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Third Level personal Preparedness (Go-Bags)> Backpack
Tom Bihn- Brain Bag> Highly Recommended

Above:Clockwise from Top-Left | Front view | Inside back view |Fully expanded & Filled
Fully compressed & partially filled Note: Velbon Tripod not included

Introduction :Third level Preparedness - Go-Bags> Back Packs
This section is dedicated to the analysis of some currently available options for portable carry bags that have the design distinction of two shoulder straps that distribute weight symmetrically to mount on the shoulders . Backpacks are an ancient design that have endured due to their logic and simplicity.The most conspicuous advantage of backpacks is that they allow for enormous loads to be carried for great distances with good balance and free hands.
From the point of view of an everyday bag that also doubles as an evacuation Go-Bag, they are hard to best. Not only have backpacks become accepted luggage for the hauling of everyday necessities, they continue to be popular within all domains that call for luggage that conforms to the user's back and leaves their hands free to perform tasks other than carrying a bag. A well designed backpack also transfers some burden to the hips- via a waist belt and shoulder strap displacement is controlled through the use of a sternum strap. Most modern backpacks are constructed of some type of durable synthetic weave fabric such as Cordura Nylon. For use near water, specialized backpacks exist that are completely impervious and are submersible as well. Naturally, the possible design range stretches all the way from a simple one compartment rucksack all the way to sophisticated Military and Professional packs designed for a narrow domain of uses.

Key benefits: Large main compartments| Quick access to main compartment | Multiple compartments for customized contents| Symmetrical carry on both shoulders| Can be very ergonomic |Highly controllable | Allow for hands free operation | Ideal for a range of commuter/travel end uses


General Description

Brain Bag from Tom Bihn is one of a number of gear bags manufactured by Tom Bihn Inc (Seattle Washington-USA) for people of all walks of life.This back pack is an excellent example of a classic theme- updated to suit the needs of the itinerate traveler, worker or student.This is a large size pack that will accommodate a 12" -17" laptop as well as a few days worth of clothes and a modest stash of emergency tools and provisions. Both main compartments have clips inside that accept the Brain Cell or Monolith laptop cases so you can carry your computer or your books against your back, as you like. You can actually carry two Brain Cells or Monoliths, and therefore two laptops in the Brain Bag. It's ergonomic as well as fairly aerodynamic. With just enough external strapping to accommodate a travel tripod,monopod or other long slender object most emphasis is on intelligent use of space as well as user comfort. It's stylish and rugged enough for a campus, travel or outdoor sports or all types. The areas where the user's body meets the pack are carefully designed to ensure that the fit is tailored and weight is evenly distributed between hips and shoulders.

Target Market
-Itinerate Student / 12"-17" laptop,small electronics, Clothes, 48-72 hrs of food, water bottles+ 1st 72 hrs of emergency tools and provisions
-Traveler / 12"-17" laptop,small electronics, Clothes, 48-72 hrs of food, water bottles+ 1st 72 hrs of emergency tools and provisions
-Outdoors Person/12"-17" Clothes, 48-72 hrs of food, water bottles+ 1st 72 hrs of emergency tools and provisions

Form Factor & Build -
Sizes- Large

Geometry- Classic/Modern Backpack
Material- Heavy duty Cordura nylon fabric and construction.YKK zippers throughout. Large Snap closure buckle ( National Molding - Warrior) . YKK zipper pulls

Ergonomics- Two shoulder straps carry the most burden while a second hip strap carries the rest. A sternum strap connects and controls the shoulder straps- keeping the pack from swaying- especially during tilts, twists and turns.
In trials, the Brain Bag was very comfortable carried at the correct height for each user, allowing both shoulder straps and waist strap to share the load equitably.Like other Tom Bihn products, the Brain Bag is all about intelligent weight distribution, suspension and shock absorption. It's as effective on city streets for pedestrians or bike riders as it is on the mountains. Substantial padding ensures that all contact points are shielded from shock and abrasion. In addition the back pad is channeled for effective transport of heat and perspiration. The shoulder straps are ergonomic and form fitting to maximize lift and minimize fatigue. Side compression straps expand or compress the pack to match the volume of the pack to that of the main compartments. This improves the dynamics of carry as it keeps the profile low and prevents stuff from moving around inside. Soft packs like the Brain Bag, that lack rigid internal frames are wonderfully form fitting. This makes them much less likely to shift the center of gravity as the users climbs or tilts. This in turn minimizes back and shoulder strain and mitigates accidental falls that are more likely with a heavy load.

Affordances- Two large main compartments- one with a special attachment to clip on to the optional Monolith, laptop case and the second is a similar volume. Both main compartments have Molle/Pal webbing to accommodate add-on cases.On the outside are a triad of zippered pockets for smaller items. One of the outside pockets also has a large mesh pouch- ideal for small garments or 20oz capacity water bottle. The space between the two flanking outside pockets, forms a natural channel to hold a small tripod or monopod or even an ultra light bivvy or tent.

