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The Hero's Journey

Regular price $480.00
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    You can expect your TOM BIHN bag to give you years of hard service. Our bags are guaranteed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the bag. That means if something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it at no charge.

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The Hero's Journey


Ultralight 400d Halcyon/420d nylon ripstop fabric exterior
200d Halcyon/nylon ripstop fabric lining
Tough Duraflex® and Nexus Buckles
Main Compartments: #10 YKK Aquaguard Coil Zippers with lockable sliders
Pockets: #8 YKK Aquaguard Coil Zippers
Joining Zipper: Separating #8 Vislon


Made in USA
100% finished seams
80+ bartacks


Main Bag
Dimensions: 22" x 14" x 9" / 555 x 355 x 230 mm
Weight: 3 lb 1 oz / 1390 grams
Volume: 2700 cubic in / 45 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
Top Pack (Pocket or Daypack Mode)
Dimensions: 14" x 9" x 5.5" / 355 x 230 x 140 mm
Weight: 1 lb 0 oz / 445 grams
Volume: 600 cubic in / 10 liters
Top Pack (Shoulder Bag Mode)
Dimensions: 14" x 9" x 7.5" / 355 x 230 x 190 mm
Weight: 1 lb 0 oz / 445 grams
Volume: 900 cubic in / 15 liters
Also Included
Removable Padded Hip Belt
Removable Handle
Removable Lash Straps
Removable Simple Shoulder Strap Light (for Top Pack)
Removable 1” Gatekeeper Webbing Waist Strap (for Top Pack)
Two 8” Black Webbing Key Straps
Two packs of Cord Zipper Pulls w/Plastic Pulls (8 Pack, Black)
Removable Side Pocket (Each)
Dimensions: 10" x 7" x 2.4" / 260 x 170 x 60mm
Weight: 3.7 oz / 105 grams
Volume: 150 cubic in / 2.5 liters

The Hero's Journey is convertible travel luggage that allows you to fly to your destination, and then backpack or hut hop, all without checking baggage. If you are familiar with our Aeronaut 30 and 45 travel bags, you're already aware of the advantages of a carry-on bag that can be worn as a backpack: unlike wheeled bags, a backpack frees you from the smooth sidewalk and the paved path, allowing you move adroitly over any surface your feet can handle. The Hero's Journey takes this mobility even further, encouraging you to realize the dream of a fast and light escape to wide exotic mountain vistas and windswept highlands.

The Hero's Journey is actually two bags that work both together and alone: when properly configured and reasonably packed, the main bag meets the maximum FAA recommended dimensions for carry-on luggage, and the smaller Top Pack easily qualifies as a "personal carry-on item." Upon reaching your destination airport or the beginning of your hike, zip the two components together, attach the hip belt (and optional Side Pockets if desired), and you've got a 55 liter internal frame pack, suitable for short-to-medium range backpacking trips or hut hopping.

On its own, the Hero's Journey Top Pack compartment will function as your in-flight personal carry-on item, as well as a day bag when you've left the main pack behind at the hut, hostel or campsite. It can be carried as a shoulder bag using the included shoulder strap; you can also attach the main bag's hip belt to wear the Top Pack as a waist pack. Turn the Top Pack inside-out to transform it into a 10 liter daypack with 2" / 50mm webbing shoulder straps, plus loops to attach the included 1" / 25mm waist belt. The side of the daypack features a stretch mesh pocket for a small water bottle (up to about 3" / 75mm in diameter) or umbrella; above the mesh pocket, you'll find a 1" / 25mm triangle snap hook to attach your water bottle lid, umbrella strap, or what-have-you. The Top Pack has a 1.75" / 45mm-wide front compartment that gives you 5 additional liters of room when used as a shoulder bag or waist pack; this compartment ends up on the inside of the Top Pack when it's in daypack mode, and also gets squeezed down to almost nothing when the Top Pack is zipped onto the main bag (you've been forewarned). The 1" / 25mm webbing loops on the "top" of the Top Pack are handy if you're going to strap a sleeping pad or tent on to the top of the pack when you're on your way; they are also where you'd attach the main pack's hip belt if you want to use the Top Pack as a waist pack. 

