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View Full Version : Husband wants a Tom Bihn bag!



Bag Lady
12-06-2009, 01:30 PM
Yeah for me, another reason to think about Tom Bihn bags as dear hubby wants a new bag for work! He's been noticing my Tom Bihns, and is ready to upgrade from his Timbuk2 small gray messenger. He wants a bigger bag that he can carry messenger style, not a backpack. He's also excited about the Absolute Strap as he's tired of his current strap sliding around all the time.

Of course, I'm already thinking Empire Builder or Zephyr. He's tall (6-2) and and big boned. He wants to be able to cart his 15" Dell in it too.

I'd love you all to give me your advice. It's a Christmas gift, so any accessories that you have find useful will be helpful, so I can fill his stocking too. Thanks!

KarlJ
12-06-2009, 02:33 PM
I'd love you all to give me your advice. It's a Christmas gift, so any accessories that you have find useful will be helpful, so I can fill his stocking too. Thanks!

Does your husband carry his Dell on a daily basis, or...?
Is he currently using anything in addition to the Timbuk2, or are there other bags he switches up with for work?
Also, does he commute via public transportation?

Bag Lady
12-06-2009, 04:12 PM
Does your husband carry his Dell on a daily basis, or...?
Is he currently using anything in addition to the Timbuk2, or are there other bags he switches up with for work?
Also, does he commute via public transportation?

Karl, yes, he tends to bring home his Dell 15-inch more often than not. And the Timbuk2 has been his sole workbag/manbag for about 18 months now. He drives to work (takes him 10 minutes) and walks 2 blocks to his office. We get alot of lake-effect snow in the winter and have mild temperate weather other 3 seasons.

In addition to his laptop, he takes his lunch, the WSJ, big eyeglasses case, average wallet, bank deposit book, a couple work folders and other odds and ends.

Shiva
12-06-2009, 04:32 PM
Hi Bag Lady: I would vote the ID or Zephyr. It would seem the Empire Builder would be overkill for his needs. In some ways, even the Western Flyer would be great and double as a getaway bag. It fits the 15inch fantastically well, and easily passes for a briefcase!
And since it can also do double duty when needed, I would think it would be versatile.

Organizer pouches are the most useful. I would definitely get those. I have also loved the packing cube that converts to a backpack...very handy!

MtnMan
12-06-2009, 05:11 PM
Just make sure that when you order your bag-and-Brain-Cell combo, they both fit your laptop.

maverick
12-07-2009, 03:42 AM
hi bag lady,

both the empire builder (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0730) an zephyr (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0720) are briefcases, so they handle a little differently than messenger bags. there is nothing wrong with that - but since you had mentioned a messenger style bag, i wanted to make sure you were aware of the differences.

as far as messenger bags, in terms of accommodating the 15" dell laptop, you can start with the id (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0805). slightly larger is the ego (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0830), and even larger is the super ego (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0825).

all of these messenger bags and briefcases can accommodate a horizontal brain cell (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0300) for the 15" dell laptop - check the fit list (http://fit.tombihn.com/TB0300.html) to select the right size. and you can put an absolute shoulder strap on all of them.

Bag Lady
12-07-2009, 04:12 AM
Good point, maverick! Thanks for pointing that out!

rabergnc
12-07-2009, 11:05 AM
As a former Zephyr owner and a current ID owner - either bag would fit the bill for what you are describing as your husband's needs. The Zephyr is a more structured bag with the padding and the "bellows" design. It is also a bit heavier than the ID. The ID is less structured and a bit larger with a few more/different pockets. For me, the ID turned out to be a better fit for what I carry day-to-day. Both bags are great and you would not go wrong with either bag.

Bag Lady
12-07-2009, 04:36 PM
As a former Zephyr owner and a current ID owner - either bag would fit the bill for what you are describing as your husband's needs. The Zephyr is a more structured bag with the padding and the "bellows" design. It is also a bit heavier than the ID. The ID is less structured and a bit larger with a few more/different pockets. For me, the ID turned out to be a better fit for what I carry day-to-day. Both bags are great and you would not go wrong with either bag.

Thanks, rabergnc, your comparisons are very helpful! It's really making me think more ID and less Zephyr, esp. since you noticed that the ID is lighter and bigger than the Zephyr. I think the ID is more up his alley.

Bag Lady
12-07-2009, 04:39 PM
Hi Bag Lady: I would vote the ID or Zephyr. It would seem the Empire Builder would be overkill for his needs. In some ways, even the Western Flyer would be great and double as a getaway bag. It fits the 15inch fantastically well, and easily passes for a briefcase!
And since it can also do double duty when needed, I would think it would be versatile.

Organizer pouches are the most useful. I would definitely get those. I have also loved the packing cube that converts to a backpack...very handy!


