Finally selected my new laptop bag

I’ve been on the look out for a while now for a new bag for a while now. I’ve got a few; A targus bag with more pockets than a mutant kangaroo, but that’s heavy and hurts my back/shoulders no matter how I hold it. The Macromedia Man Purse from Devcon ’01 (I think it was), which is great for my Macbook Air, but has no padding whatsoever, since “laptop bags” weren’t as en vogue as they are now.

Neither of which really “did it for me”

I had only a few requirements.

1. Rolly luggage pass through

2. good shoulder strap

3. enough pockets to hold my shiz

4. doesn’t weigh 3-4 pounds, empty.

I did a lot of googling, asking friends, etc. The most helpful site I found was someone else on the hunt for a bag.

I narrowed my search to what he had found since his requirements very closely matched mine, at least in part. The bag he chose wasn’t a good fit for me. I need a few more pockets and storage. I don’t need to carry a home office, but since Tom and I travel a fair bit, I like to have all my cords, cables, adapters, etc. so I need some room. But don’t want one of those laptop bags that requires wheels.

Once I narrowed my search to the manufacturers he had selected, i expanded beyond messengers. The Tom Bihn Zephyr fit the bill!

The Tom Bihn site while attractive could use some work, as far as UX. Most bag sites, don’t give enough information really.

Pictures of the pockets, as well as the main compartment, etc would defintiely help in narrowing the search.

One thing I really liked was that the rolly pass-through, has a zipper allowing it to become a back pocket, which is nice, since when not traveling, a rolly pass-through isn’t super useful, LOL.

Tom Bihn defintiely charges a premium on bags, which is understandable, they’re very nice. One thing I don’t so much dig, is that everything is an ‘optional add on’. Like shoulder straps, main compartment dividers, special laptop sleave, etc. Kinda weird.

I will say, the shoulder strap feels like they grabbed a cloud, stitched it to a nylon strap and sold it, it’s very cushy and comfortable. We’ll see how it does with travel later this week, when I head to New Jersey!

I could defintiely use 1 or 2 more larger pockets, for my power strip, eyeglass torpedo, and yo-yo. but I can make due easy enough.

11 thoughts on “Finally selected my new laptop bag

  1. ike Post author

    Hey thanks for posting the review John. :) I have a lot of trouble with bags, which may be partly because of my height. I’m only 5’3" and the shoulder straps always seem to be designed for someone who’s between 6′ and 10′ tall. :P But moreover I’ve never found a shoulder strap that really adequately distributed the weight to keep it from hurting my shoulder and didn’t squirm around on me. So when I’m in the market for a new bag, now I’ll know where to look. :)

  2. Darcy Post author

    Hi John,

    Darcy who works at Tom Bihn here. Congratulations on your new bag!! Someone forwarded your post to me and I thought I’d explain why the Brain Cell (laptop insert) and Absolute Shoulder Strap are optional instead of included. Not all people who use the Zephyr carry a laptop. Including built-in, one-size-fits-all protection would limit what laptops would fit well inside of the Zephyr and including the Brain Cell insert with the bag would force those who didn’t want it to pay for it without having much use for it. Same goes for the shoulder strap: some people still prefer to carry briefcases by their handles, or already have a shoulder strap they’d like to use. We’ve found that giving customers more options for customizing their bag works best.

    As for more pictures on our Web site: I agree!! And we’re working on it. Expect to see more pictures and maybe even video soon.

  3. John Wilker Post author

    @darcy

    I see, gotcha. too bad they’re not bundled. ie buy this as a laptop bag, picking your pieces (laptop part, shoulder bag)

    My only complaint, and I’m not one to complain for paying for quality, but piecemeal like that adds up fast. It’s my bad for sure, for not realizing it wasn’t included, but now I’ll have to wait, cuz 60 bucks for a laptop pouch even a high quality one on top of bag and shoulder strap is a toughy.

    Maybe later i’ll pick one up.

    Thanks for the feedback, i really appreciate it, and am glad you guys are out there talking to customers. I love the bag so far! I’m traveling this weekend so I’ll be able to test that aspect out! Can’t wait.

