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Empire Builder

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  • doylet
    replied
    I ordered my Empire Builder on 28 September, 2011 5:02:48 PM EDT and it arrived at my Hamilton, Ontario door just past noon today. This is the black/navy/wasabi with 4Z brain cell and Absolute strap. Followed the tracking online and went home at lunch to swap out my American Tourister for the EB. This was my 2nd American Tourister and while it was a decent bag, the rear stiching began to fail (same as 1st) around where the strap attaches to the bag. Failure is from daily use with various amounts of stuff packed in - the bag owes me nothing as it served well, but when I was looking to replace the 1st AT, Tom Bihn was at the top of the list. Unfortunately, I needed the replacement in a hurry so I went back to AT with the promise I would buy the EB "soon"... Well this time I orderd at the first sign of trouble and shipping was extremely quick. Having received the TB EB today, I really wish I had purchased it sooner. The quality of the bag is quite apparent when it's in your hand. It seems quite well thought out with easy access to all items. The Absolute strap is truely gravity defying. What was a hefty load before lunch, transformed into an easy to carry load after lunch. I had debated Zepher vs Empire Builder because most reviews comment on how "big" and "cavernous" the EB is - turns out it wasn't a real choice because my laptop 15.4 MBP doesn't fit the Zepher. Still, I was worried about this "big" bag. It honestly is not that big. It feels less bulky than the AT, but easily consumed everything I was previouly carrying... and there's more usable space to go. The AT had no end of pockets, but the EB has them better organized. All-in-all, awesome bag. Wish I had made the move sooner.

    Leave a comment:


  • Darcy
    replied
    Thanks for reviving the thread, jonhoffm.

    We've just posted new photos of the Empire Builder, including photos of all new color combinations. See them here.



    Leave a comment:


  • jonhoffm
    replied
    Doesn't look like a lot of activity on the thread anymore. I have owned my EB for many years and believe it to be a great bag. My only compliant has always been that the bag tends to fall over on me. I wish that it would stand upright better than it does.

    Leave a comment:


  • ex machina
    replied
    Thanks Falconea, for your very helpful description! I had seen that pic but it was inadequate without your description. BTW, here is another (I found C and D the most helpful.) :)

    So, for future searchers:

    The file dividers run the depth of the bag.

    The file dividers are held in place via pressure exerted by closed cell foam rails.

    The rails sit in a notch toward the bottom of the divider.

    The dividers are plastic.

    No animals were harmed in the making of this post. :P

    Leave a comment:


  • falconea
    replied
    Deus,

    (Sorry, I don't have the actual picture you want, but I can give you a description!)

    Look at the Cayenne picture. You can clearly see the dividers in that picture.

    The side bellows are padded with stiff foam, perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick (photo b on the Zephyr shows this) and extend to near the bottom third of the bag. (Oooh! Just checked my Zephyr and it doesn't do what I think it does!) Near the bottom, just before the bellows ends, this foam is double thickness. This creates a nice little edge for the dividers to hold on to.

    The bottom of the dividers is shaped like one side of an arrowhead meeting an arrow, and fits neatly against the bottom of the bellows. The foam is flexible enough that if you want to remove the dividers you can, but otherwise they stay firmly in place.

    2 observations about this.

    1. The dividers themselves are heavy. I don't use mine for just this reason. They're made of a solid black plastic.

    2. You can get up inside the lining of the bellows from the bottom of the bag. I think this would make a fantastic place to hide spare cash when travelling!

    Audrey

    PA: I did find the photo!

    http://www.tombihn.com/filedividerpopup.html

    Leave a comment:


  • ex machina
    replied
    Empire Builder Questions

    Thanks everyone for these excellent reviews. Very helpful! :D

    Originally posted by webw View Post
    One added bonus ... the file dividers are held semi-captive by a bar of closed-cell foam (wrapped and finished in the same fabric as whatever you choose for the interior) making it easy to flip through the contents of the bag. My file drawers should be this well built.
    I am still unclear as to what the filing system is like in the Empire/Zephyr. webw's pics are no longer linked. Does anyone have a clear picture of the dividers and the capture bar, perhaps both in and out of the bag?

