Photos: Little Swift in Cork after 3+ years of steady use

Our Cork fabric is a natural material. It’s made from real bark from cork trees that grow on the Iberian Peninsula and it has a life and an aging process of its own, not unlike leather. Over the years, the color of cork fabric will deepen in some areas and lighten in others; natural creases will appear, especially if the bag is folded; and an uneven texture, similar to the surface of tree bark, may develop. Even some minor flaking of bark can be expected.

Below are photos of a Little Swift in Cork that’s been in regular use for the past 3+ years.

TOM BIHN Little Swift in Cork

TOM BIHN Little Swift in Cork

Little Swift in Cork

Little Swift in Cork

Notice the natural creasing and wrinkling apparent in these photos, the well-earned marks of character.

Bags available in Cork:
Little Swift
Swift in Cork
Cork Organizer Pouches

Sketch by Dan Bransfield: the Cadet

The TOM BIHN Cadet as sketched by artist Dan BransfieldThe Cadet as sketched by artist Dan Bransfield.

Stephan’s bags/accessories from the Tri-Star video

Tri-Star "one bag" travel luggage

After we posted the Tri-Star video in the Forums, adamwebb asked for a list of the accessories shown. Great idea, we thought. Here’s that list:

Stephan’s bags: Tri-Star in Steel Iberian, Absolute Shoulder Strap, Tri-Star Packing Cubes in Large, Medium, and Small All Fabric, two Size 1 Travel Stuff Sacks in Steel, Horizontal Brain Cell Size 15″ MacBook Pro Retina, Travel Tray in Steel, 3D Clear Organizer Cube in Navy, the included (with the Tri-Star) 8″ Key Strap in Black, an additional 8″ Key Strap in Black, 16″ Key Strap in Black, Cache for iPad mini, Clear Organizer Pouch in Mini, and RFID Blocking Passport Pouch.

Times in the video you can jump ahead and see specific accessories/how they’re used:

0:22 – Packing Cube, Tri-Star, Large

0:35 – Horizontal Brain Cell, Size 15″ MacBook Pro Retina

0:38 – Size 1 Travel Stuff Sack, Steel

0:48 – Travel Tray, Steel

0:49 – Two Size 1 Travel Stuff Sacks in Steel are put on one side of the Horizontal Brain Cell in the main compartment of the Tri-Star

0:53 – The Travel Tray, cinched shut, is put on the other size of the Horizontal Brain Cell in the main compartment

1:00 – Packing Cube, Tri-Star, Medium

1:01 – Packing Cube, Tri-Star, Small All Fabric (with a pair of Size 12 Merrells)

1:07 – 3D Clear Organizer Cube, Navy

1:09 – 16″ Key Strap in Black clipped to an o-ring inside of the Tri-Star clipped to the 3D Clear Organizer Cube

1:13 – Cache for iPad mini

1:16 – Clear Organizer Pouch, Mini (with earbuds)

1:19 – RFID Blocking Passport Pouch, Steel, tethered with an 8″ Key Strap in Black

1:32 – Absolute Shoulder Strap

And once more: the Tri-Star video

Tactical Gearhead Review: RFID Blocking Passport Pouch

“While technology makes our lives easier nowadays, there is always the chance that it can be used by individuals that want to take advantage of it and those using it. As of 2006, the U.S. government required all new passports to be outfitted with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips. While these chips store information that allows for better screening of travelers it also opens up the possibility that technology savvy criminals/terrorists can remotely steal your information and use it to their benefit. RFID chips are also in mobile phones and in some credit/debit cards, which means that your financial information is at risk too.

The RFID Blocking Passport Pouch allows the user to rest easy whenever traveling with small items that use RFIDs to store sensitive information. The outer fabric is lightweight tough Dyneema, the world’s strongest fabric, which is 15 times stronger than steel. It is waterproof, heat resistant, UV resistant, and it floats!”

Read the full review at Tactical Gearhead.

