When I (Adrienne) go on a business trip, I usually carry a Tom Bihn bag and the Synik 22 clamshell is my favorite. It has one a lot of bags, and all of them are thoughtfully designed. For example, the zipped water bottle pocket is placed in the center of the backpack instead of on the side, so it won’t throw you off balance. The pen pockets are housed in flaps on the side instead of at the top, to facilitate pen access. The outer case is made from Bluesign-certified 400 denier ballistic nylon with a top-notch waterproof YKK zipper. Each bag has a lifetime guarantee.
Because the bag is so small, the back passage is only 7 inches wide—too narrow to pass through the handles of hand luggage. And the thick fabric and ample hardware—zippers, O-rings, and buckles—make it a bit heavy. But at the 22-litre size, I didn’t notice the extra weight. It’s the perfect conference companion, but it’s at the highest level that we think is worth spending on a bag.
★ A Tom Bihn Top Roll: The Tom Bihn Addax ($285) has become one of my goals. Roll bags are more flexible than zippered bags. Not enough room? Open it up and tuck your bike helmet in. Too much? Scroll it down to compress the space. And if you live in a rainy area, a roll top will prevent water from seeping through the top zippers.
Like all Tom Bihn bags, these are metaphysical perfection, with a huge laptop compartment that’s bidirectionally accessible, while also featuring a tablet pocket for Kindle. mine and the front pockets have O-rings for keys and other sundries. It has a huge luggage compartment and heavy padded shoulder straps. It’s also hand-sewn in the USA from PFC-free materials and comes with a lifetime warranty that’s as bomb-resistant as ballistic nylon fabric. That’s a good thing, because at this price you only want to buy it once.