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  1. #1
    Forum Member Pahs's Avatar
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    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag

    In many ways I wish my Goruck was a Tom Bihn bag. Especally when it comes to organization, but also in choice of materials and general aesthetics. Itís only that the Goruck is the most comfortable backpack Iíve ever owned. I can fill it up with all kinds of crap, walk for hours, and not even think twice about it. I forget it, even. Plus, living overseas, I canít justify splurging on another expensive backpack that I havenít tried on.

    So Iím going to stick with it. But that wonít stop me from trying to turn the Goruck into a Tom Bihn bag in any useful way I can. So hereís what Iíve done so far:

    I bought a Mars Red Side Effect, and it came with extra zipper pulls, so I immediately replaced the Goruck originals. I like these much better; they seem easier to get hold of, and require a less tight grip. I changed all of them, on the inside as well.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-23f7101f-cd70-46a8-90e7-078c448b6352-jpeg
    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-0a7dff74-ed2a-45ee-a9e4-d4834f697555-jpeg
    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-e204d8fb-dfd6-47f4-a142-93261f7c4df8-jpeg

    I discovered how handy O-rings were when I got the SE with a small OP, and I loved that way of organizing things, so I got some plastic rings on ebay and had a cobbler help me improve my bag. Apparently, where I live anyway, only cobblers have sewing machines that are heavy-duty enough to deal with 1000D cordura. I gave her the O-rings, the strap from the SE (Iíll never use it anyway, and I wanted my alteration to be as close to TB as possible), plus some photos of what they look like in the originals. She really did an excellent job, it looks like they came with the bag. She put the first one in the outer slash pocket. I was worried that it might get in the way of the zipper, but it has worked out fine, and given this pocket added usefullness.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-f593097f-74b2-485f-b060-6a9c3346e242-jpeg

    I have two straps attached to this ring, one for the house key and one to a mini OP carrying loose change and some notes.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-df89fc95-5d6b-4d63-a8fc-367d93c6806f-jpeg

    Inside the bag I wanted more organization, so I finally came up with this solution. Someone had a post online about using a Freudian Slip in the Goruck, so I got one of those and it solved a lot of my needs. A spot for sunglasses, pens, etc etc. But I thought it took up too much room in the main compartment, and I found out that by stuffing it in down the back pocket everything seemed much more compartmentalized, and the main space became much easier to use for other stuff.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-50867036-14ed-4c69-b171-fa794905db48-jpeg

    The cobbler also put in two O-rings for me at the inside top of the pack. Again, excellent workmanship. I guess I could have just used a carabiner or something on the molle for these straps, but that just seems messy to me. These O-rings make me happy.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-68f09144-67bd-44b2-a7f2-3a1d0032571c-jpeg

    The left one is attached to an Eagle Creek packing sack where I keep empty plastic ziplock bags for various uses. This used to be a halcyon DOP, but the Eagle Creek was easier to get in and out.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-5109c1c8-a077-4836-abaa-88b59708da7a-jpeg
    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-c8ecc6ee-a59e-4493-b017-46b90f597f92-jpeg

    The other key strap is attached to the SE. I just pull it, and up it comes.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-40a1e1ef-4e72-4ace-956c-b96568985c0f-jpeg

    I use two small OPís inside the SE to keep it organized. It is filled with chargers, first aid stuff, medicine, a pocket knife, cutlery, and a bunch of other stuff I may or may not need. It is amazing what this bag holds. The SE is the favorite Tom Bihn product I own. Iíve sat with it while watching TV for no other reason than to feel it in my hands. It is a combination of the workmanship and the 500D ballistic I think, and the sense that someone really cared when they designed and made it. This is the fabric I wish the entire Goruck was made of. With halcyon interior.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-5aa14e94-9d38-40c9-917e-d327950f0d03-jpeg

    I also keep a water bottle down that back pocket. It stays put, and is surprisingly easy to get to.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-f431d6d3-07d7-46e6-8e24-8591c5dcc43a-jpeg


    The Brain Bag version of the FS does not have any zippered pockets unfortunately. I miss that, so I had the cobbler attach a Double Organizer pouch to the back for a more permanent solution. She just put two seams along the top..You canít tell from this side. It is a nice spot for odds and ends (snacks, if Iím honest)

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-e82c678b-d7cd-46aa-bb79-e223c4fab547-jpeg

    Here are the seams:

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-5eac7884-97d7-493d-ab28-6438c85bfed6-jpeg
    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-84cd108e-f2f8-449f-9e5f-6d17813542c0-jpeg

    Thatís it. I hope I did not bore you to death.

