Haute Americana’s interview with Tom on design, life, travel, and U.S. manufacturing is up. Excerpt:
Haute Americana: What are your essentials for traveling?
Tom Bihn: I used to manage the youth hostel in Santa Cruz — there I watched what people carried and how they traveled. I realized that the weight of a person’s bag was usually inversely proportional to the fun they were having. With that in mind, I try to travel pretty light, though I always seem to need to carry an extra pair of shoes or sandals. Otherwise I guess I carry the usual stuff – a swimsuit is surprisingly a good idea, as I try to jump into water whenever possible.”
Modestics: When did you feel like you were a “real company”?
Tom Bihn: It all felt pretty serious, though very small, when I first rented commercial space back in Santa Cruz. Otherwise, our growth has been slow, steady, and mostly self-funded. Rather than owing money to a bank or venture capitalist, our loyalty is to the folks who believe in us enough to buy what we make: still friends and family, just a bigger circle.
CARNIVAL 9: Are you still using your Tom Bihn bag? Could you update us on your current bag situation?
Michael Lopp: I use my Tom Bihn Smart Alec backpack every single day. It’s my go-to bag for both daily use as well as when I’m traveling. It’s sturdy, it has tons of space when I need it, and it keeps my hands free when I’m wrangling whatever random thing as I travel from here to there. I keep checking out new bags, but I haven’t left my Smart Alec.
Many of you — the readers of this blog — are also readers of One Bag, One World (for those of you who don’t: OBOW is a blog featuring news, reviews, tips and tricks for light travelers.) Our Aeronaut and Western Flyer bags have been reviewed at One Bag, One World, in addition to being widely discussed in the OBOW forums.
TravelSmith recently interviewed Brad Isbell, founder of OBOW. In the interview, Isbell tells of learning how to travel light and gives advice to fellow travelers. It’s a good interview and will definitely be of interest to those of you who travel light. Click here to read the interview.
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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