Tom Bihn Road Buddy Duffels

These are the best duffels I tested this year, and the best I have ever used.

Note: Tom Bihn provided these bags as review samples.

Perhaps it is time to call 2018 the year for great duffel bags, as there has been no shortage of them this year. Adding to that established mix is Tom Bihn’s new Road Buddy Duffel Bags which come in both 36L and 60L sizes. I was told that these are decades in the making, and a partial revival of something Tom Bihn has been working on since day one, as well as a modern take on that idea. They are part duffle bag, part gym/gear bag, and part Aeronaut style travel bag.

And I love them.

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  • A Packable Bag For One Bag Travel

    Why are packable briefcases not a thing companies make?

    For years now I have struggled with the same problem, which is admittedly a problem for very few people. The problem is that I travel with just one bag, a small 20-26 liter bag, typically a GORUCK GR1 and I only store it at my feet on the plane. But when I get to where I am going, especially for business travel, I want a smaller bag which I can use to carry my iPad and a few essentials. All of which makes the GR1 overkill for most of those types of tasks.

    I’ve never solved this issue, and I have tried numerous bags and setups. Some are hard to pack in my larger bag, taking up too much room, others are too large on their own while packing down nice. And a great many simply look terrible, such that I wouldn’t want to taken them anywhere but a hiking trail.

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  • Snack Pick of the Week — 12/10/18

    MmmmmmmyuummmmmmMMM

    We are at the cusp of the great holiday shit show as I like to call it. Right now is not the time for the great unknown or experimentation. It’s now the time for comfort food — for food that makes you feel good right now and terrible later down the road. That means, of course, the snack pick for this week is Doritos.

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  • Fun with Shortcuts

    Randomly selecting things from a text file.

    For a while now I have been using a handy little shortcut which randomly selects an item from a text file. This allows me to create a really simple text file, with each ‘item’ on a new line, and have Shortcuts randomly select one and tell me which one. I’ve been using this on days when I want to do a workout at home, and have it select the order in which I do things. Or when I am raffling off something and need to select a random name. Building a text file on iOS is dead simple, and from there I just need to select which text file Shortcuts pulls and I get a nice little random item picker.

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  • GORUCK MACV-1s First Impressions

    A purpose built rucking boot, you knew it was coming.

    Last spring and summer GORUCK started teasing that they were about to release a boot. Some people found images of those boots online, and I quickly formed the opinion of: yikes. While I find GORUCK’s bags to be aesthetically pleasing, the preview images of the boot, I found to be comical. Surely it could not be real.

    Then GORUCK announced the boot as part of a pre-sale, I didn’t order one, because as it turns out the boot looked exactly as I had seen. And at $195, I was not willing to pay that for a boot I found to be hideous. A couple months ago people started receiving their boots and checking them out. For the most part the impressions I read were along the lines of these being the most comfortable boots out there.

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  • Getting in Shape

    Wherein I manage to talk about backpacks and how they got me in shape.

    In February of 2017 I made the decision that I needed to get in shape. I was larger, and more out of shape than I had ever been in my life. And while it wasn’t a dire situation, I could tell that I was more physically winded by things which had previously never troubled me. And this fact was now troubling me, so I made a simple decision: get in shape.

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  • Casio G-Shock GD350-1B

    My new alarm clock.

    If my recent G-SHOCK purchase taught me anything, it is that I really like G-SHOCKs. They are versatile, durable, and more than anything else: functional and extremely comfortable. The issue was that I had not found the one that I loved — the one that was right for me.

    So I kept searching.

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  • Apple News is Secretly Really Great

    It’s my new RSS.

    I am a news junkie, and a completionist. That combination means the day I discovered RSS and, specifically at the time Google Reader, was the peak of my news obsession. It’s been downhill since then.

    While I still use RSS, most sites now abuse RSS in egregious ways. They randomly republish their entire feeds every month, or they don’t offer feeds for the ‘latest’ content instead forcing you to go find categories to subscribe to. Some flat out ignore RSS, instead telling you how great their miserable newsletter is.

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  • Snack Pick of the Week — 12/3/18

    MmmmmmMMMMMMmmmmMMMmm

    Note: This was a tradition I started at my last employer where I picked a snack for the week every Monday. I’ve been asked by several people to carry this on, and so I shall.

    The weather is colder, and the coffee naturally tastes better. But mornings can drag, so it’s good to have a goto snack in the morning that will give you a boost of energy, make you smile, go well with coffee, and of course later on the day make you slightly regret having ate it. For this very specific task we are going with: Little Debbie’s Glazed Donut Sticks.

