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Bagaholic Needs Help Deciding....

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    Bagaholic Needs Help Deciding....

    Sorry for the long lead in, but I promise its an interesting bag challenge.

    Here's my dilemma:

    I just found out about Tom Bihn bags. I recently bought two new bags -- a Timbuk2 Outtawhack and a Osprey Transit, but of course now I have bag envy.

    Here's the opportunity....

    My company just got a new Video Camera, the Panasonic HVX-200 (dimensions W6.6 x H7.1 x D15.4) It's a great camera, but it falls to my shoulders to drag it around on shoots. I also have my laptop, a tripod and other assorted gear (like a portable printer). I have a bigger Osprey Meridian 22" suitcase for the large gear, but I like to keep it down to two carry-ons.

    The Meridian is a great bag it fits my printer, clothes, tripod for a 5 day trip. I bought a Kata R-103 backpack for the Camera & my Laptop (Apple Macbook Pro 15") along with a book or two, a notepad, a moleskin, PSP, ipod, pens (a lot), sunglasses, dvd case and files. The Kata is not bad, but it doesn't really work for me, plus its mainly a camera bag which means I can't use it day to day.

    Here's the question, I'm wondering if something like the Brain Bag or the Super Ego would work better (as well as be more fulfilling :-) ). Do you think either of those bags would work with the Camera & Laptop?

    Also, do either the super-ego or Brain bag fit under the seat in front of you?



    Hello Adam!

    Tom Bihn bags are great. I've got a Brain Bag so I can share my thoughts on that. I don't have any experience with the Super Ego and it may meet your needs better.

    The Brain Bag would work great with your Macbook and the logical place to put it is in the compartment at closest to your back. The thing that may be problematic for you is the thickness of your camera and the lack of any built-in padding for your camera. My guess is that you would need some sort of padded insert for your camera in the Brain Bag and I think that would be a tight fit. The Super Ego might be a much better fit because it is less compartmentilized (is that a word?) than the Brain Bag.

    I certainly don't want to steer you away from Bihn bags because I think they are great (and this is their forum), but I wonder if you might have looked at the offering from Lowe Pro or Tenba. Both cater to photographers and have bags that are explicitly designed for photographers that also carry computers. Apple also used to sell a backpack by Brenthaven that was designed for a 17" Powerbook and video camera gear. Again, I think the TB bags are great but I would also recommend looking at those products. All the best, Alan


      Thanks Alan, I hear what you're saying. Its kinda what I thought, but I was looking for some confirmation.

      I did look at the Lowe's (though not the Tenba's). I find the Lowe's kinda ugly. I bought a lesser know camera bag company Kata (http://www.kata-bags.com/index.asp) for its looks as much as it utility. Its nicely padded, configurable, fits under an airline seat (with a little effort), and it holds both camera and laptop.

      My main issue is, I'd love to justify the purchaser of a new bag, but maybe just as importantly, I'd rather get a bag that I can use every day. As it stands now, I need to swap out my Timbuk2 or Osprey to the Kata when I travel for business.



        I have seen some Tamrac bags that are designed for exactly what you have described.
        They look like a camera bag but the rear is divided for a computer to slide in and the protection looks good.
        From the picture I was not convinced but then I went and saw them in person and was impressed.
        They are a little bulky but I think any bag that will suit your needs is going to have a little bulk.
        I have used several of their bags over the years and have been satisfied with the quality too.

        Good Luck


          Hi Adam,

          The Kata web site was interesting. Their roots are in designing stuff for the Israeli Defese Forces and they display body armour and helmets in addition to bags on their web site...quite a contrast to Tom Bihn!

          As for me I know that finding the perfect bag for all things is like searching for the end of the rainbow. I don't have a solution (and I have way too many bags in my closet...time to become and ebay seller and not just a buyer) but in the interim I'll just settle for a near-perfect beer...preferably a pilsner. Good luck in your search, Alan