In stock: Citizen Canine, Cache for iPad, most Tri-Star colors, more

Thanks to our Seattle factory crew, these bags are back in stock and ready to ship within one business day:

Citizen Canine, all colors
Tri-Star in Steel/Iberian, Steel/Ultraviolet, Forest/Ultraviolet, Forest/Steel, Black/Steel, and Black/Iberian (Cardinal/Steel will ship June 8th)
Cache, Horizontal, iPad
Cache, Vertical, iPad
Checkpoint Flyer in Size 2XXLT
Tri-Star Packing Cube, Small, Fabric/Mesh
Western Flyer Packing Cube, Small

Shipping soon: the Empire Builder and Brain Bag

TOM BIHN Citizen Canine Dog Walking Bag
The Citizen Canine in Black/Iberian.

RickH wins a vintage TOM BIHN bag on eBay

RickH shared photos in the TOM BIHN Forums of the Super Musette messenger bag we won on eBay. Read the full thread.

The description of the Super Musette from the TOM BIHN website circa 1999:

“A bike messenger-style shoulder bag with class. Because of its complete lining and rigid foam stiffener, the Super Musette keeps its crisp looks and won’t become a big sloshy mess on your hip. It has multiple pockets for pens, diskettes, etc. , plus both an open-top and a zip-top file-size pocket on the front under the big main flap. The flap has a super bright Reflexite® stripe and secures with two big buckles; it has a zippered mesh pocket on the underside. Inside, the Super Musette is pretty simple – one big main compartment with snaps for the optional Lap Dog, making for a cool computer bag. The whole thing carries on a stout 2″ webbing shoulder strap which ajusts on both sides with cam buckles and has a grippy pad, plus an adjustable and removable waist strap for bicycling. There’s a simple 1″ webbing grab loop on the back, too. Made of 1000 denier Cordura® with #9 & #10 YKK Coil zippers. Available in black / lime green, black / plum, and solid black. Come on you squares, get some color!
One size: 17″ x 12″ x 7″ 1350 / 22 liters $105″

Super Musette messenger bag by TOM BIHN

lmao: My new Synapse just arrived… Yeah!

lmao: My new Synapse just arrived... Yeah!

“Here is my whole Collection! Today I received my new Synapse and of course some additional pouches! Thanks at TB for the nice Poster!”

Posted by lmao in the TOM BIHN Forums.

Photos: People and Bags

People wearing bags photos - TOM BIHN

68+ photos (we’re adding more every week) of people wearing their TOM BIHN bags in our People and Bags photo set on Flickr.

As always, feel free to email us your photos of your bags. Include how you would like to be credited and if there is a link we can include to your blog, website, or Flickr account.

“WOW!!! These are beautifully designed and flawlessly fabricated objects.”

Cats inspecting the Aeronauts

mfield posted in the TOM BIHN Forums:
“After checking the UPS status 9 times today our new His (steel & solar) and Hers (forest & ultraviolet) Aeronauts just arrived.

WOW!!! These are beautifully designed and flawlessly fabricated objects. Thank you Tom Bihn Crew!!!

We loaded the bags with Pendleton blankets and walked around in small circles testing the Absolute strap and the backpack straps. Our initial reaction is that these have got to be the most comfortable carry on sized bags ever made in the history of planet earth – especially when loaded with soft wool blankets and walking barefoot on a nice Persian rug – we could have walked all night.

Gearing up for my lovely wife’s 50th birthday getaway in Tofino B.C. It’s still a month away but I’m starting to pack right now just to keep messing around with the Aeronaut(s)

Cats are examining the bobbin tension on the stitches. They said the stitching looks nice and even on both sides and that there were no dangling threads. They also suggested that a bag of this caliber would be a more dignified manner of transport to the Vet.”

Read the full post in the TOM BIHN Forums.

In stock: Synapse

The Synapse is back in stock and ready to ship in all colors, including Conifer/Steel (below)

Synapse in Conifer

One Woman’s Minimalist / Ultralight Packing List

One Woman’s Minimalist / Ultralight Packing List

Excerpt from One Woman’s Minimalist / Ultralight Packing List by Allison Levine:

While I haven’t quite given up processed foods yet, I had to apply my new-found minimalism to travel. Suitcases are not my friend. I don’t have the apparent muscle strength required to carry them, and dragging anything with wheels up a flight of stairs is my idea of hell. On the other hand, backpacks can be painful too — especially when they’re not suited to your size, or over-packed. Sara and I took a backpack each to Comic-Con 2011. We wanted to be able to jump off the plane and head straight for the San Diego Zoo, since we were arriving in the morning. We jammed the backpacks full of heavy clothes and books and then walked around San Diego with them for hours. Needless to say, our backs didn’t let us forget it that weekend at the Con.

