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  1. #1
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    Owners of the Brain Bag, did you love it right away?

    I purchased a brain bag to use as my work bag because I felt like I was overpacking my Synapse 25.

    When I got it in, I wasn't sure about it. I'm not crazy about the look, but I knew that from the pictures. I also feel like it looks a lot bigger and sticks out from my back further than my fully packed Synapse even though there is more room in the bag to evenly disburse my stuff and the dimensions are similar to the Synapse. It's just rectangular in shape vs oval and that somehow makes it appear bigger to me.

    I absolutely love the extra room though. I have plenty of room for my work stuff (laptop and 2 notebooks) and personal stuff (side kick, nintendo switch, 3d organizer cube, cubelet, travel umbrella, small snake charmer). This was my main reason for wanting the bag and it fits that bill perfectly.

    So Brain Bag owners, was it love at first sight or did it take time to warm up to the bag?

    Also, I'd love to see some edc pictures of the bag if you use it like that. I can take some of mine tonight if anyone is interested.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by nolegrl; 07-04-2019 at 05:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    I ordered S19, S25, and Brain Bag at the same time, and chose BB. I chose it for the function over the form. Well, honestly, Synapse is not the most beautiful bag in the world either, and it's very subjective. I don't like synapse's oval shape personally; I looked like a turtle. :-) My primary purpose of BB is to use as a travel backpack. I won't travel frequently (maybe a few days of conferences from time to time), so I didn't think I would need an Aeronaut. Also, I am not a fan of "multi-purpose" products; it should be either a backpack or a hand-carry bag, not both. I've made a quick two-day trip to LA with my wife, and the BB's two compartments worked great (one compartment for each). I carry it sometimes to work when I need to carry two notebooks or other heavy items. It's just the flexibility, if you are okay with the "big bag" look..
    Last edited by gadgets; 07-03-2019 at 01:48 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgets View Post
    I ordered S19, S25, and Brain Bag at the same time, and chose BB. I chose it for the function over the form. Well, honestly, Synapse is not the most beautiful bag in the world either, and it's very subjective. I don't like synapse's oval shape personally; I looked like a turtle. :-) My primary purpose of BB is to use as a travel backpack. I won't travel frequently (maybe a few days of conferences from time to time), so I didn't think I would need an Aeronaut. Also, I am not a fan of "multi-purpose" products; it should be either a backpack or a hand-carry bag, not both. I've made a quick two-day trip to LA with my wife, and the BB's two compartments worked great (one compartment for each). I carry it sometimes to work when I need to carry two notebooks or other heavy items. It's just the flexibility, if you are okay with the "big bag" look..
    The "big bag" look is what I'm worried about. I should technically only need to bring my laptop and notebooks into work, the rest is just stuff I like to have on me. So I imagine my work colleagues wonder what the heck I have with me to need such a big bag.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    The Brain Bag is great for work trips, as I like that the two big compartments can separate work and personal items. I agree that the Brain Bag is an acquired taste from size and form, but it quickly wins with its practicality. For me it would be too large for daily work use, as I only carry a relatively small amount of personal items (usually in a Side Kick). But if routinely carrying a Synapse then why should a bit larger Brain Bag be an issue if it gives you better organisation.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Moose's Avatar
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    I tried to love mine. However, in the end it was just too big. I ended up with an S25 and later two S19s. I use the S25 for travel but an S19 has been my daily companion for years.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  6. #6
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    So I did some packing and repacking and I found out a few things that are making me like the bag a bit better. So when I ordered the BB, I decided to order a BB Freudian slip for my notebooks and laptop charger. I was having issues with the notebooks getting torn up just shoving them in my Synapse. In the BB, there is plenty of space for them, but they were kinda floating in that compartment since there was so much room.

    Anyway, I really like the Freudian slip, so I think I'll be keeping it. Now that I have it though, my load no longer fits in the Synapse. Between the cache and Freudian slip, there is no room for my sidekick and Nintendo Switch.

