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.

Apartment Therapy on small space desk solutions

“As tasks at hand get bigger, the space available on your desk seems to become smaller. When your workload is outgrowing your desk, there are a few ways to expand usable space. Just look up, down or sideways and think out of the box.”

Up? Apartment Therapy offers that: “There’s no reason ceiling-mounted storage, traditionally used in a garage, can’t be installed inside.”

Down? Many options, including our Horizontal Freudian Slip: “Buy a ready-made desk caddy that mounts or hangs off the side of the desk, like this one from Utretcht, this inexpensive option from Bed, Bath & Beyond, or the Freudian Slip from Tom Bihn (meant as a briefcase insert, but works great as a desk caddy, pictured above).”

Read the full post at Apartment Therapy.

Freudian Slip Desk Caddy

impluvium: Empire Builder Review

 

Forum member impluvium recently graced us with this review of his new Empire Builder. He writes:

“It stands up beautifully by itself, even when empty, and the handles (which really do magically fall together for easy pickup) are super-comfortable. While it can hold a remarkable amount of stuff (more than I would want to carry!), it doesn’t feel too big, or unwieldy. And, of course, it’s beautifully made. It has the feeling of being a bag that I’ll happily be using 10 years from now.”

impluvium: Empire Builder Review

 

He also included a photo of what he packs in his Empire Builder:

 

impluvium: Empire Builder Review

Read the complete review on the TOM BIHN Forums. See also: the Empire Builder.

Sulok Ni Tessa: Co-Pilot Review

Sulok Ni Tessa: Co-Pilot Review

Tessa  recently wrote of her experience in attempting to find the perfect EDC bag. She decided give the Co-Pilot at try, writing a thorough review of the bag on her blog, Sulok Ni Tessa.

She writes of the design and material:

“The Co-Pilot has one main zippered compartment with two interior pockets and one D-ring. It has three front compartments: two on either side (with various pockets) with a D-ring each and a water bottle/umbrella holder in the middle. There’s also a back pocket that can be zipped open so the bag can rest on rolling luggage. First and foremost, I have to comment on the Dyneema. I know everyone comments on this, and I have to as well. I can’t say that I know the ins and outs of Dyneema, because I don’t. What I do know is that, although the material is thinner than ballistic nylon or Cordura, it looks and feels quite strong. As others have mentioned, I appreciate how much give the bag has. Also, the construction of TB is top notch! The interior of my bag is Solar and it is probably the happiest color EVER! Seriously! And it makes finding things in the bag a cinch!”

Sulok Ni Tessa: Co-Pilot Review

Sulok Ni Tessa: Co-Pilot Review

“I have to comment that Tom Bihn changed the way I pack my EDC. I’m very careless and usually just squeeze things in together as long as they fit. But I love the convenience and organization the organizer pouches and the d-rings provide. It makes my life a whole lot easier. A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Read the full review on Tessa’s blog, Sulok Ni Tessa.

Sulok Ni Tessa: Co-Pilot Review