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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    0 Thread(s)

    Thoughts on First Order

    First, DW and I excited to be part of the Tom Bihn "family". Browsing the bags and reading the forums has us even more excited for our upcoming trip to Japan and future travel.

    We placed and received our first order ever this week. The order and fulfillment process was great, although we spent way too many hours on the site and forums trying to find just the right stuff.

    For our Japan trip we were looking to organize our stuff and have a way to carry important items during the day, so our focus was on smaller bags and accessories. We'll probably go in big on large packs/bags prior to our "someday" Europe trip.

    Order: Travel Cublet (Dawn), Side Kick (Nordic/Sky), D. Spiff (Sky), Spiff (Wasabi), Travel Stuff Sack 4 (UV), Org. Pouch S. (Wasabi), COW (Olive), Cord Mini Pouch (Sky), Passport Pouch (Iber), Key Straps (variety), Single Gate Keeper

    • Side Kick is the perfect size for my day bag around town. It took forever to narrow this down and I love it.
    • Travel Cubelet is the perfect size for our teen son to carry his stuff around town.
    • First impression of Spiff Kits is very good. We haven't packed them or used them yet, so still TBD.
    • O-rings and key straps are cool. Love being able to access stuff and still keep it secure.
    • DW is excited to use the Stuff Sack for her laundry and the Pocket Pillow.
    • Small Pouch is a great size for Passports, papers, etc.
    • The colors are all awesome and can't wait to get more.
    • The quality on the bags is excellent - these are going to work well and last.

    • Passport Pouch needs to be 1/4 inch or maybe 1/8 inch wider at the opening. Getting even one passport in and out is difficult and all three is a nightmare. Saw a video on this site using it for three passports, but I can't recommend this for passports at all.
    • Wish there was an Extra-Mini pouch for coins. Got the Mini and while it will do the job, it feels a touch large just for carrying coins. We'll see how we fare in reality since I tend to end up with a bunch of coins in Japan.
    • I have mixed feelings on the COW. I like the concept, but don't love the feel of the clear window in the front and would prefer it in cordura. I also wish it was a tad bigger, or perhaps had the zipper on the top edge to allow larger currency to fit. I suspect it will be difficult to make it work with the JPY bills.

    All-in-all we love the functionality and quality of the bags and plan to buy more. My biggest regret is the Passport Pouch, however I'll look at re-purposing it for documents or some other productive use.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    GMT +1 Germany, North
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi SeaRob and welcome to the forums.
    For the coin solution you might want to look at this one:
    Sadly it only comes in Coyote but it is one size down from your mini.

    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey, @Searob, welcome! Good choices. I don't know what I would do without my Side Kick. It is so essential.

    Regarding coin pouches, the smallest pouch TB sell is the nano, available only in Coyote (but currently sold out, unfortunately... still you can scroll down to the specs on the right hand side to see measurements):

    The second smallest is the micro, available at the link above and also in the padded org pouches:

    Then after that is the mini, then small, medium, large.

    Another pouch that some people use for coins is the mini Q-Kit (mini being smaller than "Small"):

    I love my mini Q-Kit though it took awhile for me to find its true calling (Bluetooth earbuds)

    Anyway, hope that helps with your coin problem!

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    New Zealand
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome to the forums! The Side Kick is great and I'm sure you'll love it. I've found mine very useful both for travelling and every day use, so useful that I decided to buy a second one so I have a choice of colours.

    Regarding the COW, I feel the same way as you about it. It is a good concept but it needs to be a little larger to fit other than US bank notes. The COW is really the only Tom Bihn item I've been disappointed in.
    A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Orlando, FL
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't care for the COW, either. I use a small clear double organizer pouch. It's big enough to hold paper money and the clear front is handy for seeing whatever you put in the front pocket. It's just the right size to fit in the SK, and it just fits in the TC.

  6. #6
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Digital Nomad
    0 Thread(s)
    Personally I prefer a traditional wallet and putting chain my pocket to a COW.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    0 Thread(s)
    I am used to a COW as my everyday wallet in the USA--I carry only a few cards and a few bills (which are folded in half or maybe fourths). The COW works pretty well for me as a card holder (I tend to access the cards far more frequently than the cash). I don't carry coins in anything at all--if I get some change, it's just thrown into a pocket or straight into my purse (an SK or SE) until it makes it into the piggy bank at home.

    Outside of the US, it's a different story. I might carry the COW just for cards. But I use a small double OP or small OP for foreign cash and coins. During a trip I'm juggling a lot more coins every day, foreign money usually involves bigger pieces of paper than USD, etc.

    The COW will not hold Japanese yen very well, unless you are ok with folding it up a lot. But even then, you might be carrying more bills than usual (because there are a lot of cash/no card transactions) and it will really not be ideal.

    However, I wouldn't go smaller than a mini OP for coins--I prefer to have a little room left for my fingers to pick out the coins I need, or to just see what I've got.

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