We’re answering emails and live chats remotely Monday - Friday from 6:30am - 3:00pm Pacific Time. To support our work from home, we ask that you email or live chat instead of calling us on the phone (thank you!)
Email & Live Chat Support
Monday - Friday
6:30am - 3:00pm Pacific Time
ShippingAll orders for bags and face masks ship within 2-5 business days (often much sooner!) of the order being placed. We offer a variety of USPS and UPS shipping options.
Factory Showroom: Closed
As a precautionary measure and for the safety of our employees, we have decided to close our Seattle Factory Showroom to the public for the foreseeable future. We are offering free standard shipping within Washington State instead of curbside pick-up.
4750A Ohio Ave S.
Seattle WA 98134
Frequently Asked Questions
About Tom Bihn
Who is Tom Bihn?
When Tom was about ten years old, his parents gave him a choice: he could mow lawns and deliver newspapers to earn money to buy the backpacks and down jackets he wanted, or he could learn how to sew on the family sewing machine and make his own gear. Tom chose the latter, and today, he works with his Seattle factory crew to make his designs available to you. While Tom started out making day hiking and backpacking packs, he now designs a wide variety of travel bags, laptop bags, messenger bags, briefcases, camera bags, organizational accessories, and even knitting bags and dog bags — and yes, backpacks. Tom personally sources and selects the materials we use, and he's a bit of a perfectionist: we don't settle for off-the-shelf fabrics. Instead, for example, we buy our own dye lots of custom 1050 denier, U.S. made, high tenacity ballistic nylon, and ultralight Halcyon ripstop from Japan. In that way, we're a small company that behaves like we're a big company. Tom's perfectionism also means he won't settle for less than having his own factory, here in Seattle, with some of the world's best seamsters, cutters, and assemblers. Tom works with the crew who make his designs; the back-and-forth between designer and sewing crew means a more finely tuned and nuanced product. Tom's designs are inspired by his life: "I hike, I travel, I have a dog, I use Apple laptops, iPads, and iPhones, and through our forums, Facebook, and Twitter, I hear from you folks, who tell me how you work, live, travel, and play. I love what I do, and I hope you do, too." – Tom
To meet the rest of the crew at TOM BIHN, visit our About Us page.
Are all TOM BIHN bags made in Seattle?
Yes, all TOM BIHN bags are made in Seattle, most of them right in our own factory. If you visit our Seattle factory showroom, you might be able to see our talented factory crew in action. We are dedicated to creating quality products and quality jobs.
What are your environmental policies?
We made a page all about it: Planet Earth
How do you pronounce 'Bihn'?
Bihn rhymes with din. And fin.
What does your care label say?
It says "Made in USA", "Made in USA" in Chinese, and "Siquid mantica non capit, domi relinquendum est." (translation below)
"Siquid mantica non capit, domi relinquendum est."?
Translation: If it doesn't fit in your knapsack, leave it behind.
Why do you use a plane in your logo?
Tom's father was an airline pilot and Tom was feeling a little sentimental when he was designing our logo. The artwork is based on a 1930s-era luggage label; it features a Farman F-121 Jabiru airplane.
How's the weather up there?
Usually cold and rainy. Next question please…
About Our Bags
Do you offer custom-made bags?
No. Our Seattle factory is dedicated to producing Tom's designs.
Can I get a bag in a custom color combination?
No. While our bags are made in our own little factory, it's still a factory: it just doesn't work for us to make one of anything.
When and how often do you introduce new designs?
There's no set schedule on which we release new designs. For more on that, see our post On The Design Process: Inspiration, Timeline, Testing
We'll send out the first heads-up about the release of a new design to our email newsletter. Our goal is to put as much information -- photos, specs, description -- about the new design up a week in advance of it being available for order or pre-order so you can make as informed a decision as possible as to whether it's a design that will serve you.
What's the best way to be notified when you introduce new designs?
