Bags

How To Pack Light For A Family Trip to Hawaii

Zeke — the person behind the camera of many of our videos — recently took a trip to Hawaii with his wife and son. Each of them took a Daylight Briefcase and a Daylight Backpack in the spirit of packing light. The first video below shows what and how they packed; the second video is of the trip itself.

Our Q&A with Zeke:

What do you wish you had packed that you didn’t?
I’ve been ultralight packing for a long time — over 100 trips by now to all different climates and with stays of all different lengths — so I’ve got it pretty dialed in. But I still learn something on just about every trip. For example, I’ve never owned a strap/band for my sunglasses. You know, those things that keep them from falling of your head. It was so lovely and sunny there I wore my sunglasses to float in the ocean. Next thing you know, a wave plucks them right off my face. They’re really nice sunglasses and I felt like a dope. Fortunately my wife is a superhero and when she went in the ocean about 20 minutes later, she found them!

Is there an item that you packed that you didn’t end up using?
I picked up these really cool looking swim trunks for the trip. Turned out they are good pool trunks but terrible ocean trunks! The first big wave rendered the Velcro useless and my trunks around my ankles! Needless to say, we went to a shop and got a proper pair of board shorts for the rest of the trip.

Question for all three of you: what was your favorite part of the trip?
The Wife: Shutting off and relaxing on the beach.
The Husband: The ocean. Floating for hours and hours in the ocean — and getting to spend quality time with my family.
The Son: Shaved ice for breakfast!

Your trip seemed like the ideal mix of exploring and just totally relaxing by doing nothing. Does that come naturally to you guys or do you have to make an effort to unwind?
We’re a type A family. So if we’re going to relax we have to work at it. And we’re going make sure we do a darn good job of it, too. 🙂
 

Full Packing Lists:

The Wife
————————————————————————

In the Daylight Backpack:
Aeronaut 30 Packing Cube End Pocket
Aeronaut 30 Packing Cube Small Laundry
Shorts & Sarong
Shampoo, Conditioner, Gel, Essential Oils
2 Pair Flip Flops

In the Aeronaut 30 Packing Cube End Pocket:
Rash Guard
Dress
Skirt
Tank Top
Bathing Suit Cover-up

In the Aeronaut 30 Packing Cube Small Laundry Packing Cube:
2x Bathing Suit, 4x Underwear, Bra, Skirt, Dress
Bathing Suit Cover-up

In the Daylight Briefcase:
Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch – Small
Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch – Mini
Cubelet
Spiff Kit – Deluxe
Travel Cubelet
Key Straps & Pen

In the Cubelet:
Eye Drops
3x Lip Balm
Tweezers
Mirror & Hairbands

In the Small Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch:
Glasses & Cleaning Cloth

In the Mini Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch:
Noise Canceling Headphones
Earbuds

In the Deluxe Spiff Kit:
5x Make-up, 4x Make-up Brushes,
3x Face Cream, Hand Lotion,
Conditioner, Contacts, Lens Case,
2x Soap, Floss, Toothbrush,
Q-tips, Razor

In the Travel Cubelet:
Credit Cards, Cash, Cell Phone
Lip Gloss, Keys, Sunglasses
 

The Husband
————————————————————————

In Daylight Backpack:
3D Organizer Cube, Clear
Aeronaut 30 Packing Cubes – Small Laundry
Packing Cube Shoulder Bag
Flip Flops
Small Tripod & Book

In the Clear 3D Organizer Cube:
Shampoo, Conditioner, Bodywash, Toothpaste, Toothbrush

In the Small Laundry Aeronaut 30 Packing Cube:
Rash Guard, 4x Socks, 4x Boxers

In the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag:
Swim Trunks, Shorts, Belt, 3x T-Shirts

In Daylight Briefcase:
3D Organizer Cube Mesh
Cubelet
Travel Fork & Spoon
Water Bottle
Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch – Super Mini
Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch – Mini
Key Straps
Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch – Small
GoPro w/ Handle
Noise Canceling Headphones

In the Mesh 3D Organizer Cube:
4x Camera Batteries, Memory Card, ND Filters, Camera, Battery Charger

In the Cubelet:
USB Adaptors, Pen, Earplugs, USB Cable, Phone Charger, Backup Battery
Handkerchief, USB C Cable

