View Full Version : Eclipse Redesign

10-02-2003, 05:03 PM
Someone in my office just got your Eclipse bag in grape. Pretty cool!
So, there are many of us who wish to follow suit, BUT we want an Eclipse bag in Crimson. Darcy has checked and says there are none available anywhere in the world for sale.
I understand that you are now designing a new Eclipse bag - please make it in Crimson (or find an older version SIZE 3 for me).
Much thanks.

10-03-2003, 11:54 AM
Post your suggestions for the new version of the Eclipse here.

Right now, we're thinking: Same minimalist styling, functions as a micro-briefcase, but with an updated look - maybe it won't even have a front flap.

10-15-2003, 07:49 AM
I would have purchased an Eclipse as is - except you are out of stock of the size 4, so I will await the new design.

I think it is a great design providing extra storage and an organizer that is not found on sleeve products like the Brain Bag, yet it is still smaller than typical laptop briefcases and messenger bags.

I really appreciate the storage compartment quality for my Tablet PC - similar to the Brain Bag. But when I travel I really want to have a place for my charger, a digital camera, a PDA and a few reports in A size format, ie 8 1/2 x 11.

I like the front flap over the front pocket / organizer with the buckle clasp. It seems to solve several problems namely to cover the pocket from the elements, to secure the contents of the pocket from falling out, it provides a cover to hide some of the clunky items that may be placed in the pocket and last but not least it does this without velcro fasteners which are noisy and difficult to adjust in tension.

You have a good thing going in the design of the Eclipse. My advice is not to mess with concept and functionality. Yes - spruce up the appearance, yes - offer more colour options and yes - more sizes.

I have an HP Compaq TC1000 Tablet PC and would appreciate a size that is smaller than the size 4. It could be your size 5 (Brain Bag) or slightly larger.

BTW I have a few other items that you do not provide cases for. Perhaps you may in the future: A Canon A70 digital camera, an IPAQ 1940 Pocket PC. Other people out there may have other PDA's or Ipods. A co-ordinated suite of "use alone or fit in one Eclipse" products would be great.

Thanks for the forum and for providing the opportunity to express my comments to you.

Bruce Gough

10-15-2003, 09:33 AM

The only suggestion/improvement for the Eclipse I could think of would be a little more expandable file pocket on the back.

But wait, the second left/second largest (front view) organizer pocket should be a little (few milimeters) larger to fit the iSight carry tube easier.


Tom Bihn
10-16-2003, 02:28 PM
The re-design of the Eclipse has been prompted by the fact that the Eclipse is very difficult to manufacture. Additionally, there were several customers who found certain design elements somewhat lacking.
While I appreciate the esthetics of a flap on the front of the Eclipse, I find it is not as functional as a zipper closure might be; especially considering that all the things one is "containing" under the flap are small items which could easily slip out should the Eclipse become inverted. In other words, if you turn your Eclipse up-side-down all your crap falls out.
I'm hoping to come up with a design that is as convenient as the flap and even cooler looking but adds the security of a zipper (probably one of YKK's Uretek water-repellant zippers).
Colors are not really my department anymore - y'all just make sure that Darcy and/or Sunga tell the factory to make the right colors and that should do it!

11-05-2003, 08:42 AM
What I find most appealing about the flap design is that, coupled with the snap closure, I can fit a whole lot of crap in there. In my current Eclipse, I have managed to fit my iPod, my cellphone, pens, power adapters for both my laptop and my cellphone, a couple of DVDs, a paperback book and some snacks. Even better, I then use the snap closure to secure my umbrella to the bag as well. Would a zippered enclosure still provide the kind of space and expandability required to cram all that stuff into the pocket (foregoing the umbrella, of course, as a strap of some sort seems required for that to work)?

Tom Bihn
11-13-2003, 03:47 PM
I'm having ideas about something that closes with a zipper but still has a strap/flap thing so as to be able to tuck a sweater or what-have-you under it.
A Brain Cell on steroids with a cell phone pocket and a really cool look.
I could tell you more, but it's classified information and I don't want to end up in Guantanimo.

12-22-2003, 04:03 PM
I've been checking every week for the last few months! Any timeframe for the new design?

Tom Bihn
12-28-2003, 03:41 PM
I'd have to say sometime in the spring - say March. Sorry for the delay - I've been putting my "all" into the sling pack and there's also been some family health issues (Mom's doing much better, thanks).
Which size are you requiring?

01-03-2004, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by Tom Bihn

Which size are you requiring?
Hi Tom, I'm looking for a size 4 to fit my new apple powerbook Al. Thanks for the reply - I look forward to seeing the bag in Spring :) Glad to hear your mother is feeling better.

02-07-2004, 10:23 AM
I'm skeptical about the zipper. First, I'm concerned about it scratching contents as they are taken out of the bag. Also, I hate using bags that require a 7-step procedure to get things in or out of them.

Have you considered a velcro-enhanced buckled flap as on the Cafe?

