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Bihn Briefcases - Questions

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    Bihn Briefcases - Questions

    My parents are currently talking about replacing their aging first-generation white Macbook with a refurbished 2013 13-inch MacBook Pro i5 with Retina Display ("MBPR"). (They found a great deal at the right price and recently won a gun at a raffle, which they are now selling to pay to replace the old laptop.)

    [NOTE: this new thread is a companion to another, similar discussion I started about backpacks in this forum.]

    They are (understandably) concerned about what they could get to carry the refurb laptop. One possibility I'd like to suggest would be a Tom Bihn briefcase. (NOTE: I am also considering a briefcase for myself; I may be starting a new job soon that would require that I buy a new laptop and/or iPad Mini; these questions are a double-edged sword.) While we aren't seriously discussing this (yet), I have no doubt it will come up down the road. The most immediate backpack possibilities for them would naturally be the Cadet models and the Zephyr/Empire Builder. This leads to some questions:

    1: The Cadet does not appear to be on the Bihn web-site anymore. Has it been permanently discontinued?

    2: The Zephyr does not appear to be on the Bihn web-site anymore. Has it been permanently discontinued?

    3: The ID does not appear to be on the Bihn web-site anymore. Has it been permanently discontinued?

    4: If my mother carries this new mystery briefcase around, it could conceivably serve like a large purse for her. Would the Ego be too large for this purpose?

    5: One (remote) possibility for cargo in the mystery briefcase would, once in a blue moon, be a portable digital projector. My family has occasional use for an Epson PowerLite projector (I'm pretty sure it is an EX7200 or 7210) for business presentations. I do not have the exact dimensions here, but I assume it is very similar to this 7220). Would something like this be able to fit in any of these briefcases? If so, how?

    Thank you for your participation.
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

    #2
    Re #4: This post and others it links to are about using the Swift as a briefcase. I've been thinking about doing this because I only have to carry a laptop (a 13" MB) once a week and have no use for a briefcase or messenger bag otherwise. Not sure if it would fit the projector AND the laptop though.

    Comment


      #3
      I second the Swift as a briefcase: sturdy, made in multiple colors, and a perfect purse.

      I was also thinking about a briefcase like items but realized that my Swifts were perfect as purse/office bag with a Cache for the iPad mini, iPad or small laptop.

      Comment


        #4
        For questions 1 to 3, I have not read anything to say the Cadet, Zephyr and Id were being discontinued. They should still become available when the TB crew can get to producing more. You could phone / email TB Customer Service to see if they have one in the store when you decide.

        For question 4, IMHO, I do not think the Ego can be considered to be a large purse. I agree with the previous posters that the Swift would probably be better.

        For question 5, I think the projector (11.6 x 9 x 3.1") and a laptop + accessories would fit fine in the Zephyr and Ego ok, I think the Cadet would be too thin and the ID I do not know as I do not have one - however, I cannot confirm as I do not have a Cadet or ID.

        Hope this helps

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

        Comment


          #5
          I don't know if the other horizontal messenger bags have been discontinued, but the Ego might be a bit big for your mother, tbh. That's why we're all so sad that the Imago was retired - it's big enough to be a laptop bag without being enormous.

          Have you considered the Pilot? Like the Imago it's slightly smaller than the Ego and would easily take a 13" MacBook Pro in a cache, and the main compartment might also be big enough for the projector (you'd have to check the dimensions).

          My feeling with the Swift is that the open top doesn't lend itself well to briefcase duty - on my last long-haul flight I borrowed a Pilot from a forum member because I was worried about using my Swift in a situation where I might sometimes be too tired to keep a sharp eye on my belongings! And in your case, it's barely big enough for the laptop. Plus your dad might not want to carry around such a feminine design!

          In contrast, the Pilot is nicely unisex, and comes in attractive-but-discreet colour combinations that work for either business or pleasure.
          Collections:
          Work EDC: SE + S19
          Leisure: SCBs, FJN, Swift, lots of YSSs
          Travel: WF + Pilot or SA, with SE/SCB
          General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
          Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
          Hoping for: A new dyneema colour for YSSs; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by MtnMan View Post
            4: If my mother carries this new mystery briefcase around, it could conceivably serve like a large purse for her. Would the Ego be too large for this purpose?
            What's your mother's build? If she's tall and well-built, I think the Ego is fine. I'm 5'3" and slim and the Ego looks okay on me. It can definitely hold the projector, IMO.

            What's her personal style? And what does she normally carry, laptop aside? The Ego is really quite spacious and if she's not carrying a lot of stuff with her, it will look deflated and a little sad...

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by tpnl View Post
              For question 5, I think the projector (11.6 x 9 x 3.1") and a laptop + accessories would fit fine in the Zephyr and Ego ok, I think the Cadet would be too thin and the ID I do not know as I do not have one - however, I cannot confirm as I do not have a Cadet or ID.
              This is correct, the Cadet takes a laptop (in a cache) and accessories OK, but a projector of that size does not go. I tried a shoe-box of similar dimensions and the bag is too thin.

