Last Week in Photos

Here’s a few photos you’ve shared with us this past week! Thank you!

Cynthia’s pup on the Skookum Dog Camp Mat
Photo submitted by Cynthia


“Two bags for the three-month journey in Japan.”
Photo by @houraisan_kaguya


Jennifer and her Small Cafe Bag with what looks like a lovely morning.
Photo submitted by Jennifer


“Note taking by the river.”
Photo by @jennifermcmahonwrites


“With my little princess.”
Photo by @kinglamleehk


 “Part Where and part Wow…
My small travel tray had been biding its time as a drawer organizer until recently being granted wings. I’d read the words and seen the snaps but now I say on my own — What a simple and super helpful TB item! Love love love it. Bits and bobs were gathered together in my backpack while enroute and now it sits on my desk with charger hooha, vitamins, meds, lip balm, a nano pouch with earphones, and a stack of temporary tattoos that I brought to give away. Awesome…”
Photo posted to the forums by KmK


“Instead of me carrying the Sidekick and him the SCB, my hubby used the S25 for all our stuff including space for some shopping. On the streets in Shanghai. Waiting for Xinjiang lamb skewers. Buying pomegranate juice at a roadside stall (I did not drink any, not going to risk my life for this) at Fuzhou Rd.”
Photos posted to the forums by panda2mama


“A sunny day at the capital with my new travel cubelet.”
Photo posted to the forums by sboussios


psvenndex and his Synapse 19 at the Grand Canyon
Photo submitted by psvenndex


“S25 arrives in Innere Stadt Vienna …”
Photo posted to the forums by GrussGott


Hiking Mt. Charleston with a Synapse 19.
Photo by @curt_nova


“My a href=””>Small Cafe Bag at a café (okay, Starbucks, but still…)”
Photo posted to the forums by chaimonkey

Last Week In Photos

Here are a few of the photos you’ve shared with us last week! Thanks!


“Working on YingYang Kitty socks with the kitty.”

Photo by @whiskey__chick


“First snow of Autumn 2017 on my hill. Captured during the “sunrise” walk at Pleasant Pine Plantation. It started snowing immediately after I got up. I usually carry my Tom Bihn “Brain Bag” backpack when I go on these early morning hikes. I bought this pack off of eBay several weeks ago. Bihn, based in Seattle, produces high-quality, high-durability, thoughtfully designed premium luggage.”

Photo by @walt.atwood


“I probably could have fit a few more skeins of yarn than the 8 I bought. They did stay nice and dry while walking to and from bus stops in the rain.”

Posted in the forums by Senua


“Loving this merino yarn in methanol blue from Mad Tosh purchased at Uncommon Threads.”

Photo by @ryanludman


“It’s going to be another good weekend with Timmy and The Nics.”

Photo by @meggrollstation


“Morning latte with the Mars Red Travel Cubelet. :)”

Posted in the forums by maverick


“A beautiful day for a dog park with my pups. Travel cubelet for my personal stuff like a wallet, phone and keys, and packing cube shoulder bag for my doggies.”

Photo by @lifeisshort_liveitup


“Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.”

Photo by @kinglamleehk


“When your friends think like you do – travel light.”

Photo by @hatmaker4


“Yes, I really did fit all this into the Luminary.”

Photo by @brendabethman


“Ready for a super-duper chill B-Roll session.”

Photo by @wigideaboxoc


Hike on the north island of New Zealand in Tongariro National Park.

Photo by @bettierides


Alexander and his Aeronaut 30 Packing Cube Backpack in Prague.

Photo submitted by Alexander

Last Week In Photos

“Here’s my fully packed A30 on the Shinkansen between Kanazawa and Karuizawa. It fits very neatly in the luggage rack.”

Posted in the forums by Denises


“My Luminary arrived just in time for the Bitter and Twisted beer festival in the old Maitland Gaol, with a photo opportunity at the new Newcastle Interchange train station. The slim profile of the bag is great for getting around festivals and was the perfect size for the day. The only problem I have with the Luminary is that I now want it in 20L.”

Posted in the forums by gregcswanson


“I took my son for a walk today with my wife, he is only 10 weeks old and we found a rainbow.

