Thanks to all of you who commented on my recent post offering a Patagonia Atom to a lucky reader.  Trying to identify a winner was much tougher than I’d expected, as many of the comments were great, and several of you commented about “seatside” bags I’d not previously considered.  I’ll definitely review one or two of them in upcoming posts.

Another thing which quickly became clear is the fact that I probably didn’t do as good a job as I should have with respect to the size of the Atom.  It’s small. This is not a bag for weekend trips, stowing photography gear (with the exception of a point-and-shoot), or multiple articles of clothing.  It is a daypack, best for stowing a few items while you’re out and about, sightseeing, hiking, or shopping.

And now, our winner, Maria.  This is her comment:

Welcome back! Interesting look for this day pack. I have trouble with traditional back packs as I find them uncomfortable on my boney shoulders and pulls pec-minor muscles in a painful way when both straps are used, and don’t like having my things out of sight behind me. When I have carried a small back pack, I ended up carrying it as a “shoulder bag” – one strap slung over the shoulder, and held with my hand on the strap. So this little Atom is intriguing – just my style for carrying! (Also, black is my favourite colour!)

I use the Tom Bihn Co-Pilot which is great for organization and holds more than expected. I also carry a small Tom Bihn “Side Effect” for going out and about when I feel the Co-Pilot is too bulky and it holds the bare essentials and then some. This “Atom” appears to be a great middle option and secure too.

Thank you.

Maria, congratulations – shoot me a quick email (see the Contact link at the top of this page) with your address, and I’ll ship the bag today or tomorrow.

To everyone else, thanks again – thanks for reading the blog, and for your interest and support.  I’ll do another couple of giveaways this year, so don’t give up!


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4 Comments on We have a (Patagonia Atom) winner!

  1. Eric says:

    Congrats Maria! I didn’t realize the Atom was so small so it wouldn’t have been too useful for me if I had won it since I do need to carry a DSLR :)


  2. Michael W. says:

    Since you have a seatside bag review coming up, I thought I’d include a few “honorable mentions” in my personal seatside bag tryouts:

    1. Tom Bihn “packing cube” shoulder bag is superb in terms of having a secondary use (it is a packing cube with a shoulder strap attachment, after all!) and not adding too much weight (3.5 oz) or bulk to your kit:

    It “failed” for me because it was a tad too small, and the only organization was provided by the outside flat zippered slot. And it looked like a packing cube on a strap on my shoulder if I tried to use it around town! (Fashion counts!)

    2. Tom Bihn “packing cube” backpacks. These are larger than the shoulder bag, above, and there are two editions:


    I have the Aeronaut edition. The Aeronaut would rock if I just needed an emergency daypack for a trail hike – I could use it as a travel cube (the straps are unpadded and do not add much weight or bulk). It is certainly large enough for seat side use. Problem is, I generally need a daypack I can carry every day in an urban environment, and it looks too geeky for that purpose.

    3. The Flash 18 ultralight peak bag from REI. Very inexpensive, very useful, will double up for urban destination use. Will hold warm layer and other gear. A pain to access though, you have to empty the bag to find stuff, in has a narrow neck that becomes a bottle neck.

    4. The PacSafe waist belts, I have them in both sizes (100 and 200). They are excellent for night bazaar walks, tamper resistant. Can clip them to seat in plane so you don’t have to haul your electronics with you to the toilet. The larger one even locks for super security (although the lock is bulky). Good internal pockets for cellphone and iPod Touch (my travel computer of choice these days). The smaller one is too small for my seatside items (though fine for night bazaar, hence I pack it in my carryon), the larger one is too bulky when you take the waistbelt itself into account. But if I couldn’t pack the smaller one, I’d use the larger one for my seatside bag.;id=19

    Finally, the Bihn Copilot got so many mentions in your original post as the go-to seatside bag for many…it sounds like a Gator without the weight …. how about a contest for one of those?


  3. Maria says:

    Big thank you to Kevin! I’m thrilled, really. Kevin graciously sent the bag today so I shall post a little “mini-review” comment when I receive it. I look forward to using it!

    Thank you too Eric for the congratulations. Very kind.



  4. Michael W. says:

    I hate gracious losers. Bagaholics never give an inch, and have never met a bag they don’t want. LOL.


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