I was thrilled when Think Tank Photo introduced their ‘My 2nd Brain’ line of bags. I love the company’s camera bags and really like the way their have applied their expertise to laptop and tablet bags. The first offerings in the line were North/South bags while their new Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain Briefcase takes the more familiar East/West approach.
The My 2nd Brain line not only lets you carry your gear, but it does so in a manner that builds organization right into the design itself. The bags are also priced quite reasonably, with the 15″ version I was sent for review costing under $150.
As you can see, the Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain Briefcase 15 looks like a fairly typical, uninspiring nylon laptop bag. The simple design hides some superb organizational-elements as well as the quality I’ve come to expect from the company. This bag is, more than anything else, intended to serve as a mobile office. It can hold a 15” Macbook Pro, an iPad (standard or mini), an iPhone, over-ear headphones, a power brick with AC cable, portable hard drives, a USB hub, a USB connection cable, earbuds, monitor adapters, a network cable, USB drives, CF/SD cards, pens, business cards, folders, sketchbook and other personal items. In addition, the two side pockets will fit water bottles or a compact umbrella and a large sunglasses case. All of this and the bags weighs under 2 1/2lbs!
The bag has three main areas. There is the front zippered area that opens to reveal the main organizational aspects of the bag. The front almost-full zipper opens to reveal more storage and organizational space. And by the handle (and not in view in this photo) a third spot opens to reveal the dedicated laptop space. Finally, there is a single sipper between the front zippers and the main portion. This opens to reveal a spot specifically designed to hold your iPhone.
From Think Tank Photo:
The My 2nd Brain Briefcase stands out for its intuitive organization. It provides rapid access to a 15” MacBook Pro, iPad (standard or mini) and iPhone in dedicated pockets, and support accessories in easily identifiable pockets.You can even carry over-ear headphones as well as a journal, sketchbook and files for complete creative consolidation. The travel-ready design includes 2 compressible pockets for water bottles or a compact umbrella, as well as a pass-through handle that fits over a rolling luggage handle. It comes with its own seam-sealed rain cover for extra protection against downpours.
The My 2nd Brain Briefcase improves the workflow for tech-focused travelers and creative professionals by helping to balance the demands of the dual creative/digital lifestyle.
I like the understated design and the highly organized interior spaces. The tablet pocket is clearly marked and while it doesn’t offer much in the way of padding, the location should help serve to keep it safe.
The single zipper in this image is the cellphone pocket. This is particularly useful if you have a smart watch or use a headset and don’t need direct access to your phone all the time!
The main storage space also includes a good amount of organization. The sized only unzip 2/3 of the way. And while this approach might not be as convenient as it would be if the zippers went all the way to the bottom it does mean that items won’t fall out if you open the bag on the go. For me this approach makes more sense!
Features of the Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain Briefcase:
- Device-specific pockets optimized for a MacBook, iPad,and easy access to an iPhone
- Seam-sealed rain cover protects valuable electronics
- Removable, adjustable shoulder strap with non-slip pad conforms to the shoulder for either across chest or standard wear
- 2 wide internal pockets for magazines, sketchbooks and folios
- Front pocket organizer for pens, business cards, keys or other personal items
- Compressible side pockets to fit water bottles, or a compact umbrella and large sunglasses case
- Handle pass-through slides over a rolling luggage handle
- Dual-cross buckle on shoulder strap enables you to attach over-ear headphones, a water bottle, baseball cap or a sunglasses case
- Well-padded top handle for carrying comfort
- Large rear pocket for documents or files
The thoughtful details that went into designing this bag even make their way to the back portion. While many bags have a rear pocket that can be unzipped on the bottom to create a luggage cart pass through the Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain Briefcase 15 has both a magazine pocket AND a dedicated handle pass through. The benefit of this is that you won’t find yourself putting something into the dual-purpose pocket only to realize you forgot to zip it closed and the contents fell out. As someone who has done this more than once I love this design choice!
Video Look at the Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain Briefcase 15
I have and use the original My 2nd Brain North/South 13″ laptop bag. It is a good bag but I prefer a bag that carries a laptop horizontally. That’s what this new offering from Think Tank Photo does. The good news is that it has the same great organizational structure built into it as the other My 2nd Brain offerings. That makes this bag an absolute winner in my book!
I have a lot of laptop bags from which to choose and, right now, this is my go-to bag. It offers plenty of organization and truly serves as a mobile office. I’m a fan and I suspect you will be too! Learn more here. Buy it [Affiliate Link] here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain Briefcase 15
MSRP: $144.75 (the 13″ version is $129.74
What I Like: Well made; Unassuming design; Holds a ton of gear; Will keep you organized even if you are a disorganized mess like me
What Needs Improvement: Nothing so far