Results 1 to 10 of 10
Like Tree23Likes
  • 14 Post By Darcy
  • 8 Post By Darcy
  • 1 Post By BJ Nemeth

Thread: Thoughts on the Stitching Workmanship on Tom Bihn Bags

  1. #1
    Registered User zuyzuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    14

    Thoughts on the Stitching Workmanship on Tom Bihn Bags

    I am not a Seamstress or a Tailor. But when I look at the different bags I have it raises questions on how much they can really hold up to.

    For example I noticed that the Red Oxx bags are using a lot of those Double Box Stitching on handles and attachment points etc.

    However, Tom Bihn products seems to do with vertical back stitched lines? From my limited point of view it seems like the box stitchings would hold up better in use?

    Also, when I look at my brain bag I am puzzled that there is only one of those vertical back stitched lines on the Backpack Strap holding the whole weight of the bag? Is this enough? And how much weight can something like that carry?

    Also the Red Oxx bag are using the Thread: #92 bonded SolarMax Nylon which looks to me pretty strong. Does anyone know what Tom Bihn Products are using?

    Any Thoughts?

    The reason I am asking is that I am making a comparison review.. and I want all my facts straight.
    Last edited by zuyzuy; 03-11-2013 at 01:15 PM.
    Proud owner of: Brain Bag (Saphire), Synapse (Nordic Dyneema) and Aeronaut (Steel Dyneema)

    "What Would You Do If Money Were No Object?" Alan Watts

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    216
    Tom Bihn uses a bar tack machine - a bar tack is much, much stronger than some sort of box stitch!

    Audrey

  3. #3
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lexington KY USA
    Posts
    1,004
    I tried to take apart a Side Effect. If you only knew how much stitching was hidden under the seam tape for this small waist pack, you wouldn't worry about any of Tom's bags holding up over time! :-)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  4. #4
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    The far west
    Posts
    4,462
    We eschew box-X tacks because they are typically used to attach a piece of webbing (strap) directly to the middle of a panel of fabric, and while this looks really beefy, it turns out to be not as strong as including the webbing into the seam. People tend to conclude that seams are a weak point and they can be, but when properly reinforced seams can be stronger than the fabric. We use a Tex 70 nylon thread on our major join seams -- while the size 90 thread is a bit bigger, the size 70 allows us to sink lots more stitches into a given area. Ultimately the proof is in the durability: we get almost no returns or repairs for seam failure, and we stand behind every stitch we make. Every stitch.
    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

  5. #5
    Registered User zuyzuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    14
    Thank you Darcy,

    I am learning there are more variables than I initially thought.

    So the boxes are normally used to attach something in the middle of a fabric panel to reduce stress on the fabric itself? And webbing into the seam makes more sense on a backpack strap?

    Also I found this website load bearing sewing :: take one

    The website is showing that in most cases the fabric itself will tear before the bar tack.


    Name:  normal_IMG_2340.JPG
Views: 915
Size:  180.5 KB
    Proud owner of: Brain Bag (Saphire), Synapse (Nordic Dyneema) and Aeronaut (Steel Dyneema)

    "What Would You Do If Money Were No Object?" Alan Watts

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,808
    That's pretty simple

    "What Would You Do If Money Were No Object?"

    I would open a Tom Bihn store in the continents he doesn't have any, starting with Europe, even if I might already have plenty of competition there (from other Tom Bihn customers).

    I have 3 Brain Bags, one holds two big laptops, the other has been full of very heavy textbooks for a class, I was lucky that I was driving there and only had short distance to carry it to the classroom.
    The third was intended for my craft but the craft pieces are too big for it.

    So the the first 2 are the ones who went through all the moves and planes and car rides and library trips and... since 2006.

    I think Tom brother's has one with an older logo and the Brain Bag is so popular it has gone through numerous tweaks since its creation.

    You have one yourself, so you know how wonderful it is!
    Last edited by backpack; 03-11-2013 at 09:57 PM.

  7. #7
    ceb
    ceb is offline
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    198
    OP - you may be overthinking this.

    Both RedOxx and Tom Bihn make top quality products but the concept is different.

    RedOxx's philosophy is to build a nearly indestructible bag but the owner of the bag needs to figure out how to organize things because RO provides the basics only.

    I own a RO CPA and it is top quality. It has one main compartment and two magazine sleeves. Inside the main compartment is a mesh pocket on front and back while the outside front has two bellows pockets that a laptop power brick could fit into. On the ends (under the attachment points for the straps) are two elastic pockets that are suitable for water bottles. All the hardware is oversized and the webbing seems solid. This is a utilitarian bag that can (and mine has) withstand the ravages of war.

