Devotees of lightweight, one bag travel received some good news from Tom Bihn this week:  the firm is rolling out several popular bags (Aeronaut, Tri-Star, Synapse, and others) featuring a new ultralight 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop exterior material.  Two thirds lighter than the 1050 denier ballistic nylon Bihn typically employs on travel bag exteriors, the new material nevertheless offers excellent tear strength and very good abrasion resistance (though not that of 1050d ballistic).

Road warriors who travel every week might want to opt for the traditional material, but for many travelers, the slight compromise in abrasion resistance might well be worth the weight savings.  In the next month or so, we’ll take an in depth look at the Synapse and Tri-Star in this exciting new material; stay tuned.

Read about Bihn’s new 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop here:  Introducing 400d Dyneema®/nylon at the Bihn website.

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5 Comments on Several Tom Bihn bags just got lighter!

  1. Lani Teshima says:

    Hey Kevin — Isn’t it exciting? As a big fan of Dyneema I’m just tickled pink. You mentioned that the 400d Dyneema products are “two thirds lighter” than the ballistic nylon counterparts, but according to Darcy from Tom Bihn, it’s actually more like 20 percent lighter (which would make it one-fifth, not two-thirds). I’ve already got my bags on order–have you?


    Kevin Reply:


    Actually, I wrote that the material is two thirds lighter. The following is directly from the Bihn site:

    The Tri-Star is also available in ultralight 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop. Though one-third the weight of our U.S. made, high tenacity 1050 denier ballistic nylon, it has comparable tear strength and very good abrasion resistance.


    Lani Teshima Reply:

    Oh! Interesting… The Synapse description says this:

    “The Synapse is also available in ultralight 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop. This steller fabric is made for us in Japan. Though half the weight of our 1000d Cordura® nylon, it has comparable tear strength and very good abrasion resistance. With 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop you’ll save about 20% on the over-all weight of the Synapse.

    After a number of people asked about specific weights, they added a blog post ( and they list the weights as:

    Aeronaut in 1050d: 3 lb 0 oz / 1360 grams
    Aeronaut in 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon: 2 lb 6 oz / 1075 grams

    Tri-Star in 1050d: 3 lb 6 oz / 1550 grams
    Tri-Star in 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon: 2 lb 12 oz / 1230 grams

    I’m wondering if the initial two-thirds information was before they calculated out the weight of the rest of the non 400d materials?


    Lani Teshima Reply:

    Sorry, I’m replying to myself. I think I know what’s going on. The 400d Dyneema is two-thirds lighter than their ballistic nylon. It’s half the weight of their Cordura nylon. And when they actually construct the bags, they generally come out to about 20% lighter. So I think what’s happening is that the weight savings are coming from the new fabric, but the weight of a whole bag also includes a lot of other things that don’t weigh less than before.

    Kevin Reply:

    Possibly. Thanks for posting this additional information.

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