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  1. #31
    Forum Member nimikor's Avatar
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    Why am I a Tom Bihn customer?
    - best ratios: form to function and weight to quality
    - they got me to stop throwing money away on inferior bags
    - great forum and community
    - spot on made in USA corporate values

    I say ďTom and Darcy, follow your heart. And if I like where it leads, Iíll gladly follow.Ē
    DLBC, WF, S19, Pilot, DLBP, PCSB, A30, SA plus other misc goodies.
    ďNot all those who wander are lost.Ē - Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien 1892-1973)

  2. #32
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    It doesn't matter to me if something is made in the united states or not. If I like the form and function of something, then I will get it and if not, I won't. I question the approach in some area of most products and Tom Bihn is no different in that respect. But basically it just boils down to if the product can do what I want it for or not. The good part to me about having all of these companies, is that I can get something from each of them that will meet my needs/wants if another company does not. Do I wish Tom Bihn made some different choices about their products - of course. But I don't really expect them to care one way or the other if I do or do not like a product.

  3. #33
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    The only thing I would change about the Bihn stuff in general is the scarce organization pockets as compared to many other brands. It would just be easier for me to have a lot more little spots already there and not have to rely as much on pouches and things but I also realize that this will never happen and if it did the bags would cost more to produce and buy for sure.

    The thing that makes these designs different and innovative overall to me though is the way they will accommodate computers of all sizes and statures even as you get different machines.
    I always carry a computer on every trip and often more than one along with support stuff of all types and the idea of a custom fit protective sleeve designed to fit a computer is just a lot better for me than universal pockets to drop the computer into.
    If I need to I can have no wasted space for a computer at all or carry 3 in sleeves and this kind of flexibility is rarely afforded by the off the shelf manufacturers,even the better ones.

    I really like the North Face Packs for instance and they do offer the organization I want usually but the universal computer pockets are not as flexible as I need and the overall construction while really pretty nice is not as tough or understated as any Bihn Bag that I have seen.

    Likewise I have and like the GR2 and have been using it as much as I can and often alongside the A45 too!

    They are each great bags and offer features that the other does not but if I had to pick one the A45 is easier for me to pack and more comfortable to carry though I don't carry a computer in it while I can in the GR2.

    The GR2 also feels to me a lot bigger than it packs while the A45 Packs much bigger than it feels,if this makes sense, it is a lot easier to carry and stash the A45 to me every trip.
    I do like the full wrap zippers and the way the GR2 opens flat but I also often have a hard time closing the thing where the A45 just holds what it holds and is never that tough to get closed.

    There are just a lot of bags on the market and only so many features really to set them apart but for me the Quality ALWAYS takes precedence over the Features if there has to be a choice.
    I also think that Timeless designs usually have fewer gimmicky features as these are often of more fleeting usefulness compared to common sense quality construction in more simple designs.

    I just feel this stuff is more innovative as it rarely changes which is pretty different than the majority of bags looking for a spot of their own in the Market.
    Last edited by AVService; 04-29-2018 at 03:23 PM.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    Have you tried the internal frame? It changes things completely. My S25 is so much more comfortable with it.
    No I havent. Does it make that much of a difference? Worth the cost (and the loss of dignity that you need an "addon' for your expensive backpack to make it comfortable)?

  5. #35
    Forum Member 3rdCoastHighlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    Have you tried the internal frame? It changes things completely. My S25 is so much more comfortable with it.
    I purchased the S19 last year to serve as a "personal item carry-on" for a trip to Europe last year. I think that the S19 is an absolutely amazing pack. I loved the thought process that went into the design. While we were touring Europe last summer, there were days where we were on our feet for 12 hours or more. This is when the shoulder straps of the S19 could have been wider and had more paddling. The internal frame helps to distribute the weight better, but the straps still need to sit flatter and have more padding. As an EDC, the S19 is pretty perfect. I own a number of backpacks and the S19 is my "go to."
    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.

  6. #36
    Forum Member terayon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bintobeen View Post
    No I havent. Does it make that much of a difference? Worth the cost (and the loss of dignity that you need an "addon' for your expensive backpack to make it comfortable)?
    To me, the frame sheet is a complete and total game changer in the S25. It went from a backpack that I liked but didnít use a whole lot because my shoulders would get sore, to a wear-all-day pack. YMMV, of course, but I would give it a try if you otherwise like the S25.

