If you’re a veteran Tom Bihn buyer, you might already know this, but if a particular bag comes out and you’re in need of a particular fabric or color, it would behoove you to buy that bag in that fabric and color as soon as possible. I’ve been bitten a few times by sell outs. Tom Bihn does a lot of limited runs and more often that not, unless you want black or steel ballistic nylon bags, you’re not going to be able to get what you want if you wait very long after the bag comes out. And in the summer, it’s often the case that even the old standards like black ballistic nylon sell out. It’s why my entire collection is black except for the stray steel Aeronaut 45 that I have. And as much as I love the Aeronaut, it pains me a little every time I see that mine is steel and not black.
Nowhere is this problem as bad as with Dyneema bags. Dyneema, a lighter weight, yet still very durable fabric that is milled in Japan and then shipped over to Seattle for manufacturing is often in short supply. While Tom Bihn typically has the pouches and stuff sacks available in a standard set of colors (Steel, Wasabi, Ultraviolet and Iberian), other not so common colors often sell out quickly. Recently, Tom Bihn got in some new color Dyneemas called Island (light blue), Zest (bright orange) and Northwest Sky (light grey). The Island and Zest bags quickly sold out, and I was stuck getting basic black for the Shop Bag I wanted. Black’s okay, but I wanted to use the Shop Bag as a beach bag, so I had a color palette I was striving for.
While you’ll no doubt be happy with the performance of any Tom Bihn bag you purchase, if you happen to see a new color or bag debut, you’d be wise to jump on it, as you may not get the chance again for a long time, if ever.