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Portable Culture Portrait: widepipe

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features Forum member widepipe. The previous editions featured Forum members Rocks, JonC, cdhBadger, haraya, imahawki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin.

What’s the most useful item that you carry?

I’m going to skip over my iPhone, even though I don’t know what I would do without it.

TOM BIHN Blog | widepipe Hydroflask

The item I pull out my bag more than any other is my Hydro Flask water bottle. When I’m at home, I do a good job of drinking a lot of water, but I struggle when I'm out. With other water bottles, the water became too warm after a bit of time. It is amazing how long the Hydro Flask keeps water cold. Anytime I see a water fountain, I refill my Hydro Flask.

What’s your most treasured item?

I LOVE my Apple AirPods. I have gone through a bunch of wireless headphones over the years. They are almost always underwhelming because of fit, connection or charging issues. Sometimes, all three. When the AirPods were announced, I didn’t have crazy expectations. I also wondered about how ridiculous I would look wearing them. After one week with them, I knew I had found the perfect wireless headphones. Since they charge every time they go into their case, they’re always ready when I need them. They sound great and fit well. I don’t care if I look ridiculous wearing them.
Even with the carefree charging, I carry a pair of wired headphones just in case :)

Which item do you use more often than you thought you would?

I bought the Snow Peak Cutlery Set mostly because I thought it was a beautiful product. I didn’t realize how often I would use it. While I work at home, I need to get out of the house at least once a day to bring my mind back to some equilibrium. This trip out is often lunch. I use the cutlery set a few times a week to eat everything from salad to soup. My sushi habit has me considering the Snow Peak Chopsticks as another addition to the bag.

TOM BIHN Blog | widepipe Bag

Left to right, top to bottom:

  • TB Medium Cafe Bag - I just started using this after using an original TB Ristretto for a while.
  • Gum/breath mints
  • Protein bars - either Epic or EXO cricket flour bars (yes, crickets!). This is all about avoiding the tempting carb-loaded treats at coffee shops.
  • Snow Peak Cutlery Set
  • Hydro Flask water bottle

TB Freudian Slip for Medium Cafe Bag containing:

  • Field Note notebook
  • Uni-ball Signo Dx
  • Apple 10.5" iPad Pro - Even though I do a bunch of design work, a meaningful part of my job is writing. I'm finding the iPad to be a more calm, distraction-free place to do this work.
  • Apple Smart Keyboard - To make the above easier.
  • Apple Pencil - I used to enjoy drawing as a kid. I'm hoping to pick it back up 30 years later.
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • Apple AirPods
  • TB Clear Organizer Pouch - I skinnied up the wallet I carry in my pants to only include cash, ID and a credit card. The rest of my cards go in here.
  • Collapsible, reusable grocery bag
  • Sunglasses

TB Organizer Pouch for electronics/etc:

  • Business cards
  • Keys for the car I don't usually drive
  • Leatherman Squirt
  • Extra wired headphones

TB Organizer Pouch containing personal care/first aid stuff:

  • Tissues
  • Chapstick
  • Tylenol
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Band-aids - a must have with 2 boys under 10
  • Aquaphor - to heal anything!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am the head of product for a review website. I started out as a web designer. I still get to do some design work when I'm not working on the product side of things.

I live in wonderful Pittsburgh, PA with my wife and two sons (age 6 and 9). After college, we moved to Washington, DC, to put some distance between us and the place we grew up. We never thought we would move back to our childhood home. But on visits back from DC, we started to see the beginning of the transformation the city would eventually undergo. We decided it was time to get back here. We have now been back for an amazing and exciting 10 years.

I got bitten by the Tom Bihn bug more than 10 years ago when I bought a Small Cafe Bag. I still use it regularly. I have many of the same productivity hack tendencies of the Tom Bihn faithful. I love finding well made, thoughtful items that will provide joy when using them. I think that is why Tom Bihn has held a lasting place with me.

I can be found online at, or @widepipe on Twitter.

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