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Addax 26 - First Impressions

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    Addax 26 - First Impressions

    Thanks to Cristina and bartleby for their initial reviews - I love how we all approach bags differently as we all have our own use cases. Hopefully you all will get a good overview and it'll be fun to hear what moriond has to say!

    It may just be me, but I think ADX26 and ADX31 should be the abbreviations :)

    On with the show...


    I received a Burnt Orange Ballistic / Moab Halcyon Addax 26 courtesy of TOM BIHN for my review - my opinions are all my own.


    My first thought when I opened the box and looked at the bag was 'oooooh, roll top!'. I've never had a roll top bag before, so it's been fun playing with it.

    The box showed up in the evening a few weeks ago and I was out the door at 5am the next morning for a quick two night (driving) work trip, so of course I packed it up & single bagged it!

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    Main Compartment:

    Work laptop; two small A30 Laundry Cubes of clothes flat packed on top of each other; 3DOC-Fabric & 3DOC-Clear with toiletries; SSC with all the chargers; non TB bag with sandals; a handful of papers in a plastic folder; an E/T Cubelet with my personal 'mobile office' stuff; medium YSS of knitting.

    Side Pockets:

    Vacuum water bottle and vacuum coffee bottle

    Exterior Front Pockets:

    Kindle, snacks, pouch of masks, work badge, small flashlight, GW of pens


    I'm 5'4" and the bag is 16" from the top straps to the bottom of the bag, so it's a great size for me and the Edgeless straps are nice. The larger ADX31 is apparently 19" and would fit me but is starting to push it for my comfort level.


    The roll top is pretty easy to work with but obviously takes longer to interact with than a zipper (some folks might like that for security reasons).

    Total dork that I am, when I first rolled the top down, I clipped it across the top... only after playing with it and packing it did I realize that it more neatly rolls down and clips to the back.

    If you load it up to max out that top space (it's A LOT of potential extra space), you can clip across the top.


    The double laptop/tech pocket setup is cool!

    I started off by putting my larger work laptop into the back/main pocket to access from top or side and my personal MacBook Air into the front pocket with no sleeve and it seemed just fine. At the last minute, I left my personal laptop at home and tossed in a bag with sandals instead (after wearing safety boots all day and driving for 6hrs, sandals are a relief). I could have still fit the extra laptop in, but who am I kidding, I'll never have time to use it on a work road trip.

    That inside open pocket can gape open a bit and get in the way depending on how you're loading the bag & how scrunched it is.

    My Kindle can fit either in the lower front flat pocket or in this second tech pocket...and really, it's not just for a tech item, but that's how I first thought of it.


    I REALLY like the two outside bottle pockets and would have been even happier if the mesh one was just another zippered/gusseted one. I usually travel with a vacuum water bottle and a vacuum coffee bottle, so this is perfect for me. I am a little concerned about how durable that mesh pocket is (time will tell) and if my bottle will fall out as I sling it around (so far, it's been fine, it's bigger than it looks, it swallows a 12oz can).


    I like the overall aspect ratio of the bag and how well it sits on the flat bottom without being quite as stiff/reinforced as the Cambiata. I love my Synapses, but sometimes it's annoying how they fall over.


    There seem to be a good number of convenient o-rings as expected.

    The whole "inside to outside pockets stealing space from each other" thing will annoy some people as usual, but to me it's been fine so far. I pick/use which pockets make sense for any given load and tend to use fewer built-in pockets vs cubes. With that being said, having one or both of the front pockets be a touch 3D would've been nice; they're similar to the Western Flyer or TriStar flat front pockets.

    ETA: action photo from that first trip

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    The bag worked well on that quick trip - since then, I've carried it as my work EDC for a week or so.



    EDC

    I attached a halcyon SE inside at the top (in front of two of the built in pockets that are holding snacks) to carry random small things. Besides the laptop, SSC of charges, and E/T Cubelet, I usually have a larger plastic multi-file folder thing and often other folders of paper in there. It's nice to have all the extra space for if I need to carry anything extra or pick things up on the way home.

    The lower flat front pocket holds a medium OP of masks and 4 or 5 Moleskin Cahier journals. The upper pocket has work badges, key fobs, GW of pens, more snacks, etc.

    There's always a water bottle in the zip pocket.