We recommended subscribing to our blog posts, keeping tabs on News Briefs (which are included in the daily email blog post digest), or subscribing to our general email mailing list (sign-up is at the bottom of this page). We also announce future debuts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Bringing donuts to the factory is unlikely to yield any insider information, nor is it likely to speed up the design process, but we certainly wouldn’t blame you for trying! Mmm, donuts.
Does Tom make design updates to existing bags?
Throughout the year we may add a new pocket to an existing bag or add a new color. We are often able to give our customers a sneak preview of upcoming changes on our forums, so that's the best place to check on what we're up to.
How often do you add new colors?
It depends on the bag and the fabric used to make that bag. We're always looking for great new colors to add to our line, but if we add a new color, we're probably replacing a current color with it.
How can I make suggestions?
We have so many ideas of our own that we hardly have time to make them all real! So, we don't accept product or design ideas or suggestions. If you think there's a way we can improve the customer service experience, please do email us.
Why don't you sell bags with wheels?
Wheels and the associated hardware and stiffeners add significant weight to a bag and are only useful on smooth surfaces. Our product line is geared towards active folks who carry their own loads. Not to offend those who use roll-aboards — it's just not part of our line.
Are TOM BIHN bags waterproof?
All of the fabrics we use are "waterproof": coated with urethane inside and treated to have a water-repellent outside. We also use YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers on the exterior of bags or cover the zipper with a fabric flap to keep water out. However, seams can leak if exposed to significant weather. You can renew the water-repellent qualities of your bag with Nikwax. Be wary of other manufacturers claiming their products are "waterproof" just because the fabrics are coated. If the seams are not RF welded or heat sealed, they are probably not waterproof.
Where can I find reviews of TOM BIHN bags?
See this compilation of reviews in our Forums. We also recommend using a search engine to search the name of the bag you are interested in — you'll most likely find multiple reviews.
Buying Our Bags
How can I buy TOM BIHN bags?
You can order online through this Web site or visit our Seattle Factory Showroom.
Is your online checkout secure?
Yes, it is. We take the responsibility of keeping your data safe, whether it's your credit card information or your phone number, very seriously. As with any checkout on any Web site, always look for the little lock or secure symbol in the corner of your browser window on any page asking for personal information.
Are your bags available in stores?
You can see the entire TOM BIHN line at our Seattle Factory Showroom. For the address and hours of our Seattle Factory Showroom, check out our contact and locations page. Outside of the Pacific Northwest, the place to purchase TOM BIHN products is right here at www.tombihn.com.
Why are TOM BIHN bags so expensive?
TOM BIHN bags are carefully constructed of fine quality materials and components in our own Seattle factory. They'd be less expensive if we had them produced in China or Vietnam, but then we'd lose control over the quality of the finished product and the quality of the jobs we create. Our turn-around time (the time between designing a new product and being able to ship it to customers) is quite fast, especially for a small company. We could use cheaper materials, but we've been making bags for a long time and plan to make them for a lot longer still: we don't want folks complaining about this or that part breaking or wearing out prematurely. There are plenty of less expensive products on the market and it's up to you, the consumer, to decide if the quality of our products justifies their expense.
Why are TOM BIHN bags so cheap?
So now that you know what goes into our products, you might wonder why they aren't even more expensive. First of all, we sell almost exclusively to the end consumer, so there is no wholesale-to-retail markup: you buy directly from the factory. Second, we are a lean little company: we are not top-heavy with vice presidents, nor are we traded publicly. We are a museum-quality example of human-scale capitalism: we make stuff and sell it to people.
Do you offer a Lifetime Guarantee?
You bet. Everything you buy from TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed.
Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. 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. Keep in mind that daypacks, messenger bags, and briefcases 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 of hard service.
Note: TOM BIHN is not responsible for long lines at the supermarket, people who talk too loud on cell phones, or the fact that microbrewed beer is largely overrated.
Our warranty does not cover consequential damages. While TOM BIHN cases and bags give excellent protection to computers and other technology, we are not responsible for any damages or losses associated with the use of our products. This warranty is limited to the replacement costs only of TOM BIHN products.