In the Super Mini Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch:
Vitamins, Peppermint Oil, Lip Balm

In the Mini Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch:
GoPro Accessories

In the Small Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch:
Sunglasses
 

The Son
————————————————————————

In Daylight Backpack:
Fins, Flip Flops, Travel Stuff Sack Size 3, 2x T-Shirts,
Travel Stuff Sack Size 2, 3x Shorts

In the Travel Stuff Sack Size 3:
2x Swim Trunks, 4x Socks, PJ’s

In the Travel Stuff Sack Size 2:
3x Underwear, Rashguard

In Daylight Briefcase:
Book, Earbuds, Ereader, Sunglasses, Chapstick,
Spiff Kit, Water Bottle

In the Spiff Kit:
Mini Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch Filled w/ Lucky Rocks
Toothbrush w/ 2 Heads, Card Game, Belt, Swim Goggles
 

Zeke Kamm is a filmmaker; he’s the person behind the camera of many of our bag videos. His latest projects: The Last Blockbuster and the Unwinder podcast.

The Guide’s Pack is back with Edgeless EV50 1/2″ Shoulder Straps

After being sold out for the last few months, The Guide’s Pack has been restocked today with two updates:

Edgeless EV50 1/2″ Shoulder Straps in Coyote

Conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of this new strap allows it to more softly conform to your shoulder; we find that this increases comfort. Yet the straps aren’t too soft: the 1/2” thick EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® certified foam means the strap is robust enough to carry a heavy load. They’re the ideal straps for a large daypack like The Guide’s pack.

Our new Edgeless EV50 1/2″ Shoulder Strap is quite similar to the strap of our Luminary backpack — it differs in that it’s thicker and the contour is adjusted to be more proportionate to a larger backpack — and first debuted with the Synik 22 and Synik 30.

A new shoulder strap design is a big deal, and we spent a lot of time testing these (and having various people test them for us and provide feedback). While it’s impossible to make a strap (or bag, or world, or whatever) that everyone will unanimously love, so far, most folks who have been using the Synik seem to find the Edgeless straps quite comfortable. We personally love them, and that’s part of the reason we decided to make this next batch of Guide’s Packs with the Edgeless straps.

Updated Padded Hip Belt

A minor update, but a worthy one: the optional Guide’s Pack Padded Hip Belt will now attach via two 1-1/2″ Gatekeepers instead of four 1″ Gatekeepers. That’s two less Gatekeepers to fiddle with!

Synik 22/30 Pre-Production Batch Notes

Up close with the Synik

The Synik 22 and Synik 30 pre-order opened on 08/13 and it sold out less than 12 hours later. We opened a second pre-order on 08/15 and it sold out this Monday 08/19. Pre-order is now officially closed and our factory crew has already started making the pre-ordered Syniks. Several weeks from now, after the pre-order bags are nearly completed, we will begin an additional production run of Syniks for stock; we expect those to be ready for order sometime early-mid December.

Thank you to everyone who placed a pre-order for the Synik. We’ve all been working hard on the Synik project and it means a lot to us that it was appreciated.

As we did with the Luminary, we’d like to share our notes on the pre-production batches of the Synik. A pre-production batch (PPB) of any new design is ordered and completed by our production department prior to the new design being offered for pre-order.

The PPB is intended to:

  • Serve as the first large-scale test of the efficiency of manufacturing the new design.
  • Provide photo, review and employee loaner sample bags.
  • Ship a small quantity of bags to a randomized selection of customers who place pre-orders. This will allow folks to post reviews and first thoughts and photos of a new design, which in turn may help other people decide whether a bag is right for them or not.

Please note that the design itself is tested and every detail finalized and approved by Tom, Nik, Lisa, and Fong long before the PPB is ordered. PPB bags are in no way “beta” or incomplete.

Notes From Our Synik 22 and Synik 30 Pre-Production Meetings

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

PPB Launch Meeting

Meeting Questions:

  • Any questions or issues with Bill of Materials?
  • Open discussion with Irma
  • Open discussion with Lisa/Fong
  • Insights or instructions from designer + production engineers (Tom, Nik)

Action Item(s):

  • Check Spacer Mesh cutting — should these parts be die cut or not?
  • Ask Lisa and Fong how the cut pieces are working.
  • Ben to modify the drill hole positions on the shoulder strap die.
  • A few marker notches / drill holes need to be added, a few removed.
  • Double-check the consumption is looking accurate for the shoulder strap build.

