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Bags you owned before Discovering Tom Bihn

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    #46
    I won’t list all the bags I’ve had, it would take too long.
    As a student, lots of army surplus canvas. It all wore out sooner or later, especially since I always carried so many books. My first daypack was for hiking: an REI with a snap-ring main flap closure. I still use it for short hikes.

    The pack I still miss the most was a no-name German rucksack, quite like the Guide’s Pack. It disappeared in a move long ago, and I still mourn it—so much that I am likely to buy a GP eventually. (If the GP only had a snow collar/extendable top flap….) I “one bagged” through Europe and Israel with that pack, as well as parts of the Alps and White Mountains. If anyone want to hear why it was so awesome, just let me know. (Why am I obsessed with a “snow collar” inside the opening? Go stand next to a major road in freezing rain for five hours with your thumb out. Will your sleeping bag be dry? note: this was before things like Goretex—and plastic garbage bags)

    Today for travel, I use either an Aeronaut 45 or a hard-sided roll-away. Either way, I usually carry my Western Flyer as a carry-on bag for longer flights. Before that, I went through two Eagle Creek rollers over many, many years: they were sooo solid in the old days, and they had a lifetime warranty. You really had to work to wear them out. (Of course, I would never—ok, once-- check my A45)

    As a work bag I still use a leather German ‘school bag’ occasionally—what I dislike about it is that there are no external pockets (esp. an open magazine pocket across the back) and that even with the flap buckled, it is too easy for little stuff to fall out if it gets turned upside down. But it is indestructible! It got me through a dissertation and two books.

    Just before discovering TB, I had a massive Timbuktu messenger. Too big, really, too heavy, and, strangely enough, too much organization—I was always losing stuff in the myriad of small slots and pouches in the dark inside. Now I carry my beloved Imago (black/wasabi) everywhere, every day. After using a long list of no-name and computer-branded laptop bags, and then a LCB with a sleeve, today If I have to take the big work laptop home, I use my relatively new Ristretto. And when a pile of books comes due or I finish that particular project, they go back to the library in a large shop bag. (For carrying notes and materials to class I still have an LL Bean canvas tote bag, but the handles are nearly ripped through, and when they go, my office gets its own LSB!)

    OK, I’ll stop….There is some nostalgia here, but one thing that is very clear looking back is that bags today, and especially Tom Binh bags, are almost always lighter, tougher and better conceived than in the 'old days'. Those older bags do have a thing or two which is still worth keeping and passing on, but there has been real progress. thanks Tom!

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      #47
      Originally posted by bbcamp View Post
      I won’t list all the bags I’ve had, it would take too long.
      As a student, lots of army surplus canvas. It all wore out sooner or later, especially since I always carried so many books. My first daypack was for hiking: an REI with a snap-ring main flap closure. I still use it for short hikes.

      The pack I still miss the most was a no-name German rucksack, quite like the Guide’s Pack. It disappeared in a move long ago, and I still mourn it—so much that I am likely to buy a GP eventually. (If the GP only had a snow collar/extendable top flap….) I “one bagged” through Europe and Israel with that pack, as well as parts of the Alps and White Mountains. If anyone want to hear why it was so awesome, just let me know. (Why am I obsessed with a “snow collar” inside the opening? Go stand next to a major road in freezing rain for five hours with your thumb out. Will your sleeping bag be dry? note: this was before things like Goretex—and plastic garbage bags)

      Today for travel, I use either an Aeronaut 45 or a hard-sided roll-away. Either way, I usually carry my Western Flyer as a carry-on bag for longer flights. Before that, I went through two Eagle Creek rollers over many, many years: they were sooo solid in the old days, and they had a lifetime warranty. You really had to work to wear them out. (Of course, I would never—ok, once-- check my A45)

      As a work bag I still use a leather German ‘school bag’ occasionally—what I dislike about it is that there are no external pockets (esp. an open magazine pocket across the back) and that even with the flap buckled, it is too easy for little stuff to fall out if it gets turned upside down. But it is indestructible! It got me through a dissertation and two books.