Can I get a discount or a coupon?
As we said above in the answer to "Why are TOM BIHN bags so expensive?" a lot goes into our bags: U.S. made ballistic nylon and 500 and 1000 denier Cordura®, YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers, Japanese-made Dyneema® ripstop fabric, etc. All of those components are turned into the bags you love in our Seattle factory, sewn together by our amazing factory crew. Yes, our bags are expensive, and no, we don't discount them.
Your TOM BIHN bag will last you many years, it will protect your laptop and other stuff from the elements, and it will be your constant, loyal companion. In short: we think TOM BIHN bags are worth it.
Which bags will fit my laptop or tablet?
We can help you figure that out! firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 1-800-729-9607 or +1-206-652-4123. Send us the make and model number of your laptop or tablet (and if you already have the dimensions of your laptop, send those, too!) and we'll let you know which of our bags would best fit your laptop. You could also use our Laptop Bag Fit Guide to figure out which size would work best.
I'm unhappy about something! What do I do?
Email us. Call us (1-800-729-9607 or +1-206-652-4123). Tell us what's wrong. We don't want you to have an unhappy experience. If you talk to us, we can probably make it better *and* make sure it doesn't happen again, or explain a misunderstanding.
I'm really happy about something! What do I do?
Email us. Call us (1-800-729-9607 or +1-206-652-4123). Tell us why you're so happy. That will make us really happy, too! If you talk to us and let us know what we did that was right, we'll make sure we keep doing it.
Hey! When will the bag I want be available in color ____?
Visit the product page of the bag you're interested in and note both the Available and In Production color swatches on the right. If the color you're hoping for isn't listed, then we're probably not making it anytime soon. Sorry! It may not be listed because that color or material won't be available ever again or for some time; or, it might just be that we wanted to offer other color combinations instead for the time being.
I added a bag to my cart and there’s a message that says “Only a few left….” — what’s that mean?
The "Only a few left..." message indicates that our inventory of the bag you've added to your cart is low and it could possibly sell out within days, hours, or minutes.
Customer requests prompted us to add an "Only a few left...." message, and we also personally find inventory notices helpful when doing our own online shopping.
Note that because we make our bags here at our Seattle factory, it's possible a particular bag could show as "Only a few left..." and then have its inventory replenished the next week or even the next day. Our factory crew is just that good!
Some bags listed as "Only a few left..." may not be made again. For more information, please see the Recently Retired and Soon-To-Be Retired Designs and Color List + News sticky threads in the Forums.
If you have questions about the availability of a particular bag, feel free to email@example.com or give us a call at 1-800-729-9607 or +1-206-652-4123.
What does it mean for a bag to be retired?
These are designs that have been retired to make way (and room) for new designs. Our bags are very much in demand and our production capacity is already at its limit keeping up with that demand. We know it's tough to say goodbye to a much-loved design. It's tough for us, too. But we want to make room for the new designs we're working on, and man, are we working on some great ones. Can't wait to tell you about them.
Why are some of your bags listed as In Production?
At any given time, you can count on at least some of our bags being In Production as opposed to In Stock. Sometimes it's just a color or two that's sold out, but sometimes every color option is In Production. It's pretty much been this way since we can remember, and we spend a lot of time thanking you silently in our heads that we get to be busy at work doing what we love to do every day. Over the years, we’ve made procedural and equipment improvements to increase our production efficiency and hired new production crew members at a sustainable pace. While our end goal was to increase production capacity, we made sure we never sacrificed the quality of our bags or the quality of our jobs and lives outside of work just to be able to make more bags faster.
We have explored various options over the years that would allow us to more readily meet the demand for our bags, but we didn’t like any of those options. What we do like is working together as one big team here in Seattle—we like walking into our own factory, knowing the people we work with, keeping our own eye on quality. Making more bags—by moving production off-shore, for instance—would allow us to grow into an even bigger company, and that’s something everyone would want, right? Well, when we thought about it, we realized we didn’t want that. As of 2018, we find ourselves pretty darn happy with the size of our small business: we’re 47 people strong.
