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Favorites & Regrets ? Slow to love?

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    Favorites & Regrets ? Slow to love?

    I was wondering which TB styles you regret and which styles are your favorites (or that you have multiples of).

    Regrets: I have a beautiful navy/solar Side Effect that I have owned for several years and that I have never used. I am just not into it. I have waited to grow into it but that day never came.

    Took me a while: The Pilot. I regretted buying this but have grown to love and use this bag more than I ever thought. This is like a messenger bag without the flap (which I hate on bags). I'm not a flap person. The Pilot has become a trusty friend.

    Old Faithful: The Co-Pilot has become old faithful. It is like a second skin. The Pilot and co-pilot are the only bags I hang up in my closet with my clothes. Each on their own hangers. I find that the cordura wrinkles and makes the bag look ugly. I stuff them with old pillow cases while they are not in use.

    Star Power: I have been very vocal about the shop bags being the best bags that Tom Bihn makes. I have 3 and just ordered another 2 today. The other day I used my zip-top for the groceries and what a luxury to zip it up when it was pouring rain outside; something I have never done before.

    Do you have any regrets or slow to love styles from TB?
    Synapse25, Pilot, Co-pilot, Side Effect, Large Shop Bag, Small shop bagLarge zippered Shop bag, Large Travel Tray

    Regrets: No regrets. I've been able to rehome, trade or sell any TB bag that didn't work for me. A30, WF, SEs, PTs, various small items like Small TTs and pouches of all sorts that ended up not being used.

    Took me a while: A45. I thought it was too big for me, and it's turned into my favorite luggage.

    Old Faithful: The Pilot. I've traveled for 3 days using only the Pilot as my luggage. And it works as a briefcase when I need to haul a laptop.

    Star Power: Zip Top Shop Bags, SK, and the Medium Road Buddy. The shop bags get the most use. The SK is my everyday purse (except I don't carry a purse when I go to work, so it's only used on the weekends). When the A45 is too big, the Road Buddy is just right. And the Truck has become my house purse / craft basket.


      Regrets: The Makers Bag, mostly because I want to love it so much and I just can't find a good way to use it. It always feels too full or not full enough, I haven't been able to find a carry method/placement that is comfortable and it feels too big and too small all at the same time. I have used messenger bags on and off for many years and thought this would be a good replacement but alas it was not to be.

      Took me a while: S25. This was my first TB bag back when they first released it. I loved the construction and used it for a bit but I had trouble with the organization and felt I wasn't using it well enough. I traded away my original Nordic/Steel and moved on. I recently replaced it with a GES25 and I am smitten. Really, I can't say enough how much I like it. I don't know if it's the frame sheet or just having tried so many others and been left wanting but I'll be sticking with it for the foreseeable future.

      Old Faithful: Tie for Pilot/BB. Both allow me to travel lightly while easily fitting everything I need. I use them independently and in partnership. Weekends are easy in the Pilot, the BB allows for longer travels and the two together make plane travel comfortable.

      Star Power: GES25 It's a repeat but man it really is a star. Beautiful, functional and unpretentious. It is a bag that can go any where and do anything.


        Regrets/Dislikes: Side Kick, Maker's Bag, Cafe Bags. SK - Thought it'd be an instant win purse for me. Nope. MB - way bigger than I imagined. S19 - loved it for a while, then got over the space limitation when I'm on the run. (Small) Cafe Bag- thought I'd love the flap. Got over that and the buckle look.

        Took me a while: Brain Bag.

        Old faithful: Pocket pouch - use it every day for my metro card. I'd love one that was less susceptible to things falling out, but I am not fond of the wallets/pouches with zippers.

        Star power: Brain Bag - went from not wanting it at all to an everyday carry.

        I have a big lesbian crush on: (have liked for an extended period but do not own) First/Second Aid Pouch, Stuffed Bat!, Night Flight Travel Duffel

        It's definitely been a journey for me to understand how a bag looks on the site, how important those dang videos are, and how I want to use the statistics - to help me shop more carefully now to what suits me.
        Last edited by julia; 12-18-2018, 11:29 AM.
        Aeronaut 45 | Aeronaut 45 Packing Cube Shoulder Bag |Yeomen



          I like my Co-Pilot, but it is made of 1050 Ballistic, and I find that fabric is just too stiff and unyielding in a bag this size, at least for me. Later, I acquired a Med. Cafe Bag and Daylight Briefcase in the 525 Ballistic, so I am able to compare the two and I like the 525 much better. Have not acquired anything in Halcyon.

