A 3/4 shot of the Shadow Guide 23 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. The Shadow Guide 23 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. A 3/4 shot of the Shadow Guide 23 in Black 525 Ballistic. The Shadow Guide 23 in Black 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot with the Shadow Guide 23 in Black 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Shadow Guide 23 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. Woman wearing the Shadow Guide 33 on a hike. Profile view. Man standing and wearing the Shadow Guide in Ursa brown.
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$294.00


Color: Black Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic

In Stock

Available Color options

Spaciousness. Simplicity. Top Loader.

23 liters / 1400 cu.in.

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$50.00 - 10A (10.5" 2021 iPad/ iPad Air/Pro)
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TLDR

The Shadow Guide 23 is a top-loader backpack, inspired by the retired Guide's Pack, that's available in two sizes — 23 liters (you're here now) and 33 liters. The simple yet spacious design allows the bag to be suitable for hikes, travel, and everyday use.

Full Description

Walk through the features of the Shadow Guide 23.

Upper Flap Pocket

The Shadow Guide has an upper flap pocket that includes 1 top-access zippered compartment for your keys, wallet, snacks, and other small items and 2 side-access zippered compartments on the bottom for your phone, passport, and more. Having this top loader allows you to have the stuff you need quick access to on-hand. There are also four total interior O-rings that are great for attaching our Clear Organizer Pouch, Double Organizer Pouch, Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch, or Key Straps.

Bucket-Style Main Compartment

The main compartment of the Shadow Guide cinches close with a drawstring and features a 210d ballistic nylon lining on the bottom interior. Its simple design makes it perfect for storing large items like clothes and bulky items for travel, grocery for after-work-shopping, or for those who prefer to just throw everything into a bag (carefully) rather than deal with pockets. Since this bag is more minimal and simple, there isn't any interior organization, but you can attach organizational pouches to the 2 O-rings inside this compartment. Travel Stuff Sacks, Handy Little Thing, and Side Effect will also make great accessories for this pack.

Built-In Exterior Side-Access Laptop Compartment

The laptop compartment itself is made with 2 layers of 1/8" 2 lb closed-cell (CXL2) foam. Because the back panel shape is rectangular, the zipper access on the sides can fit a wide range of laptop sizes. The Shadow Guide 23 easily fits 13" laptops and some thinner, smaller footprint 15" laptops.

Breathable Skeleton Panel

Instead of a solid rectangular piece of foam, we cut the back panel in a spine-like shape and use soft mesh so that it feels lighter, more breathable, and more comfortable against your clothing or even bare skin. It's a tried and true design that is just as durable as the solid rectangular piece of foam.

Removable Internal Frame With Nylon Webbing Sleeve And Aluminum Stay

The internal frame is made of die-cut .055" thick High Density Polyethlyene (HDPE) with a nylon webbing sleeve sewn down the center that encases a 8-1/4"/210 mm tall and 1/2"/13 mm wide 6061 aluminum stay. The stay is removable and bent to a general spinal curve that is suitable for most people, but you can rebend and/or adjust the curvature (see instructions here).

Slanted Bottom

When we made a Shadow Guide version with a flat bottom, the bag pulled away from our backs and was uncomfortable to wear. The slanted bottom didn't have these problems. To allow the bag to stand upright when needed, such as for packing, just lean it against the wall or your legs.

Edgeless Straps

Conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of this new strap allows it to more softly conform to your shoulder — we (and most people who have worn these straps) find that this increases comfort. Yet the straps aren't too soft: the 1/2" thick EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® certified foam means the strap is robust enough to carry a heavy load.

Rolling Luggage Handle Pass-Through

Some of us use rolling luggage: maybe because we need to pack more gear or just because we find it more comfortable. Good thing the Shadow Guide's back panel has a pass-through that allows you to slide it over the handle of rolling luggage.

There are, of course, different sizes of rolling luggage with different handle lengths and widths. That said, the Shadow Guide 23 will fit handles up to 8" wide from end to end (which we think should cover over most rolling luggage handles).

Durable Materials + Expert Construction

No bag lasts forever, but choosing the best and most durable materials and taking care not to abuse it (no washing machine or dryer!) can help a quality bag serve most people well (with maybe a repair or two) for up to 10-20 years.

This bag requires significant skill to sew and construct; it's not just any sewing factory who can pull this off and do it well; it's ours, and it's because of the talent of our crew. They're the reason why our designs can be made in an ongoing practical fashion.

The Shadow Guide has an upper flap pocket that includes 1 top-access zippered compartment for your keys, wallet, snacks, and other small items and 2 side-access zippered compartments on the bottom for your phone, passport, and more. Having this top loader allows you to have the stuff you need quick access to on-hand. There are also four total interior O-rings that are great for attaching our Clear Organizer Pouch, Double Organizer Pouch, Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch, or Key Straps.

The main compartment of the Shadow Guide cinches close with a drawstring and features a 210d ballistic nylon lining on the bottom interior. Its simple design makes it perfect for storing large items like clothes and bulky items for travel, grocery for after-work-shopping, or for those who prefer to just throw everything into a bag (carefully) rather than deal with pockets. Since this bag is more minimal and simple, there isn't any interior organization, but you can attach organizational pouches to the 2 O-rings inside this compartment. Travel Stuff Sacks, Handy Little Thing, and Side Effect will also make great accessories for this pack.

The laptop compartment itself is made with 2 layers of 1/8" 2 lb closed-cell (CXL2) foam. Because the back panel shape is rectangular, the zipper access on the sides can fit a wide range of laptop sizes. The Shadow Guide 23 easily fits 13" laptops and some thinner, smaller footprint 15" laptops.

Instead of a solid rectangular piece of foam, we cut the back panel in a spine-like shape and use soft mesh so that it feels lighter, more breathable, and more comfortable against your clothing or even bare skin. It's a tried and true design that is just as durable as the solid rectangular piece of foam.

The internal frame is made of die-cut .055" thick High Density Polyethlyene (HDPE) with a nylon webbing sleeve sewn down the center that encases a 8-1/4"/210 mm tall and 1/2"/13 mm wide 6061 aluminum stay. The stay is removable and bent to a general spinal curve that is suitable for most people, but you can rebend and/or adjust the curvature (see instructions here).

When we made a Shadow Guide version with a flat bottom, the bag pulled away from our backs and was uncomfortable to wear. The slanted bottom didn't have these problems. To allow the bag to stand upright when needed, such as for packing, just lean it against the wall or your legs.

Conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of this new strap allows it to more softly conform to your shoulder — we (and most people who have worn these straps) find that this increases comfort. Yet the straps aren't too soft: the 1/2" thick EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® certified foam means the strap is robust enough to carry a heavy load.

Some of us use rolling luggage: maybe because we need to pack more gear or just because we find it more comfortable. Good thing the Shadow Guide's back panel has a pass-through that allows you to slide it over the handle of rolling luggage.

There are, of course, different sizes of rolling luggage with different handle lengths and widths. That said, the Shadow Guide 23 will fit handles up to 8" wide from end to end (which we think should cover over most rolling luggage handles).

No bag lasts forever, but choosing the best and most durable materials and taking care not to abuse it (no washing machine or dryer!) can help a quality bag serve most people well (with maybe a repair or two) for up to 10-20 years.

This bag requires significant skill to sew and construct; it's not just any sewing factory who can pull this off and do it well; it's ours, and it's because of the talent of our crew. They're the reason why our designs can be made in an ongoing practical fashion.

Materials

Upper Back

Nylon Diamond mesh

Back Pad

Closed-cell foam

Shoulder Straps

EVAZOTE® foam

Other Components

Tough Duraflex®, Nexus, and Woojin buckles and related components

Specs

Dimensions

12.6" (w) x 19.3" (h) x 9.0" (d) / 320 (w) x 490 (h) x 230 (d) mm

Weight

2 lb 3 oz / 1000 grams

Volume

23 liters / 1400 cu. in.

Laptop Compartment Maximum Dimensions

 13.7” x 9.4” x 0.6” / 348mm x 239mm x 15mm

Total O-Rings

6 (2 in the main compartment, 1 in the left top flap pocket, 1 in the right top flap pocket, 2 in the top pocket)

4.7
Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
Based on 14 reviews
93%would recommend this product
14 reviews
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    1 month ago
    Sweet Bag!!

    Bag is really well made and a great size for a weekend trip! Highly recommend!

    Edward F.
    Verified Buyer
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    2 months ago
    Best Bag Ever!

    Great quality… easy to use… perfect for a weekend in NYC or as a carry on for a long haul flight! I love it!

    Ilyce B.
    Verified Buyer
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    2 months ago
    5 Stars

    Love this bag!!! Exceeded all my expectations… Easy to use. Easy to carry!

    Ilyce
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    2 months ago
    Just the right amount of organization

    I love the color (Ursa Brown) and how well made this bag feels. I know it will be a great travel and work bag because it looks extremely well made and solid. It fit my 14'' laptop (Dell Latitude) perfectly with some room to spare. I could probably also fit my tablet in the laptop pocket too. I should have no problem fitting it either under the seat on an airplane as a personal bag too. Completely satisfied.

    Christopher S.
    Verified Reviewer
  • Rated 3 out of 5 stars
    10 months ago
    Top pocket zipper needs two hands to zip, tricky around the corners

    Positives: great unparalleled fabric that doesn’t pill; bucket sized no-compartment interior; extremely well made; looks expensive.

    One big flaw: the top flap zippered compartment has a skinny zipper that curves around the corners and the zipper is a real pain to open and close. You need both hands and it’s still not easy to unzip or close. I think a wider width zipper with much bigger more slippery coated teeth is necessary.

    This zipper is too skinny and normal, like the kind used in clothing. It gets stuck. Lots of friction. I would not tolerate it in a jacket.

    Another equally bad flaw is, if you forget to zip that compartment completely shut, you are spilling all the contents on the sidewalk. Not one or two things but everything. It’s because it is easy to forget that it’s not zipped and if you close the flap while unzipped, oops, very embarrassing.

    If you shut the flap with two inches of the zipper open, pens and keys will fall out. and it’s a mental pain to remember to close it all the way.

    I have had the bag for one year and I have never gotten used to the difficulty of the zipper. I also still forget to zip up before closing the flap.

    This is my first Bihn bag and I am both very impressed and very disappointed.

    Short people should buy this size bag, the 23 inch one, because it’s still too huge. I am 5 foot 2.

    Mountain C.
    Verified Buyer
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Sewn in Seattle

Our bags are designed and sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?

Intrigued? You can find out more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.

THE BIHN Guarantee

Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business since 1972 and we stand behind what we make.

If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.

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