Just some quick thoughts about the Empire Builder after my business trip this week.

The bag is enormous. Compared to the Pilot, which was what I was using before, this bag crazy big.

You can see from the picture above, it’s wider than my roller on. And one of the first thing I noticed on the plane ride was that the bag was a bit too tall for it to be filed under the seat. I’m riding first class btw.

This led me to some decisions – do I put this bag in the overboard or lay it down and side it under the seat in front and kill my leg room?

I chose the former. And there lies the inconvenience. The Pilot I could have easy access to my iPad and headphones. The Empire Builder, I could not.

This bag is not a minimalist bag. Without the file folder dividers provided by TB, the main compartment is one large single compartment. There are no slot compartments like inside the Pilot.

But what’s bad about being big is that I can carry a ton of things and the bag does not bludge at all. It’s a heavy bag to begin with – 4.5lbs.

I carried the following:

Lenovo L440

iPad Air 2

iPad mini

2 notebooks

Side Effect with cables and chargers


Pens and pencils

Bose QC35

Usually the above normally. Bulges my Pilot but not the Empire Builder. It handles it with ease. I’m pretty sure if I was crazy, this bag can carry 3 laptops easy. I had plenty of empty space.

In two weeks I’m traveling again and I will probably bring my gaming laptop with me. We shall see how that goes.

So I wished there were more compartments.  But the size of the bag makes you carry everything that you need and then some.