Mike: Synapse 25 Review

“I think that this is the nicest general-purpose backpack that I have ever owned. Although a little larger than I was looking for, it’s still a great size and I’ve found the extra room very handy on a couple of occasions. It’s got the perfect amount of organization; I always know where my stuff is and I love that the main compartment doesn’t steal space from the front pockets.

I have found it to be quite comfortable for daily use. I bike to work 10 miles and back again each day, and even when I loaded the bag up with 25lbs (as a test, of course) it remained stable and comfortable each way.”

Read Mike’s entire review in the Forums. See also: the Synapse 25.

Mike: Synapse 25 Review

sevendog: Loving my new Western Flyer

“I took my WF on a 6-day trip to San Antonio, where it exceeded all my expectations. Hard to believe that this tiny bag held all that I needed for my flights and my stay there, plus had space for a few small gifts. I loved meeting my friends at the airport with this bag and watching their faces drop as I announced that we can leave straightaway, no need to go to baggage claim!

I bought this bag as a smaller alternative to my Aeronaut. I admit that when I first went shopping, I thought I could find something that was just as good as the WF, but at a lower price. I can say that after weeks of online research and visiting dozens of shops, there isn’t anything out there that comes close to the WF in terms of design and quality.

Here are just a few things I love about the WF:

  • The sleek exterior, free of bulging, tacked-on pockets, means that it effortlessly slides into x-ray machines, overhead bins, and under seats without snagging, and passes unnoticed by gate agents.
  • Backpack straps that are actually comfortable and really secure. I was stranded at a mall for an hour when my ride was late and it was so easy to walk around with the WF, even when I used just one of the straps as a sling.
  • It’s kind of a clown car, isn’t it? How can it hold so much stuff in such a small space? On my trip, my WF felt only about two-thirds full.
  • It’s so versatile! Business trip or leisure trip, I’ll always look professional with a WF.

As if this wasn’t enough, TB heard my plea for timely delivery so I could use the WF on my trip. I asked for 3-day delivery and somehow it arrived practically overnight. I guess I really ought to thank UPS, but I’m sure the TB team also had something to do with it!”

Read the full thread by sevendog in the TOM BIHN Forums. See also: the Western Flyer.

sevendog: Loving my new Western Flyer!

Michael Lopp (a.k.a. rands) Interviewed

CARNIVAL 9 recently interviewed Michael Lopp (a.k.a. Rands in Repose). First question?

CARNIVAL 9: Are you still using your Tom Bihn bag? Could you update us on your current bag situation?

Michael Lopp: I use my Tom Bihn Smart Alec backpack every single day. It’s my go-to bag for both daily use as well as when I’m traveling. It’s sturdy, it has tons of space when I need it, and it keeps my hands free when I’m wrangling whatever random thing as I travel from here to there. I keep checking out new bags, but I haven’t left my Smart Alec.

Read the entire interview here. Read also: Rands in Repose — A Bag of Holding

Essential Small Crap

GQ trippin: Girl’s Weekend Getaway Packing List

Girl's Weekend Getaway Packing List

“6 weekend getaways in 6 months, I have finally got it down!

I rarely brag about anything, but I am pretty awesome when it comes to packing. It was especially easy when we were traveling for an entire year living out of a carry-on size backpack. But when it came to the weekend trip, for some reason, packing was so much harder. At least for one year, I never had to worry about what I’m wearing because I would cycle the same four t-shirts over and over. With a weekend, it’s like you need an outfit for every day. An outfit for the day and one for night. It’s embarrassing to be caught wearing something the same shirt twice in a weekend, right?”

Read the full post — complete with a packing list and more photos — at GQ trippin.

jppreston: Round the World with a Synapse 25

“This is what is going into my Synapse 25 for my upcoming trip around the world. As I mentioned in my review, the S25 is the perfect travel backpack. Everything goes in with a little room to spare.”

