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The Brain Bag and Packing Cubes / Stuff Sacks

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    The Brain Bag and Packing Cubes / Stuff Sacks

    Thinking about getting some packing cubes or stuff sacks to put in the Brain Bag's compartments (yes, I'm aware that the Packing Cube Backpack, in Backpack mode, fits perfectly in one compartment -- but it seems to me that dividing 1 into 1 may not be that useful).

    The inside dimensions of the Brain Bag's compartments are about 3.5 inches deep by about 17.5 inches tall by about 13.5, maybe 14 inches wide. Because the compartments are squishy you can push the depth to as much as, perhaps, 4.5 or 5 inches, or squish it down. Plus you might have a Brain Cell in there. So I was looking for combinations of cubes and sacks which would fit well within the compartment at various depths. I made the following diagrams showing various combinations. Thought it might be helpful to others here. The numbers shown is the thickness (or total thickness in the case of 2x) of an item. Some items are small enough to be rotateable; I've noted this. Based on their diameters, the yarn stuff sacks are assumed to be (small: 4.5 x 5 x 3.5) (medium: 6 x 6.3 x 3.5) (large: 11 x 6.3 x 3.6) and are NOT the ones with clear bottoms.

    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by feijai; 02-02-2015, 10:51 PM.
    Blue Parapack Brain Bag with Brain Cell

    #2
    My A45 lg & sm packing cubes fit in the compartments of the BB just great with a little room at the top for a Snake Charmer or a couple 3D Cubes. The smaller items, such as phone, chargers, boarding pass, passports, etc. then go into the exterior pockets. This works great for driving, train or bus to destinations, but sadly, doesn't fit the strict carryon requirements of EU airlines. For this I got a Tristar.
    [2004] Brain Bag (w/Lg. A45 Packing Cube, Snake Charmer, Q-kit & 2 Brain cells)
    - [2010] Aeronaut45 (w/Absolute, 1lg/2sm Packing Cubes, Travel Tray PCSB, Passport Pouch & 3D clear cube)
    - - [2013] Co-Pilot (w/S.O.S. strap, Cache, Clear Org wallet, 3D mesh cube, whistle, Sm. COP's & Q-kit)
    - - - [2015] Tristar (traded for A30)
    - - - - [2016] ID, Aeronaut30 (w/Absolute & Lg. Aether cube), Side Effect
    ___________________________________________ "Be excellent to each other."

    Comment


      #3
      Wow, this is quite cool!

      I have some thoughts:
      a. At the bottom I'd rather go for cubes than sacks because they stay better put. Sacks tend to wiggle there way around.
      b. if you are using too small a size you will have to dig your way through all or sacks and cubes till you get to the one you need.
      c. have you tried the Nightflight Duffelbag packing cubes? The Brain Bag of this household is off to do some work right now but when it comes bag I'll try how they fit. They have a great size and can be easily packet due to they have one deep side and a lid rather than two shallow sides (did I explain this right?). You could have two or three of them on top of something large.

      Ilkyway
      “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

      By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

      Comment


        #4
        Glad you know about the PCBP fit. However, for me, it is used to divide the Brain Bag compartment into two - not a 1 into 1 as you mentioned. One of the benefits of packing cubes is that it separates items so they are easily removeable as a package - eg I can put my shirts and pants in the PCBP and then put it together with my brain cell. I then can easily remove and put back either item without having to move things out of the way. As long as you do not overfill it, it works well.
        I also use PCSBs stacked on top of each other to compartmentalise things. In the front pockets, I use a combination of Side Effect, 3D organizer cube and Yarn stuff sack.
        Finally, I anchor all the packing cubes to the bag using key straps attached to O-rings on the BB and to O-rings on the packing cubes (backpack or shoulder bag) / yarn stuff sacks at the opposite end. This way, I can just pull them out and not forget/lose them somewhere as they are attached to the bag.

        If I read your diagram correctly, you have some good options. What combo of PC and Stuff Sacks etc. you use really depends on what you are carrying - mostly short stuff (e.g. socks, adapters, etc.) or long stuff (e.g. pants, shirts, etc.).

        Hope this helps

        Cheers!