My Side Effect was great for all I needed on this little adventure.“

Posted in the forums by JonC


“My family (3 adults, 3 teens) is heading off for an 8-day trip today, and the attached pic is the luggage we brought. We look like a Tom Bihn annex store, haha. I am Team New Nordic, my niece is Team Navy,etc…
(Looking at the pic, it’s amazing to think it all started with me and my sister ordering a Co-pilot for me and an S19 for her. What can I say? We LOVE the thought and care your company provides, from design to manufacturing to customer service!)”

Photo by TB customer dot and kiko


“Here’s my new SA on the way to work. Love the color.”

Posted in the forums by louisvilledanahys


“Got my first shipment today, it’s all fabulous. Here’s my three year old son demonstrating some new uses for the travel tray.”

Photo by TB customer Meera from Brisbane and Sebastian (age 3)


“Shop bag at the beach.”

Posted in the forums by NWhikergal


“DLBPs took a friend and I to the Kongobuji Temple complex in Koyasan, the Nembutsu-ji Temple at Adashino and a host of other places in Japan last month.”

Posted in the forums by Walker


“At Lujiazui in Shanghai, facing the Huangpu river. It was a blue sky sunny day.”

Posted in the forums by panda2mama


“Took my new S25 through the new Singapore Changi Terminal 4. It contains all my stuff for my 15-day trip to Shanghai. The SK containing my EDC stuff. The LSB contains a cake, gift for a friend. Hubby is carrying the SCB. He likes the size.

Once I got to the hotel, I took out most of the stuff from the S25, keeping my water bottle and other stuff I want to bring with me. Hooked the SK inside the S25 using 2 carabiners.

The bags transiting in Hong Kong.”

Posted in the forums by panda2mama


“Monarch PCSB with SE inside, waiting at the clinic on Saturday for the boys’ flu shot :)”

Posted in the forums by RDR3


Veteran’s Day

Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause. — Abraham Lincoln

Veteran’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on and express our gratitude for the people who serve and have served this country—those we know as friends, family, and co-workers, and all veterans. The best way we can think of to honor their service is by determining how we can also contribute, serve, and add value. The way we see things, all of us serve each other: our friends and family, our communities, the environment and world around us, and everyone in it.

We believe service makes room for grace, humility, compassion, awareness and strength, and that service begins with gratitude. So even though a mere “thank you” can’t convey the depths of our gratitude, we offer it, humbly, nonetheless.

Portable Culture Portrait: sea_otter3

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN community members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features sea_otter3. The previous editions featured community members NWHikergal, widepipe, platisc, Rocks, JonC, cdh, Badger, haraya, imahawki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin.

TOM BIHN Blog | Antonia Sketch Kit

What’s the most useful item that you carry?

That’s the 3D Organizer Cube. In fact I have four of them – the Wasabi one is for all the small items in my daily carry, so I can easily move these little essentials from bag to bag as needed. There is an Iberian one for geocaching supplies. The Island one is the perfect size for my travel sketching kit. A Burnt Orange one is for geocaching trackable items. Second to the 3D Organizer Cubes, on a daily basis I could not be without my large Shop Bags. Their cheerful colors make me feel better about having to go shopping, and they hold a lot of stuff!

TOM BIHN Blog | sea_otter3 Shop Bag

What’s your most treasured item?

From Tom Bihn – that’s a tough one, as I have lots of TB items, and all have their individual parts to play in my daily carry or on particular adventures. The flexible, modular nature of TB bags and accessories is one of the things I most love about them. However, my most treasured item has to be my Synapse 25 in Navy/Solar. This was my first Tom Bihn purchase, several years ago. It’s a color combination I love, and as a person with less than perfect eyesight who has scared herself silly on many occasions by losing her wallet in the dark and fathomless depths of other bags, I really appreciate the light-colored bag interiors that TB offers. The Synapse 25 has proven a faithful and indispensable companion on trips to Germany, Italy, and Iceland. It’s acquired a bit of character along the way (haven’t we all?), and it’s as sturdy and reliable as it was on day one. Although the bags feel quite secure, if I’m in an urban area I will put a small padlock on whatever bag I’m using.

