Main TOM BIHN website
 
emailus@tombihn.com

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Welcome! We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

x

First, select your desired search engine:

  • Google Search
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Original Forum Search Engine

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    97
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Cool S19, S25, WF, or... something else?

    Help me spend my Christmas Money on a new EDC before the price increase

    I want a new backpack, and I'm horrible at actually sending things back, so buying 2 and returning 1 isn't a good idea, though I'm not opposed to buying 2 bags if I think I'd use them both, since I got a bit of $$$ as a holiday gift. (Hi, my name is PrimalMama, and I'm a Tom Bihn addict. It's been less than a month since my last order...)

    Recently switched from a swift to a pop tote as my general EDC and while I love it, I also had the realization that HEY, I'm not carrying a kid on my back 90% of the time anymore (they grow so fast!). I could go back to using a backpack!

    Before I was carrying a kid on my back all the time, I used the Tri-Star/WF PCBP (I have a tri-star... which I haven't touched as a carry-on since I bought an A30, but I digress), and sometimes a Red Oxx gator...

    Being a city-dweller who doesn't use a car, I carry EVERYthing with me - it's a fine balance between minimalism and girl scoutyness (be prepared!) - I usually have a mini-office (pens, pencils, stapler, tablet/laptop, chargers, etc), first aid/cosmetics, extra clothes, reusable bags, snacks, a coffee mug and/or water bottle, often a stuffed animal or even a whole small person's backpack.
    I schlepp 99% of my purchases (including groceries and heavy things) home on on the non-handicap-accessible subway, usually while holding a 4 year old's hand.

    I've been using an IKEA knalla backpack (28L) to carry stuff when the pop tote or swift hasn't been enough, and I use the giant frakta backpacks (76L) for bigger grocery shops... so despite my small stature (5'3" on a good day, but long torso - built like an alligator), I don't think a 25/26L bag will be "too big" for me (but the brain bag DOES seem too big).

    I'm not quite sure what I'm doing, I need grown-ups that understand and love TB, so here I am, oh wise forum members... S19? S25? WF? troll e-bay for a smart Alec? say "eff it all" and just carry around a 60L Road Buddy Duffel? (HAH).

    I think I really like the pockets of the Synapses, but I like the diversity of the WF (shoulder/backpack/handbag)... if it makes any difference, I have ALL THE POUCHES (seriously, packing cubes for the tri-star and aeronaut, 3 sizes of snake charmer, organizer cubes, cublets, stuff sacks... all the things.), so accessorizing should be easy.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Share
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,684
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To me the WF is a suitcase and not an everyday purse.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Share
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    267
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think the S19 will be too small if you want to be able to haul groceries in it. It has plenty of space, but it's space designed for many small objects rather than a few big things. Maybe the shadow guide has enough amoprhous space to haul anything? Also, it's city friendly black!

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    97
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    To me the WF is a suitcase and not an everyday purse.
    Hmm... I'm not sure "purse" is what I'm going for, briefcase/backpack/multi purpose bag is more it... But I think I get what you're saying

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Forum Member Muni_Jedi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Share
    MA USA
    Posts
    306
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I find the S19 to be too small for my needs and it sounds like it may be too small for you as well. That said I currently use an S25 daily and I find it be great (although not a city dweller to my dismay). I also have a BB and I find it carries shorter than the S25 (weird I know), it just feels less long and when not packed out can be very compact. I like the 2 separate main compartments and the 2 external pockets allow for small items to be easily accessible. The compression straps are very useful IMHO. I don't really care for the external water bottle set up but it is a minor gripe.

    I would say that either the S25 or BB would be well suited for your needs.

  6. #6
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,979
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Can you carry a tote bag, like one of the Shop Bags, inside whatever backpack you choose? Then you would be able to haul groceries without having to 24/7 carry something very large on your back.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Share
    Boston; she/her
    Posts
    985
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm a recent convert to the Smart Alec, I bought one via the Facebook group. I think it would work well for what you're describing. I still really like my Synapses and I think I'm still more likely to grab a Synapse than the Smart Alec for school, but I can go grocery shopping with my Smart Alec and bring home a whole gallon of distilled water along with everything else! (I highly recommend adding the padded hip belt if doing that or loading up on canned goods, though.)

    Plus, you mentioned occasionally needing to carry a small person's backpack. You could probably drop it right into the Smart Alec, depending on what else you were carrying in it that day!

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    55
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The Shadow Guide is worth considering. I recently did a week-long cross country plane trip with mine and love it. It's comfortable, attractive, and utterly simply in the basic form, but with great possibilities for customizing. But it is a top-loading backpack, and for some people that's a deal breaker. A few observations ...

    -- The SG, like the S25, has rail loops that allow you to carry a laptop in a cache. It works beautifully.
    -- The mesh pockets in the flap are great for carrying small things. And the main flap pocket is big enough (and deep enough) to stuff a fully-loaded side effect inside. Both have o-rings.
    -- The main body of the pack is simply a ballistic nylon "sack," but there are two o-rings that allow you to customize the space with the smaller organizers you already own.

    If you wanted to use an SG for groceries, the big challenge would be packing things so that stuff at the bottom isn't crushed. But still, with the ability to customize the space, the SG could work well for the mix of uses you've mentioned. A top-loading hiking backpack with a sleeping bag compartment at the bottom might work better for groceries, but you'd probably lose the ability to comfortably carry a laptop.

    As for the SG versus the Smart Alec or Brain Bag ... Don't discount the value of the frame sheet -- it adds rigidity to the pack, and more comfort when carrying a load without the optional hip belt. I comfortably carried about 17 pounds (20 including the pack) without the belt, and not just in airports, but on a 20-minute walk up a very steep hill in downtown Tacoma.

