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ID: First impressions

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    ID: First impressions

    I started looking at Tom Bihn bags seriously when I made arrangements to go see my fiancé in Liverpool (UK) in October. That trip is now 13 days away and I finally started securing some Tom Bihn bags. At first, I thought of just the medium café bag as a purse rather than my normal purse. Then I considered the Imago, going assofar as calling the office and talking about the new bag colors with Tom himself (super, super nice man). Then I happened to check Ebay and saw a used ID, complete with Brain Cell and pouches, for sale in colors I really wanted that were no longer available. So, I grabbed it and it arrived today.

    I'm really glad I got it, especially over the Imago.

    First thing I did was put on the bag empty. It has the standard shoulder strap, which is still far more comfortable than anything I'd ever used to that point. I'm most likely going to get an Absolute Shoulder Strap within the week to replace it with. I stand just under 5'5 and the bag hangs comfortably on me. Even full, my arm was at the right height to where it could rest on the filled bag.

    Then I filled the bag with everything on going on this particular trip. The contents included:

    Main compartment
    - Brain Cell containing a MacBook
    - Yarn stuff sack with an in-progress project knitting project
    - Canon PowerShot S5 IS
    - Medium organizer pouch with a pair of socks, bra, and underwear in case my checked bag doesn't make it to the UK with me. My glasses will also be tucked in here for safety
    - Inflatable neck pillow

    Front pouch:
    - Clear organizer wallet
    - Mini organizer pouch with iPod nano and headphones
    - Small organizer pouch with assorted girl-type necessities, extra contacts, lens case and small amount of saline (liquids and gels to be removed before I head to the airport)
    - Second small organizer pouch that houses the USB cables to my iPod and Kindle and the Kindle charger. Will also have two plug adapters for UK plugs.
    - MacBook adapter tucked into one of the pockets
    - Pen
    - Chapstick once I'm past security
    - Spare batteries for the camera
    - Clip-on light for the Kindle

    Zippered pocket in front of the front pouch
    - Kindle 1 in its original leather case. Originally I popped the Kindle into the medium organizer pouch, but it proved to be too big and not enough padding for my comfort. Once I relocated the Kindle back to its old home and slipped it into the pocket, it proved to be the perfect home for my Kindle.

    Front electronic pockets
    - iPhone is in the one on the left. The one on the right hasn't been used yet but will probably be home to my Ziploc of liquids

    Very front and back pocket:
    - Front zipper pocket will hold my passport, ticket and proof that I am not going to remain in the UK to illegally marry my fiancé. Back magazine pocket hasn't found a use yet, but I'm sure it will!

    Here's how it looks filled with everything except the documents. Pardon the low quality, I used the built-in webcam on my iMac because I'd packed the camera:

    It bulged out a lot more than I expected, but the weight was nothing. And if this is with the regular strap, I can't wait to see what it's like with the Absolute strap. Any advice on reducing the bulk would be greatly appreciated. I actually still had room in the main compartment.

    I mostly have a single concern and that's my camera. The camera bag was too big to fit in the ID along with the Brain Cell, so I took it out. Right now I have it nestled between the medium organizer pouch with the spare clothing and the uninflated neck pillow. I don't want anything to happen to it. Is there any advice on how to carry it? The camera resembles a small SLR in shape (here's a picture).

    All in all, the ID is not only going to be a great travel bag, but I plan to use it as a work bag as well. But, so I'd have a smaller bag with me, I also got a small café bag that I'll wrap up small and tuck in my luggage.
    Last edited by DQBunny; 10-05-2009, 06:40 PM.
    Proud owner of a conifer/steel Synapse, indigo/black Swift, a couple of yarn stuff sacks, a clear organizer wallet and various organizer pouches

    Very impressive. Looks like you're off to a great start. I have a PowerShot S2 IS (same shape, just 2005 vintage) and I actually haul it around in a shoulder-strapped gun holster I bought from the Sportsman's Guide. It looks weird, but the holster makes it easy to haul around in other bags as well as to carry during a hike. (Can you say "quick draw"?) I love the S2, but that kind of body is not the best for carry-on travel. When I visited DC in March, I took a much smaller PowerShot A720 IS. It lacks the zoom power (only 6x) and the pop-out LCD, among other things, but it is much easier to carry-on and pass through security.

    You look great with your new bag!
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.


      Hi! Looks like you have everything covered! I use a foam-type wrap with velcro closures for my D90 and separate ones for the 2 lenses and SB900 I use. These can be purchased from almost any camera store -- just take your camera with you to check for size as the sizes vary.

      Have a wonderful trip!!
      Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!


        DQBunny, I'm enjoying my new ID too - it's been great fun lurking on this forum trying to get a sense of what I wanted. And I am just thrilled! The new-found organization with O-ring-attached pouches has been a godsend, and I am thoroughly impressed with the build quality (though after reading all that I have here, I was not surprised). I will say, though: the ID is a little wide for my 13" MBP in Brain Cell. It ends up not being the most efficient use of the bag's length - there are little gaps at either end where the bag collapses around the Brain Cell. That said, the ID has been my constant companion these past 2 weeks, accompanying me from work to the pumpkin patch, the cafe to the grocery store. It's great to know that on weekends I can dump out my work stuff, including aforementioned Brain Cell, and have loads of room for kids jackets, stuffed animals, and snacks, and still be able to quickly locate Band-Aids should the need arise. So I have found my perfect every day bag - hooray!


          More love here for the ID!

          I've had my ID for over a year now, and it is a constant companion! Whether I am off to the office, to school, on a trip, or to the kids ballgame, the ID is with me wherever I go.

          Berkeleyan, I echo your love for the o-rings. I usually run with 2 key straps (one for the car/house keys, and one for work keys), a padded organizer pouch for my iPhone accessories, and a clip-on sunglasses case (not a Tom Bihn product, but it's from the Yeungling Brewery in PA!). Perfect for keeping all the stuff in order!

          BTW... did you know there is another O ring in the outside pocket on the flap? I just found it a few months ago. :)
          Bob P.
          Magic Tiki Studios

          Empire Builder (black/steel), Brain Bag (steel), Small Padded Organizer Pouch, Clear Wallet, Soft Cell, Snake Charmer (cayenne) and assorted trimmings.


            Excellent picture of you there!
            Plus 1 for the ID. Mine has shifted roles a lot but has been the principle 'Director's' bag , holding my field monitor on location shoots. Works beautifully for that. Super Ego carries the burden of my 17" PowerBook etc. You speak of camera. I use the Super Ego or Aeronaut for that, though my 'camera' has shrunk- I only carry my IndyJournalism kit on travel now.....

            ID bag is in a sweet spot size-wise. I had an Imago as well and it fills up too quickly for me.
            Last edited by Zephyrnoid; 10-24-2009, 11:12 AM.