May 20, 2024

Vote for Your Favorite 'How You Carry' Finalist!

Vote for Your Favorite 'How You Carry' Finalist!

We're excited to finally announce the finalists for our “How You Carry” contest! We had an amazing time reviewing all your entries, and it was incredibly challenging to choose just ten finalists. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. @BoomKath via Forum
  2. @Althzl via Forum
  3. @Allegrazwindow via Instagram
  4. @LeafyWolf via Forum
  5. @Swebb_Art via Instagram
  6. @Solmiano_edc via Instagram
  7. @BWeaves via Forum
  8. @SanDiegoBreeze via Forum
  9. Molly McDonald via e-mail
  10. Kalliopi Aronis via e-mail

We’ve included each of the entries and it’s now up to YOU to decide our winner. Comment your vote for your favorite submission below! Make sure to have your vote submitted by next Thursday, May 30th. Good luck everybody!


  1. @BoomKath

Meet "Chef Tom's Deluxe Spiff Kitchen" a deluxe spiff kit turned portable kitchen and pantry for the traveler who likes to spice it up - aka me! This is my solution to inadequate kitchens, food, or drinks when I have left the comfort of my own kitchen whether I'm in-flight, on the Amtrak, on the road again, or staying elsewhere. This kit can jazz up plane and train F&B, provide quick and easy meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, offer a few travel remedies, store and prepare food, and clean hands and dishes - plus there are emergency birthday candles that can turn anything into a celebration!

When I open the CTDSK, the cutting board, a collapsible bowl, and a soup spoon are loose inside. The cutting board technically fits in the upper pouch, but I like it to be the first thing I take out and place on my work surface.

I replaced the included mirror with a travel set of utensils, straw, and straw cleaning brush. A piece of adhesive Velcro made this a simple switch. A neighbor through BuyNothing gave me the thin, plastic cutting board, which I cut to size and scored, so I could have a workspace twice as large by folding it. The cutting board makes a clean work surface on top of a seat back tray table, small RV kitchen, or even my lap.

It took awhile to figure out what I wanted to put in the Nalgene jars, but I decided on:

  1. salt and pepper
  2. cinnamon (to add to oatmeal, chia pudding, tea, etc)
  3. Benefiber (to help during those first couple days of traveling - can be added to a drink, oatmeal, chia pudding, etc)
  4. furikake (a combo of the two I like)

There were runners-up, but these were best suited to my preferences and needs for my upcoming trip. Tucked behind the jars is a small wooden spoon to scoop out the spices. I also take advantage of the space behind the shelf strap and hide a spray bottle of bitters and a bottle of Tajín​ seasoning.

The lower left pouch holds tea and related items (sweeteners, creamer, loose leaf tea bags) plus some "feel better" remedies like Gin-Gins and Gas-X. I also stash a Stasher Pocket here filled with chia seeds. I sneak honey sticks in the full-width space above the two divided lower pockets.

The lower right pouch holds "happy hour" necessities. Traveling is no excuse to miss happy hour! Inside there's a PNW coaster along with:

The upper pouch holds a Clear Organizer Pouch (pen/pencil) that holds kitchen tools, plus:

The collapsible bowl can be used as a washing basin or the vessel to hold oatmeal, noodle soup, etc. It could even be used as a cup or mug in a pinch, and it can be used to make an ice pack. Included is a Swivel Double Carabiner to hang up the cutting board after washing it.

You may notice that there are a couple things missing - hot sauce and a real knife. I would include a knife on trips that don't involve flights. My cousin plans to supply the hot sauce for our upcoming trip, so I left it out. Olive oil and soap fit nicely if I don't stuff the upper pouch full of noodles, but they can also go in a separate liquids pouch.

Pro tip: cut the corners off of any packets to make them easier to pack in the mesh pouches. Corners get stuck in the mesh!

You can really do a lot with this Deluxe Spiff Kitchen. It's fun to figure out what home comforts or little extras to include. If only Nina could come along!

  1. @Althzl 

​I work as a conference and legal interpreter, and this is the equipment I usually carry. I have included a couple of hacks.

  1. @Allegrazwindow 
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A post shared by Allegra Thaler (@allegrazwindow)

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A post shared by Allegra Thaler (@allegrazwindow)

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A post shared by Allegra Thaler (@allegrazwindow)


  1. @LeafyWolf

I often carry around a sketchbook and initially got a Sidekick in ripstop nylon as a lightweight option which neatly fit my A5 sketchbook with Oberon Design leather cover (I have since changed to carrying a large and small travelers notebook pairing) as well as pencils, pens, and paints for urban sketching. I've slowly modified the bag by getting Tom Bihn parts to modify a favorite 2" shoulder strap for more comfortable weight distribution and a bit of flair. I used fabric glue to personalize the outside with patches without damaging the bag and have a few carabiners and a key strap to hold spare clips or ear plugs. I use the silver large carabiner to clip on my tea tumbler when I take a hot drink with me, but the bag strap is so easily attached I can even thread it through the handle and carry it that way if necessary. My favorite way to carry the bag is with the waist strap configuration as a sling. It's easily swapped between shoulders, pulled around to my chest for sketching, or dropped down into a waist pack if I'm hiking or my shoulders are tired. There's so much organization inside I never rung out of pockets and easily slot in my pens and paints as well as cleaning cloths and a mesh bag for anything that needs to be hung outside the bag to dry. Even with all of this there's often still plenty of room to add my glasses/sunglasses, a folding hat, my phone charger and hand warmer/battery pack, and sometimes some snacks. When I'm traveling it doubles as an organization cube in my backpack for supplies that's easily converted back into a day bag!

