View Full Version : Brain Bag with Luggage Handle Pass Through

01-02-2017, 04:26 PM
Hey everyone,
I'm struggling to figure out a good bag solution for my current situation. I really prefer carrying an over the shoulders backpack to a briefcase. I own a Brain Bag, Aeronaut, and an Empire Builder. None of them seem to fit my current needs. Due to too many reasons I'm forced to travel with 3 laptops at a time. Once I get to my destination I only need to carry 1 or 2 per day and can de-load but during travel I'm carrying a nearly 50lb bag.
I'm looking for a backpack like the brain bag with multiple compartments that has a luggage handle passthrough that I can slip over my roll aboard. No matter how I adjust the straps my brain bag seems to slip around the handle and flop the other direction. I wish I could just check them under the plane but that would cause other issues with the customer. (Don't ask I might have to kill you)
Anyone have any thoughts / recommendations short of sewing a couple pieces of seat belt material into the back of my brain bag? Or moving to something like the Northface Overhaul 40?

01-02-2017, 08:34 PM
I see three ways to handle this problem:

1) Modify the bag to have a handle passthru.
2) Only carry the bag on your shoulders.
3) Quit carrying 3 laptops.

Personally, I'd opt for option 3. I'm going to guess the 3 laptops are Client, Corporate and Personal? I'm also a consultant who sometimes is faced with similar.

Client laptops we can't do much about, but I have found ways to have my corporate laptop pull double duty when I need to. Thankfully, my corporate laptop is setup to allow booting from USB. So I created a bootable ubuntu USB stick, installed WINE on it, then installed WOW in WINE on it. Using the stick, I can boot my corporate laptop's hardware into my ubuntu stick. The corporate laptop's bitlocker keeps the ubuntu out of the hard disk, so my corporate system is still segregated, I'm just using it like a dumb terminal.

That was back when I still played WOW. Nowadays I still use the stick, but more for keeping side projects separate than anything else. Instead, my current preferred method is to leave the corporate and personal laptops running at home, and use a home based VPN to Remote Desktop into them from my iPad Mini. I can now pretty much travel with just the client's laptop and my iPad. Very liberating over carrying 3 laptops.

But if that can't work for you, my second choice would be #2 above. Just carry it on your back instead of trying to carry it on the handles of your rollaboard.

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01-02-2017, 09:20 PM
Wow, three laptops at a time! I can't imagine that load. Have you tried a bungee to attach your Brain Bag to your roller? This is the one I have used. It is handy even with bags that have a trolley sleeve because sometimes they spin around. This bungee keeps the bag firmly in place.


01-02-2017, 10:06 PM

There are certainly other backpacks with dedicated pass-through options. A couple of ways I have used to secure my TB backpack to carry-on handles:
1) If attaching it vertically, I use the Waist Straps (padded version more stable) and Sternum Straps to secure it - would this work for you? Perhaps a luggage tie around the carry-on handle and Brain Bag Handle would further keep it from shifting.
2) I have found putting the Brain Bag sideways works for me too (as with other backpacks) - does it still fall off that way?

I add some padding to the bottom of the Brain Bag to create a flat surface that is more stable on the ground or on top of a roller bag.

Also, if you your laptops will fit in an Empire Builder, it has a passthough built in and if you are carrying your second bag mostly on the roller bag, can you use the Empire Builder that way even though you prefer shoulder carry backpacks?

Hope this Helps


01-04-2017, 05:50 PM
I've given up on carrying the personal laptop. I have two clients that require their machines for VPN access (both I support in the same week) and my corporate one. I think I cut the waist straps off my Brain Bag about a 10 years ago now. I completely forgot that they had them. I think I'm going to try the bungee strap and get a caribeaner to attach the top of the bag to the handle.

I thought about the empire builder but once I get into town when I'm on travel not having the load centrally on my back is going to screw it up once the roller is in the hotel for the week.

01-04-2017, 06:59 PM
Ok, so you can't drop the personal, can you drop the corporate one? Probably not, but doesn't hurt to check.

Another option might be to put one of the laptops in the rollaboard instead. My B&R Fuse holds two laptops easy. And the weight will all be in the roller instead of needing to be on your back.

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01-18-2017, 09:05 PM
How about this. having the backpack back facing you, mount a triglide on each of the compression straps on the left side, leaving 1 loop 'free'. On the other compression strap, right side, mount the single loop of a fastex buckle, run a bit of webbing from triglide to double/adjustable side of fastex buckle. That way you have up to 4 straps, waist belt, sternum strap, plus the 2 you added that don't require you to mod the bag.

I feel you pain, I regularly carry 2 laptops for my job too, plus a personal, IT Security Auditor here