Human Factors & Usability -The Brain Bag conforms to most heuristics guiding excellent user-centered design in the industrial engineering of a multi-function backpack.In other words, the need for effective, efficient and easy to learn functionality are fully accommodated through sound consideration of the cognitive, reflexive and contextual aspects of this product's use. In addition, sound ergonomics contribute to a pleasant and transparent user experience .Usability has therefore been closely aligned to the operator requiring a certain type of task and goal-centric backpack.The judicious use of padding and shock absorbing foam in strategic locations is noticeable, especially when one has to suddenly take off in a dash to catch a bus or train. The weight of Brain Bag, laden with a heavy laptop and other necessities is barely noticeable. Because the Brain Bag can be compressed when not full, it's really an expandable backpack that can lie flat for light loads or be fully expanded if the need arises- It loves to be fully strapped down to it's wearer, merging user into backpack.

Styling and Aesthetics
Within a number of contexts, the Brain Bag's exterior appearance coordinates well with the user and their task- in order to create a harmonious visual ensemble that projects an image of normalcy and not discontinuity. The mere fact that it's available in six colors opens up the possibility for use within a number of markets from tactical to military, outdoors, student and recreational as well. Lacking superfluous features or gimmicks- it's silhouette is understated and elegant- like all of Tom Bihn luggage.

Environmental Stress- We evaluated the Brain Bag under everyday circumstances. The toughness of the fabric was well suited to casual brushes with metal surfaces such as those that might be encountered in a typical commuter, outdoors or light duty professional settings. It fared very well in scuffs against concrete, subway doors,trees, thorns and the usual combatants of the urban village street. To test the protected zippers, we subjected Brain Bag to a 10 minute shower- Thanks to the highly effective zipper flaps, not a drop of water was discovered inside. A successful rain defense strategy demands due diligence in property covering the zippers with their flaps. Otherwise water could enter the pack.

Sales Source:http://www.Tom
Tom Bihn- Brain Bag

  • 1000 denier Cordura
  • Available in Six colors
  • Dimensions: 18" x 14" x 9" / 450 x 350 x 230mm
  • Volume: 2200 / 36 liters
  • Weight: 3lbs / 1.3 KG
  • #10 YKK zippers on main compartment and #9 YKK zippers on pockets.
  • 1/2" padded straps with 1" sternum and 2" waist straps.
  • Made in Minnesota


Above:Clockwise Top Left> Detail of waist belt buckle | Sternum strap | Bottom view
Detail of compression strap

Above: Left, Inner 17" Laptop case 'Monolith'| Right, laptop case restraint interface 'Molle'

Above: Detail of mesh side pocket

Above:Main compartment contents

Above: Secondary and peripheral compartment contents

Evaluation Results & Summaries

Ease of Use
Excellent. The user simply loads contents according to individual or task requirements. Smooth zippers are easily opened and closed thanks to the easily grasped pull cords.The design of the Brain Bag invites objects to be loaded in a certain way. Small items that may need to accessed more quickly may be stowed around the outside in pockets suitable for controlling pens, PDAs, small electronics and so on. In addition, a small smoke hood, umbrella or water bottle can be arranged in these smaller spaces . The main spaces is a zippered compartment that may house up to a 17" laptop plus books or enough clothing for 3-4 days of light travel. The second compartment may contain more clothing and emergency provisions. All spaces are easy to open and close and snap buckles were easy to use as well. We were surprised to discover that it was possible to run an ultra light sleeping bag around the pack in an upside down 'U' shape, holding it in place with the compression straps!
The Brain Bag exudes ergonomic intelligence and logical compartmentalization. Its traditional profile and design is updated to take into account the special demands of users living in a fast paced electronic age.

Task performance optimization
Very Effective. The Brain Bag is ideal for carrying a large daily load of a laptop plus books , papers and clothes.Its also an ideal travel bag -accommodating enough light clothes and emergency provisions for one person to be comfortable for 3-4 days. Wrap a fleece blanket or ultra light sleeping bag around the outside and pop an ultra light tent or bivvy into the strapped outside channel and you could sleep anywhere during warmer months.
Accommodation for emergency provisions
Excellent. The most important emergency preparedness passenger riding in the Brain Bag is the Emergency escape hood. Housed in its dedicated zippered carry bag, the Dupont brand Evac-U8 is positioned in one of the two large outside pockets. Everything else can reside in the most logical array, with small stuff like flashlights,water, nutrition bars and first aid sharing the outside pocket space and bulkier items like clothes, shoes, laptop and rain gear in the large interior spaces.
See> Emergency Preparedness Provisions 24/48/72

Fabrication Design and Construction quality
The fabrication quality of Brain Bag is top notch and is in keeping with the expectations of its intended customers. More than this it may also be relied on by users beyond this base and can work well within a number of professional settings. The Cordura fabric is a tightly woven 100 denier weave which, based on our decades of experience with Cordura, lead us to believe it should last for many years if treated with care. Stitching is also high quality with heavy stitches being used to ensure that stress points stay firmly intact. Most impressive is the attention to details such as the use of YKK zippers, thoughtful compression straps and top class padding and suspension for laptops.
Items of Note:
Excellent Customer Relationship Management |Superb design and construction quality|Excellent protection from shock and impact | Logically arranged compartments and sub-compartments | Form fitting flexibility | Premium materials and hardware |Expandable volume | Ideal for large volume loads & active lifestyles |Exceptional comfort especially on hikes or treks across campus | An ideal carry-on piece of luggage.

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