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Thread: TB Essentials

  1. #31
    Forum Member Alice in Wanderlust's Avatar
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    My essentials vary depending upon what I'm doing:

    SCB in Black Halcyon: this is my weekend bag, running errands and casual outings. I like to carry my Traveler's Notebook to most places and it fits well along with the other necessities.

    Smart Alec in Original Halcyon: This is my newest bag and have carried to school everyday since it arrived a few weeks ago. It's the perfect size for this semester. I'm an older college student and the Smart Alec sits nicely on my back. I also like that it doesn't appear overwhelming. I had another student caress my bag today. Big Grin

    Daylight Backpack in Black Halcyon: I carried this last semester when I had fewer books. The straps, which I thought might be an issue, never were.

    Maker's Bag also in Black Halcyon: This is my go-to conference bag. I find it perfect for that situation. It's light, holds all my materials (generally don't need a laptop), still looks professional without feeling stuffy. I carried it for school for a while, but a backpack works better for me. I would love a horizontal backpack like the Maker's Bag with a zipper, one that stayed horizontal in backpack mode.

  2. #32
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    While I try, try, try not to have too many bags--minimalism and ultralight packing are always my goal and I usually succeed--I still like to have a reasonable level of variety. That means I have several TB bags that get use in different ways.

    Essentials to date:
    -The most used are the TSSs, especially a size 1 to hold my cell phone chargers (1 work phone, 1 personal phone) when I travel. You can't beat their versatility, not to mention that the pops of color make everything better (my go-to colors are Ultraviolet, my new love Island, Wasabi, and Steel).
    -And you gotta love ye olde Shop Bags! I have three large in 400D Steel (2) and Ultraviolet plus a small SB in wasabi. I really want to buy more but can't justify that yet as these 4 bags fit my current needs. I use them for travel, too, although I suspect my recently purchased Daylight Backpack will take the Shop Bag's place.
    -Travel Tray: Original size plus I suspect the just-arrived small size (in UV) will be an instant favorite. I can already tell that I prefer the smaller size TT than the still very much loved original size.
    -A30 for travel: For me what I like best is that it has such a slim profile while holding so much. It's first trip was for two weeks in Italy with a weekend in Istanbul thrown in. I love it!
    -Mini and Small Q-Kits: I use the mini sizes for all sorts of things, mainly to hold chapstick, lipstick, and a small vial of ibuprofen. The Small Q-Kit is used to hold my make-up (downsized minis for travel). Did you know that the toothbrush (with short handle) that comes in Turkish Airline's travel kit is a perfect travel eyebrow brush? Well, it is!!

    Newly purchased items that will no doubt enter the favorites category (although one or two may not make the cut since I don't need all of them!):
    -Smart Alec (black halcyon and island): I'm thinking this will replace my black dyneema/ultraviolet S25, as I really prefer an open cavity over pockets for my big travel bag.
    -Daylight Backpack: Great for quick trips to the National Mall (I live in Washington DC so often go to the Smithsonian or various other museums where a slim profile is an absolute necessity due to the large crowds). I also will pack it flat in my main travel bag for use when I need it.
    -S19 in black halcyon/island: Great for weekend trips, hiking, etc. when back padding and a little more organization is needed.
    -Side Kick in black halcyon/island: I love it already. I have a black/wasabi Side Effect that I've loved for travel but always wished was a bit bigger and voila! I now have that bag in the Side Kick.

    I could go on and on...
    Last edited by Holly; 02-10-2017 at 04:11 AM.

  3. #33
    Forum Member AHesting's Avatar
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    I'm finally going to jump onto this thread:

    Side Kick (Steel/Iberian): This is my EDC purse and I'm in love with it. It's perfect and I'm trying to convince my 14 year old daughter that she needs one as well for her NYC trip this summer. I love that it can fit in my other bags but it's roomy enough to carry on its own.

