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Favorites & Regrets ? Slow to love?

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    Regrets: I regret I didn't buy another Imago and more original Shop Bags before they were retired. I also regret my DLBPs in 525 and Cordura--just not the material/bag combo for my use--but the good news is that I have re-homed them to a loving home with my brother and SIL.

    Took me a while: The Spiff Kit; oh, I tried so many ways to pack this with toiletries and so many other uses until I hit upon a travel office supplies/cord organizer. Since I work from home, I can pretty much work from anywhere, but having the right cords and my favorite pen and sticky notes to hand wherever I travel is great. Being able to hang it from a chair or edge of a desk is a bonus that makes for easy access without having to unpack everything.

    Old Faithful: Imago (black) and DLBP (original black Dyneema). The first is my home EDC, and the second my travel/vacation EDC.

    Star Power: A30--this is my favorite travel bag ever! Bonus: when I switched over to this as my usual vacation bag, from my A45, it forced me to be more thoughtful and judicious in packing, so now I pack much lighter.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.” ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette


      Regrets: Not regrets per se, but the Side Effect didn’t work out for me at all. Too small and I discovered I’m not the person who likes a lot of pouches/smaller bags in big bags. I sold it. And I have a Travel Tray that I have rarely used so far, but I’ve kept it because I love the color (Fjord). Hopefully I might move it to „took me a while“ one day. I have also a Double Organizer Pouch which I never use because it’s made of Cordura and I don’t like the feel of that fabric, at all.

      Took me a while: I have an Original Halcyon SCB which I haven’t used a lot. I got another SCB in Aubergine and I like this a lot better, to me the fabric seems to work better with the style of the bag. Although I still love the look of the Original Halcyon! I’m thinking of making a stealthy super lightweight camera bag out of my first SCB, maybe it will get more use then. But I haven’t found a good camera insert so far.

      Old Faithful: DLBP as EDC, first in Original Halcyon, now in Aubergine/Cloud. Just love the bag.

      Star Power: Once again the DLBP - and probably also my new Steel Road Buddy 36 (but I haven’t tested it enough yet to know for sure).
      Last edited by b1gsky; 12-19-2018, 08:08 AM.



        Definitely--trading my parapack Large CafeBag. I mean, long may it live and serve the person now using it...but gosh, that bag was the perfect size and arrangement for me.

        Took Me a While

        Daylight Briefcase. For a while, it was too...something different each time. Too small...too zippy...too pocketed...but it grew on me!

        Old Faithful

        S19, hands down. Love it. And...have to add...my Ego w/Q/AM, which is my winter S19. Both of these: Good for the stuff, good for the back, good for the weather...just plain Good.

        Star Power

        Each Freudian Slip I have. LOVE these. So helpful at meetings, in cafes, libraries, offices, where-everses... They move with ease from bag to bag and keep items together, contained, and accessible in equal, organized, measure.


          Originally posted by Izzy View Post
          What does the travel cubelet do that the side effect doesn't?
          TC does not Flip over and spill its contents like the SE used to on me.


            Regrets:- My regrets are that I fell for things based on pictures, that didn't necessarily work for me. All of these have been rehomed...but I went through a bunch of bags because they looked cute, not realizing they wouldn't work for how i pack. I'm a one big space packer. I have a couple of accessories I'm hanging on to but don't really use: clear quarter cube and small snake charmer. I can make both of those work, but I have other alternatives that work better. The clear quarter cube is now used to corral other TB pouches, the small snake charmer is my summer road trip snack bag sometimes. I wanted to love the Night Flight, but it was just a little too tiny.

            Took me a while: Pop tote- this was the zipped top shop bag I had been wanting before it was available, but its too large for me as daily carry (because I have this habit of stuffing bags to capacity). Now it is my designated weekend/overnight bag.

            Old Faithful: small shop bag, both open and zipped, travel cubelets, cubelets, Q kits. I'm a sucker for smaller bags and small accessories.

