Thoughts on the Pilot

Initial reactions to the new PilotPhoto courtesy of kkintea.

“My pilot came! The UPS man came and I snatched the box from his hands. I love the size. It is perfect. Big enough but not too big.” –atarango1

“As far as size, I think this could easily be a bag to use for a 3 to 4 day trip, especially if the trip is to a warmer climate where you have no need to dress up. I’m not sure how/where I’d squeeze in an extra pair of shoes (as light as I pack, I always like an extra pair) but I bet you could squeeze in a pair of flip flops for the beach very easily. But of course, this bag is really the ultimate size for a personal carry on and will certainly be able to hold enough stuff to keep you occupied even on the longest of flights.” –WMW40

“I can’t wait to start packing it for my upcoming conference. I specifically want to see if I can get away with only taking the Pilot. I will have to look “professional”, travel by plane (thus I will want to bring knitting), and will have to carry stuff with me all day (hotel is offsite from main events).” –gochicken

“It crosses over nicely from travel bag, overnight bag, work bag, knitting bag, and EDC. Of course, to each his own. That’s why I love Tom Bihn. He makes bags that appeal to many different types of people for all their varying needs!” –Mausermama

“I carried the Nordic pilot to a business meeting where everyone was wearing suits, so formal end of the spectrum. No one seemed to find it unusual. And the color really popped against my black suit. ” –Yoda Sloth

“This Pilot is sick!! I am able to fit more than I imagined and the Eagle Creek large packing sac, which can fit a change of clothes, fits like a dream in the Pilot. I am more than happy with this bag and so glad I splurged on the absolute strap.” –MelissaL

“I love my new (Navy/Solar) Pilot! It’s perfect for every day carry for my 11″ MBA plus some misc. stuff. It also works decently well (though not as well as a Packing Cube Messenger Bag (PCMB) would!) in the center of a Tri-Star. Alternatively, I can fit my (Lumix GH1) micro 4/3 camera in a small Crumpler Haven AND MBA in there without it looking too funny. Finally, I did a test pack, and for a casual 1-2 night trip (without the camera, but with the laptop), I can get everything I need. It’s like 4 bags in one!” –jmoz

“I got my Pilot yesterday – Black/Wasabi. It’s early, but my first impression is that it’s wonderful. It’s exactly the size I hoped for to use as my work bag.” –smj

Thanks to everybody for the marvelous feedback! Check out the Pilot for yourself and maybe you’ll be inspired to leave your own feedback in the Forums.

 

Macworld Reviews the Synapse 25

“When I reviewed the Synapse 19, I wrote, “As long as you tend to travel light, and you’ve got a 13-inch (or smaller) laptop, this is a superb, and superbly versatile, bag.” With the Synapse 25, those caveats no longer apply: It’s just a superb, versatile bag. The Synapse 19 is still my everyday bag, because I like to travel light and its smaller size forces me to do so. But I have to admit that I’m envious of the Synapse 25. It’s a little bit more of everything that’s great about the 19, and the Cache/rails system is fantastic. The 25 is one of the most versatile bags I’ve seen, and though it’s not inexpensive, my experience with its smaller sibling—four years of heavy use and still going strong—suggests that you’re getting what you pay for.”

Read the full review by Dan Frakes at Macworld.

Macworld Reviews the Synapse 25 | TOM BIHN

Aeronaut Review from LaForce Be With You

Aeronaut Review from LaForce Be With You

“So many different places claim to have “the best” of something. The best french fries. The best customer service. The best wine. Of course “the best” can really depend on personal preference and everyone may not agree. All that aside, I feel confident in proclaiming this to be the best carry-on bag and hopefully many of you will agree if you have one or buy one. ”

Check out the rest of Emily’s review on her blog, LaForce Be With You. See also: the Aeronaut.

jwiegley: Reviewing the Smart Alec as a laptop bag

New forum member jwiegley recently posted a remarkably thorough review of the Smart Alec, attesting to the quality of the backpack’s construction and the surprising comfort of the straps. They write:

“My first thoughts on opening the box were that this is certainly a well-made product. My second thought was that the back straps seemed a little skimpy compared to other bags I’ve used. However, usage, and education about seam-stitching and bar tacks, has completely reversed me on that second thought. Simply put, these are the best back straps I’ve encountered, and the most comfortable that I’ve used on any bag. In fact, they are not just comfortable: my back actually feels better with the pack on than off! I’m not sure how that works exactly, but I look forward to putting it on each day. It has come to be one of my favorite things about the bag, which I would not have expected from the beginning.”

