FIELD TRIPS by TOM BIHN

Patterns. Voyages. Backcountry and front.

July 2008

Innovation in Travel Accessories: Tom Bihn Laptop Keyboard Cover

About.Com Europe Travel Blog on the TOM BIHN Laptop Keyboard Cover

Posted at: James’ Europe Travel Blog
By James Martin, About.com Guide to Europe
“I’m not a “cheap stuff” sorta guy. When I buy a bag or travel accessory, I want to make sure the design and manufacturing folks have thought things out. I don’t want the sort of industrial garbage in which innovation is measured by how much the company can save by removing features or using inferior material while maintaining the same price. Sometimes they even have the unmitigated gall to claim that the (new and improved!) hobbled product is better or safer because of it (think about that 6 inch cord on your toaster, for example).

So when a small company appears on my radar claiming real innovation, I’m happy to look into it and share.”

Find out what blogger and About.com Guide to Europe author James Martin thought of our Laptop Keyboard Cover.

See the Laptop Keyboard Cover:
TOM BIHN Laptop Keyboard Cover: Made in USA

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“This is a company and a product I highly recommend.”

position: relative: Tom Bihn’s bags

From the {position: relative;} blog:

“I’ve had an Olive/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag from Tom Bihn for almost 8 years. I love this bag – it’s the perfect size, it looks cool, and it’s very clean-lined.

One of the buckles broke yesterday. I emailed customer service about 15 minutes ago and have already gotten a response – they offered to fix it for free. But I decided to order a new one, because my old one is getting a bit frayed (and I can try a new color). This is a company and a product I highly recommend.”

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Brad Isbell of OBOW: TravelSmith Interview

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.

One Bag One World Size Comparison of the TOM BIHN Western Flyer and Aeronaut

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“Super Ego Arrives” (Pictures!)

“But quickly, from what I gather, the bag [The Super Ego] has impressive build quality, lots of room, and is not as intimidatingly huge as I feared it would be. It is noticeably bigger than the ID, much like you’d put a side-by-side comparison between a MBP 17 against a MBP 15, that type of ratio. But from an aesthetic point of view, the bag’s size shouldn’t be feared at all, I am only 5′ 9″ (albeit on the heavy build side), and the bag doesn’t look disproportionate.”

Read lpotr4’s entire review (with more pictures!) in the TOM BIHN Forums.

The TOM BIHN Super Ego Reviewed in the TOM BIHN Forums

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TOM BIHN Prototype “Checkpoint Friendly” Bag: Success!

Recently, Tom and Darcy flew to a select U.S. airport to consult with
TSA staff, testing Tom’s prototype of a new checkpoint friendly
briefcase.

Quoting the TSA:
“One project we’re currently working on that has been widely discussed
on the Internet and several blogs is a “checkpoint friendly” laptop bag.
This bag would allow our officers a clear, unobstructed view of the
laptop and allow passengers to keep the laptop in the bag during
screening.”

At the airport, we were given exclusive access to an x-ray machine and
conveyor for the testing process. We tested Tom’s prototype briefcase in
every way we could, from the best to the worst case scenerio. We also
tested the Archetype case (with Darcy’s 15″ MacBook Pro inside) — an existing bag that already meets the
“checkpoint friendly” requirements. (See below for more. Note that, until the TSA launches the “checkpoint friendly” program, you still must take your laptop out of your bag when going through security.)

The results? The prototype briefcase is a success: in multiple
configurations, it provided x-ray images that met the TSA screening
standards.

Tom continues to refine the design of the as-yet unnamed prototype
checkpoint-friendly briefcase. We expect the briefcase to be available
for pre-order within weeks.

Tom also has designs in process for a “checkpoint friendly” backpack and
messenger bag.

These bags aren’t and won’t be just checkpoint friendly: they will offer
the same tough materials and handsome, cleverly engineered design that
you’ve come to expect from a TOM BIHN bag. We think that you will also
appreciate that your TOM BIHN checkpoint friendly bag, specifically
designed to go through U.S. airport security, was also designed and
manufactured in the U.S.A. under the watchful eyes of our Seattle
factory crew.

Two current TOM BIHN laptop cases — the Archetype molded laptop case
and the Soft Cell laptop sleeve — are already “checkpoint friendly.”

That means that sometime in August/September — when the TSA officially
initiates the “checkpoint friendly” program — you can leave your laptop
in your Archetype or Soft Cell while it goes through the x-ray machine,
protecting your laptop from scratches and bumps. (Note: these bags will
meet the new TSA requirement as long as you put *only* your laptop in
the case, no accessories.)

Our experiences testing Tom’s prototype “checkpoint friendly” briefcase
revealed the potential this program offers that will save you, the
traveler, both time and hassle as well as protect your laptop.

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Geek chick electrical engineer packs light with the Aeronaut

The TOM BIHN Aeronaut: One Bag in Europe

“After tons of research I settled on the Tom Bihn Aeronaut bag.”
……
“I was stunned to discover that even with 2 pairs of shoes, 2 skirts, 2 dresses, 2 pairs of pants, 4 shirts, 10 pairs of underwear, 4 pairs of socks, pajamas, my toiletries (not insubstantial), an iGo charger, 3 guidebooks, and all of my other stuff placed in it, I had room to spare. Before succumbing to temptation and packing some of the items I had taken out of my pile as unnecessary (bathing suit, etc.), I decided to weigh the bag. First I stepped on the scale (that’s another post by itself), then I put on the bag as a backpack. I was amazed that it weighed 20 lbs and still felt comfortable enough to walk around the airport for a few hours, race to catch a metro or wander the streets before check-in time at our hotel.”

Read the entire post. See the Aeronaut.

The TOM BIHN Aeronaut: Pictures from One Bag, One World (OBOW)
Above: Pictures from the One Bag, One World (OBOW) Review of the Aeronaut.

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