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  1. #1
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    Travel Cubelet Size

    Hello,

    Iíve become slightly obsessed with all things Tom Bihn lately and Iíve been lurking here for a while. Itís been really helpful/enabling to see everyoneís descriptions and pictures.

    Iíve been trying to downsize to smaller and lighter bags for every day use. The travel cubelet looked like a good option so, following some advice here, I taped together some cardboard and arranged/rearranged/pared down my daily essentials until I was able to fit everything in with enough room left over to be able to get things in and out without a problem.

    I ordered one in grass and one in dawn and I love both colors. As soon as they arrived, I tried loading one up as planned and it was almost impossible. I barely got everything in and it was so over-stuffed Iíd need to empty out the whole thing to get at anything. The largest item is my Kobo Clara, which is nicely sized for the bagís width and height (not so big that it extends past the side seams at all), but itís a full half inch thick (cover included) and takes up a large percentage of the available space. If I leave it out everything else fits fine but I generally like to have it with me.

    I was pretty surprised, since Iíd done all my experimenting before ordering, so I got out my tape measure.
    The bags are fairly (although not totally) regular in shape, with separate side panels, so they are quite easy to measure. I donít claim to be totally accurate in my measuring technique but I measured both bags several times and I think Iím pretty close. I was as generous as possible, measuring at the absolute widest, tallest, and thickest parts of the bags.

    The measurements on the website are 5.7Ē (w) x 7.3Ē (h) x 3Ē (d).
    The numbers I get are 5.5Ē (w) x 7.1Ē (h) x 2.3Ē (d).

    That depth discrepancy seems pretty big to me (and at some points the bag is just 2 inches deep); the missing space would be plenty for my Kobo.

    I sent an email asking about the specs and got back a reply saying that the bags were difficult to measure and the size would be affected by the size and shape of objects in the bag.

    I get that the bags are flexible, but that explanation makes little sense to me. Now Iím wondering if this is a common problem with the measurements on the site. Given the shipping costs both ways Iím hesitant to order anything else where accurate measurements are important.

    Have other people noticed measurements being somewhat off? I tried a few searches but I'm not very good at it.

    Sorry for the long rant. Iím feeling a bit disgruntled at the moment.

  2. #2
    Forum Member sturbridge's Avatar
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    For what its worth, bags often "stretch out" after use. When I get a new bag, I cannot fit as much as I can after the seams have relaxed some. Another reason measurements can be inaccurate.
    Proud owner of: Pop Tote in cloud, Aeronaut 30 in steel/iberian, Travel Cubelet in Dawn, Travel Cubelet in Nebulous Grey , SE in steel parapack, SSB in black halcyon, Pilot in steel dyneema/steel, , Truck in Nebulous Gray, Small Zipped shop bag in black, Small Zipped shop bag in Dawn numerous pouches, 3D cubes, Q kits and straps, Cubelets and Ghost Whales!

  3. #3
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    I assume (but do not know) that the dimensions listed are OD (outside dimensions)... whilst stuff to pack in is ID (inside dimensions). The fabric, inside pockets, seams, etc. all take up space...
    That's why the dimensions are usually outside and then they follow an ASTM method of packing spheres (like ping pong balls) into the insides to measure capacity... TB recently updated how they are measuring capacity... but I don't know how accurate it will be on small items because these may be too small to accurately use the measuring spheres.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  4. #4
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    The dimensions of my TC are 2 1/2" deep, 5 1/2 inches wide and 6 3/4 " tall. That's measuring from seam to seam on the outside of the bag.

    Because the bags are soft, the dimensions can shift bigger as long as the bags are not stuffed full in all directions. The seams are pretty bulky on the inside and take up a lot of room, so you have to keep that in mind, too.

    I am a minimalist, but I prefer to use a bigger bag, like a SK, and have it half full. It's easier to find stuff and get items in and out of the bag. Same with my luggage. I found I prefer to use an A45 partly full rather than an A30 completely full. I do have a travel cubelet, but only use it when I have a phone, OP as a wallet, and my keys, and that's it.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 09-04-2018 at 06:06 AM.

