CONTEST/GIVEAWAY: Tom Bihn Empire Builder Laptop Briefcase

Back in January I blogged that the Tom Bihn folks offered to send me some sample products to try. I was in the market for a laptop bag in particular, so I asked to try both their Checkpoint flyer and Empire Builder bags.

I fell in love with the Checkpoint flyer, I’ve been using it as my primary bag ever since, and it’s logged a ton of miles.

What then to do with the Empire Builder? It’s a very nice bag. But I don’t need it. I thought about making it an every day bag while using the Checkpoint flyer TSA friendly bag for travel. But I don’t like switching, and I’m perfectly happy with the Checkpoint flyer for every day use.

It’s a $170 retail bag, and that’s just for the base bag. And I want it to get good use. By a real traveler. So I’m going to give it away!

The bag has been their mainstay laptop bag for a decade, it’s really sturdy, with plenty of pockets and nooks and crannies for electronics, phones, tickets, pens, etc.

You can attach an organizer pouch, which they sent me an I’m including a couple. I’m also throwing in some packing cubes.

The main compartment has 3 removable hard plastic file dividers.

It’s also where the Brain Cell laptop case goes, for keeping a laptop safe inside. Since they prepared the bag for me, and I use a pretty small laptop (I work off a Lenovo x200s), it’s a Size 5 Horizontal Brain Cell:

interior dimensions of approximately 11.3 × 9.3 × 1.4 inches

The piece retails for $60. But if you have a larger laptop, you might prefer to purchase one separately.

Note that the brain cell itself is detachable from the bag and can be carried separately, it has its own handles.

The back of bag has a slot to slip over a rollaboard carryon’s handle. The slot zips shut so that it can also be used for papers.

Here’s one rub: the bag has no shoulder strap. See, Tom Bihn bags don’t come with shoulder straps included. They sent me one of their “Absolute Shoulder Straps” with both bags, and I’m using it with the Checkpoint flyer. You can either cannibalize a shoulder strap from your current bag, or buy one of their special $30 straps.

All-in this is a $260 bag. Rather than the signature bright Tom Bihn colors, I asked for it black-on-black. I do try to strike a more professional look, and don’t like to draw nearly so much attention to myself when I travel.  I’d probably be carrying it myself every day, if I hadn’t already settled on the Checkpoint flyer.  So I’m giving it away.

Here’s how the giveaway will work

There are two ways to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this blog.  One comment entry per person.  I will choose one comment at random.  If your comment is selected, I will search for duplicate entries, to ensure only one entry per person.
  2. Follow me on Twitter.  I will choose one Twitter follower at random.

Enter by 12:00pm Eastern time on Friday, April 23.  And then at random I will select between either the commenter on this post, or the Twitter follower.

In total that means you have two separate chances to enter.  I will email or Twitter Direct Message the ultimate winner for their address, and I will cover the shipping of the bag.

There is only one prize, I will interpret all rules as necessary and such interpretation is final.  This is a giveaway, I’m coming out of pocket for the shipping even, I just want to see this bag used and enjoyed rather than sitting in my closet.  So hopefully everyone will take this ‘sweepstakes’ in the spirit in which it’s intended.

If you do have questions, though, please do not post them as comments. Because I might miss them. And because you can only enter once with a comment, a second or third question would disqualify you. Hah! So instead just send me an email.

And remember, leave a comment here to enter and follow @garyleff for another change to win!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Thanks for the contest. I looked at their bags, but they were pricey. I got the shoulder strap to replace an old broken one, and it works well. So the full matching bag would be cool.

  2. This is the Unique range of Laptop bags, i had not seen these kinds of bag very unique and very decent all…
    Unique Kind of a bags for Diffrent kinds of a Personalities..

  3. I’ll so greatfull to you if i get one of them. plz give this laptop bag i am so needy my laptop i hav no bag my laptop gets hitted by children of my house and gets scratches due to dust particals

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