New Designs

Introducing The Sprout Kid’s Backpack

The Sprout Kid's Backpack by TOM BIHN

We’ve found that if you talk with kids, rather than down to them, you might learn a thing or two. Like that not all of them want teddy bears, princesses and super heroes on their backpacks — some kids want the same cool organization and features that the grown-ups get. When we designed The Sprout Kid’s Backpack, we applied all the same consideration and thought we put into our adult backpacks, scaled down to kid size. For children 4 years to 8 years old, The Sprout just might be the #1 backpack out there for day hikes, museum/library/field trips, or even an overnight at the grandparents. It’s also worth pointing out that The Sprout is amongst the rare Made in USA backpack options for kids.

We definitely learned a thing or three from our Sprout beta-testers: Sloane (age 4) convinced us of the necessity of a sternum strap on the Sprout, and Oliver (age 7) requested the small, almost-secret side pockets you’ll find in the main compartment of the Sprout.

The Sprout Kid's Backpack - A Kid's First Backpack - TOM BIHN

The Sprout Kid's Backpack - A Kid's First Backpack - TOM BIHN

The Sprout Kid's Backpack - A Kid's First Backpack - TOM BIHN

The Sprout Kid's Backpack - A Kid's First Backpack - TOM BIHN

The Sprout Kid's Backpack - A Kid's First Backpack - TOM BIHN

The Sprout Kid's Backpack - A Kid's First Backpack - TOM BIHN

The Sprout Kid's Backpack - A Kid's First Backpack - TOM BIHN

The Sprout Kid's Backpack - A Kid's First Backpack - TOM BIHN

The Return of the Field Journal Notebook!

TOM BIHN Field Journal Notebook Returns

Last year, we announced that the Field Journal Notebook was amongst several designs retiring to make room for new ones. We never really like retiring designs, but we’d crunched the numbers and made up our minds. And that, we thought, was that.

Then the emails and phone calls started coming in: did we have any Field Journal Notebooks left? Couldn’t we make just one more batch? We thought about it, we considered it seriously. We remembered how you’ve taken the Field Journal Notebook amazing places (to record your observations of bears and to conduct interviews and research at refugee camps). Tom recalled how fond of the FJN he was, of the hours and hours he spent refining it.

In spite of all that, we felt we simply had to stand firm in our resolve to retire the FJN. After all, we must retire older designs at some point to make room for the new designs we come up with. But the emails and phone calls didn’t stop – the Fans of the Field Journal Notebook had become a force to be reckoned with.

Then we came up with a work around, a diplomatic compromise if you will: we could make the FJN new again, by offering two optional organizational inserts – we could all have our cake and eat it too. One organizational insert would have slots for pens/pencils and a small zippered mesh pocket for erasers, lead refills, and other small items. The other organizational insert would have an open-top pocket sized to fit notebooks around the size of Field Notes, or big phones.

The Field Journal Notebook remains as it was: designed originally for biologists and geologists working in the wilderness, the Field Journal Notebook is a useful tool for artists, writers, and anyone who, for reasons aesthetic or practical, wants an alternative to electronic devices. Essentially, the Field Journal Notebook is a compact, portable, weatherproof, zippered notebook for note-taking, journaling, or sketching.

The two new organizational inserts for the Field Journal Notebook are:

Field Journal Notebook Organizational Insert, Pen/Pencil
The front of this insert has six pen/pencil slots and a small zippered pocket (perfect for erasers or earbuds). The back features a length-wise zippered pocket.

Field Journal Notebook Organizational Insert, Pocket
The front of this insert has an open-top pocket which nicely fits Field Notes or an iPhone 6 Plus. The back features a length-wise zippered pocket.

TOM BIHN | The Field Journal Notebook Returns
Left: Field Journal Notebook Organizational Insert, Pocket and Right: Field Journal Notebook Organizational Insert, Pen/Pencil

TOM BIHN Field Journal Notebook Organizer Back Pocket
The back pocket of the Field Journal Notebook Organizational Insert (same for both the Pen/Pencil and Pocket versions).