            Star Power: My A30. It forces me to pack lighter, easy to carry through the airport when I have to hustle to the gate.
            Last edited by sturbridge; 12-19-2018, 11:32 AM.
            Getting to the point with too many bags to list them all. Current daily carry is my Black Halcyon Zeitgeist with a Cobalt Cerylon 3DOC as my "purse"/


              Regrets: TriStar and Western Flyer... They are such elegant solutions but I've had to accept that I rarely flat pack... So I've rehomed the TS and will rehome the WF... I also shouldn't have bothered with the cache... it's another elegant solution for a problem I don't have. I'm TSA precheck so I never need to pull out a laptop and have it stay attached. I just use the inexpensive sleeves I already had.

              Took Me A While: Daylight Briefcase... I really love using the DLBC now for trips that combine work/pleasure... only after I received one in trade and experimented did this work out.

              Old Faithful: A30 for most plane trips and A45 for trips that required extra work stuff. I like the combination of a couple sections + 3D packing with cubes. The new laundry cubes work especially well for how I pack. And the feature that I like the most is living out of it like a dresser drawer because I don't unpack whilst traveling.
              The Pop Tote is my dependable every day gym bag.

              Star Power: The original Small Shop Bag. I think I'm only missing 3 colours which means I have a lot of them and rotate through them. They are the perfect size for me for groceries and everything and anything random I need to carry. I have some original Large as well, but they are harder to carry when full because I am short and they juussst scrape the ground. The Zip Top versions are nice for under the seat on the plane and random things, but I'm sticking with the open tops for versatility.
              I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...


                Thanks for this thread! It's too easy to read the forums with a feeling that "everyone has and loves every bag, so I must also have all the bags!" Appreciate the reminder to slow down and enjoy the things that really click for me, rather than fearing that the bag I don't have could be even better somehow.

                Regrets (all rehomed)

                Pilot--I love the design on paper, but it was too small for my work laptop and too big for edc or personal item during travel.
                Large Shop Bag--It almost always scraped the ground when I hand carried it. The height and strap length did not work for this short person except on the rare occasion when it was fully packed such that the bottom was perfectly squared up and flat.
                Small Zipped Top Shop Bag--I'm not completely regretting yet, but I've already rehomed one. I miss the clean design of the open top Original SSB--the pinched sides of the ZTSBs don't feel like the usual TB elegant solution to me, and I wish the zipper of the ZTSB were incorporated into the side of the bag differently somehow. Like I wish it was a lightweight Pop Tote without the external pockets?
                Travel Tray--I never got the hang of incorporating this into my travel routine. A little awkward to fit into my bags when traveling light, and (minor but real annoyance) I don't dig the look of the full size TB tag on such a small accessory.

                Took me a while

                Smart Alec--I returned a halcyon SA only to try a ballistic SA months later because it was the last chance before the design's retirement. Now I even have another ballistic SA as a back up (the only large bag I've ever duplicated).

                Old Faithful

                Western Flyer--My first TB travel bag, and still my go-to in many situations. Love it with the TB packing cubes especially.
                Clear Organizer Wallet--No longer the most minimal TB wallet, but it still works great for me.
                SK--My purse. I used to use an SE, but having the little bit of just in case room in the SK has saved me many times.

                Star Power

                Pop Tote--So glad the PT exists! My above gripes about the LSB and Zipped Top Shop Bags don't matter when I can still have a largish zip tote that works for me.
                A45--I rarely need the full capacity of this bag, but when I do need it, I remember that I greatly prefer its simplicity and clean style to every other "max carry-on" backpack out there. The A45 goes completely against the trend of more-is-more long list of features and straps and pockets, and I love it. Hands down design winner for me, nothing comes close.


