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  1. #1
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Day bag that attaches to outside of main bag

    Full-time indefinite traveler here. I haven't had a home address in almost 3 years. My biggest problem is finding a bag that will work for one-bag travel, but also will accommodate a day bag inside or on the outside of it.

    Recently I've somewhat enjoyed using a non-Tom Bihn bag. (I KNOW!) It's the Osprey Ozone carry-on. It's a high-clearance 2-wheeled bag with a hidden backpack suspension system and a separate daybay that actually zips to the back. So it basically maxes out most airlines' 1 bag + 1 personal item allowance, but after you disembark the plane, you can combine the bags into one by zipping them together for backpack mode, or for wheeled mode you clip them together for better weight distribution.

    Day bag that attaches to outside of main bag-2015100613080986658_lrg-jpg

    There are a few problems I have it it. Osprey's material is that super-thin synthetic, so while that saves weight (which is then consumed by the wheels), I don't trust people I must still occasionally surrounder my bag to. Worse, since it has a really beefy suspension system and wheels, it feels like half the bag's capacity is used up by the bag. All told, I honestly believe its capacity is probably on par with the much smaller, much lighter Aeronaut 30 I have.

    BUT... it has that killer feature. You have a day bag, that it combines with. The day bag doesn't go inside the main bag, but rather, attaches it to the outside. It's genius. It passes the airlines' allowances just fine, but lets me have both a real, fully functional day bag and a full-sized suitcase.

    Tom Bihn needs something like that.

    The closest Tom Bihn has is probably putting a Cadet or Pilot inside a Tristar, but then you're not left with much room for clothes. What would be ideal would be an EDC bag, capable of a 15" laptop, that zips to the outside of something like an Aeronaut 30 or 45. That way, when you walk to your accommodations, you only have one bag to carry, but when it's time to board the plane, you separate your bags and one becomes a carry-on while the other becomes a personal item.

    (Honestly, bonus points if Tom Bihn made a waxed canvas option for the day bag. It's not as durable, but it's a lot more stylish around Europe.)

  2. #2
    Forum Member Muni_Jedi's Avatar
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    Have you tried using a DLBP as a packing cube then a day pack at your destination? That is my prefered method.

  3. #3
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muni_Jedi View Post
    Have you tried using a DLBP as a packing cube then a day pack at your destination? That is my prefered method.
    Well, not exactly. The main reason is that I'd need the daily carry bag for my 15" laptop, which the DLBP wouldn't accommodate. But also, I'm trying to avoid inserting the day bag into the main bag. Rather, I'd like it to attach to the outside of it.

    Aesthetically, the daily carry bag I like the most is the Founder's Briefcase. I'd just like a way to zip it to my Aeronaut 30 or something, so my hands are free when on the go.

  4. #4
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    I'd also add that the concept of the Hero's Journey is exactly what I'm after. It's just that the small bag on the Hero's Journey won't accommodate anything but the smallest of laptops.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    Well, not exactly. The main reason is that I'd need the daily carry bag for my 15" laptop, which the DLBP wouldn't accommodate. But also, I'm trying to avoid inserting the day bag into the main bag. Rather, I'd like it to attach to the outside of it.

    Aesthetically, the daily carry bag I like the most is the Founder's Briefcase. I'd just like a way to zip it to my Aeronaut 30 or something, so my hands are free when on the go.
    Ongoing complaint I have with Tom Bihn products in general. I guess maybe not a complaint, but more a disappointment.

    Very few of their travel bags accommodate a laptop in a secure and protective way. In fact, I think really only the Tri-Star is designed in such a way to actually carry a laptop in a safe and secure way. Not to say the others can't do it, but their design is such that you have to pack the laptop inside the bag between clothing to keep it protected better.

    I don't particularly like the idea of attaching a bag to a bag though. I know some people like this idea but it just feels bulky to me. I'm perfectly fine carrying a smaller day bag inside of my travel bag, so long as that bag can hold my stuff and do so comfortably it's fine.

    I feel like Tom Bihn, while seemingly doing fine, is also missing a particular market that would love their stuff. Competitors are popping up that deal more specifically with "technical single bag carry" in mind and for people like me the idea is very appealing since I often travel for work and need to take a laptop and some other stuff with me.

