We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

TOM BIHN Forums Statistics


Topics: 15,029   Posts: 194,205   Members: 6,937   Active Members: 206
Welcome to our newest member, jkj2313.


No announcement yet.

Cadet Review

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Cadet Review

    Right, let's get into this.

    I'm a "researcher" type person who looks and looks and looks before I buy something. I want:

    1) Made in USA
    2) By a company that has been around for at least 20 years (demonstrates longevity)
    3) Stands by their products (if not lifetime warranty, a long time warranty or at least a promise to make their flaws right)
    4) Doesn't source materials exclusively from cheap, third world sweatshop companies
    5) Functional and useful to me

    Tom Bihn's Cadet bag hit all of those marks. I actually love the bag. I mean it. It's an extension of ME at this point. It now carries my wallet, a laptop when needed (more on that in a bit), charger battery, cables, first aid kit, keys on a lanyard, books, magazines, snacks, sanitization wipes, wet "butt wiping" wipes, and more. The internal blue (I believe it's called Halycon) fabric makes it easy to find things. The Awesome Strap lets me carry this the way I want and if you have problems with it slipping off the shoulder please see this post - it was a life changer.

    The outside pouch is my water bottle pocket + key holder + book/magazine pouch + whatever else I need (I got a red lanyard which is clipped to the last zipper, which makes getting my keys out SO much better than going through a pocket). The tiny pocket on the front holds my scripts, a little tube of hand sanitizer should I need it, and potentially batteries (AA/AAA if I need them).

    The cache is so goddamned smart. I cannot, CANNOT, get over how smart that cache is. It's ridiculous how smart it is.

    When I first got this bag I worried about the size. Well no more. I don't worry about it at all. It just works. It's not massive, it's not too heavy, the handles feel secure and comfortable, and it's a real treat to take it with me wherever I go. Yes, I have a manbag, but it's a good one...an awesome one.

    Thank you Tom Bihn and staff for creating a truly AMAZING product!

    Pictures here

    I have a Steel/Island Cadet. I find I don't use it much as I do with my DLBC because it's a bit too tall. I guess it depends on what you carry. Maybe I should give it another try. Thanks for sharing.


      I have a Burnt Orange Cadet, which is my EDC/briefcase now. I keep my 15" Dell laptop cache-less inside it, and also have my lanyard clipped to a key strap in the front compartment. Love it, but wish it was just a tad bigger (or that my laptop were a tad smaller), as it's a tight fit if I put anything else in the main compartment with the laptop.


        I actually had kind of a mixed review of the Cadet. The micro-fiber phone compartment is too small for a lot of current phones. The bag is big, but not very thick, so it doesn't hold a pair of Bose Quietcomforts well without bulging. The cache system is fine (and common to most Tom Bihn bags) but I seldom found myself using it. I returned it and found a lot more to love in a Pilot. The Pilot fits more stuff, but somehow doesn't really seem as big. And with those 3 external compartments, there's more organization.


          I love my Cadet. I don't use a cache but bought a neoprene sleeve from Amazon that I slip into the bag on the other side leaving the space where the cache would go open. On that side I store my lunch, mouse, & power cables etc. The front gets all the other EDC stuff. I have an absolute strap but rarely use it as I find it just as easy to carry as a brief case.

          Interestingly my packing cube fits nicely into this as well so for short trips I could use the Cadet instead of my larger travel bags.


            Hi! Which 15” dell do you keep in the cadet? Do you have the regular cadet that’s still selling or the bigger cadet 15 which i think might have been retired? Just trying to figure some things out... thanks!