    The big revelation was this...I initially was against using the compression straps because of the hassle of undoing them, but now that I've used them, the bag doesn't seem as huge. Only thing that sticks out is that I have the 3d organizer cube in one of the front pouches and that makes the lower half of the bag a bit bulgy but aside from that, it's really not bad anymore.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by nolegrl; 07-04-2019 at 08:04 AM.

  7. #7
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    I'm really digging mine so far (1 week in). I'm in the minority that I actually like the way it looks. I'm trying to make the bag within a bag thing happen for when I don't need to carry the whole load. Was looking at the maker's bag but I've decided that is too big to fit inside. I either want to try and find a used large cafe bag or if not I'll likely get a medium cafe bag to keep in the back pocket an a combo organizer / small bag to carry essentials

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    I didn’t love mine at first. I was all set to list it on eBay but procrastinated. Then one day I decided to pull it out of the box and travel with it. Didn’t like the bulky feeling (and completely full, I had to give it a shove to get it in the overhead bin), so I put it back in the box to be sold. And then I needed to haul a lot of fitness gear to a lifting meet. That’s when I fell in love. I can do the bag within a bag for all my gear and my meals. It’s not a pretty bag, but it’s the best gym and competition bag ever.
    S19, Pilot, S25, SE, NFTD, SCB, LCB, LS- in that order, all in Halcyon. Newest: Brain Bag. Oh, and some Shop Bags and Travel Cubelets. And some pouches. And a couple of Organizer Wallets. And a SSK. And some stuff sacks. And a laundry sack. But I'm not hooked on TB.

  9. #9
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    I've been carrying the Brain Bag as an EDC -- well, my everyday I'm leaving the house carry!

    I have always liked the look (and layout) of the Brain Bag, but aesthetics is a very personal thing. My first TOM BIHN backpack was the Smart Alec -- I loved the clean look, and also that it had a front panel made from several colors of 1050d ballistic nylon (mine was Crimson).

    I think I go through phases of wanting to carry one bag for some time and then another bag. Part of that is a product of what I have a tendency to carry and how I want to pack (backpack or briefcase), and part of it is also aesthetic preference.

    The Brain Bag invariably enables me to accommodate whatever I'm bringing along for the day or the weekend, including clothes and toiletries. Although my last weekend trip (it was a car ride), I decided to through my clothes (which were in a packing cube) and my toiletries (which were in a Deluxe Spiff Kit) into a Zip Top Shop Bag rather than packing them into my Brain Bag. My Brain Bag had my work and personal laptop, iPad, and various accessories, chargers and what not organized between a Freudian Slip and the front pockets. I really like how this worked out -- you can get away with these things when you're traveling in a car and not by air.
    -m

  10. #10
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    Maybe not the prettiest bag in the world, but absolutely versatile and I’m really glad I got it. Currently sitting in the Vancouver airport on the way home from a 3 day business trip and it is a perfect 1-bag solution for these short business trips. I have my laptop, IPad, work papers, packing folder with business clothes in the back big compartment. Laundry sack with dirty clothes, toiletry kit, cables/chargers, jacket, noise canceling headphones in front large pocket. So easy to get around in airport, taxi, trains, etc. Dropped everything off at hotel except laptop and business papers and cinched the sides down to a slim backpack. Just one of my many uses for this bag.

  11. #11
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    If the brain bag sticks out from your back more than you like have you tried the compression straps? I've found them to be really useful in that regard. I love my Brain Bag. My first TB bag was the SuperEgo (actually it was the bag that led me to TB but not the only bag in my first purchase) because I have a big screen laptop - which I wanted, even though smaller and smaller screens are what's desired. I've found my Brain Bag easily accommodated my laptop and the cooling pad but the rest of my stuff as well. I find the shoulder straps very comfortable and the grab handle useful. It's a very very big bag but on my back I never found it to be unwieldy or difficult to maneuver. It coheres into a solid mass that sits atop your back - it doesn't flay around or move about. I love that about it. The water bottle attachment in the back is also really useful. I have almost the whole line of TB bags and my usage depends on what I'm carrying, how far I'm going, how long I'll be gone for, what I'm wearing. So for long days at the library working it's good to stuff all my stuff and take it. I use it more than my SuperEgo lately but that could easily change. In short it's one of the bags I use the most

