How Long Does a Tom Binh Bag Last?
The Man Has Spoken, and I've got nothing like his expertise on linings and coatings, but I can tell you this: Your definition of long use poses no challenge to Tom Binh bags, in my experience. A decade ago TB sold a padded version of what's now called the Large Cafe Bag as a laptop bag. I bought one (plum and kiwi), and it has outlived three laptops and survived a tornado, and for the past six years it has been in the custody of a commuting niece of mine who carries her mac laptop everywhere, every day. I swear to you, it looks (and works) EXACTLY as it did when it first came out of the box. Nothing has peeled, frayed, popped, or broken. Seams, straps, zippers, all the parts, are still in MINT condition.
I have a ten-year-old North Face pack that's gotten a lot of use from Alaska to New Zealand, and the urethane coating has entirely flaked away, just as you describe. It's still a fine size and design, and the fabric, zippers, straps, pockets, etc., have lots of wear left, but it's not even water resistant anymore, and that limits its utility.
I'm 47, and it has recently occurred to me that my Tom Bihn bags are VERY LIKELY TO OUTLIVE ME. I can just imagine my heirs at the reading of the will, frantic to find out: Who gets the Tom Binh bags?????
I propose a toast: To eternity with cool pockets, and a strap!