Our Verdict

4.7/5
Welcome to our Tom Bihn Brain Bag review.
The Tom Bihn Brain bag is a high-quality bag with a tank of storage capacity and organization.

However, it’s not attractive and requires extra add-ons if you want to get the most out of the bag.

Our Verdict

4.7/5
Welcome to our Tom Bihn Brain bag review.
The Tom Bihn Brain bag is a high-quality bag with a tank of storage capacity and organization.

However, it’s not attractive and requires extra add-ons if you want to get the most out of the bag.

Our Verdict

4.7/5
Welcome to our Tom Bihn Brain bag review.
The Tom Bihn Brain bag is a high-quality bag with a tank of storage capacity and organization.

However, it’s not attractive and requires extra add-ons if you want to get the most out of the bag. .
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Pros

  • Durable

Having the indestructible trademark of a Tom Bihn bag, the Brain bag is a reliable bag that’ll last you for a long time.

  • Efficient storage

Aside the different pockets in front, it has two main compartments that you can expand to accommodate more items, even up to two or more laptop.

  • Organization

There are tons of easy access pockets, O-rings, clips and separate add-ons to enable you have optimal organization of your items.

  • Versatile

When this bag grows on you, you can use it as an everyday bag, travel go, and literally every other thing.

  • Water-resistant

The bag is water resistant with flaps that cover the zips from taking in water.

  • Comfortable

Even when you stuff the bag full, it still comfortable to wear on your back and doesn’t feel ungainly or unwieldy.

Cons

  • Doesn’t look good

A major drawback, this bag won’t get you compliments because of its somewhat busy and laid-back exterior.

  • Extra accessories required

If you want to get the most out of the bag, it’s advisable you purchase extra accessories, which translates to extra cost for you.

  • Lacks false bottom to protect your laptop

Unless you buy the extra laptop cache from Tom Bihn, your gear isn’t protected from drops.

Pros

  • Durable

Having the indestructible trademark of a Tom Bihn bag, the Brain bag is a reliable bag that’ll last you for a long time.

  • Efficient storage

Aside the different pockets in front, it has two main compartments that you can expand to accommodate more items, even up to two or more laptop.

  • Organization

There are tons of easy access pockets, O-rings, clips and separate add-ons to enable you have optimal organization of your items.

  • Versatile

When this bag grows on you, you can use it as an everyday bag, travel go, and literally every other thing.

  • Water-resistant

The bag is water resistant with flaps that cover the zips from taking in water.

  • Comfortable

Even when you stuff the bag full, it still comfortable to wear on your back and doesn’t feel ungainly or unwieldy.

Cons

  • Doesn’t look good

A major drawback, this bag won’t get you compliments because of its somewhat busy and laid-back exterior.

  • Extra accessories required

If you want to get the most out of the bag, it’s advisable you purchase extra accessories, which translates to extra cost for you.

  • Lacks false bottom to protect your laptop

Unless you buy the extra laptop cache from Tom Bihn, your gear isn’t protected from drops.

Tom Bihn Brain Bag Review

Welcome to my Tom Bihn Brain Bag Review.

It’s said that the Tom Bihn Brain bag is one of the best and most durable in the market…

BUT…

Can you trust it to meet the expectations of an everyday carry backpack?

Is it versatile for use in different settings? Can you take it everywhere –  to work, for quick weekend getaways, etc.?

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: Twitter image

To help, this Tom Bihn Brain bag review seeks to break down every aspect of the bag so you can be certain if the bag is the right tool for the job.

Read on to find out!

Tom Bihn in a Snapshot

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: Tom Bihn About Us
credit: Tom Bihn

The Tom Bihn brand dream was conceived when a 10-year-old Tom made a bag for himself in his father’s garage workshop.

And since 1972, Tom Bihn has been producing sturdy, efficient and comfortable travel bags, slings, backpacks and briefcases that please their many customers.

Tom Bihn with his 47 employees design and manufacture all their bags and accessories from their warehouse located in Seattle, Washington. 

Being a certified B Corporation, their production and work ethics meet environmental standards.