    Swift (Verde/UV): This was intended to be a knitting bag but I use it as my EDC work bag. My lunch, SK, SSC, files, coffee mug and other miscellaneous stuff all fit easily and it stands up on its own.

    Small Snake Charmer (Sitka!): I use this as a sock knitting bag and it is perfect! So perfect. I just love this little thing.

    SSB's & LSB's: I use these all the time and the SSB is currently being used as a knitting bag for a sweater.

    I reeeeeeeally want SOMETHING in the original halcyon print. I'm considering a DLBP but I haven't carried a backpack since college (20 years ago) and haven't felt the need to own one. So, could be a waste. Also considering a Pilot or another Swift in the design but haven't decided yet.
    Current Carry: Swift (Verde/UV), SK (Steel/Iberian) & SSC (Sitka)

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by AHesting View Post
    I reeeeeeeally want SOMETHING in the original halcyon print. I'm considering a DLBP but I haven't carried a backpack since college (20 years ago) and haven't felt the need to own one. So, could be a waste. Also considering a Pilot or another Swift in the design but haven't decided yet.
    Since you already use SSBs, I would vote for a SSB in original halcyon. I don't care for original halcyon on most TB bags but for some reason I love it on my SSB. I think it complements the shape of the bag really well.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  5. #35
    Forum Member AHesting's Avatar
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    Hmmm....that's a great idea! I do love my SSB.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Current Carry: Swift (Verde/UV), SK (Steel/Iberian) & SSC (Sitka)

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocks View Post
    1. Daylight Backpack, original Halcyon/steel. This bag has been on every trip since I've had it, and is often my eDC bag too. I love how light and flexible it it, and I love the unpadded straps that stay in place. It's my security blanket of bags. If I could only keep one Tom Bihn bag, it'd be this. And unlike AVService, I totally anthropomorphize this bag. Wink It's friendly and can handle anything!

    2. shop bags. The amazingness of the padded handles cannot be overstated and the colors I have (NWS, sitka, fjord, zest, monarch) make me happy.

    3. Smart Alec. I have a Synapse 19 and 25 and love the low profile of them and the pockets, but the Smart Alec can go from EDC to travel bag. It's so flexible.
    Do you use any specific accessories to take the Smart Alec from travel bag to EDC?

    I've been eyeing this bag forever, and I have been thinking about it in this dual capacity like you described.

    Sent from my F5321 using Tapatalk

  7. #37
    Forum Member blackbird's Avatar
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    1. Smart Alec: I adore this bag! It's accompanied me to work, on long (and short) trips away, and as of yesterday, to the hospital. It fits everything I need it to, and I personally think it looks great even when it is not full. I have it in the original halcyon, and plan on keeping it for as long as it survives. It doesn't look like a traditional backpack, but that's a big part of why I love it.

    2. 3DOC: I have this both in the clear and mesh variations, and they have proved to be immeasurably useful. The clear one serves as my 3-1-1 bag, and the mesh one is perfect for power cords and doodads.

    3. Side Effect: A great PLO and also quite handy to keep my essentials by my side, all zipped together.

    4. Travel Tray: A marvelous catch all!

    5. Packing cubes and stuff sacks: This I feel is self explanatory, but they're just aces at doing what they're supposed to do. Love the added organization they provide!

    blackbird


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    "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  8. #38
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    Key straps How did I function without these? I've added O rings to my non-TB bags.

    Swift Such a versatile tote! I use mine for knitting, outings, and work EDC. They carry easily on my shoulder, even when overloaded. It takes a ton of stuff to overload a Swift, btw.

    Little swift So maybe I could live without my LS. But why would I want to?

  9. #39
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
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    I'm still relatively new to Tom Bihn but ...

    Ristretto. This has become my Every Single Day Murse (man purse). I love it so much I haven't touched any of my beloved Jack Spade bags since it arrived. In fact, I still have yet to try out my Small Cafe Bag because the Ristretto is just so -- perfect. Perfect in capacity, perfect in dimensions (narrow but DEEP, enabling maximum capacity as well as maximum mobility).

