Christmas at Thanksgiving with @tombihn

ykang2375: Initial review of the Tri-Star

“I received my Tom Bihn Tri-Star bag about 3 weeks ago and wanted to share my initial impressions of it. What really surprised me was how substantial it was, when you pick it up you know it’s something special. I also ordered some packing cubes and the absolute strap.

I haven’t used it yet, I’m heading to Thailand in about a week and I plan on putting the Tristar through its paces. I chose Steel and Iberian, it’s a beautiful gray that’s not too light or too dark with a nice sheen. I could take it on a weekend trip wearing jeans and a t-shirt or carry it on a business trip wearing a suit and it would look appropriate for either occasion.

The Tristar’s 1050d exterior feels super tough, I think the only way to damage it would be to take a sharp blade to it or throw it off a mountain top. The interior dyneema is light but tough. The construction is impeccable, you can tell a lot of care went into the crafting of the bag.”

Read ykang2375′s entire review in the Forums.

The Tri-Star carry-on travel bag

Video: How to tie cord zipper pulls

Included with The Guide’s Pack and Founder’s Briefcase are enough Coyote and Red cord pulls for the metal zipper pulls on each bag. This video demonstrates how to add the cord pulls to the metal zipper pulls:

Video: Adjusting the internal frame in The Guide’s Pack

See also: The Guide’s Pack and our how-to video on adding cord zipper pulls included with the pack.

Seattle Factory Showroom Holiday Hours

Forget the masses: come hang out with us on Friday (November 29th) and Saturday (November 30th) of Thanksgiving weekend.

Our Seattle Factory Showroom will be open 10-4 and we’ll have hot drinks and tasty food. Bring the kids. Bring the dog. Bring strangers. It’s all cool with us. For those of you not in the Seattle area: we’ll also be answering phones and emails as much as time allows.

TOM BIHN Seattle Factory Showroom
4750A Ohio Ave S.
Seattle WA 98134

Innovation in Fabrics (video)

The story behind the fabrics we use, including our 420d HT nylon Classic Parapack, told by the best textiles guy in the business.

Recap of the new stuff

It’s been a busy week (month? year?) around here…

We introduced The Guide’s Pack and Founder’s Briefcase.

We debuted a new fabric: 420d HT nylon Classic Parapack.

Tom authored several posts about the new fabric and two new designs:
Accessory Strap Holders: Return of an Icon
On Internal Frames and Frame Sheets
The Story behind 420 Denier High Tenacity “Parapack” Pack Fabric
Ballistic vs. Leather Pack Bottoms
On shoulder straps
On the design of The Guide’s Pack
On the design of the Founder’s Briefcase

And we made available for order our new 420d HT nylon Classic Parapack fabric in the Synapse 19, Synapse 25, Small, Medium, and Large Cafe Bags, 3D Fabric Organizer Cube and 3D Mesh Organizer Cube.

Friday!

Introducing The Guide’s Pack and Founder’s Briefcase

“A couple of years ago, I set out to revisit some of the designs from my extensive youth: I wanted to see what features and materials were still useful, and which were better off left in the past. Now that I’ve come back up for air, we can finally share with you the initial results.” — Tom

The Guide's Pack

The Guide's Pack

Functionally modern, yet aesthetically grounded in our 40+ years of outdoor equipment design, The Guide’s Pack is a daypack for hiking and mountaineering; it will likely be as at home on city streets as on alpine trails. It’s an internal frame top loading backpack that closes with a drawstring and top flap pocket. The main body of the Guide’s Pack is made of 420d HT Parapack fabric. We go into the 420d nylon used to make The Guide’s Pack in depth over here, but in case you were late to class: 420 denier, high-tenacity, type 6.6 nylon was originally developed for the military for use in parachute backpacks. The exterior of the Guide’s Pack has multiple accessory strap holders, made from synthetic felt and nylon webbing. They’re designed to accept the optional Guide’s Pack Side Pockets and Lash Straps.

Read more on the design of The Guide’s Pack…

The Guide’s Pack. $240. In stock and ships within one business day in colors Olive/Steel, Navy/Steel, Black/Steel, and Steel/Steel.

Founder's Briefcase

Founder's Briefcase

The Founder’s Briefcase is a conservatively sized, one compartment clam-shell style checkpoint-friendly briefcase. Like the Guide’s Pack, it’s the result of some deep meditations on both the past and future of outdoor gear. Its myriad of useful features will satisfy the most technically-driven user, and its classic style comes as a welcome relief to the legions of ubiquitous black ballistic bags. Unzip the Founder’s Briefcase wide and lay it open — one side has a built-in checkpoint-friendly padded laptop compartment sized to fit the 15″ MacBook Pro Retina or anything smaller; the other surface is where the bulk of the organization lies.

Read more on the design of the Founder’s Briefcase….

Founder’s Briefcase. $220. Available for pre-order; ships by mid-December in colors Olive/Steel, Navy/Steel, Black/Steel, and Steel/Steel.

On the design of The Guide’s Pack

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

Like lots of good stuff, it all started in a garage.

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

Better than leather: heavy-duty synthetic felt and nylon webbing combine in the Double Accessory Strap Holder.

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

#00 spur grommets, made for us in the UK. Yes, we took every detail quite seriously.

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

The internal frame . . .

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

. . . is removable.

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

Two pie-slice cut-outs on each edge allow the frame sheet to flex in use.

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

The 6061 Aluminum stay is removable. Soft plastic caps insure the rest of the pack can’t be damaged by the stay.

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

We pre-bend the stay to a gentle S-curve to approximate the average spinal curve.

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

Carefully bending the frame sheet and stay over your knee (or knees for a gentler curve), you can adjust the curve if you so desire (though you needn’t remove the frame from the pack).

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

The back and bottom of the Guide’s Pack are fully padded with .25″ / 6mm closed-cell foam.

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

Six flat pockets on the interior back panel accept the six “fins” of the frame sheet . . .

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

. . . firmly holding it in place against your back.

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

Curved, thermo-formed, die-cut, padded shoulder straps: we just didn’t have the technology to make these 40 years ago.

Tom on the design of the Guide's Pack

And who woulda thunk it: pockets for a cell phone and a GPS.

Tom on the design of The Guide's Pack

But then again, the best things in life really haven’t changed.

On the design of the Founder’s Briefcase

Tom on the design of the Founder's Briefcase

Thick synthetic felt reinforces the handle attachment points.

Tom on the design of the Founder's Briefcase

A pleated, 3D mesh pouch is divided in to three separate spaces . . .

Tom on the design of the Founder's Briefcase

By moving the two zipper sliders to be over the one you want to access, the other remain securely zipped shut.

Tom on the design of the Founder's Briefcase

Great for cables, power supplies, point-and-shoot cameras.

Tom on the design of the Founder's Briefcase

The handles are designed to naturally meet top dead center.

Tom on the design of the Founder's Briefcase

Our signature, super-tough hardware facilitates attachment of a shoulder strap.

Tom on the design of the Founder's Briefcase

Heavy-duty, 1050d ballistic piping adds shape and color.

Tom on the design of the Founder's Briefcase

The Founder’s Briefcase has many graceful yet subtle curves: a straight line may be the shortest path, but seldom the most interesting.