    Also, in the tri-color listings for the bags, is the third color the lining for the entire bag, or just the side gussets?

    Is Cayenne going to make a comeback as a lining in the Empire Builder, or Zephyr?

    Thanks all for the help. :)

    Leave a comment:


  • nutter
    replied
    Originally posted by Darcy
    We're always trying to think of new color combinations for the Empire Builder. Have any suggestions?
    I would like to see a Black/Black(or Charcoal or Steel)/Very-bright-colour. (for me blk/blk/saphire)

    Maybe you already offered this as I do see the Black/Charcoal/Crimson, but the Saphire interior from the Gageteer review was quite nice. As well, a bright yellow might be nice, or even a brain cell with racing stripes :p

    I think most people respect the for-business exterior, but want the inside to be an individual. Probably just like many of your customers :D
    Last edited by nutter; 06-06-2004, 04:19 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Biggus
    replied
    Empire Builder colour combinations

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Darcy

    We're always trying to think of new color combinations for the Empire Builder. Have any suggestions?

    I recently purchased my first Tom Bihn bag (a Black/Plaid Medium Cafe Bag) and couldn't be happier with the high standard of design, quality of materials and excellent workmanship it displays.

    At some point in the next few months I'll be upgrading to a new PowerBook (probably the PB 15" Al) and have therefore been doing a little preliminary market research on appropriate bags. I've settled on the Empire Builder, based on its general appeal, the excellent reviews it's received, and my (admittedly limited) experience with Tom Bihn products.

    That brings us to colour combinations. What I'd really like to see is a Black/Charcoal/Sapphire Empire Builder. Additionally, I'd suggest that the Brain Cell (Size 3) would look good in Charcoal too.

    I disagree with JasonL's comment elsewhere in this thread -- whilst Tom Bihn bags are (and certainly should be) about utility, in my view the element of individualisation provided by choice of colour combinations is highly significant. If at all possible I'd suggest that making that choice even more varied by offering a 'custom-built' facility (at least in terms of choice of colour combinations) would be a very welcome addition to the service offered to Tom Bihn customers.

    Leave a comment:


  • CharlieL3
    replied
    I'd pay for a DVD of 2001:ASO with a second audio track already synchronized with DSOTM.

    Leave a comment:


  • queensugar
    replied
    Originally posted by CharlieL3
    Isn't it "Dark Side of the Moon" that goes with the Wizard of Oz, and not "The Wall?"
    As an unrelated side note, you can also synch Dark Side of the Moon with 2001: A Space Odyssey with surprising results. It takes a few tries to get the timing right... you have to start playing the CD at the title page for "Jupiter And Beyond," right before it goes into the psychedelic trip through space.

    The results are rather surprising... they can be very exact, the music shifting right in time with the shifting of the colors, and when he lands in the white room, that's exactly the point where the music goes nearly silent and your hear footsteps.

    It's intriguing, and I can never find any other references to it. But I have done it, and I can attest that it works, though the subject is a little more vague and abstract than the Wizard of Oz synch.

    Leave a comment:


  • JasonL
    replied
    Originally posted by CharlieL3
    I ordered one on Wednesday, webw.
    Congratulations! I'm sure you'll be very happy with it.

    Leave a comment:


  • CharlieL3
    replied
    I ordered one on Wednesday, webw.

    Leave a comment:


  • webw
    replied
    Yup. I HATE when I do that (mess up a cultural reference). It makes me feel out-of-touch. That said, are you going the get an Empire Builder? It's the last bag you'll ever need.

    Leave a comment:


  • CharlieL3
    replied
    Isn't it "Dark Side of the Moon" that goes with the Wizard of Oz, and not "The Wall?"

    Leave a comment:


  • webw
    replied
    And "The Wall" was considered of a box office flop when it premiered...

    but like every good sleeper, its virtues went overlooked by the masses and loved to abstraction by the passionate few such that here, 22 years later, college kids who weren't even born when The Wall debuted, are popping the CD in, firing up the Wizard of Oz and watching the two simultaneously, thinking there's no WAY their parents would every have been cool enough to listen to something like this.

    All real classics take time to grow into their shoes.

    Leave a comment:

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