We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

TOM BIHN Forums Statistics


Topics: 14,995   Posts: 193,732   Members: 6,892   Active Members: 243
Welcome to our newest member, B-Con.


No announcement yet.

How Big is Too Big - Ego/Super Ego

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    How Big is Too Big - Ego/Super Ego

    Im sitting here still waiting for my first bags to arrive. I know they will be perfect for what I plan to use them for (Swift - knitting bag, LCB - everyday, Citizen Canine - puppy class) but I still need a bag for taking to dog shows. This means it needs to carry the everyday basics (wallet, phone, iPad) plus the mountain of (non dog specific) crap (I think) I need at the show. Snacks, magazines, small knitting project, maybe a book, you name it, I've probably taken it to a show....

    I though I was going to get an Imago to replace my Lexie Barnes Superstar that has benn filling the role for the past 7 years but I sat down the other day and seriously evaluated what I liked about the SuperStar and I realized as much as I love the look of the Imago, I won't be happy with it (in this role).

    1) It needs to stand up on its own. Most Important Requirement. When not being carried it will sit on top of a dog crate and be my portable office/kitchen/suitcase/library.
    2) It needs a place (preferably not inside the bag) for a water or soda bottle.
    3) Must have an easy to get to (without zippers or fasteners) place for my iPhone in a ginormous Otterbox Defender(I drop my phone a LOT - so I Love my big ugly Defender).
    4) Needs a pocket on the outside for slipping papers in quickly.
    5) Needs a place for me to put my keys so I can actually find them later. (Yes, I'm one of THOSE people.)
    6) Must have more than one large compartment. It makes me crazy to have too much stuff in one big bag.
    7) I need to be able to carry it while also managing 1 or 2 dogs on their leashes.

    The Superstar performed perfectly in regards to requirements 1, 2, 3 and 4, failed miserably in regards to 5, 6 and 7.

    So I started looking at the Ego and Super Ego. Now I'm stuck on size. The Superstar is a big bag but I never thought of it as huge. Imagine my surprise when I realized it may be bigger than the Ego (which I originally ruled out as too big). I can't find any volume size for the SuperStar but it's measurements are: 17 x 12.5 x 6.5. (that 6.5" depth is a bit deceiving as it significantly narrows towards the top, an annoying feature)

    The Ego is 15.3 x 13.3 x 6.3 (narrower, taller, less deep than my SS)
    The Super Ego is 17 x 14.5 x 6.75 (same width, taller, slightly deeper than the SS)

    Do the Egos narrow their depth at the top? It's hard to tell even given the multitude of pictures and reviews I have been poring over.

    I am 5'8" and female. I keep reading things that imply the Super Ego will be too big for me. (Honest, my pink, black and White SS does not seem that big to me!)

    I really wish the Egos came in some "pretty" colors, but the functionality is most important. I'm not adverse to the cost, my SuperStar was almost as much as the Ego, and it was purchased 7 years ago. Other than a torn mesh water bottle pocket, it still looks like new and (while it has not done any air travel) its logged tens of thousands of car miles, been from Texas, to South Dakota, to Maryland, to California, benn rained on, snowed on, been in dust storms and spent many many hours sitting on the dirt floor of countless fairgrounds.

    Wow, this got long and I'm not sure I really said much!

    Bottom line is, I do think the quality and durability of a TB bag is what I want. And i think the Ego/Super Ego is the right configuration. I'm just totally perplexed on size. Input desired.
    WhiteStar in Colorado
    LCB (Azalea/Sapphire, Turq/Wasabi), MCB (Plum/Cayenne), Swift (Cork), Co-Pilot (Iberian), Synapse (UV), Citizen Canine (Kiwi/UV), Shop Bag (UV), key straps and pouches galore!

    Here's what I can tell you from owning the Super Ego.

    1) The Super Ego will not stand up on its own.

    2) It has two places for water bottles, they work well.

    3) It has a couple pockets under the flap you could put a phone in (but it might fall out if the bag went upside down).

