Design

New: Guide’s Edition Synapse 25, Pop Tote, and Synapse Internal Frames

Meet our three latest designs…

The Guide’s Edition Synapse 25

The Pop Tote

Synapse 19 or Synapse 25 Internal Frame

Our Guide To Backpack Frames

Tom and Nik in the Seattle Factory

As with many things in life, deciding whether to use an internal frame—or if you even need one—is subjective: it’s based on how you plan to carry your backpack, what you plan to carry in it, and how carefully you’re willing to pack it. A lot of folks will find an internal frame useful, but not everyone will, and certainly not everyone needs one, especially those who carry smaller/lighter packs or less gear.

Our Hero’s Journey, Guide’s Pack, and Guide’s Edition Synapse 25 backpacks all come with internal frames included. Versions of the same internal frame are optional for our Synapse 19 and Synapse 25 backpacks. But just because we offer internal frames doesn’t mean they’re required; our goal with this guide is to give you the facts as we know them (experientially, theoretically, and historically) so you can make the decision as to what’s best for you and your carrying comfort.

Introducing The Travel Cubelet

Meet the Travel Cubelet—we humbly present it to you as the elusively perfect mini travel purse (maybe not so humbly after all…). ​It’s not too big…and not too small. It has ​lots of pockets—four, to be exact—but not so many pockets that they would confound in use.

In Production. Ships on Friday, October 27th at 8:00am Pacific Time. Sign up to be notified on the Travel Cubelet page.

The First Bag I Made

Tom Bihn's G.I. Joe External Backpack and Ice Axe

The very first bag I ever made was when I was about 10 years old: it was an external frame backpack for my G.I. Joe.

Which Size of Cafe Bag is Right for You?

Which Size of Cafe Bag Is Right For You? | TOM BIHN

We published this guide to the Cafe Bag back in 2015, and we’re re-posting it now to reflect some changes to the Cafe Bag line. The Cafe Bag is incredibly simple and versatile. Available in two sizes (Small and Medium) and an array of colors and fabrics, it’s great for hauling your everyday essentials. Classic…

Making Bags is a Bihn Family Tradition

TOM BIHN | Making bags is a Bihn Family tradition

I can’t remember how exactly it started, but back in the 1970s, my mother took up the hobby of working with leather. Living near Santa Cruz, she had easy access to leather from the Salz Tannery. The tannery had a small retail store on site, known as “The Dead Cow”, which also sold leather working…

Sketchbook + Pen For You (From Tom)

TOM BIHN Recycled Square Notebook

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve grown very fond of square sketchbooks. I think that’s because they don’t confine me to a particular perspective. I love turning a sketch 90 or 180 degrees mid-process and discovering a new way of seeing things. For years I’d buy my sketchbooks in Canada: they sold a very nice series…

The History of Portable Culture

The History of Portable Culture | TOM BIHN

From 1990 until 1999, my business was my retail store/workshop in downtown Santa Cruz, California. For not quite ten years, I walked or rode my bike to work everyday (I only drove once!), along with my dog Faux Pas. Initially, I built every bag myself right there in my shop, though I eventually found a…

Design Update: Aeronaut 45

TOM BIHN Aeronaut 45 Design Updates

You know us: we can’t leave good enough alone. Our Aeronaut 45 maximum carry-on travel bag has been updated with a couple of new features and a few materials updates. All Aeronaut 45s available for order have these new features. #10 YKK Aquaguard Coil Zippers with Lockable Sliders We’ve changed the #10 zipper sliders on…

Design Update: Parental Unit

TOM BIHN Parental Unit Design Updates

Tom has made several design updates to our Parental Unit diaper bag inspired by feedback posted on our Forums, shared with us by friends and family who use the P.U., and Tom’s observations of it in use. All Parental Units available for order include these new features and updates. We’ve also introduced a new accessory…

News Briefs

After selling out within days of its debut, the Pop Tote is back in-stock and ready to ship.

Seattle folks! Join us for a rare Saturday opening of our Factory Showroom on December 16th from 10:00am – 2:00pm. We’ll have hot coffee, homemade cookies, and, of course, bags.

The first batch of Pop Totes has sold out. We’re making more and they will ship before December 14th.

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