Included with The Guide’s Pack and Founder’s Briefcase are enough Coyote and Red cord pulls for the metal zipper pulls on each bag. This video demonstrates how to add the cord pulls to the metal zipper pulls:
Forget the masses: come hang out with us on Friday (November 29th) and Saturday (November 30th) of Thanksgiving weekend.
Our Seattle Factory Showroom will be open 10-4 and we’ll have hot drinks and tasty food. Bring the kids. Bring the dog. Bring strangers. It’s all cool with us. For those of you not in the Seattle area: we’ll also be answering phones and emails as much as time allows.
TOM BIHN Seattle Factory Showroom
4750A Ohio Ave S.
Seattle WA 98134
The story behind the fabrics we use, including our 420d HT nylon Classic Parapack, told by the best textiles guy in the business.
It’s been a busy week (month? year?) around here…
We debuted a new fabric: 420d HT nylon Classic Parapack.
Tom authored several posts about the new fabric and two new designs:
Accessory Strap Holders: Return of an Icon
On Internal Frames and Frame Sheets
The Story behind 420 Denier High Tenacity “Parapack” Pack Fabric
Ballistic vs. Leather Pack Bottoms
On shoulder straps
On the design of The Guide’s Pack
On the design of the Founder’s Briefcase
“A couple of years ago, I set out to revisit some of the designs from my extensive youth: I wanted to see what features and materials were still useful, and which were better off left in the past. Now that I’ve come back up for air, we can finally share with you the initial results.” — Tom
Functionally modern, yet aesthetically grounded in our 40+ years of outdoor equipment design, The Guide’s Pack is a daypack for hiking and mountaineering; it will likely be as at home on city streets as on alpine trails. It’s an internal frame top loading backpack that closes with a drawstring and top flap pocket. The main body of the Guide’s Pack is made of 420d HT Parapack fabric. We go into the 420d nylon used to make The Guide’s Pack in depth over here, but in case you were late to class: 420 denier, high-tenacity, type 6.6 nylon was originally developed for the military for use in parachute backpacks. The exterior of the Guide’s Pack has multiple accessory strap holders, made from synthetic felt and nylon webbing. They’re designed to accept the optional Guide’s Pack Side Pockets and Lash Straps.
The Guide’s Pack. $240. In stock and ships within one business day in colors Olive/Steel, Navy/Steel, Black/Steel, and Steel/Steel.
The Founder’s Briefcase is a conservatively sized, one compartment clam-shell style checkpoint-friendly briefcase. Like the Guide’s Pack, it’s the result of some deep meditations on both the past and future of outdoor gear. Its myriad of useful features will satisfy the most technically-driven user, and its classic style comes as a welcome relief to the legions of ubiquitous black ballistic bags. Unzip the Founder’s Briefcase wide and lay it open — one side has a built-in checkpoint-friendly padded laptop compartment sized to fit the 15″ MacBook Pro Retina or anything smaller; the other surface is where the bulk of the organization lies.
Founder’s Briefcase. $220. Available for pre-order; ships by mid-December in colors Olive/Steel, Navy/Steel, Black/Steel, and Steel/Steel.
Like lots of good stuff, it all started in a garage.
Better than leather: heavy-duty synthetic felt and nylon webbing combine in the Double Accessory Strap Holder.
#00 spur grommets, made for us in the UK. Yes, we took every detail quite seriously.
The internal frame . . .
. . . is removable.
Two pie-slice cut-outs on each edge allow the frame sheet to flex in use.
The 6061 Aluminum stay is removable. Soft plastic caps insure the rest of the pack can’t be damaged by the stay.
We pre-bend the stay to a gentle S-curve to approximate the average spinal curve.
Carefully bending the frame sheet and stay over your knee (or knees for a gentler curve), you can adjust the curve if you so desire (though you needn’t remove the frame from the pack).
The back and bottom of the Guide’s Pack are fully padded with .25″ / 6mm closed-cell foam.
Six flat pockets on the interior back panel accept the six “fins” of the frame sheet . . .
. . . firmly holding it in place against your back.
Curved, thermo-formed, die-cut, padded shoulder straps: we just didn’t have the technology to make these 40 years ago.
And who woulda thunk it: pockets for a cell phone and a GPS.
But then again, the best things in life really haven’t changed.
Thick synthetic felt reinforces the handle attachment points.
A pleated, 3D mesh pouch is divided in to three separate spaces . . .
By moving the two zipper sliders to be over the one you want to access, the other remain securely zipped shut.
Great for cables, power supplies, point-and-shoot cameras.
The handles are designed to naturally meet top dead center.
Our signature, super-tough hardware facilitates attachment of a shoulder strap.
Heavy-duty, 1050d ballistic piping adds shape and color.
