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  1. #1
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    An appreciation for retired designs

    With the recent retirement of a number of beloved bags, I took a look at my collection of Tom Bihn bags and realised a vast majority of them are now retired-- literally the only TB bags I own that haven't been retired are the Large Shop Bag, the Side Effect, and the Brain Bag.

    Anyway, I'd like to express my appreciation for all of these retired designs. The Smart Alec and Large Cafe Bag were my first purchases from Tom Bihn a few years back and I still use both on a near-daily basis. The Small Shop Bag has been perfect for quick grocery runs for my short frame. The Buzz I acquired secondhand but is the sling bag of my dreams with its clean appearance and handy details-- I even used it as my only bag for one of those super-economy, personal-item-only plane tickets and could bring enough for about a week of casual travel. The ID is, in my eyes, the perfect messenger bag with its zippered main compartment, a flap over the main compartment, a side water bottle holder, and, probably my favourite little feature, the flap pocket (it's so useful!). I don't use the Field Journal Notebook as often as I'd like-- it would've been nice to have several years ago when I actually did some fieldwork, but for now it gets brought along the occasional outdoor excursion when I feel I'll be writing.

    I'm sure there are many others on this forum who cherish their retired bags and I'd love to hear from them!
    TB Bags: Smart Alec (Steel/Iberian), Large Cafe Bag (Black/Steel), ID (Black), Buzz (Black/Steel), Side Effect (Black), Large Shop Bag (Northwest Sky), Small Shop Bag (Northwest Sky), Field Journal Notebook (Grey), Small Yeoman Duffel (Steel), Brain Bag (Deep Blue/Dawn), Aeronaut 30 (Steel/Iberian).

  2. #2
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    If I had to keep just one bag of the many Tom Bihn items I own, it'd be my nordic/wasabi Smart Alec. Stuffed with a small shop bag in the water bottle pocket and a Daylight backpack in the bungee cord, because it's impossible to choose just one bag, but easy to choose three. I love the Smart Alec. It's the best bag for people who are out all day and don't have a car.

  3. #3
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    I love my ID so much that I have a brand new one in its box that'll come out when I ruin or lose my main one.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocks View Post
    I love the Smart Alec. It's the best bag for people who are out all day and don't have a car.
    Yes! It's so adaptable to many items of varying shapes/sizes. It's not too large, but can carry a decent amount of stuff. I also really like its appearance. The top-loading design is a bit annoying for fishing out exceptionally awkwardly shaped items or small things among the odd items but it's so great for so many situations that I can generally overlook it.

    Quote Originally Posted by socialworktech View Post
    I love my ID so much that I have a brand new one in its box that'll come out when I ruin or lose my main one.
    I've definitely considered picking up a backup ID. It's basically everything I ever wanted in a messenger bag.
    TB Bags: Smart Alec (Steel/Iberian), Large Cafe Bag (Black/Steel), ID (Black), Buzz (Black/Steel), Side Effect (Black), Large Shop Bag (Northwest Sky), Small Shop Bag (Northwest Sky), Field Journal Notebook (Grey), Small Yeoman Duffel (Steel), Brain Bag (Deep Blue/Dawn), Aeronaut 30 (Steel/Iberian).

  5. #5
    Forum Member threeteez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socialworktech View Post
    I love my ID so much that I have a brand new one in its box that'll come out when I ruin or lose my main one.
    I'm glad there's someone else out there like me! While my Imagos are all second hand, since it's a retired bag, I feel like I need back up.

    Retired designs: Imago, Sprout, SSB, SA/UMP, Little Swift, LCB, Skookum Bat and FJN are in my TB stash and I'm thankful to have them. A shout out for particularly special, retired fabrics too: original Nordic, Solar, and Cork.

  6. #6
    Forum Member blackbird's Avatar
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    I own an S19, which is a great weekend bag (my work laptop is *large*). My Sidekick is great on its own or as a bag-in-bag. My fabric 3DOC is perfect as a makeup/first aid/self care pouch, and my LSB is perfect for neighborhood grocery runs (and easy car snacking access, letís be honest).

    But itís my SA that has truly stolen my heart. Every time I stray, try out a different work bag, or think there might be something better out there to meet all my EDC needs ó laptop, lunch, book, notebook, wallet, pens, flashlight, phone, keys, self care kit, gloves, hat ó I just keep coming back. Its configuration just makes sense to me, and its ability to cinch up or expand makes it the most versatile bag I own.