That means we don’t have plans to significantly increase our production capacity, which leaves us with the reality that we’re not going to be able to keep all of our bags, in all color combinations, in stock all the time. (Of course, we’ll continue to review and make improvements to our procedures and add new crew members as is feasible, which will likely result in a modest increase in capacity over time.) It’s surely a unique business model to say “We’re happy at our current size, we’ll make bags for the people we can, and we’ll enjoy our lives outside of work, too,” but it’s the one we’ve chosen. We hope it makes as much sense to you as it does to us.
All that said, we realize it can be frustrating to not be able to get the bag you want from us, especially if you're going on a trip or have some other time constraint. Putting ourselves in your shoes, we’d be bummed if we didn’t get to use one of our bags either. :) Seriously, though, it actually irks us sometimes, too—the part of us that wants to make people happy. Even still, and after weighing all the pros and cons, we feel the best decision is to keep following the path we’ve been on: making high-quality bags in a way that feels sustainable to us.
Cleaning, Repairs, Returns
How do I clean my bag?
We recommend hand-washing your TOM BIHN bag with a mild detergent — environmentally friendly dish soaps work well, but as always, with any soap, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the bag before you use it on the entire bag. (Palmolive® and Dawn® soaps may be too harsh!) Fill your sink or bathtub with warm water, add a little soap (a little goes a long way), and let the bag soak for a half hour. If there are visible spots of dirt, gently rub the area with a washcloth, or you can apply a little soap directly to that spot and let it soak. Rinse your bag thoroughly (this is a lot easier if you've only used a little bit of soap) and lay your bag flat on top of a bath towel to dry. If you'd like to disinfect your bag, you can spray it with isopropyl alcohol.
Methods we DON'T recommend:
Having your bag dry-cleaned or putting your bag in a washing machine or dryer will void the guarantee and make your bag look funny. We don't want either of those things to happen. Your TOM BIHN bag can last for years. The fabrics we use to make our bags are treated with a water-resistant coating, but over time, that coating will start to dissipate. If you live in a rainy climate like we do, we'd recommend treating your bag with Nikwax after one year of use.
Something on my bag is broken. What do I do?
Email or call (1-800-729-9607 or +1-206-652-4123) us right away. Our bags are designed and built to be tough. They're passed through an inspection process at each point during manufacturing. But if you think you've found a problem with your bag, we want to know so we can fix it.
I ran over my bag with my car! Can you repair it for me?
We can usually repair your bag (TOM BIHN bags only, please) for a reasonable price. Email or call us (1-800-729-9607) and we'll give you a quote. Note: Products which are returned for repair must be clean and free of dirt, sand, and strong odors.
Can you add a new feature or color to my bag?
Sadly, it is seldom cost-effective for us to add a new feature to an existing bag. And changing the color of a bag, well, that would be magic, wouldn't it? Think of the purchase of a TOM BIHN bag as you would the purchase of a car: next year's model may have more features or come in a new color. But at some point you just need to take the plunge and get out there and enjoy your new bag!
Can I return my used bag for an exchange or refund?
Sorry: we do not accept returns of used bags. Some other companies can afford to accept used products because the products cost so little to produce in the first place. Our bags are made of the highest-quality materials in our own Seattle factory, so they cost more to produce than bags made overseas (even if the prices of those bags made overseas are the same or higher than our prices!).
Additionally, we don't sell used bags. The only place to buy a TOM BIHN bag is through the TOM BIHN Web site or in our Seattle store, and that's your guarantee that the bag you buy from us is brand-new, unused, and free of any defects.
How do I try out a bag without making it "used"?
When you receive your TOM BIHN bag, you're welcome (and encouraged) to take it out of the box, inspect every inch of it, load it with what you carry in your current bag, and try it on for size, comfort, and looks. Don't spill coffee on it, let your cat sleep on it, or let your puppy chew on it. It's similar to how you would test out a pair of shoes: try them on indoors to see how they feel, but don't wear them outside.
