In 06, I had to make a cross country move from the coolest place in the U.S west coast to the coolest place in the US east coast.
It started in late 05 when my husband took the job and I was left with my cat and my two laptops.
Stuff needed to be deatl with both in the west and east coast, the first to donate and the second to find new, including cars.
I needed to find the mean of carrying my two iBooks of different generations. Because of previous experiences with shoulder bags, I needed a backpack, one that was lightweight and very strong.
I found a link to Tom Bihn Inc, emailed Wonderful Darcy several times and placed my Steel Brain Bag Order.
The next few months were such a wirlwind of packing, sorting, living on the west coast in east coast time so that I could say good morning and good evening to my husband.
The Brain Bag gave me a hard time empty but performed perfectly when loaded with a lot of gear.
It's first test was the day of the big move, at the airport, with our scaredy lovely cat, first and alas last trip to a crowded airport.
Miraculously, she froze,
I took care of the laptops in their Monolith and Soft Cell (ancestors of the Vertical Brain Cell and Cache) without the use of any brain cells on my part, as I was worried sick about our beloved cat bolting.
On arrival, after lettng my husband deplane first with the cat, get the car and settle her at the new place , it was a direct flight for the comfort of our cat to whom we bought a seat, so she could have the window under seat.
I checked out the humongous amount of stuff that was checked in, ended up with one very full big utility cart like those used in home improvement stores.
A pain, but my Brain Bag was sitting on my shoulders, invisible and very efficient.
Searching for packing tips. Came upon a review for the aeronaut. And so the obsession began.
Saw a co-worker with a Super Ego 3-4 years ago, and it was the most unique bag I had seen.
Then we got to talking about Tom Bihn & the products, and a new convert was created...
Such innocent beginnings we all have before the obsession takes hold :)
Originally Posted by monkeyluis
For me, it was through my husband who found TB products in 2009 and ordered several bags for our overseas family trip (with a toddler) to Singapore. Next year, we are going on our second overseas family trip to Singapore again (this time with an infant as well), and so began my quest to increase our carrying capacity. Hence, another Aeronaut, 2 Synapses, a Co-pilot, plus a bunch of organizer pouches and packing cubes. I love the quality and utility of the bags and how useful they have become to us in our day to day life (eg., Brain Bag, Ristretto for MBA 11, medium Cafe Bag, shop bags, and other accessories). Truly addicted!! :)
The Tom Bihn Medium Cafe Bag was mentioned as a day bag of choice on Rick Steves' Travelers Helpline. That led me to the Tom Bihn website and the purchase of a Medium Cafe Bag - my perfect travel day bag! If only I had stopped at that first purchase.... ;-)
As yet I don't own any actual TB bags, but I do have some packing cubes, a travel tray in Solar (*so* useful!) and I bought a Citizen Canine for my other half (we have 3 Golden Retrievers and a Scottish Terrier...) when the old treats bag gave up the ghost. I first encountered mention of TB on Leisure / Business Travel Packing List - Travel Light (One Bag)! while searching for travelling light tips and packing lists, had a good look through the TB site and was pretty much hooked - but didn't immediately need to buy anything. At the time (7-8 years ago) I was doing a weekly commute between home (west of England) and work (London) with a backpack plus a small rolling Samsonite suitcase, plus a hefty laptop briefcase. Having seen the (travelling) light and with some judicious reorganisation (and a smaller laptop!), I managed to slim down to just the backpack (which I'm still using for the moment - it's an Oakley Icon pack which is about 10 years old now) and occasionally a small folding holdall for extra clothing - now long since retired when it more or less fell apart. Fortunately I don't do the weekly commute any more, but I still spend time in London every week or two hence the packing cubes purchase - which has dramatically simplified actually *finding* stuff in the depths of the backpack!
