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Brain bag for lap swimming?

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    Brain bag for lap swimming?

    Hi all,



    I'm looking for recommendations for a bag from Tom Bihn that could be used as a swim bag and ultimately a gym bag. I'm also open to other ideas/other manufacturers, but I'm sort of looking to stay away from those big Speedo backpacks since they look a little unwieldy to wear around. I currently use a duffel bag right now, but there's basically no organization, which sometimes gets annoying as the little things like keys/wallet/phone get lost in the bag.

    In the main compartment would be: towel, fins, pull buoy, kickboard, and normal clothes. The only other large item would be a water bottle, one of those big 32 oz Gatorade squeeze bottles. Other things in the bag in the smaller compartments would be the things like keys/wallet/phone, goggles, etc.

    I have a synapse 25, and the main compartment won't fit everything, so I thought maybe the brain bag would be good, since it's one of the largest backpacks? Though I'm concerned the big 32 oz gatorade bottle won't fit in the mesh water bottle holder, and whether or not the brain bag can hold all the things in the main compartment (towel, fins, pull buoy, kickboard, and normal clothes).

    It seems like TB doesn't have duffel bags except for the aeronaut, which would be overkill for swim/gym I think.

    Does anyone have experience using a TB bag for lap swimming, and in particular, the brain bag? If someone that has a brain bag and swims could do a quick test pack, that would be greatly appreciated.



    Thanks,
    zhou94




    #2
    Welcome to the Forums zhou94

    Hopefully some swimmers will chime in with experiences & photos... if you have dimensions of the fins, pull buoy, & kick board, that would help.

    The Shadow Guide 33 may be another option, depending on the sizes, but since it's mostly just one huge compartment, you'd probably want a cube or stuff sack for your clothes. The keys, wallet, phone could go into the various pockets in the top lid...probably even the goggles, depending on size.
    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...

    Comment


      #3
      I can only second what G42 said: The Shadow Guide 33 might be worth a try. It's closest to a duffel bag and its taller than the brain bag which might be an advantage depending on how long your fins are. I use the Shadow Guide a lot for my gym stuff.
      ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
      current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by zhou94 View Post
        Hi all,

        In the main compartment would be: towel, fins, pull buoy, kickboard, and normal clothes. The only other large item would be a water bottle, one of those big 32 oz Gatorade squeeze bottles. Other things in the bag in the smaller compartments would be the things like keys/wallet/phone, goggles, etc.

        I have a synapse 25, and the main compartment won't fit everything, so I thought maybe the brain bag would be good, since it's one of the largest backpacks? Though I'm concerned the big 32 oz gatorade bottle won't fit in the mesh water bottle holder, and whether or not the brain bag can hold all the things in the main compartment (towel, fins, pull buoy, kickboard, and normal clothes).

        It seems like TB doesn't have duffel bags except for the aeronaut, which would be overkill for swim/gym I think.

        Does anyone have experience using a TB bag for lap swimming, and in particular, the brain bag? If someone that has a brain bag and swims could do a quick test pack, that would be greatly appreciated.

        Thanks,
        zhou94
        Hi @zhou94

        You mentioned “It seems like TB doesn't have duffel bags except for the aeronaut, which would be overkill for swim/gym I think.”

        A little over a month ago, Darcy posted:
        Originally posted by Darcy
        That said, we are considering a Yeoman and Road Buddy pre-order in the next few months. We think they'd look great in 1000d (in addition to the usual 1050d and 525d options!)
        The Yeoman Duffel was an extremely popular Duffel line very well-suited for sports usage, that they cut back on last June upon restarting operations post Covid-19 shutdowns. The product descriptions still state “The Yeoman is retired, but on rare occasions we may make a special batch. If you're interested, enter your email address below to be notified if The Yeoman is once again made available for order.”

        However, I noticed last week, that although the message is still up, the drop down menu has been updated to show the full complement of Yeoman Duffel Bags in all colors and sizes, and my informal chat query with the staff indicates that they plan on making it available this summer. Darcy might be able to say more about the timetable.

        I would draw your attention to the Medium and Large sizes. The Medium size is similar to the capacity of the Aeronaut 45, with 44 liters volume instead of 45 liters, and without the divided organization and side pocket structure of the travel bag.

        The large size, with 71 liters volume, was the size that initially launched this series. You might want to take a look at the pictures of the packup in wmperry ‘s The Yeoman Duffel as a SCUBA travel bag
        https://forums.tombihn.com/forum/tom...uba-travel-bag

        You’ll be able to judge how his fins fit in. Since that 11-02-2015 post, the entire Yeoman series has received locking zippers.

        HTH

        moriond

        ETA: A sample picture:
        Click image for larger version

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        Last edited by moriond; 05-28-2021, 01:39 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by zhou94 View Post

          (towel, fins, pull buoy, kickboard, and normal clothes).
          Beyond what's been posted, I have a few thoughts as I've gone down the same road ... my problem was always the length of kickboard, fins and width of pull-buoy, and those come in different sizes so depending on that:

          (1.) Yes, the S25 is challenging due to a.) fin/kickboard length, and b.) everything has to go mostly in the same compartment

          (2.) The BB is a decent option with its separate compartments, though your bottle w/o a clip would be challenging as the center bottle, and the compartments super wide

          (3.) An option that worked for me for quite awhile is ... the WF! In backpack mode my fins & kickboard (though they stick out a bit) + towels & suits fit in the main compartment, pull-buoy slides into 1/2 of the front and regular clothes slide into the other half. Then I used the front org for goggles, HRM, wallet, keys, etc and your bottle could either go with your fins or slide horizontally into the water bottle pocket. I've done that lots of time and never had the bottle slip out on me, but it's a risk. My bottles usually just go into the main pocket.