And to celebrate the return of the Field Journal Notebook, we’ve included two postcards with postage affixed (for mailing within the U.S. — folks outside the U.S. will need to add postage).

One of postcard is addressed to us, with the other side completely blank; we’re hoping that you’ll use this postcard to send us a doodle, illustration, poem, haiku, or just a note. When you send this postcard back to us, we’ll pin it up on the walls of our Seattle factory.

TOM BIHN Mail Us a Postcard

The other postcard features a watercolor illustration by the artist Dan Bransfield. It’s ready for the address of your friend, family member, pen pal, or to whomever you’d like to send a note.

TOM BIHN | Dan Bransfield Watercolor Postcard

Below is our new video for the Field Journal Notebook and some photos of it in-use.

TOM BIHN Field Journal Notebook Returns! Day Planner, organizer, sketch book, notebook...

TOM BIHN Field Journal Notebook Returns! Day Planner, organizer, sketch book, notebook...

TOM BIHN Field Journal Notebook Returns! Day Planner, organizer, sketch book, notebook...

TOM BIHN Field Journal Notebook Returns! Day Planner, organizer, sketch book, notebook...

TOM BIHN Field Journal Notebook Returns! Day Planner, organizer, sketch book, notebook...

TOM BIHN Field Journal Notebook Returns! Day Planner, organizer, sketch book, notebook...

TOM BIHN Field Journal Notebook Returns! Day Planner, organizer, sketch book, notebook...

TOM BIHN Field Journal Notebook Returns! Day Planner, organizer, sketch book, notebook...

Fjord, Sitka, Monarch: Limited Edition Halcyon 200d Colors

TOM BIHN Limited Edition Halcyon 200d Colors

Last summer, we offered three limited edition Halcyon 200d colors: Zest, Island, and Northwest Sky. All three colors proved to be very popular, and though we had intended them to be “limited edition”, we decided we wanted keep one of the new colors around as our fifth official (and more-or-less permanent) Halcyon 200d color.

We also decided that Northwest Sky (because its a lighter and brighter color) would make a better neutral lining color than our darker Steel Halcyon 200d. It’s already replacing Steel as a lining color in every new batch of bags we make.

Which color were we going to add: Island or Zest? That didn’t seem like enough choices, so we ordered another round of three limited edition colors. We know this sounds crazy, and in fact it is crazy, but hey: we love color as much as you do!

Here they are: meet Fjord, Sitka, and Monarch.

In a month or two, we’ll post a poll in our Forums in which you can vote for the color you’d like to see become our fifth official Halcyon 200d color: Zest, Island, Fjord, Sitka, or Monarch. (Remember, that’s going to be in addition to Wasabi, Iberian, Ultraviolet and Northwest Sky.)

Fjord
Less saturated mid-blue with grey and teal undertones.

Sitka
A bright and crisp evergreen with slightly blue undertones.

Monarch
Joyful true orange.

Fjord, Sitka, and Monarch are available in the following bags:
Shop Bags
Aeronaut 45
Aeronaut 30
Travel Tray
Packing Cube Shoulder Bag
Aeronaut 45 Packing Cube Backpack

TOM BIHN Limited Edition Colors | Sitka Monarch Fjord Halcyon 200d
Shop Bags, left to right: Fjord, Sitka, Monarch

TOM BIHN Packing Cube Backpack as a Packing Cube in Sitka Halcyon 200d
The Aeronaut 45 Packing Cube Backpack in Sitka Halcyon 200d

TOM BIHN Aeronaut 45 Packing Cube in Sitka Halcyon 200d
The Aeronaut 45 Packing Cube Backpack in Sitka Halcyon 200d

TOM BIHN Aeronaut 45 Packing Cube in Sitka Halcyon 200d
The Aeronaut 45 Packing Cube Backpack in Sitka Halcyon 200d