  4. Ricardo Bueno Post author

    I can’t stand it…I have a great backpack. But my laptop carrying case is horrible! I lost the shoulder strap and it’s become uncomfortable to carry around. I mean it looks clean and professional (nice briefcase feel to it). But it’s so not functional for me. I need something more comfortable! Ya know?

    But bags and running shoes are two things I have a really, REALLY hard time shopping for. I’m indecisive and if I pick one thing, I’ll complain about having wanted somethin else!

    I have to say though, the one you have here really does look a little comfortable. Way more comfortable than the one that I’m lugging around right now!

  5. John Wilker Post author

    @Ricardo

    Sitting her at JFK waiting for Tom to arrive, I can now attest to the Zephyr’s travel-ability. A+ comfortable to wear, the wheely pass-through is great. I’m toting my Macbook AIR and it works great. Easy access to the lappy for security was another of my requirements, that I had forgotten to mention.

    I hear ya. I had about 7 bags pages open for over a week, comparing them, looking at pics, asking colleagues, etc. slowly I’d decide one was out and close that tab. Slowly.

    Other than the price premium on accessories, I gotta say the Tom Bihn so far is really living up to my expectations

  6. ike

    Hey thanks for posting the review John. :) I have a lot of trouble with bags, which may be partly because of my height. I'm only 5'3" and the shoulder straps always seem to be designed for someone who's between 6' and 10' tall. :P But moreover I've never found a shoulder strap that really adequately distributed the weight to keep it from hurting my shoulder and didn't squirm around on me. So when I'm in the market for a new bag, now I'll know where to look. :)

  7. John Wilker

    @Ricardo

    Sitting her at JFK waiting for Tom to arrive, I can now attest to the Zephyr's travel-ability. A comfortable to wear, the wheely pass-through is great. I'm toting my Macbook AIR and it works great. Easy access to the lappy for security was another of my requirements, that I had forgotten to mention.

    I hear ya. I had about 7 bags pages open for over a week, comparing them, looking at pics, asking colleagues, etc. slowly I'd decide one was out and close that tab. Slowly.

    Other than the price premium on accessories, I gotta say the Tom Bihn so far is really living up to my expectations

  8. Darcy

    Hi John,

    Darcy who works at Tom Bihn here. Congratulations on your new bag!! Someone forwarded your post to me and I thought I'd explain why the Brain Cell (laptop insert) and Absolute Shoulder Strap are optional instead of included. Not all people who use the Zephyr carry a laptop. Including built-in, one-size-fits-all protection would limit what laptops would fit well inside of the Zephyr and including the Brain Cell insert with the bag would force those who didn't want it to pay for it without having much use for it. Same goes for the shoulder strap: some people still prefer to carry briefcases by their handles, or already have a shoulder strap they'd like to use. We've found that giving customers more options for customizing their bag works best.

    As for more pictures on our Web site: I agree!! And we're working on it. Expect to see more pictures and maybe even video soon.

  9. Ricardo Bueno

    I can't stand it…I have a great backpack. But my laptop carrying case is horrible! I lost the shoulder strap and it's become uncomfortable to carry around. I mean it looks clean and professional (nice briefcase feel to it). But it's so not functional for me. I need something more comfortable! Ya know?

    But bags and running shoes are two things I have a really, REALLY hard time shopping for. I'm indecisive and if I pick one thing, I'll complain about having wanted somethin else!

    I have to say though, the one you have here really does look a little comfortable. Way more comfortable than the one that I'm lugging around right now!

  10. John Wilker

    @darcy

    I see, gotcha. too bad they're not bundled. ie buy this as a laptop bag, picking your pieces (laptop part, shoulder bag)

    My only complaint, and I'm not one to complain for paying for quality, but piecemeal like that adds up fast. It's my bad for sure, for not realizing it wasn't included, but now I'll have to wait, cuz 60 bucks for a laptop pouch even a high quality one on top of bag and shoulder strap is a toughy.

    Maybe later i'll pick one up.

    Thanks for the feedback, i really appreciate it, and am glad you guys are out there talking to customers. I love the bag so far! I'm traveling this weekend so I'll be able to test that aspect out! Can't wait.

Comments are closed.