          I find myself not using the Co-Pilot due to the stiffness factor, although it is "bullet proof". I'm thinking of selling it and ordering another in 525.
          Last edited by Go Navy; 12-18-2018, 01:04 PM. Reason: Subtitle
          Go Navy


            Originally posted by Go Navy View Post
            I like my Co-Pilot, but it is made of 1050 Ballistic, and I find that fabric is just too stiff and unyielding in a bag this size, at least for me. Later, I acquired a Med. Cafe Bag and Daylight Briefcase in the 525 Ballistic, so I am able to compare the two and I like the 525 much better. Have not acquired anything in Halcyon.

            I find myself not using the Co-Pilot due to the stiffness factor, although it is "bullet proof". I'm thinking of selling it and ordering another in 525.
            I have a CP in the 1050 ballistic that I bought used, so it's older and it's very pliable... I think the 1050 (based on posts throughout these Forums) softens up over time and becomes less stiff.
            “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
            “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
            “That’s practically zen.”
            -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay


              What an interesting way to analyze TB choices!

              Regrets: I don't regret any of my TB gear - they all have their uses, even if it's taken me a while, and if they don't fit my needs I have been able to rehome them. With that said - I find I don't use my Large Organizational Pouch, except when traveling and I need to bring a packet of documents with me. I'm not sure if it's because I am not a Wasabi lover, or because it's not the optimal solution for my needs. Maybe I just haven't figured out the scenario for which it shines.
              - A Cache - it was too bulky and I don't bring a computer with me daily. I use a third-party sleeve instead that I repurposed from my son's school binder.
              - Little Swift (original Dyneema/Iberian; new Nordic/Monarch) - I finally admitted that didn't get along with the interiors on these two. I still have a black/Fjord LS. It's stuffed to the gills and yet I can always find what I need.
              - Monarch small Travel Tray - Same thing, was too hot a color for me (though I love Solar and Zest). And the small size is just slightly awkward for my nightstand gear.

              Took me a while: Packing Cube Backpack. I bought this because old Nordic was being discontinued. I thought it was too unstructured and too big for me when it first arrived, but turns out it is actually great as a packing cube and daypack for when I travel.

              Old Faithful/Star Power/Multiples: I have more than one S19, and more than one Smart Alec. I don't use them every day (well, in some seasons the S19 is my EDC, but not always) - but it is great to have a predictable layout when I do reach for a backpack. It means I don't have to think about how to set things up - I just grab and pack.


                Regrets My only regret was initially buying the pilot in Halcyon, now that i have it in coyote ballistic its so much better. I regret not finding Tom Bihn and one bag travel earlier in life

                Took me a while The Synapse 19, initially it held the same as the pilot, but as I started to use it, worked out how to get the most out of packing it and the Ballistic loosened up I now alternate between it and the pilot as my daily carry or long weekender. Currently going through the same for the Synapse 25 GE, just working out the best way to pack it and use the pockets. If I can it will be my one bag travel for holidays

                Old Faithful Is the Pilot, still working on a pack list to get a week of travel with it (to a warm climate). Also the Aeronaut 30 with a DLBC inside as this was my first combination for one bag travel for work.

                Star power is the Synapse 25 Guides Edition, looks great hanging on the wall when not in use. I would happly re-buy a guides edition of the bags I already own such as Aeronaut 30, Pilot and Synapse 19.
                Last edited by gregcswanson; 12-18-2018, 02:26 PM.


                  Regrets: No real regrets, but the TriStar doesn't see a lot of use. I've found it to be either a bit too big or a bit too small. When it is full, it is a bit heavy for a quick sprint through the airport.

                  Took me a while: Daylight Briefcase. It looked too small and a bit too "cutesy" but it has recently become my favorite bag-in-a-bag, fitting in my Ego and Super Ego and even turns them into checkpoint friendly bags. Cutting a thick file folder down to fit inside the back zippered pocket keeps documents from crinkling.

                  Old Faithful: Empire Builder - just the right size as a very professional looking "traditional" briefcase. The hard dividers are great for separating projects or clients while on the road.

                  Star Power: The Ristretto. Big enough for documents and "pocket junk" when going through security and a terrific "personal item" that goes on every plane in the universe. Fits into the Ego/Super Ego

                  And, of course, the Ego and Super Ego - the finest bag ever made. It is a cross between a messenger bag with a flap covering the front part and a regular briefcase with a zipper on top. The main compartment is huge and holds everything from the Daylight Briefcase to packing cubes. The part under the flap has organization almost like a Freudian Slip (also a winner). It is comfortable to carry and looks nice in any setting.
                  Last edited by ceb; 12-18-2018, 02:20 PM.
                  When in trouble, obfuscate.


