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  1. #1
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    A smaller Zephyr?

    Hey all...

    Is there any chance a smaller Zephyr may ever be produced? I have a new laptop that's 9.5" x 13" x 1.25", and most laptop bags I have found are either too small, or to big, for that size. As an old fan of Tom's bags since the 80s (am I that old?!? :-) ), I'd love to have one for this laptop. I realize there's only so many bags a small company can profitably produce, but I was curious.

    Tim Bessie
    San Francisco, CA

  2. #2
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    It's possible - but more likely you'll see an entirely new kind of smaller briefcase in 2009. Maybe made out of Ultrasuede.
    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

  3. #3
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    Say it isn't so!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    It's possible - but more likely you'll see an entirely new kind of smaller briefcase in 2009. Maybe made out of Ultrasuede.
    I loves me my ballistics cloth! :-(

    - Tim

  4. #4
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    We can always have both

  5. #5
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    Maybe I could be convinced otherwise by the perfect in-person demo, but ...

    ballistic cloth >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ultrasuede.

    It's like lobster and blueberry pie (for those who like both) vs. McDonalds' fish sandwich, or structural steel beams vs. mayonnaise as building elements. And I hate mayonnaise.

    timothy

  6. #6
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    I love my Zephyr, don't get me wrong, but I'd really love a smaller briefcase. too. As a small-framed woman just about 5 feet tall, the Zephyr is on the verge of being overwhelming. And, since my traveling laptop is the pint-sized Fujitsu P7230, I end up stowing it vertically in the inside pocket. On the upside, there's plenty of room then next to it for my noise-cancelling headphones, I-pod, camera, and liquids and gels bag.

    Did I mention that the Zephyr may be the most perfect "personal item" for airplane use? Fits under even the most ridiculously cramped underseat area, is perfectly organized for retrieval of comfort items and work-on-the-plane items, and turns into a respectable briefcase for business use when I hit my destination.

  7. #7
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Okay - I spoke too soon! You will definitely see new Ultrasuede bags in 2009, but a smaller briefcase might not be one of them. Maybe the Mini Cafe bag?
    But Tom does still plan to design a smaller briefcase.
    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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by timothy View Post
    Maybe I could be convinced otherwise by the perfect in-person demo, but ...

    ballistic cloth >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ultrasuede.

    It's like lobster and blueberry pie (for those who like both) vs. McDonalds' fish sandwich, or structural steel beams vs. mayonnaise as building elements. And I hate mayonnaise.

    timothy
    I take that to mean you like ballistics cloth better, yes? (as do I) - I'm not sure if you meant that to mean "ballistics cloth IS GREATER THAN ultrasuede" or "leave ballistics cloth behind and go to ultrasuede". :-)

    - Tim

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    I take that to mean you like ballistics cloth better, yes? (as do I) - I'm not sure if you meant that to mean "ballistics cloth IS GREATER THAN ultrasuede" or "leave ballistics cloth behind and go to ultrasuede". :-)

    - Tim
    "Greater than" is putting it mildly.

    Do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not go to ultrasuede.

    timothy

  10. #10
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    Ultrasuede for the Ultra-Weak-Willed!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    It's possible - but more likely you'll see an entirely new kind of smaller briefcase in 2009. Maybe made out of Ultrasuede.
    I know it may not be to everyone's liking, but since I believe you guys don't consider leather a possibility, and I've never seen any mention of the possibility of something like canvas as a design material, I would be absolutely THRILLED at the possibility of a Tom Bihn-designed briefcase from something like Ultrasuede.

    Let me start by saying that I'm a huge fan of the ergonomics and deep thoughtfulness that goes into the design of your bags. I honestly believe that no other manufacturer has considered in such an intelligent and reasoned manner how modern people actually use their briefcases, backpacks and luggage. From the zippers to the carrying straps, to the pocket placements, every one of your bags (and I own lots of them) has been clearly constructed with the needs of the end-user foremost in mind.

    That said, I confess that my poor self-esteem keeps me from using these brilliantly designed bags as often as I should! Not that I don't think they're attractive, mind you. I think they've VERY eye-catching. However, in the circles I travel, nylon briefcases -- even the really nice nylon you guys use -- is sort of frowned upon as nerdy, more the province of IT people in the backroom than businessmen in the board room.

    Hence, when I'm going to business meetings, I tend to use the lovely leather bags designed by a fellow West Coast manufacturer, Glaser Designs. These are beautiful handmade bags that are, I'd be the first to admit, nowhere near as practical as your designs! But they're made of leather!

    I completely realize this poor self-image and weak sense of self is totally MY problem, not yours!! Why should I care what other people think of my nylon bags?

    However, the long explanation above is my (pathetic) way of pleading for a Bihn-designed briefcase made of Ultrasuede, or some similar "professional" seeming material -- so I could cast off my other, lesser, leather briefcases once and for all!!

    Feel free to ignore or mock me -- I undoubtedly deserve it -- but I've been wanting to get this sentiment off my chest for a long time, even if only to be able to show a confession of my weakness to a psychiatrist!!

  11. #11
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    Nice post HOBOKEN. I have an old canvas and leather duffel that is my first choice for short trips. It gets better with age.

  12. #12
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    I understand, HOBOKEN. We'll most likely introduce a smaller bag or two in Ultrasuede first, and then a briefcase (smaller than the Zephyr).

    I think Ultrasuede is a stunning fabric - notice that's Ultrasuede with a capital U and not a lowercase u. (The lowercase u stuff - fake Ultrasuede - is cheap and yuky.) The Ultrasuede we would use for a bag would be even more water-resistant and thicker than regular Ultrasuede.
    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

  13. #13
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    Funny, I worked Big 4 accounting firms and never
    felt compelled to buy leather brief cases.
    Tom Welch > Mesa, Arizona, USA
    Author of 101 Financial Ratios 5.0
    Travel Lite & Smart

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PM4HIRE View Post
    Funny, I worked Big 4 accounting firms and never
    felt compelled to buy leather brief cases.
    I hear you! I work in the non-profit world, and frequently go to meetings in fancy conference rooms high in the sky with board members who are "Masters of the Universe" (admittedly, most are feeling a little less masterful these days).

    I already feel shabby in my non-bespoke suit and with my lack of knowledge about fly fishing in Iceland. Therefore, my briefcase is my sole feeble try at overcoming my feelings of inadequacy!! I know...being good at what I do should be enough, so clearly, I just need to get over it!!

    That said, thanks for the tip that Ultrasuede bags may be coming soon...I'll be waiting with bated breath!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOBOKEN View Post
    That said, thanks for the tip that Ultrasuede bags may be coming soon...I'll be waiting with bated breath!!
    That bate might help with your Icelandic flyfishing problem. :-)

    (Yes, I know they're spelled differently :-) ).

    - Tim

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