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  1. #1
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    Debate: New Backpack Ideas

    Hi all

    By the looks of it Tom and crew are working on some new bags. Thought i would add in what I would like to see - feel free to chip in with what you guys want.

    I’ve seen some threads asking for a S30 or s35. Whilst they look cool (and I love my s25 and S19)I think they would be too deep when including the waterbottle pocket and make the bag awkward to travel. Also anything over 9 inches deep makes it too be for airplane travel.

    Ideally I would like something 7 inches deep so it can be used on European flights easily - maybe something that can extend to 9 for packing more stuff when a flight not required.

    I also love the functionality of a clamshell.

    Ideal bag for me, which would add to the TB range, would be something clamshell, the new lightweight frame sheets, easy to take laptop out at security checks, backpack straps which can be hidden, couple of quick access pockets and option of a shoulder strap. Could be in a 7 inch depth or 9 inch (or cinch straps varying between the 2). I also love the end pockets of a30/45 which can be internally divided allowing for shoes to be stored and the weight of shoes not bounce around and crease other clothes.

    If TB could build that bag I would buy it straight away!

    But what are your thoughts/wish list for new backpacks/travel bags?
    Last edited by Robw; 02-24-2018 at 10:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    Love the idea of the option for shoulder strap. I often wish my Luminary had that option.

    I’m hoping for a bag in the 20-21 L range, something that would still work as airline personal item, internal frame mandatory. I’d appreciate sleek lines rather than school bag appearance.

    As always I’d want it to be customizable to serve as a travel bag AND as a camera bag.
    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

  3. #3
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    With the retirement of the Skookum Dog road duffels (medium is 36 liters) and the Smart Alec (26 liters), I am hoping for something in that sweet spot of approximately 35 liters size - or mid range between the Aeronaut 30 and 45. While the Brain Bag has many ardent fans, it looks too large on my frame, and I prefer a bit more structure in the base of the bag. My vote would be for a mid sized Aeronaut or Hero's Journey type bag, and I prefer the waist strap attachment points for the Hero's Journey over the Aeronaut's.
    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

  4. #4
    Forum Member 3rdCoastHighlander's Avatar
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    My "almost perfect bag" is the S19 because of the storage design; side & front pockets, o-rings with lanyards with which to connect organization pouches. For an EDC, its an excellent bag. I love the black Halcyon 400 fabric, and streamlined design of the S19, so I can can use it with my carry-on when I fly.

    To improve the S19:
    The S19 would be perfect if it had a better, more substantial shoulder strap design, similar to strap system on my my other pack . I carried my S19 in Europe last summer (water bottle, journal, back-up battery, fleece/rain jacket- so not that heavy) and the weight became pretty uncomfortable after hours of hiking.

    I recently picked up the plastic internal frame for the S19, and it seems to help distribute the weight a little better.
    Last edited by 3rdCoastHighlander; 02-24-2018 at 09:44 AM. Reason: not supposed to mention name of other pack
    Synapse 19, Black Halcyon/Island with multiple organizer accessories. Black Halcyon/Island Side Kick, 7-8 TB Shopping totes.
    Briggs & Riley CX Carry-on.
    "You can't have a narrow mind and a thick passport."- Pauline Frommer
    Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.

  5. #5
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    I am polar opposite of y'all, but that would be because I don't come here too often. I only happened on this thread, reading up on what's the haps with the backpacks. What I need is an urban, small backpack. I know what you're thinking - Luminary. I might yet go that way, but here in the Finlands, those straps are probably not gonna work over the heavy coat I have to wear this time of year. And all I'm reading about are the pockets are too small to be useful, and it's too long and deep to be handy in an urban setting.

    So, basically, not something huge, but something tiny! A Synapse 12-15L. I love my S19, but that's too big for ipad, glasses, sunglasses, an m4:3rds camera and a couple small lenses, wallet, keys, earbuds, phone, small umbrella and/or water bottle. The S19 handles that plus your gym clothes. Nah, we need something smaller and more svelte.

    I know exactly no one is probably looking for such a bag, and there's other bag makers are making such things, but their bags cost twice as much, are twice as heavy, and don't have the clever organization of a TB bag.

    12-15L... there's a reason everyone around here is using a certain Swedish bag of square design.
    Last edited by plainsong; 02-24-2018 at 10:24 AM.

  6. #6
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    This will never happen, but instead of being retired, I would like to see the Sprout redesigned to fit adults. I know there were a few of us who were disappointed that the Luminary didn't look more like the Sprout, so we know it appeals to adults. I'm guessing that the Sprout is getting retired because it didn't sell well. $80 is a lot for a kid's backpack, especially when the Tom Bihn aesthetic is probably not terribly appealing to most little kids. So I think the Sprout might have been more successful as an adult's small backpack. Imagine how great it would be in the new lighter weight ballistic colors!

  7. #7
    Forum Member nimikor's Avatar
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    I vote for a bag in the 21-22 L range that looks and functions like the WF with it’s tuck away backpack straps.

