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Thread: What's with the (lack of) color options?

  1. #1
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    What's with the (lack of) color options?

    When I first got to Tom Bihn a while back, there were color options galore. Crimson, sapphire, solar, aubergine, etc etc. It was awesome, different strokes for different folks!

    Today everything is Steel... Black... Navy... Olive... Sometimes if you're lucky you get a Nordic.

    Where are all the bright colors?? Am I the only one who finds this disappointing?

  2. #2
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    Nope. I've wondered that too. Perhaps the cordura is being replaced with the parapack? Hopefully, more color options will come.

  3. #3
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Count me in as well in hoping for brighter color options, especially in Parapack!
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
    -- David Whyte

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    There's a noticeable difference between the range colors pictured on the Medium Cafe Bag page (Turquoise/Cayenne! Azalea/Sapphire! Storm/Steel!) and the color combinations actually available for order. I appreciate the move to a fabric that's less dog-hair-magnet-y, but the color options could use a boost.

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    Likewise! So I called today and was told that it had to do with the newer fabrics. I'm trying to slowly outfit an army of kids for school, and of course I can't have 6 difficult to distinguish Brain Bags. Also, I miss my beloved Indigo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minda View Post
    Likewise! So I called today and was told that it had to do with the newer fabrics. I'm trying to slowly outfit an army of kids for school, and of course I can't have 6 difficult to distinguish Brain Bags. Also, I miss my beloved Indigo.
    @Minda, I commiserate about the absence of Indigo. Nukediver put her Indigo/Steel Synapse 19 on sale at eBay nearly 3 weeks ago with a Buy-It-Now price of $130, and it only lasted a few hours, even though she didn't post any notices of its sale in these forums. (I happened to catch the listing within a few minutes of when it was posted.) I would sorely miss my Indigo/Solar Synapse (or my Indigo/Solar Tri-Star, for that matter).

    @iammeiam The Cordura options appear to be being phased out in favour of HT Nylon Parapack, which at present is only available in Black, Navy, Steel, and Olive. The most color options exist for the Large Cafe bag, which still has the older stock. New options just added a few days ago offer all the Cafe Bags in 400d Black Dyneema/Wasabi and 400d Nordic Dyneema/Solar.

    Some related threads on the disappearance of Cordura options include Will all bags move to Parapack? and the Large v. Medium Cafe Bag thread. I think they're planning on keeping the Plum/Wasabi and Cocoa/Wasabi Cordura color combinations around for a while, because there are really no good Parapack counterparts to either of these popular colours. However, if you want these Cordura colors you should probably try to pick these combinations up while they're available.

    For those of you interested in other bag/color offerings, there are some nice combinations in the Little Swift and Swift (for example, Aubergine) after a rather prolonged absence (see the Say it isn't so: no Little Swifts available at all? thread. The Little Swift made a reappearance at the end of October, and a number of colours were added to the Swift line.

    I know this color selection isn't going to assuage many propective bag buyer. There were some more options for Christmas, that are not currently available. (The usual occurrence of forum members descending like locusts on the available offerings.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @Minda, I commiserate about the absence of Indigo. Nukediver put her Indigo/Steel Synapse 19 on sale at eBay nearly 3 weeks ago with a Buy-It-Now price of $130, and it only lasted a few hours, even though she didn't post any notices of its sale in these forums. (I happened to catch the listing within a few minutes of when it was posted.) I would sorely miss my Indigo/Solar Synapse (or my Indigo/Solar Tri-Star, for that matter).

    @iammeiam The Cordura options appear to be being phased out in favour of HT Nylon Parapack, which at present is only available in Black, Navy, Steel, and Olive. The most color options exist for the Large Cafe bag, which still has the older stock. New options just added a few days ago offer all the Cafe Bags in 400d Black Dyneema/Wasabi and 400d Nordic Dyneema/Solar.

    Some related threads on the disappearance of Cordura options include Will all bags move to Parapack? and the Large v. Medium Cafe Bag thread. I think they're planning on keeping the Plum/Wasabi and Cocoa/Wasabi Cordura color combinations around for a while, because there are really no good Parapack counterparts to either of these popular colours. However, if you want these Cordura colors you should probably try to pick these combinations up while they're available.