In my daily carry, my most treasured non-Tom Bihn items are fountain pens. I love the aesthetics of them, how they make writing a pleasure, how they make my writing more legible, and how they are more environmentally friendly than disposable pens. I try to ink up and use all the pens in my collection. At the moment I’ve got a Kaweco Brass Sport, a Lamy 2000, and an Edison Nouveau Premiere in rotation.

TOM BIHN Blog | sea_otter 3EDC

Here are some of the items on rotation in my Medium Café Bag. Usually all the smaller bits and bobs go into the Wasabi 3D Organizer Cube. If I need to make a cut-down version of that, I’ll put the most crucial things into the Cubelet.
Daily carry contents:

  • GeoKnots nano log roller (to make rolling up tiny geocache logbooks much easier)
  • Fountain pens: currently in use are the Lamy 2000, Edison Nouveau Premier from Goulet Pens, and Kaweco Brass Sport. They live in a Nock ‘Sinclair’ pen case. I keep a wee box of ink cartridges and a notebook in there too.
  • Hobonichi Weeks planner
  • Traveler’s Company ‘passport’-size notebook
  • Santitizer
  • Lip balm/floss/comb to make me presentable
  • Paracetamol for when life gives you a headache
  • Victorinox SwissCard Lite multi tool
  • Change purse
  • ‘Qliplet’ carabiner/hooks by Lulabop (thanks Perseffect for bringing these to my attention!)
  • Tisserand lavender essential oil roller
  • Gardener’s Hand Therapy by Crabtree and Evelyn
  • Microfiber cloth, lens cleaner, and mini screwdriver for glasses
  • Fisher Space Pen in lime green

TOM BIHN Blog | sea_otter3 Medium Cafe Bag

Which item do you use more often than you thought you would?

The Daylight Backpack, which I take on many of the same trips as the Synapse 25, to use as a daily backpack at my destination. It’s the perfect size for a small excursion. It’s light, comfortable, holds a surprising amount, and is very sturdy. When I met Suzanne, an American friend, for the first time, we immediately bonded over our Tom Bihn bags and matching lime green Fisher Space Pens – we even took a picture of them together on the steps of the Bodleian Library in Oxford!

TOM BIHN Blog | sea_otter3 in Oxford

An utterly crucial travel item is the Travel Tray. At the end of a long day’s travel, it’s great to have a safe place for small, easily lost items and bits of jewellery, or things that I may need at night. The Travel Tray will happily accept all that stuff. It’s also a great yarn bowl, for the knitters and crocheters amongst us.

TOM BIHN Blog | sea_otter3 Knitting

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in the south of England, and work in both public and academic libraries. I love coffee, rain, knitting, and books. I love animals, too, and have a golden retriever and two Siamese cats. This year I’m doing Country Walking magazine’s challenge to walk 1000 miles in 2017. On Instagram I am @sea_otter3.

TOM BIHN Blog | sea_otter3 Clementine

Week in Photos – Nov. 3, 2017

Here are a few photos you’ve shared with us this recently! Thank you!

“Oh yeah. New TOM BIHN travel cubelet fits perfectly on the side of my Parental Unit. It now has all my personal effects so I can easily take just that little bag when I go out sans kiddos. Bliss!”

Photo by @sparrowlight


“My husband and I are massive fans and own the Aeronaut 45 and the Synapse backpack.

My gorgeous family added to my TB collection with your new Makers Bag, yarn stuff sacks, tool wrap and some clear pouches for my recent birthday. I LOVE THEM!!! The Makers Bag is outstanding, so many pockets, wide self supporting base, and I love the grab handle on the bag. Thank you so much for creating such a brilliant craft bag.

Better than that though, my Makers Bag has doubled as my travel hand bag for the 5-day work trip I’m on. Between that and my Aeronaut, I’m all set. All conference material fits in the full width pocket inside, my purse and phone are tucked in pockets, drink bottle in a pocket. Lap top and note paper in the main compartment.”

Photo by TB customer Skye in Australia


“Thanks for the corgi pin @tracertron.”

Photo by @sethygrams


“Island and grass travel cubelets arrived today. I’m looking forward to discovering all the possibilities.”