    Actually a 22 L Stowaway without the weird strap contraption would be close. Three compartments, one for clothing, one for a laptop and one with various organization with tuck away backpack straps, a carry handle and a shoulder strap.

    And while we’re at it, have an optional end pocket (like the A30’s) that can be attached for bulky items like shoes.
    DLBC, WF, S19, Pilot, DLBP, PCSB, A30, SA plus other misc goodies.
    “Not all those who wander are lost.” - Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien 1892-1973)

  8. #8
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    I know I posted before on another thread, but I have a fairly detailed wishlist for a new bag. For me, 18-22 is my sweet spot for travel. I'm petite, so I'd like a bag with a 17" length and 9-10" wide. I've tried on lots of bags, and at least for me, that's what's comfortable. While I realize the S19 should be an option, I've had fit issues with the backpack straps and I am not a fan of the design and multitude of pockets - I'd like most of the storage to be a single cylindrical section or barrel. The closest I've come to my ideal bag is the Osprey Skimmer 16 - a little smaller than I want, but it has the design, sturdiness and weight carrying capacity I want. I like the lines of the Luminary and wish it could be scaled up.

  9. #9
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    @plainsong just FYI I used my Luminary all winter over a heavy coat. The side pockets are definitely small. (I stash reusable grocery bags, first aid kit etc, in those). But I really love the sidepocket for my iPad or book or similar.

  10. #10
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    @traveltech Well that makes my wishlist one bag bigger!

    @Vecturist I loved the look of the Sprout too! It'd be perfect in an adult version!

    To ask about the Luminary side pockets, would one of them be big enough for the organizer wallet?

  11. #11
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    The Luminary backpack straps are wonderful!
    Squishy, soft, so lightweight, it is like they are not there, even with a Luminary fully packed.

    I wish all of TB Backpacks will be fitted with them, in the future.


    I second a redesign of the Stowaway, to become a mini Western Flyer, with the straps on the back, in a back zippered pocket.
    The briefcase configuration looks classy, classic and beautiful but the transformation to backpack looks awkward.


    I think that there could be a demand for a Sprout/Luminary mix backpack, minimalist but, with wider main compartment and a rounder configuration, which could fit books, A4/letter size binders, as an everyday school backpack for children and everyday backpack for petite people in higher education, paperwork heavy jobs...


    It would be good, if a backpack between the size of the S25 and the Brain Bag had zippered compartments, so that it could be transformed into a large capacity bucket backpack.

    I can attest that Tom Bihn Backpacks are the best, so the more sizes made, the more people can benefit from them.
    Last edited by backpack; 02-25-2018 at 12:49 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nimikor View Post
    I vote for a bag in the 21-22 L range that looks and functions like the WF with it’s tuck away backpack straps.

    Actually a 22 L Stowaway without the weird strap contraption would be close. Three compartments, one for clothing, one for a laptop and one with various organization with tuck away backpack straps, a carry handle and a shoulder strap.

    And while we’re at it, have an optional end pocket (like the A30’s) that can be attached for bulky items like shoes.
    This totally sounds like a more substantial version of the PCSB!

  13. #13
    Forum Member nimikor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahJaneMakes View Post
    This totally sounds like a more substantial version of the PCSB!
    Yes! I really like the PCSB and use it inside all my bags. It would be great to have a 21L that you could attach a PCSB to the outside without making it appear like a piggyback hack.
    DLBC, WF, S19, Pilot, DLBP, PCSB, A30, SA plus other misc goodies.
    “Not all those who wander are lost.” - Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien 1892-1973)

  14. #14
    Forum Member Sacharissa's Avatar
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    I LOVE my Luminary! It’s sleek design and the sidepocket have elevated it to EDC status for me. HOWEVER, I wish the straps were just a titch longer so that the chest strap could be placed just a bit lower. As it is, the strap tends to hit me just under my chin, and I sometimes feel I’m being strangled. I would also love a larger version of the Luminary for those times when you need to carry more!
    On an Epic Quest for the Perfect Bag...

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  15. #15
    Forum Member fredlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plainsong View Post
    I might yet go that way, but here in the Finlands, those straps are probably not gonna work over the heavy coat I have to wear this time of year. And all I'm reading about are the pockets are too small to be useful, and it's too long and deep to be handy in an urban setting.

    So, basically, not something huge, but something tiny! A Synapse 12-15L. I love my S19, but that's too big for ipad, glasses, sunglasses, an m4:3rds camera and a couple small lenses, wallet, keys, earbuds, phone, small umbrella and/or water bottle. The S19 handles that plus your gym clothes. Nah, we need something smaller and more svelte.


    12-15L... there's a reason everyone around here is using a certain Swedish bag of square design.
    I use the daylight backpack for this. It’s minimal but still has decent internal organization.
    The wider straps are comfy over T-shirt’s or my big down jacket (used to travel to Green Bay WI in winter a lot).
    Have you looked into that one?
    I tend to grab that one way more than my Synapse by a long shot.



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