    For those of you interested in other bag/color offerings, there are some nice combinations in the Little Swift and Swift (for example, Aubergine) after a rather prolonged absence (see the Say it isn't so: no Little Swifts available at all? thread. The Little Swift made a reappearance at the end of October, and a number of colours were added to the Swift line.

    I know this color selection isn't going to assuage many propective bag buyer. There were some more options for Christmas, that are not currently available. (The usual occurrence of forum members descending like locusts on the available offerings.)
    I actually like the new fabrics- both Dyneema and Parapack. They look great, are lightweight, and are what make TB unique from say, Tumi, which is all Ballistic Nylon, all the time.

    I hope this is only temporary, but I'm not 100% sure. 400d Dyneema has been around for quite a while, for example, and we're still left with Steel, Nordic and Black. Half the fun in the past was picking out my favourite colour combi (I have a Sapphire ID lying around just for me to admire ), and carefully weighing what colour/ lining combi would go best. I definitely didn't need new bags, but the always-refreshing combinations always seem to make things fresh again- it was like the same bag that I loved, yet somehow refreshing and better.

    Hasn't stopped me from just putting in an order for a Brain Bag in Olive Parapack
    Last edited by jelt2359; 02-03-2014 at 10:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @iammeiam The Cordura options appear to be being phased out in favour of HT Nylon Parapack, which at present is only available in Black, Navy, Steel, and Olive. The most color options exist for the Large Cafe bag, which still has the older stock. New options just added a few days ago offer all the Cafe Bags in 400d Black Dyneema/Wasabi and 400d Nordic Dyneema/Solar.
    Thanks for the information!

    Funnily (kind of but not really) enough, I was burgled today and the thieves apparently have good bag taste as they used my ancient Super Ego and shiny new Tristar to haul away a lot of what they'd taken (getting an Absolute Strap, two stuff sacks, and a backpack packing cube in the bargain.) They left the Navy/UV Medium Cafe Bag that matched the Tristar, though. And left the cache and Brain Cell for the computer they took, so maybe their taste isn't that good.

    So... uh... I guess I'd also like to voice support for the return of Forest as a Super Ego color, and the return of seatbelt bucks on Super Ego straps, since I'm going to be back in the market whenever I get the insurance sorted out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iammeiam View Post
    Funnily (kind of but not really) enough, I was burgled today and the thieves apparently have good bag taste as they used my ancient Super Ego and shiny new Tristar to haul away a lot of what they'd taken (getting an Absolute Strap, two stuff sacks, and a backpack packing cube in the bargain.) They left the Navy/UV Medium Cafe Bag that matched the Tristar, though. And left the cache and Brain Cell for the computer they took, so maybe their taste isn't that good.
    Oh no! Sorry to hear that!

    I have to say, once I let that Synapse 19 in Indigo go, I was a little mad at myself. I sold it, and a Steel Dyneema Synapse 19, so I could get a Navy Parapack Synapse 19 - I needed a more subdued color I could carry at work, plus I wanted the updated bag interior so I could outfit it with a Cache with rails for my new 11" MacBook Air. I got Navy/Iberian (my fave color), and I do love the color combination, but I have to be honest and say I'm not entirely in love with the Parapack fabric. It might be because its so slippery, and I can't get the bag to sit upright at ALL. I was able to do that with both the other Synapses I had. Maybe the fabric will grow on me, but I have to agree with everyone in saying I miss all the color choices of the cordura; I really didn't have a problem with the fabric. I wish I'd grabbed something in Conifer before it vanished....

