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  1. #1
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    Considering Brain Bag + Luminary 15

    Hi everyone! Question on the Brain Bag. What are your typical loadouts with this thing? I haven't seen one in person so I'm trying to gauge if this is the bag for me. I would want to use it as a weekend/overnight bag. I don't plan to use it for everyday carry. For daily needs, I'm looking into the Luminary 15. I would stow my 13" work laptop with cables, padfolio, 24 fl oz Hydroflask, pens, odds and ends, and maybe even my compact DSLR with pancake lens.

    I have a Synapse 25 that the wife has commandeered. So the BB + L15 might work.

    (Also, I just realized the BB doesn't use aquaguard zippers. But utilizes a hood/flap instead. )

    Thoughts?
    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PandaOps View Post
    Hi everyone! Question on the Brain Bag. What are your typical loadouts with this thing? I haven't seen one in person so I'm trying to gauge if this is the bag for me. I would want to use it as a weekend/overnight bag. I don't plan to use it for everyday carry. For daily needs, I'm looking into the Luminary 15. I would stow my 13" work laptop with cables, padfolio, 24 fl oz Hydroflask, pens, odds and ends, and maybe even my compact DSLR with pancake lens.

    I have a Synapse 25 that the wife has commandeered. So the BB + L15 might work.

    (Also, I just realized the BB doesn't use aquaguard zippers. But utilizes a hood/flap instead. )

    Thoughts?
    Do it!!! The Brain Bag is the best bag TB makes!!

  3. #3
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    Hi @PandaOps!

    I carry the Brain Bag not only as an EDC bag, but have also used it for weekend and week long trips.

    The compression straps are great for times when you're carrying a lighter load, but the bag looks great even if it isn't compressed (that's how I carried it today).

    I really like that it has two main compartments, and often use one for my MacBook, iPad and Freudian Slip -- the other holds clothes in packing cubes and toiletries in a Deluxe Spiff Kit. Things like wallet, keys and mints make their way into the top front zippered pocket when I am not carrying a Travel Cublet. One lower front pocket may hold a bluetooth speakerphone, while the other may hold gloves and a hat in the colder months.

    If I had to choose one backpack, it would be the Brain Bag!
    -m

  4. #4
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    I just sent back an L15, so I can't test pack for you, but I would think that you could put EITHER the 13" computer OR the water bottle in the L15. I didn't like the maneuvering I had to do to get my 13" computer into the back compartment of the L15, and I would personally not want to put my water bottle into the same area as my computer and DSLR. For the load you describe I'd rather use a Synapse 19.

    I've not seen a Brain Bag in person (or maybe I saw one at a Bihnion meetup, but I didn't handle it since it's too big for most loads I want to carry) so I can't speak directly to its usability for your scenario. For weekends/short trips I prefer to take either a Smart Alec (26L; but discontinued) or an Aeronaut 30.

  5. #5
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    Interesting notes on the L15. How does the straps on the L15 compare to the S19? I tried an S19 several years back and exchanged for an S25 because I maxed out the straps and it wasn't very comfortable. But I also have a DLBP and i don't have a problem with those straps. Then again my loadout for the DLBP is not the same as the S19/25.

  6. #6
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    The Luminary straps are softer (a silkier fabric) and more curved. That works well for me, I have narrower shoulders and tend to have to cinch the sternum strap ways down to pull the straps away from my underarms. I noted just now when I tried on the Luminary again that I like (prefer?) wearing both straps, whereas with the S19 I often one-arm it if it's not full.

    With respect to the DLBP - like you I don't tend to fill that as full as the Synapse. I prefer the Synapse (19) straps to the DLBP though (Smart Alec straps> S19, Luminary (though for different reasons) > DLBP/PCBP).

    Side note: I was pleasantly surprised that the Luminary can hold my 40 oz. Hydroflask with ease!

    Quote Originally Posted by PandaOps View Post
    Interesting notes on the L15. How does the straps on the L15 compare to the S19? I tried an S19 several years back and exchanged for an S25 because I maxed out the straps and it wasn't very comfortable. But I also have a DLBP and i don't have a problem with those straps. Then again my loadout for the DLBP is not the same as the S19/25.

