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  1. #1
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    Talking A teacher in search of help selecting a bag

    Hey folks,

    This seems like a very helpful and knowledgeable community, so I'm hoping you can help narrow down my search, because I've never had a Tom Bihn bag before, and I know they are supposed to be good, but tbh, the number of models and options is a bit overwhelming.

    My needs are pretty simple, TBH:
    - I'm a teacher, so I transport a laptop and papers pretty regularly
    - I prefer messenger-bag style bags.
    - I'm replacing a cheap, free laptop bag my work gave me, so really, it's all gravy.

    So here's all I would probably regularly carry:
    - HP Elitebook 1030 x360 (Dimensions: 12.48 x 8.6 x 0.59 in)
    - Wireless full-size mouse for use with above
    - Bose QuietComfort 35 II over-ear headphones, in case (approx 8 x 6 x 2.5 in)
    - Short stacks of assignments (regular 8.5 x 11 in paper)
    - A trade paperback or hardcover book
    - Miscellaneous pens, pencils, small notes, etc.
    - Sometimes, a Zojiruishi travel mug (not a requirement for storing in the bag, though it would be nice)

    That's about it. Any help is appreciated, and I'm happy to provide more info if necessary. Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give me!

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forums, @mpbourja! Sorry your post was invisible for a few hours--since you're new, your post was automatically hidden until a moderator could approve it.

    I think you're going to get a lot of different opinions, because we all have our favorite bags that we'll recommend. Smilie What size is your Zojiruishi mug? And do you know if you have a preference for bags with built-in organization or for bags that are basically one empty space that you can put other organizers into?
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  3. #3
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    There are only a few messenger style bags. The Medium Cafe bag will not fit yours without overpacking. The Maker’s bag will fit if you don’t carry the Zojirushi mug. You will need a sleeve or a TB’s Cache for your notebook computer.
    Last edited by gadgets; 11-06-2019 at 07:13 PM.

  4. #4
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    Not a messenger bag, but can carry cross body, what about a Pilot?

  5. #5
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    Former teacher here. I carried a Maker's Bag with pretty much the same stuff you carry except for the laptop. Mine is a 15" ThinkPad so I often carried a 10" tablet. I packed fairly full. I carried the Sipp Thermos mug (tall and slender).

    Sent from my Moto Z3 Play using Tapatalk
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    LS; Swift; A45 in Black/Steel; MB; MCB - Olive and Linen; SCB; numerous yarn stuff sacks & organizer pouches;

  6. #6
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    A used tom bihn ego messenger bag would probably work well.

  7. #7
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    I think a Pilot or a Maker's Bag would work. As has been alluded to above, it also depends on the type of organization you prefer. The Pilot is quite compartmentalized, and depending on the size of the book, this bag may feel chunky once it is fully packed. I often use the Pilot with similar items for airplane trips, but it gets a little blocky/heavy.

    The Maker's Bag has a lot of open space, and can hold a lot of gear, but then you'll have to organize it inside the back in the way that makes sense to you. Take a look at the reviews and descriptions of each to see if one of these might work.

  8. #8
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    I think some people use the Parental Unit as an EDC bag, so you may want to check it out too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoStanford View Post
    I think a Pilot or a Maker's Bag would work. As has been alluded to above, it also depends on the type of organization you prefer. The Pilot is quite compartmentalized, and depending on the size of the book, this bag may feel chunky once it is fully packed. I often use the Pilot with similar items for airplane trips, but it gets a little blocky/heavy.

    The Maker's Bag has a lot of open space, and can hold a lot of gear, but then you'll have to organize it inside the back in the way that makes sense to you. Take a look at the reviews and descriptions of each to see if one of these might work.
    I will take a look at those, thanks! Also, is the Cadet not an option? I think that looks the most like what I have now, but I'm guessing it doesn't have the room for headphones from the photos I see.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    Welcome to the Forums, @mpbourja! Sorry your post was invisible for a few hours--since you're new, your post was automatically hidden until a moderator could approve it.

    I think you're going to get a lot of different opinions, because we all have our favorite bags that we'll recommend. Smilie What size is your Zojiruishi mug? And do you know if you have a preference for bags with built-in organization or for bags that are basically one empty space that you can put other organizers into?
    Hey, thanks so much for the thoughts! The Zojiruishi is the 20-ounce model. I've really only used bags that have a central compartment, with part of it separated and padded for a laptop. The outside of the bag usually had 1-2 zippered compartments where i would dump pens or smaller items. So I'm not fully sure, but I'd say I'm probably inclined toward the large, empty space style, though I am open to exploring other options.

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    I think I'd suggest the Parental Unit, though a Maker's Bag would probably also work well for you. The Parental Unit sounds like it has about the amount of organization you're used to, though laid out differently. I've carried my PU with a similar load and what worked well for me was to leave one of the three compartments empty, otherwise it does turn into rather an American football shape. The posts on this page might be helpful, even though they're answering a question a little different from yours: https://forums.tombihn.com/general-b...afe-bag-2.html

    Or if you decide to opt for more built-in organization, a Pilot might be a perfect fit for what you want to carry, though it could end up being slightly too tight a fit. (I did check that the headphones would fit in one of the front pockets of the Pilot--I didn't think they would, but they do! I have the same headphones.) I don't have a Cadet to compare, but I have the impression it doesn't handle water bottles as well as the bags that people have been recommending.

    Or if you end up haunting eBay for a used bag, check out the Id and the Ego--either of those would also do what you're looking for! They're both larger than any of the other bags I've mentioned, which does mean you can load them up so full that they become hard to carry...

    That's still a lot of options, but I hope we've all helped!
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  12. #12
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    My wife (also a HS teacher with a similar carry load as you) just got a Cadet (with Absolute strap upgrade) this September and enjoys it. I agree with your assessment that it probably wouldn't fit the headphones, but if they fold up you might be able to swing it. Bumping up to a Maker's Bag would likely give you the room for the headphones and mug you wouldn't get in the Cadet.

    If you want pics or have any questions about the Cadet, let me know; happy to oblige.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Honey's Avatar
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    I find the large clear organizer pouches invaluable for holding a set of papers to bring home to grade. Also love my pen/pencil clear organizer pouches.


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