October 12, 2022

October 2022 - What We're Working on at the TOM BIHN Factory

TOM BIHN Factory Updates Designed Sewn in Seattle Made in USA

Hey everyone!

Thought we drop in here for a quick update. If you participate in our forums or follow us on social media, some of these updates won't be particularly new or surprisingly to you. For those of you who are newer to our community, hopefully you enjoy reading these little snippets.


Synapse 25 Internal Frame

We have a batch of Synapse 25 Internal Frames restocking on October 12. These are very likely going to be the last of these frames that we will be able to produce, due to challenges sourcing the metal stay used in the frame. It's possible we'll redesign the frame at some point to utilize the smaller metal stay that we use in other bags (like the Synik 30) but there is nothing in the works right now. Considering the challenge of procuring materials, we have opted to put all available resources toward the Synapse 25 size, so we will not have any Synapse 19 Internal frames available at this time (or in the foreseeable future).

By the way, if you're debating between a Synik and Synapse, the included optional internal frame is one of the main differences in the Synik.


Night Walk 400D Halcyon

As a reminder, we are restocking some of our tried and true bags in Night Walk 400D Halcyon for likely the final time (if you're new to this conversation, the TLDR is that the mill that previously made this fabric for us shut down in 2021, so what we have on hand is it). If there is a bag in Night Walk that you like currently marked as "In Production" on our site, please remember to enter your email in order to receive real-time restock alerts. 

Several of you have asked if we will be making any bags not previously offered in Night Walk in Night Walk, or if we will be pairing Night Walk with an interior color that we've never paired before, rather than just sticking with the tried and true options. The answer is: maybe but we can't make changes nearly as quickly as we would like. Why? Offering a new colorway is quite a bit of a lift from an operational perspective (we won't bore you with the details). Given that October and November are two of the most hectic months at the factory as we prepare for the holiday season, we likely won't have enough resources to allocate.


Aether >> Piscine

Some of you may have noticed, in the last year and more accelerated in the past couple of months, we've been replacing NW Sky Aether with Graphite Piscine  This lining is used in the Everyday Cubelet, Nik's Minimalist Wallet, laptop compartment of the Techonaut and the Cambiata, and soon Packing Cubes. The reason for this change is (you probably guessed it) supply chain constraints. Internally, we're loving the feel of Piscine and the look of Graphite, so we expect to permanently replace Aether even if the supply chain problems sort themselves out eventually.


New Stuff on the Way

We have two new accessories — one perfectly suited for the front pockets on the Pilot) and one that you will definitely want to take with you for future travels — on the way! Plus a new bag will be debuting next month...stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.


Reusing Scrap Fabrics

At TOM BIHN, we're always looking for ways to reduce waste. Our Grab Bag program was born out of a desire to use up any rare, retired, or never-before-released colors and fabrics (sample rolls from our suppliers, mostly) that are just sitting on our shelves. In recent meetings, we've discussed other potential ways to reduce waste, and we all quickly acknowledged that a significant source of waste production is from our fabric cutting process. It is essentially impossible to use up every single inch of fabric due to the curviness of the panels on bags (no tetris here!). We've been thinking about ways to repurpose the scraps from cutting into a new offering...stay tuned for more details!




Jeff - September 6, 2023

You have so many things in production (and out of stock), that It would be lovely if you could give us an idea of when we might expect restock. I understand that the preorder of the NFTD was a lot bigger than anticipated and probably played havoc with your production schedule for other things, but I have trips coming up toward the end of the year and can’t figure out whether to keep waiting for what I want or find a work around.

Eric - May 1, 2023

“New Stuff on the Way
We have two new accessories — one perfectly suited for the front pockets on the Pilot) "

Was this ever released or is it still coming?
TOM BIHN replied:
Hello! Yes, we did launch this! Our Vertical Packing Cubelet, also known as VPC :)

SR - November 15, 2022

Any chance of a Road Buddy restock in the near future? I’m looking for a new duffel and I think the RB design works better for my needs than the Aeronaut (mainly long road trips with no interest in carrying it as a backpack)
TOM BIHN replied:
Hi SR! No plans for a Road Buddy restock anytime in the near future—right now we’re concentrating on new designs for the holidays.

Greg - October 16, 2022

New stuff, eh? Very cool.

ANC - October 14, 2022

I was waiting in line at an airport recently, and I noticed the person in front of me had a small chapstick pouch that hooked to her backpack zipper. I thought that was a neat idea! If you were to make one with small pieces of leftover fabric, I’d buy one :)

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We're the TOM BIHN crew: we design bags, make bags, ship bags, and answer questions about bags. Oh, and we collaborate on blog posts, too.