  7. #7
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    Hmmm. Now Iím going back to perhaps I should just get another S25. With a 40oz flask in the L15, is there still usable space on the sides? Is the laptop compartment still usable?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  8. #8
    Registered User gmgsearch's Avatar
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    Considering Brain Bag + Luminary 15

    Straps on the L15 much more comfortable than the S19.
    Itís replaced my S19 for my edc. The S19 is a better bag for organization but Iím getting used to being more minimalist in my packing. It will be perfect for the summer when I donít have to carry extra stuff for colder conditions. Iím not using the water bottle zipper thing. I find using the main compartment as one big stash compartment the best option. I actually like this better than the inside of the S19. Things slide in and out much quicker. Not needing to use a cache great. My 13 Mac book pro fits nicely in the back.

    I do have a brain bag but have yet to use it other than test fit. I canít wait to take it on a trip where I will actually need a bag that size. I think it is such a versatile bag but just too big for every day use.




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    Last edited by gmgsearch; 05-22-2019 at 10:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Forum Member ButtUglyJeff's Avatar
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    I would send your laptop dimensions to customer service to make sure it fits in the lappy/tablet compartment. I love my L15, its a mini Synapse in many ways. But many have had a tough time getting their notebooks in that compartment...

  10. #10
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    With a 40 oz HF in the L15: Using my L12 as a proxy - you should be able to get the computer in the main compartment. My 2018 Macbook Air 13" was a struggle to get into the back compartment without anything else in the bag, so I personally would not try to get it in that spot.

    With or without the computer - if you bring the 40 oz. HF, the usable space in the Luminary will then be vertical chunks to either side of the bottle, a little bit of space above the bottle, and - if you don't zip up the bottle sleeve to the back wall - a slice of flat space "behind" the bottle.

    So it totally depends on what you want to include in your EDC, besides the water bottle and computer. If notebooks and other flat wide things - then I'd go with a Synapse. If they are tall skinny things, or squooshable things (hoodie), or a compact bundle that can go on top - then the L15 is nice and sleek.

    Quote Originally Posted by PandaOps View Post
    Hmmm. Now I’m going back to perhaps I should just get another S25. With a 40oz flask in the L15, is there still usable space on the sides? Is the laptop compartment still usable?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Regarding comments about fitting a laptop--the L15 description says "The 13” MacBook Pro fits great in the padded device pocket as does the Dell XPS 13. And while the 13” MacBook Air (the older, larger version) can squeeze in — you may find you’ll need to do a two-point turn to get it in position — it is basically at the top end range of devices that’ll fit in that pocket." So you can compare your own laptop's dimensions to the 13" MacBook Pro and MacBook Air to see if your laptop is likely to slide in easily. (The Air is about half an inch longer than the Pro.)

  12. #12
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    Thanks all for the insight!


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    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    My 2018 Macbook Air 13" was a struggle to get into the back compartment without anything else in the bag, so I personally would not try to get it in that spot.
    @haraya,

    I'm confused, because while the older 13" MacBook Airs don't slip into the Luminary 15 as easily as other 13" Mac laptop models, I can readily insert my mid-2011 model 13" MacBook Air, which is supposed to be much larger than the 2018 (3rd generation) model of 13" MacBook Air. Please see my reply to @habanero's query in the Luminary 15 back pocket and MacBook Air 13? thread. It could be that the Power Support Air Jacket (Clear Shell) that I have had on this laptop for the past 7 years is making it easier for me to insert and maneuver the MacBook Air. I usually use my 2017 13" Retina MacBook Pro (touchbar) in the Luminary 15 now -- my MacBook Air still works fine, but because I've had it for nearly 8 years the battery's retention of charge off of the power brick isn't like what it would be for a recent laptop.

    HTH

    moriond

  14. #14
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Hi moriond!

    Yeah, when I received the L15 I was dismayed to find my Mac would not just slide into the back compartment. I tried angling it but didn't want to force the zipper wider. I even looked twice at the dimensions (on my computer, and then checking the L15 specs) because I really wanted to use it for that. But in the end the bag was too tall for me, with or without my computer in it. Plus having to do a two-point turn would have driven me crazy.

    I don't have the L15 to try any more but am very happy with the (OG flavor) L12! Bonus is that it is an Alpha/Viridian model which I always wanted to check out!

    Thank you for checking though!!

  15. #15
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    How many zipper pulls are on the BB?


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