      Just before discovering TB, I had a massive Timbuktu messenger. Too big, really, too heavy, and, strangely enough, too much organization—I was always losing stuff in the myriad of small slots and pouches in the dark inside. Now I carry my beloved Imago (black/wasabi) everywhere, every day. After using a long list of no-name and computer-branded laptop bags, and then a LCB with a sleeve, today If I have to take the big work laptop home, I use my relatively new Ristretto. And when a pile of books comes due or I finish that particular project, they go back to the library in a large shop bag. (For carrying notes and materials to class I still have an LL Bean canvas tote bag, but the handles are nearly ripped through, and when they go, my office gets its own LSB!)

      OK, I’ll stop….There is some nostalgia here, but one thing that is very clear looking back is that bags today, and especially Tom Binh bags, are almost always lighter, tougher and better conceived than in the 'old days'. Those older bags do have a thing or two which is still worth keeping and passing on, but there has been real progress. thanks Tom!
      Your description of your German rucksack reminds me of the almost-indestrucible one my dad got when he was in the Italian army. He still has it 50+ years later, and it's still in good condition. He doesn't use it anymore -- its lack of support plus his bad shoulder don't make for a good combo -- but it does have its own place hanging on the wall. It's a testament to quality and workmanship above all else.

      Sent from my phone using Tapatalk.
      "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

      Comment


        #48
        I plead the fifth.

        Seriously, I'm ashamed of some of the things I wasted money on! Purses, especially. No more purses for this girl!

        Comment


          #49
          I used a couple different Lands End Square Rigger bags for many years early in my career. I had one of the basic ones (very similar in design/size to the Founder's Briefcase) at first and then upgraded it to their laptop-specific version which had two main compartments with a laptop sleeve. I used this one a lot while traveling around the country with a laptop and projector doing training sessions and it was a great bag, but eventually got pretty worn and ragged.

          My next job was mostly working out of my truck so I didn't use much in the way of a bag. When I joined the fire service, I used a Maxpedition Multi-Purpose Bag for awhile, but found it to be too stiff and replaced it with a 5.11 Tactical Side Trip Briefcase. I used the 5.11 for a couple years, but it seemed to wear out pretty quickly (especially the velcro). That's when I saw my then-boss' Empire Builder and decided to get one for myself and that's still my EDC bag today.

          I still use 5.11 bags for my disaster response gear - a Rush 72 for my 24-hour bag and a SOMS load out bag for the rest of my gear. I also carry a Hazard 4 M.O.D. bag for my laptop and portable printer - I'm the planning officer and having a printer available has come in handy several times.

          Comment


            #50
            Originally posted by ChrisG View Post
            I still use 5.11 bags for my disaster response gear - a Rush 72 for my 24-hour bag and a SOMS load out bag for the rest of my gear. I also carry a Hazard 4 M.O.D. bag for my laptop and portable printer - I'm the planning officer and having a printer available has come in handy several times.
            I've almost pulled the trigger a number of times on a Rush 72 for a bug out bag. That is one serious bag.
            Jason
            Aeronaut 45 | Brain Bag | Medium Cafe Bag | Various odds and ends

            Comment


              #51
              I wore out two Lands' End canvas briefcases before over-stuffing them wore out my shoulders/neck. I still have a hard time with slinging much weight on one shoulder. Went to a backpack for my laptop EDC, the last one PTB (Pre-Tom Bihn) was a huge, unstructured Victorinox bag. When I considered the Brain Bag it seemed small by comparison. I used the BB for a few years until the S25 came out and I downsized.

              Comment


                #52
                Bedstu Messenger Bag, Brenthaven Laptop Messenger Bag, no-name carry-on roller, Targus laptop backpack, Jansport Vertical Messenger Bag, etc. Nothing really stuck until I gazed upon & used my first TB bag, the S25
                Family, Guitar, Design, Travel....get after it!

