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Help choosing a (dual purpose) bag?

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    Help choosing a (dual purpose) bag?

    Hi there

    I have only recently come across TB bags but am really swayed by the design and am looking to purchase one for use as my go-to travel bag. However, I am stuck between several choices and am hoping that some of you current owners can steer me in the right direction...

    Essentially, I am looking for a bag to fill two functions, namely a work bag (for me to use as hand baggage when traveling on business); and a day pack for family outings. At the moment I have an Osprey Quasar 28L backpack which adequately, though not by any means perfectly, fills the criteria, but it is starting to get a bit tired.

    My typical (minimum) packing for work travel includes: laptop (chunky 13.5' x 9.5' by 1.5') plus 'brick' charger; several paper files; mid size DSLR camera and speedlite flash; general stationery (pens, A5 notepad, business cards, USB sticks); personal items (wallet, sunglasses, passport holder, phone + charger, power bank, plug adaptor, sometimes iPad or paperback), and water bottle(s). Often, depending on where I am off to, I will pack a small rain jacket/umbrella, and sometimes a change of clothes.

    When I am working most of the personal items and sundries (change of clothes etc) come out, but I then need to pack (or attach) a set of overalls, hard hat, gloves and face masks, and some basic hand tools (set of screwdrivers, multimeter etc).

    On the other hand, day pack usually includes: water bottles (2 kids, one adult); kids changes of clothes; portable potty; pack of baby wipes; kids snacks/lunches; baby carrier/sling; couple of umbrellas; and personal items (phones/wallet/purse/sunglasses etc);

    I generally prefer backpacks to shoulder bags (as I often have to climb ladders with my work kit). I have narrowed down my choice to:
    • Brain Bag - I like the compartment organisation, and it is a backpack by design, but I am can't tell from the product page/video whether either of the main compartments are suitable/deep enough for storage of my DSLR. Also, do the pockets on the front encroach into the main compartment of the bag, or do they expand outward?
    • Tri Star - I love the look of the bag the most, and I like the fact that it has the external pockets for things I'd need to get in and out regularly (phone/wallet/passport etc), but as with the Brain bag I am concerned about where my DSLR would fit comfortably in the bag - again, I can't tell from the product page/video but am I right in thinking the bag has three main compartments - what are the dimensions of the central compartment and is it padded at all?
    • Aeronaut 30 - this bag would clearly have the space to fit everything (in particular the camera) in, but it doesn't seem to have much in the way of organisation (e.g. looks more like a duffle bag).

    I looked at the Synapse 25 and I think that will be too small, and The Guides Pack seems a bit too outdoors-y.

    Overall I am leaning most towards the Brain Bag, but would welcome any advice or recommendations from others.

    Thanks in advance

    I pretty much have similar needs in a bag often but I am also pretty sure that the only bag that I would choose for your load of stuff is the one you have ruled out!?

    I don't know that a Hard Hat will go into the BB or TS in the end and like you said the A30 has little organization as a bag you carry EDC to me?
    The S25 on the other hand is probably too small for all of your stuff but will take the Hard Hat easily I think too.

    The BB is great and the outside pockets are just tacked to the outside of the bag and do not encroach on the 2 main compartments.
    The TS pockets are all nested inside the bag and do share space and there is an amazing space available there but the bag can get puffy fast and is not really a backpack by design though the straps work OK and have saved me many times bth the TS and A30 are more meant to be shoulder bags first or at least until this Week for the 30 but only time will tell with that new accessory for sure?

    The S25 is an almost perfect EDC carry to me and will hold more than you think for sure and it can look sort of silly if too crammed full but still works either over one shoulder or on the back this way as needed.

    I imagine the computer might not be a choice that you can change too but going to a newer 2-lb. or so machine would change your life on the road,I promise!
    If you can?

    I also own each of these bags too,well an A45 actually,so I a speaking from experience using these day to day.

    Welcome and good luck!



      I would agree the BB makes more sense than the TS, despite the better look. TS is a bit more restrictive in the shape of things to be carried.


        Definitely sounds like a BB type of load. And if the hard hat doesn't fit, use a carabiner or HeroClip to clip it to the top grab handle and have it hang out outside...
        I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...


          Husband's hardhat fits in either main compartment of my BB with room to spare, but there's also photos around the forum somewhere about attaching a bike helmet to the Daylight BP (I think). Probably the same setup will work for a hardhat if you'd rather use the interior space for other items. I think this pack is more than adequate for your needs. Someone's already answered this, but the front pockets expand outward. I really like the side straps that cinch down the volume when I don't need all of the space, but it can expand to carry me through a weeklong trip. Personally I think the BB is an all around, fantastic pack.


            Since a picture is worth a thousand words (even lousy ones like these... sorry I must have sneezed while taking one of these), hope this helps! Pictured are BB with hard hard hat, hard hat in front main pocket, hard hat in back main pocket, respectively.
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              And here's the post I was referring to plus another one for attaching a helmet to the outside of a pack, though the BB really does swallow a hard hat whole.



                Thanks for all your replies. I think this has all helped reassure me that the BB is one for me. In an ideal world I would want to try both the B.B. and the TS but as I live in Asia it would be a bit tricky to return whichever bag I didn’t choose (If money was no object I’d buy both that and the TS anyway!)

                Normally my hard hat and overalls (which are usually pretty filthy) are packed in a drawstring bag which I attach to the outside of my current backpack, or if I am wearing the overalls already I just clip the helmet to the outside of the bag, so happy to go with a similar setup (I.e. no need for the hard hat to be in the bag).

                Hoping to try to convince my company to let me switch from my beast of a laptop to a nice thin ultra book so that should help! Having said that I should probably hold off on a purchase until I know so that I can get the right cache!


                  After seeing Tonya's picture of a hard hat in an empty BB, I had to check it out with mine, but with stuff still in the front pockets and the rear compartment. Once again, I'm impressed with how much the BB can carry. I was even able to zip it up with no problems.
                  Attached Files


                    Originally posted by Waterlogged View Post
                    Once again, I'm impressed with how much the BB can carry. I was even able to zip it up with no problems.
                    Right?!? This pack is the ultimate Mary Poppins bag.


                      Originally posted by Firemin View Post
                      Hoping to try to convince my company to let me switch from my beast of a laptop to a nice thin ultra book so that should help! Having said that I should probably hold off on a purchase until I know so that I can get the right cache!
                      That's totally up to you, but if you don't want to wait, a larger cache can easily support a smaller laptop. Not vise versa of course, and there will be some space so it won't be as secure, but many folks upside to fit their largest laptop and then use it for multiple devices.