June 25, 2018

Updates to Snaphook Attachment Point Placement


Earlier this year, we heard from four people -- one with a Co-Pilot, one with a Pilot, one with a Cadet and one with a Side Kick -- who were all experiencing the same issue with their bags: the main compartment zipper was getting fuzzy and worn-looking. Though premature wear and tear (and even failure) of a zipper can occur if someone carries a too-large-for-the-bag object in the bag that puts undue pressure on the zipper, we asked and did some investigating and that wasn't the case in these instances. So, what was happening here?

What we’ve determined is that, for a minority of people who have purchased one of the following bags after January 2014, a combination of various factors led to the snaphook on their shoulder strap abrading the zipper on their bag.

To be clear: our research and testing leads us to the conclusion that this is an issue experienced by few and not many; nonetheless, we wanted to prevent even those few from experiencing that problem, so we’ve gone ahead and updated the placement of the shoulder strap attachment point on the following bags:

Side Kick
Daylight Briefcase (though we haven't heard about this issue from anyone using a Daylight Briefcase, its shoulder strap attachment points were placed in a way similar to that on the other bags, so we went ahead and changed it too)

The new snaphook attachment point placement on these bags ensures that the snaphook won’t abrade the bag's zipper and that carrying the bag via a shoulder strap is still totally comfortable and efficient. You can visit the pages for each of the aforementioned bags to see photos of the new snaphook attachment point placement.

If you purchased any of the aforementioned bags after January 2014 and are experiencing zipper abrasion not caused by a too-large object in the bag's main compartment, please emailus@tombihn.com about the issue (make sure to send photos!) so that our production team can assess your bag.

Please note that we have only seen the zipper abrasion occur on bags made with the zippers sewn "right-side-up" or "teeth-side-out". We began sewing our Aquaguard zippers right-side-up in January 2014; see this Forum post for the how and why of that switch. The possible zipper abrasion issue we're talking about is not due to the zippers being sewn right-side-up; rather, it is due to the placement of the shoulder strap snaphook attachment point placement.

If you have any of the aforementioned bags and aren’t experiencing a zipper issue, woohoo! You’re one of the majority of folks who will never have this issue.

And if you think there’s any other kind of issue with your bag, contact us right away. While defects in materials and workmanship are exceedingly rare, we are human and it’s possible we might make a mistake (hasn’t happened yet, but you know, theoretically :) When presented with a possible quality issue, our goal is to investigate the issue thoroughly because it may reveal an improvement that we can make. Sometimes, however, what seems to be an issue is caused by an external factor we can’t control, or particularly harsh use or use for which the bag was not intended: puppy chews on bag, bag is placed on top of car before person drives away, baggage handlers play soccer with bag, etc. At other times, issues that must be livable realities are revealed—for example, the pattern of Halcyon combined with the placement of our logo label can make one or the other appear slightly off-kilter. Regardless, contacting us directly is the best course of action. We will work with you to figure out what exactly is going on with your bag.


Dana Durand (dnarud13) - November 19, 2019

Yet another example of quality products are the natural outcome of quality people. Thank you, Tom and co., for caring and sharing.

The joy of all my journey’s starts when I pack my Aeronaut.

Kaz - November 19, 2019

THIS is one reason why I love Tom Bihn! Thanks for sharing all this detail.

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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.