TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Review

Though the TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel’s layout helps with gear organization, its small main compartment poses its own challenges.

Our Verdict

7.7 /10
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  • Really solidly built with quality materials
  • Secondary compartments’ spacious interior makes getting small gear easy
  • Fits under an economy airline seat


  • Jangly zippers and snap fasteners are distracting
  • Notably small main compartment quickly runs out of space
  • Symmetrical design can leave you guessing which pocket contains what gear

Technical Details

71 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 103/145 Airlines

62 %

Like the Look

Polled on Instagram

  • Capacity


  • Weight (lb)

    1.37 lb (0.6 kg)

  • Dimensions

    17 in x 10 in x 9 in (43.2 x 25.4 x 22.9 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    Ballistic Nylon, Ripstop Nylon, YKK Zippers, Woojin Hardware, Duraflex Hardware

  • Manufacturing Country

    United States

  • Warranty Information

    Lifetime Guarantee

Full Review

The TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel differs from other travel bags in its use of space. Instead of having a large main compartment, this duffle has relatively large secondary ones, necessitating some adjustment as we’re more used to managing most of our gear in just one central compartment.

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Bench
TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel | Using the duffle outdoors.

The question is, does this sort of layout work? Spoiler alert: yes, but we’re not shifting our preferences entirely. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t draw your own conclusions, though, so go and read our review!

External Components

Looks-wise, the Night Flight Travel Duffel doesn’t break the mold, even within TOM BIHN’s product line. Call the design safe or mundane, but we like how tasteful they’ve kept the styling. There are a lot of seams crisscrossing the bag, but the darkness of the black colorway we’re testing works to mute them. If you’re wondering why this overall design looks familiar, maybe you’ve seen their Aeronaut 45, a duffle-backpack hybrid with an identical style. Those aren’t the only duffles in TOM BIHN’s lineup; there’s also the Old School Carry All, which has a very different design.

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Brand
TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel | It’s a solidly built duffle.

If there’s one aspect we’d definitely want TOM BIHN to retain and keep consistent, it’s their bags’ top-notch quality. Indeed, you’ll find familiar ingredients here, such as ballistic nylon for the outer shell and a 200-denier Halcyon/nylon ripstop or 210-denier ripstop nylon liner (the latter depends on which colorway you go for). The zippers are from the ever-reputable folks from YKK, and the rest of the hardware (buckles, clips, sliders, etc.) is a mix of Duraflex, Nexus, and Woojin. Needless to say, we’ve not run into any issues fiddling around and tweaking the adjustments with any of these components. The way TOM BIHN put the Night Flight Travel Duffel together is also mostly unimpeachable, as we’ve found no tears or loose threads when we got it, nor after testing.

Truth be told, there weren’t a ton of external features for us to play around with. There’s nothing crazy like webbings, carabiners, accessory straps, or magnets to point out and salivate over. Curiously, TOM BIHN seems eager to keep things low-key, as one of the few features of the Night Flight Travel Duffel are inverted slip pockets at each end.

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Pocket
TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel | You can use this to pull the bag out of spaces.

Okay, they’re not really pockets, per se. They’re intended for use as handles to pull the bag out from underneath seats and overhead bins. There’s also a luggage pass-through at the back, which we also use as a grab handle. Otherwise, it’s quite useful to give shoulders a rest when traveling with rolling carry on luggage. Speaking of your shoulders, let’s check out the other ways you can carry this duffle.

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Snap Button
TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel | These snap fasteners rattle.

First up are the pair of carry handles at the top. They’re not quite as lengthy as we find on tote bags but just long enough for a balanced feel. A snap-fastened pad clasps the handles together to make it more comfortable. Though the padding doesn’t feel exceptionally squishy, the more pressing nitpick we have pertains to how it fastens. Instinct tells us to roll over the snap-fastened side to align the two pairs of buttons properly. However, this is tricky in practice, and it’s much easier to do with the buttons facing down. Another issue is that the buttons make tiny rattling noises when you shake the handles. This isn’t indicative of shoddy quality, per se, but it is a bit distracting—after we first heard it, we couldn’t help but notice it every time.

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Luggage
TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel | Using the luggage pass-through.

By comparison, the included shoulder strap feels a lot more straightforward and nitpick-free. It’s attached to triangular anchors via clips that freely rotate. We can also reposition the padded section anywhere along the strap’s length. Like the handles from before, the padding isn’t anything exceptional, whether in thickness or squishiness. Since it’s removable, you can also use a beefier strap like TOM BIHN’s Absolute Shoulder Strap.

