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Portables

Traveling With Tom Bihn's Checkpoint Flyer 133

Some people care about bags; obsession is a better word. (See the Bags subforum of the Every Day Carry Forums for evidence.) How are the straps attached? Is that 1050 denier, or 1600? Makers like Crumpler, Ortlieb and Maxpedition inspire impressive brand-loyalty, but probably no bag maker has customers more enthusiastic than Tom Bihn's. (There really is a Tom Bihn, too -- he's been designing travel bags since he was a kid; now he has a factory with "all the cool toys" to experiment with designs and materials.) When I started looking for a protective case for my MacBook Pro, I discovered that a few of my coworkers were part of the Bihn Army, and after some Tupperware-style evangelism I was convinced to buy a few items from the Bihn line-up: a backpack (used); then a messenger bag (new); then a mid-sized briefcase, used, which is now my portable filing cabinet. (Take this bias for what you will; I stuck with my previous messenger bag for more than a decade.) For a just-completed trip to Israel, which I couldn't quite make in true one-bag travel fashion, I brought along one of the newest Bihn Bags — the Checkpoint Flyer — and found it to be worth its (considerable) price. Read on for my review.

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