                  The Travel Cubelet sits open and upright in either my larger work bag (an east-west from another company) or, on the weekends, my LCB, and holds things I might want to grab in an upright position (brush, lip thingies, little tube of ibuprofen), which is easier to find than in the jumble of the SE (I know it has internal pockets, but then you're fumbling things aside to get to the pockets). In the outside pocket, I stick a backup phone battery, a cord, and a plug. I just transfer it along with my keys, etc. at the beginning and end of the weekend. If I'm just running errands from work I take it out of the main bag, and it's a much more natural wear for me than the Side Effect. (Prettier color, too. Nothing against black, which is 80% of my wardrobe, but the Dawn is very nice.) I hang the strap in a mini organizer pouch clipped to the zipper when not in use.

                  Oh, and when I'm running said errands I can stick my iPhone SE in the (temporarily emptied) exterior pocket and listen to my wired headphones. That would be a lot riskier with the SE!
                  Last edited by setrombley; 12-19-2018, 10:49 AM.


                    Regrets: When I first saw the original halcyon, with the white pattern, I was still recovering from a bad concussion, with some damage to visual processing. I know this sounds nuts, but I couldn't handle looking at the grid pattern in white.

                    Now that, at long last, I've recovered, I find that I LOVE the Nordic original halcyon -- and it's been discontinued! So I regret that I didn't purchase some things in that fabric before it was retired. (But happy endings: I purchased a SCB in Nordic original from Julia -- thank you, Julia!!)

                    Took me a while: It took me a while to get the hang of organizing Tom Bihn-style. In fact, I'm still getting the hang of it. But I'm really enjoying it!

                    Old Faithful: My S25 comes on EVERY airplane trip with me as my personal item! (I still do a small rollaboard, too.)

                    Star Power: The quality of product design, fabric, and the staff! Everything about this company is amazing.

                    Imagine if our government were run even half this well ...
                    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!


                      I’m choosing the PCSB for this as it was an impulse buy
                      I bought mine on a whim too! I also use it for a beach bag, flight bag, and packing cube. And for extra layers/change of clothes. I didn't expect to get so much use out of it!


                        From reading the above, I've learned....

                        Regrets: I don't like the XYZ bag

                        Took me a while: It took me awhile to get used to the XYZ bag

                        Old Faithful: The XYZ is a pretty versatile bag

                        Star Power: The XYZ is better than sliced bread.

                        Each bag appears to have its detractors and those who love it. These posts are very useful as people identify why the don't like (or like) and that helps the rest of us.
                        Last edited by ceb; 12-19-2018, 06:37 PM.
                        When in trouble, obfuscate.


                          Regrets: Snake Charmer. I have a love/hate relationship with them. My regret is buying two of them, for whatever reason I thought it was a good idea to do so.

                          Took me a while: Small shopping bag. Sure, I liked it but did not really fall in love with it until I found myself reaching for it more often than other bags I own. I mostly use it to hold my lunch or other things I am transporting to and from some place.

                          Old Faithful: Cafe bag. The medium was my first, and then bought a small to use as the medium was too big for my normal needs. I love the flap, and the fact that I can still reach for things but have them covered from tiny grabby hands or the elements.

                          Star Power: Shop bags. I will eventually buy more, but they are seriously the best. I never have to worry about the bag breaking, even when carrying many books. It is also easy to clean, making it a huge plus. These bags are worth every penny and then some!


                            Regrets: Plenty of bags didn't work for me, but I really wish these two had worked:
                            The Luminary - It fit so well it felt like carrying nothing, and I liked its clean looks. But it's too hot for half the year and a wee bit too small for the other half.
                            Side Effect - I've tried this one twice. The volume is right, but the dimensions are too wide and not deep enough.

                            Took me a while: Travel Cubelet. I warmed up to it when I couldn't carry anything heavier. Plus it's a great LS organizer. But I don't like swapping PLOs every time I carry my LS, so one day it'll land in the destash pile.

                            Old Faithful: Cubelets, Q-Kits, small and medium OPs, yarn stuff sacks. I use them constantly.
                            Key straps - I don't use them every day, but nothing else will do when I need one.
                            The Side Kick holds up to whatever abuse I dish out while always looking new. I reach for it over my other winter PLOs, even though I find the inner pockets too tall and wish for different dimensions.