    Iíve spent a good while figuring out this constellation, but I welcome all and any suggestions for further organization - especially if they involve purchasing more Tom Bihn stuff. I am looking for any excuse. Any. Excuse.

  2. #2
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    No advice here, just wanted to say: Great bag hacks! You’ve really come up with a way to make what you have work for you, very sustainable I think. I tried a GR2 before I found Tom Bihn, it was a great bag and I really loved the way you could get all the way into the ma8n compartment , it was just too heavy empty for me at 5’2”.
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color EEK! 好的朋友

  3. #3
    Forum Member SIM's Avatar
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    Sounds familiar. My current setup in my GR1. There are three other mini organizer pouches not seen and a pencil case in the mesh pocket.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pahs View Post
    In many ways I wish my Goruck was a Tom Bihn bag. Especally when it comes to organization, but also in choice of materials and general aesthetics. Itís only that the Goruck is the most comfortable backpack Iíve ever owned. I can fill it up with all kinds of crap, walk for hours, and not even think twice about it. I forget it, even. Plus, living overseas, I canít justify splurging on another expensive backpack that I havenít tried on.

    So Iím going to stick with it. But that wonít stop me from trying to turn the Goruck into a Tom Bihn bag in any useful way I can. So hereís what Iíve done so far:

    I bought a Mars Red Side Effect, and it came with extra zipper pulls, so I immediately replaced the Goruck originals. I like these much better; they seem easier to get hold of, and require a less tight grip. I changed all of them, on the inside as well.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-23f7101f-cd70-46a8-90e7-078c448b6352-jpeg
    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-0a7dff74-ed2a-45ee-a9e4-d4834f697555-jpeg
    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-e204d8fb-dfd6-47f4-a142-93261f7c4df8-jpeg

    I discovered how handy O-rings were when I got the SE with a small OP, and I loved that way of organizing things, so I got some plastic rings on ebay and had a cobbler help me improve my bag. Apparently, where I live anyway, only cobblers have sewing machines that are heavy-duty enough to deal with 1000D cordura. I gave her the O-rings, the strap from the SE (Iíll never use it anyway, and I wanted my alteration to be as close to TB as possible), plus some photos of what they look like in the originals. She really did an excellent job, it looks like they came with the bag. She put the first one in the outer slash pocket. I was worried that it might get in the way of the zipper, but it has worked out fine, and given this pocket added usefullness.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-f593097f-74b2-485f-b060-6a9c3346e242-jpeg

    I have two straps attached to this ring, one for the house key and one to a mini OP carrying loose change and some notes.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-df89fc95-5d6b-4d63-a8fc-367d93c6806f-jpeg

    Inside the bag I wanted more organization, so I finally came up with this solution. Someone had a post online about using a Freudian Slip in the Goruck, so I got one of those and it solved a lot of my needs. A spot for sunglasses, pens, etc etc. But I thought it took up too much room in the main compartment, and I found out that by stuffing it in down the back pocket everything seemed much more compartmentalized, and the main space became much easier to use for other stuff.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-50867036-14ed-4c69-b171-fa794905db48-jpeg

    The cobbler also put in two O-rings for me at the inside top of the pack. Again, excellent workmanship. I guess I could have just used a carabiner or something on the molle for these straps, but that just seems messy to me. These O-rings make me happy.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-68f09144-67bd-44b2-a7f2-3a1d0032571c-jpeg

    The left one is attached to an Eagle Creek packing sack where I keep empty plastic ziplock bags for various uses. This used to be a halcyon DOP, but the Eagle Creek was easier to get in and out.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-5109c1c8-a077-4836-abaa-88b59708da7a-jpeg
    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-c8ecc6ee-a59e-4493-b017-46b90f597f92-jpeg

