A 3/4 shot of the Shadow Guide 33 in Black 525 Ballistic. The Shadow Guide 33 in Black 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Shadow Guide 33 in Black 525 Ballistic. A 3/4 shot of the Shadow Guide 33 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. The Shadow Guide 33 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Shadow Guide 33 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. A shot from above of the Shadow's Guide 33's Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. Man standing in a grassy field wearing the Shadow Guide in Ursa brown. Nik standing in the alley behind the factory wearing the Shadow Guide 33. Next to him is a mixed-breed dog who looks up at him.
Add to wishlist

$310.00


Color: Black Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic

Spaciousness. Simplicity. Top Loader.

33 liters / 2000 cu.in.

Add a Cache?
$51.00 - 10A (10.5" 2021 iPad/ iPad Air/Pro)
visible variant TB03310A TB03310B TB03311A TB03312A TB03313A TB03313B TB03313C TB03313D TB03313E TB03315A TB03315B TB03315C TB03315D TB03316A TB03317B^^A Cache on the Horizontal side.

TLDR

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

  • Upper flap pocket with 3 compartments for quick-access itmes
  • Bucket-style main compartment that cinches close with a drawstring
  • Built-in exterior side-access laptop compartment that fits up to 17" laptops (see laptop fit guide)
  • Comfortable, durable, edgeless straps
  • Slanted bottom to shift the weight of the backpack towards your back
  • Breathable, comfortable skeleton panel
  • Removable internal frame with nylon webbing sleeve and aluminum stay
  • Pass-through pocket that can slide over rolling luggage handles up to 9" wide

Full Description

Walk through the features of the Shadow Guide 33.

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 PouchDouble Organizer PouchGhost 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 SacksHandy 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 33 easily fits up to 17" 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 33 will fit handles up to 9" wide from end to end (which we think should cover 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 PouchDouble Organizer PouchGhost 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 SacksHandy 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 33 easily fits up to 17" 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 33 will fit handles up to 9" wide from end to end (which we think should cover 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

14" (w) x 21.7" (h) x 9.0" (d) / 355 (w) x 550 (h) x 230 (d) mm

Weight

2 lb 7 oz / 1100 grams

Volume

33 liters / 2000 cu. in.

Laptop Compartment Maximum Dimensions

15.5” (h) x 9.8” x 0.75” / 394mm x 249mm x 19mm

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)

4.6
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
Based on 21 reviews
95%would recommend this product
21 reviews
  • Justin B.
    Verified Reviewer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Good Storage Size, Easily Adjustable, Durable, Comfortable
    1 year ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Good Storage Size, Easily Adjustable, Durable, Comfortable
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    2 yr review -- the quintessential adventure pack and gym bag

    Let me tell you that this pack is absolutely the best pack that Tom Bihn sells for the adventurer and one bag traveler. It's not too heavy. It packs great. Fits a lot but looks sleek as an EDC. I've owned this bag for 2 years now and it's so far my favorite.

    I have taken ice climbing, rock climbing, hiking, to the beach, through airports, and it is absolutely the most comfortable bag for everything I need. I've owned the Synapse 25L and Brain Bag. They all serve a purpose but the Guide Pack is about adventure. It's the bag I take when I need to load with gear and go. It's my most used Tom Bihn bag and I love it's simplicity. It's essentially a giant sack. Fill it.

    I'm 5'9" and I recommend getting the 33L version. I tried both and this one looks much better for both EDC and One bag Travel.

    Tips:

    1) I have modified the bag and removed the plastic buckles and added Fidlocks. It makes the bag so much easier to clip and unclip.

    2) make sure you pack the top portion lighter than the inside of the bag otherwise it gets really top heavy.

    Feedback for Tom Bihn: it would be nice to have this bag in a brighter colors as you pack out this bag it gets hard to see the bottom contents. If they did make it in a brighter color I'd buy it again no question...that's how much I love this thing.

  • Zain
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Versatile, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Unique, High Quality Finishings
    4 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Versatile, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Unique, High Quality Finishings
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Amazing bag, love it!

