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Brain Bag: I like it so much, I bought it twice

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    Brain Bag: I like it so much, I bought it twice

    I purchased a navy Brain Bag a little over two years ago, and I did a pretty detailed review of it soon after. My positive feelings about it haven't lessened at all over the past 24 months. During the school year (I'm a professor), I use it pretty much every day as my main -- and usually only -- bag, and I've also used it as a travel bag on short trips. I continue to be impressed by how much it can carry -- any limits are usually dictated by how much my back can take, not how much the bag can hold. I teach in several different locations, and I typically have a laptop and accessories, an ipod, two or three large paperbacks, maybe a textbook, writing pads, DVDs, markers, several folders full of student papers (in a Freudian Slip), and lots of other odds and ends. With all that, the bag is maybe 1/2 or 2/3 full, so there's always room for more when the situation requires it.

    When I first bought the Brain Bag, I'd wanted it in a brighter color (plum), but I just missed the last batch. So I got navy, which I liked a lot, but I still always kind of wished I had something that stood out a little more. When I saw the indigo bags pop up on the site recently, I immediately liked the color, but I also knew my Brain Bag was still in great shape -- I couldn't justify buying a new one. But then I decided to try to sell my navy one on eBay and buy a new indigo one if I got a good offer. After all, my bag still looked almost brand new, even after being used daily for two years.

    So that's what happened. I sold the navy Brain Bag (for a price that I think made both me and the buyer happy), and now I'm carrying a new indigo one. This couldn't have happened, of course, if Tom Bihn bags weren't so fabulously well made. Most two-year old bags would be hard to give away. But mine was in excellent shape -- partly because I took good care of it, but mostly because it's a tough, amazingly durable bag.

    I'm liking the new Brain Bag just as much as I did the first one -- my only problem with it is that on occasion it's just a little too much bag for what I need. To remedy that, I have a Synapse on pre-order -- in plum.
    Last edited by gmich; 10-14-2009, 02:15 PM. Reason: fix link

    I adore my Sapphire Brain Bag. It holds considerably more than I would care to carry, and is a lot of bag, but has proven to be very versatile with it's cinch straps and layout. I'm always finding new ways to configure it.

    The last weekend trip I took, I carried my clothes in a single Large Aeronaut Packing Cube which went into one compartment along with a Snake Charmer on top; my netbook in sleeve, 3D Clear Organizer Cube, and Side Effect all went into my Large Cafe Bag which in turn went into the Brain Bag's second compartment aong with a Small Aeronaut Packing Cube with undies and socks.

    Now, if you are thinking it's a little cumbersome at airport check-in, you're right. Because the 3D AND the Netbook have to come out to go through security. But it's all in what you're used to. Simple solution is that the 3D goes into one of the front pockets of the Brain Bag for easier quicker access. The netbook slips beside the Large Cafe Bag where I can just unzip the compartment enough to remove it for screening then return it. Works well.

    I'm pretty sure though, I'll be adding a Synapse to the mix before too long.


      I've said it before... my Black Brain Bag - bought back in 2000 - still looks great. No matter what other bags I try for "day-to-day" use, I always come back to the Brain Bag! I'm a prof too... ha! "Brain" bag, get it? ;-) (Okay... maybe not so brainy!)


        I have had my Brain Bag for almost a year now, and it is hands-down the best backpack I have ever owned. Tough, durable, and flexible... I have owned a lot of backpacks over the years, and none of them have ever come close. Work, camping, school, traveling... it does it all!

        My only challenge is choosing my bag in the morning. I have an ID too, and I switch between that and the BB based on my cargo for the day. The best part is that the use of o-rings and organizer pouches makes this a snap to transfer from one bag to the other quickly.

        My only problem now is that these two bags meet almost all of my needs... how can I sneak another TB bag into the family? :)
        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.


          I can only second the feeling of everybody, I have 3 Brain Bags and it would be
          4 if I hadn't chosen Steel instead of Plum when I bought my first Brain Bag.

          They are very versatile, hold tons and still are carryon small, they are a feat
          of engineering.


            My new Brain Bag, waiting for the train at an Amtrak station near Chicago. The photo doesn't really do justice to the indigo color, but you get the idea.

            Click image for larger version

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            Last edited by gmich; 10-22-2009, 05:35 AM.