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Favorites & Regrets ? Slow to love?

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  • Surrealle
    Regrets 1. Not finding TB sooner (aka before covid and everything got messed up). Also regret the A45 I bought, which shocked me. The zippers were too stiff, there was no place for my tech or easy access to my phone, and I was sorely disappointed to realize the end pockets don't zip away completely. I thought I'd be able to access the entire bag from the end points as well. I'm exchanging it for the S30, which is probably a touch too big for me at 5'2 but addresses the other issues at least.

    Took me a while Makers bag. At first I thought it was too big, as I can't carry large crossbody bags without pain, but realizing it had a waist strap like a backpack was a total game changer. Now I have the easy access of a crossbody with the comfort of a backpack, and it holds everything I need for the day. I even love that it doesn't have a zipper and I can just reach for what I want. I'm up to 5 of them now, lol. Not sure how that happened..

    Old faithful HLT2. Love the clamshell (I'm all about easy access, could you tell?) and it's perfect for holding my essentials for short trips or going into another bag for longer ones. I've finally stopped searching for a wallet!

    Star power Makers Bag and Brain Bag. Brain Bag was another "took me a while" because of the looks, but once I got past that I fell in love (and now I even like the looks with the darker colors). It's a perfect work EDC as it's never too big--thanks to the straps--and can hold any size water bottle I'd ever want to carry, plus a travel mug if I wanted. Love the size of the front pockets too! Adding an S25 frame sheet took this bag from good to great, and my only quibbles are that I wish the divider between the main compartments zipped away, and that it had a clamshell opening. Oh, and I also love that it *doesn't* have a laptop compartment, as I rarely carry one and don't like the bulk of integrated laptop compartments. I'd rather add a sleeve/cache when needed.

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  • sturbridge
    Regrets: not trying a Night Flight in halcyon. I had gotten it in ballistic, and couldn't quite get to hold the things I wanted in it, but in hindsight I think I could have made it work with halcyon. All of the other bags that didn't work for me have been sold/traded.

    Took me a while: Pop Tote. I was originally disappointed in this, as I had been expecting the zip top tote which came later. It was a little too big and unwieldy as a daily carry bag and lacked internal organization. Which is why I really like it now as an overnight bag, so I can throw whatever into it, without having to be careful to fit things into the appointed spots.

    Old Faithful:
    Goes between my zip top shop bag and my Pick up Truck. Its the shop bag if I expect to carry the bag around and want to make sure nothing falls out, or the Pick up truck if its mostly staying in my car or traveling to a location (like Mom's house) where it will stay in one place.

    Star Power: Cubelets. These awesome little vessels corral my bits and pieces, and since I have a bunch, I have color coded kits that can be thrown into whatever bag I'm using. Currently a dawn one carries my everyday comfort items (first aid, earplugs, chapstick and the like) and a veridian one carries a mask and reusable gloves and sometimes hand sanitizer. When I'm visiting where there will be small children, I have a deep blue one with some printed out games, kid theme bandaids, a mini white board and marker and sanitizing wipes. Ghost Whales are a close runner up. I have smaller kits in those.

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  • Tonya
    Regrets/Dislikes: My one TB regret (and it's a major one!) is selling my Synik22 on eBay. I no longer sell or trade my TB bags, because although it might not work for me now, who knows what the future holds. I regretted selling it as it was leaving my hands. Dislikes are the frame sheets. Slouchy packs work better for me!

    Took me a while: Synapse25. It took the new shoulder straps to make me love this bag, and although I still don't use all of the exterior organization, it's a perfect EDC for me during the school year.

    Old faithful: Daylight backpack. I've had it for years and still love it. It's sitting beside my desk right now, packed for a sketching and birding outing later today.

    Star power: Snake charmer. This little genius organizational pouch works for EVERYTHING from charger cords to toiletries to dog leashes. I need all the colors in all the sizes. Probably a close second is the Monster Truck. I use it as a picnic basket, grocery tote, easel / plein air bag, xmas gift carryall, blanket organizer, etc etc etc.

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  • bijoux
    Regrets: not buying a backup A30 with orange lining. The shop bag. I wish TB made ultralight fold up bags like IKEA knalla so I can pop 3 in my handbag

    Took me a while: Q kit (smaller size) Now I use it to hold nail clippers, alcohol wipes, and band aids when travelling

    Old Faithful: A30 original halcyon. Use it every week, and it has been all over the world

    Star Power: Clear quarter packing cube. Makeup on one side, assorted toiletries on the other side. Can see everything at a glance!

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  • yeg780
    Regrets - Not getting the Large Cafe Bag in halcyon when it was still in production. I have it in cordura (spelling?) and I love it. But I would LOVE to have one in halcyon.