Photo by @purple_sage66


“After lots of business travel this year, in Thailand for a break.

We checked one large wheeled suitcase but carried on a Black Halcyon/Iberian S25 and Navy Cordura Ristretto 11. The Ristretto in particular is the perfect day bag for either touristy bits and pieces or for the occasional laptop and iPad carry to do a bit of ‘online stuff’.”

Posted in the forums by Perseffect


“A month-old S19 in the lab before workday starts. The red is muted, not too bright, yet easy to see when I’m on my bike.”

Posted in the forums by nuin27


“My daughter is carrying a small Shop Bag with her swim gear backpack style.”

Posted in the forums by Ilkyway


“On the way home, one navy Yeoman is missing in this picture.”

Posted in the forums by Ilkyway


“The ultimate Dad bag even has a balloon holder.”

Posted in the forums by GoVols


“Using my Packing Cube backpack during my walk in Tokyo, Japan. Picture was taken at Blue Bottle Coffee, Aoyama. I have many other pictures, stay tuned for my upcoming review about the TriStar combined with the Packing Cube Backpack :)”

Posted in the forums by fatih


“Lakeside, with Breezee, Bihn & pals, on a gorgeous Autumn day.”

Photo by @cjh_ny54


“Every six weeks I spend 5 days in Silicon Valley to visit my employer’s mothership (Google). The Pilot / TriStar combo is the best ever, going strong for over a year now! Lots of TB sub-organizers inside of course. :-)”

Posted in the forums by bcollsuss


Portable Culture Portrait: NWHikergal

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features Forum member NWHikergal. The previous editions featured Forum members widepipe, Rocks, JonC, cdh, Badger, haraya, imahawki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin.

What’s the most useful item that you carry?

The most useful item that I carry is my iPhone. Whether checking emails, mapping a run or bike ride, using travel apps, checking TB forums, or trying to beat the terrible Seattle traffic with navigation apps, I have likely grown way more reliant on it than I would have ever imagined. And I use it multiple times a day for quick photos of myriad things, which I can easily text, email, or post online. I also have to carry a work phone, which is less of a blessing! Even though I rely on my iPhone often, I am extremely grateful when I have the opportunity to disconnect from emails when I am out of cell range or enjoying the outdoors, though I still snap pics.

What’s your most treasured item?

I would have to say several photo albums of older non-digital family photos, as well as a book of family recipes that my mother gave me. Those are irreplaceable items. While I may have many items of greater financial value, these have the most personal value.

Which item do you use more often than you thought you would?

Tom Bihn shop bags! I honestly don’t think one can have too many. I use them every single day for everything from grocery shopping to travel/road trips to dealing with the miscellany that pops up each day. And no matter how much weight I load them with – even items like heavy cat litter and cases of cat food in one bag – they never struggle. I can throw a large shop bag over each shoulder and haul away, which is particularly handy when I am bulk shopping or moving lots of items and don’t want to make tons of trips up the stairs.

One item that I did not anticipate using as much as I do is a kiwi Clear Organizer Wallet. While I do not use it for daily carry, it accompanies me for all of my adventures on land and water, whether I am hiking, biking, paddle boarding, or traveling. It gives me peace of mind to bring the basics with me in it: driver’s license, insurance card, one credit card, and a little cash. I don’t have to worry about dragging around things I do not need, but I have enough items to cover most scenarios. I keep the cards in one section, cash in another, and I can put receipts in the other if needed.


My weekend carry bag is a navy parapack/solar Synapse 19, and during weekdays I generally carry a medium café bag (previously original halcyon/wasabi, now mars/dawn), though I have recently alternated this with a black/fjord Little Swift.


For work travel I tend to use either a halcyon Co-Pilot or a halcyon Maker’s Bag for all day meetings, depending on how many items I need to carry. And I use a Smart Alec for my clothing items.