              Comment


                #8
                My mother is about 5'6" or so.
                Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I like the idea of narrowing down choices. Looks like the Ego and the Pilot are strong candidates if they took the briefcase route, with the ID an outside possibility. Too bad the Ego isn't available in more colors. Can someone point me to a size comparison between the Ego and the SuperEgo? I've been lightly using a SuperEgo since the Fall of '09, and it's definitely too big.
                  Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Bihn Briefcases - Questions

                    The ID is a bit thicker than the Cadet, and I think, more versatile. It wore be pretty snug with the projector but it wouldn't look huge on your mom. The ego and Zephyr are quite large for just a 13 MBP without the projector
                    marshallj
                    Forum Member
                    Last edited by marshallj; 09-20-2014, 09:40 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      @MtnMan

                      Try this review of Ego / Super Ego:

                      Tom Bihn Super Ego and Ego Messenger Bags :: The Gadgeteer

                      Red Flap bag is the Ego, Grey Flap bag is the Super Ego.

                      Hope this helps

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

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MtnMan View Post

                        3: The ID does not appear to be on the Bihn web-site anymore. Has it been permanently discontinued?
                        Regarding the return of the ID, the Tom Bihn folks had this to say on the blog when they linked to my review of the ID:

                        "Note: the ID messenger bag isn’t currently available for order because our Seattle factory is totally busy making other bags right now. It might be available for order in the future, but if it’s not, that’ll be because we choose to replace it with one of the new messenger bag/briefcase designs Tom is working on."

                        So it will either return or be replaced by the new design, but not right away.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          ^ Neat. May be that the Ego is too big. Not ruled out entirely, tho.

                          LAPTOP ORDERED. ARRIVAL DATE: 23RD.
                          Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by MtnMan View Post
                            I like the idea of narrowing down choices. Looks like the Ego and the Pilot are strong candidates if they took the briefcase route, with the ID an outside possibility.
                            I don't think the Pilot is a possibility if you want to carry your laptop and the projector. At 3.1" the projector would just about hit the maximum thickness of the main compartment of the Pilot, where the laptop is also stashed (we checked this when we got requests from people who wanted to carry thick binders in the Piolt). I read @scribe's post, and she suggest the Pilot as a possibility depending on the size of projector and laptop; yours is too large to fit both.

                            In answer to your question about the ID bag, it's definitely large enough to take the projector and laptop, and at 20.9 liters volume it is 10% larger than the Synapse 19. It's not just that it carries more volumes than the Cadet and Pilot, but that the arrangement of the volume gives you a large, central compartment along with a smaller front pocket, which is not so true of either the Pilot or the Cadet. This (the ID bag) is the kind of bag I used to use when, in addition to a laptop, I wanted to travel for a few days and pack clothing in. Now I would prefer to use the Synapse backpack, because I prefer not to carry as much weight messenger style. I got the ID Bag rather than the Ego, because I always felt the Ego looked large on me (just under 5'4"), and as @adalangdon said in another post, it does look large unless she uses a Quick-Adjust Messenger Strap to carry it higher on her back. The ID bag is more rectangular (conventionally briefcase shaped) and less squarish than the Ego, which is why it looks better on shorter people. Other people about my height do like the Ego, so it's probably not an issue for your mother, who is 2" taller. And the Ego, at 23 liters, is bigger than the ID.

                            Ego:
                            Dimensions: 15.3" x 13.3" x 6.3" / 390 x 340 x 160 mm
                            Weight: 2 lb 4 oz / 1030 grams
                            Volume: 1400 cubic inches / 23 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
                            Removable 1.5" / 37 mm waist strap included

                            ID:
                            Dimensions: 15.75" x 12" x 5.5" / 400 x 310 x 140 mm
                            Weight: 2 lb 3 oz / 985 grams
                            Volume: 1275 cubic inches / 20.9 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
                            Removable 1.5" / 37 mm waist strap included

                            HTH moriond

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by marshallj View Post
                              The imago is a bit thicker than the Cadet, and I think, more versatile. It wore be pretty snug with the projector but it wouldn't look huge on your mom. The ego and Zephyr are quite large for just a 13 MBP without the projector
                              I agree with this, but I suspect that with the Imago fitting in that projector might be hard. (I haven't tried to size this exactly.) I'd probably try to use the ID Bag if I were stuck with a fixed size for that projector. And it's only my impression that these are large bags if you're not regularly carrying more than a laptop. I haven't used the Zephyr, but I did use the Empire Builder, and while I could carry it, it was definitely too big for me to comfortably tote around, Here the two extra inches of height will help. The issue for me was not my physical strength, since I can carry quite heavy loads (no back problems, neck problems, etc.), but that the width of the Empire Builder combined with where I had to carry it with respect to my center of gravity meant that I had to hold the weight out further from my body than I could comfortably carry. So I had to hold my arms angled further out while carrying the Empire Builder because otherwise it would clash with my legs when walking. This was the only time I sold a Tom Bihn bag because it wasn't working well for my size, and this was before they redesigned a smaller version Zephyr. The Zephyr is still quite a lot to carry if you're only planning to hold a laptop most of the time, but it's a great solution if you routinely carry lots of papers and books, too.

                              HTH moriond

                              Comment

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