Trying out your bag in the way described above should give you a good sense of whether the bag is right for you. If you decide it's not right for you, you're welcome to send it back for a return or exchange. If you would like help deciding whether it's right for you, give us a call or send us an email. And if it's love at first use, congratulations!
How do I return a bag?
You have 60 days after you've received your bag to return it to us for a refund, provided it is still in its original, unused condition: we do not accept returns of used bags.
No return authorization (RMA) is required.
If you are in the continental United States you may use the below button to generate a prepaid UPS return label to send it back.(If you use this, a flat rate of $10 will be deducted from your refund unless we goofed in some way, in which case it's on us. Make sure to tell us if/how we goofed.)
How do I return a bag if I live outside of the contiguous U.S. or want to ship my return via a carrier other than UPS?
You may ship the bag back to us at the address below via any shipping carrier. No return authorization is required. Please download, print, and include this handy return form.
4750 A Ohio Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
Phone # 206 652 4123
Please ship the bag back to us in the original packaging if possible. If the original packaging is not available, package the bag in a generously sized, crushproof box: do not fold, roll, or otherwise stuff the a bag into a smaller container, as this can permanently damage the bag.
We strongly recommend that you insure and track your return shipment. Please include a copy of your receipt or print out and use this return form and let us know why you are returning the bag.
If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-729-9607 (U.S. & Canada) or +1-206-652-4123 or email us.
How do I exchange a bag?
If you've received your order and you've decided that a different TOM BIHN bag would better suit your needs, we're happy to make an exchange. We recommend placing a new order online for the bag you'd like instead, and sending the original bag back to us for a refund. This is the fastest and most efficient way to exchange bags. If a bag was sent to you as a gift and you would like to exchange it, please call us at 1-800-729-9607 (U.S. & Canada) or +1-206-652-4123. We would be happy to help you make the arrangements.
You have 60 days after you've received your bag to return it to us for a refund/exchange, provided it is still in its original, unused condition: we do not accept returns or exchanges of used merchandise. You may ship the bag back to us at the address below. No return authorization is required.
In the unlikely event that we goofed and sent you the wrong bag or the wrong color bag, or you received damaged merchandise, please notify us immediately. We will either arrange for a UPS pickup or we will reimburse you for the cost of returning the package to us; we will not charge you for the shipping costs of replacement merchandise. Shipping charges are refundable only if a product has been misrepresented, misshipped, or is defective in materials or workmanship.
You may ship the bag back to us at the address below. No return authorization is required:
4750 A Ohio Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
Phone # 206 652 4123
Please ship the item(s) back to us in the original packaging if possible. If the original packaging is not available, package the item(s) in a generously sized, crushproof box: do not fold, roll, or otherwise stuff the product into a smaller container, as this can permanently damage the product.
We strongly recommend that you insure and track your return shipment. Please include a copy of your receipt and let us know why you are returning the bag.
If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-729-9607 (U.S. & Canada) or +1-206-652-4123 or email us.
Shipping Practices and Prices
From where do you ship?
We ship from our Seattle, Washington headquarters.
Do you ship worldwide?
We ship worldwide via UPS Expedited. We offer flat rate shipping to customers in Canada ($30), the EU, Japan, and Singapore ($45–$65+), and Australia ($65). Note that most brokerage fees are included in the price of UPS Expedited shipping, with the exception of a possible $10 fee assessed in Canada only if prior arrangements to pay for duties and taxes are not made (see next question and answer). Outside of the United States, tariffs, duties, and taxes are the responsibility of the customer and are usually paid at time of delivery. According to the reports we receive from customers, inconsistency is the rule. In the U.K. and Germany, for example, taxes and tariffs are assessed on some shipments and not on others. Please contact your local postal service or customs office for more information. Note: We cannot understate or otherwise misrepresent the value of merchandise on customs forms.
What about taxes?