    The other key strap is attached to the SE. I just pull it, and up it comes.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-40a1e1ef-4e72-4ace-956c-b96568985c0f-jpeg

    I use two small OPís inside the SE to keep it organized. It is filled with chargers, first aid stuff, medicine, a pocket knife, cutlery, and a bunch of other stuff I may or may not need. It is amazing what this bag holds. The SE is the favorite Tom Bihn product I own. Iíve sat with it while watching TV for no other reason than to feel it in my hands. It is a combination of the workmanship and the 500D ballistic I think, and the sense that someone really cared when they designed and made it. This is the fabric I wish the entire Goruck was made of. With halcyon interior.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-5aa14e94-9d38-40c9-917e-d327950f0d03-jpeg

    I also keep a water bottle down that back pocket. It stays put, and is surprisingly easy to get to.

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-f431d6d3-07d7-46e6-8e24-8591c5dcc43a-jpeg


    The Brain Bag version of the FS does not have any zippered pockets unfortunately. I miss that, so I had the cobbler attach a Double Organizer pouch to the back for a more permanent solution. She just put two seams along the top..You canít tell from this side. It is a nice spot for odds and ends (snacks, if Iím honest)

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-e82c678b-d7cd-46aa-bb79-e223c4fab547-jpeg

    Here are the seams:

    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-5eac7884-97d7-493d-ab28-6438c85bfed6-jpeg
    Trying to turn a Goruck GR1 into a Tom Bihn bag-84cd108e-f2f8-449f-9e5f-6d17813542c0-jpeg

    Thatís it. I hope I did not bore you to death.

    Iíve spent a good while figuring out this constellation, but I welcome all and any suggestions for further organization - especially if they involve purchasing more Tom Bihn stuff. I am looking for any excuse. Any. Excuse.
    I love this! I really admire your vision and commitment to getting the perfect bag for your needs.

  5. #5
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    I see I'm not the only one Bihning non-TB bags. It allows me to use more of my TB organization pouches and keystraps.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Pahs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I see I'm not the only one Bihning non-TB bags. It allows me to use more of my TB organization pouches and keystraps.
    I have been combing the forum for ideas for a while, and your post inspired me to permanently add O-rings to my bag. So thanks for that!

  7. #7
    Forum Member K9TB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pahs View Post

    I discovered how handy O-rings were when I got the SE with a small OP, and I loved that way of organizing things...
    O-rings make everything better!

    Love the hack.
    What's better than o-rings? More o-rings.

  8. #8
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    Great idea, but...Is this the 21 or 26 Liter GR1?? Which size Freudian Slip did you use?

  9. #9
    Forum Member Pahs's Avatar
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    It is the 26 liter GR1 with the Brain Bag/Smart Alec version of the FS.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pahs View Post
    It is the 26 liter GR1 with the Brain Bag/Smart Alec version of the FS.
    Thank you!!

  11. #11
    Forum Member dsonyay's Avatar
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    You're a master hacker. Great job.. I'm curious, what was the total amount of paid to the cobbler?

  12. #12
    Forum Member Pahs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsonyay View Post
    You're a master hacker. Great job.. I'm curious, what was the total amount of paid to the cobbler?
    Thanks! I can’t take too much credit, since most of these are ideas I’ve picked up from the forum.

    I paid $75, which is a not bad for this kind of work in Norway, where I live.

  13. #13
    Forum Member sose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pahs View Post
    Thanks! I canít take too much credit, since most of these are ideas Iíve picked up from the forum.

    I paid $75, which is a not bad for this kind of work in Norway, where I live.
    Sounds your passport is black. Smilie

    Great job here. You mixed two of my favorite bag companies.

    O rings are awesome.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Virtus junxit, mors non separabit.

  14. #14
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    Just wanted to take a second and bump up this thread because this is awesome. I love my GR1 and carry it every day, but did want some o-ring anchor points. I am not sure I'll quite go to the extent that you did to have them professionally installed by a cobbler, but it is awesome to see that you've made the effort. (I know they're considering opening a SCARS customization program...perhaps they could add this as a factory option....however unlikely.

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