Packing Cube Shoulder Bag in Monarch | TOM BIHN
The Packing Cube Shoulder Bag in Monarch

Travel Tray in Fjord; Futuristic Lego Architecture Creation
The Travel Tray in Fjord

Aeronaut 45 Aether Packing Cubes
The Aeronaut 45 in Black/Fjord (with Aether Packing Cubes)

TOM BIHN Fjord Halcyon 200d
Fjord

TOM BIHN Sitka Halcyon 200d Fabric Limited Edition
Sitka

TOM BIHN Monarch Halcyon 200d
Monarch

Introducing Aether Fabric Packing Cubes

TOM BIHN Aether Packing Cube

Packing Cubes help to make the most efficient use of your packing space — and they keep your clothes neat, whether you’re a folder, bundler, or roller (see the video below for more on these packing styles).

We’ve long offered Packing Cubes sized specifically for our Aeronaut 45, Aeronaut 30, and Tri-Star travel bags. Made with an exterior of Halcyon 200d ultralight rip-stop fabric and strong polyester mesh, they’re amongst our most popular travel accessories.

When our fabric mill in Japan presented us with a revolutionary new fabric — Aether — our eyes lit up and our first thought was: this would make a great fabric for even lighter Packing Cubes.

Aether is an ultra-light, 100% nylon fabric from Japan. It has a unique and somewhat complex construction, combining 30 denier monofilament with both 100 denier and 200 denier yarns in a micro-ripstop weave that further increases its tear strength. Like most of our fabrics, Aether is coated on the backside with urethane for weather resistance, as well as having a surface treatment of durable water repellant. Though its hand is a bit crisp when new, we greatly prefer Aether’s aesthetic over commonly available silicone-coated nylons. It’s light, but surprisingly tough. As far as we know, we’re the first manufacturer to use Aether.

We present to you packing cubes sized specifically for the Aeronaut 45, Aeronaut 30, and Tri-Star travel bags in Aether. Each size of Aether Packing Cube is available in your choice of color: Carbon (a dark grey), Violet (more purple than our Ultraviolet), and Wasabi (a true match to our Wasabi Halcyon 200d).

Aether Packing Cubes are solid Aether fabric, front and back, no mesh. Because Aether is, depending on the color, more-or-less translucent (as seen in the photos and video below) the visibility of contents offered by a mesh panel is not essential.

In addition, we’ve shaved off more weight by using #3 YKK coil zippers, and binding the internal seams with Aether fabric as well. Together we’ve reduced the weight of all the Packing Cubes by about 40% – not bad, eh? Aether Cubes will require a tad bit more gentle treatment, but we think most people will find the weight savings worth it.

Some folks will choose a set of matching color Aether Packing Cubes, but we think a lot of people might choose different colors of Aether Packing Cubes in an effort to use color coding for packing organization. Example: socks/undies go in the Aeronaut 45 Aether Packing Cube in Wasabi, while t-shirts and work-out clothes go in the
The Aeronaut 45 in Black/Fjord with Aeronaut 45 Aether Packing Cubes.

Aether Packing Cubes in Carbon

Aether Packing Cube in Carbon

Aether Packing Cube for shoes

TOM BIHN Aeronaut 30 with Aether Packing Cubes

TOM BIHN Aeronaut 30 Packing List

TOM BIHN Aether Fabric Packing Cube in Wasabi

TOM BIHN Aether Packing Cube in Violet

TOM BIHN Aether Packing Cube in Violet

TOM BIHN Aether Packing Cube in Violet

TOM BIHN Aether Packing Cube in Violet

TOM BIHN Aether Packing Cubes in Violet

Introducing the First and Second Aid Pouches

Introducing First and Second Aid Pouches | TOM BIHN

Every time you get on a plane and the flight attendants walk everyone through the safety procedures, you’re instructed to “Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” Of course, the logic behind this is that you are of no use to yourself or others if you’re not breathing!