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmachats View Post
    If the brain bag sticks out from your back more than you like have you tried the compression straps? I've found them to be really useful in that regard. I love my Brain Bag. My first TB bag was the SuperEgo (actually it was the bag that led me to TB but not the only bag in my first purchase) because I have a big screen laptop - which I wanted, even though smaller and smaller screens are what's desired. I've found my Brain Bag easily accommodated my laptop and the cooling pad but the rest of my stuff as well. I find the shoulder straps very comfortable and the grab handle useful. It's a very very big bag but on my back I never found it to be unwieldy or difficult to maneuver. It coheres into a solid mass that sits atop your back - it doesn't flay around or move about. I love that about it. The water bottle attachment in the back is also really useful. I have almost the whole line of TB bags and my usage depends on what I'm carrying, how far I'm going, how long I'll be gone for, what I'm wearing. So for long days at the library working it's good to stuff all my stuff and take it. I use it more than my SuperEgo lately but that could easily change. In short it's one of the bags I use the most
    I did eventually give in to using the compression straps (I didn't like them at first because it's a bit of a hassle to have to unbuckle them to get to your stuff compared to the Synapse 25) and it surprisingly did change my feeling on the bag quite a bit.

    I guessing being a big bag is both a strength and weakness for it to me. I love a the room is provides, but hate how big it can look/get when stuffed.

    I've been using it with tags on for about a week but I think I may finally cut the tags this weekend. I'm liking the bag a lot.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Forum Member Alice in Wanderlust's Avatar
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    I bought one a few years ago. I like the more rugged appearance, yet it's use has been hit or miss for me. I cannot, however, part with it, because it fills a gap in my bag collection. As for my initial impression, I almost exchanged for the Smart Alec (which I ended up buying later anyway). The SA would have been too small for what I needed at the time. So it wasn't love at first sight, but it's grown on me.

    Pros: great for a short trip - I can stack two medium EC packing cubes on one side and then tech/papework on the other
    I'm a grad student, so if I need to carry a lot of books - which I do on occasion - it works great.
    If I'm doing a quick overnight and don't want to pack neatly, I can just throw things in the bag.
    Color - it's olive, my favorite color
    The separate compartments are very useful, especially if you're really trying to one bag it with tech. For me, however, it's just not as comfortable as the Aeronaut or Smart Alec. Some of that is weight & capacity, some is how the straps set on my shoulders.

    cons: width of the bag. I think it would be too wide for me to carry everyday. My everyday bag is the Smart Alec or a non-TB backpack.
    interior color - mine is a dark steel (I think) and it's not like the Wasabi interior of my Smart Alec or Aeronaut 30
    weight - it's hefty even while empty - mine is the older fabric, cordura maybe.

    I don't do a lot of camping at this season of my life, but that may change, and I think this would be a great camping (not necessarily hiking) bag.

    The compression straps are great, especially when loaded with books.

    At this point, it's probably the least used TB bag I own but I am unwilling to part with it.

  14. #14
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    I had a mixed reaction to my BB at first. It isn’t the sexiest bag out there, but I love function and efficiency over everything so I was won over as soon as I started test packing. My only “problem” with my BB is in fact not a problem with the BB, it is my ability to fill every nook and cranny of the bad because it it available. This makes it too heavy and stand too far away from my back, I’m only 5’2.5” on a good day and I have almost tipped over wearing it
    I think anyone concerned about the perceived lack of beauty of the bag will be won over by the pure functionality of it. If it’s not full, it can fit under airline seats, at least the ones on Delta that I’ve tried. The divided main compartment and the front pockets are simple but genius. I’m super excitied about the Synik, but still hopeful for a smaller version of the BB (a Brain Storm? A Prodigy Pack? An Einstein Haversack?) because it’s just that great of a bag.
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color 好的朋友

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeBru View Post
    The divided main compartment and the front pockets are simple but genius. I’m super excitied about the Synik, but still hopeful for a smaller version of the BB (a Brain Storm? A Prodigy Pack? An Einstein Haversack?) because it’s just that great of a bag.
    I too would like a smaller version of the BB
    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...

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