Friday, March 27, 2009

Packing Cubes From Tom Bihn

Here's another option for packing cubes and I like the looks of these.

The Seattle-based Tom Bihn company is mostly known for its fantastic travel bags. Rugged and Made in the USA, they inspire fanatic devotion. I'm about to become a devotee myself I think. I'll be trying out their Aeronaut carry-on bag for a four-night trip next week and am actually looking forward to packing.

The company also makes loads of neat travel accessories though, including a wide array of packing cubes and gadget bags. I have mixed feelings about the necessity of these organizers, but my post on the Eagle Creek packing cubes before remains one of the most popular posts on this blog, so obviously people like the idea of getting their undies organized.

There's only so much innovation and differentiation you can put into little pouches that zip close and fit into a suitcase, so Tom Bihn's packing cubes mostly stand apart on style and color. They all have a checked pattern and come in either Steel (dark gray and subdued) or Solar (bright yellow). They have good YKK zippers and ripstock nylon fabric. They're mesh on one side so damp clothes don't build up mildew. Here's the real difference though: they're not made in China. If you want to put your own personal stimulus plan in place and buy American, you can do so at Tom Bihn without paying a premium. The cubes are $15 to $18 each and should last a decade or two.

The company also makes a 2-sided clear packing cube that is great when you want to be able to see exactly what's inside or you've got liquids you're afraid could leak onto everything else through mesh. In theory this should work for carrying cosmetics through the security gauntlet at the airport, but it depends on the mood of that day's TSA agent: carry a spare plastic bag in case.

7 comments:

Pam said...

You really should also mention the Convertible Packing Cube/ Shoulder Bag. It's sized to fit into an Aeronaut end pocket, but can also act as a small day bag. It has d-rings to attach a shoulder strap, and a zippered outside pocket. I find it perfect for stashing all my in-flight goodies, since it's really easy to extract from the Aeronaut before shoving the main bag into an overhead compartment.

TB also have an interesting-looking Packing Cube / Backpack. When turned inside-out it works as a large sized packing cube, and when you reach your destination you can right-side-out it and it's a basic daypack with a separate zippered compartment at the bottom. I haven't tried this one myself, but it seems to be worth a look.

Tim said...

Thanks for the first-person feedback Pam! I'm trying out some other items of theirs later and I do love double-duty things like this. Stay tuned...

Cam said...

Have you done a review of (do they even make any more?) those clear plastic vacuum bags that are so useful for getting lots of stuff in a small container? I have found them very useful for my travels, but the ones I have are starting to wear out and I can't find any to replace them at a reasonable price. Packing cubes are nice, but they seem to me to be more useful for separating things than saving space.

Tim said...

Cam, my wife uses those things when she is heading to her mom's house and isn't going to be on the move much. Good for sweaters and the like. I think she got them from one of those credit card envelope promotions, but I've seen them at Bed, Bath & Beyond and places that carry "as seen on TV" stuff. I know they're still available.

Winter hydration pack  said...

I am looking for a travel bag but I want that is designed nicely having multiple partitions to place different items.

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