“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.”
“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).”
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:
“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).”
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.”
He also included a photo of what he packs in his Empire Builder:
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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
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.
“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?”