A member of the 1% For The Planet, they donate 1% of their gross sales to environmental non-profits groups working on sustainability, renewable energy, reforestation and wildlife issues.

Over the years, the company has been known for making high quality bags with the best materials that stand the test of time.

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag colors
Credit: Tom Bihn

Table of Contents

Design & Quality

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: Twitter image

I’ll be straight with you, the Brain bag is not attractive.

It has a technical, almost industrial look to it.
The exterior looks busy thanks to the humongous pockets and it has eight color blends to choose from.  

While you won’t be drawn in by its aesthetic, the fact that it is indestructible and utility focused is its selling points. 

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag colors
Credit: Tom Bihn

Designed with the finest materials, you can use this bag anyhow you like thanks to the Tom Bihn’s lifetime guarantee.

If you want a sturdy bag for extensive travel or heavy-duty use, this is the bag you reach for.

Plus it literally swallows everything you put in there. At 36L capacity, you’ll love the enormous space, pockets and organizations this bag affords.

Overall, this is a great backpack that’s incredibly well made and when you add accessories to it, it gets even better.

Materials & Construction

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag front and back
Credit: Tom Bihn bag

First thing first, Tom Bihn makes high quality bags with the best materials that is guaranteed to stand the test of time.

Even better, the hardware used are not only durable but also made with environmentally and socially responsible materials that are bluesign® approved.  

The bag is made with 525D Ballistic nylon with the exterior lined with a 210D Ballistic nylon.

These fabrics are not only hard-wearing but also resistant to tear and scuffs such that your bag maintains its cool feel over time.

On the bottom, you get a 1050D Ballistic nylon that withstands the demands of heavy loadings and frequent use of an EDC. 

In addition, the water-resistant zippers that’s made from DWR also have flaps to cover from rain seeping in.

Being YKK, they are smooth rolling and comes with Cord Zipper Pulls for easy use.

Moving to the hardware, the brand use Duraflex, ITW, and Woojin for the buckles and related compartment.

One other feature you’ll be seeing a lot in the bag are the O-rings.

Designed into almost every compartment, you can clip items like pouches and other accessories sold by Tom Bihn to make you pack more and more easily.

At 36l, this is a pretty big bag, but that can be a good thing depending on where you stand on the matter.

With external pockets and two main expandable compartments, this spacious bag works well as a business travel bag, and even an everyday carry if you tend to haul along most of your gears.

As far as branding go, the bag spots the brand’s wordmark and red airplane signature- a proud logo to flaunt courtesy of the Tom Bihn quality trademark.

Fit & Comfort

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag back
Credit: Tom Bihn

The back of the bag is a densely padded closed-cell foam made with quality spacer mesh that allows for a good amount of ventilation and comfort.

Moving to the shoulder straps, although not thickly padded, they conform to your shoulders nicely and are strong enough to carry heavy loads.

I’ll admit that the harness system here isn’t the best made, compared to other bags but it works.

In addition, removable chest strap is included, you can choose to use it or not but it’s useful especially when you’re fully loaded down and running through the airport.

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag backTom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag on model
Credit: Tom Bihn

Even better, the chest strap slides up and down so you can find the position that’s most comfortable – higher or lower down the chest.

Removable waist straps are thrown in as well as a very well-padded handle to make carrying the bag easier.

The beauty of this bag is that even when loaded, it still comfortable to wear on your back and doesn’t feel ungainly or unwieldy.

Two Compression straps located on each side are particularly helpful in this regard. It tightens the bag nice and tight.

Storage & Organization

The Brain bag is outstanding when it comes to storage capacity – two main compartments, four external pockets and nine O-rings all around the bag, but who’s counting.  

Let’s explore them all in this Tom Bihn Brain bag review.

Top pocket: You have a quick access top pocket with a snaphook to attach your keys and keep your sunglasses, passport or phone.

It also has a flap covering that keeps water out from seeping in if it rains.

Two vertical front pockets: Around the side, you get these two huge pockets, with pen organizers embedded inside where you can keep a couple of pens, passport, small notebook, wallet, a bar of chocolate etc.

