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  1. #1
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    Hi. My name's Sam and I'm a ...

    Tom Bihn Addict.

    Brain Bag. The Empire Builder. Now a medium Cafe Bag. An accessory here or there. And the constant pursuit of how to rationalize the next purchase. (Aeronaut? Swift for my wife?, more organizer pouches?)

    I know there must be others...

    I know this may seem a borderline useless thread, but it does say something pretty special when a "bag" can cause so many to; write reviews, photograph bag contents, help others with their bag choice, suggest innovative uses, etc. etc.

    So this is my way of saying thanks to Tom Bihn & co. and all of you.

  2. #2
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    confessed tom-bihn-aholic here.

    we went for a hike/picnic yesterday at sugarloaf mountain in dickerson, md. i brought fruit and other snacks in my ruck's sac, and sandwiches and our water bottles in my smart alec. our friends, as usual, made fun of me because i'm always carrying a tom bihn bag. but it's all in good spirit .

    now, i have an older generation smart alec, but did you know that you can comfortably put a kid's sigg bottle and a 27oz kleen canteen bottle in a single side pocket of the smart alec? on the other side, i had my 1 litre sigg bottle.

    the kid's sigg bottle we have is 0.3 litre, but you could put a larger one in there as well - the 0.6 litre.

    my wife used to say "you're buying another bag???" but she's given up.

    at the same time, i try to be reasonable about what bags i have. i ended up passing on the ristretto to someone else because i wasn't using it often enough.

    right now, i have the following bags. more than one bag can serve the same purpose. i'll rotate between them every so often, depending on what i feel like carrying.

    - for a day pack: smart alec if i have a larger load. ruck's sac if it's an outing to the park or if we're going on the metro.

    - for my work laptop (macbook pro): if i feel like carrying a backpack, the smart alec with a vertical brain cell. sometimes, i also carry it in the buzz. i can also put the work laptop into my new ego with a horizontal brain cell, but i haven't thus far.

    - for my personal laptop (macbook): currently carried in the ego in a soft cell with all of my other gotta carry with me stuff. i've carried it in the ristretto, but decided i want to carry too many other things. so the ristretto has found another happy home. i carry it in a large cafe bag with a soft cell. i carry it in the ruck's sac with the soft cell when i feel like carrying a backpack.

    - for my essentials (without a laptop): the small or medium cafe bag - usually the medium.

    - for my groceries: the shop bag.

    - for all the little things: various organizer pouches.

    - for my id, credit cards, cash, and so forth: the wallet.

    - for travel: the aeronaut. i'm intrigued by the western flyer and the tristar. but i seem to manage with the aeronaut that is not so full for even the short weekend trips.

    the biggest challenge? definitely managing the storage and organization of all of the bags! my wife suggested the other day that i get a set of elfa drawers from the container store to organize all of my bags!

  3. #3
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    Talking If you're looking for "help"...

    ... you've come to the wrong forum! ;-)

    I have enough TB bags myself, it's ridiculous. My first TB bag was the Brain Bag from 9 years ago (it still used snaps for the laptop insert). Although I haven't used the insert in ages, the Brain Bag is used almost every day for the last 9 years (except for a shameful hiatus in which I used some Kensington ergonomic backpack which I thought was a bit of a waste).

    After about 4 years, I then bought two Aeronauts for my wife and me, and a year later my wife got me an Empire Builder. We were then going on a trip/conference to Italy, so I bought the ID and an Imago for my wife, a large Cafe bag for me, a medium Cafe bag for her, a load of packing cubes and little accessory bags... The funny thing is that other than the Brain Bag, I actually do rotate through my bags as needed, especially if I travel. Because I travel occasionally to conferences, I try to always cram in work (laptop), photography (camera and accessories), and recreation (urban hiking wear).

    ... it never ends. Heaven help me if Tom Bihn ever finishes off the Tristar - I'll probably buy that. If those camera inserts come out, those will be on the shopping list too.

    I did pick up some Crumpler messenger bags, and they're great for some specific uses, but not quite as versatile overall as TB bags. My only complaint is that I have the Aeronaut in the original Hunter Green. It's a great colour that I wish I could see more of TB latest bags in! Well, I just guess I'll have to compromise.... heh heh heh ;-)

  4. #4
    Registered User peregrina's Avatar
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    I don't have too many bags but also consider myself quite addicted.

    I've always traveled carry-on and a couple of years ago I decided to invest in a good soft bag and let go of my carry-on suitcase on wheels. I came across Tom Bihn and fell in love with the Aeronaut but was afraid of purchasing something that I could see and touch with my own eyes. So I ordered a Cafe Bag (medium) first as a test to see how the services are like, the material, etc.
    I loved my Cafe Bag and quickly ordered the Aeronaut, which is a perfect carry-on bag in my opinion.

