Tom, You had me at...
I discovered TB while looking for a wallet to carry to a festival. I quickly discovered the concept of O rings, and the myriad accessories that attach to them. Fifteen months later my husband and I both use TB for EDC, travel, dog training, corralling paperwork for meetings, corralling bulky items to get them from point A to point B, etc., etc.
So, for me it was O rings. What got you hooked, pun intended, on TB?
Strength, Looks and Quality.
My first Tom Bihn Bag, my Steel Brain Bag, along with the ancestor of the Brain Cell and the Cache, was called to double laptops and accessories carrying duties for a long distance move.
I had seen my share of cheap laptop bags, unravel at the most inopportune time and I was not going to risk my iBooks in them.
After recovering for the move, I found myself in need of a bag that was stylish but not in leather, nor canvas (this type of fabric is not good with rain and snow), could hold letter size documents as well as my EDC, and was public transport friendly: the LCB.
Then, I needed a bag that would complement the LCB, could hold libraries and bookstores haul and be public transport friendly: the Swift.
I also had my share of unsuitable purses: too small, too oddly shaped, and totes bought for their looks but so flimsily made that they ended up as decorative storage items, or so unwieldy that they became grocery shopping bags.
I also made very expensive mistakes in the luggage department. I thought of returning a brand name suit bag just a couple of minute after I bought it, I should have. It was defective and, even empty, as heavy as Hulk workout equipment.
After the stellar job of the Brain Bag, the Large Cafe Bag and the Swift, I ordered the same items in another color!
Unheard of, before discovering TB items, despite my life long enthusiasm for anything that helps me carry my stuff.
For me, its the O rings too. I had a scare a couple of years ago, which has forever scarred me, and any bags I've bought since have had a key tether at least.
We were a couple of hours away from home at a Cajun/Zydeco music festival when I needed to use the porta potties. I heard keys drop, and I didn't see them on the floor. Uh oh. As I'm making my way back to my seat, I'm trying to figure out how to tell my husband that I dropped my keys in the porta pottie, and we now have no way home as we only had that one car key. (and its late Saturday afternoon at this point- so even if we could get a taxi to the car dealership, they'd likely be closed). Then I'm thinking, how do I find someone who can get the porta pottie pumped out and do I actually want to ever use my keys again after that.
So I'm a bundle of nerves. Then I reached into the second little pocket of my jeans and there were my keys! I'd not dropped them at all!!! Hallelujah! But it was a close call. So anytime I'm away from home, I now secure my keys. And now I can also secure my wallet, and my organizer cube that contains all the random bits I also don't want to see fall into a porta pottie.
You would be in good company, at every outdoor festival I have worked at least a dozen people per day drop their phone, keys or wallet down the toilet. Keys are easy they can normally be snagged with a bent coat hanger or a magnet on a wand. Cell phones and wallets require a bit of enginuity. All of it puke worthy...
Originally Posted by sturbridge
Fun fact: a herd of porta-potties is referred to as a "sitting"
For me it was the humble travel tray, used as a "yarn bowl"--- for non-knitters, a place to put your knitting project in progress in a secure place without risking sitting on your needles next time you go to pick up your knitting (trust me. the voice of sad experience. please, a moment of silent sympathy here.)
And it's steel 400 dyneema -- which started something as I now have steel and nordic things peeking at me from all around. pilot, s19, PCBP. The odd pouches lurk here and there and 3d fabric organizer cubes and shop bags hang by the door waiting to go out. keys are tethered to rings so I won't lose them.
what can I say?
Sure wish NORDIC dyneema would make a reappearance.
I think it was the combination of o-rings and organiser pouches - having a way to corral all those little items I like to carry everywhere (comb, couple of painkillers, breath mints, etc) but also stop their container disappearing into the depths of a bag.
