The Old School Carry-All (OSCA) is reissue of a TOM BIHN duffel design of the 1990's with a few important design updates.
Back in the 90's, Tom designed The Classic Sport Bag in answer to customers' requests for a bag to take to the gym.Though it was well-loved by many customers, there was some legitimate feedback about the Sport Bag that Tom has taken to heart: specifically, folks wanted separate and substantial compartments to segregate and/or organize their stuff.
So, Tom turned the simple flat pockets on the sides of the Sport Bag into the generous 3D side pockets of the OSCA; this also allowed us to make the padded handles on the top of the bag lean in towards one another (“kiss” as Tom says), making them easier to grab. We updated it with lots of O-rings to tether pouches, keys, etc, and added webbing grab loops and two places on the exterior to latch a carabiner as well. You can read more about the design and manufacturing of the OSCA in this blog post: Production & Design Notes: Old School Carry-All
Today, we're calling it the Old School Carry-All because we've found it to be useful for so much more: carry-on travel bag, road trip duffel, overnight bag, back-of-the-car organizer and yes, even as a bag to take to the yoga studio or gym.
Features of the OSCA
Generous Main Compartment
The main compartment of the Old School Carry-All opens wide, making it easy to pack with your stuff. That wide opening also helps you find the exact thing you're looking for once the bag is fully packed.
3D Mesh Side Pocket
Stinky socks? Damp gym towel? Or maybe something you want super visible, like your first aid kit? Stow it in the mesh side pocket of the OSCA. 3D = it's roomy, spacious, and is less likely to steal space from the main compartment.
What's great about this pocket (and its solid twin) is that it's 3D — as in, the pocket has its own spaciousness.
3D Solid Side Pocket
One 3D Solid Side Pocket in addition to the 3D Mesh Side Pocket gives you options: you might use the Solid Pocket to stow items like your wallet, phone, keys, etc.
What's great about this pocket (and its mesh twin) is that it's 3D — as in, the pocket has its own spaciousness.
Comfy Padded Handles
We use Poron® foam for the handles of the OSCA. It's a poured urethane foam that is very dense and yet very soft; though it is open-cell, it absorbs very little moisture. Cushy and inviting to the touch, it has phenomenal resilience and won't break down or go flat over time.
The handles are designed and sewn so that they “kiss”, as Tom says: they will naturally fall in to each other on the top of the bag, so you needn’t fish for two separate handles when you want to pick it up. They are also cut a bit longer than on our other, similarly sized bags: if you need to tuck a minimal travel chair, yoga mat or winter coat under the handles, there’ll probably be room.
10 O-Rings For Extra Organization
If you already have one of our bags, you probably know about (and perhaps love) our O-rings.
If you're new to our bags, you may be wondering — what's all this about O-rings? They are just as they sound: small, round, plastic rings sewn inside many of the compartments and pockets of our bags.
Cool things you can do with O-rings:
Any of our Organizer Pouches can be clipped to O-rings to add further organization.
We include the following accessories to give you a good amount of options for your new bag right out of the gate.
A Key Strap is a strip of webbing with plastic snaphooks on the end. The 8” Key Strap in Black that’s included in most of our larger bags is, for many, the gateway to a world of organization via Key Straps and Organizer Pouches. All the members of the Key Strap family are intended to make locating things in your bag easier and more instinctive. Pulling out a small item or pouch tethered to a strap is easier than rooting around aimlessly in the depths of your pack; you can also rest assured that anything hooked to a strap is much less likely to fall out or otherwise be left behind. You can find more Key Strap colors and varieties on the Key Strap page.
Some folks prefer metal zipper pulls. Others prefer cord pulls. So, what to do about that? We think the best solution (in most cases) is to offer metal pulls and include a starter pack of Cord Pulls with most bags. The most popular solution is to weave the Cord Pulls through the metal pulls, effectively silencing them without having to remove them. A video demonstrating various Cord Pull options and more colors/varieties of Cord Pulls can be found on the Cord Zipper Pulls page.