The ability to take care of yourself first is especially important if you’re somewhere far from help, hiking, skiing, trekking, or even cross-country driving. The outdoor education and conservation organization The Mountaineers poses two questions to would-be adventurers: “Can you respond positively to an accident or emergency? And can you safely spend a night (or more) out?”

To help backpackers and hikers prepare themselves for self-sufficiency in the wild, The Mountaineers devised a list called the Ten Essentials, vital items to bring on every hike. Since the list was first generated back in the 1930s, having the Ten Essentials and knowing how to use them has been considered part of responsible hiking.

When backpacking—and in many other situations—it’s a powerful thing to know you’re ready to take care of your needs, as well as equipped to deal with the unexpected. But consider that level of preparedness extended to help others: what if the emergency to which you’re responding isn’t just about saving yourself, but helping someone else avoid potential disaster?

For example, when Tom goes hiking, he packs the Ten Essentials for himself, and some extras in case he meets anyone who needs something. Sort of first aid for himself, and second aid for others. Similarly, Darcy packs extra first aid and comfort items for any humans or canines she might meet on the trail who have forgotten theirs (see her packing photos below).

Taking care of ourselves and others is the idea behind our First and Second Aid Pouches. The First Aid Pouch is red, and that’s where we keep the usual first-responder, medical-related stuff. The blue Second Aid Pouch is where we keep stuff that is intended to provide urgent care and comfort to others, often stuff that is earmarked to be lent or given away.  They’re both large enough to hold and organize many items, but not so large that they’re burdensome to carry. Just as we instinctively dive for the red pouch when we need aspirin or a bandage when we’re out and about, the blue pouch is our go-to when we encounter someone with non-medical, yet still somewhat dire, needs.

You’ve probably guessed already that the concept of First and Second Aid extends far beyond the hiking trails. Anyone who goes to professional conferences knows how helpful it can be to have a little stash of pens, tissues, sheets of paper, painkillers, and mints or cough drops. Having a few extras can enable you to help someone without depriving yourself of something you might need later.

Whether you’re a commuter, traveler, cyclist, urban explorer, parent, babysitter, dog walker, or student, chances are that you do a whole bunch of stuff that requires its own Essentials. The First Aid Pouch is designed to hold Essentials for you; the Second Aid Pouch holds Essentials for others. What will you put in yours?

 

Second and First Aid from TOM BIHN on Vimeo.

Darcy's First Aid Pouch | TOM BIHN

Darcy’s First Aid Pouch. Items of note: the tick key (works on humans and animals alike), and especially the extra diphenhydramine, which Darcy has carried ever since she and Lily went on a hike and Lily stuck her whole snout into a wasp nest in the ground. After being stung many times, Lily’s nose and mouth began to swell; luckily, Darcy had diphenhydramine in her first aid kit and was able to dose Lily before her reaction became too severe. (Please consult your veterinarian as to whether diphenhydramine is safe for your pet and if so, the appropriate dosage.)

Darcy's Second Aid Pouch | TOM BIHN

Darcy’s Second Aid Pouch, hiking edition. Previously, Darcy’s First and Second Aid items were carried in 3D Organizer Cubes; that worked just fine, but these pouches make it more obvious which pouch to grab, as well as easier to organize or find particular items.

Darcy's Other Second Aid Pouch | TOM BIHN

Darcy’s Second Aid Pouch, everyday edition. Note the emergency dog leash and small Nalgene of dog treats. Having found many lost dogs over the years (as well as helping people capture their dogs who were having too much fun, and were unwilling to get back in the car and go home after a hike), Darcy has learned to carry these two items to make that whole process a little easier.

Introducing The Maker’s Bag

Introducing The Maker's Bag | TOM BIHN

Ask ten different people to make something, and no two results will be the same. You might get a poem, a painting, a staff of music or a circuit board—maybe even an elegant mathematical equation or a stencil for a tattoo. Even if everyone was instructed to doodle a bear riding a unicycle up the side of Big Ben, each person’s rendering would be unique.

