Tom Bihn Brain Bag Laptop Backpack Review

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After dropping all that money on a shiny new notebook, why on Earth would you then cheap out on the laptop bag that is going to be used to carry it around? You want to have adequate protection for your technological investment, you want to have adequate storage for your various accessories, and you probably want to look good walking around town with it too.

Aiming to satisfy all three of these objectives is the Tom Bihn Brain Bag. Available in four different colors (as well as a special universal camouflage version for military personnel), the Brain Bag is big enough not only to accommodate one laptop; it’s actually designed to pack around up to two notebooks at the same time.

A Laptop Backpack for Brainiacs

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Since this is a Tom Bihn product, you already know that the Brain Bag is built very well with high quality materials made right in Seattle, WA USA. They’ve also done a great job loading it up with several different compartments, straps, and other doo-dahs to accommodate your various computing and technological goodies. That’s the good news.

Part of the bad news, at least for traveling techie types, is that the Tom Bihn Brain Bag does not feature a TSA checkpoint-friendly design. Instead, it’s a fairly conventional backpack in that regard, quite unlike something like the Mobile Edge ScanFast line of bags.

Even so, the Brain Bag has a lot to offer. It’ll hold up to 36 liters off stuff, it’s made with 1000 denier Cordura lined with 500 denier Cordura, and both the interior and exterior surfaces have been treated for water resistance. Do not fear the rain!

The Tom Bihn Brain Bag Laptop Backpack retails for $140 US in the base configuration. Our bag with all the goodies came to well over $200 US properly equipped. Let’s see if it’s worth the green. It’s available in black, olive, grey, blue and a special camouflage.

Ample-Sized Front Pockets

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Some people are perfectly happy with a laptop bag that has enough room to fit their laptop and that’s about it. This is not the laptop bag for them. The Tom Bihn Brain Bag was designed to fit all kinds of extra accessories and other items that you’d carry around with you.

There are two vertical front pockets, both of which have some organizational things inside for holding pens and other small items. Outside one of these pockets is an exterior pocket with a mesh outer layer, which could be a good place for something like a water bottle.

And above all of these is a top outer pocket, which is actually surprisingly big. I’ve always had trouble finding a backpack with a suitable pocket for my Canon S3 IS ultrazoom point and shoot, due it is slightly bigger lens compared to more compact point and shoot cameras. Yes, this pocket can fit it.

Look at All Dem Accessories!

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As if dropping $140 on a backpack for you laptop wasn’t enough, Tom Bihn is more than happy to outfit you with an assortment of accessories to accompany the Brain Bag.

Each of these are meant to be additional organizational tools, since the two major compartments in the Brain Bag do not offer much in terms of additional pockets and other ways to sort through your gizmos. The accessories range in price from less than ten bucks to about sixty dollars, so be prepared to open that wallet just a little further.

Let’s take a look at a few of the available accessories and whether they are worth the additional investment.

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About

Michael Kwan is freelance writer and professional gadget geek. He's been reporting on the world of technology for years, playing countless console games along the way too. Be sure to check out his personal blog, Beyond the Rhetoric, for posts on freelance writing, personal development, entertainment, video games, and more. Follow him on Twitter too: @michaelkwan

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