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Tom Bihn Paralysis

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    Tom Bihn Paralysis

    Just wondering if anyone else has the same problem as me?

    I've become infatuated with Tom Bihn products to the point where I can't bring myself to buy any.

    I would dearly love a Small Cafe Bag, a Ristretto, and a Synapse. I think there are also times I could find a Side Effect quite useful. Of course I will also need an assortment of organiser pouches and a wallet to go with these bags.

    The problem is I can't afford to spring for all these bags so I must restrict myself to one. Or two. Or would you believe two plus some pouches?

    But which one? And here enters the paralysis. I can't help but feel that if I leave out the Synapse I will end up regretting the decision. The same goes for the small cafe or ristretto.

    I'm not asking anyone to make the decision for me, just hoping the someone shares my pain.

    I share your pain gonty... with so many bags out, i's SO difficult to choose...


      hi gonty!

      they are indeed all beautiful and well made! it is hard to choose.

      the small cafe bag, the ristretto and the synapse are all fine choices! and they each serve a different purpose, so i understand why you want all of them.

      i assure that regardless of the one you choose as your first tom bihn bag, you will not be disappointed.

      and look at the positive in the situation - not getting all three now only means that you have something to look forward to down the road.


        Thanks for your sympathy maverick and peregrina.

        Would you believe that throughout the course of today I have made probably 5 different final decisions about what combination of bags I would order. I can't believe what's happening to me. It's so easy to see a perfect use for so many of the bags but I worry that I may over analyse things.

        Maybe I'll just keep pestering the forums with endless questions and live vicariously through other people's bag purchases.

        I think I am currently leaning toward a synapse and small cafe. I love the ristretto but the truth is I just don't carry my macbook with me most days, the synapse would be really handy as a carry-on and day pack on my upcoming trip, and I've been curious to try switching from a messenger bag to a backpack as my main daily bag for a while now. I'd grab a cache to throw my macbook in the synapse when needed.

        The small cafe would replace my crumpler sporty guy as a basic bag when all I want is phone, wallet, book and not much more.

        Decisions, decisions, decisions.


          I think a Synapse with a Cache for the laptop and a Small Cafe Bag along with various Pouches (ask questions about them too, if you like) is a great first order.

          My first order was a Brain Bag and the ancestor of the Cache and the ancestor of the Vertical Brain Cell and an Absolute Strap.

          I immediately regretted not ordering one of the Cafe Bags. I
          was stuck with a unsuitable small bag for essentials for a couple of months until I ordered my Large Cafe Bag in Plum/Steel.
          I took too long to order it, one trip without it was a difficult.

          The other trips with my Brain Bag and Large Cafe Bag have always been easy to deal with, gear wise, despite many "technical errors" on my part, such as taking a turn away from my gate at the airport, using the wrong walkway to the car rental shuttle...

          I already have a Small Cafe Bag, it is very handy for all kind of situations and so light it feels like you are carrying nothing.

          A Synapse is in my future, using the Brain Bag, I realized that the best way to balance what I am carrying is mostly on the back with some things carried in one of the Cafe Bags.
          Last edited by backpack; 05-10-2010, 08:53 PM.


            Hi, gonty.

            Cheer up. Some people find themselves so paralyzed by choosing a color, they order the same bag in different colors.

            A Synapse and Cafe Bag sound like a fine start.


              Hi gonty!

              I know what you mean, for sure. I have devised a system that works for me in this matter. First, I realize that I can always order more. Perhaps not today, but eventually. Second, that realized, it is more a matter of prioritizing. So my criteria is which bag will I most need/use in the next year. That gets me to which bag I am going to buy. The next step is choosing the color combo. I have learned not to delay on getting an available color combo that I want.

              So, basically my checklist goes like this:

              Identify budget.

              Identify most needed bag type.

              Identify which bag style best suits within the type.

              Identify color combos that appeal (having TB pouches helps here.)

              Plan a time for the next purchase after this one. This idea that you will be buying again from TB at some foreseeable future date takes a lot of angst off because you can buy the stuff in your next order that the budget doesn't cover this order.

              Place order, watch UPS tracking.