    One of the challenges of being a New Yorker is that out of necessity we do tend to carry our entire universes with us, as we aren't out-and-about with a car in which we can leave stuff like that spare jacket or umbrella.

  10. #40
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    My essential TB items that I use every day are:

    1. LUMINARY! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

    2. LARGE SHOP BAG

    3. SIDE EFFECT

    4. WALLET

    5. All Fabric 3DOC


    Just ordered my first Synapse 25, waiting for it, maybe this will be a contender too!

  11. #41
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    1. S19 - steel halcyon or original black halcyon - short travel trips.
    2. Sidekick - black halcyon/island - gym/yoga to carry essentials
    3. Pilot - Steel ballistic/UV - work
    4. DLBP - Original black halcyon - church, shopping
    5. DLBC - Original black halcyon - work
    6. Side Effect - 200d Steel - use it for toiletries when traveling - ideal size as it accommodates comb as well as toothbrush in its travel container.
    7. Shop bag - small - black halcyon - shopping and traveling

  12. #42
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    I could not imagine life without:
    1. Travel Tray-large and small. I use both for knitting on the go- good project bag, great control for a ball of yarn while at a public table. They are also pretty good for corralling small stuff (glasses!) when I travel. One lives on my nightstand
    2. S19- The most perfect EDC for me ever
    3. Sidekick- great small everyday bag
    4. Swift. Both large and little. I love them. Great knitting bag- and it sheds dog hair
    5. SB- large is my favorite. I have 4 in constant use. My youngest stole one to take to college. Perfect hauling bag.
    6.SC- large and small. Great for storing long lines and leashes in my training bag (dog agility)
    7. 3DOC- All kinds of small stuff- first aid kit, clickers, knitting tools, I have a bunch of 'em
    8. Mini organizer pouches- great small wallet for emergency cash in the car, use them to hold bandaids and essentials in small bags, store accessory cards. The small side is perfect in my glove box for insurance cards and registration- much easier to find
    9.Key straps- who knew? I tether everything now.

  13. #43
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    Bag I take to work
    Maker's Bag Navy/Wasabi with an absolute shoulder strap --- I mostly like this bag because it has 2 compartments for bottles. I work 12 hour shifts, and I need a bottle for water and a thermos for tea. Then the rest of the bag is big enough for my other work junk.

    Bag I take on trips
    Aeronaut 45 Black/Island --- One bag travel, with enough space for winter clothes.

    Bag I take everywhere
    Synapse 19 Alphaviolet/Viridian --- My Goldilocks bag, that is just the right size. I also have the Synapse 25, but it's a little too big to be comfortable on my back all day. And the Luminary didn't have enough room for my knitting, water bottle, and a jacket. Synapse has room for everything I want to carry around and doesn't hurt my back.

    Bag I take to knit night
    Swift Indigo/Black --- My bag is 7 years old, and still the best knitting bag I've ever seen. It is big enough to fit a sweater, and the O Rings and clear side pockets help me keep my notions and needles organized. The Swift bag caused me to discover Tom Bihn, and it was such good quality, that I wanted Bihn bags for every purpose.

  14. #44
    TB Ravelry Moderator Mausermama's Avatar
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    I love your post! And it's a hard one to sort through. I suppose these would be the top bags to make the cut:

    1. My Swift (specifically my Steel/Hemp/UV one). I love being able to use it to haul my knitting around.
    2. My DLBC (specifically my Nordic one). I use it for my composition tutoring materials weekly. It stands pre-packed and ready to go.
    3. My MF. It's the one that I use for my mobile reading and spelling tutoring.
    4. My Side Effect (Steel Parapack/UV). It pops in whatever else I am carrying.
    5. My Large Shop Bags (any color). They serve primarily as my beach bag (and as I go to the beach every week, are frequently used).
    6. My Pilot (it's my laptop bag)
    7. My Luminary (it's my EDC).

