John included this note with his order for a Brain Cell:
“I’ve had my Empire Builder for almost four years now. In that time it’s travelled in the back of pickup trucks to Haitian refugee camps in the Dominican Republic, accompanied me on flights all over the eastern United States, spent nights inside (and outside) of tents, been carried to and from my office every day, and recently it’s been a source of great fascination for my two year-old son. Amazingly, it has yet to be damaged – or even show any significant wear and tear — despite almost always being loaded with far more mass and weight than I suspect you ever had in mind. I also continue to get compliments on how great the bag looks. I’m thrilled to be adding a Brain Cell to my Empire Builder, and I’m certain that the quality will be of the same caliber. Thanks Tom Bihn and company for making such a great product. If my Empire Builder ever wears out (and I’m beginning to wonder if it ever will), rest assured I’ll be back for another.”
“When I recently tripped in Times Square and nearly fell flat on my face, the one thing that saved me from a smashed pelvis was the Tom Bihn Cadet bag I use every day to protect my 11-Inch MacBook Air. My iPhone and computer and teaching materials were in my Tom Bihn bag and, even though I fell, full-force on that bag, nothing was damaged except my ego and a few scrapes and bruises won on the way down.”
“Most activities that I do require a combination of activity-specific gear and a set of more general core hardware. A ski trip requires specific gear like skies and gloves, but also core hardware like a wallet and a good book. I’ve found that most activities of the same duration and complexity share the same set of core hardware. For example, a 3 day ski adventure, scientific conference, or holiday weekend requires much of the same core hardware.
A byproduct of this division between activity-specific gear and core hardware is that core hardware naturally organizes into layers. Core hardware that I use for shorter duration activities serves as the foundation for core hardware that I carry for longer duration activities. A smaller set of core hardware integrates into the layer above it. Each layer subsumes the previous layer like a series of Matryoshka dolls.”
Seth’s bag of choice for urban settings? The EB.
“For most urban settings I select the Tom Bihn Empire Builder. The bag has a well thought out design that supposedly took 3 years to develop. The pockets are positioned well the carrying handles are extremely comfortable. I especially like the integration with the Brain Cell for securely carrying a laptop:
Happy Friday! The following bags are back in stock and ready to ship within one business day.
Shop Bag, sizes Small and Large, all colors
Clear Quarter Packing Cube, all colors
RFID Blocking Passport Pouch, all colors
Size 1 Vertical Brain Cell
Cache for Cadet, Size 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina
Medium Cafe Bag, all colors
Yarn Stuff Sacks, all colors (including Solar)
Key Strap, Solar
Medium Cafe Bag in Steel Dyneema/nylon.
Here’s a photo of Darcy’s summer dayhiking packing list (Synapse 19). She makes no claim to be the most expertly prepared hiker; this is just the stuff she’s found that works for her. Also shown is stuff she throws in the Shop Bag to leave in the car at the trailhead.