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  1. #31
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    Regrets: Bought an Aeronaut 45 but it's too spacious for me. I've found the Aeronaut 30 to be more than sufficient - mainly for carting clothes between me and my girlfriend's apartment. Also, recently bought the Western Flyer and am wondering if I'll ever use it again considering I really like the Tri-Star and will probably use it way more.

    Took me a while: I didn't warm up to the Synapse 19 right away - seemed like a smaller version of the S25 but I love its weight and the fact that I have to be a little more choosy about what goes in it. Also, the Founder's Briefcase.

    Old Faithful: Synapse 25. By far the most versatile bag I own. It's replaced pretty much all of my other EDC bags.

    Star Power: S25 and the Aeronaut 30 - I use them all the time.

    (bonus :) Looking forward to: Bought a Brain Bag and a Tri-Star recently and am looking forward to using them :)

  2. #32
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    Regrets: The Clear Organizer Wallet sounded like such a useful thing, a small neat wallet with dividers. Unfortunately it proved too small for Australian, New Zealand, Japanese and Chinese currencies. They either totally didn't fit, or if they could be squeezed in, the notes got caught in the zips. I have now given this away.

    Took me a while: When I first saw the large travel tray, it looked an odd thing. I couldn't imagine buying it. Then I saw how other people on the forums were using it, and thought it could have potential. When it was offered in sitka, I decided to buy because I wanted something in that beautiful colour. I'm now totally sold on the travel tray. It's great using that as a holdall for all the small stuff (chargers, watch, contact lens case etc) when I'm staying somewhere, and knowing that I won't leave anything behind.

    Old faithful: The Aeronaut 30 was my first Tom Bihn bag, bought because I wanted a light carry-on bag for one-bag travel. The A30 has been with me on every trip since I received it.

    Star Power: The Side Kick is so great I now own two of them, a verde/NW sky and a cloud/viridian. The organisation is exactly right and it carries all my daily stuff, with a little bit of extra room for additional items that sometimes need to be carried.
    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

  3. #33
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    Regrets: 3D Organizer Cube Full Fabric. I completely understand the 3DOC with clear sides as a 311 bag. I figured I'd try a full-halcyon version too, but just have no idea what to use it for. It's nice that it fits into the side pocket of the S25, but with with no interior organization, it just feels like not-so-much-pouch for the $32 price tag.

    Took me a while: Large Shop Bag: First of all, ~$50 for a reusable shopping bag is a lot of money when there's plenty of competition on the market for just a few bucks. Also, I hadn't been interested when it was an open top bag, just because I never loved open-top totes. After purchasing the Fjallraven Totepack (highly recommend), I realized that there is a lot of practicality to a zip top tote. And now, the Zip Top LSB has become a daily bag-in-bag companion for whenever I might need a spare 25L of carrying capacity. It packs into the mesh pocket of a GoRuck GR1 and effectively doubles your capacity on demand--IMO, a more elegant solution than those backpacks that unzip and expand out (I used to own one such bag).

    Old Faithful: Side Effect. This thing is the perfect dopp kit for a weekend up to two weeks away for the man who doesn't need to carry that many products. I started from a large dopp kit and worked my way down until coming to the SE which is just the right size to stick into a backpack with a packing cube of clothes.

    Star Power: Aeronaut 30. I think this is one of TB's most unique bags. The packing cubes help a lot for getting the most of it (and I'd recommend the regular cubes over the laundry cubes). But as far as a weekender or overnight bag, this one is at the top of my list when I don't feel like wheeling on my Brigs & Riley Baseline (which is also outstanding). Also, you can fit the A30 cubes and an A30 laundry stuff sack beautifully into that B&R suitcase too.

  4. #34
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    Favorites & Regrets ? Slow to love?

    Regrets: Spiff kit...never was able to make it work. Use the flat ebags toiletry kit instead. Freudian slips...concept is cool but it just doesnt get used. Parental unit-just pack too much stuff for the baby so needed more room.