    ETA: 8. My Travel Tray (any colors). That is used ALL the time!

    Yes, it's 7 bags. I didn't even get into my travel (likely my A45 in Aubergine/Zest), but I don't travel every week while everything else mentioned above is used at the minimum of once weekly. I love my other bags (Side Kick, Little Swifts, Western Flyer, Copilot, Tri Star, and golly, so many more. They are all wonderful. But these are the "repeat" performers for an typical week).

    Now that Irma is barreling towards us, I'm trying to figure out what bags to pack and what to stow in a safe place.

  15. #45
    Forum Member EmeraldYam's Avatar
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    Resurrecting this excellent thread because I think I've finally figured out what my essentials are.

    LARGE SHOP BAG
    If you ever told me that my one true love would be a glorified grocery bag, I would have laughed and also been massively disappointed in myself, but it's true. The classic Large Shop Bag (no unnecessary and fiddly zippers for me, thank you) is my workhorse. Six of them handle the weighty punishment of my family's massive weekly grocery shopping expedition without a problem, and are then used repeatedly throughout the rest of the week whenever something needs to be shuttled from car to house. I prefer the sturdiness of the 210 ballistic versions, but the 200 halcyon ones are also robust enough to handle over two gallons of milk. So much nicer than all the other reusable grocery bags I have used in the past, these are the TB bags that have brought the most joy to my life. Is that slightly pathetic? Possibly, but also true.

    3D ORGANIZER CUBE W/ SHOULDER STRAP
    When I leave the house, 75% of the time I just want to bring my phone, keys, and wallet with me. Unfortunately, as a woman, very few of my clothes contain pockets that are adequate to this task. The all-fabric 3DOC with the 5/8" shoulder strap is the perfect no-nonsense external pocket. The Side Effect and Travel Cubelet are both just a bit too large for this purpose, with my minimal load prone to getting lost inside of them, but the 3DOC is just the right size, plus with just enough (but not too much) wiggle room if I want to add tissues, a small notepad and pen, or any other small necessities.

    SIDE KICK
    When I do want to bring more than just the bare essentials, I tend to reach for my Side Kick. Unlike the Side Effect, it fits the 5"x8.25" notebook that serves as my external brain. I can also fit my Kindle, a small water bottle, a thin cardigan in a stuff sack, and a small OP with other essentials in here and be set for an entire day out and about. Surprisingly capacious for such a small bag.

    DAYLIGHT BRIEFCASE
    My mobile office. Fits everything I can put in my Side Kick, plus my laptop (a Surface Pro 4) in a Cache, laptop charger and accessories, and a pair of over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones. The back pocket is generally empty, with room for additional papers or a light sweater if necessary. I've tried other bags for mobile office purposes, but the capacity and the minimal (but extremely effective) organization of the DLBC makes it my champion. Less is more!

    SMART ALEC
    I have to admit that I don't entirely love the Smart Alec. It is the quintessential "jack of all trades, master of none" backpack as far as I'm concerned. HOWEVER... "master of none" is better than "master of one", and the versatility of the Smart Alec means I often find myself picking it over the Aeronaut 30 for travel purposes (it's a better backpack, with Cache rails for easy laptop storage) and over the Synapse 25 for general backpacking purposes (its cavernous maw means I can just throw things in without having to thoughtfully distribute them among the S25's objectively excellent pockets). I find the SA's side pockets to be rather pointless, and it looks incredibly sad when underpacked, and I wish it had a frame sheet option, but honestly... if I had to pick only one backpack, it would be the SA, because it can handle any situation, from international plane travel to errands around town to rock climbing trips. It might not handle them with the grace and efficiency of other TB bags, but it handles them nonetheless. Reliable, versatile, essential.
    EDC: Side Kick/Medium Cafe Bag | WORK: Daylight Briefcase/Synik 22 | GYM: Truck | TRAVEL: Synik 22/Smart Alec/Aeronaut 30

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