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  1. #1
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    Maker's Bag - chemical smell?

    Hey guys,

    I got a Maker's Bag about two weeks ago and the inside of it smells kind of...chemical-y? (Or it could be the Freudian Slip, but I've been keeping them together.) I'm not really sure how to describe it, just that it's pretty strong and not very neutral. When I put my jacket inside with the flap closed, my jacket ends up smelling like it. What can I do to make it better?

  2. #2
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Apologies this is post is only tangential, but I had the same problem with the Tom Bihn Standard Strap - the rubber on it smells horrible and strong and once it touched my fleece coat I had to launder it.

    I realize some products have to "out gas" but, for the price premium, I wish TB would do that for us instead of sending a useless strap. I have it hanging in fresh air and am hoping the awful smell goes away, but 3 weeks later it hasn't.

  3. #3
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    For what it's worth, this hasn't been the case with any of my previous bags (as far as I can remember) -- but like you said, it's been a pretty good amount of time already and the smell seems to be as strong as when I first got it.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Muni_Jedi's Avatar
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    Have you contacted customer service?

    They are super responsive and go above and beyond to make things right. I would start by sending them an email.

  5. #5
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    I feel like my MB had a smell when I opened it. But it didn't last long. Maybe a few days.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    I don't think I ever noticed a smell with my MB, so I would definitely recommend contacting Customer Service via email, or by phone when they re-open on Monday.
    Rambling On. . . . .

  7. #7
    Forum Member adalangdon's Avatar
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    I think I know what you're referring to. It's stronger than the new bag smell that comes with all the TB stuff and is pretty strong when you open the bag.

    Is yours a dyneema MB? I think my Nordic/UV one had that too, but it went away. It dissipates quickly with use, so I wouldn't worry (if we are referring to the same odour).

  8. #8
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    Just an update, but I took the Freudian Slip out and the smell seems somewhat lessened, but I'm not sure if maybe my senses have become a bit dulled to it or what. I'm going to leave it out for a while and see what happens. It's hard to tell which item is the culprit at this point. ):

    I'll definitely contact customer service if it doesn't go away. For some reason I thought it would just kind of fade.

  9. #9
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    The advice given by @Muni_Jedi is superb; sending a note to emailus@tombihn.com ensures our crew is aware of any concern or potential issue in as timely a way as possible.

    Okay, so we just did a sniff test of our own here at the factory (Tim was walking through the warehouse as we were sniffing Maker’s Bags and cracked up) and here’s what a variety of us concluded:

    The Standard Shoulder Strap and the Absolute Strap do both have a rubber smell when new, with the former smelling slightly more of rubber than the latter. This odor isn’t something we’ve noticed in our own use of the straps — rather, we brought strap to nose in our sniff test. Sniffing some of my own straps that I’ve used over time indicates that this normal odor (typical of the material) will dissipate over time.

    We sniffed various Maker’s Bags and found that we could detect a slight odor emanating from the rubber used in the interior mesh pocket top banding — but that the fabrics themselves and other components didn’t have an odor.

    I’ve discussed this with Tom and our production crew / materials experts and the information I’ve gathered points to the fact that this is a normal aspect of the material.

    As for solutions: when I buy a piece of gear and it has a “new gear” smell, I’ll let it air out for a while before I use it. For example, I’ll set up a new tent and let it stay that way for a couple of days.

    I was curious if MiraZyme would reduce the new rubber smell, so I grabbed a Standard Shoulder Strap here at the factory and gave it a quick bath. It hasn’t fully dried yet, and while the strap still smells like rubber if I hold it close to my nose, it does seem to have been reduced a tiny bit.
    Current Carry: The Hero's Journey, Skookum Dog Citizen Canine, Founder's Briefcase, Synapse 19 (day hikes), Guide's Pack (longer day hikes), Yeoman Duffel (winter/emergency stuff for the car), Aeronaut 30 (travel), Night Flight Travel Duffel (camera bag), Moveable Feast + Shop Bags (food)

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Darcy! I'm amused and impressed and a little embarrassed that you all went and sniffed the bags because of my post.

    The bag did indeed sit open for 1-2 weeks before I used it, which is why I was surprised. But! I took the Freudian Slip out and it's like a normal new bag smell now (it was only ever the inside of the bag -- couldn't smell it when it was closed). Strangely, the Freudian Slip also smells fairly normal outside of the bag. I can't guess why it's like that, but I think I'll just keep them separate for a while.

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