    Slow to Love - Small Cafe Bag. Great bag but I just don’t have a reason to use it often. I do use it but it’s forced.

    Old Faithful - Medium Cafe Bag. This has become my edc during covid. It holds everything I need to keep safe during this time.

    Star Power - Spiff Kit. The smaller one. Bought it to travel but I use it daily for all my toiletries. I keep everything in there and it keeps the bathroom counter super clean and organized.

    Honourable Mention - Travel Tray. Can’t say enough about that one. Lives on my nightstand and goes with me on every trip I take.

    Using Tapatalk

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  • Climb14er
    First of all, I have no regrets here at Tom Bihn. Everything has been made first class and performs as intended.

    My #1 bag... and it's a fairly simple, straight forward one... is one of the first production runs of the Co-Pilot. Ballistic 1050, Black.

    I was never one to carry a 'bag' with me unless I was carrying one of my business Tumi Expandable Ballistic Executive Briefcases with me or my thirty five year old Schlessinger Natural Belting Leather absolutely beautiful briefcase, which I still have!

    The Co-Pilot has been with me for meetings of all kind, in my motorcycle saddle bag, on the planes, trains and automobiles and as an EDC when traveling. The Co-Pilot carrys just enough of what I need including the important water bottle and phone battery pack when out for a long day of use. Not a single rip, tear, broken zipper... zero, nada... just a well used but still very much intact and fully functional small briefcase.

    The Co-Pilot in ballistic 1050 is simply... a great bag!

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  • aryabird
    Regrets: Missing out on the Conifer color when it was available. Lucky me, Wilderness looks to be a very close match.

    Took A While: Brain Bag. At first I thought it was too big, but its become my go-to travel bag.

    Old Faithful: Synapse 19. This has been my EDC since I got one almost 10 years ago.

    Star Power: Small Travel Tray because I haven't lost any of the small odds and ends in a hotel room since.

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  • KBA
    Regrets: Not a total regret, but the Guide’s Pack. I mean, I love having it, and I get that it’s designed intentionally minimal as a modern-day throwback, but the practicality of easy access in other bags has bumped this bag down the totem pole when it comes to hiking. It hurt saying that haha.

    Took A While: Size 1 Stuff Sack. I originally wanted something that could fit into the Synik22 side pockets, and bought a bunch of pouches I thought might work for my needs. Didn’t expect the stuff sack to win, but it did!

    Old Faithful: Synik22. I always wanted a clamshell Synapse— the one design feature that prevented me from purchasing one, and it didn’t disappoint. Waited for the Guide’s Edition and I’ve been loving it so much as a daily carry.

    Star Power: 3D Organizer Cube. Loving it as a super minimal doppkit, might buy a second to use as a tech-kit. If you don’t need compartments everywhere these things are amazing. Prefer it over the HTL.

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  • Chicagoan
    Favorites & Regrets ? Slow to love?

    Regret: Deluxe Spiff Kit.

    I can actually fit an entire weekend of toiletries, including contact lenses and medications, in a single Cubelet. The DSK is way more room than I need and since the hook-and-loop discs are recessed into the bottoms of the Nalgene jars, they don’t stick as strongly as I would like to the built-in “shelf.” The interior zippered pockets don’t keep my items in place and I’m the type of person who prefers a toiletry bag or Dopp kit which can keep all the contents upright. I wish I had a better use for this bag other than eye candy, because the Coyote 210 does look irresistibly good, but I don’t. Mine sits unused.

    Took Awhile: The HLT1.

    I bought one at the same time as a Synik 22, with the intention of using it as a packing organizer, but I got frustrated with the idea of unzipping the backpack, to unzip the organizer, to unzip an internal compartment inside the organizer. It was returned, but I bought it again later when I needed a small but highly organized shoulder bag to hold my EDC items and cell phone camera gear. It since has opened me up to the idea of clamshell style shoulder bags and has become a complete game changer for me - so much so I bought the HLT2 so I could own both sizes. FWIW, my current EDC bag is the HLT2.

    Old Faithful: The Luminary 15.

    It has a simple, vertically-oriented main compartment with built-in dividers that is perfect for storing water bottles upright and keeping them from falling over (my single biggest qualm with the DLBP). It is tall enough to hold an umbrella and deep enough (if you unzip the divider) to fit a pair of shoes and use an an overnight bag. The two side pockets are perfect for your wallet and keys, and can be easily accessed by taking off one strap and swinging the bag in front of your body. It is slim (great for theme parks and museums) and stands upright without tipping over (great for day hikes). If I had to choose only 1 Tom Bihn bag, this would be it. Prior to the HLT2, this was the bag I carried as an EDC. Before the L15, it was a Side Kick.

    Star Power: The Cubelet.