My daily carry items include:

  • Allett women’s ultra slim wallet
  • Revo sunglasses in cheery aftermarket case
  • Lipstick, lip balm and small hand sanitizer in a kiwi mini Q kit
  • Tissue packets
  • Small first aid kit (I recently switched my FAK items from a small double organizer pouch to a mars cubelet)
  • EpiPen
  • Work cell
  • Personal cell
  • Fenix E12 flashlight
  • Keychain
  • Benchmade Mini Griptilian knife (unless I am flying/headed to places where I cannot bring it)
  • Work ID on paracord quick release lanyard
  • Miir 27 ounce water bottle
  • Miir 8 ounce tumbler for coffee – as needed
  • Either small or large shop bag – as needed

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I currently live in Northwest, and in my spare time I try to get outdoors as much as possible to enjoy the mountains, water, and scenery the area offers. I also love sampling the local cuisine, discovering new restaurants/food trucks/coffee shops/microbreweries, as well as returning to old favorites. I travel occasionally for work, but I prefer traveling for fun, and I have lived throughout the U.S. and worked overseas. If I could have a fun second job, I would love to be a full-time gear tester!

Portable Culture Portrait: widepipe

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features Forum member widepipe. The previous editions featured Forum members Rocks, JonC, cdhBadger, haraya, imahawki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin.

What’s the most useful item that you carry?

I’m going to skip over my iPhone, even though I don’t know what I would do without it.

TOM BIHN Blog | widepipe Hydroflask

The item I pull out my bag more than any other is my Hydro Flask water bottle. When I’m at home, I do a good job of drinking a lot of water, but I struggle when I’m out. With other water bottles, the water became too warm after a bit of time. It is amazing how long the Hydro Flask keeps water cold. Anytime I see a water fountain, I refill my Hydro Flask.

What’s your most treasured item?

I LOVE my Apple AirPods. I have gone through a bunch of wireless headphones over the years. They are almost always underwhelming because of fit, connection or charging issues. Sometimes, all three. When the AirPods were announced, I didn’t have crazy expectations. I also wondered about how ridiculous I would look wearing them. After one week with them, I knew I had found the perfect wireless headphones. Since they charge every time they go into their case, they’re always ready when I need them. They sound great and fit well. I don’t care if I look ridiculous wearing them.
Even with the carefree charging, I carry a pair of wired headphones just in case 🙂

Which item do you use more often than you thought you would?

I bought the Snow Peak Cutlery Set mostly because I thought it was a beautiful product. I didn’t realize how often I would use it. While I work at home, I need to get out of the house at least once a day to bring my mind back to some equilibrium. This trip out is often lunch. I use the cutlery set a few times a week to eat everything from salad to soup. My sushi habit has me considering the Snow Peak Chopsticks as another addition to the bag.

TOM BIHN Blog | widepipe Bag

Left to right, top to bottom:

  • TB Medium Cafe Bag – I just started using this after using an original TB Ristretto for a while.
  • Gum/breath mints
  • Protein bars – either Epic or EXO cricket flour bars (yes, crickets!). This is all about avoiding the tempting carb-loaded treats at coffee shops.
  • Snow Peak Cutlery Set
  • Hydro Flask water bottle

TB Freudian Slip for Medium Cafe Bag containing:

  • Field Note notebook
  • Uni-ball Signo Dx
  • Apple 10.5″ iPad Pro – Even though I do a bunch of design work, a meaningful part of my job is writing. I’m finding the iPad to be a more calm, distraction-free place to do this work.
  • Apple Smart Keyboard – To make the above easier.
  • Apple Pencil – I used to enjoy drawing as a kid. I’m hoping to pick it back up 30 years later.
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • Apple AirPods
  • TB Clear Organizer Pouch – I skinnied up the wallet I carry in my pants to only include cash, ID and a credit card. The rest of my cards go in here.
  • Collapsible, reusable grocery bag
  • Sunglasses

TB Organizer Pouch for electronics/etc:

  • Business cards
  • Keys for the car I don’t usually drive
  • Leatherman Squirt
  • Extra wired headphones

TB Organizer Pouch containing personal care/first aid stuff:

  • Tissues
  • Chapstick
  • Tylenol
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Band-aids – a must have with 2 boys under 10
  • Aquaphor – to heal anything!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am the head of product for a review website. I started out as a web designer. I still get to do some design work when I’m not working on the product side of things.

