I've got a Super Ego bag from Tom Bihn, a bag/luggage designer from Washington state. The Super Ego is an unbelievable, a monstrous bag: capacious, tough as nails, even stylish, with a waterproof zipper and buckles for what I understand to be pretty much the best laptop sleeve you can buy. Other than a general ergonomic concern with courier bags, I've never had a complaint about my Bihn bag, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy from the company again.
Today the buckle on the front pocket broke.
I called customer service and explained that the plastic had snapped. Without prompting, the service rep said, 'Can you remove the male portion of the buckle from the bag?' Yep. 'We'll send you a new one on Monday.'
I sometimes wonder why anyone would pay so much money for consumer goods - especially when a barebones Timbuk2 bag can be had for a quarter of the price. Well, this is why. The Bihn folks take pride in their work and it shows in every aspect of their business, and I am obviously a drooling fanboy.
Shameful, especially when there are larger, darker, less easily understood or even contemplated things in the world. But there you have it. I'm happy to be a Tom Bihn customer and I recommend them to you without reservations.
[Update: After writing this, I finally caved - the words 'general ergonomic concern with courier bags' mighta done it - and after talking dollars and cents with my wife, I placed an order for a Brain Bag, Tom Bihn's largest backpack. Why so big? I like the option of carrying lots of stuff if necessary, keeping gym clothes separate from other items, etc; and anyhow there are straps to collapse the bag when empty, so it's not like things will be flopping around in all the unused space. Plus I admit, I couldn't help but be charmed by this passage from one user's Brain Bag review:
Initially I hated having the waist strap dangling down when I walked (I've used it, but rarely), but Tom had my Brain Bag retrofitted with a "tester" removable waist strap, and for my purposes it works beautifully.
That's a little ridiculous, innit? The bagmaker offering to test out a new strap upon a random new customer's request? You can see why I find Bihn company/products charming. I know, I know: stay on guard, they're salesmen, money is Satan, etc., etc. Still, these little things add up. And I looked over my Super Ego bag today, wondering how it had aged in the year-and-a-half-ish since its purchase. Two words: LIKE NEW. Jesus.]