TOM BIHN RFID Blocking Passport Pouch

In stock: Aeronaut, 3D Clear and Dyneema/nylon Organizer Cubes

The backorders have shipped and the following bags are back in stock:

Aeronaut, all colors (except for Steel Dyneema/Wasabi, which ships by late July)

3D Clear Organizer Cube, all colors

3D Dyneema/nylon Organizer Cube, all colors

Horizontal Brain Cell, Size 1

3D Clear Organizer Cube, Steel Dyneema3D Clear Organizer Cube in Steel Dyneema.

TUAW on the Synapse 25: “It’s the road traveler’s best friend.”

TUAW reviews the Synapse 25

“Tom Bihn’s Synapse 25 backpack taught me an important lesson over the month I spent testing it on numerous road trips. That lesson? Stop buying cheap backpacks. Investing a little extra money right now can save you time packing, unpacking, and getting through airport security in the future. Say hello to the Synapse 25 backpack, the road traveler’s best friend.”

Read the full review by John-Michael Bond over at TUAW. See also: the Synapse 25.

Stephan from our Tri-Star video

The guy in our Tri-Star video? That’s Stephan Bernard, who served as our broker back in 2011 when we were searching for a new, bigger factory location. Stephan found the building we’re in now and it’s awesome — brighter and lighter with more room to grow. After the ink was dry — in part as thanks and in part because we got to talking about travel (business and pleasure) and bags as we got to know Stephan — we sent him home with a couple of our travel bags. He’s been using them ever since, so it only made sense for him to be in our video about the Tri-Star.

Three interesting things about Stephan: he’s originally from France, he was a pilot in Alaska, and he knows pretty much everything there is to know about forklifts.

Tom and StephanTom and Stephan on the day(s) of our move to the new factory space.

Sketch by Dan Bransfield: the Aeronaut

TOM BIHN Aeronaut -- a sketch by artist Dan BransfieldThe Aeronaut as sketched by artist Dan Bransfield.

Video: One Woman’s Minimalist / Ultralight Synapse Packing List

Video by Allison Levine of Off The Blueprint. Read her detailed packing list and advice here and/or discuss the video with Allison in the Forums. See also: the Synapse 19.

What fits: accessories for the Synapse 19

Packing Cubes, Organizer Pouches, Key Straps… there’s myriad of ways to customize the interior organization of the Synapse 19 backpack. Here’s just one example of which accessories fit where:

What fits: accessories for the Synapse 19 backpack

Bottom exterior pocket: 3D Mesh (3D Clear or Dyneema/nylon would also fit) Organizer Cube in Steel Dyneema/nylon, tethered with a Key Strap in Wasabi Dyneema/nylon.

Left exterior front pocket: Pocket Pouch, Utility Strap in 14″.

Right exterior front pocket: Mini Clear Organizer Pouch and the included Key Strap, Black, in 8″.

Top exterior pocket: Nothing. As you can see, it’s zippered shut. It’s small enough that you might not need further organization. That said, you could fit a Pocket Pouch here or add an 8″ Key or Utility Strap to tether your keys, flashlight, knife, or other small items.

Exterior water bottle pocket: Travel Stuff Sack, Size 2, in Iberian.

Main compartment: Two Tri-Star Medium Packing Cubes would fit, but we chose instead to use one Tri-Star Medium Packing Cube, one Tri-Star Small Packing Cube, and a Travel Stuff Sack, Size 2, in Wasabi. We liked how the Travel Stuff Sack fit nicely on the other side of the Tri-Star Small Packing Cube. Yet another option would be one Tri-Star Medium Packing Cube and two Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (one in front of the other). And don’t forget the open-top pocket inside of the main compartment of the Synapse 19: put your tablet (in a case or sleeve) here, or a Medium Organizer Pouch. Last but not least, there’s a 3D Clear Organizer Cube in Black, tethered with a Key Strap in Wasabi, that’ll fit/rest on top of the Packing Cubes.