I live in wonderful Pittsburgh, PA with my wife and two sons (age 6 and 9). After college, we moved to Washington, DC, to put some distance between us and the place we grew up. We never thought we would move back to our childhood home. But on visits back from DC, we started to see the beginning of the transformation the city would eventually undergo. We decided it was time to get back here. We have now been back for an amazing and exciting 10 years.

I got bitten by the Tom Bihn bug more than 10 years ago when I bought a Small Cafe Bag. I still use it regularly. I have many of the same productivity hack tendencies of the Tom Bihn faithful. I love finding well made, thoughtful items that will provide joy when using them. I think that is why Tom Bihn has held a lasting place with me.

I can be found online at, or @widepipe on Twitter.

Our Hearts Are With Those Affected By Disaster

TOM BIHN Donation Crane

Hurricane Harvey, the earthquake in Mexico City, Hurricane Irma, and the wildfires across the west: these natural disasters have impacted family of various crew here at TOM BIHN as well as the many people we think of as friends who happen to use our bags.

TOM BIHN, Inc. has made donations to the following organizations on behalf of our friends, family, and the many people we don’t know who are impacted by these events.

American Red Cross (earmarked for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief)

Direct Relief for Mexico City Earthquake

Direct Relief for Puerto Rico

Humane Society of the United States (earmarked for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief)

We briefly considered offering a version of our Donation Crane dedicated to disaster relief efforts; ultimately, we felt it best for donations to be sent directly to the organizations who need them during these times of crises.

That said, as a way of offering a Donation Crane to everyone out there reading this, we asked our friend and artist Dan Bransfield to create this watercolor Donation Crane so we could share something with you. Feel free to right-click and download it.

TOM BIHN Donation Crane Watercolor by Dan Bransfield

Update 09/12/2017

We received an email from HSUS thanking us for our donation; they shared a few photos with us of the adoptable dogs and cats they were able to transfer out of Texas before and after Hurricane Harvey. HSUS transfers of these dogs and cats meant that Houston-area and Texas shelters had more room to take in dogs and cats displaced by the storm so that they can be reunited with their families.

Our Hearts Are With Those Impacted by Disaster | TOM BIHN | Humane Society of The United States

Our Hearts Are With Those Impacted by Disaster | TOM BIHN | Humane Society of The United States

What and How to Pack for a Day at the Museum

What and How to Pack for a Day at the Museum

Museums aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they can be a great way to learn more about a place you’re visiting, explore different facets of human life, or teach you things about your own home town. Whole vacations can be built around museum-hopping, and sometimes a museum visit is just a nice way to while away a cold, rainy afternoon.

In addition to housing art and artifacts, museums and museum-like spaces address a wide range of interests: science and industry, specific professions, or natural history. Other places, such as archives and libraries, can also reveal the history of a place or people.

Let’s also not forget those strange little museums that seem to hide out in city side-streets, remote villages, or what appears to be the middle of nowhere. These treasure troves of curious and occasionally grotesque relics can be the most enjoyable of all.

Whatever you’re into, there’s probably a museum (or three) out there for you. We’ve put together some suggestions for how to get the most out of a day of museum-hopping, and have created a list of museums around the world that may be under your radar but could be worth exploring.



Book admission to popular destinations online whenever possible. Although you may have to reserve a particular day and/or time, this method allows you to bypass the line of people waiting for admission at the door.

Familiarize yourself with the museum layout. This is especially useful if you are planning to visit many sites in one day, or if you’re with kids or companions with limited patience and attention spans: you can go directly to the exhibits you most want to see, and anything else after that is just a bonus.

Similarly, scope out the area immediately around the museum: where’s the closest cafe, bus stop, or route to your next destination?

Plan breaks, whether it’s time in the park, a sandwich and coffee, or a few minutes on a bench watching the autumn leaves swirl around. Knowing that you’ll be taking breaks—and, ideally, where these breaks will be—will help preserve your good mood, allow you to refresh your body and mind, and give you time to process everything you’ve just seen and experienced.


The Bag Check:

Many museums require visitors to check bags that exceed a certain size. Depending on the rules, you may also have to check items like outerwear, umbrellas, cameras, and food/drink.