Fit Notes

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Side By Side
Left: Lauren Maternowski, Height: 5’6” (168 cm), Torso: 16.5” (42 cm) | Right: Eric Hergenreder, Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), Torso: 18.5” (47 cm)

All of that said, anything beefier than the included strap feels more like a luxury than anything else. We find it adequately comfortable, with the padded section competently distributing the bag’s fully loaded weight. You can either wear it on one shoulder or lengthen it sufficiently for a crossbody carry. Either way we carry it, lugging the Night Flight Travel Duffel feels drama-free and uneventful.

The same goes for the handles, despite all of the little nitpicks we’ve already discussed. The only thing you have to watch out for is that the shoulder strap can drag, so be sure to remove it or tuck it away somewhere before you start carrying the duffle by the handles.

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Strap
TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel | The shoulder strap can be replaced.

It’s worth noting that this bag’s zipper pulls are quite jangly once you start to move and shake it around. Fortunately, TOM BIHN includes cord zipper pulls you can add to the metal ones explicitly to dampen any jangliness. These help reduce the noise but don’t completely eliminate it.

Inside The Duffle

A neat little quirk (if you can call it that) of the Night Flight Travel Duffel is its layout’s symmetry. Starting from the middle, you have the main compartment, flanked by two secondary compartments, capped off by quick-access pockets on each end of the duffle. The interiors of these respective compartments are mostly symmetrical as well.

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Side Pocket
TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel | These pockets are easy to access.

But why are we pointing out something as trivial as this duffle’s symmetry? Based on our experience, it can get confusing which pocket contains what gear when you have similar-looking ones. We usually put a smartphone or wallet in one of the quick-access pockets, then put the bag under the airplane seat in front of us when we travel. However, unless we pay really close attention, it’s hard to remember whether the pocket pointing towards us contains the wallet/smartphone. We could just pull out the bag and reorient it the other way, but that’s quite cumbersome once you’re seated.

That said, this is a fairly minor caveat of the symmetrical design, and it’s nowhere near close to a deal-breaker. On a more positive note, we’re quite satisfied with how spacious the quick-access pockets are. There’s more than enough room for your everyday carry items, like wireless earbuds, a smartphone, and a travel wallet.

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Side Compartment
TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel | These secondary pockets feel a bit too big.

For anything bigger, we like to utilize the secondary compartments. TOM BIHN made these compartments very spacious as well, which is great for packing bulkier gear like high-capacity power banks, collapsible travel pillows, gloves, and a buff. Both compartments have a liner pocket inside to keep some gear separated, plus there are two O-rings in each where you can attach the included key leash.

We are not entirely against the spaciousness of the secondary compartments. However, we would’ve preferred a much bigger main compartment instead. To be fair, the main compartment’s cuboid shape makes it super easy to pack and makes it feel a lot roomier than its actual size would suggest. It’s much easier to pack than the relatively slim-feeling main compartment of the Old School Carry All, and we have no trouble fitting enough clothing for an overnight stay.

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Empty
TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel | There’s a zippered mesh pocket built into the lid if you need it.

Still, we can’t help but feel that we run out of space way too soon as we start packing the main compartment. Even a hoodie filled more than half the available space inside. Sure, we could put other clothing in the secondary compartments, but managing one big main area is much more convenient than juggling gear between three smaller sections. It’s a shame, too, since sifting through gear would’ve been relatively easy because of the bright orange liner, even if everything is in just one big main compartment.

TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel Packing Cubes
TOM BIHN Night Flight Travel Duffel | It’s a relatively small main compartment.

Your mileage may vary, of course, depending on how bulky or small your gear and clothing are and how much separation you prefer. A compartmentalized layout like this would be fantastic if you want to keep dirty and smelly clothing away from your clean ones, for example.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Surprisingly roomy for its size
  • Digging the organization—seems like it’ll be great for quick grabs under a seat
  • Seems great for people who need a larger bag in addition to a travel backpack
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • Separate compartments are great for people who love duffles but are tired of searching for gear
  • Main compartment can feel a bit small; great for a full change of clothes, but that’s about it
  • Bottom grab handles are a nice quality of life touch
By Lauren Maternowski
Created December 11, 2023 • Updated December 11, 2023
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