    Took me a while: Night Flight was just a bit too small to be useful for me as a carryon. Then started using it for drone accessories and it is perfect for organization and protection.

    Old faithful: Ristretto....use daily to carry iPad for years. Holds enough daily essentials and charging cables, headphones, etc...
    Travel trays are always close by!

    Star Power: Aeronaut 45 is the perfect size carryon for me. Usually has camcorder, GPS, jacket, and I through my ristretto in there. Must give a shout out to citizen canine as well...definitely the best treat bag for dog training.

    Honorable mention: superego with seatbelt buckle-use it for therapy dog equipment along with the skookum camp mat


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Drpepper; 12-21-2018 at 10:47 PM.
    Original Ristretto, SuperEgo, Checkpoint Flyer, Brain Cell, New Ristretto, Empire Builder, Zephyr, Aeronaut 30, Aeronaut 45, Brain Bag, Night Flight Travel, travel trays, laundry bags, stuff sacks, snake charmer, etc...

  5. #35
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    Regrets. Only that I didn't buy extra key straps when I first ordered a bag and needed to order more. The system of o-rings and key straps is brilliant.

    Took me a while. The travel tray mystified me at first, perhaps because I didn't read the description closely. I don't own one yet, but posts here have convinced me that it's a brilliant way to keep my small stuff organized while traveling. I'll include one with my next order.

    Old standby. The daylight briefcase. I've become a huge fan of the minimalist approach, and it's now my near-constant companion. The DLBC is light and just large enough to carry my 12 inch Macbook (in a cache) and other things I need, including a mesh 3D organizer with the charger and USB sticks. And because it's light and the volume's smaller than bags like a Pilot, it keeps me honest and nimble.

    Star power. The S25 Guide's Edition and the Side Kick. I use them much less often than the DLBC, but both of them perfectly fit a niche. Theyre ideal for days when I need to carry more or less. I love the organization of the S25, and the Side Kick is perfect for the things I absolutely need when I'm exploring, including my Kindle and a small notebook. Honorable mention: the travel laundry stuff sack. The design is brilliant, and I love having just one bag for both clean and dirty socks and underwear.

    Promising newcomer. I haven't used it yet, but I recently bought a Shadow Guide and already love it, from the beautiful simplicity of the main compartment to the perfectly-sized zippered pockets in the lid. With bright red straps and zipper pulls the look is stunning, and it has interior loops and O-rings! I'll be leaving for a week-long trip by plane on Monday and plan to take the SG as my carry-on with the Side Kick as a personal item.
    Last edited by Buffalonian; 12-22-2018 at 08:02 AM.

  6. #36
    Forum Member TRD's Avatar
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    Favorites & Regrets ? Slow to love?

    Regrets: Several.
    Daylight Briefcase Itís light, itís attractive. At this stage in my career when I travel on business trips I include a dock, a usb external screen, and documents. This bag is so out of my league, itís embarassing.
    Side Effect Why canít I be one of those minimalists who can use this as a purse? I have to go SK at a minimum. I pretty much use this as a travel pencil/cable case. I have a couple and love them but still regret that I canít manage to use it as a purse.
    3DOC Every time I use it Iím reminded itís a bit too small for me. Please Please Tom, a 3DOC the size of a SK or even better, a PCSB would be amazing!
    Snake charmer I kept worrying the mesh would get snagged. It never did but the worry alone prevented me from fully loving it so I traded it for another PCSB. Theyíre awesome bags though, they hold so much stuff!

    Took me a while: I seem to be an instant-adopter.

