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View Full Version : Using a Brain Bag for laptops, but without Brain Cells or Caches



rationull
04-24-2017, 12:13 PM
I've been looking for a backpack that will comfortable carry two laptops for a while now. When I started my search I was surprised that there are very few backpacks markets this way, but I stumbled onto the Brain Bag and the Synapse 25. I'm tempted to give one or both a shot. Up to this point I've been carrying a couple of laptops in a backpack that will barely carry them, with each laptop in its own protective sleeve.

The Brain Bag in particular looks good to me due to its two separate main compartments. But obviously it looks like it's designed to work best in conjunction with Brain Cells and Caches -- in particular based on how the laptop ends up suspended within the bag. Since I've already got laptop sleeves I like I'm not looking to have to replace the sleeves along with whatever backpack I end up getting.

How well does the Brain Bag work with non-Tom-Bihn laptop sleeves? Is there any padding in the compartments to supplement the laptop sleeve's protection or do the laptops just end up bouncing around within the cavernous backpack compartments?

tpnl
04-24-2017, 02:28 PM
Both the Brain Bag and S25 do not have padding (aside from the back padding). You will need to supplement the padding if you want more protection than what your sleeves already provide. For me, I add foam at the bottom or a towel/shirt if I need more padding.

For the BB, I add a foam padded bottom if I am carrying a laptop in a neoprene sleeve.
For the S25, I can fit one of my laptops in the elastic pocket in the main compartment. The other one I put in a Brain Cell. I am still working on adding padding to the bottom of the S25. However, a towel/shirt would work well too.

If you are good with sewing, you could just add 2 1" webbing strips to your sleeve and buy the TB Gatekeeper Rail clips and make your own faux cache and mimic the protection a TB cache provides.

How protective are your sleeves? I use a Thule Gauntlet sleeve and they are quite protective. I do not worry about padding when I carry my laptop in that sleeve.

Hope this helps
Cheers!

AVService
04-24-2017, 02:36 PM
Sort of depends which computers you are talking about and how much or little protection you require,I carry Toughbooks all day long in a BB with no other padding but then you can safely run over these Toughbooks with a car too.

There is no padding aside from the back panel as tpnl said and I am not too comfortable with no padding and any other computer.
I buy the $7 blue sleeping pads at Walmart and they are easily cut and then taped into a personalized Brain Cell type thing and this is the minimum treatment that I would consider.
Most sleeves that I have seen are not much for padding at all really and I guess I am old school but I need better padding than that.

rationull
04-24-2017, 03:48 PM
Adding foam is a good idea. One of my sleeves is a Thule Gauntlet as well, and the other is an InCase neoprene one with some protection, but fairly minimal. The computers I'm carrying around are not quite as durable as Toughbooks! I did think about modifying my sleeves but realistically I would probably just throw some padding in and call it finished.

tpnl: How big of a laptop can you fit in the elastic pocket? EDIT: I see your comment in another thread that it's a 14". How much room does it have to spare? That sounds promising at least for keeping stuff in place. What are your thoughts on the Synapse vs BB for carrying around laptops plus just a little bit of other stuff day to day?

pvn
04-26-2017, 12:14 PM
In general I think people vastly overestimate how much protection today's laptops need, especially if you have a model with SSD (and hence, no moving parts). I use a Waterfield sleeve in my brain bag and it's more than enough protection. Brain cells in particular are MASSIVE and I don't feel that the laptop is any safer in there over the waterfield sleeve considering how much volume you give up. If you use the compression straps on the side of the brain bag, your sleeve will be held in place pretty effectively, so no need to worry about the laptop "floating around".

tpnl
04-27-2017, 11:40 AM
Totally agree about the SSD. The level of protection people are comfortable with is a personal decision.

What I care about is whether my screen cracks due to a fall or my laptop gets unsightly/awkward dents or splits - which has chance to occur if it is dropped from say desk height to the floor. If you only want scratch/bump protection, the usual sleeves are fine for that.
Also, if it is your life blood, I would want to protect it more - especially as I keep my laptops 6-7 years (still going on a 2010 T510- upgraded with SDD). That is why I love the Brain Cells.

Cheers!

AVService
04-27-2017, 02:34 PM
Amen to this!

I realize and nurture my "Old School" ways about computer protection and would rather be safe than sorry every single time.

I also repair the ones that do not make it through the trips and know first hand just how fragile they can be,SSD or not.



Totally agree about the SSD. The level of protection people are comfortable with is a personal decision.

What I care about is whether my screen cracks due to a fall or my laptop gets unsightly/awkward dents or splits - which has chance to occur if it is dropped from say desk height to the floor. If you only want scratch/bump protection, the usual sleeves are fine for that.
Also, if it is your life blood, I would want to protect it more - especially as I keep my laptops 6-7 years (still going on a 2010 T510- upgraded with SDD). That is why I love the Brain Cells.

Cheers!