Mike’s notes from the meeting. Includes feedback from Irma, Tom, Lisa, Fong, Mike, and Nik:

  • Irma noted that the markers are laid out well for cutting — no changes needed.
  • Lisa is going to provide the laptop compartment zipper length for the Synik 22 (she’s already done this for the 30.)
  • This needs to be a cut zipper on both size bags.
  • Note the special way the piping is folding at the bottom of the bag.
  • Angle of the shoulder strap bartacks is 11°.
  • 30mm webbing consumption will go up — that is the material used to attach the stay to the frame. (Mike has already told Ben.)
  • Interior Lash Straps will be same length as Tri-Star.

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

Interim PPB Check-Ins

Meeting Questions:

  • Notches: any to add, subtract, or move?
  • Any issues with materials?
  • Adjustments or corrections to BOM needed?
  • Any problems with machines or tools?
  • Any issues with ergonomics/ease of assembly?
  • Any problems overall?
  • Any feedback from the crew?

Action Item(s):

  • Further discussion on the bartacks — Lisa asked if they could all be the same length to improve efficiency. Nik confirms yes.
  • Watch for Gatekeeper Waist Strap attachment on Synik 22 in QA — that attachment webbing was lengthened but we need to check to confirm there is enough wiggle-room for entry and removal.

Meeting Notes:

  • Lisa is still working on whether and what changes she’d like to see.
  • Synik 22 side notches may need a bit of nudging.
  • All of the materials are good.
  • Need to keep an eye on initial hand-cut foam parts.
  • BOM is good. Note change to the cut length on the Gatekeeper waist strap attachment for the Synik 22.
  • Machines and tools are working fine. No issues. Yay!
  • The front panel is the same as Synapse so no issues on Fong’s side. Extra time required in joining and binding on Lisa’s side.
  • Bartacks are all good.
  • Tom and Nik met with Matt to go over kitting and packaging of the Syniks in the shipping department; all good.

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

PPB Final QA Review

Meeting Questions:

  • How did the bags go through QA?
  • What questions did we ask and answer?
  • Any final thoughts?

Action Items:

  • Reminder from Lisa to double check the bartacks at the bottom of the bag — one over the wing and one over the Gatekeeper attachment/frame opening.

Notes:

  • At final inspection: the bags all looked great.
  • On the next batches give the label placement one final inspection. To be sure, to be sure.
  • Velia and Lulu confirm QA went well. No questions.
  • We shared that everyone who has received a Synik so far has been impressed by the quality of the work.

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

Synik Pre-Production Batch Meeting at the TOM BIHN factory

Ways To Secure Your Bag to Rolling Luggage

Some of our bags — such as the Cadet, Synik, Pilot, and Co-Pilot — have built-in rolling luggage handle pass-through slots. But what do you do if your bag doesn’t have a pass-through, or you have rolling luggage with a very thick, wide handle that can’t fit through the bag’s built-in pass-through?

There’s two solutions we can offer:

Option #1 Use the Webbing Waist Belt On the Bag You Have

Using the Gatekeeper waist strap to secure the Synik to rolling luggage

This is admittedly a bit of a hack, but if you have one of our bags, you might already have what you need for it and, in that case, it’s free!

1. Remove the Gatekeeper Webbing Waist Belt that’s included with most of our larger bags.
2. Connect the two Gatekeeper clips together: now you’ve got a long strap with a buckle closure.
3. Use that strap and wrap it around the middle of your Synik, Synapse, Pop Tote, Tri-Star or other bag as it’s sitting on top of your rolling luggage with its back against the handle of the luggage.
4. Clip the buckle around the rolling luggage pole.
5. Cinch the strap down.

Option #2 Use the optional Simple Rolling Luggage Lash Strap

Using the Simple Rolling Luggage Lash Strap with the Synik 30

Don’t have a Gatekeeper webbing waist belt, or don’t want to remove it from your bag because you use it? We made a purposeful version of the strap that effectively does the same job: the Simple Rolling Luggage Lash Strap.

What We Like About This Strap-Around-The-Bag Solution

It’s simple and easy to use. And let us be clear: this is not some smart or revolutionary invention. It’s a pretty obvious, low-tech solution. If and until we invent something more clever, this is it. It’s possible that you’ve already discovered this solution on your own, and if that’s the case, kudos.