    The extra 5L vs the Cambiata (which I was carrying the past couple of months) is noticeable and makes carrying my bump cap even easier... and that's without the extra room if you don't roll the top all the way down.

    I would grab this bag over my Smart Alec for when I want the option of that extra space... and the SA for when I want quicker access and the outside accessories (I use a SE and E/TC vs the SA pockets).




    Style-wise, the Shadow Guide and Smart Alec are similar in that they're top loading cavernous bags.

    For reference:

    SG 23L - 12.6 x 19.3 x 9.0"

    SA 26L - 11.75 x 18.5 x 11.75"

    ADX 26L 12.8 x 18.5 x 10.2"

    Note that all of them can be dark/harder to see, inside. I pack with cubes/containers the vast majority of the time for trips so that's not a huge issue for me and my EDC stuff is fine.

    I like the little mini grab handle/yank handle on the bottom front; it makes a nice visual design element and it's a spot for a clip light.


    There's a pass-through for a luggage handle, but I rarely travel with a roller bag anymore.

    The overall look definitely feels right at home in the TB design aesthetic but with a twist; I think Jose did a good job with this evolution!



    And thanks MatthewR and whomever else thought to add more dimensions to the product pages - everyone always asks for those details and that's great to see right out of the gate.
    Last edited by G42; 11-15-2022, 08:41 PM.
    “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
    “Sir?”
    “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
    “Sir?”
    “That’s practically zen.”
    -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

    #2
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    I'm on another trip right now with the ADX26 and a LZTSB (hopefully more pics later)... small private plane, car, factories, changing hotels each night... just left one factory and had been carrying the ADX26 with all my EDC including laptop for over an hour... I'm part pack mule and didn't notice it at all, I find it very comfortable to carry.

    First photo above is my EDC load, looking down on bump cap



    Solaris SE attached to the o-rings at the back, snacks in the pockets
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    EDC, plastic file thing, E/TC, SSC... Lots of room!

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    And not pictured, but I actually turned the roll top part inside out to show more of the inside, so interestingly if I ever wanted to more easily work out of the large opening, it's a good option.


    ETA: just saw that there's an optional frame sheet - I didn't know about it or try it out and based on how it's carried for me so far (mostly with a laptop), I personally don't feel the need for one, YMMV
    Last edited by G42; 11-15-2022, 03:57 PM.
    “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
    “Sir?”
    “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
    “Sir?”
    “That’s practically zen.”
    -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

    Comment


      #3
      Just a random comment...

      To the best of my knowledge, we don't get the full product description ahead of time, TB is observing our reactions like mice in a lab (joke people, joke)...

      So it's kind of interesting and fun to see how we react to the bags and features and what's actually in the product descriptions.
      Like the comment about how the top can roll/fold back at the seam to make it easier to load. Never occurred to me for that, but as I used the bag and photographed it, folding back the top made it more 'work out able' to me. I'm currently in full obsessive geek mode learning to knit, and that was something I keyed in on.

      Anyway, more on how the sausage is made 😆
      “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
      “Sir?”
      “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
      “Sir?”
      “That’s practically zen.”
      -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

      Comment


        #4
        I clipped the roll top ends together like it was a dry bag, too!

        Part of the stumbling process that comes with trying to understand a product that doesn't yet have a description, instructions, or technical specifications, or, as you put it - sausage making.

        And I don't like the "Syn" prefaced bags for their tippyness - this bag and the Cambiata are more like the Luminary in that way.

        Similarly, the bottom "tech" pocket was soemthing I used the same way as the zip-away mesh divider from the Luminary. It's nice to have something down there to separate things and keep them upright.

        Ironically I don't find this bag stealing from Peter to pay Paul so much as the Cambiata does (I'm still trying to figure out what actually fits in the small bottom side pocket of that bag!).

        And light bulb moment...

        ...what if they made both side pockets full height and zippered, but installed a short, partial height mesh gusset at the bottom of the opening so it could hold a water bottle when the compartment was fully unzipped?

        I got the 31 for testing but really like the size and capacity of the 26 - you fit a good amount of your things in it, and survived a one bag trip, which now has me wanting the smaller size for myself!

        Thanks for posting your review and pictures, G42! It's a lot of fun seeing how differently everyone experiences the same bag.
        I own a LOT of Tom Bihn bags, but here are the ones I'm using right now:
        Everyday Carry: SK
        Hiking Daypack: Cambiata

        Car Travel: SK, T45, MT
        Plane
        ​Travel: CP, TS, SZTSB

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Chicagoan View Post
          And light bulb moment...

