“Bear Spray”

"Bear Spray"

“I recently moved back up to Alaska and just want yo be outside all the time. Didn’t love my old backpack, so I ordered a Synapse 25, and mentioned that I hoped my bear spray would fit in the side pocket. I received this. Made my day.” — Katycorgi

Box art courtesy of Trevor. Read Katycorgi’s entire post in the Forums.

Our latest collaboration with Knitty.com and Amy Singer

Earlier this year, we decided it was time once again to collaborate with Amy Singer, Editor of Knitty®, on the design of new knitting bags and accessories. Yeah, we could’ve Skyped, but we thought it’d be even more fun to bring Amy out to visit us at our Seattle factory/company headquarters. And to celebrate the occasion, we hosted a knitting party at Metrix Create:Space. People brought their Swifts and showed us how they use them/what they carry in them, knitted, talked, we showed everyone the prototypes we’d been working on over the weekend… and Amy even tried to teach Tom how to knit (that didn’t go so well) and Tom showed Amy a couple of things on a sewing machine (that went well).

Here’s just one of the prototypes we came up with (a tool pouch):

Knitty and TOM BIHN working together

Read the story of Amy’s visit over at the Knitty.com blog — and learn how you can be entered to win one of the two very last Knitty Swifts available.

How to sleep (well) on a plane

In the Forums, dwright17 asked: “Does anyone have any tips for sleeping on the plane?

Here’s excerpts of just a few of the responses:

tCook: “I like the Bucky eye mask that comes with ear plugs – the padded area below the eye blocks out a lot of light and feels comfortable to me. I listen to music and use the Bose QuietComfort 15 or current number – the around-ear fit is better (for me) than any on- or in-ear noise canceling headphones I tried.”

GriffCouch: “EarPeace plugs block noise, but allow me to have a conversation without shouting at the other person. I discovered them after my most recent international flight, but I wish I had had them then. They have been great for me on multiple domestic flights.”

Badger: “I sometimes use a white noise app, but I generally listen to music. I almost always wear a hoody on the plane. I just pull it over my head and pass out. Sometimes if I take a red-eye I pop a mini bottle or two of whiskey in my 311 bag to consume after we’ve reached cruising altitude. Those are always helpful.”

jea: “I bought a pair of really lightweight, black cotton warm up pants at H&M. Cost about $12 and roll up to/weigh almost nothing. On an overnight flight or transatlantic I’ll have these in my Synapse and change into them prior to sleep.”

Read more tips (or post your own) in the Forums.

Andy Porter’s Synapse 19 in Zion Photos

Thanks to Andy Porter Photography for sending us these amazing photos. See also: the Synapse 19.

Andy Porter's Synapse in Zion Photos

Andy Porter's TOM BIHN Synapse in Zion photos

Magic Tiki: Aeronaut Grand Adventure Sketch

Magic TIki's TOM BIHN Art

See more sketches by Magic Tiki.

“I’ve had my Empire Builder for almost four years now.”

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.”

TOM BIHN Empire Builder after four years

Boles Blogs reviews the Cadet

“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.”

There’s more at Boles Blogs: read the full review.

TOM BIHN Cadet Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Briefcase

A Night at the Theatre, Featuring the Side Effect in Aubergine

A Night at the Theatre, Featuring the Side Effect in Aubergine

Read daisy’s entire post in the Forums.  See also: the Side Effect.

Dr. Bunsen: Matryoshka Hardware

Seth Brown on “Matryoshka Hardware”:

“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:

Bug-Out-Bag Empire Builder TOM BIHN

Read the full post at Seth’s blog Dr. Bunsen.

In stock: RFID Blocking Passport Pouch, Shop Bag, more…

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 DyneemaMedium Cafe Bag in Steel Dyneema/nylon.