Closely followed by all the knitting bags and accessories :)
Quality at first but now that I have Shop Bags, I have to say Shop Bags. They.are.the.BEST!! Of course, quality is part of why Shop Bags are so great
Water bottle pocket!! That was really what pushed me to get the Synapse 25 over other contenders for the job. And I continuously eye the Co-Pilot and Pilot, trying to think of a reason why one (or both?) would make sense in my life, even though I have a strong preference for vertical cross-body carry.
DIY organisation (i.e. pouches, keystraps, O-rings) + black-hole bags (SA, BB). Fun fabrics. A water bottle pocket that's impossible to wear out sure helped too.
This forum! I found the company while researching max carry on bags and the published reviews were great, but it was the ingenuity and helpfulness of the people on this forum that sealed the deal. I may have made a decision in record time as I am an obsessive researcher/ditherer and don't buy anything without comparing, considering and reevaluating.
It started with the reviews and "made in USA", but once I owned some items, I'd add the quality, customer service, and you guys. And I've also tried going back to an EDC without o-rings and find it frustrating!
I've known about Tom Bihn for many many years, but never bit the bullet because I kept thinking I couldn't afford it so I misfiled his bags somewhere in my brain. Months ago I began doing research on convertible bags because I was determined to take an upcoming trip to London without my rolling bag. This reintroduced me to Tom Bihn. I salivated over the Aeronaut and Tri Star for weeks before even looking at the forums. I think I just never thought about looking at them because I was so mesmerized by the bags (I know, I have a passion, but I think it is shared by many on this site!) and their functionality. When the A30 started shipping and the reviews started coming, I finally joined in on the fun. The feedback on this forum made me want a TB bag even more and I was thrilled when my A30 finally arrived, along with many accessories (followed by two other orders!). I think the quality and craftsmanship are unparalleled, but in addition to the community here, I am so impressed with the family at Tom Bihn. I think it's amazing to "know" who is making your bag. I love that they treat their employees well and remain loyal to the idea of knowing where their materials are sourced. I also love how their furry family members are prominently featured. While I have been wearing the A30 around the neighborhood while walking my Gracie, I can't wait for it's inaugural run this weekend!
I discovered TB via Allison Levine's review on Off the Blueprint and was mesmerized that she traveled with only the S19. While the Synapse didn't turn out to be my ideal travel bag, I came back to TB for the quality and the community. I love that, through this forum, I was able to find a new home for my S19. My next TB bag, the NFTD, is set to arrive TODAY!
This just about sums it up - plus the SE because I want a cross-body, east/west orientated, outside zipper pocket, no over-flap bag. My little black 3DFOP is nearly perfect but just needs the outside zipper pocket to meet the criteria.
Originally Posted by scribe
I was retiring a bag that was my 4th bag purchase over a 2 year time frame. I didn't think I was that abusive on my bags, so I chalked it up to quality issues.
I stumbled across Tom Bihn on the EDC forums. Know what turned me on about them over other brands? Discreetness. I can appreciate a tacticool bag as much as the next person, but they just didn't interest me in terms of EDC. I can understand getting what for a CCW compartment, but that's not a priority for me by any means. If I have my pistol on me, it is on my persons. If it's in my bag, it's purely for storage (putting the pistol in my bag and locking it in the trunk while I go into a weapon restricted building for example).
I picked up an S25 and absolutely love it. The kind folks at Tom Bihn helped me out on some organizers too. Talk about service. They won a customer for life out of me.
Now I'm strategizing what to buy and when over the next year or two.
Would like to get an Empire Builder, a Brain Bag, a TriStar, Aeronaut 45, Pilot and/or Co-Pilot and a slew of random shopping bags and pouches.
Considering the service Tom Bihn provided to me, and the quality of the products, I won't look anywhere else when buying a bag for myself or my fiancé. As much as I would love to share the Tom Bihn experience with some of my family members, they're too frugal to buy such items and it would be appreciated as much as someone that would know the quality of the item being delivered to them.
What sold me on Tom Bihn was the looks (clean, discreet, professional), organization and the deceiving capacity these bags provide.