“The wait is over. My order for the Imago bag by Tom Bihn arrived today.”
“What I was surprised about—especially after reading so many positive reviews—was my reaction to the amazing craftsmanship of the bag. Seriously. I was two steps short of taking a magnifying glass to marvel at the stitching and material. The cordura just feels amazingly sturdy and durable. It’s not stiff or rigid, but there’s some give to the material (so I’m glad I got the Cache for my laptop). And the cork….. I had seen the video about how cork is harvested from Portugal (see, the bag is already well traveled!), and so in my mind I was thinking that it’d be rough in texture, similar to cork boards. But the cork is actually smooth if not soft to touch. It’s nice to look at and provides a textural contrast to the cordura (not to mention it’s water repellent, a cool tree, and cork forests are so biodiverse—birds! cats! greenery!).”
“The quality is as usual from Tom Bihn really good – it’s (the 3D Clear Organizer Cube) been with me on numerous trips completely filled and I’ve experienced no problems with the zipper (which I’ve seen on competing products) or anything else. It cleans easily in case you get toothpaste on it and still looks pretty much as new.
For air travel it works really well – I put in on a key strap clipped to the inside of my Tri-Star or Western Flyer and when I need to go through airport security (mainly within Europe), I just unzip the bag and leave the organizer cube hanging on the key strap next to the bag.
99% of the times this is not questioned by airport security. In fact today while going through security in Frankfurt the security officer called her colleagues over and pointed to the organizer cube and repeatedly said “Sehr praktisch” (for those of you who speaks even worse German than me: Very practical). A few times I’ve been asked to remove it from the keychain and put it in a bin which takes seconds to do.”
“I’m new to the Tom Bihn phenomenon, but am having a blast being a part of it. My first piece in my “to-be-curated” collection is the Field Journal. My wife purchased it for me a couple of months back after I talked on-and-on about it.
We recently took a trip to Lake Tahoe where I was able to put the Journal to the test. It was amazing. I use the Journal to collect the various bits of media I like to create. I do a bit of watercolor, photography, journaling, and general collecting of interesting detritus. I really love putting these collections together to create a story. The Field Journal is a wonderful platform that provides stability and flexibility.
Here you can see the extent of my equipment that traveled in the Journal:
Read the full review by Jpenrod in the TOM BIHN Forums.
“I love this slim, stylish pack. In fact, it’s one of the best packs I’ve ever tested. The Synapse is superbly designed to efficiently and effectively distribute the contents and weight of my pack and keep me completely organized. The small size is wonderful; I’m much more nimble moving around town and on the trail.”
“There is not much to say about the Cache because the design is so simple, and I’m using the word “simple” in a good way. The Apple Wireless Keyboard is a snug but easy fit in the case, which is tapered to follow the wedge shape of the keyboard. You insert the keyboard so that the battery side of the keyboard is near the flap, although you can use it either with the keys on the bottom or the keys on the top. The Cache is padded so the keyboard is protected from anything scraping against it or yanking off one of the keys. There is a flap on the Cache that can be tucked into the opening to keep it closed.”
Seriously. This bag is, without a doubt, high zoot. I don’t actually
know what high zoot means, or where it comes from, but this bag has
got to be it. I first heard the phrase uttered by a midwestern
refugee who talks like they escaped a 1950’s madcap comedy starring
Archibald Alexander Leach in reference to a peer who had spent a great
deal of money on an enviable gadget of some sort, and it sort of
And this bag is enviable. The process of buying it was as good as the
result, and I’ll tell you about that a little later, but let’s talk
turkey on features first. It’s big. Eight heads in a duffle bag big.
Not that there are any rolling craniums round the manor house, but if
there were… this would be the bag to transport them with. It’s also
pretty slickly laid out with one major pocket that holds the brain
cell (not for hauling severed skulls either, so I’m not sure why they
sent me one, but it works well for a macbook pro anyway) and goodly
amount of other detritus. Like my lunch. My lunch is actually
traveling far better than it did my my old basic (in a converse chuck sort
of way) jansport two strapper. The trick is to take the lunch out of
the lunch bag and just let it be so that it can spread out over the
left over space in the flat pack pocket. The lunch kind of rides
along above my massive, I can present anywhere to anyone, with any
technology, cord collection. It’s safe, and ready for nearly instant
access in a snacky panic. Lunch is a big deal for me,
so I kind of get epic in my preparations and conveyance of my lunch.
Lunch is a sandwich, crackers, baby carrots and a banana. Epic
“As you can see, I was able to fit quite a bit of tech in a very small bag. The Tom Bihn Ristretto is one of my favorite notebook bags because it allows me to carry something very small, without feeling like I have to make choices about what I carry. Normally when I pick up a bag that is this size I end up switching to a bigger bag within 2 weeks, but as long as I am taking my Air with me, it’s in the Ristretto.”
“I just got back from a week-long trip to England. All my clothes were in checked luggage, everything important to me stayed on my person.
My Tom Bihn Ristretto held:
13″ MacBook Air
A lithium-ion USB charger
4 AC adapters and cables for all of the above
A set of in-ear headphones in a padded case
A Fluxx deck
6 medicine bottles
All my travel documentation
Around 15 keys between two keyrings
My work badge
A paperback book for landing/takeoff
…and was comfortable enough to walk several miles around airports, train stations, and London strapped over my back with an Ultimate strap. It even stowed under the airplane seat with enough space left over for my feet.
Thanks for making such an awesome bag. You literally made my trip.”
“The best feature of the bag, of course, is the fact that you can fold out the laptop and run it through security without having to take your laptop out. I have had 100% success doing this through any US security line while it has only worked about 25% of the time through international security lines.”
See also: the Checkpoint Flyer.
“What a wonderful bag! I may even find myself packing the Synapse differently and using it for overnight travel. Thought I still don’t count myself as a backpack convert. The only backpack I can envision myself using is the Synapse, because no other backpack out there can compare to its thoughtful design and construction.”