Tom Bihn’s Side Effect

Tom Bihn recently released their iteration on the venerable waist pack. It looks like a great bag to have on hand when you want to get out and do some field scouting. From Tom Bihn, “The Side Effect can be used three different ways: as a shoulder bag (included is a shoulder strap that fits neatly inside of the bag when not in use), a waist pack (the waist strap tucks away when not in use), or as an organizer bag for toiletries, computer cables, or other small items”.

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Tom Bihn Bags for the 17″ MacBook Pro

That was fast! Tom Bihn is offering nine backpacks, briefcases, and messenger bags to fit Apple’s new 17″ aluminum MacBook Pro, including the Checkpoint Flyer pictured above.
The Checkpoint Flyer is the only airport “checkpoint friendly” laptop bag designed in sizes specifically for Apple laptops. The TSA requires that all passengers traveling with a laptop must remove their laptop from their bag and place it in a bin for screening. The Checkpoint Flyer is the result of a TSA design challenge to design a bag that offers airport security x-ray screeners a clear view of the laptop while it is still inside of the bag. With the Checkpoint flyer you can send your laptop through the x-ray machine while still inside its protective laptop case. Far more convenient than shlepping everything in and out of your bags. There are others who produce bags that do the same but I find Tom Bihn bags to hold up extremely well to the rigors of travel while not being a target themselves for theft.
More at Tom Bihn.

Portable Office Organizer

From your bag to your wall. A great idea on an alternative use for the Freudian Slip insert comes from the Tom Bihn blog.

… hang it on the wall and it becomes the perfect place to store pens, ruler, calculator, business cards, file folders or papers, Post-its or other small items, keeping them at easy access while your desk is free of clutter. You can also hang the Freudian Slip on the doorknob of your office.

Keep your desk clean and have your office items with you on the go. Tom Bihn blog.

Catriona & Tom Bihn ID Bag

Catriona & Tom Bihn ID
Evidence of my unsuccessful attempt at a photo session with my daughter and the newish Tom Bihn ID messenger bag. My daughter loves the camera and like me seems to have a bag for every occasion. Perhaps a Tom Bihn Small Café bag is in her future.

The ID is a mid-sized messenger bag designed to be used on its own as a messenger bag capable of swallowing everything you need throughout your day or with the addition of our Brain Cell hard-sided laptop case, a secure laptop messenger bag that cradles your laptop and its accessories.

You can purchase the Tom Bihn ID for $130.00US direct from Tom Bihn.

New Tom Bihn ID Laptop Bag

I just received a new Tom Bihn ID bag in the mail this past week and hope to write a proper intro to the refinements that Tom Bihn has done to an already great bag (I own the previous version). I’m happily swamped with work till the end of February but it’s in the que.
The changes from the original are subtle, valuable, and well executed. It appears more svelte but that could very well be me being excited about something new arriving in the mail. With two kids I don’t get to buy much for myself. Some changes include: side pockets designed to carry your various mobile devices. The side pockets are lined with Ultrasuede and are closed by #8 YKK “splash-proof” zippers. Perhaps a perfect home for your new iPhone. Otherwise their is the practical addition of a side water bottle pocket that can be cinched down with compression straps if not in use. The Tom Bihn ID is $130.00US from their site.

Tom Bihn Packing Cubes

I have been using Eagle Creek packing cubes for years to help save space and keep my gear organised when I travel. They are an essential part of my kit. Being the Tom Bihn fanboy that I am I thought it worth mentioning that they have recently released their own packing system. It designed designed specifically to work within the compartments of the Aeronaut but I can’t see any reason to purchase them for use in any bag.
The Packing Cubes are available in four styles: Small (Fabric/Mesh $15), End Pocket (Mesh, $15), End Pocket (Fabric $15), and Large (Fabric/Mesh $18).
Available direct from Tom Bihn.

Tom Bihn Imago Messenger Bag

Tom Bihn has recently announced the availability of their Imago Messenger bags. Made of 1000 denier Cordura, the Yin Imago is available in color combinations Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi, Plum/Crimson/Steel, and Olive/Steel/Wasabi. The Yang Imago, made of 1050 Ballistic nylon model, has a more conservative look, and is available in color combinations Black/Black/Wasabi, Steel/Kiwi/Deep Blue, and Crimson/Steel/Crimson. We had a sneak preview back in March. When used in conjunction with their Brain Cell insert this becomes the messenger I have always wanted. It’s small and perfect for carrying around my 12″ Powerbook (it works with the 13″ MacBook too). Unfortunately Apple has made the unfortunate decision of discontinuing my laptop of choice but that won’t hamper my enthusiasm for what is the laptop bag I have been waiting for. It’s loaded with useful features all of which are explained in detail on their site. Tom Bin makes great bags (I am a fan) and this bag is worth considering.

The Archetype Sleeve for MacBook and MacBook Pro

Tom Bihn bags has announced the availability of their new laptop sleeve the Archetype last week. It’s worth noting this new release from Tom Bihn not it’s expected quality but for it’s departure from a rather muted approach to style he has had in the past. While I think his bags have always looked great, the Archetype is available in three unique and rich fabrics, Genuine Cork, Galvanized Majilite, and Snow Leopard Ultrasuede. All of which make a fairly loud visual statement. These bags are designed initially in four sizes to fit the 13″ MacBook, 17″ MacBook Pro, 15.4″ MacBook Pro, and the “we’re sorry to see you go” 12″ Powerbook. $95.00US.

Bags for the 17″ MacBook Pro

It’s been a week since they announced this but Tom Bihn has announced that they now have over ten different bags to choose from for the 17″ MacBook Pro (ready to ship). These include my favourites for this size, the Brain Cell and Brain Bag. They have devoted a page in their catalogue for these type of bags. I’ve been a fan of Tom Bihn for years and can attest that all their bags seem to last forever. I reviewed their ID bag in March.