The left pocket has two areas- an open area with mesh for small items and a zippered area with organizational pockets.

You can use a snake charmer to organize your cables and slip in there nicely, no problem.

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag storage compartments and O-rings

Lash straps: Between the vertical pockets are two lash straps where you can attach items like an umbrella, raincoat or picnic mat or what have you.

Snaphook: Above the straps, you’ll see a hook to attach a water bottle or an umbrella, if you want.

Compression straps: Two compression straps on both sides is also a handy place to tuck your yoga mat or hoodie, whenever you do the outdoor thing.

Lots of O-rings: If you’re familiar with Tom Bihn, you’ll know they come with O-rings strategically placed in different sections of the bag.

In this case, you get 9, three in the back main compartment, 3 more in the front main compartment, one in the top small pocket, one in the left side pocket and one more in the right-side pocket.

Front main compartment: What it lacks in organization here, it just makes up in sheer large space.

Cavernous, you can throw in clothes, or large sized packing cubes in there.

Note however that since the bag is deep, if you dump small items in there, it could be hard seeking them out.

A snake charmer or packing cubes would save you a whole lot of frenzy search, trust me.

Just like in the back compartment, you have two rail loops to which you secure the cache (if you buy them) which allows you remove your secured laptop from the bag.

Back main compartment: Spacious too, you can put your laptop (s), clothes and/or shoes, depending on the occasion.

Unfortunately, there’s no false bottom to protect your laptop if you slip it in directly.

But it’s better if you get the well-padded and super comfy Freudian slip in order to protect your laptop.

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag back
Credit: Tom Bihn

Tom Bihn Add-ons

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag backTom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag add-ons
Credit: Tom Bihn bag

You may need to buy a few accessories separate from the bag to have optimal organization and protection of your gears.  They include the followings:

Padded hip belt: You can buy this at extra cost to you for the sake of that heavily comfort.  

Cache– Available in different sizes from the ipad mini to the 11” Macbook Air, it’s well-padded to protect your gear and handy to just make life easier.

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag backTom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag add-ons
Credit: Tom Bihn bag

Freudian slip: Designed to fit in the Brain bag, the Freudian slip is available in three different colors.

It’s an add-on you’ll have to buy separately but it comes with organizational slips where you can organize your pens, notes, Kindle, iPhone and it protects your laptop well.

And all together solve the problem of the lack of false bottom protection.

Snake charmer: a little pouch to keep and organize your cables or toiletry, you can stow it in the external side pocket or throw in either of the main compartment.

All in all, this is a very big bag. Depending on whatever use you make of it, you can comfortably carry laptops (yes, I’m aware it’s plural), tablets, cables, books, and pretty much everything, even a kitchen sink!

Price

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: Twitter image

The Tom Bihn brain bag is a very sturdy bag and as expected, is quite expensive.

In addition to that, you may have to buy four or more accessories  , all add to the price.

While they are not compulsory – you can use the bag without them- they are advisable to buy.

However, if you can afford them, you’ll get the bang for your buck.

Warranty

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag backTom Bihn Brain bag review: The Brain bag warranty

Tom Bihn stand behind the quality of the Brain bag with a Lifetime warranty.

Nonetheless, if your bag gets damage as a result of manufacturing defects, the brand will fix it, at no cost to you.   

But the damage is not the fault of the brand, Tom Bihn will repair it for you at a reasonable charge in their factory located in Seattle.

You can learn more about it here.

Users Thoughts/Reviews

Tom Bihn Brain bag review: Twitter image

This is a durable and well-made bag no less, but it’s still lacking some few essentials.

Firstly, the add-on accessories are separate from the bag and naturally, users would have preferred they were integrated into the bag.

Though not compulsory to own, they are advisable and useful.

But what’s the deal?

You’ll have to pay to get these extras bearing in mind that the bag isn’t exactly inexpensive.

In addition, this bag’s look and aesthetic design is below average. From my research, this is one of the aspects of the bag that people are less pleased with.  

What’s more, the pack lacks a false bottom to protect your laptop (you’ll have to pay more for this basic preference) and doesn’t have a sleek exterior design.