                            Star Power: Colors! Grass, viridian, mars red with canyon, olive with canyon, dawn, monarch, kiwi, fjord, solar, coyote with aubergine.

                            I've bought and loved two bag styles despite humdrum colors: the Swift and SSBs. The swift carries beautifully over my shoulder. I use one for knitting and one for work EDC. I have an LS for carrying my PLO + something else. IE PLO + winter accessories, PLO + knitting, PLO + snacks and water. The shop bag's pleated inner pockets, handle length, and square shape set them apart from other totes in my bag collection. Add a star power color and I look for opportunities to carry the Swift and SSB.
                            Last edited by twosandalz; 12-19-2018, 07:56 PM. Reason: Fixin typos


                              REGRETS: Not a single thing, as another member mentioned, everything I ended up not using I could resell for almost new ROI and buy more Tom Bihn! Some things I sold: A30, MB, CUBELETS, COPILOT, and sometimes I just ordered TOO MANY of one thing in different colors

                              TOOK ME AWHILE: Freudian slips. Tricky little geniuses, took me several tries with these until I paired them with the right bags (PT & Truck, in my case)

                              OLD FAITHFUL: PU for overnights, just perfect every time for my needs. All Fabric 3DOC's and Luminary for festivals and campus visits, where there is a lot of walking.

                              STAR POWER: SK paired with my POP TOTE and a MED CAFE BAG Freudian Slip, EDC MAGIC!
                              Last edited by anna2222; 12-19-2018, 08:20 PM.


                                REGRETS: I've never returned or rehomed a bag or accessory I've purchased, so I have no regrets about any of my own purchases. I've also purchased various bags for family members and friends as gifts, including a couple of Parental Units for new parents. In retrospect, I would probably have gifted a backpack in lieu of a Parental Unit, since it seems like a more useful shape.

                                TOOK ME A WHILE: The Smart Alec took me a couple of weeks to warm up to. I wasn't a fan of the side pockets at first, and I couldn't figure out how to deal with the cavernous interior in any meaningful way. After many trial packing jobs and experimentation, I now fully understand why this pack is so useful: it can be anything you want it to be, and you are limited only by your imagination. I now consider it the most versatile and indispensable bag I have. I've used it as my only bag for long trips, a daily carry for laptops and work stuff, a picnic bag stuffed with chairs and coolers, and as a personal item in combination with a larger carry-on. With the ability to expand its carry potential by strapping stuff to the outside or attaching additional bags to it, it grows with you. Cinched down or left empty, it appears as small and unassuming as any small book bag. Also, it's by far the most comfortable bag I own, even fully loaded.

                                OLD FAITHFUL: Hard to choose from among my bag children, as they are all at this point both old and faithful. But my go-to bag tends to be the Aeronaut 30. It's an ideal size to hold all my travel stuff for any period of time, and lays open and accessible so unpacking at my destination is never required. It's never too heavy to carry, and it fits everywhere including under the seat in a pinch. It feels like it will last forever.

                                STAR POWER: Daylight Backpack. I am currently using this as my daily carry bag, and once again, I'm blown away by how such thin strips of fabric can be transformed into such a useful and elegant tool. I carry 1 or 2 computers in it in third party sleeves, an assortment of pouches clipped to the inside, and a Side Effect inside as my marsupial purse which I grab when headed out for lunch. The wide webbing straps are extremely comfortable and easy on clothing, and the bag adds almost no weight. I love how it is so minimalist and collapses down to almost nothing. It looks work appropriate, not like I'm going hiking. Despite its thinness, it's ridiculously strong and sturdy, and I have no worries that it'll rip. Also, I love the easy-open unonbtrusive zippers and the large from pocket that I can just dump stuff into one handed. This bag comes with me on every trip, collapsed down and packed in the straps compartment of my Aeronaut 30.
                                Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful. — Shaker Philosophy