FIELD TRIPS by TOM BIHN

Patterns. Voyages. Backcountry and front.

February 2011

Beyond the Smooth

“Roll-aboard”, carry-on size wheeled luggage is as ubiquitous as a delayed flight. We here at TOM BIHN advocate for the road less traveled, and offer carry-on sized travel bags that quickly and easily convert to be worn on your back. There are some significant advantages to eschewing wheels when it comes to luggage, and we thought we’d take a moment of your time to point them out:

  • Our Aeronaut travel bag, for example, is 60% lighter in weight than a comparable roll-aboard — you can carry almost five pounds more stuff without adding an ounce to your total load, or you can simply enjoy being five pounds lighter.
  • Our Aeronaut has 25% more internal capacity than the comparable roll-aboard. With less volume taken up by the wheels and associated stiffening materials, you have more room inside the bag: room for an additional change of clothes, room for gifts to bring back home. Think about it: if you can carry 25% more clothes, your trip can last 25% longer.
  • Our travel bags maintain their shape through their heavy-duty fabrics and internal dividers, not rigid plastic stiffening. This leaves our travel bags soft enough to be squeezed into small and oddly shaped spaces – into overhead bins otherwise deemed “full”, and even, as a last resort, under the seat in front of you.
  • Using one of our travel bags in backpack mode leaves your hands entirely free: you can make a phone call, flag a taxi, pay for a latte, or give your mom a hug — all the while with your belongings safely attached you.
  • With your load secured to your back, your travels are not limited to smooth floors: down dirt roads, cobblestone alleys and rutted pavement lay new adventures, not obstacles.
  • Less impact on your neighbors — as you use buses, trains, even just walking down a crowded airport concourse, you will take up far less space and impose less on those around you; no noisy wheels means you’re quieter, too.
  • Certainly wheeled luggage has a place, and for folks who aren’t physically able to carry the weight of their luggage it can’t be beat. But if you are reasonably fit and up for the world that lies beyond the smooth, our convertible soft luggage may be the ticket.

    – Tom Bihn

    Photos by Alexandra Guerson of her TOM BIHN Aeronaut
    Above: Alexandra Guerson’s photos of her Aeronaut.

    CONTINUE READING

    Photo Gallery: More photos of the Ristretto in Mexico

    Photos by Mary Willson: The Ristretto in Yucatan, Mexico
    See the entire photo gallery on Facebook. Thanks to Mary Willson for the great photos!

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