Check out the entire thread in the forums. See also: the Smart Alec.

ScottE22: My first “What’s in my bag?” video

“Finally got around to my first ever TB video. It went a little long because, like others on the forum, I’m a nerd when it comes to describing my gadgets.”

Head over to the Forums for ScottE22′s packing list + a chance to ask him questions about his packing methodology.

First Reviews of The Guide’s Pack

LoadedPocketz :
“The retro styling is cool, it has great modular organization with the addition of the side pockets and non-proprietary diamond lash points, and in general it’s great to have choices depending on different carry requirements.”

Loaded Pocketz on The Guide's Pack

Read the full review at LoadedPocketz.

The Man’s Man
“The Guide’s Pack is a high quality backpack that looks great and can hold a lot of gear. The structure of the bag is made to align itself with the natural spinal shape. The bag is customizable and can be restructured according to the user’s preference.”

The Guide's Pack as reviewed by The Man's Man

Read the full review at The Man’s Man.

Trailhiker:
“There is a lot of beautiful architecture to the Guide’s Pack and the Lead’s Pockets, giving yourself time to allow it to wash over yourself as you sort thru and absorb it. (I ordered an olive Guides Pack and 3 Leads Pockets) It’s like moving into a large home..”

Trailhiker’s Guide’s Pack threads:
Initial impressions after just receiving my Guides Pack!
Lead’s Pocket Comparison Photos
Guides Pack out in the wild

Trailhiker on The Guide's Pack

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

gochicken’s Knitting Tool Pouches review

“I just had a chance to try out the new Knitting Tool Pouches. They come in 4 sizes. Sizes 1, 2 and 3 are like short, medium, and long rectangular cases with reinforcements inside at both ends. The Size 4 is a 5.5” x 5.5” square that is perfect for interchangeable cables and stops.”

linenchicken's Knitting Tool Pouches review

Read gochicken’s full review — with many great photos — in the Forums.

Sean Carruthers: Taking a trip with your Android devices

“One of the upsides of business travel is getting the chance to visit a lot of different places and see new things. But one of the big downsides is that you often have to decide what to take, not only to do your job, but also to stay sane while traveling.

Here are a few options for those who plan to travel with an Android device as a companion.”

And amongst Sean’s recommendations is the…

“I’ve had a few Tom Bihn bags now, and they’re incredibly sturdy – they’re designed to last through years of heavy use without coming apart. The Synapse 25 is a checkpoint-friendly backpack with five water-resistant pockets along the front that can handle everything from keys and camera to a one-litre water bottle. Inside, you can add the foam-padded Cache with Rails accessory to add easy slide-out access to a notebook computer or a larger Android tablet. Add the small Snake Charmer pocketed pouch to store your power cords and cables, to keep them from getting tangled up inside the backpack. Even with this gear inside (and a bit more besides) there’s still room left over for a change of clothes, making it a perfect choice for a day trip…or for cycling/commuting to work (there’s even a little built-in strap designed for a bike light accessory).”

Read the full article by Sean Carruthers at IT World Canada. Follow Sean @globalhermit.

TOM BIHN Synapse 25

Her Packing List: How to Choose Your Luggage

Her Packing List has a great post about how to choose the right luggage. Suitcases vs. backpacks, wheels vs. not, check vs. carry-on, and more is discussed, including what you think you might need vs. what you actually need:

How to choose your luggage

Read the full post at Her Packing List.