          ...what if they made both side pockets full height and zippered, but installed a short, partial height mesh gusset at the bottom of the opening so it could hold a water bottle when the compartment was fully unzipped?

          I got the 31 for testing but really like the size and capacity of the 26 - you fit a good amount of your things in it, and survived a one bag trip, which now has me wanting the smaller size for myself!
          Ha! Great minds and all that... I mentioned the very same thing about the water bottle pockets to MikeV when I was there a week or so ago (Jose was out that day, so I missed meeting him in person... next time... but I was hovering there so long, they may not let me back thru the door 😆)

          This is one of the bag styles, like the Shadow Guide, that I can theoretically fit both sizes...I quickly tried on the 31L at the Mothership for just that reason and I could totally carry that bag
          “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
          “Sir?”
          “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
          “Sir?”
          “That’s practically zen.”
          -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

          Comment


            #6
            Reminds me of the Doughnut Wanderlust. It’s too bad that it can’t be rolled down to use as an under seat bag, like 18”x14”x8”. Nice shoulder straps!

            Comment


              #7
              Excellent and thorough review and pics, G42. Your work pack outs including a bump cap surely pose interesting tests for bags!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Cristina View Post
                Your work pack outs including a bump cap surely pose interesting tests for bags!
                That bump cap has turned into the point I pivot on, for EDC bag choice with this new job. Normally I might differentiate between office days and travel/factory days, but so far it's been 80+% travel mixed with office, so I'm defaulting to being able to carry it. Even when I drive my own car and could leave the gear inside, still have to haul it into and around the plant, so better to just pack it all up.

                It requires a more open style of bag to handle something that large/bulky, so the Cambiata (which I still can't believe fits it), Smart Alec, Shadow Guide, and now the Addax, all work for that. All my other daily carry stuff can be organized differently depending on the bag or I'm using organizers that move, like my chargers always live in a Snake Charmer.
                Last edited by G42; 11-16-2022, 07:45 AM.
                “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
                “Sir?”
                “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
                “Sir?”
                “That’s practically zen.”
                -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by G42 View Post

                  That bump cap has turned into the point I pivot on, for EDC bag choice with this new job. Normally I might differentiate between office days and travel/factory days, but so far it's been 80+% travel mixed with office, so I'm defaulting to being able to carry it. Even when I drive my own car and could leave the gear inside, still have to haul it into and around the plant, so better to just pack it all up.

                  It requires a more open style of bag to handle something that large/bulky, so the Cambiata (which I still can't believe fits it), Smart Alec, Shadow Guide, and now the Addax, all work for that. All my other daily carry stuff can be organized differently depending on the bag or I'm using organizers that move, like my chargers always live in a Snake Charmer.
                  I've had a total change of mind on the Cambiata - I'm used to only carrying as much bag as it takes to fit all my small EDC items, but trouble is, I usually have to pick up a thing or two from a store, and the mail and packages from our mail area on my way home and back upstairs to my apartment.

                  So, while it's VERY counterintuitive for me to carry around a mostly empty bag, it's way too helpful when I need the extra space for me to revert back to a smaller bag.

                  It's kind of a reusable shopping bag, and one that I can wear as a backpack.

                  Still don't think I'd ever find it comfortable to carry crossbody because of how tall it is, but I really do like it as a backpack.

                  And I get it! I can't use a bag for EDC unless there's a good spot for me to put my wallet and keys. If I have to take the bag off to reach them, or if I can't reach a door or checkout while I'm wearing the bag, it's a deal-breaker.

                  So, while I can't relate to carrying a hard hat (y'all call it a "bump cap" across the pond?!?) I can relate to how much personal priorities influence the bags we use most.
                  Last edited by Chicagoan; 11-16-2022, 07:55 AM.
                  I own a LOT of Tom Bihn bags, but here are the ones I'm using right now:
                  Everyday Carry: SK
                  Hiking Daypack: Cambiata

                  Car Travel: SK, T45, MT
                  Plane
                  ​Travel: CP, TS, SZTSB

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Mine is a bump cap because it's for light industrial/manufacturing overhead protection, literally to protect from minor head bumps. It has the inside plastic cage to fit to the head and is a light build...