        Edit: To add some pictures, here are some links to some test packing I did for some other people where I used the above items with a Co-Pilot / Travel Tray added in some cases:

        http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...html#post64307
        http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...html#post83302
        http://forums.tombihn.com/just-regis...html#post90603

        The tall Yarn Stuff Sack works but not my preferred item for this application for the same reasons @Ilkyway mentioned. My stuff packs better in PCSBs (shoes, socks, underwear) but YMMV.
        Another factor not in your initial post is the flexibility/dual function of using the items you buy - e.g. PCBP / PCSB used when you arrive at your destination as a daypack or Co-Pilot when you arrive (or to pull out if your BB is deemed too large for carry-on - so that it them becomes ok as carry-on), Side Effect as waist bag, etc. There are all options if you find them useful.
        Another factor to what option you choose is how compartmentalized you want things. For me, I use compartmentalize based on function mostly, others on ease of accessibility in flight, ease for scanning at security checkpoint, etc.
        I have seen on quite a few other posts that people seem to like the A45 sized large packing cubes as @dnarud13 mentions and I agree that it is a good size to put in and still have some space on the top for a Snake Charmer or toiletry kit on top for easy access.
        Last edited by tpnl; 02-03-2015, 06:17 AM.
        TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

        Comment


          #5
          My concern about the A45 Large and Small bags is that they're 5.9 inches thick and the Brain Bag's compartments are 3.5 inches. That's some serious overstuffing, or more likely, waste of fabric in the bags. I am concerned that the Side Effect is too costly for my purposes. Not sure why I didn't include the Night Flight packing cube, that was an obviously glaring omission. Below I include arrangements mentioned earlier by others.

          One item I didn't mention: it'd have been nice if Tom Bihn made longer and thinner stuff sacks. The lack of a long thin item put a serious crimp in my packing cube assembly style in these diagrams.

          (Updated)

          Click image for larger version

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          Last edited by feijai; 02-03-2015, 09:05 AM.
          Blue Parapack Brain Bag with Brain Cell

          Comment


            #6
            Hmmm, the Brain Bag of this house is still out and about: What about the Pilot Front Pocket Cube? I like that size for laying on the bottom of the pack with non-cursial items. And maybe the Pilot Main cube for taler items? Did not look it up, but I recall them not so deep.

            Sorry for throwing in new cubes... I am so impressed by your chards, I want to see more of them ;-)

            Ilkyway
            “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

            By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Ilkyway View Post
              What about the Pilot Front Pocket Cube?
              Ilkyway
              I didn't consider the Pilots at all: they're on backorder until April.
              Blue Parapack Brain Bag with Brain Cell

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by feijai View Post
                My concern about the A45 Large and Small bags is that they're 5.9 inches thick and the Brain Bag's compartments are 3.5 inches. That's some serious overstuffing, or more likely, waste of fabric in the bags. I am concerned that the Side Effect is to costly for my purposes. Not sure why I didn't include the Night Flight packing cube, that was an obviously glaring omission. Below I include arrangements mentioned earlier by others.

                One item I didn't mention: it'd have been nice if Tom Bihn made longer and thinner stuff sacks. The lack of a long thin item put a serious crimp in my packing cube assembly style in these diagrams.
                To your first point - if you need thin - how about a Tri-Star (2.4" deep) or Western Flyer (3" deep) version of the packing cubes. I select the Aeronaut cubes because you can always shrink a bigger cube when not using the space but you can't do the reverse for a thinner smaller cube - more to the flexibility rather than waste.

                But, to reverse my thought, I actually use a Side Effect instead of a Snake Charmer - again - to your comment on thin - the Side Effect is nice and thin - 2" vs 3.5" for the Snake Charmer. The number of different accessories (ie standardized connectors, can go wireless in most places so do not need a network cable and there are retractable small network cables, etc) and the size of them (ie, new Apple adapter, Micro vs mini vs regular USB, etc) have really gone down in the past 10 years and I find even an Side Effect is more than enough - in fact, I use a 3D fabric Organizer Cube - even thinner and flexible Dyneema allows it to be even thinner if needed.

                Note that, as you mentioned before, the Brain Bag can stretch and (at least with my Brain bag) each compartment is more closer to 4".