          (4.) Finally a non-TB option if you have really tall stuff is the MW Rambler - it's got minimal org, but enough, and it kinda heavy duty for this use, but it's real victory is its roll-top water proof compartment that can fit all your wet gear (fins, PB, KB, etc) and it's main compartment fits your other stuff (and expands to BIG). It's more a bike bag so if you also want that it could work.

          Unless you need the bike features/function my recommendation would be the WF assuming its compartments mostly fit your size of stuff (I'd measure it) - oddly I found it to be the best swimgear bag I've used. I'll note that I also use a speedo mesh bag to get my stuff from the locker room to the pool and back, and then dry my stuff before putting it back into the WF.
          Seeking Verde Aeronauts and Ursa or Coyote Synik 30 GE

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. I didn’t set up email notifications, so I wasn’t sure this post had gotten any replies.

            The suggestion to get dimensions of the items is a good one, I attached a photo of the big items and the dimensions are:


            Kickboard: 19”x12”

            Fins: 12”x7”x4”

            Pull buoy: 9.5”x6”x4”


            The suggestions of the Yeoman Duffel and Shadow Guide I think have the same issue as my current duffel bag, where’s there’s not much built in organization and things can get lost. People have suggested the small TB pouches in conjunction with these bags. Another (cheaper!) option would be to sew my own O-ring attachments on my current bag and/or just use organizer pouches to carry stuff. Presumably a larger pouch wouldn’t get lost as easily as keys in the duffel bag.

            The road buddy looks pretty nice, but it’s also only potentially coming back, I could maybe wait for that. One issue is that it seems pretty shallow, so the kickboard will stand up quite a bit when it sticks out (the way I carry the kickboard now is that it just sticks out vertically through the duffel bag opening).

            I watched the video of the brain bag and what I like about it is the 2 big pockets on the outside that can hold the little things, as well as the 2 main compartments. Having 2 compartments could be great or bad. The thick things like pull buoy and fins may not fit b/c the compartments were probably made for things like laptops and books. But, if these things could fit in one compartment, the 2 compartments maybe could act as wet/dry areas of the bag. Which would solve another issue, since I stuff everything in one main compartment, the cold weather layers I bring to the pool in the morning inevitably become wet when I pack them up once it's warmed up.

            The other issue is that I’m not sure how popular the brain bag is. If this is a situation where it sells out immediately, I probably won’t be able to get a bag… I have no issues buying used, but I just don’t know if the bag will fit everything.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by zhou94 View Post

              Kickboard: 19”x12”

              Fins: 12”x7”x4”

              Pull buoy: 9.5”x6”x4”
              Boy that's tough ... the 4" will exceed the width of each of the BB's compartments i believe ... the TS would be a dark horse there (though compartment thickness is a problem) and the Aeronauts would work, but wouldn't have the org ... and I still think a halcyon Western Flyer would work if you don't mind the KB sticking out ... beyond that maybe a mission workshop rambler or rhake ... or ILE Default XL
              Seeking Verde Aeronauts and Ursa or Coyote Synik 30 GE

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for the info, I think I'll just get some pouches to store all the random little things in my bag.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Just to chime in. My daughter is a competitive and HS swimmer and carries all her swim gear back and forth to club and HS. She has the brain bag and I can have her try and pack it out this weekend. But, as a mom and volunteer HS coach I would suggest looking at a swim-specific gear bag for the board, buoy, fins and anything else wet. That stuff gets really wet sitting at the end of a lane during a workout and will definitely get the inside of a brain bag or a speedo / tyr bag wet. Even her towels in the bag after a day at a meet get other items damp. And well teenagers don't always empty said bags quickly 🤣. If you do decide on a swim specific bag, a lot of swimmers I know prefer the tyr backpack to the speedo one... But ymmv. Good luck!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would snag a yeoman when it is back, to be honest.
                    Sidekick | Founder's Briefcase ■

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by julia View Post
                      I would snag a yeoman when it is back, to be honest.
                      Agreed, having looked into this recently to answer a question about someone who asked about attaching 20” scuba travel fins to a Synapse, I’d say that the Small size Yeoman Duffel would fit the original poster’s use case. In addition to the durability of the 1050d Ballistic nylon, these Yeoman Duffels are incredibly packable in folded and/or rolled fashion. For example, in the New sizes to the Yeoman SOOO cute thread I showed these could be rolled or flat-packed into other accessories. The mini and small sizes could be fit into a Daylight Backpack. The mini can be packed into a Side Kick (don’t think I included a picture there, but I showed it folded into the back pocket of a Daylight briefcase. Lots of other references to packing these away into other threads.


                      https://forums.tombihn.com/forum/tom...man-sooo-cute/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I have a Speedo PullKick that I take to the pool. As a lap swimmer (not competitive) it works well for training and it super portable.

                        https://www.speedousa.com/gear/train...-style-7530402

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