That is why I have rated it a 4.8 out of 5 in this Tom Bihn Brain backpack review. 

Final Thoughts

If you look out for durability and functionality in a bag, you can’t go wrong with a Tom Bihn bag.

While the look may not draw you in, its versatile to be used as a work bag, or for trips thanks to its spacious capacity.

If you can afford it, it’s a solid investment that’ll last you years and years of use.

In the review of the Tom Bihn Brain bag, we have explored the good,  bad and ugly aspects of the bag so you can make an informed decision. But if you still have an question you are welcome to drop me a comment below.

Or perhaps you have owned a Tom Bihn bag? What’s your experience with it? Kindly leave your thought in the comments below. I’ll love to hear from you.

This article is not sponsored in any way by any company. This backpack have been independently selected by myself and my team. And the only thing I receive is a small commission from our affiliate program if you buy any of them through the links and buttons on this page. It doesn’t cost you a penny. But it really helps me out as this money goes to paying for maintaining the website, editing software, my time, team and everything else that goes into preparing this post.  

9 thoughts on “Tom Bihn Brain Bag Review | The Best Everyday Backpack Companion?”

  1. This is definitely one of the best reviews of the Tom Bihn Brain Bag. The story about how it all began amazes me. HE started making these bag in his father’s workshop and today, he owns a company that is one of the most reputable in this niche.

    I like your review here very much. You did an awesome job to paint the full picture and I’m sure that other readers will agree with me that this is the best review out there.

    I’ll check out the Tom Bihn official website to see what else he has to offer. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Tom Bihn’s lifetime guarantee is a big deal. Do you mean that if the backpack tears and starts showing signs of damage, we can go and claim a new one? Wow! That’s pretty awesome.
    Thank u for this nice review.
    Regards,
    AB

    Reply
    • Hi Aparna – thanks for stopping by again to leave a comment – really appreciate it.

      Tom Bihn will repair your bag for free if the tear is due to a manufacturer defect. However, if the damage is due to wear and tear from normal use, they can repair it for you but you would pay for the workmanship.

      Cheers
      Femi

      Reply
  3. Hey,

    This is such an informative review of the Tom Bihn Brain Bag. I need this bag because the current bag I have just isn’t as durable. I live in the UK and the weather can turn on a sixpence at anytime, and I need a durable and tough bag to carry my laptop and my other items on a daily basis.

    It seems quite expensive but I am pretty sure it will be worth it. I need to look at this as an investment and not a price. If the bag can last me a number of years then it will definitely be worth it.

    It will let you know if I invest in this bag and I will give you my review of it too.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Tom

    Reply
    • Thank you Tom – I’d very much like to hear from you about your experience if you eventually opt for it. I live in the UK too and I totally appreciate the sudden twists and turns in weather conditions you speak of. Tom Bihn bags are loved for their quality and will serve you well in all kinds of conditions.

      Cheers
      Femi

      Reply
  4. Hi Femi,
    Amazing review on Tom Bihn Brain Bag, it will surely persuade people to buy it because everything was so clearly explained by you and pictures to illustrate.

    The story in your content about how it all began amazes me, from making these bags in his father’s workplace to owning a company is truly a big achievement.

    The fabric used to sew keeps it tight and dense weave of nylon which makes it highly durable and resistant. It’s eco-friendly and socially responsible which is great for us to purchase and contribute our bit for nature sustainability.

    It’s durable, with efficient storage, well organized, versatile, and water-resistant which is definitely worth a try, and have no regrets.

    Have a Nice Day!

    Reply
  5. This is probably one of the best bags I have seen so far on your website. They seem to last forever 🙂 I don’t think that they look that unattractive, I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there are other backpacks that are certainly prettier.
    What I also like is that they donate some of their proceeds to environmental non profits. That would make me want to buy from a company, knowing that part of my money is used for something good.
    The extras are nice. The padded hip belt looks good, well padded. I especially like the Freudian slip. With that little extra, no pen will get lost 😉
    It may be pricey, but you get what you pay for, and this is definitely good quality.

    Reply

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