Thanks, Shiva, as always, I value your opinion. I think you're right about the EB being overkill for his needs. And since I am asking Santa for the WF, I'm inclined to vote for the ID, esp. with rabergnc's comparisons of the ID with the Zephyr.

BPritchard
12-07-2009, 05:50 PM
I looked at both the ID and EGO when I was selecting a bag for everyday use.
Both would have been ok for me. I selected the EGO because of the water bottle pockets to use on vacations. I take it to work everyday.

The ID fits better in a "business" environment. Being a programmer, I'm business casual, so the EGO fits right in.

ex machina
12-07-2009, 06:59 PM
Hi Bag Lady, If the messenger bag style is your husband's by choice and not default then I think that the Id would be the best fit for him. The Zephyr is more a briefcase that can do messenger bag things, and the Id is more a messenger bag that can do briefcase things. Either bag is a fine choice, so you have no bad moves here. :)

Bag Lady
12-07-2009, 07:26 PM
The Zephyr is more a briefcase that can do messenger bag things, and the Id is more a messenger bag that can do briefcase things.

Well put! ID it is! :)

KarlJ
12-07-2009, 10:28 PM
Hi Bag Lady... I didn't mean to pose those questions to you and then bail out. Fortunately, the others offered up valuable insight. So chalk me up for the ID as well.:D

ex machina
12-07-2009, 10:53 PM
Well put! ID it is! :)

Glad to help! :)



Just make sure that when you order your bag-and-Brain-Cell combo, they both fit your laptop.



all of these messenger bags and briefcases can accommodate a horizontal brain cell (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0300) for the 15" dell laptop - check the fit list (http://fit.tombihn.com/TB0300.html) to select the right size. and you can put an absolute shoulder strap on all of them.

Great point MtnMan, and maverick! Also, I forgot to mention suggestions for the stocking stuffers you were asking for, Bag Lady. Now as for accessories, I think the following are worth looking at for this purpose:

Shop Bag (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0608) (small) This is a great item to have for those times that you need a second bag, albeit temporarily. It is a squishable, foldable (that's the key element, it gets small enough to have with you always), super durable bag that is real comfortable on the hands. I keep one with me in my Large Cafe Bag at all times and use it when I go food shopping and such.


Clear Quarter Packing Cube (http://www.tombihn.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=001&Product_Code=TB0915) as a lunch box.


Horizontal Freudian Slip (http://www.tombihn.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=001&Product_Code=TB0345), is just a real nifty add-on that is removable. You can add file folders to the rear side, and it has zippered compartments and open pockets on the front. I have one and its excellent. You can pull it out of the bag and hang it by the loop on top from a hook or door knob. Stuff your files in, then return it to the bag. Real easy, real convenient. This could easily handle the average wallet, bank deposit book, the couple of work folders and additional odds and ends that you mentioned. That would leave the pockets of the bag itself free for new stuff! ;)

I agree with Shiva about using the Organizer pouches. I use the Large Clear Organizer Pouches (http://www.tombihn.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=001&Product_Code=TB0319) as project containers. For example, each of my classes has one assigned to it, and I usually can fit all my notes and sometimes all the texts in one. This allows me to easily configure my bag for the day. It helps in keeping me tidy and organized, breeding efficiency.

If your husband carries a lot of accessories with his laptop (mouse, power supply, USB cables, etc.) the Snake Charmer (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0302) can be a real aid. I don't have one (not a laptop guy - though I am considering those new netbooks ) so no need for it at present. But the reviews for it have been excellent and I would get one if getting a laptop/netbook.

The Kit (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0960) is in transit to me (Indigo) and I am getting it to have a nice bag to keep odds and ends contained controlled, and easily transferable. I will be trying it out in various roles I am sure, but I can see already this bag will be used regularly. :) This could be a solution for your husband's odds and ends as well.

The Clear Organizer Wallet (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0319MIW). For the first time, I stopped carrying a wallet on my person and now keep one in my bag on a keystrap. No longer having a wart on my leg, I didn't realized what an imposition it was until I had it removed. I keep my college ID in the front window; makes it so easy dealing with security. If your husband has to use an ID for work, this could be a nice feature to add.

Padded Organizer Pouches (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0318) for any gizmos (iPods, flash drives, etc.) that are carried. I use them for my camera, USB flash drive, and voice recorder for example.

Keystraps (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0513): a must - several in both sizes. Never drop a pouch! :D

Cordura pouches (http://www.tombihn.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=001&Product_Code=TB0317). Because pouches are so much fun. :p

Cork pouches (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0317C). Because they are sooo cool. :cool:

Any of these would be a great stocking stuffer. :)

moriond
12-09-2009, 07:53 AM
Glad to help! :)
Any of these would be a great stocking stuffer. :)

Don't forget the
Sleeves for Amazon Kindle 2 (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB1219K). These are basically medium size pouch options in Cork, Padded, and Leaf Green and Cayenne Ultrasuede. The ultrasuede combinations look great with the ultrasuede pockets of the ID bag.