    I've had my SG33 for just over two months now, and have really warmed to it. :)

    It is as cavernous as the other reviewers say – it will comfortably carry everything I need for two weeks/indefinite travelling or a big shop, and I don’t think I will ever need to buy a bigger backpack. At the same time, it is still small enough to get allowed on as a carry-on bag and, if not stuffed to the brim, I think it will even fit under an airplane seat.

    I would advise you to avoid the temptation to overpack when travelling for these reasons, but also because you could easily put enough it it to make it very heavy. For me, this bag feels like it will be at its best with 20L worth of packing in the main compartment, with the top compartment and remaining space in the main compartment left for bulky, light items, e.g. a hoodie, rain jacket, snacks etc. The top compartment itself is also pretty voluminous and will be very handy for quick access - umbrella, passport, hat, scarf, liquids for airport security, etc.

    The quality of manufacturing is exceptional. I can believe the other reviewers when they say theirs still look brand-new after years of use. The look is unique and stylish, without being too flashy or over the top - it somehow manages to be both grungy and professional all at once!

    In terms of things I'd change, ideally I'd want to use a water bladder with this bag while travelling/hiking, and am surprised this wasn't considered in the design (or even with the original Guide's…

  • Alex
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Good Storage Size
    12 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Good Storage Size
    Rated 2 out of 5 stars
    SO CLOSE!

    I wanted to love this bag so much, it was so close. Construction wise this bag is built like a tank, I for sure think I could have this bag for the rest of my life. The size is also super deceiving in the best way, it can hold literally everything and more. My big issue is the structure of the bag and access to the main compartment; well the lack of these things. I really hate that if this bag has a lot of items in the top access it literally will flop over completely there is 0 structure to this bag so it literally topples over everywhere every chance. Which for a top loading bag makes it frustrating for daily use or just using it in general. On top of that the $300 price with no extra way to get into the main compartment easily just seems absurd. Magnetic locks would have made getting in and out of this bag so much easier and more pleasant, to use just standard plastic clips on a bag of this price is very disappointing.

    So now I can't easily sit my bag down when getting home or getting to my desk at work, but I also have to spend time clipping and unclipping everytime to get into the bag and this wasn't that annoying at first but it has caught my fingers a few times and pinched them really hard and that was very upsetting.

    I am very shocked at this bag; I feel like even the most average user would be able to come up with these problems during testing and for them to just be present on such an expensive bag seems so weird, TB tends to think of EVERYTHING when making a…

    TB Profile picture for TOM BIHN
    TOM BIHN
    12 months ago

    Hi Alex- thanks for taking a few minutes to share this feedback about the Shadow Guide. It's really helpful to hear this kind of stuff and I'm sorry this bag isn't the right one for you! I'll follow up with an email too. Best, Mike

  • Jonathan B.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Good Storage Size, Durable, Unique
    1 year ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Good Storage Size, Durable, Unique
    Rated 4 out of 5 stars
    Big knapsack on my back

    I like a big open bag for some duties. This is not for cultured one-bag travel or EDC organization. It shines somewhere else... like beach hauls and mountain track adventuring. My only nit is the top opening could be fluted out wider.

    Ballistic in Ursa is an awesome fabric and just works on this knapsack on my back!

    I love to go a-wandering,

    Along the mountain track,

    And as I go, I love to sing,

    My knapsack on my back.

    Chorus:

    Val-deri,Val-dera,

    Val-deri,

    Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

    Val-deri,Val-dera.

    My knapsack on my back.

    I love to wander by the stream

    That dances in the sun,

    So joyously it calls to me,

    "Come! Join my happy song!"

    I wave my hat to all I meet,

    And they wave back to me,

    And blackbirds call so loud and sweet

    From ev'ry green wood tree.

    High overhead, the skylarks wing,

    They never rest at home

    But just like me, they love to sing,

    As o'er the world we roam.

    Oh, may I go a-wandering

    Until the day I die!

    Oh, may I always laugh and sing,

    Beneath God's clear blue sky!

  • Matt E.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship
    1 year ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Great Bag

    Got this to replace a 20 year old Jansport that served me well; realized I might have bought my last backpack ever. Sorry about the shot of mortality. Excited to put miles on it!

Reviews LoadedReviews Added
Lifetime guarantee image

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.

Ready to Grab
the Shadow Guide 33?

See Options