Tom Bihn Daylight Briefcase

How we transport things is so trivial, but I was surprised how much of a difference a good bag made in my daily life.

I’m coming from a cheap Target bag which was not my favorite. I actually had to cut out the zipper from the bag because it broke and I couldn’t pry it open. Moving to a Tom Bihn bag was something I was looking to do for quite some time.

My first, real, laptop bag for college was a bag called The Fader from Mono. I still have it and while beaten to crap, it still works for when I need to carry a ton of books and my laptop. Unfortunately, that bag isn’t really suited to my everyday carry. What I really need is something super lightweight that I can grab and go on a daily basis.

It came down to the Lanier by Nock and Tom Bihn Daylight Briefcase. What finally moved me to the Tom Bihn bag was the bit of added storage that I felt wasn’t design goal of Nock’s bag. I also really appreciated that Tom Bihn had a built-in system for handling my iPad Pro (more on that later).

This must be a popular bag because it was out of stock on Tom Bihn’s website for ages, but finally in early December, I was able to order it. I’ve gotta say, this is one helluva bag for sure. I’m quite happy with it even if it does have a few quirks.

For such a tiny bag, there is a ton of room to put stuff. I was surprised with how everything easily fit from my old bag which was a bit bigger in volume from what I can tell. For everything I carry on a daily basis, the Daylight doesn’t even bat an eye. It took some time, but after a few weeks, the arrangement of junk in my bag finally has settled.

Design-wise, this bag is for utilitarians. I don’t think it’s going to win any design awards, but the Daylight Briefcase is understated and unabashedly a bag. I’m quite glad I was able to grab the olive colorway because it looks quite good, in my opinion. I may feel weird bringing this bag into a super fancy business meeting, but for to and from the office, it serves its purpose well.

With any decent quality bag, that isn’t from some fancy designer, you’re looking to pay around $100 to $400. That seems fair to me. Tom Bihn, from what I can tell, is made in America, uses solid materials and has been around since the ’70s. The zipper feel alone is worth what this bag is worth. These zippers could handle a beating for sure, and I really like that. The Codura feels really good and “outdoorsy” in nature. This bag feels like it’s going to last quite awhile, so money well spent for sure.

The only major hang up of this bag are the handles. I wish they were a bit bigger and possibly had just some light padding. They work, but definitely aren’t the most comfortable when hiking to the car in the morning1. I also somehow lose things in this bag still even after using it for three weeks.

The lasting impression I have of this bag is bewilderment. I can’t believe it’s as small as it is. For a compact bag to take to the office, I highly recommend Tom Bihn’s Daylight Briefcase. I also can’t wait to explore other bags from Tom Bihn as I bet they’re going to be just as good as this one.

  1. I park really far away from where I live.