View Full Version : Brain Bag: 2 week trip to Italy

06-14-2014, 10:07 AM
In May of this year, I bought my first Tom Bihn bag on the recommendation of friends who have been enjoying the bags for work and school. At the time, I was searching high and low for the elusive "perfect minimalist backpack" for an upcoming two week trip to Italy, but didn't want to pay $300 for one and didn't want one that I would never use again. Enter, Tom Bihn. At first I was bummed when the Synapse was back ordered, but I decided instead to spring for the Brain Bag. I haven't regretted my decision since.

The Brain Bag has 2 main sections. I used the back section for a large packing cube and two sets of shoes and the other main, middle section for electronics, rain jacket, fleece jacket, books, etc. I used the front two diagonal pockets for all the knickknacks you end up carrying around. I really appreciated the compression straps/clips on the sides because it kept the contents as tightly packed as possible -- a great benefit when trying to quickly stash the bag before the train pulls out of the station. I also really appreciated that it looked like a "normal sized" backpack and was a muted color scheme so that it did not draw attention to me as a "tourist" (in fact, I often got mistaken for a local European).

I really enjoyed the convenience of the bag and its size when I was traipsing through Italy. Flying from SFO to Italy through Frankfurt, I had no problems. I was able to board the plane as late as I wanted, I didn't have to fight with anyone for overhead bin space, I could easily access everything I needed in my bag and I avoided any secondary looks or weigh scales because the bag was not oversized. Upon arrival in Italy, I zipped right off the plane and onto mass transit without having any luggage complications. The trip continued smoothly thereafter. I took over 15 trains, 10 busses and numerous vaporetto/ferry/etc. boat rides with my Brain Bag and had no complications. It was such a great travel companion! It weathered thunderstorms, constantly being slammed into the ground/hard objects, liquids, heavy loads and hours on my back with grace and ease.

Now home, I am already planning my next adventure with my Brain Bag!

06-14-2014, 03:23 PM
Great post, but could you explain "constantly being slammed into the ground/hard objects"? I've never done that to a bag.