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Brain Bag Customization - need help!

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    Brain Bag Customization - need help!


    I'm planning to buy the brain bag. But I'm actually confused of what accessories that I should be getting as well. My main gear would be GoPro and the GoPole, an iPad Air, a Dell Latitude M4800 laptop (heavy stuffs) and a week of clothes supplies with toiletries. I would also be carrying a second messenger bag if I can't fit everything into the Brain Bag.

    As far for the accessories, I was thinking of getting the Vertical Brain Bag that would fit the laptop, a cache for my iPad Air and the snake charmer for the cables.

    On the second thought I was thinking of using the extra pocket on the vertical brain cell to put in my iPad Air instead of getting the cache just for the iPad Air.

    I was also thinking to get the Freudian Slip if I didn't get the cache and spend more on stuffs like packing cube.

    Can you experts give some idea or comments? of the kind of accessories I should get for this kind of setup.

    1. Brain bag/vertical brain cell/ snake charmer /cache iPad Air
    2. Brain bag/ vertical brain cell/ snake charmer / Freudian Slip - in this case the iPad Air will be placed in one of the pockets in Freudian Slip
    3. Brain bag / vertical brain cell/ snake charmer - in this case iPad Air will be placed on the extra pockets of the vertical brain cell.
    4. Brain bag / vertical brain cell / snake charmer / cache iPad Air / Freudian Slip - everything! is this even possible? Since the Freudian slip will use one rail at the back main compartment. The vertical brain cell will use the clip on the front main compartment and where can I fit the rail for the cache.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

    I don't have a Brain Bag, but in my experience, it's best to start with the minimum that you know you need (sounds like that'd be the bag itself, the Vertical Brain Cell (just out of curiosity - is there a reason you're opting for this instead of a cache for your laptop? Are you planning on some particularly heavy usage?), and the Snake Charmer). Then, once you get the bag and those bare minimum accessories, you can pack your things in there and start using it, and it will quickly become clear what other accessories you need (there are probably some things you aren't even thinking of yet that you'll want, maybe a stuff sack or two to corral particular things). I suspect the Freudian Slip, in addition to the Vertical Brain Cell, will start to make things feel a little crowded and may be unnecessary for what you're carrying - but someone who has a Brain Bag will be better able to speak to this.


      I do agree with @ClaireJ that overbuying is not always the way to go. I like your options list.

      I personally would go with something similar to your option 3 - The Brain Cell with the iPad Air in front (in a protective case) if it fits (I assume you are going with a Size 1 Brain Cell - I will measure the pocket size to be sure it fits) Unless you need the organization of the Freundian Slip, I might just go with a large, thin (say 2") packing cube to fit some flat items - shirts, pants in the same compartment as the Brain Cell but in front of it.
      I also use an Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack to go in front and I believe the Snake Charmer can go on top (but I do not have a Snake Charmer so I cannot confirm). A Packing Cube Shoulder Bag would go good there instead of a Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack.

      If you needed the Freudian Slip, I would go with option 2 and put the iPad Air in the back file pockets - you could also probably fit it in the back with a cache as well if you want.

      Note - I have everything but the cache and Snake Charmer (I can fit all my stuff in a Side Effect that just fits in the right front pocket).
      Also, do you need the cache with rails functionality for the iPad - I thought TSA did not require you to remove your iPad?

      If you let me know what else you are carrying, sizes, etc, I can try test packing with what I have to confirm things better.

      Hope this helps

      TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!


        The Cache provides wonderful protection in an easy to use and lightweight package.

        The Vertical Brain Cell is an armor for laptops, with the help of the Absolute Shoulder Strap, one can carry the heaviest of laptop comfortably messenger style.
        Anecdote, I carried an heavy iBook in this manner, on a long and unfamiliar multi bus/metro lines to the nearest Apple's Users Group when said iBook went flying while running as I got tangled in the cord.

