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First Bihn bag - what shall it be?

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    First Bihn bag - what shall it be?

    First time poster, and looking for a new Bihn bag to call my own. Any/all suggestions and feedback are welcome.

    This urge started a few weeks ago when good ol' AA had me check my Briggs and Riley International Wide-body roll-a-board on a flight from PHL. To a multi-million miler who never checks, this was a slap in the face. I realize after reading some forums that I'm not the only one. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I was packing for a 7 day trip to Asia - and did not want to get "checked" at the security line again, especially on my outbound flight. Luckily I had options of smaller rollers or an MEI Executive Overnighter that I bought years ago, but haven't used much.

    I decided to try the MEI again. At 22x14x9 it can swallow a lot of gear, to the point that it was hard on the shoulder when using my Absolute Strap. On my last airport transfer I opened up the backpack straps and it was much better to carry, but as you can see I'm not (yet) a One-bagger, and carrying two backpacks is awkward - not something I'd like to repeat often.

    Here are the bags and what was in them when I arrived home (pretty typical for me):

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    MEI load (box on lower left was a gift, clothes bundled on the upper right and folded in the blue packing cube - normally I have small clothes in the black packing cube and stuff in the blue, but coming home I had to make it as flat as possible to fit the large boxed gift):
    Click image for larger version

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    Backpack load:
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    My idea is to get a better personal item-sized bag that can do triple duty as a 2nd carry-on, business case, or walk around town bag. I'm open to suggestions, but I think a briefcase/messenger style would be better than having a second backpack. It should be passable with a suit to business casual. If it also passes for a day-off in a far away city even better. Best case it even stuffs inside a main bag like an Aeronaut or TS. The Brain Cell would be ideal in this one-bag scenario, but I'm not sure it will fit my laptop/power and the other essentials I take to business meeting day trips. Beyond the brain cell I get confused by the many Tom Bihn options in this category.

    Eventually, I'm looking at an Aeronaut, TS or WF. Correct me if you think I should go there first. Hopefully seeing my gear and empathizing with my snore neck/shoulders will prod some to share their wisdom with me.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    Best regards,

    Personal item - Pilot. Its the best all around non-backpack bag. Just make sure your laptop will fit.

    It will do everything you mentioned and in dyneema it will probably stuff inside a main bag.


      You may think my advice is wonky but I'd get two bags.... Daylight Briefcase and Daylight Backpack (or packing cube backpack). The briefcase holds more that you would think it would. The backpack can easily slip inside your main bag when carrying your other bag backpack style through the airports. However, once you are at the destination and going out for the day you have a great lightweight backpack to walk around with.

      Cost of those two is the exactly the same as the pilot mentioned above.

      I have co-pilot and it's nice. Not big enough for many laptops so pilot better for that if you find my first idea lacking.


        First Bihn bag - what shall it be?

        I agree with tebnewyork about a Daylight Briefcase and Daylight Backpack. At least look at them because they fit your idea of being personal items, holding a reasonable amount, and fitting inside a big bag.

        The Daylight Briefcaee is a business case. Does great when I travel casual and then wear a suit for a mtg. But it isn't huge. You'll need to see if your laptop fits. I could imagine a long trip where you carry the DLBC and and Aeronaut with the DL Backpack inside as an around-town bag. Great flexibility.

        I own a WEstrrn Flyer. It does a great job as a suitcase that almost looks like a business case. So that's another option. But it really looks like a suitcase on close review.

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
        Last edited by Fulton; 07-02-2016, 06:05 PM.


          Tried to reply once by Tapatalk - sorry if this comes across twice.

          When looking at the Brain Cell I measured by Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 for the 6Z size. It's approximately 13.0 x 8.9 x .75 - so about as thin as a MacBook but bigger in the other dimensions. Do you think the Daylight BriefCase or Pilot would still fit?

          I had also thought about the packing cube backpack, but will look back at the Daylight bakpack.

          Thanks again for the feedback.

          Last edited by slbear; 07-02-2016, 07:24 PM.