    However - it doesn't offer nearly the versatility of a TB bag. I'll compare it to the TriStar (since I have that) and forget that the TriStar has three compartments.

    Versatility - All TB bags of this general size have multiple main compartments to separate items. The TS/WF has the clips for the brain cell and lots of o ring attachment points. RedOxx has one main compartment.

    Carry-ability - The TB bags have a shoulder strap handles and backpack straps (WF has the option of a rolling luggage sleeve). RO is shoulder strap or handles only for "briefcase" type bags. The Skytrain and others (more like the Aeronaut) have backpack straps. The "claw" strap that comes with the RO is quite good and some like it as well as the absolute strap.

    External pockets. Most RO bags have one or more external magazine pockets (using the same huge #10 YYK zippers) and a couple of bellows pockets open at the top and covered with a flap that snaps in place. Most TB bags have several zippered compartments and the TS/WF has an additional water bottle pocket with zipper. Most zippered pockets have an o ring or two to attach pouches - nothing like that in RO although they do have a removeable clip that attaches to any bag (but leaves a hole when removed)

    In short - both bags are of similar ruggedness although the TB bags are much better finished and - dare I say it - more professional looking than Red Oxx.

    I use a RedOxx CPA with two eBags large packing cubes for the "go-kit" I keep in my car - that's clothing for three days plus shaving kit and toothbrush. My meds (nothing I really need, just the emergency Immodium, Zantac, aspirin etc) are in a GoTubb that fits in one of the front pockets. My computer (in a sleeve) fits between the packing cubes and a spare charger (as well as a BB charger) is in the other front pocket. The CPA works OK for that purpose freeing up my TriStar for normal travel. I'll be adding a Western Flyer soon for a daily bag.

    Bottom line - don't fixate on stitching - focus on features.

    While TB bags are more water resistant, the mere fact that the RO bags have zippered compartments should keep most of the stuff inside dry in anything but the biggest downpours. I'd be leery of keeping anything in the front compartments as it could get wet by driven rain.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  8. #8
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    The far west
    Posts
    4,462
    Well, yes -- box-X tacks are typically used to attach webbing to the middle of a fabric panel, the box-X not reducing the stress but theoretically spreading the stress over move surface area/stitches.

    When Tom was first starting off back in the early 90's in Santa Cruz, he made repairs on hundreds of OPBs (Other People's Bags) -- the extra cash helped get the company through some lean times. And, as it turned out, performing repairs was also was a great way to see how and why bags fail. The #1 repair was zippers, but there were lots of other repairs as well. When it came to box-X stitching, Tom saw that it's the usually the first or outermost row of stitching in the box-X pattern that takes the stress and is most prone to fail -- the stress is not distributed over the whole box but rather borne by the stitches nearest the direction of the stress. Even more specifically, the corners of a box-X tack localize so much stress that one needs either to use excessively heavy thread or excessively heavy fabric to prevent failure at those points. Also, sometimes you'll see an attempt made to beef-up the box-X tack with a patch of fabric or other reinforcement on the inside of the bag: all of these are, in our opinion, a way to compensate for what's basically a less-than-ideal sewing method.

    We get around the box-X thing by designing the bag so that webbing or straps are pretty much always sewn into a seam. And again, at the seam there's more fabric (two seam allowances), plus the nylon binding tape. We then do our best to sew the bar tack as close to the main join seam as possible, so that rather acting as a back-up to the seam, the bar tack is actually the first line of defense in taking the stress. It's also important that the bar tack extends on both edges of the strap beyond the point at which the strap (or webbing) exits the seam.

    Name:  stress2.jpg
Views: 905
Size:  50.8 KB

    It's at those extremes -- the "corners" -- where, again, the stress is greatest and likelihood of failure highest. In some applications, we'll use two smaller bar tacks, like on a wide strap or piece of webbing (see diagram).
    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

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    126
    It's posts like these from Darcy that are my absolute favorites in the Tom Bihn forums.

    I have owned Tom Bihn bags for about six years, and they've survived everything I thrown at them without even a hint of fraying or weakening. (And I do not go easy on my bags.)
    BrianI likes this.

  10. #10
    Registered User Pocketz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    41
    Great posts Darcy! I shared this thread over on EDC Forums as a contribution to our Stitching discussion.


Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0