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Thread: TB Stated Volume vs. Other Brands

  1. #1
    Registered User Peruvian's Avatar
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    TB Stated Volume vs. Other Brands

    Hello All,

    The Pilot's "advertised" volume is 800 cubic inches (13L) capacity. On the other hand, a Timbuk2 Small Classic Messenger bag's (which I also own) volume is 854 cubic inches (14L) capacity, according to their website.

    Based on not-rocket-science packing, the Tom Bihn Pilot holds WAY more stuff than the Small Classic Messenger Bag by Timbuk2. How can that be? Any light-shedding wisdom will be much appreciated, as I am a bag volume-minded individual. After all, every cubic inch counts, right?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    This calls for an experiment with measuring devices and sand.
    ----
    Please bring back the Portable Culture patch!

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    This is one of things I did a bit of research on and for TB, they use the ASTM measure standard:

    ASTM F2153 - 07(2012) Standard Test Method for Measurement of Backpack Capacity

    The above link is referenced on each bag's product page where it lists the volume of the bag.

    Also, in case it helps, there is a comparison table of volumes for different TB bags and accessories. From the TB main page, go down to the bottom. Under the "More Cool Stuff" section, there is a link called "Weight, Volume, & Dimensions" and it lists all the key measured specifications of each bag.

    As for why the Timbuk2 bag seems to hold less, there are a few factors that I have read impact real world volume usage:

    1) The shape of the bag - the Pilot is rectangular while the Timbuk2 bag is more trapazoidal - ie less can fit in the bottom (Timbik2 is 13" at the bottom while the Pilot is 15.4")
    2) Organization - the Pilot has similar and arguably better built in organization as well as more accessories to make even better use of the space - especially vertically with the pouches and O-rings
    3) Accessibility of the pockets
    4) Thickness / odd-shaped items - depending on the shape, things may fit better in one bag vs the other - especially long or bulky items.

    Alternately, the fine way to do this is book a trip with your TB bag to a sandy resort and go at it as bchaplin says!

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 03-20-2014 at 02:30 PM.
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    Zephyr/SA/BB/Co-Pilot (Black/Black/Steel), S25/WF/TS/A45/Pilot/Cadet (Black/Iberian), DLBP (French Blue), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpnl View Post
    .As for why the Timbuk2 bag seems to hold less, there are a few factors that I have read impact real world volume usage:

    <snip>

    Alternately, the fine way to do this is book a trip with your TB bag to a sandy resort and go at it as bchaplin says!
    From an old thread comparing the Utility Tote's size and capacity with the Lux (Swift Predecessor), Darcy acknowledged that they use foam packing peanuts to measure volume. (No point in getting sand all over your bags unless they are auditioning for the role of your desert island bag.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cobos View Post
    I've always wondered, HOW do you do volume measurements of your bags ? You fill them up with water or ?

    Cobos
    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    I thought they used those foam packing peanuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    It's true...packing peanuts are what we've found works best for measuring the volume of our bags.
    HTH

    moriond

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    From an old thread comparing the Utility Tote's size and capacity with the Lux (Swift Predecessor), Darcy acknowledged that they use foam packing peanuts to measure volume. (No point in getting sand all over your bags unless they are auditioning for the role of your desert island bag.)
    HTH

    moriond

    Somewhere,
    Between the seemingly black hole most Tom Bihn bags have,
    And all those foam packing peanuts that measure volume,
    is buried a good joke.





    .
    Last edited by Trailhiker; 03-20-2014 at 05:38 PM.

  6. #6
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    I thought they did it with mirrors.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  7. #7
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    TARDIS technology from Gallifrey - it's the only logical answer!
    Collections:
    Work EDC: SE + S19 (summer); SE + SA (winter)
    Leisure: some combination of SE/SCB/MCB/Swift/LS/FJN/DLBC/Imago/SSB
    Travel: WF + Pilot/DLBP + SE/SCB or SA + SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini + Moleskine; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  8. #8
    Registered User Historymeg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scribe View Post
    TARDIS technology from Gallifrey - it's the only logical answer!
    Absolutely! Nordic is just about Police Box Blue.
    Nordic/Solar Co-Pilot, Steel/UV Tri-Star, Nordic/Solar Side Effect, Plum3-D Organizer

  9. #9
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    Anybody want a peanut?