Finally, I'd like to see that little added piece of webbing my Cafe has on the side. It's been ideal for clipping belt holsters (cell phone, iPod, etc) to the outside of the bag.

02-07-2004, 04:40 PM

Thanks for your input on the zipper. It is a concern many people have, but I don't know of a customer who has ever told us that the zipper scratched their computer. Perhaps a thin, padded flap under the zipper would help?

I think the webbing you're speaking of is the attachment for a waist strap, but that's a clever use of it. I never knew people did that!

02-07-2004, 07:33 PM
It never occurred to me that it might be for a strap, it's quite wide and only on one side. It is very useful as a surrogate belt, though, and usually has a cell phone holster and an ID badge (or three) attached.

You can probably disregard my concern about the zipper anyway, I think the ID might be the bag for me, rather than the Eclipse. It'd be nice if the site helped differentiate these two from each other!

02-09-2004, 10:54 AM
phobia -

I think of the Eclipse (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0700) as a Brain Cell (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0300) with a front flap and a couple more pockets. So it's basically just the hard-shell laptop case, with a decorative flap and a couple pockets. Very minimalist.

The ID (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0805) is a messenger bag - you can fit the Brain Cell (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0300) inside of it, and still have room for a couple books, and all your usual accessories.

I carry a bag that's roughly the same size as the ID every day, and while it's not always packed full, I carry:
Sweater, gloves, hat
iPod & all its accessories in a pouch
Whatever book I'm reading
Usually a magazine
Nalgene bottle
Wallet, keys, checkbook, etc.'

Plus groceries if I go to the store can just fit right in.

02-09-2004, 11:14 AM
I'd love to hear from anyone who can compare the Eclipse and ID, size-wise, to a Brenthaven Mobility 1. I really just want one of those that fits my 15" and is as bulletproof as my last Tom Bihn. ;-)

02-16-2004, 09:34 PM
Hi Tom, a few suggestions from a guy who carried his laptop around with him every day:

A strap on the back so that you can strap the bag onto the extendable handle of a wheely bag. For those of us who travel a lot with their laptop, it's useful to have a compact bag which you can use every day to go to and from the office but can also use it when running through airports with your wheely bag. I guess this strap can double as the 'sweater strap' you mentioned earlier.

Room for a power supply. I know very few people who travel with only with their laptop. The power supply is usually always there and a pocket which caters for it without creating a huge bulge would be very nice. These days you can get slim laptops, slim PDAs,slim cellphones, slim iPods but the powersupply is always a brick and results in an unsightly bulge!

The top-loading zip is perfect for a laptop bag - quick but secure. If you are going to have a flap, it would be good if you sew it to the front so that we don't have to open it to get the laptop out.

Tom Bihn
03-04-2004, 03:30 PM
I think we are mostly on the same page here. However, the quest for the perfect roll-aboard strap has been quixotic. Because roll-aboard luggage comes with many different widths of handle, we need something that would accomodate them all. So far everything we've come up with has looked like an after-thought. Bulk, expensive, plastic buckles, webbing, velcro, it all catches on clothing and scratches bare skin when you use the bag on your shoulder or hip.
Any ideas?
Regarding the power supply brick, I seem to have talked to an equal number of customers who always carry batteries rather than power brick. Maybe we should have a poll?

03-10-2004, 11:31 AM
I love the eclipse concept (had a look at a friend's bag) because I need to be restrained in the things I carry around.

The one thing I'm looking for is a holder for my cell phone on the outside as I never hear it ring on time to find it and answer. And, I hate wearing it on my clothes.

It could be separately attached to the bag or an add on to a shoulder strap.

Possible? Likely?

Tom Bihn
03-10-2004, 11:54 AM
I've designed a new cell phone pocket for our Buzz bag and it's likely to make an appearance on other new bags as they are designed too.
I do plan to include it on the new Eclipse, but we'll have to see.

04-07-2004, 04:15 AM
Any idea when we will be able to see/buy the new Eclipse?

I've bought a Timbuk2 Commute in the interim and I'm not exactly thrilled with it :-(

06-23-2004, 12:14 PM
I have an eclipse used for 15'pb and I have to say that its a great bag. There some things I'd improve. The back pocket is perfect for magazines and papers that need to stay flat. I like that it is open and not a zipper but I wish there was some elastic in the top seam to keep the pocket opening flush to the back of the bag. With use this fabric is beginning to droop. Its not just an look issue because when I use the bag there is increased friction on papers in the pocket. Its not only one day when I've found type rubbed away when I pulled the papers out. OK, its a minor, minor thing.
I have never used the zippered pocket under the flap.
The buckle doesn't always stay tight, it loosens.
Its hard sometime to reach deep into the divided pockets in the main compartment. Fewer slots ( mine has six) might make that easier.
The bag is great, use it every day. Certain whatever changes made will make this a better bag.

06-25-2004, 04:44 PM
Keep bugging Tom about it and we'll shoot for a Fall 2004 release.

Originally posted by wicho
Any idea when we will be able to see/buy the new Eclipse?

