Well, it has been a month since I purchased my ID coupled with the Horizontal Freudian Slip, the Absolute Shoulder Strap, and the Small Padded Organizer Pouch. I can sum up my experiences so far in 8 words:
Tom Bihn is a very clever fellow, indeed.
My bag goes everywhere with me, and it has met and exceeded every one of my needs in near-perfect fashion. Here are some examples of what I mean:
Durability. I am always on the move from the office to school to my 5-year old's pee-wee football games. I have killed several bags within weeks of ownership, yet my ID still looks as good as the day I bought it. There are no frayed stitchings, so mangled zippers, not even a scuff mark to be found. This bag can take a beating (and a good one at that) while still keeping your stuff well protected rain or shine.
Design. To me, the mark of a good product is that I never think about those little annoying "what ifs" that would make it easier to live with. So far, I have yet to find any aspect of the design that does not work to perfection. The positioning and size of pockets is just about right for any combination of my things. Access to your stuff is easy and painless, even when you're rummaging blind through the bag while focused on other things. The overall design just seems to be intuitive, and flexible enough to meet a variety of needs. It is also suprising ly roomy for it's size. I am amazed at how much you can really fit comfortably in the bag when needed!
Accessories and Organization. This really suprised me, because I kind of ordered the Freudian Slip and Padded Organizer pouch on a whim. Wow, do they make a difference in keeping your stuff under control. My Slip is a one-stop organizer for all my school needs (folders for each class, notebooks, a business calculator, pens, pencils, etc.) that I simply lift out when I don't need it, and drop in on school nights. the organizer pouch is an indespensible, safe place for my iPhone's charger and docking station. Nice bonuses. And I LOVE the Absolute Shoulder Strap... it really does minimize the impact of a heavy load by balancing the weight and staying put. My back appreciates that.
Additional Features. Those padded side pockets are perfect for quick, safe access to your beloved iPhone (or phone of choice). The two organizer rings are really clever: my sunglass case, keys (on supplied lanyard) and organizer pouch are neatly tethered and socked away, but easy to get to quickly without opening the bag.
Honestly, I really can't complain about anything with this bag. A cinch for an umbrella in addition to the water bottle holder would be nice, but not essential. I am still playing with the most comfortable positions for carrying the bag in messenger mode (as opposed to over one shoulder), but I think that's just because I never carried a bag that way.
All in all, I am thrilled with my purchase... so much so that I am in danger of becoming a Tom Bihn addict. I just might need a Super Ego for extra-large loads now and again. And some of the family luggage is getting a little worn out, if you know what I mean.
I'd like to thank the folks at Tom Bihn for a great product that really is worth the price you pay for it... we don't get that as much as we should these days. I have some travelling coming up in the next few months... we'll see how the ID manages some adventures in planes, trains, and automobiles!