              That's pretty much how I do it. I also have done an impulse buy of a Medium Cafe Bag in Linen/Olive when I saw what one looked like here on the forum. That is a bit out of character for me (but not too much.) It is a great bag btw. I switch back and forth between my Navy/Cayenne and Linen/Olive Medium Cafe bags, every few weeks to months. I find this aids me in keeping my bag well organized and auditing its contents. The Medium Cafe Bag is my Every Day Carry (EDC.) I use keystraps, pouches, and a clip in light in my bag. I can find everything quickly.

              Good luck in choosing!
              Bags: Latest: Pop Tote and Shop Bag (large) ; also have a Co-Pilot, Super Ego (w/cork seatbelt); Aeronaut; Medium Cafe Bag; Large Cafe Bag; Brain Cell; Shop Bag small, (Steel); Packing Cube Shoulder Bag. Accessories: Oh yeah, bunches.
              Sadly Lost to Hazmat: An Imago in Steel/Cork & MCB in Linen/Olive.
              " ...all [that] you have to depend on is yourself and your luggage." - The Luggage Salesman (Joe Versus the Volcano)


                What is interesting is that the problem gets even worse as you buy more and more TB bags. Now you have way too many choices for what to use in a given situation.... Which bag do I use today or for this trip?.... OK, I have everything I will need in this bag.....let me see how it works in the other bags.....or maybe in this third bag....

                I find that I sometimes spend more time going back and forth among the bags than anything else, switching bags even as I go out the door. I sometimes think it would be best to sell/give away all but one.... but which one?????


                  rabergnc, you write: "switching bags even as I go out the door"—how do you make an on-the-fly switch of all the contents?


                    There's a post about using the Kit to transfer items between bags - it kind of like that - certain items always come along. The rest are easily switched - especially with packing cubes. Luckily this does not happen much. I have learned to make myself do the final selection by about 10 minutes before leaving. I just need fewer options! There are worse problems to have....


                      I always have a Medium Cafe Bag with me. So, I just switch between them now and again and audit contents when I do. Usually, it all just goes from one to the other. Now, that said, I do have several other bags I will carry in addition to the Medium Cafe Bag. I have an Imago, a Large Cafe Bag, and an eBags Professional Deluxe Carry-On Tote - enhanced with a Freudian Slip and a couple of the Large Pouches from TB - which I have set-up for my classes. Each bag is dedicated to a particular class/day schedule.

                      The eBags has all my Bio stuff for 2 days a week trekking. The Large Cafe has all my Psy stuff for a long class each weekend, and my Imago holds my Math and Computer class stuff for another twice a week slot. It works for me. Whether studying or heading to class, I just grab the relevant bag and boom, I am in business. When the semester ends I will de-task all the bags and they will be available again as needed for new tasks.

                      I like having the choices. Usually I can get away with my Medium Cafe Bag, and if I am expecting a need, I toss a shop-bag into it. I have in the MCB my TB pencil pouch too, which covers several of items that are shared between all my classes. That will take a hiatus in the Summer from my bag. The rest stays, such as my flash drive, and my voice recorder. Well, the voice recorder may go on hiatus too, but I am thinking about using it to take memos to myself.

                      I use a multi-bag approach. Does anyone else?
                      Bags: Latest: Pop Tote and Shop Bag (large) ; also have a Co-Pilot, Super Ego (w/cork seatbelt); Aeronaut; Medium Cafe Bag; Large Cafe Bag; Brain Cell; Shop Bag small, (Steel); Packing Cube Shoulder Bag. Accessories: Oh yeah, bunches.
                      Sadly Lost to Hazmat: An Imago in Steel/Cork & MCB in Linen/Olive.
                      " ...all [that] you have to depend on is yourself and your luggage." - The Luggage Salesman (Joe Versus the Volcano)


                        I think I have temporarily solved my paralysis. I've decided on a synapse plus medium cafe bag. However, budget wise I need to wait a few weeks before ordering.

                        I suspect the medium cafe bag will be my main bag most days. I'll use the synapse + cache for days I'm carrying my macbook, or any load too big for the medium cafe.

                        I suspect I may use a couple fo pouches to switch a few things easily between bags.