        I strongly recommend the Freudian Slip for documents and other office odds and ends.

        I have packed my BB with clothes with and without Packing Cubes, I strongly recommend getting the later.
        Using PCBP, PCSB, CQPQ, 3D Cube(s) you will able to play a game of Tetris with the clothing and electronic accessories you bring.
        I favor them instead of the SC.

        Dyneema is much lighter than Cordura, you can get it All Fabric, Clear and Mesh, electronic accessories have been shrinking in size, to me, it makes more sense to get a variety of small accessories than one big one.

        In addition, Dyneema accessories can be re-purposed for clothes, hobbies, jewellery, scarves... which can then, use every nook and crannies of the Brain Bag.

        The BB is my first TB and the biggest non luggage bag I ever bought. Since I got it in 2006, mine doesn't have TB Rail System for Cache and Brain Cell, as a result, I don't know how much space is available under the suspended cases to house things.
        Last edited by backpack; 07-07-2015, 07:46 AM.


          Awesome response. Hello @tpnl may I know what type of packing cube would you suggest I get to fit in inside the compartment with my vertical brain cell.

          As for the option, I think I'll go with option no. 2 as I think I will be needing the Freudian slip instead of the cache for my iPad Air but might drop the snake charmer. GoPro stuffs will go on one of the front pocket.

          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


            If you can't fit everything you need into a brain bag then you need just way too much stuff.

            For a heavy computer, a brain cell is pretty much mandatory. the iPad should have no issues sliding into the front pocket. Depending on what else is in there you may - or may not - want some sort of case. I frequently use clothing to "pad" electronics.

            I'm a huge fan of packing cubes and have about a zillion of them in every possible size. I also like the Eagle Creek Pack-it folders - a product that TB doesn't have. The EC folders allow you to pack dress shirts fairly nicely without too many wrinkles.

            The Snake Charmer is fairly big and you need ask yourself if you have enough doo-dads to really fill it. I'm down to my laptop charger and an Anker 5 port charger. That fits easily into one of the pouches or one of the outside pockets. The other outside pocket can hold a clear cube for your 3-1-1 stuff. A Freudian slip is quite useful in the brain bag as well.

            Here is what I would get as accessories:

            Brain cell sized to fit your boat anchor
            Snake charmer or pouch for chargers and cables
            Freudian slip IF you frequently carry loose papers
            Two packing cubes - one for each compartment

            Add items later if you feel the need. Stuff sacks are nice to fill voids and you can never have enough pouches.
            When in trouble, obfuscate.


              It is quite hot here so I hope I have not overlooked anything.

              I just wanted ot recoment to get the new whider and slightly cuishened hip belt. Your load sounds heavy and my husband says it makes a huge difference when long walks are involved.

              “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


                Brain Bag Customization - need help!

                I've just gotten awesome responses from all you forumers. Thank you so much everyone. I've never been excited like this to get a bag.

                I'll keep in mind to shop for some cubes or organizer pouches for better stuff management. I think the snake charmer is a necessary here since my charger is enormous and I've got a few dongles and adapters to carry around.

                Clothes will then put inside packing cubes. Guess that solves it. Thank you so much again! Cheers!

                Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
                Last edited by syamimramli; 07-07-2015, 08:57 AM.


                  Of course we'll want to see pictures when you get it. None of us have ever seen a BB before

                  We really do appreciate photos of stuff that goes into the bags AND your impressions of the bags and accessories.

                  Ilky makes a good point about the waist belt. I have one of those on order.
                  When in trouble, obfuscate.


                    Sure! I'll update this post as soon as I get my hands in the bag.

                    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


                      I am not sure whether my insights could be in any way helpful.

                      I currently use M4600. It has been like 3-4 years. It is indeed heavy stuff especially at today's time. Brain Cell is definitely recommended. Before I got the Brain Cell, my M4600 already has a few light cosmetic bruise or light dent on the corner and on the lid but it was partially my fault as the backpack (non-tb) padded compartment is half-covered and loose-fit.

