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Quick question: Laptop bags: Occasionally more than one laptop

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    Quick question: Laptop bags: Occasionally more than one laptop

    Simple question really. Family ragged on my canvas messenger bag and offered to buy me a new bag. Lo and behold i have my eye on a Brain Bag. However the colors as of 11/28 are not what I want at all. Like none of the options. So im looking into other bags in teh tom bihn brand since these have so many great reviews. Synapse 25? Smart Alec

    More often than not I'm carrying 2 laptops. One is a 13inch ultrabook and the othe can be a variety of models including a 17" with extended battery. I need a bag that can easily do that. I need it to have a relatively understated color scheme. Those are my requirements.


    Based on the bags I own.

    Western Flyer should fit the bill easily though I would find it a bit large for an EDC type bag unless you have lots of gear for the laptops. Tristar also though that's even bigger so it wouldn't work for me and just laptops+gear.

    Synapse 25 might work as I can put a 15.6in Lenovo W530 + an EC medium folder in the back though its a tight fit. A lot depends on the dims of the 17" laptop.

    I should point out that neither of these bags have any padding/laptop protection so I'm assuming you would have a sleeve or something for each of them.

    As for non-TB bags, I have several timbuk2 messengers which could be used for this purpose. My large 2015 Command Messenger can hold my main laptop + an 11.6" chromebook in the main laptop area easily. Take into account the middle section and it wouldn't be a problem. They also have a number of holiday sales going on now. I ordered a small command messenger for $69.


      Can you wait or do you need the new bag immediately? If you call customer service, you can ask them when new colors will be available for the Brain Bag. elisa


        I carry two laptops in my Western Flyer. I don't think it is too big for EDC. It is 26L vs the Synapse 25L. If you are looking for just a backpack, then the Synapse is a great option. I have never found the SA to have enough organization. If you would like like the option of a briefcase/backpack/personal item/carry-on option, then you can't go wrong with with the Western Flyer.


          Im sort of looking to not have a messenger/briefcase style and moving into more of a backpack.
          Last edited by bryguy; 11-29-2016, 05:29 AM. Reason: a word


            Originally posted by bryguy View Post
            Im sort of looking to not have a messenger/briefcase style and moving into more of a laptop.
            I'm with @AlaskaGirl - I'd find out when other colors will be available and hold out for the Brain Bag - it's perfect for what you want ... there's one (not brain) bag in specific colors I'm waiting for that they tell me should be available in the next few days, they even sent me a picture as proof!


              I agree with everyone that if you can wait, the Brain Bag (BB) is the best for 2 laptops due to the 2 separate compartments and volume. Even better, get the Brain Cells sized for your laptops and they will be safe as the BB does not have any native padding.

              If I were to choose the backpack that is safest for a laptop in the TB ecosystem, I would have to say it is the Smart Alec (SA). This is because it has a padded bottom. I have fit 2 laptops in there in Brain Cells and it works with just enough room for a few extras beyond power supplies and electronics accessories. I carry a 15.6" Lenovo T510 in a Size 1 Brain Cell (meant for a 17" MBP) and a 14" Dell E7450 in a Thule case and I have room for more. If you need even more space, you can add the upper and lower module pockets to bring it to almost the volume of a TriStar (TS).

              Now, I have also used an S25 with 2 laptops (same setup as my SA - 15.6" in a Size 1 Brain Cell and 14" in the Thule case) and I would recommend this if you are going to use the bag mainly for airline travel. I say this because, believe it or not, it qualified as a Personal Item even with the 2 laptops (~ 2 years ago). YMMV as rules do change for these things.

              Here are a few pictures of my S25 with 2 laptops and what went in it as well:

              For Travel:

              Click image for larger version

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              S25 and TriStar in United Sizers:

              As my EDC (in these pictures, I used 2 Brain Cells - Size 1 and Size 6z):

              Note that the S25 and SA are pretty full with 2 laptops and accessories - though I am proud to have been able to squeeze more in than most! For occasional 2 laptop carry, I would say they are great. If needing the space consistently or need a lot of extra space together with the 2 laptops, I would wait and go with the Brain Bag in the color you want.

              Hope this helps
              Last edited by tpnl; 11-29-2016, 08:10 AM.
              TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!


                I have both the Brain Bag and the Synapse 25 and 19. My recommendation is Synapse 25 for what you're looking for.

                Synapse 25 swallows a lot of stuff (easily your ultra book and a 17"), plus it looks nicer on your back than the Brain Bag. If you really stuff the Brain Bag it looks like you have a huge turtle shell on your back.

                I also find Brain Cells extremely unnecessary unless you're into extreme sports, or know that you're going to toss your back pack into a concrete wall.

                I had an older 15" macbook I was going to throw away, and I experimented using only the cache as protection vs the Brain Cell.

                Keep in mind I stuffed the Synapse 25 with clothing and other items so nothing was loose, it was all solid. I then dropped the laptop from my shoulder down to the floor in all kinds of angles. Not a single dent!

                The brain cell also takes up a lot of space I feel. I just stopped using it and found the cache to be plenty enough for me.
                Proud owner of: Brain Bag (Saphire), Synapse (Nordic Dyneema) and Aeronaut (Steel Dyneema)

                "What Would You Do If Money Were No Object?" Alan Watts


                  Definitely with you on the brain cell; I've traveled for 15 years without even a cache and never had a problem, and I'm even less worried these days as all of my data is in the cloud. Funny thing is I actually just bought caches for my laptops but to protect other stuff from them!