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  1. #1
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    Brain Bag for weeklong trip plus sketching/watercolor stuff

    There's many questions about the Brain Bag (and the Synapse 25) and if those bags will work for smaller folks. I'm in the process of ordering a Synapse 25 so I can't speak about that one yet, but I thought I would share how this 5'5" 120lb female packs her Brain Bag for a weeklong trip, and I'm a full-time artist (and mommy but my kids are old enough to carry their own bags) so I have to carry extra supplies.

    Disclaimer: The only thing that this list doesn't include is my toiletries kit because I haven't packed it yet (but you'll see room for it), my fountain pens because they need a good cleaning before we go (but you'll see room for them), and my laptop which I carry in a separate bag because I work online and sometimes need quick, easy access to it. And oh yes, this is for a 14+ hour round-trip car trip. I'd make some adjustments for airline travel. Smilie

    So below is my Brain Bag fully packed except for the above mentioned items. It can be cinched down but pre-cinching, it's about 10-inches deep. Weight is just under 20 lbs which seems a lot but I have outdoor sketching supplies including a board, watercolors, binoculars, etc, that add most of the weight. Most people won't have these items but may have other items, so I wanted to include them.

    I wouldn't want to do a long-distance hike with this bag. The weight is fine, but the bag extends too far outward for the balance to be comfortable long-distance, but for car travel and shuffling around to various houses to visit relatives, it's perfectly fine.

    Brain Bag for weeklong trip plus sketching/watercolor stuff-tb-1-jpg

    The photo on the left (below) contains the items that are in the front organizer pockets. I'm a minimalist at heart and usually only use one pocket, so you could easily fit much more. My cell phone is the only thing not pictured because I'm using it to take these photos.

    The photo on the right is what's in the first main pocket of the pack. That's an Etchr Field Case on the far right. It's a bit heavy and clunky but works to hold my watercolor supplies including 8 travel brushes and a small palette. However if TB decides to design and create a similar item (hint hint), I'd buy one or three in a heartbeat.

    This part of the pack also holds a drawing board, watercolor paper pad, a medium Freudian Slip stuffed full of sketching stuff (except for those MIA fountain pens), 2 sketchbooks (a thin A4 softcover and a heavier A5 hardcover), binoculars, and probably some other goodies floating around in there. There's still plenty of room in this part of the pack if I need it.

    Brain Bag for weeklong trip plus sketching/watercolor stuff-tb-2-jpg

    The next photo shows what everything looks like tucked inside the first, main pocket. Nothing is secured, but everything stays in place really well. Binoculars are on top just in case I run across something fabulous. Smilie

    Brain Bag for weeklong trip plus sketching/watercolor stuff-tb-3-jpg

    The next photo is a bit overexposed to allow you to see inside of the pack. My lightweight hiking shoes and hoodie are to the right of the pack. Inside is a pair of jeans, 3 pairs of lightweight hiking pants, 5 pairs of undies, 3 bras, a pair of yoga pants, 2 tank tops, 3 pairs of socks, 5 s/s t-shirts, and probably a few misc items that I've forgotten about since I packed earlier today.

    Brain Bag for weeklong trip plus sketching/watercolor stuff-tb-4-jpg

    And this last photo is everything inside the Brain Bag with room on top for my toiletry bag. And actually, there's room in this pack for lots more but why carry it if you don't need it? Big Grin

    Brain Bag for weeklong trip plus sketching/watercolor stuff-tb5-jpg

    If I get around to it, I'll see if Hubs can take a photo of me wearing this beautiful beast, but I swear it's super comfortable albeit a little hot this time of the year. When I'm not traveling with the Brain Bag, it's great for all of the art stuff plus an easel, field guides, and more.

    When day hiking or schlepping this through airports or city streets, I'd reverse the pack and put the heaviest stuff in the back and the clothing or daywear in the front pocket. This would better balance the load, but for this trip, I wanted the larger section for my clothing.

    Regardless of how much I love this ginormous, heavy-duty bag, I find it a little too roomy for most of my outings, hence the Daylight that I own or the Synapse 25 that's in my cart. Smilie But if you're a backpack person and headed out on a long weekend or weeklong trip, the Brain Bag is THE bag to carry. Cheers!
    Last edited by Tonya; 06-01-2018 at 04:09 AM.

  2. #2
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    Ditto what Tonya says about the Brain Bag.

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures and very thorough explanation and description of your packing!

    Keep us posted on the trip and share your tips and experience about doing plein air artwork.

  3. #3
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    You're very welcome. Thanks for your comment, backpack. Smilie The BB has been around TB a long time but it's such a great staple. Attached are a few photos of me wearing it, fully loaded. I'm not even close to being a model and the wind is whipping (hence the crazy hair) but this will give others an idea of the Brain Bag at capacity on a normal female frame - 5'5" 120#

    These forums have helped me so much, this post was my small contribution of a bag overview that I haven't seen - though it could certainly be here somewhere! Hope this helps someone decide.

    Brain Bag for weeklong trip plus sketching/watercolor stuff-tb-6-jpg

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