    One final aside: if you decide on a Smart Alec, you should also keep an eye on the "Tom Bihn Bags BST" Facebook page. (The "BST" stands for buy-sell-trade.)
    Last edited by Buffalonian; 01-10-2019 at 01:26 PM.

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Share
    SF Bay area
    Posts
    1,563
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree that the S19 sounds too small for what you carry.

    The S25, Brain Bag, SA, or SG sound more useful

    If it were me, I would go for the Brain Bag...
    @muni_jedi, it is indeed shorter than the S25...

    It's also the widest across the back of all four packs in my list, so it depends on what dimensions may work for you... I personally can't do the height of the S25
    So combined with the front to back 'depth', the BB is a generous 36L which (as folks have mentioned) is controllable with the compression straps.
    With the two section main compartment, pockets, zipper access, and compression straps, I think it would give you the best overall flexibility.

    (and I've been procrastinating buying one because...do I really *need* another backpack!? damn, now I really want one)

    And I'm going to give a shout out to using a 210 ballistic Travel Cubelet with Hand Loop to use a bag-in-bag mobile office...
    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...

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    97
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    Can you carry a tote bag, like one of the Shop Bags, inside whatever backpack you choose? Then you would be able to haul groceries without having to 24/7 carry something very large on your back.
    Yes! I should clarify. I usually carry the pop tote (or Swift) with one of those aforementioned Ikea bags inside. Then I carry groceries (or whatever) in a combination of the TB bag and the other bag.

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    97
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    I'm a recent convert to the Smart Alec, I bought one via the Facebook group. I think it would work well for what you're describing. I still really like my Synapses and I think I'm still more likely to grab a Synapse than the Smart Alec for school, but I can go grocery shopping with my Smart Alec and bring home a whole gallon of distilled water along with everything else
    if you were going to go to school and do a lite grocery shop on the way, what do you think you'd take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalonian View Post
    The Shadow Guide is worth considering. I recently did a week-long cross country plane trip with mine and love it. It's comfortable, attractive, and utterly simply in the basic form, but with great possibilities for customizing. But it is a top-loading backpack, and for some people that's a deal breaker.
    One final aside: if you decide on a Smart Alec, you should also keep an eye on the "Tom Bihn Bags BST" Facebook page. (The "BST" stands for buy-sell-trade.)
    I'm trying to figure out if the drawstring top-loader is a deal breaker... I think it might be. I don't have a need to carry a LARGE laptop (I have a 14" one for work and a surface pro for personal), and most days it's pretty minimal carry, but having the OPTION to put stuff in the bags is big...
    How does the SG do when it's nearly empty, or just the top pouch is loaded?
    And thanks for the BST tip - I'm not sure how I've been a bihnion for nearly a decade without knowing about it!

    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    If it were me, I would go for the Brain Bag...
    It's also the widest across the back of all four packs in my list, so it depends on what dimensions may work for you... I personally can't do the height of the S25 So combined with the front to back 'depth', the BB is a generous 36L which (as folks have mentioned) is controllable with the compression straps.
    With the two section main compartment, pockets, zipper access, and compression straps, I think it would give you the best overall flexibility.

    And I'm going to give a shout out to using a 210 ballistic Travel Cubelet with Hand Loop to use a bag-in-bag mobile office...
    I'll have to do some measuring this weekend when I have time- but I do like that the BB can be severely compressed... that's a great thing in my book.
    Also, just got a TC in Dawn in my latest order... it's great for a purse when you have a car, but it could totally be a mobile office :-D

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Share
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,684
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalMama View Post
    Hmm... I'm not sure "purse" is what I'm going for, briefcase/backpack/multi purpose bag is more it... But I think I get what you're saying
    I also feel the WF is too big for an every day backpack / briefcase. It's luggage sized to me.

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Share
    Boston; she/her
    Posts
    985
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalMama View Post
    if you were going to go to school and do a lite grocery shop on the way, what do you think you'd take?
    I think it would depend on what groceries I was planning to pick up. If I need to get another gallon jug of distilled water, I'd definitely take the SA--it's so much easier to carry that way than in a Shop Bag or on its own. Same if I need to get heavy dense items such as canned goods. Otherwise, I'll probably grab whichever bag already has my school stuff in it, and add a couple of shop bags.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Share
    Near San Jose, California
    Posts
    332
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You said that you don't use a car. What do you use instead? Do you mostly walk, take public transportation, or do you ride a bike, or use a scooter? That might change what people recommend.
    I'd probably suggest and s19 or s25 for your EDC stuff and a zip top shop bag for the days when you want to get groceries. It won't take up much space and can pretty much live in your bag all the time. The handles make it relatively comfy to carry if you're walking. A ziptop is a nice feature if it's raining or if you want to put it on a bike basket or rack and not have to worry about things falling out.
    Last edited by Kelly S; 01-11-2019 at 02:36 PM. Reason: grammar?

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    97
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly S View Post
    You said that you don't use a car. What do you use instead? Do you mostly walk, take public transportation, or do you ride a bike, or use a scooter? That might change what people recommend.
    I'd probably suggest and s19 or s25 for your EDC stuff and a zip top shop bag for the days when you want to get groceries. It won't take up much space and can pretty much live in your bag all the time. The handles make it relatively comfy to carry if you're walking. A ziptop is a nice feature if it's raining or if you want to put it on a bike basket or rack and not have to worry about things falling out.
    Mostly subway (which I mentioned) and walking, sometimes a bus thrown in... So the public transit aspect also involves "it's inconsiderate to keep a backpack on your back on a crowded train/bus" (yaaaaaaay) S19, S25, WF, or... something else?

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •