The Le Grand Derriere (LGD) is a vintage reissue of a TOM BIHN design from the early 1990’. It’s, make no mistake, a large pack. Inside the main compartment, there’s an open-top pocket along the back panel that’ll fit an 11" iPad Pro, iPad mini, Kindle, or similarly-sized smaller tablet — or a notebook or paperback, if you’re working to minimize screen time. The rest of the main compartment is spacious and ready to fit a jacket, water bottle, and bento box. There’s four — yes, four — O-rings in the main compartment: two against the back panel and two against the front panel. That main compartment zipper is protected from the elements by a flap; some folks love flapped zippers as-is, and others find that adding the included Cord Zipper Pulls to the metal zipper pulls will make the main compartment easier to open and close.
The front exterior of the LGD provides two organizational options. First up is the asymmetrical buckle pocket: underneath that buckle is an open-top pocket that fits the largest phones or the smallest notebooks. Seem familiar? You’ve got it right: that asymmetrical buckle pocket is a nod to the iconic design of the Cafe Shoulder Bags. You’ll find an O-ring in there, ready to tether and secure your keys or perhaps an Organizer Pouch; attached to that O-ring is an included 8” Key Strap.
On the other side of the bag is a zippered pocket; it’ll fit a wallet (Nik’s Minimalist Wallet fits great), reusable utensils, snacks, keys, etc. That zippered pocket also has one O-ring.
The LGD can be carried or used in multiple ways. It's primarily designed to be worn as hip pack or carried cross-body as a shoulder bag, but we know some of you will choose to wear it sling-style. Sling-style, we think the LGD works best as back carry; some may choose to wear it front carry — YMMV. It can also be packed inside of a larger bag such as the Aeronaut 45 / Aeronaut 30 travel bags or the Shadow Guide 23 / 33 backpacks — what’s cool about using it that way is that it can act like a beefier version of the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag. Use it to organize clothes or toiletries on the journey, and wear it as a waist pack/cross-body/sling pack at the destination. We also love to use our LGDs as road trip bags: packed with snacks and drinks in the front seat, and ready to go when we pull up to a trailhead to stretch our legs. Speaking of hitting the trail — as a hiking waist pack, the LGD is top-notch. It’ll fit a water bottle, water filter, first aid kit, dog and human treats — everything you might need for a quick walk.
The exterior sides of the LGD have handy compression straps to help minimize the side profile of the bag when it’s packed full *or* lower its profile when it’s closer to empty. On the sides of the bag, you’ll also see D-ring attachment points to which you can clip an optional 1” Shoulder Strap, Simple Shoulder Strap, or Absolute Shoulder Strap. Which strap you choose depends on your priorities — one might choose the for the minimalist who occasionally needs a shoulder strap and doesn’t need a lot of padding, the 1” Shoulder Strap is a great option as it’ll neatly tuck inside the LGD when not in use. For the person who plans to pack a full water bottle or other heavy stuff and would like the load to be cush, the Absolute Shoulder Strap would be the way to go.
The waist/hip belt of the LGD neatly tucks away when not in use; it nestles behind a padded panel, which means you won’t feel the buckles against your hip when you’re wearing it as a shoulder bag. Per the original, vintage TOM BIHN LGD design, the waist belt is not removable. An optional 1-1/2" Waist Belt Extender can be ordered on our Parts page. And regardless of the exterior fabric option for the LGD — whether it’s 1000d Cordura or 525d ballistic — that back panel into which the waist belt tucks is made of smooth 525d ballistic.
Tom talks the history of the LGD:
The LGD was originally designed for some friends / customers in Santa Cruz back in the mid-1990s. “Lumbar” packs were in vogue, but I never much appreciated the look or utility of that style, so this was my own variation on that general idea. It seemed like most folks were using their lumbar packs as everyday bags for around town, so I wanted to add some functionality and aesthetic that reflected that use: hence two different types of front pocket (flapped and zippered) and the option of a shoulder strap for cross-body carrying.
The people who had the original version loved them and used them constantly – it was fun to see LGDs around town. Our new LGD redux is mostly true to the original, but I’ve added an innocuous grab handle on the top/back, and made the waist/hip belt so you can tuck it away – both features I likely would have added had I continued making them back then. :)