    Old Faithful: So many.
    A30 Best travel bag ever. Can hold five fully packed PCSBs and fills my heart with joy.
    Tristar My briefcase after being tragically outmatched by the DLBC. I have an Indigo/Solar and the gorgeous colors helps console me over the fact that I canít use a DLBC.
    PCSBs I have like 10, I wish Iíd been an early adopter, instead I discovered them after solar/zest had been discontinued forever preventing me from having ALL THE COLORS. Rumor has it theyíre getting a ballistic overhaul next year, my wallet is ready.
    SK How do people function without pockets and why would you want to?
    Pop Tote SK as a pouch in my PT is my EDC. I canít tell you how many plastic bags Iíve spared by having an available tote.
    DLBP best travel day bag ever. You may think differently, you are mistaken. Best.Travel.Day.Bag.Ever.
    Travel Trays I havenít lost a charging cable in years. On this one point alone itís worth every penny.
    Shop bags I love them so much and use them constantly.

    Star Power: Knitting tool pouch size 4. I got this as a freebie in a trade and thought ďwhat the heck is this???Ē Best EDC first aid kit ever. Itís so small and flat and lightweight I totally forget Iím carrying it. I always always have Star Wars band-aids, bacitracin, and various pill pouches with advil, tylenol, immodium, zyrtec, benadryl, A couple squares of gauze and a collapsible pair of blunt-nosed scissors that even TSA doesnít care about. So why the Star Power? Because in the 2 years+ Iíve had it, It has come in handy dozens and dozens of times saving crying little kids with booboos, parents with headaches, people with upset stomachs, everyone. Itís wonderful.

    Love, love, love my TB.

    ETA: I had said the DLBC was the best travel day bag ever. I meant the Daylight Backpack.
    Last edited by TRD; 12-22-2018 at 02:41 PM.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRD View Post
    Regrets: Several.
    Daylight Briefcase It’s light, it’s attractive. At this stage in my career when I travel on business trips I include a dock, a usb external screen, and documents. This bag is so out of my league, it’s embarassing.
    Side Effect Why can’t I be one of those minimalists who can use this as a purse? I have to go SK at a minimum. I pretty much use this as a travel pencil/cable case. I have a couple and love them but still regret that I can’t manage to use it as a purse.
    3DOC Every time I use it I’m reminded it’s a bit too small for me. Please Please Tom, a 3DOC the size of a SK or even better, a PCSB would be amazing!
    Snake charmer I kept worrying the mesh would get snagged. It never did but the worry alone prevented me from fully loving it so I traded it for another PCSB. They’re awesome bags though, they hold so much stuff!

    Took me a while: I seem to be an instant-adopter.

    Old Faithful: So many.
    A30 Best travel bag ever. Can hold five fully packed PCSBs and fills my heart with joy.
    Tristar My briefcase after being tragically outmatched by the DLBC. I have an Indigo/Solar and the gorgeous colors helps console me over the fact that I can’t use a DLBC.
    PCSBs I have like 10, I wish I’d been an early adopter, instead I discovered them after solar/zest had been discontinued forever preventing me from having ALL THE COLORS. Rumor has it they’re getting a ballistic overhaul next year, my wallet is ready.
    SK How do people function without pockets and why would you want to?
    Pop Tote SK as a pouch in my PT is my EDC. I can’t tell you how many plastic bags I’ve spared by having an available tote.
    DLBP best travel day bag ever. You may think differently, you are mistaken. Best.Travel.Day.Bag.Ever.
    Travel Trays I haven’t lost a charging cable in years. On this one point alone it’s worth every penny.
    Shop bags I love them so much and use them constantly.

    Star Power: Knitting tool pouch size 4. I got this as a freebie in a trade and thought “what the heck is this???” Best EDC first aid kit ever. It’s so small and flat and lightweight I totally forget I’m carrying it. I always always have Star Wars band-aids, bacitracin, and various pill pouches with advil, tylenol, immodium, zyrtec, benadryl, A couple squares of gauze and a collapsible pair of blunt-nosed scissors that even TSA doesn’t care about. So why the Star Power? Because in the 2 years+ I’ve had it, It has come in handy dozens and dozens of times saving crying little kids with booboos, parents with headaches, people with upset stomachs, everyone. It’s wonderful.

    Love, love, love my TB.