                As for other thinner options that are longer (besides the Tri-Star and Western Flyer versions and @Ilkyway's Pilot cubes), there is sweet Founder's Packing Wedge - you find it in the parts section. Also, perhaps large Organizer Pouches if you need to go super slim. Also, thinking laterally, perhaps a bunch of small Tripod Quivers - still wider than needed but build to house long, thin items? Also, one characteristic of Dyneema Stuff Sacks allows you to stretch them and have them be longer and thinner - part of the base becomes the side.

                Here is a link to a recent discussion on the Founder's Packing Wedge:
                http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...ing-wedge.html

                Lastly, IMHO, the dimensions on the TB website are more "max" thickness. Also, please note that the depth of an Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack seems to be less than the TB dedicated Packing Cube - closer to 4" seam to seam but with stuffing, the middle can pillow out to the "max" thickness.

                Hope this helps

                Cheers!

                Edit:
                There are some "differences" in packing cube thickness measurements recently discovered. There are other forum discussions on this topic as well. Originally, TB had 4.3" as the thickness of their A45 large and small cubes - go to the 'Weight, Volume & Dimensions' link at the bottom of the TB main page to see this.

                However, when the A30 cubes came out, I believe they used a different measurement method which caused some confusion as the smaller A30 had packing cubes that were thicker than those for the larger A45. So, TB corrected this - and now you see 5.9" as the thickness for A45 packing cubes.
                As I do not have a dedicated Aeronaut packing cube, I cannot speak for the actual dimensions. However, for the PCBP - my measurement is 4" seam to seam and the TB website states 4.25" (so pretty accurate) - so perhaps someone can measure their A45 dedicated packing cube seam to seam to get that dimensions - I suspect that will be 4.3" and the the packing cube can pillow out to 5.9" max.
                Last edited by tpnl; 02-03-2015, 12:12 PM.
                TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by feijai View Post
                  I didn't consider the Pilots at all: they're on backorder until April.

                  Sorry, did not check this beforehand. Than they make no sense for now.
                  “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

                  By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

                  Comment


                    #10
                    All: what would be the tradeoffs of getting an Aeronaut 45 Large Cube for the Brain Bag, versus two Aeronaut 45 Small Cubes, largely for packing clothes (jeans, t-shirts)? Which would you suggest?
                    Blue Parapack Brain Bag with Brain Cell

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'd rather have two small. That gives me the opportunity to sort the clothes a bit and maybe (around half way through the jurney) use one of them for the laundry. And I would feel more flexible in using on short trips or what not only one of them. But I do not have to pack dress-blouses or such things as I do not wear them. So everything I have to pack from shirts to jeans can be rolled up or folded up to fit well into the Small Cubes.

                      When I bought our A45s (two) I bought two large, two small and one end-pocket cube to try what works best. We use them all, but I like the small once best. I know an A45 is no Brain Bag.

                      Ilkyway
                      “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

                      By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by feijai View Post
                        All: what would be the tradeoffs of getting an Aeronaut 45 Large Cube for the Brain Bag, versus two Aeronaut 45 Small Cubes, largely for packing clothes (jeans, t-shirts)? Which would you suggest?
                        .. tradeoff - more wrinkled clothes ...

                        Seriously, IMHO, if you do not carry any business shirts or pants or are ok to roll your clothes / fold very neatly, you should be fine with the Small Cubes and I agree with @Ilkyway that the Small Cubes are more versatile in this application. For me, that is why I got 2 PCSB (similar to the Small Cubes). But, I think getting 2 Small Cubes and 1 large (or perhaps a Tri-Star Medium) one should be good. With this setup, you would still have a little extra space on top of the large cube for a Snake Charmer or other similar sized bag. However, I do not have those Packing Cubes and I am basing this on what I know of the PCSB and PCBP - TriStar and Aeronaut versions.

                        Hope this helps
                        Cheers!
                        Last edited by tpnl; 02-03-2015, 04:11 PM.
                        TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          As to Yarn Stuff Sacks vs. Travel Stuff Sacks.

                          It seems to me that the one advantage, if it is indeed an advantage, of a TSS over a YSS is that it is approximately rectangularly shaped rather than circular. Other than that, it seems to be all disadvantages: it has no connector on the outside, and it's more expensive for a smaller size.