Around the world with a Synapse 25

Read jppreston’s entire thread — with more photos, a detailed packing list, and answers to your questions — in the Forums.

roadpotato: Synapse 25 Maiden Voyage

Synapse 25: Maiden Voyage

“Here’s an initial review of my first adventure with the steel dyneema/wasabi Synapse 25. Shout out to dorayme for her wonderful comparison shots of the 19 and 25. I do a week or less trips, at least twice a month and a total sucker for backpacks. I can manage with a 15 liter pack for a 2-day trip. The cavernous S25 was perfect for the 3-4 days mix of business and leisure. I believe I can do a week with just the S25 (excluding cold weather areas).”

Read roadpotato’s full review/trip report (with more photos) in the Forums.

Eugene Eric Kim: Bags for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Tom Bihn Bags for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

“I’m brand loyal to very few companies, but one of them is Tom Bihn, a Seattle-based company that makes beautiful, functional bags. I bought my first Tom Bihn bag in 2008, and I have consistently bought new bags (for different purposes — these things are designed to last forever) approximately every two years. I also have a boatload of accessories. They are not cheap, but they are high-quality, they look great, and they are superbly functional. I cannot recommend them highly enough.”

Read the full post at Eugene Eric Kim’s blog.

bradnd99: My first trip with Tri-Star and Co-Pilot

“I’m on a 6-day work/personal trip and I was determined to only pack in my two new Tom Bihn bags.

Packing my clothes and work laptop were a snap with the Packing Cubes tailored for the Tri-Star. My toiletries and accessories took some rethinking but I managed to get it all in.

The Tri-Star was heavy but easily managed on my back. There was definitely a sense of freedom with only one bag.

I just boarded the plane and the Tri-Star (as packed as it is) fit easily in the overhead bin and the Co-Pilot fit beautiful under the seat in front of me with plenty of legroom to spare.”

Read the full thread by bradnd99 in the Forums.

My first trip with Tri-Star and Co-Pilot

Tammy: How I packed for a month in Europe with one carry-on

Packing for one month to Europe with the TOM BIHN Aeronaut

Tammy of Lemons, Avocado and The Bay has posted her packing list for a one month trip to Europe using only one bag — the Aeronaut.

She writes:
“When we first started packing for our European vacation I imagined taking a big suitcase and lots of fabulous clothes. Hey sometimes a girl just wants to look fashionable ya know?

Well, then we started planning our trip and I had scary visions of dragging a huge suitcase across a big Italian train station. Somewhere along the line I got it in my head that it might be a good idea to pack less, and pack even less in a carry-on.

Enter Tom Bihn and their Aeronaut bag. This thing has incredible reviews, and if you ask me it’s pretty, really good quality, meets carry-on size requirements, and somehow manages to fit a ridiculous amount of my “necessities” inside. You can wear it as a backpack or use the shoulder strap (really cushioned and comfortable!) or handles too.”

Read Tammy’s full post at Lemons, Avocado and The Bay (includes many great photos of what she packed and how).

phillyfan: My Top 5 Tom Bihn Bags

“Over the past 3 years, I have had the opportunity to use many of the Tom Bihn bags. Without question, these bags are the most well made bags on the market and, when I am shopping for a bag, I have gotten to the point where I don’t even look anywhere else.”

And:

“Having owned or used these bags, I have made a “Top 5” list. I know everyone that uses these bags may have a different list, but when I first started shopping at Tom Bihn, I think this may have been helpful. First, I’ll give you a few details about myself that should shed some light on my choices. I am a working professional that travels occasionally for work (about 3 times per year). I do bring a bag to work each day that either contains my tablet or labtop. I often have multiple journals with me as well. I also travel with my family (2 children and wife) about 6-7 times per year. Of those 6-7 trips, about 4 are for long weekends with extended family. The remaining 2-3 trips are typically 1-2 weeks in duration.

Now to my Top 5…”

And since phillyfan’s original post, 10+ other forum members have posted their own lists. Read about everyone’s Top 5 TOM BIHN bags.

Top 5 TOM BIHN bagsAbove: @Ik_Bennett ‘s Aeronaut.