I generally need to really be able to justify a purchase and I'm one of those annoying people who looks very carefully at all the alternatives before committing to one option over another. I hate throwing things away when they still have some wear in them. The motto is 'buy the best, once, then use it until it is worn out'. My next purchase from TB will *probably* be either a Smart Alec plus perhaps a vertical brain cell (the Oakley's straps are starting to fray... like TB gear it was built to last but is definitely feeling its age) or another Citizen Canine for me (I'm waiting for the right colour combo... I wanted a Navy with Solar interior but the last batch sold out before I got around to ordering one - so I'm hoping for a Navy with Wasabi interior!). My biggest issue is over the VBC since I think my laptop may need replacing sometime soon and I feel a Retina Macbook Pro coming on... decisions, decisions!
Like gochicken, my first iPad brought me to Tom Bihn. When the iPad was first announced in January 2010, I decided to wait for the 3G model (which was released in April 2010), but started investigating ways to carry it. The Ristretto for iPad kept on coming up, it looked nice, and I ordered it. I ended up having the bag for a couple of months before I was able to buy the iPad.
At the time, I had also started traveling extensively for work (nearly weekly 2-3 day trips). I got tired of wheeling my roll-a-board, especially on city streets. I started looking at the Tom Bihn site and ordered a Western Flyer, now my constant travel companion. As you can see from my signature, one thing led to another...
I'm with Helen-UK; I also found it on a minimalist packing blog. Same time while searching I saw it on a Made In USA website. It had to be a sign!!!
Was looking years ago for a carryon for my MacBook Pro and saw a post from Darcy herself on macrumors.com. Thought that was really cool. Still do. Called and spoke to Darcy and then Tom himself. Thought that was even cooler. Still do!
Wellsir... *bones creaking* ... back around 1985 I think it was, I was living in Santa Cruz and used to go to a lot of folk-dances (Contra Dancing mostly), and knew Tom from that scene. I think he called some dances eventually (tho' I can't remember clearly if that's true), so he was relatively known in the area.
I visited his house a few times back then, and he had his sewing stuff set up in a ground-floor or basement room (can't remember), and he told me about how he made backpacks and such. I bought one off him way back then. I can't remember what happened in between then and when he opened his shop in downtown Santa Cruz, but when that shop opened, I started buying his stuff every so often. I liked his "Domesticated Limpet" brand (esp for the name :-) ).
When he eventually dropped a lot of his line and switched to laptop- and travel-bags mostly, and stopped making everything himself, I was a little sad (end of an era), but now that I travel more and carry around a laptop, and also now that I have seen how his designs have advanced and become even better as time goes on, I have been continuing to buy his gear from online. I recommend him to most folks who need the kinds of things he sells. I think I have only encountered one other person using one of his bags while I was traveling, but it was nice to see.
I hope he continues to get more famous, and his gear improve (tho' it's hard to see how they could be much better ;-) ).
I had been fondly looking at the air boss for years wishing it had back pack straps. In January my rollaboard was destroyed by an airline and I found myself in the market. A web review for air boss mentioned tom bihn. I found the tristar and got the TB fever. The tristar is amazing, flexible and meets all my needs. I recently added a mcb which is also delightful.
I was trying to think of something profound to post, then I read this above! Lol. Superbly stated indeed blackfungi.
Originally Posted by blackfungi
I found these bags by trawling the Internet looking at reviews. I am in the middle of TBAS as mine is due to arrive Monday. That will be my first bag and my review will follow thereafter.
I believe this is a great tread to write my first post..
It began 2 months ago when we were looking for carry-on backpack,lightweight..for upcoming 3 weeks long trip with no checked luggage. the Aeronaut was mentioned somewhere ,and SOOOO I came to look and, well got my 3rd package yesterday with my first box art on it...thank you thank you. Got to say that the Tristar in Aubergine-Wasabi is just stunning!!!More packages to follow for sure!!
Great folks hanging around here too; with great advice...
I think I originally saw the Swift in a Christmas gifts for Knitters post on the Yarn Harlot's blog. I followed the link thought it looked interesting but didn't want to spend that much and I wandered off. A while later I joined Ravelry and eventually found the Tom Bihn group there. I eventually ordered a tall stuff sack to try because it a. wasn't a lot of money if I didn't like it. and b. was the size that didn't come with either the Swift or the little Swift if I did like it. I now jave a Kiwi, an ultrasuade and an Azalea little Swift as well as an Indigo and an Azalea Swift.