History of the design
Back in the 1990s, in answer to customers’ request for a bag to take to the gym, Tom designed what he called the “Sport Bag”. It was inspired, maybe unconsciously, by some old fashioned bag he’d seen in an attic or a basement, or perhaps on an old TV show.
Side Grab Loops
Tom first added these side grab loops to our Grab Bag; folks found them so useful he decided to add them to the OSCA.
We've used the grab loops on the OSCA to:
- Have something to grip while we unzip the compartments of the duffel.
- Hang the OSCA vertically on a hook.
- Clip a carabiner to secure/tether stuff to the outside of the bag: a quick-dry towel, jacket, etc.
Webbing Lash Tabs
Two webbing lash tabs on the exterior top opposing corners of the OSCA give you even more organizational or tethering options:
- Jeremy B.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Finishings, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Versatile1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Finishings, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, VersatileRated 5 out of 5 starsGym bag, but amped up
I tend to use this for the gym - though it is more versatile than that.
It's the perfect size for a gym bag. When under-filled, the pocketing slims down nicely to drape well when being carried off one shoulder, or cross-body.
The O-rings in each compartment make it easy to attach smaller organizational items as needed. I put Grab Bags inside of it (because overall this bag feels like a 10x bigger version of the Grab Bag!). If you want a stiffer version, get the ballistic. if you want it more lightweight and crushable get Halcyon or Cordura (I've got Cordura).
The end loops are great for hanging the bag vertically in a locker, or in a closet for storage. Grab handles are angled inward to make it easier to carry cross-body without them interfering or bending in a way that's annoying.
For a sense of size, the big main compartment can zip close with a football in it, but not with a full sized basketball or soccer ball. Those can be carried in it securely, but the bag won't fully close.
- EricaVerified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Comfortable, Good Storage Size, Versatile, High Quality Craftsmanship, Made in USA1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Comfortable, Good Storage Size, Versatile, High Quality Craftsmanship, Made in USARated 5 out of 5 starsAlso a day pack!
I recently bought the OSCA to use as a day pack along with my T45 for a carry-on only trip to Costa Rica. Between the two, I had space to spare. I bought the absolute shoulder strap and used it for the OSCA while using the T45 in backpack mode. I was overwhelmed with colour choices, but got both bag in 1050, Steel for T45 and Burnt Orange for the OSCA. I think they look lovely together!
The mesh side pocket was great for sandy damp towel or my water bottle. I’m fairly certain the my sunblock stained the OSCA a bit, but I don’t mind a bit of history or memories included with the bag. Comfy, versatile, useful as a walk around town purse/cross body bag, well made, unique, perfect sized beach bag … love this bag!
- Adam H.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Unique1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, UniqueRated 5 out of 5 starsSimple yet unique little duffel
I usually don't write reviews but this thing is great. Almost everything from Tom Bihn I have not been disappointed by. The 3D pockets really help with organization and make the outer pockets much more useful than on similar sized bags. Handle straps are comfortable, and quality is top notch. I will comment that this bag is quite small in total volume (if you are expecting something larger this is the only negative that I can think of).
- Brian C.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, Made in USA, High Quality Craftsmanship, Versatile1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, Made in USA, High Quality Craftsmanship, VersatileRated 5 out of 5 starsTB is the OG!
Avante garde to say the least! Their best bags are the ones that come back around! The OSCA is a one bag travelers pro tip hack! Essentially making you a two bag traveler. Subjectively, with exception to laptops....the versatility of this duffel is extreme!
- Sean D.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Versatile, Unique1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Versatile, UniqueRated 5 out of 5 starsA Bag of Excellence
This bag deserves the high honor bestowed upon it by the review title.
The Old School Carry All is made of durable high quality materials that are carefully assembled to create a bag that is versatile, unique, and aesthetically pleasing. This bag is at home in the field, on an expedition, or even a jaunt around town.
The best part? The core values at Tom Bihn and the craftspeople who painstakingly work to ensure that you receive the best product possible.
Thank you to everyone at Tom Bihn! Keep up the amazing work!
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.