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Thread: Design change suggestion.

  1. #1
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    Design change suggestion.

    I love Bihn backpacks and find them very well designed. They lack on very critical feature, however, in my opinion.

    I greatly dislike the thin and uncomfortable grab handle on the top of the packs. This is a complete design flaw. There are times when I cannot wear the pack and need to carry it using the strap and I find it very unpleasant. Virtually all other higher-end pack makers place a little bit of padding on the grab handle, or at the very least , they make it a wide strap and then fold it over and sew it double thick so it is more comfortable to hold.

    This would be such a simple thing to do and would greatly improve the bags in my view.


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  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    @lawfor

    Just to level set - almost all TB backpacks have a very nice padded handle that is usually Poron filled for even more comfort (e.g. Smart Alec, Brain Bag and the travel convertible bags). There are even padded side handles on the travel luggage bags (Tri-Star, Aeronaut and Western Flyer) to make them easier to pull out of overhead bins.

    The only exceptions that I know of are the Synapse backpacks and the Guide's Pack (the Packing Cube backpacks too but I think that is perfectly acceptable given their dual purpose).
    For the Guide's Pack, it may be a design decision as it is meant to be retro-styled - now I do not have this backpack so I may be wrong about the handle not being padded.
    For the Synapse backpacks, I would agree that it would be nice to have a padded handle - there are a few threads on this forum that also discuss this. However, thinking of it another way, having a padded handle would, IMHO, make the backpack less streamlined and create a "distraction" on top of a backpack meant to be completely uncluttered with and devoid of water bottle mesh pockets, compression straps, buckles, etc. I think that was part of a design decision to not have the handle padded. That being said, I think Tom could come up with another solution to add padding and still keep the streamlined nature - perhaps a short version of the ultra suede shoulder strap wrap. I would buy that!

    BTW - For my Synapse 25, I just attached a neoprene wrap (there are ones you can buy as well) over the webbing handle and it works well. It does however make the handle pop-up above the backpack at times breaking with the streamlined nature of the backpack.

    Hope this helps

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  3. #3
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    Thanks. I was referring to the Synapse packs as those are the ones I use the most. I personally think it is a design change that is very much needed. It is the only glaring deficiency (in my view) in an otherwise excellent pack. Even if they didn't pad it, they could fold it over to double-layer and sew it to make it more comfortable to carry. There are simply times I need to carry it that way and I would love to see an improvement in this area.


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  4. #4
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Or you can take paracord and do a Cobrastitch around the handle. That is what I did to my Synapse 25, problem solved. My Synapse 19 is not heavy enough to need one. With the right colors the cobra looks quite nice on the handle.

  5. #5
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    Streamlined or not, a poron handle on the top of my S19s and S25 is something I've always wished for. Long ago and far away I sliced a piece of clear plastic tubing down the side to fit over an uncomfortable grab handle. Worked great. I've considered covering the web handles with para cord too. Just never got around to it.
    Moose
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  6. #6
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    I have to confess I did mine the girls way: I bought the Paramore found the right instructions on YouTube and handed everything over to my husband. I figured he likes to play with paravord and with a bit of eyelash - batting he even overlooked the colors (pink and purple).

    If I had to do it on my own it would not be finished by now I have to confess.

  7. #7
    Registered User vivelly's Avatar
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    Ilkyway...now I am curious..could you please post a picture?
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  8. #8
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    I believe that they felt that a poron foam filled grab handle like the one on the Brain Bag and Smart Alec would seem out of place on top of the Synapse given its nicely tapered top.

    Perhaps a handle like the one on the Cadet might work well for the Synapse - provide a little more padding than the webbing, but not seem too obtrusive to the design?

  9. #9
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    Even something like what is on the end of my WF would be a huge improvement. It lays pretty flat.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

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    Quote Originally Posted by vivelly View Post
    Ilkyway...now I am curious..could you please post a picture?
    @vivelly Take a look at the pictures in the Synapse 25 and what I did to it: thread to see @ilkyway's Paracord handles and cord pulls.

    moriond

  11. #11
    Registered User vivelly's Avatar
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    Thanks Moriond! I have a new weekend project!

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    Hopefully, Tom Bihn is listening. The very fact that so many people have developed work-arounds to make the grab handle more comfortable suggests to me that my point is well taken. I'd really like to see this change - not with a large and/or bulky top handle, but with some minimal padding to correct the one glaring design issue with the synapse bags.


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  13. #13
    Registered User vivelly's Avatar
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    One more little point...I dont really want to criticise Tom Bihn bags...but I keep thinking...that label that said Tom Bihn.. the white one is quite cheap looking and can easily fray..it doesnt bother me...but its always sewn onto the top where you can see it opening the bags. I realised it with my Synapses and I saw it on a pic on Smart Alec..its no big deal at all...but it spoils the beautiful look a bit. Couldnt it be sewn a bit down the side of the bag? Just a thought, no big deal....:)
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  14. #14
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    I agree - I'm tempted to cut it off of my olive S19, since I don't see myself selling it anytime soon (and in any case, a missing interior tag is hardly a dealbreaker!)
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  15. #15
    Registered User vivelly's Avatar
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    Same! Just hard to cut off anything with Tom Bihn on it...lol

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