536: Our Bags

I use my EDC bag (an old Timbuk2 Click messenger bag) to schlep stuff around the house so my pockets aren’t always full and dropping stuff when I sit down.

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Certainly looks sturdy and able to hold vast quantities. Don’t forget the cap. Then again, maybe just a soda bottle would do in a pinch. :wink:

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Oh, huge Tom Bihn fan here. Awesome person, excellent bags. They are like magic. I’ve been using TB bags exclusively since 2008 and can’t count the times I’ve been in a situation and need to fit something in my bag and it seems as if it were designed exactly for that moment.

Fun episode, and like many here I also have a bunch of bags. A few specific reactions:

  • I have the 30 liter version of the Peak Design backpack. Very well though out, yes, but, oddly, it sits funny on my back; the bottom of the backpack is right at my belt, and more or less pushes on it. This bag is always trying to depants me; should’ve got the 20 liter, apparently.

  • I’m always on the lookout for padded inserts for an otherwise bog-standard messenger bag, which is my everyday carry (and I wreck regularly.) For years and years I used a Marimekko canvas messenger with some other insert, which had the advantage of not looking like any of these tech-y designs now current, but it has sadly been discontinued. I’m using right now some swag that was given to people at one of my wife’s Disney offsite things. The hunt continues.

  • I like to carry a camera, or two, every day. If it’s something bigger, like a DSLR, I like this nifty gadget that let’s me use my messenger bag strap also as a camera strap: Sun-Sniper. It can be a little finicky sliding up and down the messenger bag strap, but I like that the camera is ultimately attached to my bag, so a slip out-of-hand is covered (this matters especially when my commute includes a ferry trip.)

  • Even if I don’t have have a DSLR along, like Stephen I always have a compact fixed-lens camera along. Sure, there’s some duplication with an iPhone, but practically speaking, my camera (a Fuji X100F) is faster to start up, faster to take the picture, way easier to handle, and ultimately has better image quality. The iphone is the right tool for some jobs, but definitely not all jobs.

  • I really enjoy these episodes; I like to click through the gadget finds … and often I think, ah, no problem – I’m covered on that topic, no temptation! But this episode is going to cost me money since I’ve now learned there’s such a thing as an “architect nib grind.” Who knew?

Thanks for the run-down.

Addendum: I don’t usually like Tom Bihn, but I’m seriously considering the Freudian slip insert.

Freudian Slip

Your Samoyeds are adorable! I used to have one and I miss him terribly some days.

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Thanks for that! We had to say goodbye to our oldest back in December…definitely makes me appreciate these two fur kids even more!

My favorite wallet. Nice and thin, but still holds a few bills without folding them up.

Great episode. I’m always interested in how others organize and plan their stuff. I wrote up my EDC pocket bag last summer on my blog.

I do have a backpack, that I don’t use very often any more as I’ve been a home-based worker for several years. It’s a Brenthaven that I’ve had for years. The original had a broken zipper and they replaced it for free and I’ve had the replacement for 7 years. What I have is an older version of this:

For cable organization and carrying stuff in the bag, I use both Eagle Creek mesh bags of varying sizes:

And this cable organizer bag:

As for what’s in the backpack, I still carry way too many cables, but there’s also an SSD for on-the-go storage, extra shoelaces (mine break too often to leave it to chance), plus various pens and other stuff.

Also, I always keep a spare $20 hidden somewhere for emergencies.

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Funny episode with some ideas to spend some money.

I guess I’m sold to Peak Design system right now:

My everyday bag is 20L v1 of the everyday backpack

I have the tech pouch too:

And the 5L everyday sling v1:

I’m looking for something in between the backpack and the sling (which is very very very small), to carry a camera and spare lens (mirror less), iPad Pro 10.5 (maybe with keyboard cover) and a couple of A5 notebooks… but I might go with something in leather.

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I was rather disappointed to see that so many of the recommended Tom Bihn products (Snake Charmer, Handy Little Thing Pouch, Most colors on the Daylight Briefcase) aren’t even in production yet. Huh? What happened here? I don’t like waiting to get stuff. How did Stephen manage to get these? :frowning:

Just a guess, but I would think some of their production has been delayed because of COVID. They are making masks, too, I think. Just a guess.

In Seattle, where TB is located, they have been on lockdown and were not able to sew and ship bags. They were able to continue to make cloth face masks though. I ordered during this from their available stock a couple of weeks ago. I think they are scheduled to start shipping the week of the 25th of May. It will likely take them some time to get their various lines back into production.

That makes sense. Didn’t see a COVID comment on the web site as to why production had slowed, so it didn’t click. I guess it should have.

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Back in March they announced that they suspended production of bags:

While we have had no cases of COVID-19 at TOM BIHN, the majority of the TOM BIHN crew — including our entire production crew — is already home and won’t be at work for the next several weeks in an effort to contribute as much as we can to social distancing efforts. As a manufacturer, the reality is that most of our employees need to be onsite in order to work: a few jobs can be done remotely and that crew has been working from home already. A “crew-of-few” (including D, N & T) will be wrapping things up and performing a few essential tasks in the coming days.

Since then, their staff have returned to focus primarily on making masks. And on May 10, they announced that they’re back to shipping out the existing inventory of bags while they continue to focus solely on mask production:

In the past six weeks, all of our efforts have been focused on manufacturing and offering Reusable Cloth Face Masks. We’ll continue to manufacture and offer “Buy One, Give One” Reusable Cloth Face Masks as we ship existing inventory of bags.

I got away lucky on this episode. I only made two, minor purchases:

Keychain whistle:

I carry my keys with me all the time, even inside the house, so if any building I’m inside collapses on me, I’m prepared! I bought two and I’m trying to convince my wife to carry hers at all time as well.

Hero clip:


I think of the Hero clip as a token of the future when I’m once again out and about and going places where I need to put a bag down. I put it on my keychain as well, and thought at first it might make the keychain too big. However, the Hero clip is smooth and pleasant to touch when I put my hand in my pocket.

I will probably add a pocket flashlight to the EDC ensemble.

I am skeptical of people who say they need to carry a knife with them at all times, unless those people work on a farm or work in construction or shipping or something. I do not need to cut things every day, and when I do I use the utility knife we keep in a junk drawer in the kitchen. I certainly do not need to cut things when I am out and about.

If people want to carry a knife with them, I’m OK with that. But I’m curious – what do you use it for so frequently?

By the way, the reason I carry my keys with me at all times, even inside the house, is that I’m in and out of the house a dozen or two dozen times a day, and we have an escape cat who knows how to operate doorknobs. So we keep the doors locked to keep the cat in.

Here’s my (almost) constant companion for decades. It’s opened many a packing box, server, network switch, etc. as well as cleared jams in printer, tightened the screws on sunglasses, and done a thousand other jobs. It’s appearance has prompted many a “May I borrow that?” from co-workers. And it flew many miles in my pocket before it was banished to my check-in luggage. I still wonder why others in the cabin can carry scissors with longer blades.

Last year, I was asked by a friend “Why do you have toenail clippers in your carry-on bag?” He got his answer at our next stop when his wife needed something to remove the zip tie security had placed on her luggage.

Life has a way of letting you know what tools you need. :smile:


I subscribe to the What’s In My Bag weekly newsletter, which describe’s various people’s EDC. It is a very enjoyable newsletter.

Thanks for the newsletter tip, I signed up!

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You guys are worst lol. I managed to control myself listening to the episode. Didnt spend any money. Was kinda proud of myself. Reading this thread, oh man, a few orders were placed.

thanks a lot guys lol

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Fair enough. Maybe if I started carrying a tool like yours I’d find uses for it.