                          I'm thinking of getting a variety of stuff sacks, and am trying to determine just how important that rectangular shape really is. Let's say I got a Size 2 TSS or a Medium YSS, which are exactly the same volume: but the Medium YSS is $3 cheaper and has a connector. The Size 3 TSS is 4.3 inches wide, which would fit moderately well in the Brain Bag compartment (or if you like, we could instead consider the Size 2, which is 3.5 inches wide). Is the square shape of the TSS worth the $3 more and lack of connector? Or does the YSS conform just fine to the compartment and floor regardless of its bottom shape?
                          Blue Parapack Brain Bag with Brain Cell

                          Comment


                            #14
                            @feijai

                            I agree that one of the advantages of the TSS is that is is more rectangular shaped. However, as they are made of Dyneema, they can be tightened to conform to whatever is in it - so to me, it does not make too much of a difference - but I can understand people wanting more rectangular shaped Stuff Sacks to be a bit neater or if dealing with soft items that do not keep their shape.

                            I get the YSS instead of TSS because of the 2 (not 1) connectors - an external Key Strap style clip AND an internal triangular clip. This allows me options to clip the YSS directly to the O-ring system. I like to clip all the small bags / pouches to the O-ring system so I do not have to worry about losing them if I need to take one of them out to get at something underneath. The internal clip allows me to "hang" something in the YSS as well for quick access - e.g. a flashlight mixed in with other stuff like a pocket knife, first aid stuff, lotion, etc.

                            Here is a picture of my Small Iberian YSS with a Bose Soundlink Mini speaker in it (middle left of picture). The speaker is 7.1" long while the YSS is 6" tall - you can see the bottom wrapping up the side of the speaker conforming to the shape of the speaker:



                            Here is that same Small Iberian YSS (on the left side of bag) using the external clip to attach to a key strap which in turn is attached the O-ring of the Tri-Star:



                            The only negative I have read about the YSS is that the clips can rub / scratch what is inside the YSS perhaps. It could be an issue if you have something delicate. For me, if it was delicate, I would use a hard case instead (e.g. a compact camera) or use a silicone sleeve (which is what I have on my speaker) before putting in the YSS.

                            One other note - @badger developed a way to easily use the TSS with the O-ring system:

                            http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...ghlight=badger

                            Hope this helps

                            Cheers!

                            Edit:
                            Here is a picture of the inside triangular clip that is in all YSS in case you were wondering (courtesy of a Indigodragonfly review)

                            Last edited by tpnl; 02-07-2015, 11:48 PM.
                            TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I am still having a conniption fit over what stuff sacks to get. I would like to get some LARGE stuff sacks for travel (not necessarily in TB bags -- maybe suitcases). I also would like to get one MEDIUM stuff sack in which I can stick my Mac power supply, plus the thick cord, and maybe another cord or two (I'm not interested in a snake charmer). The problem is that, lacking these bags, I can't tell what I really need. :-( And I'd prefer not to buy all of 'em, then return some and pay the postage.

                              Does anyone have BOTH yarn stuff sacks and travel stuff sacks, and maybe a Mac power supply, who could post a picture or two for me? Specifically:
                              • The Tall YSS is 50 cubic inches bigger (good?), and is taller than the Size 4 Travel Stuff Sack, and a bit cheaper. But I'm worried multiple ones wouldn't pack as well as the Size 4. Does anyone have one of each? If so, could you post a picture of each stuffed to the gills, lying down next to one another, something like this picture (which unfortunately shows a Size 3):
                              • The Medium YSS is the same size as a Size 3 Travel Stuff Sack. It is wider but shorter, and a bit cheaper. I'd lean towards the Size 3 except that I don't know if, with a 4.3 x 6.6 opening it's easy to get an 85W power adapter into it with one hand, when wrapped up something like:
                              • Additionally can anyone with a Medium YSS (or Tall) and a Brain Bag fill it to the gills with, I dunno, socks, and try to get it into a Brain Bag compartment vertically?


                              Sorry for the fixation. Help would be appreciated.
                              Last edited by feijai; 02-05-2015, 01:30 PM.
                              Blue Parapack Brain Bag with Brain Cell

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