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.
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$304.00


Color: Ursa Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic

In Stock

Available Color options

Spaciousness. Simplicity. Top Loader.

33 liters / 2000 cu.in.

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
    10 months 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.

  • Matt
    3 years ago
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Carries great, holds anything you want to pack

    The main compartment is a big sack, allowing for tons of flexibility in what and how I pack. I test packed it out for a long trip and again with a tent and camping gear. The straps and back panel feel really comfortable when loaded up with weight. The pack itself is pretty light, but it carries a heavy load really well. I could also see using this a lot on bike trips at home. The bag can fit a basketball and change of clothes, and I think it would be a great grocery hauler too.

    The top compartment has plenty of space for quick access items. It easily fits a 1L water bottle and jacket, or a fully packed PCSB with room to spare. The laptop compartment seems plenty big. My computer isn't very bulky but it's easy to access, and I don't feel the laptop on my back when the bag is packed out.

    Materials and construction feel well made, like any other Tom Bihn bag. Water resistance seems good enough for daily use, the zipper are coated and the top loading design should help keep water out.

    Overall I'm really happy with the bag. It's light but carries a heavy load well. The open design is really flexible for carrying different loads, and while all Tom Bihn products seem really well made, this one in particular has very few zippers and seams that could possibly fail. I can't wait to start using this on trips and adventures!

  • Pete C.
    Verified Reviewer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Comfortable, High Quality Finishings, Unique, Versatile
    2 years ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Comfortable, High Quality Finishings, Unique, Versatile
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    A very good travel bag

    I have used the Shadow 33 for several trips now, and am very pleased with how good of a travel bag it is. Since my packing style is mostly packing cubes and pouches, it works very well with the open bucket shape of the backpack. Also, this bag just feels like it can hold more than the 33 liter spec. And unlike some other bags, it also underpacks very well.

  • Ross E.
    3 years ago
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    A great new bag from Tom Bihn

    I received this bag today, and don't have any travel plans anytime soon - But that didn't stop me from test packing this bag for a 1 week trip. It was able to hold all the gear I normally carry in my Synapse 25 / Synik 30. The main compartment is cavernous and allows you to organize it however you like. I placed a weeks worth of clothes inside it. The top pocket is perfect for items you may want to access quickly during travel. I placed loose EDC items, tech kit, etc. into a small snake charmer and HLT1…. side by side. This left some generous room at the back, which would work well for placing my phone, wallet, keys when going through TSA. Under the flap are 2 small pockets for thin items. After loading the pack, the biggest surprise was putting it on my back. The bag feels great, and naturally rests into my lower back. I don’t normally use the waist straps but gave them a try and that also made the bag feel even better. I may add the padded hip belt at a later date. I believe this bag will be an ideal companion for 1 bag travel, and I cannot wait to try it out further. Thanks to Tom Bihn for all you do in making such awesome products right here in the USA.

  • Alex
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Good Storage Size
    7 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
    7 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

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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.

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