In our experience, the bag — Synik, Pop Tote, Tri-Star, Synapse, Guide’s Pack, whatever pack we offer, or even possibly a pack from a different brand — is effectively secured to the rolling luggage in such a way that it won’t spin around or slide off. It feels stable.

It feels more stable than a webbing or elastic band sewn to the back of the bag because it’s holding the center of gravity of your bag and all of its stuff against the rolling luggage handle. This is also the reason that it works better than using the sternum strap and waist strap on one of our backpacks to secure the bag to the rolling luggage.

It’s a solution that’s not built-in to the bag: you can use it when you need to use it, remove it and stow it in one of the pockets in your bag when not in use, or leave it at home when you don’t need it at all. (In fairness to the rolling luggage pass-through pockets on the Synik, Cadet, and other bags: they don’t add any bulk and are dual-purpose.)

Note: these solutions work with two-pole handle rolling luggage; they won’t work that well with the less typical one-pole handle rolling luggage.

We asked members of our Forums to help us test these methods; here’s the feedback they shared.

If you use either strap method, we want to hear how it works for you: feedback@tombihn.com

Restock: Luminary 12 + 15, Pop Tote, Ghost Whales, 3D Cubes, Maker’s Bag and more…

We’ve been busy! Here’s what’s been restocked in the last two weeks…

Backpacks

Luminary 12

Luminary 15

Synapse 19

Pouches / Other Stuff

Ghost Whale Organizer Pouches

3D Clear Organizer Cube

Passport Pouch

Second Aid Pouch

Clear Quarter Packing Cube

Synapse Internal Frames

Cross-Body/Shoulder Bags, Totes and Duffels

Pop Tote

Maker’s Bag

Medium Cafe Bag

Large Zip-Top Shop Bag

Small Zip-Top Shop Bag

Mini Yeoman Duffel

Update on the new Ghost Whale Organizer pouches


Photo of the Ghost Whale Pouch, Size Small, posted by Dom in the Forums.

Our new Ghost Whale Organizer Pouches have proved to be a very popular design. And it just so happens that we are experiencing a supply issue with the #3 YKK zipper needed to make the Ghost Whale.

That means that the Ghost Whale pouches won’t be meaningfully restocked until mid-late April. Some colors/sizes of Ghost Whale may be restocked here and there because we’re expecting a small shipment of #3 zippers around mid-late March, but we need those zippers for other items as well.

Some colors and sizes of Ghost Whales are still in-stock, but others are already (temporarily) sold out. If you’d like, you can sign up on the Ghost Whale page to be notified the moment they’re restocked and available for order. We’re hoping it’ll be sooner than mid-late April!

In the meantime, you may want to browse the photos shared by our Forum community of their new Ghost Whales. The photos (and the questions asked/answered) can be helpful in determining if the Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch is the right organizational tool for you and, if so, which sizes/colors might work best. Here’s some quick links to the photos and discussion:

Cristina’s Ghost Whale / Other Organizer Pouches Size Comparison

imagineez puts their soft top glasses case in the Ghost Whale (size Small)

Wanderlust77 shows that most eyeglass cases are probably too big to fit in a Ghost Whale

G42’s first impressions of the pouches

ButtUglyJeff found his best use for the Ghost Whale Size Small: holding brick style battery banks.

bartleby’s Ghost Whale photos

February 2019 Pre-Order Is Open

Quick list of bags available for pre-order:
Luminary 12
Luminary 15
Original Large Shop Bag
Large Zip-Top Shop Bag
Small Zip-Top Shop Bag

Quick list of bags available for order:
Packing Cube Shoulder Bag
Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch
The Truck

Note: the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag has already (temporarily) sold out in colors Coyote and Dawn. We’re making more and expect them to be back in-stock by this Friday, March 1st. It’s also possible some Ghost Whale Organizer Pouches will sell out; if that happens, more will be back in-stock tomorrow 02/27.