The Founder’s Briefcase has many graceful yet subtle curves: a straight line may be the shortest path, but seldom the most interesting.
I’ve always tended to keep my designs as simple as possible and eschew adding features just for the sake of, well, just because we could. So, it should be no surprise that the first iterations of The Guide’s Pack had no internal frame, just a padded back panel. The idea has always been to rely on careful packing to supply the bag with form and the user with comfort. I still think there is great value in learning the artful arrangement of a bag’s contents to optimize weight distribution and therefore carrying comfort; however, as soon as I began using The Guide’s Pack with my beta version of its internal frame and frame sheet, I started to see the light.
At 35 liters (when you include the side pockets), The Guide’s Pack can definitely become somewhat heavy when fully loaded, and though not intended as a backpacking pack, it can certainly handle all you need for a very long day out (or maybe an overnight). Bending its single aluminum stay to roughly parallel my spine, I was able to comfortably lift some of the pack’s weight off my shoulders and onto my hips (yeah, with just a 1″ webbing waist belt). Combined with the HDPE frame sheet, the internal frame helps maintain the bag’s profile (read: keeps it from beer-barreling when overstuffed) and also allows one to have a somewhat cavalier attitude when packing hard objects such as a DSLR camera or a thermos: basically, I no longer need to wrap them in extra clothing or some kind of padding to ensure all-day comfort on the trail. After some further tweaks and some long hikes, I was a believer.
The Guide’s Pack’s internal frame consists of a unique, die-cut frame sheet of .060″ high density polyethylene (HDPE) and a single stay of 1″ / 25 mm wide 6061 aluminum. The stay is held in place by a strip of 2″ wide nylon webbing sewn down the center of the frame sheet; you can remove the stay if, for some reason, you want a frame sheet but no frame.
You can also remove the entire affair: six flat “pockets” on the inside back of The Guide’s Pack are designed to retain the six lobes (or fins) of the frame sheet. These lobes are engineered to relieve the torsional stresses of the pack flexing as you walk; they also facilitate the design that allows the frame sheet to be easily removed from the pack.
The aluminum stay comes to you pre-bent to approximate a generic spinal curve. If you find The Guide’s Pack comfortable out of the gate, as most folks will, you’re good. But if you need to adjust that curve, it’s easy to do — and you needn’t remove the stay or frame sheet from the pack to do it (we’re working on a video that’ll show you how — stay tuned).
A close-up view of the 3D Fabric Organizer Cube in Olive 420d HT Parapack. Note the slightly heathered appearance of the high tenacity yarns, as described in Tom’s post on 420d.
Synapse 19 (420d HT Parapack exterior/200d Dyneema/nylon lining)
In stock: Navy 420d/Ultraviolet, Navy 420d/Solar, Olive 420d/Steel, Steel 420d/Solar
On Backorder: Navy 420d/Iberian, Black 420d/Steel, Black 420d/Wasabi, Black 420d/Iberian
Synapse 25 (420d HT Parapack exterior/200d Dyneema/nylon lining)
Available for backorder, ships by early December: Olive/Steel, Black/Steel, Black/Iberian, Black/Wasabi, Navy/Solar, and Navy/Iberian
Small Cafe Bag (420d HT Parapack exterior/200d Dyneema/nylon lining or 420d HT Parapack exterior/lining)
In stock: Olive/Wasabi Dyneema, Steel/Iberian Dyneema, Navy/Ultraviolet Dyneema, Black/Solar Dyneema, Olive/Steel, Steel/Steel, Black/Steel, and Navy/Navy
Medium Cafe Bag (420d HT Parapack exterior/200d Dyneema/nylon lining or 420d HT Parapack exterior/lining)
In stock: Olive/Wasabi Dyneema, Steel/Iberian Dyneema, Navy/Ultraviolet Dyneema, Black/Solar Dyneema, and Olive/Steel, Steel/Steel, Navy/Navy and Black/Steel
Large Cafe Bag (420d HT Parapack exterior/200d Dyneema/nylon lining or 420d HT Parapack exterior/lining)
In stock: Olive/Wasabi Dyneema, Steel/Iberian Dyneema, Navy/Ultraviolet Dyneema, Black/Solar Dyneema, and Olive/Steel, Steel/Steel, and Black/Steel
3D Fabric Organizer Cube
In stock: Navy, Olive, Black, Steel
3D Mesh Organizer Cube
In stock: Olive, Black, Navy
The Guide’s Pack (420d HT Parapack exterior/lining)
In stock: Olive/Steel, Navy/Steel, Black/Steel, Steel/Steel
Founder’s Briefcase (420d HT Parapack exterior/lining)
Pre-order, ships by mid-December: Olive/Steel, Navy/Steel, Black/Steel, Steel/Steel