    Last month I ordered the shop bag and an ID. I also have a few pouches and cubes. I LOVE the ID but ended up giving it to my husband since it turned out to be too big for me. He'll be buying me a Smart Alec once we get our tax returns back and before we go on our next trip, we'll definitely be ordering a second Aeronaut as he felt very jealous of the ease with which I navigated the European subway system with mine while he was pulling around a roller...
    In our household: Black/Steel Aeronaut (with 2 large packing cubes and Absolute shoulder strap), Forest/Steel Aeronaut (1 large and 2 small packing cubes), Olive/Wasabi medium Cafe Bag, Linen/Olive Medium Cafe Bag, Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Hemp Little Swift, Solar Shop Bag, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec, Horizontal and Vertical Freudian Slips, TB Wallet, Hemp Little Swift, FOT pouch, Black/Olive ID

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samonid View Post
    I know this may seem a borderline useless thread, but it does say something pretty special when a "bag" can cause so many to; write reviews, photograph bag contents, help others with their bag choice, suggest innovative uses, etc. etc.
    Heck, no! We're all addicts here... why else would we be roaming the discussion boards every day! Who does this sort of stuff? <Grin!>

    Seriously, though, good products and good companies inspire brand loyalty. Today's economy seems to be (mostly) about mass production and outsourcing to streamline costs. It's a rare and special situation when you get that combination of great product, exceptional service, and appreciation for your customers. Tom and Company have found that situation.

    Yes. We will continue to share our stories, post our pictures, and plan our trips around our next bag/accessory purchase while our friends and spouses shake their heads. Let them, says I! We know the secret.
    ----------------
    Bob P.
    Magic Tiki Studios

    Empire Builder (black/steel), Brain Bag (steel), Small Padded Organizer Pouch, Clear Wallet, Soft Cell, Snake Charmer (cayenne) and assorted trimmings.

  6. #6
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    Looking at this forum purely from a small-business-person's point of view, I am constantly amazed and inspired by the way Tom Bihn (the company, the service and the products) have produced such an amazing bunch of "raving fans". These folks know how to run a customer-focused business!

    I am in awe of the products, in awe of the designs, and in awe of the devotion of the clientelle! If the dollar conversion rate with $AU was better, I'd probably be in awe of the customer service too.

    Really inspiring stuff, Tom Bihn. Is there anything you AREN'T doing right?!

    Travelwkid

  7. #7
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    I am almost irrationally loyal to Tom Bihn bags. I've been using my Imago for nearly three years now, and I adore it. I also have a Fruedian slip that has been hanging on my walls by my desk for same period of time, and a Large Cafe Bag that now belongs to my boyfriend. I also now finally bought a Shop Bag which I adore, and a medium cafe bag (debating switching the navy/cayenne for plum or olive). And of course, I have various accessories.

    After three years of hunting for a backpack I finally bought the Brain Bag and sadly it really does seem to be too big for me. I know there are other companies out there who make backpacks that should fit me (and that have enough capacity) but I want a Tom Bihn one! So I continue to wait. Irrationally loyal! hehe.
    Owner of:
    Imago in Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi, Large Cafe Bag in Black/Wasabi, Various organizer pouches, Shop Bag in Steel Dyneema (love it!), Synapse in Steel/Steel (love it too!), and a Medium Cafe Bag in Plum/Wasabi.

  8. #8
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    Unlike most posters, I do not list the items I own from Tom Bihn on my tag.

    Why would I make it easier for my better half to find out the extend of my investments in Tom Bihn's products?

    When he sees one, I usually give him a two hours lecture on the product, he checks out after two minutes maybe five and it becomes background noise but... this way he cannot tell me that he hasn't been briefed on my purchases.

    Yeah! When I get a Tom Bihn product, I yap about it! And the best place to do it is here on the forum.


    One of the positive side effects of owning Tom Bihn products is the short time one's need to get out the door.
    I always know what is in each bags because everything is pouched and color coded.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    When he sees one, I usually give him a two hours lecture on the product, he checks out after two minutes maybe five and it becomes background noise but... this way he cannot tell me that he hasn't been briefed on my purchases.
    My better half has made it known that the relationship would be better off if I stopped discussing bags with her. Just the other day I told her she should thank me for not discussing the bag I was thinking of purchasing. To which she replied "What do you need a new bag for?" I paused and said "I don't understand the question."

  10. #10
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    i guess if it became an issue, i could say:

    let's look at it this way. i don't drink; i don't smoke; i don't drive fast, expensive cars; i don't chase women; i don't gamble (hmmm - maybe that's not a good one - after all, i did get married).

    so i buy a bag every now and then. is that so bad?

    *GRIN*

    and come to think of it, what i have spent on all of my tom bihn purchases put together is likely well under what she paid for any one of her prada, gucci, or louis vuitton purses!

  11. #11
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    lol! I guess I'm lucky then. My boyfriend and my best friend have endured many a long "Should I get this one? Or what about this one? And in what color?!" ramble, and rather good naturedly too! My boyfriend does pick on me for my number of bags, but we're both pack rats so it's all in good fun. I could pick on him for his random collections too. =)
    Owner of:
    Imago in Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi, Large Cafe Bag in Black/Wasabi, Various organizer pouches, Shop Bag in Steel Dyneema (love it!), Synapse in Steel/Steel (love it too!), and a Medium Cafe Bag in Plum/Wasabi.


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