If you have only a few items to carry, use the smallest bag you can: for instance, a Luminary or  Daylight Briefcase or Backpack (the Backpack will draw less attention if you pack lightly, fold it, and carry it in under your arm). Bags like the Small Cafe Bag and Packing Cube Shoulder Bag can often pass as purses, and, if it’s packed lightly, the Aeronaut 30 Packing Cube Backpack can give you backpack comfort when you’re walking between museums and then fold up into a convenient shoulder or hip bag when you’re inside.

If you need a larger day bag, it’s handy to have a way to keep a few valuables on your person in case you must relinquish it. Most museums—even those that require all bags to be checked—will allow a purse, so it’s a good idea to stash your money and other essentials in a Side Kick or Side Effect, which you can carry by a strap or loop (you can also wear them around your waist if desired). If you’re at the museum to draw, tuck some supplies into the Field Journal Notebook.

More minimal carrying options include the 3D Organizer Cube and Cubelet, which can be carried by a loop, or packing cubes (like those for the Mini Yeoman Duffel or Night Flight Travel Duffel), which have a carry handle built in. Or, slip your passport and credit cards into an RFID Passport Pouch and wear it around your neck and beneath your clothes.


Useful items:

  • Water in a closed container and wrapped snacks for breaks
  • Camera
  • Journal or sketchbook and related supplies
  • A light layer in case it’s super cold inside
  • An envelope or flat pouch (like the Clear Organizer Pouch) to keep tickets, brochures, admissions stickers, and other ephemera—all items that can enliven your vacation scrapbook or photo album
  • A small first aid kit, including painkillers and ample supplies of moleskin for blisters


Just a Few Museums and Libraries

We haven’t been to all of these places (we wish!) so we can’t guarantee you’ll have an unbelievably good time if you go, but hopefully this list will contain a gem or two that piques your interest. This list is not exhaustive, by any means: it focuses on just a few categories in the interest of space; we also left off most of the biggest/most famous museums. Please let us know your favorite museums and museum-like spaces in the comments.

Natural History

  • Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia
  • Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA
  • Francisco P. Moreno Museum of Patagonia, San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
  • Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, Singapore
  • McGregor Museum, Kimberley, South Africa
  • Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Santiago, Chile
  • Museo Paleontológico en Tocuila, Texcoco, Mexico
  • Museum of the North, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
  • Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  • Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, Netherlands
  • Palangos Gintaro Muziejus, Palanga, Lithuania


  • Beitou Branch, Taipei Public Library, Taiwan
  • Biblioteca Joanina, Portugal
  • Bibliotheca Alexandria, Egypt
  • Central Library of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland
  • Chicago Public Library, Illinois, USA
  • George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Halifax Library, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Real Gabinete Portogues da Leitura, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Seattle Public Library (Central Branch), Washington, USA
  • State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Children’s Museums (most are good for adults too)

  • Children’s Museum Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  • City Museum, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
  • Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany
  • Discover Children’s Story Centre, London, England
  • Exploratorium, San Francisco, California, USA
  • The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • The International Spy Museum, Washington, DC, USA
  • National Science and Technology Museum, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
  • The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden, England
  • Science Centre Nemo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • The Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, New York, USA
  • Universeum, Göteborg, Sweden

Museums of Curiosities and the Bizarre

  • Cancun Underwater Museum, Cancun, Mexico
  • Iga Ninja Museum, Iga, Mie, Japan
  • Icelandic Phallological Museum, Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, Ikeda, Osaka, Japan (not to be confused with Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, also in Japan)
  • Museum of Bad Art, Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
  • Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Museum of Human Disease, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia
  • Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • The Mütter Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • National Mustard Museum, Middleton, Wisconsin, USA
  • Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, Delhi, India

News Briefs

We posted a very early heads-up on our March 1st, 2019 (roughly 6%) price increase in the Forums along with news of Shop Bags in 210d ballistic nylon.

Ben Brooks has published a review of Nik’s Minimalist Wallets and @everydaycommentary posted about his every day carry step up (hint: it includes a Minimalist Wallet!)

Our 2018 Holiday Schedule is up. Check it out for important shipping deadlines and our holiday hours. P.S. Our Seattle Factory Showroom will be open the rare Saturday on December 8th from 10:00am until 2:00pm Pacific Time.

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