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Thread: My first TB bags... and my first post

  1. #1
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    Red face My first TB bags... and my first post

    Hi, my name is Tanja and Iím an addict.

    Shortly before Easter I searched the Internet for a soft sided carry-on bag without wheels but with the option to be carried as a backpack if/when necessary.
    I found a review of TBís Aeronaut and was impressed by... well, pretty much everything...
    I placed and order for one (I think I might have gotten one of the last Crimson bags!) plus the Absolute Shoulder Strap and a few accessories such as packing cubes and pouches.
    It arrived 6 days later, sans the Absolute Shoulder Strap, and I was blown away by the quality of the products. I used the Aeronaut for a 4 day driving trip to Cornwall and Devon and loved it.

    An addict was born

    Having just thrown away my backpack, which had reached the respectable age of 18+ years, and knowing my DH was looking for a replacement for his square bottomed backpack (and not finding one with a square-ish shaped bottom during the last 6 months of looking) I placed another order with TB when we got back from our trip. I ordered a Synapse for me and a Smart Alec for my hubby. As the addiction had already set in I also added a number of accessories for both of us.

    I called customer services about the missing strap and although it didnít arrive in time for our drive to Cornwall it did arrive in time for my next trip; a week in Munich, Germany. By this time my second order had also arrived.

    For my week in Munich I packed the Aeronaut and as I was flying with EasyJet I had to fit my Synapse in it as well (as Iím sure many of you are aware they have a strict one bag policy). With 2 pairs of shoes and my 13Ē MacBook it was a tight fit and I donít think Iíll be doing that again. Iíll probably use my Packing Cube Shoulder Bag instead of the Synapse next time but I HAD to use the Synapse. I just couldnít leave it at home.

    Struggling with my back and neck at times I am really tempted to get the Co-Pilot in Dyneema for an everyday bag as it is so light and a backpack isnít always suitable. Most of my daily bags are fairly large as I usually carry my knitting with me and made in leather, which makes them quite heave before Iíve even put anything in them.
    The one thing that is stopping me is that I read in a tread the Ďwallsí of the middle front compartment, are made of mesh. As far as Iím concerned that makes the compartment completely un-suitable for an umbrella (and to some extent a water bottle due to condensation). Unless I wrapped a wet umbrella in a plastic bag I would be too worried about damaging any electronics or books kept in the side compartments...
    I think Iíll email customer service and ask them to confirm what the walls of the middle compartment are made of before making a decision... if they are made of Dyneema, as the rest of the bags lining I donít think Iíll hesitate to order one.

    I wish Iíd win the lottery so I could get any TB bag I wanted without worrying too much. Sigh...

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the club!

    Tom Bihn Inc bags purchase are not the sign of an addiction but the result of good economic and ergonomic decisions!

    If you happen to take pictures of you Tom Bihn bags, please share.

    It is always a thrill to see everyone's collection. Seeing the different color choices of each person is really interesting

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the welcome!

    If I take any pictures of the bags, I promise to share them with you

  4. #4
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    I checked my copilot and yes, the side panels on the WB pocket are mesh. There is also a hole in the bottom of the pocket to let any leakage out. I have never had a problem.

    I think the copilot is my very favourite bag; it is so organized and holds SOOO much for its size.

    Here is a link to some pics of my copilot loaded for knitting:

    Co-Pilot

  5. #5
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    Jannilee, thank you for the link to your loaded co-pilot, good to see that it works so well for knitting
    The steel dyneema is actually the one I'm tempted to buy

    It's interesting to hear that you have never had any problems with stuff in the front side pockets getting damp/wet. That is my main concern (and the only thing keeping me from ordering one) as I'm likely to store a compact camera (not in a case) and a pocket notebook in the front side pocket/s.

    I love how organised TB bags are as I usually end up with the 'bucket' type of a shoulder bag in an attempt to keep the bag it self as light as possible.

  6. #6
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    There is an ultrasuede pocket in the copilot for your camera that works really well. If you are really worried about damp ( it is so dry here in Calgary that even the rain isn't wet!) you could keep a baggy to store the umbrella in. You could also get a small dyneema pouch for the notebook.

  7. #7
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Welcome Tanja!

    I too was concerned about the Co-Pilot's mesh interior walls of the middle front pocket - for fear of dampness damaging anything in the side pockets. So far - no worries. Although I do keep a couple of folded plastic bags in the Co-Pilot, just in case.

    The suede pocket is for a small electronic items, my little Canon point and shoot camera would never fit in this pocket, but I do keep the camera in that side compartment in it's own little case. Unless your camera is an I-Phone, I don't think it would fit. The suede pocket does not have a gusset and it's more for an Ipod or small slim phone type of device.

