Dyneema and Security
I usually travel with black bags. I do that for a number of reasons: low profile, not standing out, darker bags seem to pass muster easier than brighter color bags when it comes time to weigh and measure. But, it also seems that 99.99999999999999999% of the other bags out there are also black. (Or it least it seemed that way the last time I went through security.) Easy pickings for a thief who can say they took my bag "by mistake." (Or an honest person not paying attention to the bag they're picking up.)
But not so with the new 400d Dyneema. No one makes bags in those colors/patterns except for Tom Bihn. So, it will be pretty difficult for anyone to just grab the bag and walk away without being spotted. And let's face it, the pattern/colors are easy to spot.
Steel, whether Dyneema or Ballistic (I've both) is still subtle and professional looking whilst being a little different to plain old black :)
I still go with black. Not only does it go with anything, but the "look discrete" thing is pretty important in some places I've traveled. Since I wouldn't ever check my TB bags, I don't worry about people picking mine up at the luggage carousel.
That said, it's certainly true that the other colors are gorgeous. I have lots of accessories in various colors and I really love the navy ballistic, absolutely mesmerizing how it's almost iridescent. Pictures can't capture that subtle effect.
But in the end for me at least utilitarian concerns are most important.
I wasn't talking about picking up a bag at the luggage carousel, I was talking about someone picking it up at the end of the security line. In many places, going through the full body scanner means taking your eye off your bags for a few seconds or more. If you've been targeted by a team of thieves, that's just enough time to pick up the bag and walk away.
I go back and forth about which bag to take and it depends on lots of factors: type of trip, weight restrictions of airlines, where I'm going, etc.
not being flip here. i DONT travel a lot and i DONT work. but if i were to travel for work, i dont see the importance of not standing out. i would like to know in what sort of instances it is important not to stand out, look discrete, have a low profile. if i wear wool slacks, a button down shirt and a sport coat, is it really so out of place to have a cardinal aeronaut?
im not looking to be convinced of anything, i dont have any agenda, but i am honestly curious as to where you need to be so discrete.
when i ask, "please tell me where", i ask this question sincerely. thank you in advance for any replies! i look forward to learning...
It all depends on personal preferences.
Some people like bright colors others like more muted ones, Tom Bihn Inc offers both and we should all be very happy about this.
Everyone needs to travel in a way they prefer and with any color bag they wish.
As to when I like to keep a low profile:
1) When flying on a full plane or one where the overheads are getting full. A colorful bag will catch the eye of the gate agent faster than a dark bag will. (Assuming, of course, wheels aren't in the picture.) I was told this by a couple of gate agents.
2) When traveling to places that are known to have higher crime rates against visitors. Once again, dark colors don't stand out as much. And don't think these are third world countries. There has been a sharp rise in crime against tourists in such popular places as Rome, Barcelona and Athens strictly because of the economy. If I blend in and don't stand out, and I'm not wearing fancy designer clothes or jewelry, chances are thieves will continue looking for a better mark. (Granted, if you're going to Yellowstone you wouldn't have to worry as much as if you were going to Bangkok.)
BTW, and this is not to be considered sexist, but, women sporting brighter colors, stand out less than males doing the same. Does that mean males shouldn't carry bright colors? Absolutely not. Everyone should do whatever they prefer.
I've traveled all over the place both by myself and escorting groups. I've always felt that blending into the scenery and not standing out has kept me safe. That's what works for me.
I like multi-function items. Like a travel bag that can do double duty as a briefcase / laptop bag if needed. I got some funny looks from colleagues when I started showing up at client sites with my crimson Tri-Star. I switched to a black Western Flyer. It's also why I use the bag in shoulder strap mode vs backpack mode at the office. It may seem trivial, but there are expectations when a client is paying by the hour for expertise. I learned long ago that first impressions count. For me, dressing slightly smarter than my client without appearing flashy is what they expect and that's what I aim to deliver. That way they focus on the content, not the packaging.
Yes, I've absolutely experienced this. When TSA used to 'random' bag checks at the gate during the boarding process, I'd get selected more often if I had a brightly coloured bag or piece of clothing. And one-bagging with my crimson Tri-Star got more attention from gate agents than my black Western Flyer and a laptop bag.
Originally Posted by Frank II
The other consideration is how much dirt will show on your bag if you are forced to check it. Lighter and brighter colours are more likely to show grease marks than darker bags.
I also think that Crimson and Iberian as well as Wasabi and Solar are the most colorful of Tom Bihn Inc colors.
The New Ballistic colors are much more subtle.
thank you all for your thoughts. i have a much better understanding now!
My early TB purchases were about as vibrant as you can get - Black/Indigo Empire Builder; Indigo Medium Cafe Bag; Crimson Tri-Star; Indigo Aeronaut. The bright ones get used for personal travel; the black bags for business travel.
Originally Posted by backpack
Interesting thread - how would people describe the Navy ballistic?
I've been considering it for when I get around the buying a WF or Tristar (assuming it's in stock in that colour) as a still business-like, darker colour, but also one that isn't black for when I'm travelling for leisure.
I now regret starting this thread.
Please buy whatever bag color you like and disregard anything I said.
If you like bright colors, then buy bright colors. If you like subdued colors, then buy subdued colors.
I am not comfortable with bright colors. That's just me. I didn't mean to try to persuade people to buy things they don't really like. I just wanted to point out that the new Dyneema colors were easy to spot and that is good against theft. Everything else about not standing out is my own paranoia about theft and crime. I don't want people to stop buying what they like simply because of my beliefs.
Why didn't I ever think of this before?? Now I need to place an order to balance out the brights and darks in my TB collection :-)
Originally Posted by lotuseater