  5. #5
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    I got the same measurements as BWeaves - 2.5” deep between seams.

    I love my travel cubelet (mainly because DAWN!!!) but don’t find I can carry more than in my SE.

  6. #6
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    I never measured like you did, but I did order a TC to replace my SE (1.7 liters vs 1.5 liters) and I had the same issue. All of the things fit into my SE would not come close to fitting in the TC and I also could not use the front zip pocket on the TC because everything was so tight.

    It happened again when I tried to move from a SK to a SCB (3 liters vs 6 liters), double the size. I wanted to be able to add a 16 oz water bottle in the SCB along with everything I carried in the SK. My SK was not stuffed either. I figured I would be able to get TWICE the stuff in the SCB, so a simple 16 oz water bottle would fit. It did not work, again everything surprisingly tight and not easy to remove without, as you said, removing everything from the bag, even though the SCB is double the size.

    I chalked it up to my inability to use vertical space effectively, but now I too wonder. Will be interested to hear what you find out from TB.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by anna2222 View Post

    I chalked it up to my inability to use vertical space effectively . . .
    This is very true for my bag style. I find it easier to use a zip top horizontal bag than a vertical bag. I don't like stacking my stuff, or dealing with anything that may tip over. I'd rather lay things in horizontally and know they won't move. And if the top is flap, then I don't want to put anything near the top that might fall out.

  8. #8
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    I prefer to use a bigger bag, like a SK, and have it half full.It's easier to find stuff and get items in and out of the bag
    I'm side-tracking slightly from the topic, but you know my pain! Wink This was driving me nuts this weekend. I stuffed my duffel to the max and every time I wanted something from the bottom I had to half unpack.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the responses.

    I hadnít thought about the possibility of stretching. I think Iíll stuff one of the bags with as much as I can get into it and leave it for a while to see if it will relax Ė probably the green one because Iím already using the dawn one. Iím not normally a purple person at all but that dawn color is wonderful.

    A while back I ordered a side effect in the new Nordic but I ended up returning it, mostly because something about the dark blue/gray color and shine of the fabric didnít appeal to me. It also seemed a bit small although I probably could have made it work.

    Iíd never tried a side kick because its proportions seemed off to me; I wanted it to commit to being either a horizontal bag or a vertical bag and stop hovering in between. When I saw pictures someone posted here showing mars red and canyon together I loved the combination so when a side kick in that combination showed up on ebay I couldnít resist it. It arrived just today and I like it a lot more than I thought I would. The inside organization is almost beyond perfect and all my stuff fits easily. I can even add an umbrella out of the way at the bottom. Itís still not full to the top and the top relaxes down some so that looks a bit smaller and less square.

    While I like the red it's not really an every day color for me so now I feel compelled to order another side kick. I really wish it could be dawn; I dream of a ďnew dawnĒ in 525 (I like all the 210 colors, and the feel of the 210, but I guess it has been deemed unsuitable for any sort of structured bag bigger than the travel cubelet). Meanwhile, given the current colors, I've been wavering between the cloud/ultraviolet and the olive/island. I think Iíll go for the olive/island before it disappears.

    This whole thing could get way out of hand.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbsue View Post
    This whole thing could get way out of hand.
    Welcome to the insanity
    Smilie
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  11. #11
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    RE: Stretching. The fabric won't stretch. It may soften up a little with use, which will allow the whole bag to give in different directions, but the fabric itself is not going to stretch.

  12. #12
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    Is is understandable that, if the Side Kick is your ideal EDC, the Travel Cubelet is going to feel much too small.

    I started my journey with Tom Bihn Inc, with the Brain Bag and Large Cafe Bag, great for U.S domestic travel, classes, computers...

    But, way too big for everyday carry on public transports, and unsuitable for going shopping, the Brain Bag, that is.

