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dcphotoguy
10-21-2004, 05:12 PM
My Empire Bag arrived today and I am loading it up to take to the office tomorrow. My very first impression is very positive. The Empire Bag holds a lot more than I thought. It does not hold as much as the Brain Bag -- which is huge -- but holds much more than the typical brief case.

What I like immediately is being able to keep the bag on the passenger seat while I am driving and still have easy access to my cell phone or a note pad or other items that I want to get to quickly.

The bag is obviously well made. The handles are soft and comfortable.

I also could get my medium size cafe bag in the Empire Bag (sideways) no problem. I frequently take the cafe bag with me when I go to lunch so I like to pack a bag within a bag along with my laptop. I don't need a big bag with me at lunch. My cafe bag is an almost constant companion. It is with me almost daily.

The strap I see is made by Optech. My hobby is photography and Optech straps make cameras feel half as light as they really are.

I'll post more as I have more experience with the bag.

dcphotoguy
10-21-2004, 05:34 PM
One more comment right off the bat: The key holder is well placed for me. I can get at my keys without unbuckling the outside flap. I do this all the time with my Cafe Bag and wasn't expecting to have the same convenience with the Empire Builder. I love this feature.

I expect my Brain Bag will be the bag I use when I have a LOT of stuff to carry and the Empire Builder will be my every day bag.

Tom Bihn bags are the nicest bags I have come across anywhere. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the design.

jdejesus
10-22-2004, 03:42 AM
So were the weight and thickness as you expected?

dcphotoguy
10-22-2004, 06:01 AM
Originally posted by jdejesus
So were the weight and thickness as you expected?

The weight is about what I expected. The Brain Bag is made from a very sturdy fabric and the Empire Bag feels equally sturdy. There also is padding on the sides so I feel my PowerBook and iPod are well protected.

I was not really looking for a light weight bag. The equipment I put in the Empire Bag is valuable to me and my first priority is protection and that comes at the expense of weight.

I really like the bag so far. The OpTech strap makes a BIG difference. I also like the placement of the rings for the strap.

I'll post more impressions as I continue to use the bag.

dcphotoguy
10-25-2004, 10:18 AM
The Empire Bag is really more and more enjoyable. It stands up quite easily and is padded on the bottom as well as the sides. It holds a lot of stuff in addition to my PowerBook and I have ready access to my cell phone, pen, notebook and other odds and ends. Plus it looks very professional. I think this is the bag I've been searching for -- for a long time!

CVMRI
10-25-2004, 05:38 PM
My empire bag has been all over the world with me and saved my powerbook at least 3 times when the bag has fallen end over end from 3 feet up or so. Great bag, well-designed and still looks new.

dcphotoguy
10-26-2004, 06:14 AM
Thanks CVMRI. That makes me feel better about my recent purchase!

dcphotoguy
10-27-2004, 06:12 AM
Every day I use the Empire Bag I feel more comfortable with it. The padding is very substantial. I can get at the small things I need like a cell phone, a pen or a CD without opening the bag and it stands upright, The handles are very comfy. They are so comfy that I only use the shoulder strap when I have something in my other hand and need to keep a hand free.

I am SO glad I bought this bag. It's great for me to use to and from the office.

Tom Bihn
11-24-2004, 06:04 PM
Thank you for your great feedback. I will continue to make refinements to make this the best briefcase possible.

Reading all of your comments makes me feel like all of the years I spent designing the Empire Builder were worth it.

selowitch
02-18-2005, 10:47 AM
Well, I got my Empire Builder (steel-gray-black, I think the color is) today and I'm very pleased. The first thing that strikes me is the unbelievable good quality of the zippers and other hardware. This is an aspect of bag design that has driven me crazy in the past when I have used other bags (yes, I confess it — I'm a man with a history).

The comfy handles are great, and the fabric appears to be a good balance of light weight and durability.

I love the integration with my size-5 Brain Cell (where my 12" iBook lives). That's got to be one of the best features.

If I have one small criticism, it would relate to the Absolute Shoulder Strap, in that I'd like something to secure the extra slack that is pulled out of each buckle — those wee lengths of fabric are a little annoying and not as neat as I would like.

Other than that, though, it looks like an extremely high-quality bag. Bravo!

dcphotoguy
02-18-2005, 05:21 PM
I've now had my Empire Bag since October of 2004. I take it with me to the office with my 12" PowerBook, iPod, medium cafe bag with a book in it (I take it with me when I go out to lunch sometimes) and more.

The bag is my favorite. It holds my PB very securely and holds lots and lots of stuff.

I know others suggested revisions. I am a happy camper just as the bag is. I also think the bag is a good value. The OpTech made strap (I forget what Tom calls it) really does reduce the weight of the bag and does not slip.

reina
02-14-2008, 02:24 AM
Passenger seat :)

I too am happy with the Empire Builder...I put the shoulder strap around the headrest on my passenger seat and don't have to worry about it flying around if I have to make a sudden stop. I've had to make a few sudden stops with my old InCase backpack, and it flew into the glove compartment and onto the floor each time. :(