Tom Bihn’s ID Mid Sized Messenger Bag Review

I have been an admirer of Tom Bihn’s bags since I purchased a Brain Bag for some location shooting a number of years ago. I’ve taken that bag all over Asia with gear in tow and it looks as good as the day I bought it. It’s a huge bag divided in two, allowing for my simple system of laptop and tech. in one side, and clothes in the other. It was great for short excursions and grad. school but far too large for my daily activities these days. So I have been looking for a smaller bag to carry my 15″ and 12″ Powerbooks (separately of course).
In a fit of haste I bought locally a Gravis bag which though thoughtfully designed lasted only about a year. All the zippers broke and the fabric started to look worn. What I should have done, and what I recommend everyone do, is first take a look at Tom Bihn’s bags. If you are looking for a quality built bag from a company who cares about their customers and their product then you need to look no further than Tom Bihn.

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The Imago: A New Small Messenger-style Bag

The Tom Bihn weblog has posted this photo of a soon to be released small messenger bag with “some very cool features”. It will apparently be a perfect size to carry around a 12″ Powerbook. I’ve been using their ID bag for about a month now with my 12″ Powerbook and the only real complaint I have is that it is slightly too big, negating one of the advantages of having a small laptop. They are asking for opinions, so head to their forums and add your input. They make bags of great quality and I know when this one is released I will want one. From their weblog and forum entry.

Tom Bihn’s Aeronaut Maximum Carry-On Bag

Tom Bihn has announced that their new carry-on size duffel bag, the Aeronaut, is now available for pre-order with a shipping date of early April.
One of problems with carrying a duffle when traveling is how everything slides back and forth inside the main compartment. I solved this to an extent by buying a number of different Eagle Creek Pack-It Sac’s The Aeronaut solves this problem by dividing the compartment into thirds – a large main compartment with two “substantial” side pockets allow you to exert some control over your stuff from the outset. If you are using this as intended, as a carry-on, you might just be able to get away without using extra organizers all together.
I always associate Tom Bihn’s products with carrying laptops and though you could use a brain cell with this bag I’m a bit unsure as to how well it would work in practice.
As expected this bag has all the usual high quality materials you expect from a Tom Bihn bag including 1050 ballistic nylon and 10 YKK Uretek “splash-proof” zippers. It should fit most airline requirements for carry-on luggage but I have no doubt that this bag could survive even if you put it on the wing. Available for Pre-order from Tom Bihn for $160.00US.

Tom Bihn’s ID Messenger Bag

I am preparing a mini review of the ID bag, Tom Bihn’s mid-size messenger that was sent to me during the Chinese New Year. My initial impressions are quite favourable and it is a beautiful bag. It’s difficult to find any valid criticisms in the Tom Bihn products that I have seen; the workmanship is second to none. While I was taking a break yesterday we set-up a little impromptu photo shoot, the results of which I will share when I finish the write-up over the weekend. The photos didn’t turn out that well but we had fun and a few people passing by had a chance to check out the bag. Tom Bihn’s ID Messenger bag is $100US.

The First Laptop Bag For The Macbook Pro

Tom Bihn has created the new Size 4X of their hard-shell Brain Cell and Monolith laptop cases specifically for the 15.4″ MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro requires an entirely new size of protective case designed specifically around its dimensions, which include a very thin 1″ height.
The Brain Cell is a wonderful product which has saved one of my Powerbooks on countless occasions. “The Brain Cell (available in eight sizes, including Size 4X) and Monolith (available in five sizes, including Size 4X) laptop cases take laptop protection a step further. Cradled in 8mm thick soft foam padding, the laptop hangs suspended in a 4mm hard corrugated plastic insert that protects from the front, back, and bottom. The sides are protected by dense cross-linked closed-cell polyethylene foam. This offers the toughest protection you can get for your laptop in a case that is still light and minimalist. The Brain Cell will clip securely inside one of our messenger bags or briefcases, be carried on its own, or slip into your current bag. The Monolith is designed to clip inside our backpacks, slip inside your current backpack, or it can also can be carried on its own. The Brain Cell and Monolith are available in five colors: Black, Steel, Deep Blue, Crimson, and Wasabi.” Taken from the Tom Bihn release.
Available for pre-order now with a ship date of February 15th (for the Brain Cell) and February 28th (for the Monolith). The Brain Cell retails for $50.00US. The Monolith retails for $45.00US.
The Brain Cell and Monolith product pages.

MacBook Pro Raises the Bar for “Portable Culture”

I just spent wasted 1 1/2 hrs this morning watching the MacWorld keynote streamed via Quicktime. I’m sure today most of the inter-web will be abuzz with the announcements at MacWorld though perhaps not to the nauseating amount that they were for Consumer Electronics Show. As a long term Mac user (since the Apple 2) and having just purchased a Powerbook 12″ this past summer I have great interest in what Tom Bihn calls “portable culture”. I want to be able to take everything with me everywhere. So I watched with great interest as Steve Jobs announced the Intel dual-core MacBook Pro laptop, which he claims is 4-5 times faster than the PowerBook G4, based on synthetic benchmarks, the “fastest Mac notebook ever”. Pricing starts at $1999US.
This is the type of product I have been waiting for but God knows when they will be available over here in Asia (I do prefer the small size of the 12″ for travel). Apple’s hardware is always great but it’s their software that always clinches the deal. I think one liberating feature will be the combination of built-in iSight camera and wireless networking. Think Skype. If Skype releases a client with video conferencing then there truly will be no reason to stay in the office.
More on Apples MacBook page.