    ETA: I had said the DLBC was the best travel day bag ever. I meant the Daylight Backpack.
    What an awesome and informative review! Only, I do t really understand why Daylight briefcase is a regret, and why you say it's out of your league - -??
    Happy owner of Nordic Original small cafe bag, Nordic Halcyon Synapse 25, Nordic Halcyon medium cafe bag, black Halcyon Sidekick. Gave son The Maker's Bag and he LOVES it. Hubby is getting a Tom Bihn gift for Christmas!

  8. #38
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    Regrets: Cordura for my S25. Ballistic was one step further in my good travel gear journey and I didn't go a step further from safe harbor of "the material that all high school backpacks were made from", regret that ballistic doesn't attract dirt as quickly. Mesh for OP and 3DOC. can see more than nothing, but less than everything. Have one mesh OP for item to air dry. Large DOP - It's 2x the size of a medium, but like why so big to fit 500 pages of papers? Would love a fine tuned for 8 1/2x11 paper. Lg. DOP currently on office item with limited travel use. Last regret, I came here for an S25 and got 2 organizers on first order and that was all I needed for my travels and now I have made several other purchases and spend more time than I care to admit on the forums. What have I gotten myself into here.

    Took me a while: OP's. I professed my dissatisfaction on the forum on how useless OP's volume capacity and only flat items work. The change: Get an OP and first thing fill it full of anything and 2 weeks later open it and stuff it fuller. Let material relax a month and fits slim 3D items as expected. Now have several and more on order in the mail. Bihn EcoSystem/Architecture/Puzzle -Bonus is the Eureka moment rush to find a system, but it is too difficult to comprehend quickly. Mr. Bihn if you are reading this, if you could put to paper how everything fits together with the brilliance of your thought process and how bags/organizers/cubes magically work together, it would be a bestseller on this forum. I feel there is like a golden ratio hiding in your design algorithm ready to enlighten us even though it is right here in front of us. Example: S25-DLBC fits horizontally just perfect in S25 main compartment, an semi-full Large A45 packing cube in front or behind it, and a PCSB sit atop those and the zipper is just perfect close. Multiple steps that have millimeter tolerances and yet just fit perfect.

    Old Faithful: S25 - though I would prefer another fabric, it has travelled far with me so it will stay around a long time functionally with nostalgic properties. Original LSB - weekly shopping companion, had it a year, looks new. Only need one to use, its retirement is making me buy more though my calculation is conflicted. In 1 year of use and it still looks new, its lifecycle will be 10-20 years unless I lose it, so 3 more may be more than a lifetime of LSB's, decisions, decisions.

    Star Power: Original Large Shop Bag - Simple, Versatile, Durable. Use it the most for the most uses. If I could only have 1 bag, this would be it.

  9. #39
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    Regrets: No getting a Navy Field Journal Notebook

    Took Me a While: The Daylight Backpack, now a staple.
    The Mini Q-Kit: complete impulse buy, too small for all the electronic power supplies; now a great barrette herder.

    Old faithful: LSB, SCB, S19, SE

    Star Power: Travel Cubelet.

    I was missing a mini Cafe Bag, to organize my SCB item into most used; and need to be out of the way, most of the time.
    I tried everything, from Double Carabiner to color coding and to placing less used OPs behind a 3D OC, nothing worked. Every time, I needed an item from an OP, there was a tangle and most of the OPs would jump out. I was looking like Mr Bean.

    Now, every OP is corralled, and my most used are always easy to get to. The north/south orientation is a lifesaver.

  10. #40
    Forum Member TRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Izzy View Post
    What an awesome and informative review! Only, I do t really understand why Daylight briefcase is a regret, and why you say it's out of your league - -??
    I pride myself on being as much of a minimalist as possible but cannt manage to whittle down all my work stuff to use the DLBC. If I was laptop-only Iíd be okay but I pack a laptop, a laptop dock, and an extra usb screen at a minimum. It just doesnít fit. So in the case of DLBC, being that minimalist is out of my league at the moment. Someday though!