We are all driven to make, create, think, and dream. However you choose to express yourself, if your imaginative work and play requires you to carry around the tools of your trade, then the Maker’s Bag has been made in your honor.

Originally conceived as a messenger-style bag for knitters, the design of the Maker’s Bag lends itself well to a whole host of creative pursuits. Beneath its appealingly simple exterior lies a wealth of organizational elements: with twelve compartments and pockets, there’s certainly a place for everything; if you don’t need every nook and cranny, the pockets’ lean profiles allow them to keep out of your way.

The Maker’s Bag can be worn cross-body or on your shoulder. It includes a padded Standard Shoulder Strap and a detachable waist belt that keeps the bag secure if you’re riding a bicycle or running to catch the last train. Open the top flap and you’ll find a zippered pocket that’s loaded with slots for knitting needles, tools of various sizes, pens or brushes, as well as enough space to hold other items you may want to access quickly. Because of its external piping, the Maker’s Bag has enough structure to stand upright without being held open.

The spacious main compartment can accommodate laptops up to 13”, and has five organizational pockets (two of which are constructed of expandable mesh and can hold a water bottle or travel mug) as well as a wide zippered pocket with room for an 11” laptop, a tablet, a pad of paper, magazine, or knitting patterns. Plus, there’s tons of open space left over to store yarn, books, or a sizeable lunch.

Want to add even more pockets and organization to your Maker’s Bag? Consider adding the Maker’s Bag Freudian Slip. It adds five additional pockets of organization—three zippered pockets on one side and two large open top pockets on the other. Available for order from the Maker’s Bag page, the Freudian Slip Page, or (because it also fits the Swift) from the Swift page.

Made of rough and ready 1050D ballistic nylon or 400D Dyneema/420D ripstop nylon and with its understated good looks, the Maker’s Bag is an agreeable travel companion, at home in the city or country, and will hold all of the stuff you need to make whatever you love.

Introducing The Maker's Bag | TOM BIHN

Introducing The Maker's Bag | TOM BIHN

Introducing The Maker's Bag | TOM BIHN

Introducing The Maker's Bag | TOM BIHN

Introducing The Moveable Feast

Introducing The Moveable Feast | TOM BIHN

Transporting groceries should be as easy as chucking everything in a bag, right? Yet, your bananas get beaten up by glass bottles, and none of the boxed items seem to fit well amongst the mountains of broccoli and kale you’ve been told are good and good for you. Somehow, your kiwis always manage to get squished as you root around for that elusive chocolate bar. And all of this happens before you’ve even gotten your food to the car.

The reason for this is simple: the average disposable (or nearly disposable) shopping bag is a chaotic void that has zero regard for the fragility of food items, or—we’re sometimes tempted to add—the laws of physics. Tom decided to redesign the humble grocery sack from the bottom up, and the result is the Moveable Feast: a burly bag in 1050 D ballistic nylon that’s strong and durable, with a veritable smörgåsbord of organizational features that will restore tranquility and order to your next shopping expedition.

The Moveable Feast has three compartments: boxes of dry goods fit well in the center, and in the side compartments you’ll find a good home for cartons of milk, canned goods, and so on. Two outer pockets are perfect for your shopping list, frequent shopper cards, or the aforementioned chocolate bar. Three strategically-placed O-ring tether points give you a place to tether an Organizer Pouch or Clear Organizer Wallet. Poron™ padded handles make the Moveable Feast comfortable to tote around the market or on your stroll home.

Other details make the Moveable Feast a clever shopping companion: it has stretchable mesh sleeves that can hold your wine bottle or baguette, a scabbard-shaped pocket for a bouquet of flowers, and a special fold-down shelf that gives you a safe place to nestle your tomatoes, peaches, or anything else you want to keep safe. These extra pockets and shelves are labeled with little graphics that remind you (or the bagger) of what goes where, and all collapse out of the way if you don’t need them.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for the Moveable Feast the next time you head on a picnic or to a concert in the park. It’s also great for transporting your contributions to a potluck or your vacation rental. And we’re sure you’ll discover many non-food related uses for it, too.

