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  1. #16
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    I was an advocate for dedicated computer compartment but have been convinced of the value of modular. In my case, what would be a good compromise would be a Synapase that’s just a bit deeper so when I’m carrying my laptop, there’s a little more room for my other stuff.

    The Brain Bag is way too big for my EDC. But an S27-S28 would be just right if the added volume came from a little deeper bag.

  2. #17
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    Most members who frequent of this forum are vehemently opposed to such things, as can be seen in previous replies. I'm indifferent and am under the belief that more options are a good thing. We're not talking about replacing the current products, but offering alternatives.

    More things can be added to a "laptop compartment" than just a laptop. Personally I think that more organization is great. And when have laptops truly changed size so much that they wouldn't be able to fit into a backpack's laptop compartment? I've been able to fit a massive video-editing laptop into an S25. The cache system may have some perks, but so does another area of the bag that just so happens to fit a laptop wonderfully. Today I saw someone mention a smaller (22ish liter) version of the BB, which I think is a fantastic idea and would accomplish this for sure.

  3. #18
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    I'm split on this. I do carry a work laptop with me in my synapse 25, but that's the bag's only purpose. I use the elastic pouch as my laptop area, so in a way, I'm using it as a dedicated laptop compartment. I do wish that area was elevated from the bottom of the bag though.

    The one thing I'm not a huge fan of is the accessory system. I'm sure the cache's are great, but you end up spending $20-$45 every time you upgrade your laptop/tablet to get a new custom fit sleeve. It seems a bit excessive.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolegrl View Post
    I'm sure the cache's are great, but you end up spending $20-$45 every time you upgrade your laptop/tablet to get a new custom fit sleeve. It seems a bit excessive.
    I think the cache is great if you travel through airports a lot and don't have TSA pre-check... it's nice to be able to pull the laptop out of the main bag, keep it protected, and keep it attached.

    If that's not a common use case for someone, there are plenty of less expensive padded sleeves out there that folks can use for their laptops - that's what I do. I move my laptop(s) from bag to bag depending on the type of trip and since I have pre-check, the cache system doesn't add value for me.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too!

  5. #20
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaimonkey View Post
    It's weird going into my closet and seeing 7-8 year old bags with dedicated cell phone pockets and noting how tiny they are compared to the devices we all carry now.
    E.g. my Imago Now I use those pockets for Luna bars, which are a perfect fit.

    I prefer not having a dedicated laptop pocket in my bags. I can move my Cache between bags as needed, and when I'm not traveling with a laptop, I can ditch that weight and use the space. I find this is especially true for my A30--for leisure travel I am pretty much never carrying a laptop. For work travel, I just put my Cache into the main pocket on top of my clothes and have found that to be adequate protection so far.

    I recently bought a backpack from another brand that has an integrated laptop compartment, and I don't think it's worth the weight and space lost in the main compartment for the level of protection it provides, which didn't seem that great (so my computer was still in its Cache anyway).
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.” ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    I think the cache is great if you travel through airports a lot and don't have TSA pre-check... it's nice to be able to pull the laptop out of the main bag, keep it protected, and keep it attached.
    Does this actually work though? Initially that was a good feature, but with current security restrictions, every TSA agent I've encountered makes you remove your laptop completely and put it in its own bin. Any "TSA approved" bag is basically old marketing speak and doesn't "fly" (pun intended) anymore.

    The only advantage I see to the cache now is a way to clip your laptop into your bag. It also provides padding, but so does a $10 laptop sleeve.

    Also, just to clarify, I'm in no way bashing the Tom Bihn products. I love the bags I have and the o-ring system, but the amount of money you can spend on the accessories is ridiculous and most are just common-place items with a clip on it.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by nolegrl; 04-04-2019 at 10:11 AM.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolegrl View Post
    Does this actually work though? Initially that was a good feature, but with current security restrictions, every TSA agent I've encountered makes you remove your laptop completely and put it in its own bin. Any "TSA approved" bag is basically old marketing speak and doesn't "fly" (pun intended) anymore.
    It used to (and I did use it that way at small airports that didn't have Pre-Check originally), but I don't know the current status of what TSA is doing since Pre-Check is now offered at all the airports I've been to in the past couple of years.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too!

  8. #23
    Forum Member terayon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolegrl View Post
    ... the amount of money you can spend on the accessories is ridiculous and most are just common-place items with a clip on it.
    This, as I see it, is the beauty of a modular system: yes, you can spend the money on TB accessories and enjoy all of the usual pros of TB products.

    But you can also go in another direction if that meets your needs better.

    Echoing many others, I personally have no use for a laptop compartment in a bag as I don’t carry a laptop or anything else that uses that space very well. I switch between bags fairly often and and if I ever do get a laptop, it’ll probably still be better for me to have a separate sleeve so that I can move it among the bags I already have and like very much.

  9. #24
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    I just recently got a bag with a laptop compartment (I carry a laptop every day to and from work). (Kånken backpack, 15") Although I know and recognise all the issues that people point out, and even though I keep my laptop in a sleeve and have always just carried it around, and even though intellectually I think modular is better, I have to say I *love* the laptop compartment because it means I can dump stuff into the main compartment and it doesn't have to be flat and organised because it won't fall out when I take out the laptop! So, reluctantly +1 on the laptop compartment.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    I think the cache is great if you travel through airports a lot and don't have TSA pre-check... it's nice to be able to pull the laptop out of the main bag, keep it protected, and keep it attached.