  7. #37
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    The frame sheet is incredibly effective at making the bag more comfortable in two ways: smoothing the back into a flat surface, and distributing the weight better when using the hip belt. I also cinch the belt tight so the straps are bearing almost no weight at all.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #38
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bintobeen View Post
    No I havent. Does it make that much of a difference? Worth the cost (and the loss of dignity that you need an "addon' for your expensive backpack to make it comfortable)?
    I think it depends on the size of the person carrying the bag and the load being carried. I loved the concept of the S25 but I couldn’t get it to carry comfortably with any load on my 5’2” body until I got a frame sheet. My daughter who is 6 inches taller loved it for carrying just clothing, but didn’t like having a computer in it until she got one with a frame sheet. My 6’4” husband could carry bricks all day in it, with or without the frame sheet.

    I personally don’t see the purchase of a frame sheet as a loss of dignity. I’m just grateful that Tom Bihn offers an option to make the bag more versatile for a variety of sized and shaped people. I feel the same way about pouches and whatnot, these add ons customize my bags to my carry each time they are needed and keep me from having to buy all the bags, even though I would like to buy all the bags.

    Last weekend 3 in my family enjoyed a 5 day trip. My husband and I each wound up carrying bags from other brands since our daughters were using the bags in the sizes we needed for this trip. My 13 year old stayed more organized with the A30 than either of us did with bigger bags from other respected brands. My skeptical husband has suggested that I put both of these bags on EBay and replace them with TB. So, maybe I CAN buy all the bags...
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color 好的朋友

  9. #39
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Bihn, "innovation" and what people are looking for

    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    The only thing I would change about the Bihn stuff in general is the scarce organization pockets as compared to many other brands. It would just be easier for me to have a lot more little spots already there and not have to rely as much on pouches and things but I also realize that this will never happen and if it did the bags would cost more to produce and buy for sure.

    The thing that makes these designs different and innovative overall to me though is the way they will accommodate computers of all sizes and statures even as you get different machines.
    I always carry a computer on every trip and often more than one along with support stuff of all types and the idea of a custom fit protective sleeve designed to fit a computer is just a lot better for me than universal pockets to drop the computer into.
    If I need to I can have no wasted space for a computer at all or carry 3 in sleeves and this kind of flexibility is rarely afforded by the off the shelf manufacturers,even the better ones.
    I agree. Having configuration options to turn your bag into the ideal carrier of whatever you have is where the innovation is, as far as I am concerned. I sometimes carry 2 computers in my S19, and sometimes none. Is there any other bag maker that emphasizes modularity like Bihn? Most seem to either be open spaces with no attachment points, or built in zippers, pouches and sleeves you canít remove.

    I also really like that Bihn was able to figure out a clever way to retrofit the Synapses with frame sheets. Even there, you have a choice to buy one or not.

    I used to yearn for lots of dedicated pockets in my bags, but that was before I realized pouches are more flexible. Put the removable pocket wherever you want it. Brilliant and simple! And innovative!

    Also, as far as pockets go, I think most Bihn bags have a thoughtful amount. The layout of the outer Synapse pockets is still one of the best designs ever. Even without pouches, you have a flexible layout to carry a wide variety of stuff. The Copilotís pocket configuration is one of the most brilliantly useful I have seen in any bag.

    (The one place I really wish there were extra pockets is in the Pop Tote. One flat zippered pocket large enough for a phablet would make it more useful to me.)

    In all, Bihn gear continues to impress me with its thoughtful attention to usability. Even if you took the fantastic company out of the equation, the bags themselves would still stand as physical manifestations of a design process most other manufacturers can only dream of.
    Last edited by Amy; 04-30-2018 at 05:27 AM.
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  10. #40
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    I really do not like a lot of dedicated pockets, because the size and shape of electronics keeps changing. I've ditched purses and briefcases that held a particular size and shape of phone and laptop, because the new electronics wouldn't fit in the old pockets and neither would anything else. I hate wasted space. I want some pockets, but not a bunch of specialized ones.