The main bag of the Hero's Journey is the same size and shape as the Aeronaut 45. It is divided up somewhat differently than the Aeronaut, however: rather than two end compartments, it has one large compartment at the "bottom" of the pack suitable for a light-to-medium down sleeping bag or a lightweight synthetic sleeping bag. We offer for your consideration the simple Sleeping Bag Stuff Sack with a drawstring closure made of Aether fabric; it's perfectly sized for this bottom compartment. You can use whatever stuff sack your sleeping bag came with too—our stuff sack just offers you a sweet, made-to-fit option that, even when fully stuffed, will pop nicely into the Hero's Journey sleeping bag compartment. Of course you can use this compartment—and the stuff sack—for clothing or whatever you like if your travels don't require a sleeping bag. The main compartment of the Hero's Journey is a bit bigger than the center compartment of the Aeronaut 45: in here goes your extra clothing, cook kit and food; a Packing Cube sized to fit is available as well. Collapsed tent poles up to about 20" / 50cm long can be accommodated inside the upper compartment (they can slip down below the corners of the divider on either side of your sleeping bag). If for some reason you need just one big compartment, the internal divider unsnaps and folds out of the way.

Two compression straps on each side of the main bag allow you to tighten things up and control the load; you can tuck a thin sleeping pad, rain coat or sweater under these straps as well. 1" / 25mm side release buckles work with the upper compression straps to relieve any strain on the main compartment zipper: loosen the compression straps before unzipping the main compartment. Optional side pockets attach over the compression straps. Stow them inside the main pack until you're ready to hike, as they make the Hero's Journey too big for carry-on flight. (The compression straps function less than optimally when you use the side pockets—you'll need to slide your hand under the pockets to tighten or loosen them. Just saying.)

The Hero's Journey features a comfortable padded back panel, covered with Aero-Spacer Mesh, and a light, removable, internal frame sheet with a single aluminum stay (like our Guide's Pack). The aluminum stay comes pre-bent in a generic spinal curve --  bend it to more accurately and comfortably fit your back as needed. The Hero's Journey is designed to comfortably carry loads up to about 30 pounds / 15 kilos; it is sized to fit folks roughly 5'8" to 6'2" / 173 - 188cm.

Changing the Hero's Journey from Travel Mode to Hike Mode will take a little bit of time: though you can zip out the shoulder straps and get the main pack onto your back in under a minute, to get yourself completely trail-ready might take half an hour or more. You'll want to get out the padded hip belt and attach it to the main bag, as well as attach the optional side pockets if you've got 'em (both pockets and belt attach using Gatekeepers). Your personal carry-on item (aka Top Pack) now zips to the top of the main bag, giving you about 20% more capacity than the main bag alone. This is the time for some repacking as well: you may want to remove your sleeping pad or tent from the main bag and strap it to the top using the included lash straps included; if you have the side pockets, you can pack them with quick-access clothing, water bottle or emergency items, thereby creating more interior space for whatever food/fuel you'll purchase locally. (We assume you'll be acquiring most or all of your food locally before reaching your jumping off point; remember that you can't fly with stove fuel, so make plans to acquire that locally as well.)

On the trail, you'll find the Hero's Journey to be similar to most internal frame backpacking packs. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or not, we recommend fully loading your Hero's Journey and hiking some test miles before your Big Adventure: best not to have any surprises about fit/comfort/utility when you're so far from home.

When you're done hiking and ready to fly again, simply reverse the above steps to return the Hero's Journey to Flight Mode.

Happy Trails, Padawan.

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Build your own organization

your bag already has great built-in organization. that said, you may want to add these optional organizational accessories to further organize and protect what you carry.

visible variant TB9074-CE

Hero's Journey Packing Cubes (Aether)

Designed to perfectly fit the main compartment of the Main Bag of The Hero’s Journey. Stack two, one on top of the other, inside the Hero's Journey's main pocket for all your organizational needs. Or, if you’ve already got Aeronaut 45 Packing Cubes, use those instead as they’re a near-perfect fit.


Hero's Journey Side Pocket

Attach one Side Pocket on each side of the Hero's Journey to add more volume to your bag. Adds quick access to items like a water bottle, snacks, or a First or Second Aid Kit.

visible variant TB9073-CE

Sleeping Bag Stuff Sack

A stuff sack for your sleeping bag, designed to fit perfectly in the bottom compartment of the Hero's Journey. Roll up your sleeping bag, stuff it in the sack, and don't worry about whether it'll fit inside the Hero's Journey because this guy is made-to-fit, even when fully stuffed.

Lifetime Guarantee

You can expect your TOM BIHN bag to give you years of hard service. Our bags are guaranteed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the bag. That means if something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it at no charge.

Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and are most often evident while your bag is still new. Keep in mind that daypacks and briefcases are often subject to serious wear in everyday use. We often see TOM BIHN bags that are still solid and in use after five, ten, fifteen, even twenty or twenty-five years, with minor repairs needed here or there. But remember: only true love lasts forever.

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