  1. @Swebb_Art


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  1. @Solmiano_edc


Three day, two night work travel carry. I used the Orbitgear C101 as my main pack for the overhead bin, and the Tom Bihn Co-Pilot under the seat.

In the C101 backpack
Eagle Creek folder - pants, 2 polos
Evergoods TPC8 - 3 pairs each (wool socks & underwear), pajama pants, tshirt, pullover sweater
Evergoods CAP1 - charger, cables, mouse, spare batteries
Mountain Laurel Designs Ultra x100 Medium packing cube -
Peak Design Packable Tote
Tom Bihn 3DOC - Anker 737 power bank (PowerCore24K), USB cable, car charger, mag-safe vent mount
Tom Bihn Cubelet - feminine items
Tom Bihn Mini Organizer Pouch - ouch pouch
Laptop stand
Logitech K810
CNBANAN 2.5K 16" portable monitor
Heroclip medium
Eagle Creek stuff sack with Outdoor Research Helium rain coat
Hair straightener, brush, metal claw clip

In the Co-Pilot
Trtl neck pillow
Flowfold Sail cloth Voyager Pouch small with medicine
Face wipes
Dell laptop
Flowfold Sailcloth minimalist card holder for business cards
Tumi card wallet
Moleskine notebook
Work iPhone 13
Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbuds in a Rickshaw Sweet Pea
Ant Design N-power fidget
Alpine Sea Large Pocket
Not shown - dual sided glasses case, 20oz Hydroflask

The Alpine Sea Large Pocket attached to my backpack on the return trip since I picked up a couple bags of Beaver Nuggets from Bucee's. Otherwise, it was relatively light (for me) for work travel. I used the backpack the first day on site for work, and the Co-Pilot the second day due to not needing the monitor for multiple meetings in various locations.

  1. @BWeaves 

Gentleman: May I help you with your luggage?

Me: No thank you, I've got it.

Gentleman: Is that all you have?



And just in case I need to make sure it's MY TARDIS, I've added handwoven inkle bands to all the handles of all my bags.

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Of course, I never travel the universe without my copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Including custom, handwoven inkle bands for my key straps to make sure my HHGG doesn't get left behind on the Vogon spaceship.

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But when I visit Galifrey, I always bring my Side Kick with my custom, double layered, 66 strand braid, that required 96 different steps to make on my Japanese Takadai (braiding stand).

Live long and prosper, and may the Force be with you!

  1. @SanDiegoBreeze

I travel to Africa every other month for work, and always take two Tom Bihn bags. Lately it’s the Cambiata and the Daylight Backpack. Both are full when I leave, and lightly loaded when I come home. I like Tom Bihn bags for the minimal yet functional carry. This allows me to travel without checking luggage. I also like unlocking the hidden talents of the bags. Like Easter eggs left by the designers and sewers.

Two backpacks can be awkward to carry, but allows for the chance to find new ways to carry. On one trip back home, I wrapped the tote strap of the Cambiata around the bag, which allowed for a side shoulder carry and kept the bag high; The Daylight went on my back.

On another trip, I lengthened the strap of the Daylight and wore it like a large sling; the Cambiata went on my back.

On my current trip home, I had my Cambiata packed with a change of clothing in a packing cube, Standard Spiff Kit, Rogue Sacosh with iPad Mini and accessories (hung on o-rings with Small Swivel Double Carabiners); the Daylight was empty. The great thing about the Daylight is the ability to fold it up and place it inside another bag. I started that way here, but the Cambiata was a bit too full and was bulging into my back. Contemplating what I had available, I discovered a new piggy back pack carry.

I took the waist strap of the Daylight and passed it through the buckle stowaway openings of the Cambiata. I could reach my hands through the strap holder compartment to snap the waist buckle and pushed the adjustment ends back through the opening. I snugged up the waist strap and the bottom was attached.

Now I needed a solution to connect the top, specifically the two carry straps. I first tried one of the Swivel Double Carabiners, but the gate was too small. That’s when I noticed that the sternum straps are the same width as the carry handles. I removed the sternum straps from the Daylight and placed them on the handles. I then buckled the two together. For a tighter fit, I wrapped each buckle around the opposite strap and buckled it below. I now had a single backpack unit, connected, stable and secure.

I usually keep my Passport Pouch in the open pouch of the Cambiata, so I needed to transfer that to the Daylight front pocket. I even got the boarding gate confirmation that my mashup was carry-on approved. And the combination proved to be handy when there was just enough overhead space left.

This combination still allows me to quickly unbuckle the sternum straps to access the top of the Cambiata. When taking a shower in the Frankfurt lounge, I laid the bags open like a clamshell. I ended up transferring the Rogue Sacoche to the Daylight for quicker access.

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Could my 38 liter piggy back pack combination be replaced with a Techonaut 45? Maybe. And one day it might. But for now, I’m happy to find new ways to carry the Tom Bihn bags that I have.


  1. Molly McDonald

  1. Kalliopi Aronis


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Thanks again to everyone who submitted and good luck to all of our finalists! Which submission was your favorite?


BWeaves - June 7, 2024

So, who won?

Alyssa Hernandez - May 31, 2024


Jon - May 31, 2024

@Allegrazwindow for me

Allegra Thaler - May 31, 2024

Everyone’s was amazing – I think I’ve missed the deadline so no worries if this isn’t counted. But if possible, I’d like to vote for myself with submission #3.

I liked and Vote for BoomKath as number One! Very Interesting ! - May 30, 2024

BoomKath is number 1!!

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