                    In my world, a hard hat is a higher classification of safety helmet... There's all sorts of classifications and OSHA requirements depending on the job... So mine is basically the step above wearing a baseball hat. You wouldn't normally use it on construction sites for example.


                    I'm trained to always have my wallet and keys physically on/attached to me at all times, so they normally never go into a bag. If you've ever had to evacuate from somewhere for any length of time and not been able to grab your bag, it sticks with you.


                    And you touch on the very thing...I prefer having extra space/capacity to be able to react to whatever errands & changes the day brings vs having the space be 'just enough'. Too much of my life involves change, so being prepared actually makes everything easier. My friends joke that if anything happens to check with me because I'm the one who's got the spare battery, granola bars, pen, Sharpie, bandaids, etc
                    “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
                    “Sir?”
                    “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
                    “Sir?”
                    “That’s practically zen.”
                    -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by G42 View Post
                      My friends joke that if anything happens to check with me because I'm the one who's got the spare battery, granola bars, pen, Sharpie, bandaids, etc
                      I am also this friend 🤣

                      Your explanation of a bump cap makes perfect sense (I’ve long envied how concisely you explain things). I wish I had a bump cap this past week at the allottment as I walked into a couple of things that were 2 inches lower than expected. (Oops!)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by G42 View Post
                        Mine is a bump cap because it's for light industrial/manufacturing overhead protection, literally to protect from minor head bumps. It has the inside plastic cage to fit to the head and is a light build...

                        In my world, a hard hat is a higher classification of safety helmet... There's all sorts of classifications and OSHA requirements depending on the job... So mine is basically the step above wearing a baseball hat. You wouldn't normally use it on construction sites for example.


                        I'm trained to always have my wallet and keys physically on/attached to me at all times, so they normally never go into a bag. If you've ever had to evacuate from somewhere for any length of time and not been able to grab your bag, it sticks with you.


                        And you touch on the very thing...I prefer having extra space/capacity to be able to react to whatever errands & changes the day brings vs having the space be 'just enough'. Too much of my life involves change, so being prepared actually makes everything easier. My friends joke that if anything happens to check with me because I'm the one who's got the spare battery, granola bars, pen, Sharpie, bandaids, etc
                        Learn something new every day! Never heard of a bump cap before this thread. Thanks for the short lesson! :-)

                        We're cut from the same cloth - I started carrying a bag (in lieu of carrying my keys, wallet and phone loose in my trouser pockets) so I wouldn't ever have to cut something short and run back to my car, or run back home, if I was in the middle of something. I always maintain: never leave home wearing and carrying any less than you'd be comfortable walking back home in/with if your car breaks down.

                        Similarly, the Addax is a great bag to fit everything you need while leaving some extra room for whatever you might pick up along the way (or a place to put things you don't need and don't want to hand carry!).
                        I own a LOT of Tom Bihn bags, but here are the ones I'm using right now:
                        Everyday Carry: SK
                        Hiking Daypack: Cambiata

                        Car Travel: SK, T45, MT
                        Plane
                        ​Travel: CP, TS, SZTSB

                        Comment


                          #13
                          People

                          We have to talk

                          I am deeply disappointed that no one has pointed out or commented on the profound commentary (or sublime irreverent humor) evident in the Addax product descriptions:

                          "those times when your ungulate must fly"


                          I've been a wee bit busy this week and hadn't had time to read the full product descriptions until now, but the humor is appreciated

                          Whether it was MaiaH , others, or a team effort, I appreciate it!

                          I treasure the thought (don't ruin it) of thoughtful brainstorming of product and feature descriptions, with little winged ungulates spiraling overhead....

                          That is all
                          “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
                          “Sir?”
                          “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
                          “Sir?”
                          “That’s practically zen.”
                          -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My goal when writing is to entertain myself (and hopefully others) while being (mostly) on prompt, I'm glad you appreciated it. :D

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MatthewR View Post
                              My goal when writing is to entertain myself (and hopefully others) while being (mostly) on prompt, I'm glad you appreciated it. :D
                              Well now Matthew, I have high expectations for the next time! 😊 (no pressure, no pressure)
                              Last edited by G42; 11-18-2022, 02:23 PM.
                              “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
                              “Sir?”
                              “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
                              “Sir?”
                              “That’s practically zen.”
                              -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

                              Comment

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