    The Large Cafe Bag could not haul multiple library books, and my EDC items, so some times later, I got a Swift, TB first, I think, interpretation of the Tote.


    The Travel Cubelet was always intended as a bag within a bag, giving multiple pockets to the main compartment of the Small Cafe Bag.

    The Small Cafe Bag has been my EDC since 2010, it accompanies the Synapse 19, or the Large Shop Bag.


    Because of this spring and summer, stubborn insistence on being one giant heatwave, the Large Shop Bag has replaced the Synapse.

    Now, that is one bag that stretches!
    It can easily hold the Small Cafe Bag; a Side Effect; a Field Journal Notebook (roughly the size of a Side Kick); 2 3D Cubes, 3 Travel Stuff Sacks size 1, 2 and 4; 1 SmallQ-Kit and 2 Mini ones; 2 non TB items: a 3D Cube sized pouch and an isolated water bottle holder from a sea otter rescue organization. As well as a cardigan, a wide brimmed fordable hat .

    Without the bottle holder, I can also fit a Yarn Stuff Sack and a Large Organizer Pouch for travel documents.

    The Large Shop Bag shares Tardis qualities with the Brain Bag at a fraction of the weight.

    And, in stormy/rainy/snowy weather doubles as an impromptu Shop Bag, when its content need to be zipped away from the element in another TB bag.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    Is is understandable that, if the Side Kick is your ideal EDC, the Travel Cubelet is going to feel much too small.
    I'm afraid my ideal is actually closer to the travel cubelet. Given a choice, I'd sacrifice the organization and the umbrella-space of the side kick to get a slightly thicker travel cubelet -- at least for an EDC. I'd still keep the side kick for times when I needed more space (and, being me, I'd still wish the side kick were a little less tall, or that the side effect were just a little bigger and more organized ).

    If the travel cubelet won't stretch then I'll just have to hope that either Tom Bihn will decide to make a slightly thicker version of it or an ereader manufacturer will decide to make a smaller ereader, though the trend is currently in the other direction.

    Meanwhile it just means an ongoing battle between the clip-on sunglasses and the ereader. I like the travel cublets too much to give up on them. I'm afraid I somehow just found myself ordering one in viridian and I'm seriously contemplating a spare dawn one. Embarrassment

    I'm not sure what it is about bags (and cases and pouches and covers). I'm not particularly obsessive about most things.

  14. #14
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forums, @tbsue

    I'm jumping in a little late to this and am glad to see all the helpful responses from other folks. I'm sorry the Travel Cubelets you received didn't end up being the right size for what you had wanted to carry in them.

    Here's a few photos of the depth dimension we come up with when we measure the Travel Cubelet:

    Travel Cubelet Size-travel-cubelet-1-jpg

    Travel Cubelet Size-travel-cubelet-2-jpg

    Travel Cubelet Size-travel-cubelet-3-jpg

    We measure (in metric) what we consider to be a reasonably full bag. Depending on how full a bag is when you measure it, the dimensions you come up with may be different than ours. And because our bags are soft bags as opposed to rigid boxes, thereís always a certain amount of subjectivity regarding what a realistically or reasonably ďfullĒ bag is. The Travel Cubelet in the photos above is about as stuffed as mine is when I carry it on a walk around the city.

    If it helps, our customer service crew is glad to answer whether a particular object will fit in a particular bag. We actually do this quite a lot: folks want to know if their water bottle, lunch box, or various other items will fit in a particular bag. Feel free to live chat us, call, or emailus@tombihn.com about that.

    P.S. We do also check to make sure our measuring devices -- whether that's calipers or a kitty measuring tape -- are accurate. Smilie

    P.P.S. Maybe someday we'll make a slightly larger size of the Travel Cubelet! Hmm....
    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)

  15. #15
    Forum Member chaimonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    P.P.S. Maybe someday we'll make a slightly larger size of the Travel Cubelet! Hmm....
    OOOH. Consider my interest piqued.
    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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