    4) Great back pocket for papers.

    5) Clip keys inside under front flap, works great.

    6) Basically has one enormous compartment, one medium compartment in the front under the flap, and a slot in the back for papers, a few thin books, etc (plus various other little pockets as described on the site).

    7) It sits really well on the body and has a waist strap.

    As far as size, the Super Ego is large. It just barely fits under an airplane seat (probably technically doesn't quite fit, when my Brain Cell and 17" MacBook is in there). On my back (I'm six feet tall), it protrudes a bit from both sides of my body, so that it's awkward on narrow staircases when passing people (have to go sideways).

    The Super Ego is terrific for me when carrying my big laptop or just a ton of stuff generally. Combined with the Aeronaut, it lets me carry on an enormous amount of stuff on the plane. For daily use, it's much bigger than necessary, but I still use it a lot because it has good organization pockets in the front area.

    Hope that helps! Get the Absolute Strap, whatever you get, it's amazing.


      Originally posted by canyonero View Post
      1) The Super Ego will not stand up on its own.
      Okay this is a surprise! I thought it would stand on its own. Is it completely floppy like say a Cafe Bag. Or does it have some structure? Like maybe a Cordura Swift. ( I have several friends with the old Cordura Swifts, before the ballistic was added to the bottom. If the Ego has as much structure as they do, I'd be satisfied.)
      WhiteStar in Colorado
      LCB (Azalea/Sapphire, Turq/Wasabi), MCB (Plum/Cayenne), Swift (Cork), Co-Pilot (Iberian), Synapse (UV), Citizen Canine (Kiwi/UV), Shop Bag (UV), key straps and pouches galore!


        I wouldn't say it has a lot of structure -- it's mostly just fabric, with some padding in the back panel. With the bag empty, I was able to get it propped up to stand on its own after a few tries, but it's not stable. If you have a lot of weight in the bottom, like a big book, it's stable but the top still folds down on itself. It might work for you if you have heavier stuff in the bottom of the bag and lighter stuff on top. I would go for the plastic buckle and not the seat belt buckle in that case, as the seat belt buckle is heavier and pulls the front flap down.


          From the list of stuff you mention, it doesn't seem like you need to carry that much. I was going to suggest looking at the ID. (It seems like you're thinking messenger style, rather than back pack style - is that right? If no, I would look at the Brain Bag backpack). But you mentioned in #5 you need two big compartments and outside of the travel bags (aeronaut, tri star etc), in the messenger style, the Super Ego is the best way to go. I have an SE but it has a brain cell (I have a large laptop and the SE is the only bag that would fit my brain cell). Without the brain cell, it does stand on it's own. I didn't try it but I'm assuming it would do the same with stuff in it.

          The SE is a big bag. I'm a 5' 9" male and it's not small. For me that's ok, cause I have a 17.5 inch laptop. But you have an Ipad. however, if you have a "mountain" of stuff, maybe you should keep it in mind. It does slightly narrow at the top; the bottom of the back compartment (where the brain cell goes) is the widest part of the back. the compartment in front of it (where the key strap is, an O ring, slots for your pens etc) is narrower but spacious. Let me answer your concerns in turn.

          1. I've never filled it with stuff but empty, without brain cell, it stands on its own.

          2. It has two places for that

          3. It has two pockets for that in front. Don't know the size of your phone but most phones i've seen would fit comfortably in them.

          4. the back pocket can take care of that.

          5. Key strap inside should handle that.

          6. I think the two compartments should handle that.

          7. With the waist strap fastened, that shouldn't be an issue.

          In terms of color choice Darcy might be able to correct and/or shed more light on the following: the SE is made of 1050d Ballistic nylon. Now this is a super tough material - it's a component in bullet proof vests. Most nylon in use is the cheap 1680 ballistic nylon. From what I understand, there is little demand for colors in this fabric outside of basic black. So they have to get a large amount when they get it in colors other than basic black. which means they have to go for relatively "safe" colors - blues, reds, greens. Colors a little more off the beaten path might be nice, design wise, but their might not be the demand for them to justify the cost.

          Hope this helps!


            Oh, just remembered this: A video review of the Super Ego

            Tom Bihn Ego Messenger Bag Review - YouTube


              I have an Ego (I'm a 5'7" female) - and all the points made by canyonero above are valid for it.

              The iPhone suitable pockets are under the flap (one easy buckle) and I rarely get it to stand up unsupported - which isn't a big deal because I love everything else about it.

              If I take out the brain cell for my 13" MB, the main compartment is huge - and has two o-rings to attach pouches to - which you can use to organise the contents. Lunch, snacks and a knitting project could go in there easily.

              oh - and mine is black/navy/wasabi with a reflective strip. I think it's very stylish and will remain so for years - which is good as it is super well made so I'm not likely to need to replace it for a long long time.
              Last edited by daisy; 01-23-2012, 12:48 PM. Reason: add comment
              List under construction ....


                I'm leaning towards the Ego instead of the Super Ego for two reasons, one good reason and one strictly cosmetic....

                If I get the Super Ego I WILL fill it up. Even if it's just filled up with crap I don't really need. Everything I actually NEED should fit in the Ego. (Although if I ever travel with my 17" HP laptop, I'll be sorry I didn't spring for the SE.... but why would I do that when I have an iPad and 13" MacBook....)

                I can get the Ego in Black/Navy/Wasabi (The Super Ego's "blue" color scheme has a Cayenne lining and while the Cayenne is nice, I'm in love with Wasabi.) Add a Wasabi strip and a Cork strip and it will "do", since Azalea will never be an option.

                (I still want an Azalea/Cork/Wasabi Imago. Wouldn't that be awesome?!?!)
                WhiteStar in Colorado
                LCB (Azalea/Sapphire, Turq/Wasabi), MCB (Plum/Cayenne), Swift (Cork), Co-Pilot (Iberian), Synapse (UV), Citizen Canine (Kiwi/UV), Shop Bag (UV), key straps and pouches galore!


                  Originally posted by WhiteStar View Post
                  I can get the Ego in Black/Navy/Wasabi (The Super Ego's "blue" color scheme has a Cayenne lining and while the Cayenne is nice, I'm in love with Wasabi.) Add a Wasabi strip and a Cork strip and it will "do", since Azalea will never be an option.
                  I have a navy/cayenne SCB and it is a gorgeous combo. We had all kinds of trouble deciding on colours for our last order as the bags we wanted weren't available in quite the right colour combinations

                  And then there's the arguments .... MrDaisy has a Navy Cadet and HE wanted the navy SCB but I WON the tug of war... hee hee.
                  List under construction ....


                    You might also consider the Empire Builder or its little brother the Zephyr as they will hold a bundle too and are much more likely to stand up on their own.
                    The profile is also different and I think maybe less massive looking although they are very close in capacity and the EB compartments are more square and easier to pack to me.

                    I have both an EB and SE and ALWAYS have a tough time choosing between them if I am not carrying my 17" MBP which really only fits in the SE.

                    The EB is an amazing bag though and worth a look.

                    The Brain Bag would also work great for you if a Backpack is on your list to consider?



                      I thought about a Brainbag but I have come to the conclusion I an not a backpack person, no matter how much I like the idea of a backpack. As for the others, I did consider the ID and the Zephyr, but they are much too briefcase like, which is also probably why the Cadet hold little appeal for me as well.
                      WhiteStar in Colorado
                      LCB (Azalea/Sapphire, Turq/Wasabi), MCB (Plum/Cayenne), Swift (Cork), Co-Pilot (Iberian), Synapse (UV), Citizen Canine (Kiwi/UV), Shop Bag (UV), key straps and pouches galore!


                        Love my new navy/wasabi Zephyr, because it stands on its own quite well. Nice foam on exterior walls. But it is very briefcase-y, and not very messenger-y. It's a sturdy bag. I love love love the side foam to hold everything in.