    I know that Iím writing this pre-launch of all the new designs, but I think itís safe to say that my love for my SA knows no bounds.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." ó Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  7. #7
    Forum Member nukediver's Avatar
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    I truly love the Smart Alec, and am kicking myself for not getting one in Nordic Dyneema to add to my collection. I love this bag as my carry-on, as it can hold so much more than I ever thought possible. It's also fantastic for winters in the Northeast, what with our entirely unpredictable weather. I can toss in my gloves, hat, scarf, and Yaktrax as the day progresses, and there's still lots of room for a Sidekick, lunch bag, coffee thermos, and a cache with my iPad Pro and Kindle safely tucked inside. I wish I had one in every color!
    Eat well, travel often.

  8. #8
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Love my SAs, somehow we ended up with three in this house! My 4th-grader jumped around between TB and non-TB bags, with a short flirtation with the S19, but ended up with a first-generation SA as his school bag. It's very forgiving of a 9yo's haphazard packing style and odd-shaped loads.

    I don't use the SA as my EDC but use it every few days to carry my workout gear (again an oddly-shaped load - martial arts uniform). And one SA for travel - I go back and forth on keeping that color, and whether I need a separate one as backup, but for now have figured the ballistic is nice for the rough and tumble of the road.

    I love the size and shape of the Little Swift, it suits me much better than the Swift. I seem not to be using it as much this winter because it slides off my coat but it works so well as an EDC.

    And another shoutout for retired colors: Indigo, Turquoise, Fjord, Crimson, Zest!!

  9. #9
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    The Smart Alec was one of those bags that I always wavered on purchasing, and I am a little sad that I won't get the chance to try one out now. I am not 100% sure it would work for me, but it appealed as a one-bag travel option that's a little more forgiving than my S25 without stepping all the way up to my A30.

    I love, love, love my Imago!! I guess I need to buy one off Ebay so I have a backup, but I never see the black/black/steel colorway there.

    Reading this thread made me realize that I have more of the retired designs than I thought (some I'd forgotten because they were gifts or have been re-homed): Large Cafe Bag, Little Swift, Sprout, Super Ego, Small Shop Bag, and Imago.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.Ē ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  10. #10
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Love my retired Little Swifts, two of which have Fjord interiors. I tend to use them a lot in good weather. I'm curious about the new totes coming out, but as with the Pop Tote (which I also love), my guess is that they will be on the "functional" side. What stands out to me about the Little Swift and the Imago, another retired design, is the curved lines where contrasting colors meet. IMO that gives them a little "zing" that makes them a pleasure to look at.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 03-07-2018 at 08:07 AM.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  11. #11
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    Let me echo the sentiments of others regarding the Smart Alec. Itís such an awesome bag. Before its retirement, I ordered one in black halcyon for Mr. pammy. By fortuitous circumstances, I was able to acquire the matching UMP from someone here on the forum. And since I already own the upper and lower modular pockets in aubergine, I bought the matching SA because I know I would later regret not having it. But my absolute favorite SA is the original Nordic Smart Alec. It makes me smile just looking at it.

    One retired bag I find so very useful is the Utility Tote. I use that as much as the shop bags. Itís a workhorse, I tell you. Since itís made out of cordura, itís super sturdy, and I love those large pockets. It holds a ton.

    Another shout-out for the Imago. Itís the perfect size messenger, not too big and not too small. As a short 4í11Ē person, it does not overwhelm me with its size like other messenger bags tend to do. Love the open back pocket that is so handy. Only wish a version 2 would made to accommodate the larger phones and a water bottle holder.

    Like @socialworktech, I too like to have backups of my favorite bags just in case the worse-case scenario happens like loss or theft or it just wears out. Better safe than sorry.

    In memoriam of retired colors, let me add a couple of my favorites: azalea and hemp.
    Seeking Solar shop bags and Solar packing cube shoulder bag Also coveting an Iberian Synapse or Copilot

  12. #12
    Forum Member RDR3's Avatar
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    The SA, my favorite mommy, back saving, backpack and since I am under 5 feet tall, the base sits perfectly at my lower back
    Here it is loaded up to handle an unreasonable 5 year old at the high school pick up line.
    An appreciation for retired designs-59862638-9c76-48b2-8cc9-fa4ccdbdc242-jpeg

  13. #13
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    Imago, all day, every day! As Pammy just said, it is the perfect sized messenger bag.
    And another shout-out to the field journal notebook.

  14. #14
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    I love the large Cafe bag. I find the medium just too small. I have three of the large bags, which should last me (I’m 66).

  15. #15
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    I use my Smart Alec every day. Such a good bag! (and versatile, too)

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