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  • Filtering Out Stress

    Some key lessons I learned to manage my stress and get a good nights sleep.

    It’s that nag that keeps you awake at night. The trigger which spins your morning from the enjoyment of a well rested night, to a deep sinking feeling. I don’t know how to make it go away, not for you, and not really even for myself. I do know when I am stressed, and I do have a few top tips for you to help delay the feeling of stress in the morning, and to keep it at bay through the night. To help focus during the day.

    My advice is to use two tried and true methods:

    1. Bury your head in the sand and;
    2. Always get some small wins.

    I’ve been working through most of these ideas since the beginning of this year, so allow me to share them with you now.

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  • Orient Bambino Small Seconds

    Among the watches available for people who want something very inexpensive, but mechanical and which also doesn’t suck for one reason or another — they always end up getting recommended an Orient Bambino. The Bambino is a bit of a wunderkind, with a huge array of options and colors available, while coming it at an […]

    Among the watches available for people who want something very inexpensive, but mechanical and which also doesn’t suck for one reason or another — they always end up getting recommended an Orient Bambino. The Bambino is a bit of a wunderkind, with a huge array of options and colors available, while coming it at an absurdly low price typically under $200, but far more often able to be found discounted below $120. Right now there are options on Amazon with Prime shipping for $114. That’s a bargain for any well made watch, let alone one with an automatic movement.

    I’ve had my Small Seconds now for a while and I’ve become quite fond on it. Let’s dive in.

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  • Bond Travel Gear’s Travel Wallet

    I’ve been keeping a close eye on Bond Travel Gear since testing out their excellent Tool Roll a while back. This Travel Wallet caught my eye as a potentially great little organizer pouch. I picked one up to test, and have been quite pleased with it over the last several weeks.

    I’ve been keeping a close eye on Bond Travel Gear since testing out their excellent Tool Roll a while back. This Travel Wallet caught my eye as a potentially great little organizer pouch. I picked one up to test, and have been quite pleased with it over the last several weeks.

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  • The ‘Fuck All’ Nature of iPad Work

    It’s disrespectful to tell someone that because they use an iPad instead of a laptop, they don’t do real work.

    November 15th started off like any other day, and then Tom Warren, a verified twitter user (I suspect that’s important to him, so I’ll note it), tweeted:

    Nilay made this point on Vergecast, but the people who have replaced their laptops with an iPad are people who do fuck all work. The rest of us hard working people use a laptop, because we have real stuff to do other than send emails and fart around. Don’t @ me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I respected his wishes not to “@“ him, and am instead posting some longer thoughts here. Before we dive into this, I do want to point out the best response to that tweet from Steve Troughton-Smith:

    Real hard-working people don’t use a computer at all 😛 You don’t know how easy you’ve got it

    That’s a very kind way of telling both Warren and Nilay Patel to fuck off. A less kind way is to say that — as someone (me) who has worked manual labor in construction for years, has started two companies which were very small (2-3 employees) and as someone who has run a tech company — that Patel and Warren can fuck right off with that arrogant bullshit they spout everyday. How a website dedicated to technology can so loathe new technology is beyond comprehension.

    It is, though, worth actually diving into this topic of “real” work versus “fuck all” work.

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  • Nik’s Minimalist Wallets from Tom Bihn

    A great new collection of everyday, and travel, wallets from Tom Bihn.

    Note: Tom Bihn sent me three wallets for review purposes.

    Tom Bihn has released a collection of four minimalist wallets, which are all very similar, but seek to accommodate the differing needs of people. I’ve been testing these wallets now for two weeks and have a pretty good feel for them. Each variant is numbered 1 through 4. I’ve been testing numbers 1, 2, and 3 — but mostly size of #1 as I prefer a very small wallet.

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  • Timex Expedition Scout — Inexpensive Field Watch

    The loudest watch I’ve ever worn, but I do love Indiglo.

    I’ve covered a diver, and a digital, which brings us to the last inexpensive watch, and the best looking: a field watch. Specifically the classic Timex Expedition Scout, which can actually be had for under $40 at a mind blowing $37. I know, the excitement is real. The catch: unlike the others with near perfect Amazon ratings, this is an average 3.8 stars with over 2,900 reviews. That’s not great, but I think it’s a bit unfair.

    Bottom line: it looks better than the others, but it ticks quite loudly. Like, actually loud.

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  • 2018 Gift Guide: 10 Gifts Worth Giving

    The expensive time of the year, unless you got married earlier this year.

    This is a gift guide designed to optimize my affiliate revenue over the next 6 weeks. Also, I hand picked these items and I think they are really great. Whichever makes you feel better.

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