Some states within the United States require us to charge sales tax on orders shipping to those states. Outside of the United States, tariffs, duties, and taxes are the responsibility of the customer and are usually paid at time of delivery. Note to customers in Canada: taxes and duties can be paid upon delivery, though a $10 brokerage fee may be assessed unless prior arrangements for the payment of duties and taxes are made. This can be done by calling 1-800-PICKUPS once you receive your tracking notification (Canada only).
When do you ship?
We ship orders Monday through Friday, excluding some holidays. Visit our contact page for up-to-date information on holiday closures. If you need an order right away, please call us at 1-800-729-9607 or email us and we'll see what we can do.
What shipping methods are available?
We ship U.S. and international orders via UPS (United Parcel Service). We ship to APO/AE via USPS (United States Postal Service) Priority Mail. Customers in Alaska and Hawaii may choose between UPS and USPS.
What are your shipping rates and transit times?
*Note: The shipping rates listed below are estimated for the average-size package. Rates for large orders, especially for large orders shipping via air, may be more expensive.*
UPS Ground ($10): Shipments take 1–5 business days to arrive depending on what U.S. state you are in. This UPS Transit Map will show you exactly how long it will take to receive your UPS Ground package. Note that UPS does not deliver on weekends.
UPS 3 Day Select ($20 and up): Guaranteed three-business-day delivery. For example, if we ship your 3 Day Select order on Tuesday, you will receive it on Friday.
UPS 2nd Day Air ($22 and up): Guaranteed two-business-day delivery. For example, if we ship your 2nd Day Air order on Tuesday, you will receive it on Thursday.
UPS 2nd Day Air to Alaska and Hawaii is $38–$65.
UPS Next Day Air ($40 and up): Guaranteed one-business-day delivery. If we ship your Next Day Air order on Tuesday, you will receive it Wednesday.
UPS Next Day Air to Alaska and Hawaii is $60 and up.
UPS International Expedited ($30–$65+): Delivery in 2–7 business days.
Flat Rate International Shipping:Canada ($30), EU/Japan/Singapore ($45–$65+), Australia ($65).
USPS (United States Postal Service) International First Class Mail ($12–$30): An option for qualifying small orders shipping to Canada, Australia, and the UK. 10–14 business day delivery.
USPS Priority Mail ($10 and up): Orders shipped Priority Mail typically take 3–5 days to arrive.
My order has shipped. How can I track it?
Visit your account page and look for your order number. Or — you'll receive an email from UPS with your tracking number the day your order is shipped. You can use that number to track your package on the UPS Web site. If your order was shipped via USPS Priority Mail, you'll receive a notice that your order was shipped but not a tracking number.
Why are your shipping rates so inexpensive?
We don't include our own handling charges or other fees in our shipping rates. And we're continually working with UPS to get better rates, which of course we pass along to you. Our international rates are a great example of this: flat rate shipping to the UK is $45. If you were to use the UPS online rate calculator, shipping to the UK could be anywhere from $120 - $250. By the way: we pay a little extra for each of our packages to be shipped UPS Carbon Neutral. That means, basically, that we buy carbon "credits" for each shipment to offset the emissions generated by the shipping process. It's something we think is the right thing to do, and, again, we're picking up the tab on that one. (Here's a video all about it.)
Why are your shipping rates so expensive?
Because of the logistics involved with shipping (UPS is all about logistics and that explains why their rates are so low and their carbon footprint is so small), it's not uncommon for the shipping rate for small packages to be almost that of bigger packages. We know it might not make sense on the surface for a Side Effect shipping UPS Ground to a residential address to cost almost as much as a Western Flyer to that same address, but it's the tracking/handling and logistics of the shipment that you pay for, not so much the weight. As we mentioned above, we don't include handling charges or other fees in our shipping rates. What we charge for shipping is pretty much usually what it costs us, and often less. While it's true that USPS ("the Post Office") is cheaper than UPS, the service is less consistent and tracking just isn't as good. Most people who order one of our bags want to know where it is at all times along its route to them, down to the day it'll be delivered, and we respect that.