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  1. #1
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    Question about current Empire Builder

    I have a Brain Bag and Empire Builder from way back. How far back? Before annex clip, o-rings, and dyneema/halcyon. That's pic of my label.

    https://i.imgur.com/C6ok5BF.jpg

    Anyhoo...I think I know the answer to this even before I ask, but I've got nothing to lose. Will current production Empire Builders not have the fabric loops in them to hold the annex clips for a Brain Cell?

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the Forums @GhostOfAndy !

    Annex Clips are before my time and the EB is way too big for my short self... @moriond would know if there are hacks for the current Empire Builders (which are set up to use the rails/cache system)

    Also, paging @Darcy - check out the photo link for how vintage their EB is! Smilie
    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...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostOfAndy View Post
    I have a Brain Bag and Empire Builder from way back. How far back? Before annex clip, o-rings, and dyneema/halcyon. That's pic of my label.

    https://i.imgur.com/C6ok5BF.jpg

    Anyhoo...I think I know the answer to this even before I ask, but I've got nothing to lose. Will current production Empire Builders not have the fabric loops in them to hold the annex clips for a Brain Cell?
    Hi @GhostOfAndy ,

    I think that the answer is no, current Empire Builders probably no longer have Annex Clips since the retirement of the Brain Cells were announced in 2016 @Darcy posted this in a note dated 3-28-2016; it's in the Just for Registered Users forum so I'll quote the text)


    Read this! Important Pre-Debut News



    Bags To Be Retired

    Now, on to some sad but necessary news. Below is the list of bags that we anticipate we will retire in 2016. We have to make way for all of the new stuff in the works, and retiring current designs is the only way to do that.

    Camera I-O (what we have now is all we'll ever have; no more batches will be made)
    Tripod - Lighting Kit Quivers (same as above)
    Horizontal Brain Cell (same)
    Vertical Brain Cell (same)
    Basically, in the period between 2013 and 2016, the older bags (Smart Alec, Brain Bag, Empire Builder -- and those messenger bags whose retirements were announced in 2015 -- see the To Be Retired: ID, Ego, Super Ego, Zephyr, Field Journal Notebook thread that @Darcy started on 03-06-2015 -- ID, Ego, Super Ego, and Zephyr (smaller Empire Builder) -- were made with both the webbing loops for the current cache with rails design and with the strip of cloth that held the Annex Clips that allowed clipping in a Brain Cell.

    Bags in the relevant models that held Brain Cells from before that time, came with the Annex Clip attachment points. It's actually not difficult to adapt bags with Annex Clips for holding horizontal Brain Cells to use the newer cache with rails design. A number of people did so for the Western Flyer, before that bag was fitted with webbing loops. See, for example, the pictures in my response post in the Horizontal caches clip to an ID bag? thread, where you can pass velcro loops through the place for Annex Clips, and attach a Single Gatekeeper Clip through it to suspend a cache with rails.

    I'm guessing that you may have gotten a Brain Cell from the period when they used metal snaps to attach these to an Empire Builder, in place of having the Annex Clips hook into the webbing on the outside of the Brain Cell.

    When they shifted over to a cache with rails design (first inspired by the design of the original version of the Cadet briefcase), and implemented this for the Pilot, introduced in early 2013, they slowly started migrating the cache with rails design to other bags later in the year. All the older messenger bags (and Zephyr), that they made up for the final batch before these bags retired, had both the webbing loops for caches with rails and the strip with Annex Clips.

    I think that the last model of (vertical) Brain Cell that I got for the Mac is for their 2015 15" MacBook Pro. Of course, there are myriad older Brain Cells around, and we continued to get questions about fits of Brain Cells for other laptops (e.g., the larger gaming ones) on the forums.

    Hope this helps to answer your questions. There's a substantial population of the older model Empire Builders around, if you need the Annex Clip design.

    moriond

    ETA: @G42 , There are people who are shorter than you and me who enthuse about the Empire Builder -- I think that they just don't walk around with it a lot. The problem I had with the Empire Builder is not that I wasn't able to carry it, but that the width of the bag and its size put the center of gravity at an uncomfortable point for me. I basically had to hold the bag further out from my body than was comfortable if I were walking with the bag. If I were taller (e.g. not under 5'4") and only expected to move this from a car, or shift it for short distances, this wouldn't have been a problem. This was when I realized that although most Tom Bihn bags are scalable, not every bag is going to scale to smaller people. This is why they redesigned the Empire Builder into the smaller Zephyr option. Just try taking a heavy bag and forcing yourself to carry it with your arm held further away from your body as you walk for a long time.
    Last edited by moriond; 08-13-2020 at 05:50 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    ETA: @G42 , There are people who are shorter than you and me who enthuse about the Empire Builder -- I think that they just don't walk around with it a lot. The problem I had with the Empire Builder is not that I wasn't able to carry it, but that the width of the bag and its size put the center of gravity at an uncomfortable point for me. I basically had to hold the bag further out from my body than was comfortable if I were walking with the bag. If I were taller (e.g. not under 5'4") and only expected to move this from a car, or shift it for short distances, this wouldn't have been a problem. This was when I realized that although most Tom Bihn bags are scalable, not every bag is going to scale to smaller people. This is why they redesigned the Empire Builder into the smaller Zephyr option. Just try taking a heavy bag and forcing yourself to carry it with your arm held further away from your body as you walk for a long time.
    I get hung up on the fact that the EB is actually bigger than the WF - which I consider luggage. For my height and build and usage, I just can't fathom carrying it as a briefcase... not that I can't physically carry it. Smilie
    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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