                    Regrets: unlike @GoNavy I have the CP in halcyon and wish I’d gotten ballistic. It’s just too floppy to use for anything other than a gym bag. I wish it had the structure of ballistic to use it for EDC

                    Took a While: daylight backpack. I’m still not a huge fan of the carry but it’s so darn pretty (cloud/dawn) that I’ve been reaching for it more often. And find that I can fit everything in it!

                    Old Faithful: Side Effect. Goes with me everywhere. I’ve always loved minimalistic purses and it just the right size for everything I need. When it’s not, I still take it, but put it in a bigger bag!

                    Star Power: I’m choosing the PCSB for this as it was an impulse buy but has become essential on every trip since I bought it. I use it as a flight bag, a camera bag, a beach bag, and sometimes even as a packing cube!
                    Synik 22, Truck, Luminary 12 with a MCB Freudian Slip, Daylight Backpack, EDC HLT2, Side Effect or Side Effect, zippered Large and Small Shopbags, Co-Pilot, Travel Tray, Snake Charmer


                      1050 ballistic Copilot. It's too small for my needs and far too rigid.
                      Side Effect. It's a perfect size because of portability, but doesn't fit my necessities.

                      took Awhile
                      Large swift. I love how it feels and that I can stuff it with crazy heavy textbooks and it still feels great

                      Old faithful
                      I love my side kick! Everything has a place and nothing escapes.

                      star power
                      Large shopping bags work great at stores and for running errands.
                      Aubergine/steel MB, Aubergine/wasabi pilot , Aubergine/island SE, Aubergine/NWS Lswift, Black/fjord Sswift, Alphaviolet/NWS S25, Alphaviolet/viridian SK, Black/UV S19...and buying more! Aubergine and Alphaviolet lover!!!


                        My one TB regret is the Side Effect. I just can't seem to make meaningful use of it. Turns out what I needed all along in this role was the Travel Cubelet.


                          Freudian Slips: I bought a FS with most bags I have, as I expected to use them for ease of organization but rarely used.

                          Took Awhile
                          None: All the bags have been for specific needs/purposes and all have readily been used to match the need - and often for more purposes than originally expected.

                          Old faithful
                          Side Kick: Used daily instead of cluttering up trouser and coat pockets.

                          Star Power
                          Large Shopping Bags (open top) used almost daily not just for shopping. Also always carry one (may now start to use zip top Large Shopping Bag) packed in other bags when travelling.


                            I bought a Ristretto, used it for a conference, and then promptly sold it when I realized I vastly preferred my trusty DLBC. Similarly, the Pop Tote has failed to disrupt the Large Shop Bag hegemony at my house, but I had a good experience using it as an overflow carry-on bag on a plane trip, so I've kept it around.

                            TOOK ME A WHILE
                            The Smart Alec. In fact, it's still taking me a while. For some reason, this bag has never inspired great feelings of excitement or affection in me. However, I almost always end up picking it instead of my A30 or S25, and it's starting to worm its way into my icy heart.

                            OLD FAITHFUL
                            My burnt orange cordura Daylight Briefcase was my first TB purchase, and it's still my favorite working companion.

                            STAR POWER
                            Large Shop Bags. I have eight, four in 200 halcyon and four in 210 ballistic, and they all get used regularly. Disappointingly, I think these would be the TB bags that I would find it hardest to live without. (I say "disappointingly" because I imagine myself to be a much more exciting and adventurous person than the kind of person who prizes grocery bags over outdoors exploration backpacks or world-travel bags, but honestly... the Large Shop Bags are phenomenal and I love them.)
                            EDC: Side Kick/Medium Cafe Bag | WORK: Daylight Briefcase/Synik 22 | GYM: Truck | TRAVEL: Synik 22/Smart Alec/Aeronaut 30


                              Originally posted by setrombley View Post
                              My one TB regret is the Side Effect. I just can't seem to make meaningful use of it. Turns out what I needed all along in this role was the Travel Cubelet.
                              What does the travel cubelet do that the side effect doesn't?
                              Happy owner of Original copilot, Nordic Original small cafe bag, Nordic Halcyon Synapse 25, Nordic Halcyon medium cafe bag, black Halcyon Sidekick. Gave son The Maker's Bag and he LOVES it. Gave Hubby a Pilot for Christmas!