    It’s a perfect size to tuck inside another bag and use as an internal organizer. It sits flat, opens from the top and only requires navigating through one single compartment. I use mine as a dedicated toiletry kit, and it can fit an entire weekend’s-worth of toiletries and still zip completely shut. I have used this in as small of bags as the Side Kick and in as large of bags as a Patagonia MLC 45L. I don’t think $20 goes any further on the Tom Bihn website than it does with this accessory.
    Last edited by Chicagoan; 07-17-2020, 12:52 PM.

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  • setrombley
    Slow to love: up til recently, the Shepherd's Cloth was just too small for me to make good use of. But since going to the park and sitting on a bench has become just about the only safe way to get some light and air, having a wool cloth that I can either sit on or use as a very small tablecloth next to me has proved quite handy. It would be still more useful if it were a little bigger, though!

    The Truck was the one that surprised me. I almost returned it. But it turns out that if you have several dense, relatively heavy objects like 2-liters of pop, it's much better suited to carrying them than a Shop Bag is, due to the stiffener in the base of the middle section to support them and less room for them to flop around.

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  • mangosteen
    Regret: Western Flyer. I love Aeronaut 45. I think WF is too small and too compartmentalized for me. I'm also not good at packing light, so the A45 works really well for me. Probably because of that, I also love the Yeoman and Road Duffel. I've used WF about 3 times, and it's just gathering dust now; I'm not sure what to do with it. I've thought about repurposing it for work files and such, but I think it's too big/fussy for that. Plus I don't need WF and a Synapse.

    Took Awhile: Synapse 19. I wanted this bag as a carry on or for lighter travel, because it's not too big. But it took me a while to learn not to overpack it (or pack it plus other bags, which defeats the purpose or travelling lighter). I still use it when I want a smaller backpack and like it quite a bit.

    Old Faithful: S25, love this bag. I use it almost every day for work. It holds everything i need nicely. I have to pare down when I use the S19. Side Effect also works great for me to organize my work stuff; I have a second one that I thought I would use for non-work/casual stuff, but I haven't managed that. A45, which also regularly contains several packing cubes.

    Star Power: A45, shop bags, pop tote (my every day purse now), S25

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  • darknova306
    Regrets: Not buying a Sidekick while they were still available in Nordic last year. Sigh... what a great color. I also regret that I couldn't get my Nordic/UV Maker's Bag to work for me. It was a fun bag and such a gorgeous color.

    Took Awhile: I love the concept of this bag, and it's really pretty in Cloud, but I haven't figured out a good use case for me that would have me grabbing it instead of my S19. It'll probably wind up as a carry-on personal item if I ever fly again.

    Old Faithful: I haven't had it for long, but my Wilderness S19 has been with me everyday since I got it and it's been a perfect pack!

    Star Power: Western Flyer (Steel/Island). This has been an absolutely perfect bag for one-bag travel! It fits under every seat I've come across, the organization works for me, and it holds everything I need for two weeks of travel in a compact and easy to carry size. Cheers to the TB team for an amazing bag!

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  • G42
    Originally posted by nsh View Post
    Reunited and it feels so good...The Buzz is back in action!! Came back from my morning run to this eBay package on the doorstep. No regrets for me anymore [emoji4]I have plans for the Buzz + PU to be my on campus work bags this year. I will have no access to a kitchen/cafeteria/water fountain so I will need to carry my full food and beverage load plus all my professor gear (iPad/notebook/books)...the Buzz should pair well with the PU. I will share my detailed work packing plans in late August
    Yeah for The Buzz! I was eyeing that eBay bag but I have So.Many.Bags... hard to justify buying just so that I could see one in person
    Sounds like you have a great plan - can't wait to see the pack out

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  • nsh
    Reunited and it feels so good...The Buzz is back in action!! Came back from my morning run to this eBay package on the doorstep. No regrets for me anymore [emoji4]I have plans for the Buzz + PU to be my on campus work bags this year. I will have no access to a kitchen/cafeteria/water fountain so I will need to carry my full food and beverage load plus all my professor gear (iPad/notebook/books)...the Buzz should pair well with the PU. I will share my detailed work packing plans in late August

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  • Jeff A
    Originally posted by kemote View Post
    Just out of curiosity because I am thinking about getting one, how are you use the Makers Bag or why would you consider it "star power"?
    I have 2 uses for the Maker's Bag:

    1. Daily work EDC with my 15" MacBook Pro in a 3rd party sleeve, along with power cable, mouse, etc. iPad Pro fits in there as well, along with a notebook, small water bottle and some snacks. Also worked great at conferences.

    2. When I used to gig a lot with my former bands, I used it for set lists, my iPad, various cables in TB pouches, etc.

    I've always loved regular messenger bag style bags so I had to grab the Maker's Bag when it first came out. My is black halycon with island interior. Works great!!

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