  6. #6
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selykg View Post
    Competitors are popping up that deal more specifically with "technical single bag carry" in mind and for people like me the idea is very appealing since I often travel for work and need to take a laptop and some other stuff with me.
    I use the Pilot with my laptop in a cache and it works great for both of my laptops and all my tablets and phones including power bricks and batteries! I also have 2 different S25s that I put the laptops in caches in if I'm in a more casual carry situation ... I've even used the daylight backpack.

    Since I'm the only person that carries my bags, and the bag with the laptops and tech gear is always with me, either under the airplane seat or right next to me, it's plenty of protection (i.e., I don't check bags or put my laptops and tech gear in the overhead).

    I use a PCSB as an in-flight bag with full size headphones, a tablets, battery, cords, and a ditty kit in a small snakecharmer; which either attaches to the outside of my Pilot if it's full or goes inside. If I'm carrying the S25 then it always goes inside.
    Last edited by GrussGott; 10-23-2017 at 09:55 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrussGott View Post
    I use the Pilot with my laptop in a cache and it works great for both of my laptops and all my tablets and phones including power bricks and batteries! I also have 2 different S25s that I put the laptops in caches in if I'm in a more casual carry situation ... I've even used the daylight backpack.

    Since I'm the only person that carries my bags, and the bag with the laptops and tech gear is always with me, either under the airplane seat or right next to me, it's plenty of protection (i.e., I don't check bags or put my laptops and tech gear in the overhead).

    I use a PCSB as an in-flight bag with full size headphones, a tablets, battery, cords, and a ditty kit in a small snakecharmer; which either attaches to the outside of my Pilot if it's full or goes inside. If I'm carrying the S25 then it always goes inside.
    I have a S25 and it works fine for very short trips. I have an A45, which is really only good for very long trips, however, it's also probably far too large in general for a vast bulk of my trips, but the S25 is too small. Usually I'm looking at 5 days. Too few for an A45 and too many for an S25.

    I can't do a briefcase style bag. It's just not my thing.

    In an ideal world a bag that more closely matches something like a GoRuck GR2 (the 34L bag) or the Minaal Carry-On 2.0 (but in a 30-35L size bag) would probably do the job for every single one of my trips. And a 30L Synapse might pull it off as well if I packed lighter, however, I feel like a 30L Synapse would probably need to open clam shell in order to work in this type of environment.

    I'd love something that could fit under the seat for this type of thing, but I have an 8 day trip coming up in January and I'm waiting to see a backpack I backed on Kickstarter to arrive in December (hopefully... ) to see if maybe that'll cover it. A dry run on the packing might show me whether it works. If not then I'm looking at the GR2 (34L) or the Tri-Star... I think the Minaal is a tad too large.

    I wish Tom Bihn had more options in this type of situation, I like the color options more, the material options more, the o-rings, there's a lot to like, but they only really offer one option in this area and it's not really a backpack first, it's a backpack second, and that means it sacrifices things to be convertible.

    Not saying Tom Bihn has to bend over backwards and make something just for me, but I think it's quite obvious with the influx of these types of bags from Aer, Minaal, and a bunch of others, that there's a market there and Tom Bihn is behind (in my opinion anyway).

  8. #8
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    We’re getting away from the OP’s question, but I think the whole appeal of Bihn bags is the ability for each person to use them as they wish. Thus some will add a cache if they’re carrying a laptop (which works great with the rail system) but another person, not interested in carrying a laptop, doesn’t have to lose space on a dedicated laptop section. I returned a competitor’s bag as it had a padded laptop and an additional padded tablet compartment. Less space for other carry and additional weight.

    As a wannabe minimalist, I want to be able to use my bags for several different purposes - EDC, photo walks, and travel. I like that Bihn bags allows me to add internal organization to fit each use.

    To the OP- do you think that if Tom added more attachment points, such as the loops where waist belts or signal lights go on the Synapse, would allow you to rig up a suitable system?
    Luminary 12 with a MCB Freudian Slip, Daylight Backpack, EDC Side Effect or Side Effect, zippered Large and Small Shopbags, Co-Pilot, Travel Tray, Snake Charmer

  9. #9
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    @bouncing,

    Love your name by the way, how fitting for you and your lifestyle!

    What led me to Tom Bihn's products was actually the complete breakdown of my main travel bag, the Sierra Design rolling backpack with day pack zipped to the front. First the handle broke and had to be repaired. Then the wheels started to have issues. I had this bag for 10 years and in that 10 years was never very satisfied with how deep it became when it was fully packed. It was not streamlined at all and the day pack was difficult to remove and re-attach. It would also tip over when it was packed full. Ended up donating it to the local dumpster when the handle broke a second time.