                Comment


                  #53
                  Hi, new to TB bags, and the forums. I am ordering a brain bag in the next little while. I'm pretty tough on bags. I do "BJJ" and grappling here in Japan. I have been looking for a tough bag that can handl the life of an English teacher/Grappler in Japan. All the bags I by here just get destroyed. My friends are fashion nuts and swear by TNF bags. They say just buy a new one every two years. I am really looking forward to see how the Brain Bag handles carrying my gi, water, towels, flash cards(for work) and phones, Chargers, books, anything else I may need while roaming the plains of Kansai.

                  Will post reviews. Later guys

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Originally posted by CincyTriGuy View Post
                    I've almost pulled the trigger a number of times on a Rush 72 for a bug out bag. That is one serious bag.
                    It is - almost TOO serious. It's very easy to overpack it, and I've struggled to keep the weight and size down balancing what I'm supposed to carry per our deployment guidelines and what's practical to lug through the airport and on planes when we actually do deploy. I wish they made something in between the 24 and the 72 - it's a big leap from 33L to 47L. Still, I guess it's better to have too much capacity than not enough.

                    Comment


                      #55
                      My first good bags were from Tumi over 25 years ago. When I first started traveling frequently as a management consultant I noticed that many of my colleagues were carrying Tumi. Besides being part of the uniform in those days I soon discovered that despite being costly they were great bags, designed and manufactured in the US by people that cared about quality and durability. Furthermore, they were exceptionally functional and held everything in a pretty compact package. I still have some of those original Tumi bags and despite over a million miles traveled they still are in great shape... they just way above today's carry on size and don't work for the way I travel now.

                      Over the years the quality of Tumi slipped and the value received was no longer what it once was. I'd argue that Tom Bihn today occupies the place ceded by Tumi as the luggage maker with a soul delivering the best quality and value for your money.

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Originally posted by giantsteve View Post
                        My first good bags were from Tumi over 25 years ago. When I first started traveling frequently as a management consultant I noticed that many of my colleagues were carrying Tumi. Besides being part of the uniform in those days I soon discovered that despite being costly they were great bags, designed and manufactured in the US by people that cared about quality and durability. Furthermore, they were exceptionally functional and held everything in a pretty compact package. I still have some of those original Tumi bags and despite over a million miles traveled they still are in great shape... they just way above today's carry on size and don't work for the way I travel now.

                        Over the years the quality of Tumi slipped and the value received was no longer what it once was. I'd argue that Tom Bihn today occupies the place ceded by Tumi as the luggage maker with a soul delivering the best quality and value for your money.
                        As has the warranty, from lifetime "we'll fix it no questions asked" to five years as long as it is a manufacturer's defect.

                        TB never offered an unlimited warranty but then again, you won't need it.

                        I had (have) several Briggs & Riley bags that I use when I have to check a bag. Not nearly as well made as TB but decent consumer grade and they still have a no questions asked warranty.

                        Red Oxx bags were also my favorites before TB. Great construction and warranty but lacking in organization.
                        When in trouble, obfuscate.

                        Comment


                          #57
                          Originally posted by giantsteve View Post
                          My first good bags were from Tumi over 25 years ago. When I first started traveling frequently as a management consultant I noticed that many of my colleagues were carrying Tumi. Besides being part of the uniform in those days I soon discovered that despite being costly they were great bags, designed and manufactured in the US by people that cared about quality and durability. Furthermore, they were exceptionally functional and held everything in a pretty compact package. I still have some of those original Tumi bags and despite over a million miles traveled they still are in great shape... they just way above today's carry on size and don't work for the way I travel now.

                          Over the years the quality of Tumi slipped and the value received was no longer what it once was. I'd argue that Tom Bihn today occupies the place ceded by Tumi as the luggage maker with a soul delivering the best quality and value for your money.
                          That's what I continue to be most impressed about even to this day. The organization offered by my Tumi bags is second to none, even including TB. To be clear, I've got a very nice setup going with my Brain Bag, medium Cafe Bag, vertical Freudian Slip, and Snake Charmer. BUT... that's several components that I've had to purchase, and which I haven't needed with Tumi.
                          Jason
                          Aeronaut 45 | Brain Bag | Medium Cafe Bag | Various odds and ends

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