    Just had to do that...
    snowbot and nsh like this.
    LCB, S19, SE, Co-Pilot, wallet, pouches

  10. #10
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Jellybaby, surely?

    (I'm currently watching Tom Baker's 1st season on DVD - oh, the nostalgia!)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Collections:
    Work EDC: SE + S19 (summer); SE + SA (winter)
    Leisure: some combination of SE/SCB/MCB/Swift/LS/FJN/DLBC/Imago/SSB
    Travel: WF + Pilot/DLBP + SE/SCB or SA + SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini + Moleskine; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    From an old thread comparing the Utility Tote's size and capacity with the Lux (Swift Predecessor), Darcy acknowledged that they use foam packing peanuts to measure volume.
    Are you kidding me. Does ASTM really permit this?

    Packing peanuts are an awful choice for two reasons: (1) they are concave and (2) they are compressible. Both problematic for a situation where you're trying to stuff a bag to the gills. It's Steven Jay Gould's famous lead shot story all over again.

    How hard it is to go buy a bunch of 10mm plastic pellets, or heck, airsoft BBs? Something convex, incompressible, reusable, and clean.
    Blue Parapack Brain Bag with Brain Cell

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trailhiker View Post
    Somewhere,
    Between the seemingly black hole most Tom Bihn bags have,
    And all those foam packing peanuts that measure volume,
    is buried a good joke.
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by scribe View Post
    TARDIS technology from Gallifrey - it's the only logical answer!
    In an old thread titled Black Holes and Time Travel, @cramry wistfully posted
    Quote Originally Posted by cramry View Post
    I keep hearing about all these black holes that Tom builds into his bags. Surely he can conjure up some time travel to make the back ordered Tristar appear.

    Just think what this would do for the Bihn Aquisition Syndrome sufferers.
    And I replied:
    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    He'd have to clear it with the Time Lords; they're already upset about all these TARDIS bags running around the site.
    @scribe Not sure all that TARDIS technology is officially licensed, you know.
    Quote Originally Posted by scribe View Post
    (I'm currently watching Tom Baker's 1st season on DVD - oh, the nostalgia!)
    … my favorite Doctor…

  13. #13
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    From an old thread comparing the Utility Tote's size and capacity with the Lux (Swift Predecessor), Darcy acknowledged that they use foam packing peanuts to measure volume. (No point in getting sand all over your bags unless they are auditioning for the role of your desert island bag.)
    Haha, oh my. Yes, we used to use packing peanuts way back when (they actually work much better than you'd think!) but moved to the ASTM standard in (I think) 2008. So, yeah, we are carefully following their standard to measure our bags, measuring them using 20-mm hollow polypropylene balls. We typically measure every bag twice to make sure we come up with similar numbers (we shoot for <5% variation).

    Remember, our bags are soft bags and not rigid containers, so the science is less than perfect: could we squeeze one more 20-mm ball in there? Probably, but we are attempting to give an accurate representation of a bag's useful volume, not maximize a bag's stated volume.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  14. #14
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    I think some of the apparent differences between stated size and useful storage of a bag is due more to the shape and configuration rather than pure measurements. It's really hard to go by the numbers alone. Many TB bags are so well designed (Tri-Star and Aeronaut, I'm looking at you) that they surprise you with how much fits inside.

    For example, I travel almost exclusively with the Tri-Star and have no problem fitting 2 men's 46 long suits, shoes and other clothing for a week long business trip. Logic says it shouldn't fit, bit it does comfortably with almost no wrinkles. I got rid of my Red Oxx Airboss which measures about 10% larger. The same items fit in the Airboss, with perhaps a little open (wasted for me space) but it feels so much larger to carry. The TS is absolutely perfect and will even fit under your seat if all the overhead space is taken.

    On the other hand, the Red Oxx Metro briefcase which measures about 650 cubic inches holds so much more that the 800 inch Pilot. I wanted to love the Pilot, but it just could not hold what I need to carry, while the Metro (filled with TB pouches, sacks and other accessories) is perfect.

    Beyond the measured size and usability of the space, having the right accessories is key. Not only do they maximize carry capacity they provide the structure and organization to save time and ease living out of a bag. TB does this better than anyone.


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