August 28, 2021

Updates & What's Next

A Travel Tray in Coyote 200d Halcyon being sewn at the TOM BIHN factory.

Our dedication to spontaneity and nimbleness as a small and creative business, combined with continued worldwide supply chain issues and port delays, has meant that it's been a little more difficult to keep everyone as updated as we'd like. That said, here's a long-promised update on the remainder of 2021 and the very beginning of 2022.

Questions, feedback, color requests? Post them in the comments! We just installed a new comment management app that’ll notify you when we respond.

Fabrics & Materials

Designs

Fabrics & Materials

200d Halcyon Update

As many folks know, due to circumstances outside of our control such as port delays, we experienced a shortage of our 200d Halcyon lining fabric during the first half of 2021. Though we never ran out of 200d Halcyon, we did do our best to conserve it in order to prevent that. Thankfully, slowly but surely, the supply chain issues have been improving and we hope that continues to be the case going forward. We’re already beginning to produce more bags in 200d Halcyon, and you will  see those restocked in coming months. Two bags that won’t be offered in Halcyon this year and probably into next year are Original and Zip-Top Shop Bags: those designs use quite a lot of Halcyon fabric, and given the possibility of supplier and port delays, we think it best to remain conservative in our use of such a beloved material. That said, there will be other interesting Shop Bag fabric options — see our below update re: Cerylon. 

200d Halcyon

Going forward, our plan is for Northwest Sky and Island to be continually available colors. All other colors have the potential to rotate: that’s a way we can offer a wider variety of colors and give more folks a chance at ordering their favorite color.

Continually Available:

  • Northwest Sky
  • Island

Offered this year in some but not all bags. Could change next year: 

  • Tidal
  • Taiga
  • Solaris

There’s smaller quantities of the following colors that are being used up as we type this:

  • Sitka
  • Acuity
  • Coyote
  • Ultraviolet

Next year’s colors:

TBD

Our policy is to not reveal a new color or material until it’s actually onsite here at the factory. Plus, some of those colors are being dipped and haven’t even been chosen yet!

Cerylon

Cerylon is a new 100% nylon 6,6 210d fabric. Per our request, the mill made Cerylon with twisted yarns just like our heavier weight fabrics — twisted yarns increase the density of a fabric and help to hide cosmetic abrasion. Cerylon has a formidable tear strength (though it’s not quite as high as Halcyon) that is more than adequate for its intended use as a fabric for lightweight accessories or as a lining material. It has a “double wall” ripstop pattern, which we’ve added mostly as an aesthetic nod to its near-kin Halcyon.

After Cerylon prevailed through our typical and rigorous fabric tests, it debuted in the color Cobalt Blue in the Design Lab Edition Packing Cube Shoulder Bag and most folks seemed to love it — based on that feedback, we went ahead and ordered more Cobalt and two additional colors ~ Sangria red and Mountain grey.

Cerylon will slowly debut around the end of 2021 and into 2022 as a lining in bags such as the Techonaut and Synik. It’ll also be available as an exterior option for lightweight bags such as the Shop Bags, Everyday Cubelet, Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, and others.

More Cotton Options

Another new fabric option that folks seem to love is our Olive Cotton Twill, specifically in the Original Shop Bags. In response to that, we’re sourcing additional cotton options for use in totes.

The Comeback: 1000d Cordura

We brought back 1000d Cordura options this year and, again, folks were pleased. We expect the following colors will continue to be offered into 2022:

  • Beaver Camo
  • Mayura 
  • Canary
  • Orange 152
  • Olive
  • Red Blend

Available Next in Night Walk 400d

Here's a list of the bags that we expect to offer in Night Walk 400d before the end of the year:

Designs

Updates

Maker’s Bag
Several folks have asked us to add a pocket to the back of the Maker’s Bag. We thought that was a good idea, so we made it so. The next production run of Maker’s Bags (due October) will have a back pocket; there will be a small price increase due to the addition of the pocket.