Bag Lady
12-09-2009, 03:10 PM
Ok, my next question is for the Men of Bihn Bags: is the Wasabi interior too fem? I personally love the Blk/Steel/Wasabi ID combo, but should I go for the safe Blk/Blk/Steel instead? He's your typical All-American athletic, boy next-door-kind of guy.

rabergnc
12-09-2009, 03:23 PM
I have the Black/Steel/Wasabi ID and would have no other. The Wasabi adds some color and makes things easy to find in the bowels of the bag. Gotten lots of compliments on the Wasabi color from men and women. That said, if he is going to be in a conservative environment, the steel interior may be more comfortable for him. (Of course my brain cell is Cayenne (!) - so what do I know about color???)

maverick
12-09-2009, 03:23 PM
Ok, my next question is for the Men of Bihn Bags: is the Wasabi interior too fem? I personally love the Blk/Steel/Wasabi ID combo, but should I go for the safe Blk/Blk/Steel instead? He's your typical All-American athletic, boy next-door-kind of guy.

hi bag lady,

wasabi is one of my favorite colors, and i don't think that it is at all too feminine.

but i may be the wrong person to ask - i see nothing wrong with a man cooking, and actually enjoy cooking myself. i see nothing wrong with a man sewing, and i want to learn to sew but just don't have the time. i see nothing wrong with a man cleaning the house, though this is one thing i am more than happy to have someone else (anyone else) do - it has nothing to do with being a man or woman.

these are all things that those from earlier generations would have considered to be in the woman's domain.

the only color that i have seen from tom bihn that i would call feminine is pink.

http://www.tombihn.com/Merchant2/images/clearpouchpencil.jpg

but if a man wants to carry a pink organizer pouch, i don't see anything wrong with this either. i've had a couple of pink shirts over the years myself.

aiethabell
12-09-2009, 05:18 PM
I'd suggest the wasabi for the inside. Steel tends to lose things like black does - I had a choice between the steel and the olive for my Cafe Bag's interior (alas, no sapphire/wasabi to be had) and I chose the olive for the contrast.

In dark environments the wasabi will make it much easier to find that lost pen or pouch. When open it will garner comments of where-did-you-get-that-BAG? And, if someone dares to snitch it I doubt they'll get far, since everyone your husband works with will know who the real owner is!

ex machina
12-10-2009, 04:33 AM
Ok, my next question is for the Men of Bihn Bags: is the Wasabi interior too fem? I personally love the Blk/Steel/Wasabi ID combo, but should I go for the safe Blk/Blk/Steel instead? He's your typical All-American athletic, boy next-door-kind of guy.

My Large Cafe Bag is Cocoa/Wasabi and I like it fine. It's currently my Every Day Carry. My Medium Cafe Bag is Navy/Cayenne, I really like that combo too. The high contrast interior is a great feature in both bags. Cayenne is my favorite interior color.

MagicTiki
12-10-2009, 07:18 AM
Ok, my next question is for the Men of Bihn Bags: is the Wasabi interior too fem? I personally love the Blk/Steel/Wasabi ID combo, but should I go for the safe Blk/Blk/Steel instead? He's your typical All-American athletic, boy next-door-kind of guy.

I agree with the panel. Go for high-contrast interior color, so he does not lose his stuff. I have the black/steel/cayenne ID combo, and it's probably my favorite... but the wasabi interior is really sharp, too!

To add to the outside color discussion, I don't see any particular Bihn color combo as more masculine or more feminine, but I think some color combos are more professional looking than others for work situations. My Brain Bag and ID are both black/steel exteriors, and both look great in professional environments... but I also like those color combos on those bags, and I use them both for all kinds of casual outings as well.

IMHO, All of the ID combos look good at the office. You can't go wrong there.

Hope this helps!

PM4HIRE
12-10-2009, 09:32 AM
If I was still in the workforce and a professional look was my primary goal, a TB bag in first navy or second (may be) black would be my color choice. Navy blue is considered the POWER COLOR in business today. Checkout the book Dress for Success for more tips.

Follow this link to learn more: http://www.amazon.com/John-Molloys-New-Dress-Success/dp/0446385522/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260466401&sr=1-1

Bag Lady
12-12-2009, 06:50 AM
If I was still in the workforce and a professional look was my primary goal, a TB bag in first navy or second (may be) black would be my color choice. Navy blue is considered the POWER COLOR in business today. Checkout the book Dress for Success for more tips.