                      I'm agree with @ClareJ's going for the basic (BB + Brain Cell) while also wouldn't mind @tpnl's option #3 (Additional Snake Chamber).
                      I think you will be fine without the Freudian Slip, as Brain Bag itself has a few large pockets on the front. Nevertheless, Snake Chamber could be quite handy as well. If your intention to only carry the Brain Cell inside the Brain Bag without any possibility of taking old the Brain Cell (on the move, with Shoulder Strap), then I think the iPad should be fine at the pocket. But if you have plan to use the Brain Cell separately in some cases, then the iPad need protective casing. Because I used to normally carry M4600 in Brain Cell with Absolute Shoulder Strap around the office or to my car and I wouldn't be surprise that I had bumped my Brain Cell multiply time against the furniture or anything on the side while walking. Hence, I don't store any thing on the pockets.

                      Just saying, I don't own a Brain Bag so I couldn't share much info/experience. Though I don't really prefer the Brain Bag as it is larger than I prefer, I really like the versatility of its Padded Hip Belt.
                      Solar/Yellow: A45 Navy, CP Black, SA Black, SCB
                      Steel/Grey: UMP Steel 400d, PU Coyote, DLBC, PCSB, TC
                      Olive/Green: A30NWS, SCBCanyon, SKIsland
                      Mars Red/Red: SENordic, SKCanyon, DLBCCanyon, SCBDawn

                      BrainCell Size1 M4800, Cache 13"MBPR E7240

                      ~Live Long & Prosper by Vulcan


                        I also recommend the brain cell for a machine of this size. I have a similar Dell for field use and I use the brain cell/brain bag combination and an assortment of oddly sized equipment, some in TB outfits and some loose in the bag. It will be heavy. I do not have the hip belt, but I can appreciate this tip and endorse it. I have not had to go terribly long distances with my brain bag, but I use this setup in extremely humid conditions that give the two of us a good workout. Good luck!
                        Favorite: Steel/Steel Little Swift * Latest: nNordic/NWS Smart Alec *


                          Having the Snake Charmer to keep all cables, plugs, etc., in one place could be handy but also relatively bulky. I'm guessing that Dell has a decent sized power brick. The charging cable and plug for an iPad air can fit into a pretty small space so perhaps it would be better to get something like a small organizer pouch, or maybe even a mini, for items like that and fit it into whatever space is available in the bag when all of the big stuff is packed. You could color code to know what's what. Red pouch is iPad, yellow pouch is GoPro, and so on.


                            Hello everyone!

                            I'm back after almost 5 months. I've finally received my Brain Bag. My purchase was on hold due to the weak currency exchange but after constantly waiting and still nothing changes, I decided the do or forget it style of purchase which I did and am so glad I did. Haha.

                            Thank you everyone for the suggestions! The BB is great, it's my now favorite day to day carry on! My final decision was to go for the Freudian slip, and the size 1 vertical brain cell together with the BB. The size 1 brain cell fit my m4800 nicely! No bulge, just ate the m4800 as a whole! Unfortunately the Freudian slip wasn't available at the time of my purchase. I constantly check the website and it still not available for the BB. So at that time I opted for an A4 size pouch and a 16" long o-ring key strap and it works really well at least for now. I still wants the Freudian slip!

                            What surprised me was the shoulder strap, although it is thin and not as fancy as other bag it just feels so comfortable with the heavy load that I'm carrying (thick books, a laptop, some loose papers, stationary and etc.). However I'm now obsessed (maybe I'm OCD) with the excess webbings on the BB (on the front water bottle, side webbings, clip on the shoulder strap, and webbings to adjust the shoulder strap). I saw that Tom himself replied to a forummer regarding a strap keeper however for now I guess I'll have to secure it with something sourced from my old bags or outside. Other than this, I'm plain happy!

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