Daylight Backpack
Our plan is to offer a batch of Daylight Backpacks with the new Contour straps (note: there will be a price increase) alongside a batch of the current Daylights with the simple webbing straps. We'll see which version folks prefer, and go from there. 

Reverting to the original strap attachment points: Side Kick, Cadet, Pilot, Co-Pilot, Daylight Briefcase


As mentioned in this blog post and over the next few months, we’ll be returning to the original strap attachment points on the bags listed above.

New stuff

For the rest of the year and potentially into 2022, we’ll be releasing a new set of Grab Bag fabrics and colors each month. These new Grab Bags will be released as part of our monthly restock(s).

As we near the end of the year, the timeline and window for offering pre-orders is reduced. The Zeitgeist, Paradigm, and Parental Unit pre-order *might* be the last of 2021: remember, we’re also building two pre-orders worth of Techonauts!

That said, there will be room for one (maybe two) more debuts. We're closed over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, because of that, we like to release new designs for the holidays on the Monday after. And, if you’re like us, that’s a day to shop with businesses we appreciate and buy gifts for our family, friends, and yes, ourselves. (See our 20162017, 2018 gift guides) Offering a few new items that day adds to the fun, and if those items sell out, we can usually fit in another production run and restock before the last shipping day to ensure holiday delivery.

The final debuts for this year include a vintage reissue, popular designs in new materials (hints above), and a very unexpected item that’s upped our own organization game.

And what’s next after that?

Tom and Nik are both working on some designs that'll likely be available for pre-order throughout 2022. We don’t want to be annoying and spill the beans when details about these designs could still change, so once they’ve gone through the PPB (pre-production batch) process, we’ll share more. 

51 comments

Janette - September 9, 2021

Yesterday I recieved my very first Tom Bihn backpack- Synapse 25. I own a few backpacks- let’s just leave it at that- but never have I ever seen a backpack which combines build quality, with a lot of organizational options yet still remains spacious. This backpack seems more like a 30l pack. It is unbelieveable what one can fit alone in the front pocket- unprecedented. And on top of that it is a dream to carry. And it is surprisingly lightweight, that I was not prepared for since I ordered cordura on the outside.
I have of course watched a ton of reviews before making a buying decision and nearly everyone “complains” about the aesthetics- I don’t get it and from what I have seen many, many people carry it extremely low: no backpack looks good like that;). Last but not least, the idea of adding the zipper pulls on your own is brilliant: it kind of gave me the feeling of being part of the process. A very small one of course:). I am really just amazed.

CHAPEAU TOM BIHN- those 40+ years of commitment really shine through every fiber of this masterpiece.

Greetings from Vienna,
Janette
———
TOM BIHN replied:
Makes us so happy that you’re happy with your Synapse 25, Janette!

Tom - September 9, 2021

Will the Daylight backpack remain light and packable with the contoured shoulder straps? I want to buy the daylight but might consider waiting for the batch if it still is light and packable :)
———
TOM BIHN replied:
We think it’s still plenty light and packable with the Contour Straps!

Daff - September 9, 2021

When will the internal frame for the synapse 25 be available? I check the site everyday just to see if it’s back. A cache for the macbook touchbar as well and my synapse 25 will be a complete unit!
———
TOM BIHN replied:
Very soon! In fact, the Synapse 25 Frame could be restocked this Monday along with the other restocks!

Karen - September 7, 2021

Hi – are you going to offer anything like the Luminary 12 again? I’ve been desperately searching for a decent, small backpack that doesn’t fall over and collapse when you rummage in it, yet is comfortable enough to wear during a power walk.

Larry Clark - September 7, 2021

Keeping an eye on trending advice from health agencies, I’m retiring my 2-layer Tom Bihn masks. I note reports that some European countries may be requiring FFP2 or FFP3 non-fabric face coverings on airplanes. Is it possible to get that certification on a fabric match — or is it impossible or just way too expensive?

BTW — walking out after an ENT appointment the physician remarked on the neck strap. In daily use it really does make a difference and during an examination, being able to just drop the mask and not lose track of it or handle more than the ear loops makes a lot of sense.

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