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    That's too bad! I've actually been quite impressed with how well my navy Parapack Synapse 19 has stayed upright. I've never had a Cordura one though, so maybe I just don't know what I'm missing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by terayon View Post
    That's too bad! I've actually been quite impressed with how well my navy Parapack Synapse 19 has stayed upright. I've never had a Cordura one though, so maybe I just don't know what I'm missing.
    It could be the use of the 11" cache with rails in the Synapse 19 that is altering the balance slightly in nukediver's case. This suspension system has the advantage that smaller caches (for the iPad or 11" MacBook Air, for example) are suspended and easily accessed from the top of the bag. The length of the Synapse 19 seems ideally designed for the 13" MacBooks (Pro, Air, etc), but these run all the way to the bottom of the bag, so the stability is better. You'd probably need to get comments from someone who uses the Synapse 19 in Cordura with an 11" MacBook Air in a Cache with Rails to do a fair comparison. Also, I know that a lot of the threads that comment on comparing the Synapse 25 with the Smart Alec state that an advantage of the Smart Alec is that you can use a vertical Brain Cell to carry your laptop in the Smart Alec and you can't do this with Synapse 25, but in fact the size 4x Brain cell (a slightly older model for 15" laptops that actually fits some current models better than the 4z) fits pretty nicely in the Synapse 25. It can't be secured to the back wall the way you can in the Smart Alec, but it works. The thing about the Synapse design is that the compartments are left free to flex and reshape themselves according to the contents you are carrying, and this removes some degree of the free "flex". This adjusting design is part of the reason so many people find this a "Tardis bag" -- the compartments adjust to accommodate space where you need it.

    Anyway, just my thoughts that the rail suspension with the smaller laptop might be a factor in the perceived bag stability along with the material.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nukediver View Post
    Oh no! Sorry to hear that!

    I have to say, once I let that Synapse 19 in Indigo go, I was a little mad at myself. I sold it, and a Steel Dyneema Synapse 19, so I could get a Navy Parapack Synapse 19 - I needed a more subdued color I could carry at work, plus I wanted the updated bag interior so I could outfit it with a Cache with rails for my new 11" MacBook Air. I got Navy/Iberian (my fave color), and I do love the color combination, but I have to be honest and say I'm not entirely in love with the Parapack fabric. It might be because its so slippery, and I can't get the bag to sit upright at ALL. I was able to do that with both the other Synapses I had. Maybe the fabric will grow on me, but I have to agree with everyone in saying I miss all the color choices of the cordura; I really didn't have a problem with the fabric. I wish I'd grabbed something in Conifer before it vanished....
    I have the Navy Parapack/ Iberian S25 as well, and actually I find it perfect for work- it's dark enough that it looks more professional; the blue contrasts well with the passionate Iberian interior; and yet it doesn't look boring, with its beautiful reflective exterior. This is by far my favourite colour combi right now for work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nukediver View Post
    I wish I'd grabbed something in Conifer before it vanished....
    @nukediver I meant to mention that you can still order 3D Clear Organizer Cubes in Conifer. They're also still available in Storm, Azalea, and Turquoise. But no more Indigo. You'd have to call to find out about color availability of Conifer in other pouches.

    Quote Originally Posted by iammeiam View Post
    Funnily (kind of but not really) enough, I was burgled today and the thieves apparently have good bag taste as they used my ancient Super Ego and shiny new Tristar to haul away a lot of what they'd taken (getting an Absolute Strap, two stuff sacks, and a backpack packing cube in the bargain.) They left the Navy/UV Medium Cafe Bag that matched the Tristar, though. And left the cache and Brain Cell for the computer they took, so maybe their taste isn't that good.

    So... uh... I guess I'd also like to voice support for the return of Forest as a Super Ego color, and the return of seatbelt bucks on Super Ego straps, since I'm going to be back in the market whenever I get the insurance sorted out.
    @iammeiam I'm really sorry to hear about your loss. Put out a call to other forum members for items you're having trouble replacing, and hopefully somebody can help you find the color combinations/features you want.

  14. #14
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    I forgot to mention that I only occasionally use the Cache with rails in my Synapse, and when I do I usually lay the bag flat. My guess is that it probably won't stand up until the bag is a little more broken in. Time will tell :-)

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    I can understand not always having ever color in stock, but at least keep the brighter colors rotating for us! We don't all want a shade of dark.

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