The Moveable Feast Grocery Bag | TOM BIHN

The Moveable Feast Grocery Bag | TOM BIHN

The Moveable Feast Grocery Bag | TOM BIHN

Introducing the Tool/Pen Wrap

The Tool / Pen Wrap is a simple pouch that holds tools such as knittings needles, pens, pencils, markers or brushes. It features eight narrow slots specifically sized for the aforementioned items. The interior of the slots have a clear urethane backing (the same urethane we use for our Clear Organizer Pouches and other items) that grips your tools so they don’t slip out easily when the pouch is turned upside down. This allows us to forgo a flap and keep the Tool / Pen Wrap just that: a wrap.

Fill the Tool / Pen Wrap with your tools, wrap it up, and snap it shut; a snaphook on one corner allows you to clip the Tool / Pen Wrap to the o-rings inside our larger bags.

Introducing the Tool / Pen Wrap | TOM BIHN

Introducing the Tool / Pen Wrap | TOM BIHN

Introducing the Tool / Pen Wrap | TOM BIHN

Introducing the Citizen Canine Side Pockets

Go outside, says my dog, go outside and get a little muddy. Just take me with you.

Whether you and your dog hike, walk, or go on road trips together, you know he doesn’t need much to keep him happy. But if you find you need to carry some snacks for him, or a toy, or some poop bags (because friends don’t let friends leave that stuff lying around), the Citizen Canine can hold all of that and more.

If you need a bit more space you’ll welcome the Citizen Canine Side Pockets, a pair of zippered pouches that clip sturdily onto the Citizen Canine’s belt loops and clasp around your waist. Each  Pocket has a 1 liter capacity and zips shut with #8 YKK coil zippers. Inside you’ll find just enough structure for the pouch to keep its shape while providing maximum flexibility in terms of how you organize the space. Each pouch has an O-ring, too. The pockets are constructed from US-made 1050D ballistic nylon in colors to match your Citizen Canine.

Side Pockets give you the ability to carry more food or treats, a very light vest or jacket, first aid items, or keep one dog’s nibbles separate from another’s when you’re out and about. The waist strap will keep the Citizen Canine and the Side Pockets secure around your middle, allowing you to maintain a full range of motion and keep your hands free at the dog park, on the trail, or wherever you go. If you don’t need all of the space afforded by both Side Pockets, simply remove one Pocket and re-attach half of the Citizen Canine’s standard waist belt: voilà, you have a more compact Citizen Canine ready to go. 

Adding Side Pockets to your Citizen Canine expands its capacity, possibly enabling you to leave your other bags at home. If you have what you need and an easy way to access it, you’re free to focus on spending time with your buddy, taking a walk, running on the beach, maybe playing a bit of fetch in the rain—anything that sustains you until you do it again.

Introducing Citizen Canine Side Pockets | TOM BIHN

Introducing Citizen Canine Side Pockets | TOM BIHN

Introducing Citizen Canine Side Pockets | TOM BIHN

 

Introducing The Guide’s Pack Padded Hip Belt

The Guide’s Pack Padded Hip Belt is a simple padded hip belt that attaches to The Guide’s Pack. It allows you to transfer a surprising amount of the Guide’s Pack weight to your hips while hiking, and is great if you’re going to use the Guide’s Pack for heavier loads (think winter or climbing gear) or if you plan to use it as an overnight pack.

You can order The Guide’s Pack Padded Hip Belt when you order your Guide’s Pack, or from the Guide’s Pack Accessory Page.

Guide's Pack Padded Hip Belt | TOM BIHN

Guide's Pack Padded Hip Belt | TOM BIHN

Guide's Pack Padded Hip Belt | TOM BIHN

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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