Thoughts on the Buzz (my first TB bag)
I've been looking at TB bags for awhile now and just bought my first - a used Buzz. I've been wanting to replace my worn-out single strap bag for a couple of years now (the manufacturer no longer exists). I wanted something fairly sleek and minimal - I'm not one for a lot of compartments and pockets.
The Buzz comes very close to what I wanted - I love the workmanship and all the little details down to the corner for holding a laptop in place. Capacity-wise this bag fits all I need for a day as a grad student. However, I still have a few issues with it - namely the overall size of the bag and my ability to comfortably wear it. I'm 5' and I cannot adjust the strap tight enough to carry the pack comfortably high on my back - I've got the strap shortened as much as it will go and it still bangs on my tailbone. I realized being short there are some limits with how small you can make a sling pack and still be able to carry things like a laptop, and the Buzz is closer to anything I've found in a long time fit-wise.
I will be curious to see if TB makes a slightly smaller version of the Buzz for the 11" Air or designs a second way to shorten the cross strap.
Originally Posted by Vecturist
What you want is the original Buzz that was designed for the 12" PowerBook and iBook. I've linked you an eBay auction that has about 1 more day to run, since this model of the Buzz hasn't been available for purchase from Tom Bihn for at least 4 years (see this thread started by another forum member who is also looking for this bag.)
I'm surprised at the prices these used models of the original Buzz are commanding: an earlier auction closed on September 27 with a similar item (also black) for a final price of $93.52.
You'll find the original Buzz more comfortable because the smaller size will better accommodate your body length. I have both versions of the Buzz, and between the two I still prefer my original Buzz, but the two bags were designed for different sized laptops. They're both great, but I just think that relative to their respective target products, the original ergonomics works better. Some people won't agree, because they want the larger size of the newer Buzz for the additional carrying capacity – not just for holding bigger laptops. I'm just under 5'4", so I don't have the same issue of the current Buzz being too long for my torso, but my comments on how comfortable I find the original Buzz will probably apply to you.
Here are a few more links to old posts and blog pictures of the original Buzz. Most of the review site links in these entries will be dead, though, since they're 5 or 6 years old.
The sling style of the Buzz doesn't allow for as much carrying capacity as backpacks with straps, since the bag should sit relatively "flat" against your back to work well. But if this works for you there can be great advantages in terms of being able to easily put the bag on/off, and in the ability to access the pockets in front by just swinging the bag around while it's still on your shoulder. You'll find that all the pouches, compartments and zippers have all been designed and angled to be easily accessed when you do this.
If you need more carrying capacity, I'd advise trying the Synapse, which you should also find very comfortable for your height and frame. Tom's bags have a very scalable design that make them very comfortable for a wide range of heights and body types. I know that's not something that can be written into a product description, but you'll fing this true if you buy more of his bags, or let your friends try them out.
P.S. I hope Paypahhat sees the eBay listing, too, since he's been looking for an original style Buzz, but do take a look at this for yourself.
P.P.S. I wish they offered the current Buzz in more colors than Black or Steel; I feel sorry that the great color offerings of the past are no longer available for this bag.
Comment: just edited this to remove the nested list structure grouping for the blog photos -- that works for the web site display, but the nested list entries won't show up when reading forum posts with Tapatalk.
Last edited by moriond; 10-06-2012 at 07:02 PM.
Reason: Tapatalk won't display nested lists
Thanks for your thoughts moriond. I did check out the other auction and missed the end of it. I actually did win the auction that ended on 9/27, but I think I will be turning around and selling the bag because of the fit issue. I have ordered a sling pack from another company, so we'll see how that goes. I'm also going to keep checking out the Tom Bihn site, there are a couple other bags I am interested in (for different purposes) - namely the Smart Alec and I'm curious to see the much-speculated about Pilot for traveling since I wind up on a many 3-4 trips and have become a one-bagger.