P.S. The Double Organizer Pouch in sizes Small and Medium is back in stock and ready to ship.
Vehicle Documents Pouch:
Travel Documents and Receipts Pouch:
A theme emerged on the Forum this week: several members were looking to buy a bag or accessory, but weren’t sure which one. They all turned to fellow forum members for advice about not just what to get, but why they should get it. Member haraya thought she might need a Synapse for an upcoming trip, but which model, the 19 or the 25?—And was the Synapse actually the best choice? Click here to see what she needed to carry, and read on for the advice. Perseffect wanted to know if a Small Cafe Bag would be a good “My First Bihn” bag for her five-year-old daughter, and forum members responded with anecdotes and some insanely cute pictures. And new member DubbySmurf asked for opinions about the ideal accessories for a college student’s Brain Bag. Read on for suggestions about the accessories forum members recommend most.
Just for fun, dwright17 asked people what they keep in their Stuff Sacks. Answers so far? Everything from cables and chargers to first aid kits to knitting projects. Sometimes, members take it upon themselves to demonstrate potential uses for accessories. Check out taminca’s photo essay on uses for the new Small Double Organizer Pouch (and stay tuned for her ideas on the soon-to-be-released Medium Double Organizer Pouch). Finally, Volunteer Moderator maverick wondered if multiple sizes exist for the Synapse and now the Aeronaut, could there be room in the Tom Bihn Bags lineup for a smaller Smart Alec? Read on for Volunteer Moderator moriond’s historically contextualized reply—and to see pictures of Smart Alec colors from the past!
And now here’s our Pic of the Week:
We’re lucky to have an active and enthusiastically informative forum, where members help new and long-time customers get answers to their questions about TOM BIHN bags and accessories, travel, and packing for any and all situations. It’s also a place where people can speculate about new products on the horizon, obsess over Organizer Pouches, and deliberate over what color bag they should order.
Our members, who live all over the world and come from all walks of life, contribute dozens of bag reviews, pictures, questions, and useful suggestions, and are quick and generous with their willingness to help. There’s no way to distill the wealth of their collective knowledge into a tidy package, but, starting this week, we will provide an occasional round-up of just a few threads from the previous week. While not exhaustive, the round-up will clue in readers of this blog about some of the goings-on in our online community.
This week’s theme: Travels Far and Near
Spring is usually when travel season starts heating up, but our forum members travel all the time to locales both far and near, for business and pleasure, with others or solo. We were stoked to receive a mention as one of The Wirecutter’s picks for traveling well (see here for the forum reaction), and forum members have had a lot to say about putting their bags through the paces of their travels.
Recently, dwright17 returned from her two-week trip to Israel flush with knowledge about the Holy Land and some good advice for those hoping to pack light for their next trip abroad (see here to see how her packing list started and then evolved). New member JoeM logged on to tell us that his new Aeronaut was about to accompany him to sea for a 6-to-8 week period of work in southeast Asia. Read on for a glimpse into life aboard a ship. Closer to home, Janine reported that her two-night work trip to D.C. with her Synapse 25 and Pilot was a feat of light packing, and heparker let us know that his Pilot performed admirably as an everyday carry (EDC) bag (he’s also our Pic of the Week!).
People who use our bags put lots of thought into how and what to pack. Some forum members wanted help finding solutions to traveling with their families: Travelmom4 wondered about the best accessory to carry passports for six people, and Jwalker was looking for the best in-flight bag to use with her children on their long-haul flight from the U.S. to New Zealand. Forum members saikyo and jannilee asked for and received advice about products TOM BIHN doesn’t make: travel toiletry bottles and lightweight Bluetooth speakers.
Finally, the biggest news of the week: after much wailing and lamentation, the fires of forum members’ fantasies of travels far, near, and within carry-on regulations were fanned when Darcy announced that the new, scaled-down Aeronaut 30 is on the pre-order horizon.
And now for our Pic of the Week!
heparker’s brand new Pilot (Navy/Solar), Horizontal Cache, 3D Fabric Organizer Cube (Wasabi), Dyneema Organizer Pouches (Small Ultraviolet and Mini Iberian), and Ultraviolet Key Strap.
We’ve heard from many of you just how much you appreciate that our filament (non-texturized nylon, e.g. 1050d HT ballistic nylon and 420 high-tenactity Parapack) fabrics are much less likely to collect pet hair than 500 and 1000d Cordura.
But we’ve also heard from some of you that simply miss the… hair. You know who you are: you’re the kind of person that “forgets” to use a lint brush because you think a healthy addition of dog or cat hair completes any look. Maybe it makes you feel a little more wild, a little more in touch with your “animal” side.
And that’s why we’re introducing a new line — Flocculent by TOM BIHN. First to debut is the Hairy Swift, complete with a matching Faux Baby Albino Seal Fur Yarn Stuff Sack.
Here’s Ben modeling the Hairy Swift. Roomy enough for his tools, soft and plush enough to warm his hands after working on a job site on a cold day — it’s the perfect bag for any handy guy. And it’s so eye-catching that his girlfriend insists that he leave it at home when they go out, lest anyone might try to steal it.
There’s even room for his lunch!
Hairy Swift w/Faux Baby Albino Seal Fur Yarn Stuff Sack. $1000. Available pending resolution of a few minor legal issues. May be further regulated by local authorities, state authorities, federal authorities, good taste and common decency.
New forum member jwiegley recently posted a remarkably thorough review of the Smart Alec, attesting to the quality of the backpack’s construction and the surprising comfort of the straps. They write:
“My first thoughts on opening the box were that this is certainly a well-made product. My second thought was that the back straps seemed a little skimpy compared to other bags I’ve used. However, usage, and education about seam-stitching and bar tacks, has completely reversed me on that second thought. Simply put, these are the best back straps I’ve encountered, and the most comfortable that I’ve used on any bag. In fact, they are not just comfortable: my back actually feels better with the pack on than off! I’m not sure how that works exactly, but I look forward to putting it on each day. It has come to be one of my favorite things about the bag, which I would not have expected from the beginning.”
Just how much can you fit into one Aeronaut? Check out this packing list from i_clavdivs…
“Here’s my list:
Glasses cleaning cloth
Hoodies (wear 1, carry 1)
Jocks & Socks
Trousers (wear 1, carry 1)
Walking shoes (wear)
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Ear plugs and eyemask
Personal Laptop & Mouse
Chargers (Camera, iPhone, Laptop, Kindle)
Itinerary & directions
See the rest of the thread in the TOM BIHN Forums. See also: the Aeronaut.
You guys have been begging us for over two years now to make a Cafe Bag sized specifically to carry Carl Jung’s The Red Book — and it’s finally here. Available for pre-order soon, the Cafe Bag for The Red Book is designed to allow you to carry The Red Book on a plane, to the park or grocery store, or on a first date or a job interview — anywhere that you might want to take a moment to delve into Jung’s experiment with active imagination. It’s also great for commuting via public transit: most folks will figure it’s best to ignore you completely, but those who talk to you will definitely liven up what could be an otherwise boring day.
Cafe Bag for The Red Book. $444. Available for pre-order soon.
Here’s the first look at our new website design. We’re going in a retro direction. Give us your feedback in the TOM BIHN forums.
Photo by maverick. See more in maverick’s thread “to new york with the western flyer!” in the TOM BIHN Forums.
A few people have called, concerned we were really going to stop making bags and go on tour instead. It’s not true: we’d never quit making bags. It’s what we (love to) do.
The new Luminary 12 and Luminary 15 backpacks + bags in 210d ballistic nylon will be up for pre-order on 02/26. Details here.
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