Two Minor Updates to the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Serving as a lightweight shoulder/cross body bag on a hike in Hawaii

The Packing Cube Shoulder Bag is a dual-purpose packing cube: in preparation for and during your journey, use it to organize and pack your clothing inside your larger travel bag (maybe you have an Aeronaut 45 or 30, Tri-Star, or Western Flyer, or a travel bag made by another brand) just like how you’d use our Packing Cubes. When you reach your destination and it’s time to leave your main travel bag in the hotel or hostel, repack the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag with a light jacket, wallet, phone, small water bottle, map, and add a shoulder strap: you’re ready to go out and explore, and you’ve saved space by not having to bring a separate bag for day use.

New to the current / most recent production batch of the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag is one minor (but much requested) update: the addition of another O-ring in its main compartment. As we said, it’s a minor addition, but one that’s been requested for quite some time by those who like to customize the organization of their bags with Organizer Pouches and Key Straps.

And there’s one more update: we moved the shoulder strap attachment point placements, just like we did with these other bags.

We’ve also made the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag available in most 210d ballistic nylon colors (much requested as well) — Black, Coyote, Viridian, Dawn, Grass, and Island.

Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, Black 210d ballistic nylon
Used as a Packing Cube >> Used as a day bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

TOM BIHN Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, Dawn 210d ballistic nylon
Used as a Packing Cube >> Used as a day bag

A Minimalist Convertible Packing Cube Travel Shoulder Bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

Convertible Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

12/13 Restocks

Our Seattle Factory crew are on a roll making sure as many bags as possible are in-stock before tomorrow at 4:00pm Pacific Time, which is the last chance for Mid-West and East Coast folks to order with UPS Ground ($10, carbon neutral) as their shipping method for delivery by or on 12/24. See our full Holiday Schedule for other important shipping dates.

We’ve just restocked the following bags:

Brain Bag, all colors
Side Effect in Black/Northwest Sky and Black/Island
Nik’s Minimalist Wallets, all types and colors
Daylight Backpack, all colors
Aeronaut 45 in Black/Northwest Sky, Black/Island, Steel/Northwest Sky, and Navy/Northwest Sky.

Holiday Inventory Update + Seattle Factory Showroom Open Saturday

Seattle folks: come hang out with us!

Our Factory Showroom will be open Saturday, December 8th from 10:00am until 2:00pm.

We’ll have hot coffee, Darcy’s homemade chocolate chip cookies (gluten-free, vegan, and we swear they’re still really good), Tom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies Tom’s homemade biscotti (definitely lots of dairy and gluten and also very good) and, of course, bags. This is the only Saturday we’re open all year. Hope you can come down and join us!


Kat and Cody have decorated the showroom with lots of reindeer. Apparently, reindeer are as fond of O-rings as we are.

Holiday Inventory Update


Zhong is currently working on making Brain Bags.

Next Friday, December 14th is the last day to place an order via UPS Ground or USPS to make sure it arrives by or on December 24th. In an effort to make sure as many orders as possible can ship UPS Ground, we’ll be shipping all orders received by 4:00pm PT (our typical shipping cut-off is 12:30pm PT). And, of course, there will still be time to order and receive your order by December 24th — see our Holiday Schedule for more details on all of that.

Our production crew is doing their best to make sure the bags you’ve been asking about most are restocked and ready to ship by then. Here’s an update:

Restocked today as of 1:00pm PT:
Nik’s Minimalist Wallets
Western Flyer
Small Cafe Bags

Additionally…..

More colors of Aeronaut 45 and Synapse 25 were restocked yesterday.

Brain Bags in Black/Cloud and Nebulous/Cloud will be restocked early next week.
The Side Effect in Black/Northwest Sky (amongst other colors) is in the works / will be restocked by December 21st.
The Cadet in colors Black/Island, Burnt Orange/Northwest Sky, Verde/Northwest Sky, Steel/Island, and Navy/Northwest Sky is in the works / will be restocked by December 21st.

News Briefs

We’re retiring our Road Buddy Duffel 36 and Road Buddy Duffel 60 to make way for new designs. If you’ve been thinking about a Road Buddy, you may want to order soon, as we won’t be making further production runs.

We’ve updated our Planet page with additional efforts: we’re operationally carbon neutral, members of 1% For The Planet, we offer a vegetarian company lunch, and over 80% of our materials are bluesign® and/or OEKO-TEX® certified.

Mark your calendars! Our Seattle Factory Showroom will be open the following Saturdays: Dec. 14th 2019 and, in 2020, March 21st, June 20th, and September 19th.

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