Tag Archives: Tom Bihn

Thoughts about our travels and the items which we carry with us

‘UNPACKED’ is Traveler Tech’s new, open-ended series of thoughts about our travels and the items which we carry with us. Hopefully, these features will blend the practical with the philosophical–while also fitting completely under the seat in front of you. Welcome aboard!

My first instinct was that I didn’t want to assemble another collection of packing tips: I have already read an interminable number of “You can stuff items into the empty spaces of your shoes!” articles and, I expect, so have you.

Instead, I thought we’d all be better served by diving a little deeper. I want to explore concepts which might help you discover your own better ways of filling up a bag. Frankly, I hate when people proclaim that there’s a “right way” to travel. Let’s try to be more honest and humble than that. We should acknowledge that no two people travel in exactly the same way and, in fact, no two trips are the same.

Or, to paraphrase the Ancient Greeks – “No person ever packs the same bag twice”.

§

Let’s start things off with a look at “baggage”, both literal and emotional.
[Read more…]

We recently took a tour of Tom Bihn’s new Seattle factory and talked with him about making a product (and a business) that reflects your values.

This article originally appeared at Veritrope.com

Tom Bihn Tour

Tom and Lauren Discuss The Art Of Bag Construction

Lauren and I were traveling in the Pacific Northwest last week and decided to drop by Tom Bihn’s new factory / showroom to thank them in person for supporting the “Help In Your Own Way Giveaway”. We expected a quick visit but, instead, we received a full tour of the new place — personally led by Tom and by Darcy Gray, the Vice President of Tom Bihn.

[Read more…]

Around The World With One Bag (Part Three)

This article originally appeared at Veritrope.com

Tom Bihn Aeronaut
When writing a review of anything, I will always try to be upfront with you about any biases I may have about a company or product — for or against.

So before I launch into this review of the other bag we brought on our Round-the-World trip — the Tom Bihn Aeronaut — I need to disclose the following:

I really like Tom Bihn.

I really like their products. I really like the people that I’ve talked to who work there. I like their “corporate ethos”. I like their customer service. I like the little red airplane on their logo1. And based on some interviews I’ve read which featured him, I think I’d probably like Tom-Bihn-the-guy as well. (Follow Up — I recently met Tom and my instincts were right: He’s a wonderful guy!)

Now that my “bias” has been disclosed, let’s move into the heart of the matter: The Aeronaut is my favorite bag for extended travel and this review will attempt to explain why that is!2

[Read more…]

  1. A Farman F–121 Jabiru []
  2. Okay — maybe the little red airplane thing on their logo is also a pre-existing bias: I loves me some old-timey travel stuff! []

Around The World With One Bag (Part Two)

The Aeronaut and The Sky Train -- Chilling Out At The Sofitel Papeete


In Part One, Lauren and I were trying to find luggage that met both of our requirements for the round-the-world trip. Somewhere along the way, we also had developed our own concept of “one bag travel” — one that was a little different from the way we saw other people doing it.

Unlike some One Bag Only purists, we decided that everything we brought along should be able to fit into one bag — but we didn’t necessarily need to be dogmatic about it. If it made things more convenient for each of us to supplement our main suitcase with a couple of small bags as well, that was fine by us… so long as we could fit everything back into our main bags should that become necessary. We also both wanted something that we could carry onboard airplanes, fit into the overhead racks of trains and ferry boats, and also be sturdy enough to check if we wanted to.

But Lauren wanted a backpack and I wanted something a little less…. granola.

***

By unpacking my travel attitudes a bit before planning our trip, I had to face up to the fact that I had a kind of aesthetic allergy to backpacks. For me, I felt like I’d look more like an invading soldier than a respectful guest if I hoisted around some enormous, oversized pack that fellow pedestrians would have to dodge.

Was there a way to split the difference so that we could keep a low profile while moving around easily and quietly? Was there such a thing as a “carry on / backpack hybrid” that was also sturdy enough to survive as checked luggage, but didn’t make me look like I was about to climb K2?  Perhaps a bag elegant and simple enough to not be out-of-place in either a nice hotel or in a hostel?

After some research, I discovered two bags that I thought fit the description and were enthusiastically recommended by other world travelers: The Red Oxx Sky Train and the Tom Bihn Aeronaut.

Would either of these bags be able to meet all of our needs? I bought one of each to find out.
[Read more…]