Hi. I'm Beth. I live north of Boston, Massachusetts.
Until about eight years ago, I very rarely took international trips, except for a few childhood excursions. But then I started a job which requires regular flights to West Africa. The first time I went, I packed a humongous suitcase, which held (seriously) an entire coffee pot, among other things. My colleagues thought it was hilarious, but as far as I was concerned, I was venturing into unknown territory and needed to be prepared.
Since then, I've really caught the travel bug, and try to plan trips to new countries whenever I can. It helps that part of my family relocated to Brazil! I am in equal parts terrified and thrilled when I wake up in a new city that I've never seen before and go out to explore.
Needless to say, I have learned that it is easier to pack lighter, and after a disastrous domestic trip where my suitcase went missing for half a week, have learned that it is better to carry on. However, I'm still inching my way towards this goal. I can still point to a lot of packing failures, and am determined to do better on my next trip. Tips from this forum have been very helpful, and fun as well.
Hi, I'm Michael from Austin, TX. I came here for college (more years ago than I will EVER admit) and never left. The first trip to Europe I ever took was a backpacking trip - but my idea of a backpack was a school-sized backpack. I will never forget the customs agent at Charles de Gaulle asking me where the rest of my luggage was for the month-long span of my plane ticket. It never occurred to me that I had not brought the expected amount luggage until I met up with my friends who all had packs like they were going to scale Mt. Everest. Needless to say, I was the most comfortable of the lot.
Undergrad in Architecture, Masters in Eduction, supervisor of enterprise resource planning developers. Life has curves. College roommates always harassed me at my love of "clean lines" and good design and that's what landed me on Tom's site.
But I have to say, the civility of the forum members and the knowledge they willingly share keeps me coming back.
I travel now with a Western Flyer which is just as capacious as my old book bag but way more professional looking. And the inside is SOLAR. You know, for when you need something bright to guide the planes in for a landing... :)
Hi, I am ksos. I purchased my first TB bag several years ago and have been growing my collection since then (ID, several OPs, travel tray, SCB; LCB and most recently some packing cubes). Occasionally, I have gifted TB bags to family to try recruit more TB fans, but as of yet have only converted my sister-in-law. I have enjoyed lurking on the forum for several years but just joined last week. Not sure why it took so long. In the meantime, I have enjoyed the enthusiastic and supportive posts from all of the members and like so many of you have learned about many new products from this forum.
I write this post from a Theatre conference in Scottsdale and am pleased to have many of my TB bags here with me to keep me organized.
Best to you all.
Gumby here. I'm a university business prof, occasional clarinetist, and even more occassional mandolinist. I love to travel, and just returned home from an excellent adventure that took me from Ohio to Maine, into Canada (parts of New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario), across Michigan's Upper Penninsula, and then back to Ohio. Had an awesome time!
My "TB Issue" (as my hubby likes to call it) all started with the purchase of an organizer wallet in 2010. I was able to repress the TB Obsession symptoms for more than three years (don't ask me how -- I can't explain it...), and then all hell broke loose. I treated myself to a back-to-school S19 last year. It seemed lonely, so I got it a Tri-Star and a Western Flyer to play with. They apparently mated (that's the only reasonable explanation I can come up with), and the last time I looked, my upstairs office was littered with travel trays, pouches, stuff sacks, Co-Pilots (yes, I saw more than one up there), SCBs, MCBs, packing cube backpacks, a Side Effect, and at least one Swift. The back of my car is covered in shop bags. The TB family is anxiously awaiting the arrival of an A45. I won't be all all surprised if an A30 shows up in the fall; it might bring a Daylight Backpack along for the ride.
I now find myself planning trips solely so I can take a TB bag out for a little air and exercise. Good thing TB doesn't make clarinet or mandolin case covers. Things could get out of control pretty quickly if that were to happen!
I love the TB forums. I don't post often, but have spent quite a bit of time lurking and learning. I enjoy reading about how others use their TB gear, and take comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one with a "TB Issue." :-)
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Hi Gumby, and welcome! We have quite a few academics here - all those conferences make good travel bags essential, plus we tend to be a bit geeky and obsessive about organisation :)
(I work for a scientific research institute as a web developer, so I'm on the fringes of academia if not actually an academic per se.)
Hi, I'm Giulio. I live in Vicenza, a small city in the northern part of Italy. I work in the marketing field, although I'm trying to change path and build something on my own!
I found TB last year, when I was looking for some neat luggage that could get me through 2 weeks in London without bothering with check-ins and carrying around a bulky box with wheels. :-)
So...Aeronaut...Then S19, then SCB and a number of accessories!
I visit the forums often as I love the vibe and I enjoy reading about how you guys use your gear.
Hi and welcome, Giulio! I love northern Italy - planning a trip to Venice (my 3rd) next year, but also hoping to visit the mainland again before long :)
Hello from southern CA...long time lurker/stalker (only while waiting for new releases)/grateful reader, but VERY infrequent poster. Found TB when searching for a bag to take on a safari. Didn't want a suitcase with wheels and thought that a duffel bag wasn't quite the right answer either. Hence, my first purchase of TB. Lived in Seattle for quite a while and thankfully didn't know that TB existed, or that I worked 1.7 miles from the store. I don't think my rent would have been paid on a regular basis.
Greetings. I'm smj from Mid-Coast Maine. I started small with a black/wasabi SCB. It's now grown bit by bit and now includes an Aeronaut, Zephyr, Co-Pilot, Pilot, FOT pouch, and several accessories. Next up? Not sure yet. Probably a Synapse. I'm slowly trying to convert the rest of my family, but that could get a bit pricey! My love for the bags is matched, if not exceeded, by my appreciation of the entire team at Tom Bihn.
Hi, my name is Adam and I'm a software engineer in San Francisco. I travel 3-4x/year internationally for work (mostly Prague & Reading, UK, for which I am eternally grateful) with ~one domestic and ~one international fun trip too.
I've been inching towards carryon-only/onebagging, and United's recent size limits have forced me to look for a new bag, as the one I would have used (Osprey Porter 46) is too long and anyways doesn't have the organization I'd like.
My first Bihn bag was a Cafe Bag many years ago, long since departed after I decided I don't need an EDC bag. I also have the Citizen Canine and a Skookum collar for our pooch, Watson.
I arrived here after the announcement of the Aeronaut 30, as it looks like exactly the bag I want (the A45 is larger than I want/need, as I've recently switched out much of my travel wardrobe for gear from Rohan & Bluffworks, which packs down *very* small & light).
I'm currently working through a bad case of TBAS with an A30 & S19 on order, and a trip to the UK looming on 3 August, although it seems that the Black/Wasabi A30 and Black Dyneema/Wasabi S19 may actually be in stock at the moment, so I could be a very happy camper next week :)
This is Joshua. Recent TB convert. Bought an Ego and CP in one go as my virgin TB purchase.
I'm a true blue Singaporean - born and bred here. For the uninforned, Singapore is the most developed country in the Southeast Asia region. We rose from a Third world to a developing nation in a short span of 40 odd years. We only gained independence in 1965 and will be celebrating our national day next month on 9 Aug! And we are not in China (many people still think Singapore is a province in China). We have a predominantly Chinese population who use English as our first language.
TB is not big in Singapore yet so my TB bags are super exclusive over here!
Hi! I am luvdabags. I am a veterinarian, and i live in VA with my husband and kids. My husband introduced me to TB via his Brian Bag with Brain Cell. He has somehow happily found and ordered this ONE TB solution, uses it daily, and needs nothing else. I, alas, am now madly hooked on the forum, and want ALL of the TB bags!
I am currently loving my nordic SSB as an EDC that carries my navy ballistic/iberian SE with phone/organizer wallet/lipbalm/etc, and my iberian PCSB holding my moleskine, small OP with first aid bits, wetones, pens, pack of tissues, a Q-kit carrying sunscreen in the PCSB, and another q-kit hooked to the o-ring in the SSB with hand sanitizer, and also my medium clear OP for coupons, shopping lists, notes, etc.
I have a Ristretto for when I need to carry my MBP, and 2 other SE's for fashion options--aubergine/UV and olive parapack/UV. I just got a lovely nordic PCSB that will hold my journalling things, I think, and be easy to switch between bags as needed. Looking into getting a travel bag, and go back and forth between the A45 and A30...and I'd love a NFTD...and an Ego for my work loot/books/lunch...and down the rabbit hole we go.
I so enjoy the kindness and humor of the forum friends here, and I am glad to be a part of it!
Hello. I'm an archivist of the behind-the-scenes variety which means I spend my days organizing other people's leavings. And I love it! I'm about recovered from a lengthy period of underemployment (pinkknits, I completely understand the frustration of being a "reformed librarian" - I spent too many years as a kicked-about admin assistant in a library department before finding something more suitable). Anyway, recovery means that travel is once again possible.
Not too long ago, after a family trip to Phoenix but before a fun trip to San Antonio, I started shopping for a replacement for that dratted wheeled suitcase that needed to be placed in the overhead bin "just so" and has been gate-checked many times. Enter Tom Bihn and this forum. Even though I couldn't quite commit to a TB bag before the SA trip, the forum gave me the idea of experimenting with packing cubes (horns blow, light shines down from above) and an old duffel. Packing cubes are a gateway drug. They provide a good amount of structure in an otherwise cavernous bag, and I loved being able to drop my squishy, unstructured duffel bag into the bag sizer when the gate agent asked (he may have gotten a dirty/triumphant look since I was surrounded by people with SUV-sized wheeled bags who were trundling onto the plane. Could it be because my bag was orange? Or was he playing Duck Duck Goose in his head?). Anyway, after enjoying the packing cubes but hating hauling a saggy duffel bag around on public buses and through city streets, I came home and ordered an Aeronaut. And then I ordered another one for my spouse. Then I renewed my expired passport. Now I just need to schedule a good, long trip (I know, the order is supposed to be renew passport, schedule trip, buy luggage, but I've never been completely rational). Southern Germany, I think/hope.
I'm also a shop bag addict. I only have two but at least one goes everywhere with me. I'm still looking for the ideal EDC. It might be a Swift, but I do feel the occasional tug of a Co-Pilot. Right now I've got a dog who is hell-bent on eating up my surplus cash in order to support her love affair with her veterinarian, so I don't actually have to make any decisions yet. Oh, and I've got a cat who is old and demanding and doesn't do anything cute like curl up inside a TB bag to be photographed. He'd actually be more likely to volunteer as a ballistic nylon abrasion resistance tester so I keep all my bags away from him.
The wheeled suitcases have been donated to charity.
Hi there, everyone! I somehow just noticed this thread, and I'm enjoying reading all your stories!
I'm Claire, and I've been a Tom Bihn addict for about a year now. It all started when I was looking for a backpack for grad school. But I was already in a primed place for the mania to take hold because I was ending a year-long trip around South America with some very subpar luggage - many were the days when I cursed while trying to squeeze the air out of the (soon dotted over with holes) gallon ziplock bags I used for "organization" and shove the whole mess into a cheapo duffel. Sigh, if only I'd converted before then. Anyhow, after returning to the US, I did some very serious internet research into a high quality backpack that I could use for grad school and also for future traveling adventures (already determined that they would be as minimalist as possible). I kept being led back to Tom Bihn, and when I discovered that there were based in Seattle, that kind of sealed the deal. Came into the store on one of my very first days in the city, left with a Synapse 25 which has served me very well. I'm also a big convert to the TB packing cubes, stuff sacks, pouches, the whole shebang.
So, some other bits and bobs about me. I'm almost finished with my masters in computational linguistics (don't get me started, I can ramble forever). I have a super fluffy cat that manages to shed on everything (except dyneema which is basically magic in this regard) and loves curling up in TB boxes. My big hobby is cooking (I see some other food lovers on here, hello!) - I used to have a food blog but don't update it anymore (one day). Also a bit of a beer fanatic, in case anyone has some opinions on the best sours out there :p
ClaireJ - I just met someone who got his PhD in computational linguistics! He now runs an incredibly cool and fun makerspace, with laser printers and 3D printers aplenty, but it was his first love that led him there.
Anyway... Hi, everyone! I've loved reading your stories and getting to know more about each of you. The kindness, thoughtfulness, and candor of everyone who posts in these forums never fails to astound me, so I just wanted to say thanks.
I came across Tom Bihn after weeks of research into one-bag travel. I was getting ready for my first trip back to Italy in 5 years, and because I let price dictate my travel arrangements (instead of common sense), it would take three flights to get me there.
Hindsight is evil, and I should have jumped on an A45 right away (settled for a cheaper rolling bag -- good, but not great), but my first taste of TB in the form of a 3DCO had me hooked. Now I have an S25, SE, DOPs, a medium YSS (thanks @dcmassena!), and an Iberian Co-Pilot (thanks @GoStanford!), which is so pretty. I've developed a fairly severe case of TBAS, and now I can't stop thinking about what to invite home next. Though my wallet has other ideas... And since I am Boston-adjacent, the 5-7 day wait for any TB order damn near does me in.
Oh! About me: I'm a writer|editor currently in the nonprofit sector, and I love to cook, read, hike, ski, snowshoe, and explore as much as I can. And I'm so happy to have found this forum, because you guys are all just fabulous!