- More pockets and organization options: I have the Freudian slip, which is great, but the large front compartment is just a vast cavern of space with no effective way to organize it. I am looking for some kind of "mini-pack' or something I can put in there that organizes the vast amount of crap I carry with me, kind of like a camer backpack, maybe with velcro dividers so I can control the configuration.
- Side pockets: for airline travel, a wide bag is better than a thick bag. I put very little in the front pockets because on smaller aircraft, the overhead storage is not much bigger than the glove box in my truck. Stuff strapped to the sides fits with no issues, but sometimes I really have to jiggle and jam the bag in place because of it's thickness. My bag stays so full I don't need to tighten the straps on the side. I use them to strap small things to like a digital camera, or a small travel pouch for my phone. I would love to see maybe some side tubes that have clips on the back that the current clips fit into, which would still allow one to cinch down the straps if necessary.
- Front middle strappy thingy: I originally assumed this was for a water bottle, but every bottle I've put in it falls out. Maybe its for an umbrella... I dont know. I think another pocket or mesh pocket with a cinch cord woudl have made more sense.
- Chest straps: my BIGGEST gripe about this bag. While the plastic clips are cute. the are prone to coming lose, so I have lost the femal clip altogether, and it truly sucks. That is the main reason I came to the forum (to find a replacment), but I thought I could comment on some of the other things while I was here. I am about 6'5" and 340lbs, so the I'm most def "hohee wide" as mentioned in the Tom Bihn FAQ, and in particular, the left shoulder strap wants to constantly slide down my shoulder now that I dont have the chest straps. I have a hiking backpack that has those going around the actual shoulder strap ( no cutsie plastic retainer clippy thingy); much more reliable. I had noticed these straps trying to get free a couple times before I actually lost mine, and they are difficult to get back on the strap.