    I agree, if Tom Bihn could create a bag that had a zip off day pack (sans the heavy wheels & telescoping handle), that would be really exciting! And they are the perfect company to do it, can't even imagine the innovative design they would add to it, stuff nobody would have thought of before

  10. #10
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anna2222 View Post
    @bouncing,

    Love your name by the way, how fitting for you and your lifestyle!

    What led me to Tom Bihn's products was actually the complete breakdown of my main travel bag, the Sierra Design rolling backpack with day pack zipped to the front. First the handle broke and had to be repaired. Then the wheels started to have issues. I had this bag for 10 years and in that 10 years was never very satisfied with how deep it became when it was fully packed. It was not streamlined at all and the day pack was difficult to remove and re-attach. It would also tip over when it was packed full. Ended up donating it to the local dumpster when the handle broke a second time.

    I agree, if Tom Bihn could create a bag that had a zip off day pack (sans the heavy wheels & telescoping handle), that would be really exciting! And they are the perfect company to do it, can't even imagine the innovative design they would add to it, stuff nobody would have thought of before
    Thanks!

    And yeah, your Sierra Designs bag sounds very similar to the Osprey bag I have. One remark on it tipping over: a lot of Osprey users observed a similar problem. I personally notice that there were two ways of mounting the day bag on top of the main bag, and the clip method worked well for weight distribution when rolling.

    That's a bummer about the Sierra build quality, though in my experience their niche seems to be ultralight camping gear. With that kind of product, you probably want to trade lighter weight for inferior durability.

    Anyway. I totally agree on the wheels. I'm sort of done with wheeled luggage unless someone can make it really minimal. It's almost like wheels are a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since the framing they take makes your bag so much bigger, you bring more stuff, and thus, you need wheels! :O

  11. #11
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveltech View Post
    To the OP- do you think that if Tom added more attachment points, such as the loops where waist belts or signal lights go on the Synapse, would allow you to rig up a suitable system?
    I don't know, maybe? It really depends on whether there's something else specifically designed to attach there.

    My ideal design would be something that perhaps zips something Founders Briefcase-like to an Aeronaut 30. Can you imagine that frankenbag?

  12. #12
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selykg View Post
    In an ideal world a bag that more closely matches something like a GoRuck GR2 (the 34L bag) or the Minaal Carry-On 2.0 (but in a 30-35L size bag) would probably do the job for every single one of my trips. And a 30L Synapse might pull it off as well if I packed lighter, however, I feel like a 30L Synapse would probably need to open clam shell in order to work in this type of environment.
    Tortuga Homebase backpack?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    Tortuga Homebase backpack?
    I have their outbreaker daypack. Not a huge fan of the sail cloth material they use. It's rather noisy. I hear it's strong and durable, but i question that and would probably prefer halcyon or ballistic nylon.

    Don't mind me. I'm just overthinking this all i figure, same as always.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    I don't know, maybe? It really depends on whether there's something else specifically designed to attach there.

    My ideal design would be something that perhaps zips something Founders Briefcase-like to an Aeronaut 30. Can you imagine that frankenbag?
    The Founder's Briefcase would have to be the underlayer.

    The problem with these 2-into-1 bags, particularly with laptops, is weight distribution. You might want to use the laptop in your daybag, but traveling with it placed all the way on the outside of the pack is going to make it feel much heavier. The laptop should be against your back, especially something as big as a 15 inch laptop.

  15. #15
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selykg View Post
    I have their outbreaker daypack. Not a huge fan of the sail cloth material they use. It's rather noisy. I hear it's strong and durable, but i question that and would probably prefer halcyon or ballistic nylon.

    Don't mind me. I'm just overthinking this all i figure, same as always.
    Oh, I get the overthinking on bags. No judgment here. I'm also curious what you backed on Kickstarter.

    FWIW, on my Aeronaut 30, it's definitely not a backpack first, but since I only ever have clothes in it, I find that the backpack straps don't dig in or hurt the way they might on an A45. It's really pretty comfortable.

    The only problem I have with the Aeronaut 30 is it necessitates me taking a separate laptop bag unless I'm just going away from the weekend with the purpose of disconnecting from electronics.

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