When I started planning my fall 2011 China trip, I was determined not to repeat the experience. There had to be a better way. Fortunately, I found a goldmine of advice about light and ultralight backpacking online (see resources below). In the end, I had to go ultralight, and now it’s the only way I’ll travel. The three basic principles are: 1) eliminate any “what if” stuff (you can always buy extra toothpaste etc.), 2) wash your clothes often, if not every day, and 3) be prepared to spend on light, durable, high quality gear. Minimalism, ironically, is not a budget philosophy.

Here’s what I packed on two recent trips. I’ve noted what worked and what didn’t work. On both trips I fit everything I wasn’t wearing into the 19-liter Tom Bihn Synapse backpack*.

Read the full post at Off The Blue Print.

In stock: Checkpoint Flyer, Aeronaut Packing Cubes, more

Thanks to our Seattle factory crew, the following bags are in stock weeks ahead of schedule as usual and ready to ship within one business day:

Checkpoint Flyer, all colors

Aeronaut Packing Cubes

Tri-Star, Steel/Ultraviolet (colors Steel/Iberian, Cardinal/Steel, and Forest/Ultraviolet are available for backorder and ship by mid-June, while Black/Steel, Black/Iberian, Forest/Steel and now Steel/Ultraviolet are in stock)

The Synapse will be in-stock by the end of the week. We had just enough Solar left to make a few Olive/Solar Synapses — if you’re interested in that color combination, we’d recommend placing your order ASAP. Once it sells out, it’s gone forever.

TOM BIHN Checkpoint Flyer
The Checkpoint Flyer in Black/Steel

Tom’s first designs: down jackets

Tom Bihn in 1977 wearing one of the down jackets he made
Tom, at 17, wearing one of the down jackets he made.

Last week, we shared with you this note that Tom sent to Mary, who commented as she placed her order for a new Medium Cafe Bag that she found our website through Google, but knew Tom as he went to school with her kids and made down jackets for them. You told us you wanted to learn more about Tom’s days making down jackets, so here you go.

Tom’s first cutting table was the family’s Ping-Pong table flipped upside-down; his first sewing project was a down jacket made from a Frostline kit. It was hard work, but Tom was hooked. Soon after that, Tom met David Meeks, then-owner of Custom Alpine Equipment in Santa Cruz, California. Dave was an avid Yosemite climber and mountaineer who designed and made his own line of down jackets and sleeping bags; Tom purchased raw materials for his projects from Dave, and Dave was generous with his time, showing Tom industrial sewing tricks he’d figured out over the years.

Tom Bihn's mentor Dave Meeks
Dave Meeks

It wasn’t long before Tom was taking orders from friends, classmates and teachers for his down sleeping bags, jackets and vests, all designed and sewn one at a time by Tom. A sectioned-off part of the family garage became the sewing and down-filling room and was known affectionately as “Feather City.”

For his own use, Tom made various internal and external frame backpacks (including an external frame made of PVC pipe — not a good idea, it turned out), tents and sleeping bags, which he tested on backpacking trips in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Sierra Nevada and the Pacific Northwest. Tom continued his exploits in the outdoors with the West Valley Hiking Club, hiking the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island and a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington before he was 14.

Tom Bihn on the West Coast Trail

Over the years, into his teens and twenties, Tom taught himself the art of patternmaking and in the early 1980s began focusing his creativity on daypacks, briefcases and messenger bags.

Your Photos

Here’s just a few of the great photos posted in the Your Photos thread in the TOM BIHN Forums. You’re invited to join the forums and add your photos to the thread: we’d like to see it.

Posted by TavaPeak

Posted by misterN in the TOM BIHN Forums
Posted by misterN

Posted by leviathan in the TOM BIHN Forums
Posted by leviathan

Posted by daisy in the TOM BIHN Forums
Posted by daisy