I've bought a Timbuk2 Commute in the interim and I'm not exactly thrilled with it :-(

07-27-2004, 11:55 AM
I'd like to second Siv's request for room for the power adapter,
especially if you design something which nicely accommodates the
shape of the Mac adapter without having to stack it. (As an example,
the Trager Ultra-Lite Laptop pack has accessory pockets which are
well-suited to rectangular power bricks of most laptops, but doesn't
work as well for the Mac adapter stored with other items unless
these are placed in a pouch inside the pocket; the vertical design
of these pockets with the side-zippers makes it too easy for other
items placed in the pocket with the power brick to fall out if
unsecured.) I agree that even folks with long-life batteries will
travel with power adapters, too.

As a second thought, the new AirPort Express modules, which have
similar form factor to the Mac power adapters, could also be
accommodated, for a portable standalone wireless access point
solution (PC and Mac) that you can carry with you to hotel rooms
or other sites. So even the battery-only folks might want this.

Tom Bihn
10-20-2004, 12:12 PM
We haven't forgotten about the Eclipse. We are working on increasing our production capacity and hope to release the Eclipse in early-mid 2005.

01-27-2005, 05:15 PM
I hope it's soon. I loaned my eclipse out with the intent to order another one, and found that I can't. Now I can't pry it out of the loanee's hands! :eek:

01-28-2005, 06:00 AM
I saw a interesting feature the other day on the train. It was a grommet about 1" wide with a rubber slitted rubber membrane across the opening. It was for the headphone wire to plug into an iPod nestled inside the bag. Much nicer than having a pocket attached to the sling. A detail but might make a bag just that extra bit useful and protective at the same time.

Tom Bihn
02-17-2005, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by xenicon
It was a grommet about 1" wide with a rubber slitted rubber membrane across the opening. It was for the headphone wire to plug into an iPod nestled inside the bag.

While I agree as to the utility of these soft-plastic grommets, I find them unattractive and worse yet, a compromise to the waterproofness of the bag.

That being said, we are going to incorporate something that will do the job just as well on the next batch of the Buzz (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0151) and the new version of the Eclipse.

02-17-2005, 02:14 PM
Well, I guess whether a grommet is leaky or not depends on where it is placed on the bag. Some spots commonly wetter than others. the grommet doesn't have to be front and center.
I like the idea of a way into a bag other than my hand.
So, the eclipse will have something like that? OK!

04-22-2005, 01:33 PM
Any update on when the new Eclipse will be available? I'm about to buy a Brain Cell to drop in my current (non-Bihn) bag, but the Eclipse sounds like it might sway me.

04-25-2005, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by Thom
Any update on when the new Eclipse will be available? I'm about to buy a Brain Cell to drop in my current (non-Bihn) bag, but the Eclipse sounds like it might sway me.

It's hard to say, but I would expect to see it by the end of summer.

09-15-2005, 02:40 AM
It's hard to say, but I would expect to see it by the end of summer.

Summer is almost over. Any news?

11-14-2005, 09:29 AM
Now that fall is fully in force, any word on the Eclipse?


11-18-2005, 01:51 PM
No news yet. I do anticipate that the redesigned Eclipse will be available in 2006, but I am clearly pretty bad at predicting exactly when :)

02-22-2006, 09:16 PM
I think we are mostly on the same page here. However, the quest for the perfect roll-aboard strap has been quixotic. Because roll-aboard luggage comes with many different widths of handle, we need something that would accomodate them all.

I updated my two Empire Builders to have what I consider the "perfect roll-aboard strap."

I simply cut a slit across the bottom of the "back" pocket and put a zipper in there. It works across all the different roll-aboards that I use. The downside is that I can't have any papers or a magazine in the back pocket while I make use of the new "piggyback" functionality. I'll gladly trade that for the increased ease of getting through the airport.

06-08-2006, 08:12 AM
Any word on the Eclipse? I'm really missing mine, and the person I loaned it to won't give it up, or die, so that I can pry it from their cold dead hands.


02-02-2007, 04:51 AM
So, 2006 has come and gone and no new Eclipse in sight.

Should we consider the Ego as the Eclipse replacement or is the redesigned Eclipse still coming out one of these eons ;-)

03-29-2010, 06:20 PM
This thread has made me sad... I'm a long-time Ecliipse owner, and recently poked around to find a replacement. My existing bag is finally starting to show some wear, with the main zipper catching regularly now.

I'm *totally* bummed to discover that the Eclipse is no longer made, and no current bag exists that completely resembles it. AND that it was supposed to get re-released in a new version (according to this thread), but it looks like that never happened.

Anybody know if there's ANY chance of a new one being produced, still? If not, I might just send my existing one in for repairs, but I was hoping for an update. And/or, I might check out the Zephyr or Id, which bear the closest resemblance to my favorite bag of any that Tom Bihn now offers. But I'm skeptical that I'll like them quite as much... the Eclipse (size 4) is simply too perfect size/weight-wise, and I doubt that I'll like something larger/heavier as much.