    If that's not a common use case for someone, there are plenty of less expensive padded sleeves out there that folks can use for their laptops - that's what I do. I move my laptop(s) from bag to bag depending on the type of trip and since I have pre-check, the cache system doesn't add value for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by nolegrl View Post
    Does this actually work though? Initially that was a good feature, but with current security restrictions, every TSA agent I've encountered makes you remove your laptop completely and put it in its own bin. Any "TSA approved" bag is basically old marketing speak and doesn't "fly" (pun intended) anymore.

    The only advantage I see to the cache now is a way to clip your laptop into your bag. It also provides padding, but so does a $10 laptop sleeve.

    Also, just to clarify, I'm in no way bashing the Tom Bihn products. I love the bags I have and the o-ring system, but the amount of money you can spend on the accessories is ridiculous and most are just common-place items with a clip on it.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    I love the cache when I'm running around to local clients. Extra padding, easy to pull the laptop in and out without undoing a zipper (I have the older cache, not the new zippered one).

    I also have an Amazon Basics $10 sleeve that I used to use like G42, going through Pre-Check sites. It was slimmer, so it packed better. But after travelling a few times from YQG, and having to not only take my laptop out, but also out of that sleeve, I now follow the approach that my packing cube provides enough padding when travelling and I don't even bother with a cache/sleeve. Once I'm at the site, I'll just run around with a naked laptop in my bag, and try to keep an eye on it. My bag doesn't sustain nearly as much abuse when it's in my control as compared to when I'm travelling through airports, and in the airports, as I said, the packing cube tends to provide the necessary cushioning.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
    I love the cache when I'm running around to local clients. Extra padding, easy to pull the laptop in and out without undoing a zipper (I have the older cache, not the new zippered one).

    I also have an Amazon Basics $10 sleeve that I used to use like G42, going through Pre-Check sites. It was slimmer, so it packed better. But after travelling a few times from YQG, and having to not only take my laptop out, but also out of that sleeve, I now follow the approach that my packing cube provides enough padding when travelling and I don't even bother with a cache/sleeve. Once I'm at the site, I'll just run around with a naked laptop in my bag, and try to keep an eye on it. My bag doesn't sustain nearly as much abuse when it's in my control as compared to when I'm travelling through airports, and in the airports, as I said, the packing cube tends to provide the necessary cushioning.
    Ah glad it's not only me that finds the Cache to be particularly thick.

    That said, I'd be 100% behind a dedicated laptop compartment. If I'm carrying a backpack, it's because I want to carry my computer. In fact, I now often carry a computer and an iPad. So in an ideal world, there'd be dedicated spaces for both. Laptops aren't going anywhere, and the form factor is relatively predictable from 11-15" for most. Same with tablets which range from iPad mini / Kindle to iPad Pro sizing nowdays--and in fact, this could just be an elastic pocket that could store regular papers/files. So perhaps we shouldn't think of the TB bag with a dedicated laptop /tablet compartment as a travel bag, but as an EDC urban bag.

  12. #27
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    I think this is a difficult question with lots of pros and cons on both sides. I have an old timbuk2 messenger bag with a laptop compartment and I used it a lot because it was so easy to slip the laptop in and out of the padded compartment. However, when I was using the bag without my computer the padded compartment got in the way, took up a lot of space, and was rather stiff due to the padding. That is why I now use simple neopren sleeves for my laptops and carry them in whatever bag I need. As my main laptop is rather small (Macbook Air 11“) I carry it in its sleeve inside a Freudian Slip either in my Smart Alec or in my Synapse 25. That is the perfect solution for me as the computer has a dedicated place and stays put even if the bag is rather empty.
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood
    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

  13. #28
    Forum Member awurrlu's Avatar
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    My last Timbuk2 backpack had a padded back, and on the inside there was just a lining panel that served as a laptop slot. (The Mini Prospect, to be specific.) The interior side wasn't padded, but it didn't really need to be. And it accommodated any number of devices without adding any bulk or weight.

    My preferred travel bag is my Synapse 19, and I've always wished it had that interior pocket along the back instead of the front so I could slide my laptop in there instead.

  14. #29
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolegrl View Post
    Also, just to clarify, I'm in no way bashing the Tom Bihn products. I love the bags I have and the o-ring system, but the amount of money you can spend on the accessories is ridiculous and most are just common-place items with a clip on it.
    I agree. The accessories are tempting, but I have enough of them now to deal with any conceivable packing emergency. I'm glad I own the accessories I already have, because they're definitely better constructed than most similar products on the market, but I really don't need anymore of them. I do like to put some of the o-rings to use (and love them especially for my keys, before TB I was always searching for my keys), but I don't get why people put everything they carry in pouches... And I still like to own other nice accessories - I carry my pens in a small leather pen roll for example, which looks very nice on a conference table.

    As for the initial question about built in computer compartments - I would not want one and for me it would mean not buying an otherwise nice bag. I almost never carry a laptop with me and I have a bigger laptop sleeve with a handle and just carry it as an extra bag when I do. For me the system of adding caches to a bag makes sense, because it means everyone can organize any bag however they want it or need it. That said, I do love the padded backpocket in my L12. I've been carrying some papers and my e-reader in it for easy access on my commute. But it's not a typical padded laptop compartment and doesn't take up much room...

  15. #30
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    While I don’t like an interior laptop sleeve, I LOVE the Luminary padded pocket. It’s unobtrusive but works great for any tech. If I’m not carrying my laptop, I put my kindle and any papers I want to keep I wrinkled in that compartment.

    I have a few caches but am not a fan. Too thick and tough to get my Surface out quickly. But it slips right into my L15 back pocket.

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