    I actually love the pouches and keystraps, because I can quickly and easily move my stuff to a different TB bag, and still know which "pocket" my "thing" is in. Plus, the keystraps mean that if I pull that pouch out, I'll never leave it behind, because it's tethered to the bag. Also, what I carry for work isn't what I carry on the weekend, so again, it's easy to swap out what I'm carrying. I've even Bihned non-TB bags to add O-rings, so I can clip my keystraps and pouches in them.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 04-30-2018 at 05:30 AM.

  11. #41
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    The thing that makes these designs different and innovative overall to me though is the way they will accommodate computers of all sizes and statures even as you get different machines.
    This! I find that I actively shy away from bags with integrated backpack sleeves now.

    Since I bought my first TB bag back in 2009 I have gone from traveling for work with a 13" MacBook, to an Asus netbook, to a 13" MacBook Pro, to an iPad with a keyboard cover, to a 12" MacBook. Dealing with these changes with a bag that had an integrated, fixed-size laptop compartment would have been annoying. Using various Cache/rail combos was much better in comparison.

    I can see why some people want an integrated sleeve, but it's not for me, and I'm glad to have a great carry option without one.
    "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

  12. #42
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    Tom designs more than backpacks, he designs Totes and a surprising number of nifty and cute accessories.

    One word that can be used about Tom's designs is classic.

    In the same manner Apple has defined the laptop, smart phone, tablet and smart watch classic designs.

    Furthermore, from the 90's to now, Tom, just like Apple has simplified the line/silhouette of the electronic devices, has added slick and classy fabrics as well as classic lines to his bags.

    Classy and classic lines, were previously only available via very expensive leather bag designers.

    Tom and the Crew make fabulous stuff and we like them just the way they are.

    If one has the budget, one can buy bags and just about every other item from different brands.

    Like other forum members have said, coming on the forum and say Tom should do this and that and what doesn't he make x or z, it is a bit much for us, who are devoted clients.

    I feel it would be like criticizing one of the famous designers like Dior or Yves St Laurent, both had strong visions about fashion and style.
    Last edited by backpack; 04-30-2018 at 06:18 AM.

  13. #43
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    Before buying my synapse I was looking at a bag about the same size with tons of organization. To be clear, I differentiate lots of organization (spots for very specific things like pens, thumb drives, business cards, etc.) from lots of pockets (like the synapse). The bag that met my current organization needs the most was the ebags professional slim jr. Unfortunately most everything else about it was a negative (for me) when compared to the synapse (heavy, low capacity to size ratio, etc.). The other key was the word "current." Needs change, in my case based on different tech that I carry and time of year. I am still experimenting with how to organize my synapse, but I do see the value in flexibility to use different organization products for different purposes and times. The bottom line is that neither philosophy is "right," just different. Some people like cake. I like pie. That doesn't mean that cake sucks.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougpgreen View Post
    Before buying my synapse I was looking at a bag about the same size with tons of organization. To be clear, I differentiate lots of organization (spots for very specific things like pens, thumb drives, business cards, etc.) from lots of pockets (like the synapse). The bag that met my current organization needs the most was the ebags professional slim jr. Unfortunately most everything else about it was a negative (for me) when compared to the synapse (heavy, low capacity to size ratio, etc.). The other key was the word "current." Needs change, in my case based on different tech that I carry and time of year. I am still experimenting with how to organize my synapse, but I do see the value in flexibility to use different organization products for different purposes and times. The bottom line is that neither philosophy is "right," just different. Some people like cake. I like pie. That doesn't mean that cake sucks.
    Thats true!
    But I did have terrible cake yesterday?


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  15. #45
    Forum Member chaimonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    (The one place I really wish there were extra pockets is in the Pop Tote. One flat zippered pocket large enough for a phablet would make it more useful to me.)
    I would LOVE to see a flat, phablet-sized zippered pocket inside the Pop Tote. *dreamy sigh*
    Small Cafe Bag in Deep Blue/Grass - Medium Cafe Bag in Alphaviolet/Cloud - Pop Tote in Olive - S19 in Deep Blue/Iberian; Side Kicks in Aubergine/Island Halcyon, Verde/Ultraviolet, and Black Halcyon/Island Halcyon - Side Effect in Nordic Halcyon/Northwest Sky Halcyon - S25 in Black Halcyon/Island Halcyon - S25 in Aubergine/Island Halcyon

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