Follow this link to learn more: http://www.amazon.com/John-Molloys-New-Dress-Success/dp/0446385522/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260466401&sr=1-1


Hi PM4HIRE! Thanks for your advice. Since TB doesn't have navy as a color choice, are you suggesting I go with a Blk ID for my husband? I'm thinking the Indigo is too different from navy to be a subsitute.

Bag Lady
12-12-2009, 07:03 AM
I agree with the panel. Go for high-contrast interior color, so he does not lose his stuff. I have the black/steel/cayenne ID combo, and it's probably my favorite... but the wasabi interior is really sharp, too!

To add to the outside color discussion, I don't see any particular Bihn color combo as more masculine or more feminine, but I think some color combos are more professional looking than others for work situations. My Brain Bag and ID are both black/steel exteriors, and both look great in professional environments... but I also like those color combos on those bags, and I use them both for all kinds of casual outings as well.

IMHO, All of the ID combos look good at the office. You can't go wrong there.

Hope this helps!

Thank you MagicTiki! I appreciate your input. I'm glad the Blk/Steel/Cayenne is working out well for you! I forget that Cayenne is also another contrast color that helps you find stuff easily, esp. the electronics. This color combo might work for my husband. I have to decide quickly though, if I am to receive it in time for Christmas. Pressure!!! :)

BJ Nemeth
12-28-2009, 07:37 PM
I consider Wasabi to be a feminine color on the outside of a bag, but I am completely comfortable with it as an interior color. As others have mentioned here, I actually prefer it over the traditionally dark interiors.

In bags that offer it, I prefer Solar over Wasabi, but both are excellent interior colors -- for men and women.

ex machina
12-28-2009, 09:53 PM
Hi Bag Lady, what did you decide on? Just curious. :)

Bag Lady
09-02-2010, 10:15 PM
The Empire Builder! Sorry about the long delay in posting, haven't been on the Forum in months! Life has been a little busy.
Anyway, based on all of your recommendations, I ordered three bags for my DH to preview:

1) ID in Blk/Steel/Wasabi
2) Empire Builder in Blk/Blk/Steel
3) Zephyr in Blk/Blk/Steel

It was love at first sight for the Empire Builder! He loved the briefcase-like structure of the bag because when he wears suits to a business meeting as he is doing more and more, he doesn't like a strap ruining the shoulders of the suit jacket. But with the Absolute Strap, he can still carry it like a messenger around town. Best of both worlds.

While he loved the bag, he wasn't happy with the color combo. He actually loved the Wasabi interior, noting how it was so easy to find everything with the lighter color... So much for me worrying that Wasabi was "too feminine!" I quickly ordered the right color combo (it was in stock, hooray!), attached the Absolute, and he was all set!

He's not using any of the Pouches, since the EB has enough zippered pockets and compartments to keep him organized. He appreciates the high sides of the inside compartment which keep everything securely inside even when the zipper is fully open.

I am examining his EB and see that he is using the vertical flap zip pocket for receipts, and the horizontal flap zip pocket for business cards and breath mints! His writing tools go in their designated slots under the flap, and his wallet is kept in the deep open pocket. Nothing is in the horizontal zippered pocket under the flap. In the main compartment, he keeps all his paperwork, files, a book, a bank deposit pouch, and his 15-inch Dell when needed. I did carefully remove the clips for the optional Brain Cell because he does not
have one, and I didn't want the clips to: a) scratch anything in the main compartment; or b) get damaged from non-use. I am saving the clips for possible future use.

On a side note, I happily got to keep the ID because it actually holds my larger than life 17-inch Dell! Since I don't do more than walk to the office from the parking lot, I'm not too concerned about not having a Brain Cell to protect it. The back of the ID seems very cushy and the Dell is in a protective sleeve anyway. Again, I carefully removed the Brain Cell clips from the ID. My fears that the ID would overwhelm my small frame (5ft-0) were unfounded, and the Absolute Strap is heaven, making the Dell feel feather-light.

My much beloved Imago will be used as my plus one bag on flights. It's small enough to double as a purse, but oh-so-capacious! On a recent trip, I used my MCB and while it held all of my on-flight accoutrement at the beginning of the trip, the Imago would have been that much better on the flight back, since I had acquired a trinket or two! Lesson learned: don't pack a bag to its capacity at the beginning of the trip... if it all fits just right, re-pack into a larger bag! However, the MCB served beautifully during our daytrips, so I
guess I'll be taking both in the future!

Thanks to all who gave their suggestions, and for patiently awaiting the outcome! My husband is officially a Tom Bihn convert!

ex machina
09-04-2010, 10:09 PM
Thanks for the update, the pouches will be put to use in time I suspect. A supply on hand has proven to be quite efficacious in my experience. :)