Synapses at Iguazu Falls

We emailed Jeff to thank him again for a photo he’d sent us a few months ago and he responded with this:

“It’s funny you should get in touch because I’m actually on a trip to Argentina with my girlfriend, and we’re using one 19L and one 25L Synapse for the journey!”

TOM BIHN Synapse in Argentina

Smart Alec at the amphitheater rice terraces, Batad, Philippines

Smart Alec at the rice terraces

Photo posted by Zero in the Forums. See also: the Smart Alec.

RhoFro: What came today

“2 Large Shop Bags, 1 Small Shop Bag, 2 Travel Trays, 1 RWB pouch, 1 Co-Pilot, 1 Aeronaut (and a partridge in a pear tree)*. Synapse on the way and hopefully box art!

I‘ve read a lot about how ‘small’ the Co-Pilot is, but I am absolutely delighted with it. In Nordic it’s super snappy and has so much room as an everyday carry bag; especially with the extra give of dyneema. Love it! Funny how the item I added to the back-order – just out of Wait Anxiety – is my favorite toy in the box.

Happy happy day.”

Read the entire post by RhoFro in the Forums.

RhoFro: the TOM BIHN bags that arrived today unboxing

Nli: Guardian Light Strap Mount version review

“I love all of my TB products but have really found useful the strap-mounted version of the Guardian DF Light.”

I have one light attached to the closure strap on my hemp Swift. Hanging most of the time as shown, it serves as a safety light. When flipped over inside it’s really useful to find contents lost in the depths of the bag.”

Little Swift with the Guardian Light

The Guardian DF light with strap-mount base also attaches nicely and securely to the waist strap attachment points at one end of the SE [Side Effect] and is readily available when needed. I have not checked to see it the light will fit with the waist strap attached as I use the SE with the wrist strap.”

Side Effect with the Guardian Light

Read the full post by Nli in the Forums.

Pattern Water Bottle

TOM BIHN Pattern Water Bottle

Our patterns are templates for making our bags. Patterns make it possible for every bag we make to be as perfect as Tom’s final prototype. There’s an art to pattern making; a graceful pattern can mean the difference between a pocket that lays smooth or one that doesn’t, or a sewing process that is efficient or one that isn’t.

Just like the recently introduced 32oz Motto water bottle, our 24oz Pattern water bottle is Made in U.S.A. by Liberty Bottleworks.

$20. In stock and ships within one business day.

We get high marks from seasoned traveler Bill Kizorek

Bill with his TOM BIHN Packing Cube Backpack in Nepal

Bill — CEO of Two Parrot Productions, expert traveler (150 countries and counting), and all-around awesome guy — sent us this review of the bags he took with him on his most recent trip.

“Dear Tom Bihn,

Just got back from an international journey with six legs–USA-Japan-Thailand-Nepal-Thailand-USA. The necessitated that we travel as light as possible because we had to haul video equipment up and down mountain-sides in Katmandu, as well as place in over-head bins on six different aircraft. We were on a quest to create documentary films for IPAS and TEWA–two non-profits that took special care of women in Nepal.

Your collection of bags was incredibly functional, light, and durable. Along with the Brain Bag, Tri-Star, Packing Cube Backpack and other bigger pieces, we also took with us the cases you make to hold passports, money, receipts, cords, computer hard drives, headphones, clothing, batteries, food, and a variety of other essentials. I confess that I went overboard in ordering from your cool website, but I did not regret that I bought ten assorted pieces of your line.

I was amazed that the plastic front on the document bag did not scratch, and all of the pieces looked brand new when I got home–in spite of the battering they took along the way.

Job well done.”
– Bill Kizorek, CEO, Two Parrot Productions

Bill with his TOM BIHN Tri-Star carry-on

Brain Bag and Tri-Star overhead

Snake Charmer as Espresso Travel Kit

Snake Charmer by TOM BIHN as a travel espresso kit

Jillian writes:
“Instead of cords, my husband uses the Snake Charmer as a traveling espresso kit. He’s on the road a lot and must have his morning coffee just right. The hand pumped, pressurized espresso maker is from Handpresso and we picked up the perfectly Americano/ Cappuccino-sized (6.5 oz) stainless steel travel cups at REI. Espresso pods are from Illy and Starbucks.”

“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.