We’re happy to announce a new relationship with our official luggage sponsor Tom Bihn, who will provide us with bags and accessories for us to review in the coming year. The Gals are thrilled, since we all brought Tom Bihn bags on our trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, last March. We found them stylish and sleek, fun and functional.
Tom Bihn bags are actually multi-functional. The messenger-style bags come with extra waist-straps that allow users to better secure the bag for active hiking or biking (see how mine is slung over my shoulder but attached at the waist in the picture below). SoCalGal’s Western Flyer (pictured at right) can convert from hand-held carry-on to backpack in seconds. All bags come with a perfect amount of organizational built-in pockets and pouches.
I like that this small Seattle company has a hands-on CEO/Designer. Tom himself comes up with the concepts of all the new products. (He actually created that nifty logo over there on the right for us, too.) Tom doesn’t just do initial conceptualizing: he designs all of his bags from start to finish. He’ll sketch an initial design, make dozens of prototypes of it himself (he sews each one), and then he creates the actual pattern and markers that the Seattle factory uses to produce the bags. That’s just cool.
More coolness: Vice President Darcy Gray is social-media savvy and seems to read every single customer review that’s posted online. She links to many on the upbeat company blog. We think it’s great she’s so in touch with what users are saying about the brand.
By and large, purchasers of Tom Bihn gear praise the products up and down. Some of the posts on the ultra-active forum may sound like hyperbole, but these folks are being authentically honest. There are rabid Tom Bihn fans who chime in with statements like, “The anticipation for my Aeronaut to arrive just about killed me — it’s an awful lot like being in love and it’s pretty scary when you feel that way about an inanimate object!” Funny, right?
If I lived in Seattle, I’d make a point to visit the factory showroom that’s open only on the first Tuesday of every month. I’d love to see all the colorful Tom Bihn bags (from plum to indigo, bright red to kelly green) all in one place. In the meantime, I’ll just salivate online and look forward to learning of new products as they roll out. It appears as if Tom Bihn is always planning and designing new items to satisfy his legion of fans.