  11. #41
    Forum Member TRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    Now, every OP is corralled, and my most used are always easy to get to. The north/south orientation is a lifesaver.
    We need photos of this. Definitely.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    Regrets: No getting a Navy Field Journal Notebook
    There is one right now on US eBay!

  13. #43
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    Regrets:

    * snake charmer. I have all three sizes and they're just not really that useful on the road. THey would have been great about 10 years ago when I needed more doodads and adapters and cables when I traveled, but nowadays my kit has been simplified (a combination of the nature of my work changing + fewer wires in general, fewer types of wires needed, etc). I end up using them at home to organize stuff and just use a 3DOC to hold my cables and chargers now. The large one is occasionally useful as a packing cube (you can get a lot of socks and underwear in there!)

    * freudian slip, just isn't too helpful in my BB. I think it might be more useful in my makers bag but I haven't pulled the trigger yet.

    * pen/tool wrap. Slots just aren't big enough for fat fountain pens.


    took me a while: n/a


    Old Faithful:

    * Brain Bag. Just absolutely perfect for me. I travel for work about 100k/miles a year and this bag has been with me on almost every trip for the last ... five years? Usually it's either my only bag or I have a ristretto in the front compartment that I remove when I get to my destination. Absolutely a bulletproof bag, it's been dragged through hell and back and looks brand new.

  14. #44
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    Regrets
    Alphaviolet. I was wanting a zip top shop bag for a beach tote bag, but missed the initial pre order. I figured I would try out the pop tote instead, I fell in love with the tote, hated the color alphaviolet. I kept hoping it would grow on me, but it looked like a Barney bag. I stuck with it all summer and fall and then, ahh ahh Aubergine to the rescue, my absolute favorite color.

    Took me awhile
    The luminary. I disliked it when I first ordered it so much I immediately returned it. I got a second hand one on eBay a month ago and itís my new edc. I love the olive canyon combo.

    Old faithful
    Packing cube side bag. It goes on every trip as my primary packing cube. I donít carry a purse anymore, on the rare occasion when I need one the pcsb is there. That thing is a workhorse.

    Star power
    A30 packing cube side bag. My edc of the last two years, itís my daybag, packing cube for trips, and all round most used bag, LOVE that thing. Itís a Mary Poppins bag that keeps holding more than you could ever imagine would fit. I also used it in bum bag mode for two ďno bag travelĒ weekends.






    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  15. #45
    Forum Member Ms. Ferret's Avatar
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    Regrets: I've never been able to get the Buzz to work for me, it seems like the strap is just too wide if you also have boobs, LOL. I also regret picking up my first Daylight Backpack in Cordura, as it is "Grey" but usually looks more like "Cat Hair".

    Took me a while: I wasn't interested in the Q-kit originally, but other forumites were so enthusiastic about theirs that I decided to pick up a few. They are my perfect charger/cable pouches! I use the Mini to hold my phone charger and cables, and the Small easily holds my laptop charger, cable, and travel mouse. Such a cute, useful shape, and the heavy 1050 ballistic keeps my stuff from getting knocked around too much.

    Old Faithful: I've had my Steel/Solar S19 for years. It's been my primary bag for international trips and works equally well in its current role as my fall/winter EDC now that I no longer have to carry my work laptop everywhere. I wish it were a little wider, but it's still the best-fitting backpack I've ever owned, and the pockets are great.

    Also in this category would be my beloved Cafe Bags, which are my EDC in warmer weather. A Cafe Bag was my very first Tom Bihn purchase, and I think I'm now up to 9.

    Star Power: Oh man, I was not prepared for how much I would love my Travel Cubelet. It is very close to the perfect "Mini Cafe Bag" I have always wanted as a backpack supplement (I don't like putting my wallet and phone behind me), and I carry it every day. I do get paranoid in the rain due to the lack of flap, but so far have not had an issue (also it fits very easily underneath a raincoat). And since the straps are removeable (I already swapped out the stock strap for the heavier 1" strap), it can even be used as an internal organizer for my other bags.

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