    My Co-Pilot has been used as an overnight bag - crammed full, but doable. Now I wish I'd purchased the Dyneema version. I've never seen one in person, but it looks lighter in weight obviously, plus more flexible to access the compartments / pockets. I find the Ballistic nylon can be a little difficult to dig around in the pockets without putting the bag down. I do not have large hands, so I didn't think I'd have an issue with it. Just my opinion obviously!

    Cheers!

  8. #8
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    Hmm! Guess it depends on your camera. My Fuji Finepix fits easily and so does my Canon SD850. Don't think it would fit Canon A series or other mid size cameras tho'.

  9. #9
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Well I wouldn't mind getting a new camera! I'll have to bring my Co-pilot when I go camera shopping, to make sure the possible new camera fits into the ultrasuede pocket!

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the welcome, Maria!

    I'm thinking my iPhone will live in the ultrasuede pocket but that leaves my notebook (with leather cover) and my compact camera... I don't really want to have the camera in a separate pouch as it will constantly be taken out and used then put back in. and I obviously don't want the leather cover to be ruined by water. living in London we do have our fair share of rain and I would welcome a bag where plastic bags wrapped around your brolly is no longer necessary.

    besides, one of the features that attracts me to this bag (and other TB bags) is the organisation - the different pockets making it unnecessary to have a bunch of separate pouches.

    anyway, yesterday I emailed customer services and asked if lining the whole middle compartment with Dyneema would ever be in the cards. I will make my decision based on their reply but I'm leaning towards getting the bag as it doesn't seem to be a huge problem with condensation/rain entering the two front side pockets.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply *waves*

  11. #11
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    MrsT - I too am a pocket person, I like the pouches for organization of course, but really like to have everything in it's place in it's own pocket. In that sense, I dream the Co-Pilot would have even more pockets! Lip balm, business cards, even two ultrasuede pockets - one for a phone, Ipod type device, and maybe even one for a small camera. How about a pocket for the ear buds? Okay, I digress...

    I have a Knirps foldable umbrella with a sturdy zippered cover. It keeps the wet umbrella from damaging items next to it. In the middle pocket of a Co-Pilot, I feel everything is safe that way. Yes, I like to be extra prepared and hence the foldable plastic bags. But those can be used for impulse shopping / groceries etc.

    Here is a link to the Knirps folding umbrellas with covers:

    Folding

    I also bought the wonderful Absolute strap for my Co-Pilot. For my frame, I find it a little too cumbersome and heavy for everyday use. But it does lighten the weight! I'm saving the Absolute strap for when I can buy a Tri-Star or a Western Flyer bag, then I'll also order a regular standard strap for my Co-Pilot.

    Cheers!

  12. #12
    Registered User blackfungi's Avatar
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    maria, who is a good stockist of a wide range of knirps umbrellas? thanks.
    aeronaut[black/solar]tristar[black/red iberian]western flyer[black/steel]synapse[black/steel]side effect[black/wasabi]medium cafe bag[black/wasabi]large cafe bag[black/wasabi]shopping bag[steel].

  13. #13
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfungi View Post
    maria, who is a good stockist of a wide range of knirps umbrellas? thanks.
    I was surprised to find the brand at "Bonny's Satchels and Duffels" in the basement of the Manulife Centre - technically on Bloor Street, you can access the shop via the underground area around from Holt's, or the outer stairwell just outside of Birk's too. The prices were reasonable at Bonny's too. They told me they can order anything from the Knirps website. But be warned, Bonny's do not accept returns, only store credit. (I found that out the hard way, after understanding, well misunderstanding the accent I guess, when I bought something to see if it would fit in a bag I had at home.) I searched several places in Toronto looking for Knirps, even Betty Hemmings Leathergoods (and travel stuff) located on Cumberland didn't have Knirps.

    Note the Knirps folding umbrellas and the ones on the website are all made in China! The one I have is excellent, but I thought they were made in Austria. I wrote to Knirps and was informed that only the higher end umbrellas are made in Austria and the distributors decide if they want to sell them in other countries. I got the impression the market for such is too small in Canada. I would really like to get one of the higher end ones, I admit it!

  14. #14
    Registered User blackfungi's Avatar
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    thanks for the info maria. i am going to try and order one of the nicer ones online.
    aeronaut[black/solar]tristar[black/red iberian]western flyer[black/steel]synapse[black/steel]side effect[black/wasabi]medium cafe bag[black/wasabi]large cafe bag[black/wasabi]shopping bag[steel].

  15. #15
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfungi View Post
    thanks for the info maria. i am going to try and order one of the nicer ones online.
    I'd be willing to go in on that order with you! Perhaps if Knirps knows there are at least two Toronto customers willing to pay for the "made in Austria" umbrellas - they will sell them to us.

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