TOM BIHN Rogue Sacoche Review
The unstructured fabric of the TOM BIHN Rogue Sacoche makes it super easy to compress, yet it also manages to tame bulky shapes of everyday gear competently.
- Easy to compress if you want to pack it into a bigger bag
- Keeps its flat shape well, making it sit comfortably against you
- Surprisingly roomy, with enough space for an 18-ounce bottle
- Little to no protection if you’re packing sensitive electronics
- Lacks secondary pockets for quick-grab items
- Bulky gear can obscure smaller items settled at the bottom
6.6 oz (187.1 g)
7.9 in x 9.1 in x 4.3 in (20.1 x 23.1 x 10.9 cm)
Ballistic Nylon, Ripstop Nylon, YKK Zippers
We have to admit, the TOM BIHN Rogue Sacoche’s plain pouch-like and baggy appearance didn’t inspire confidence in us at first. At most, we were expecting an everyday carry satchel that, while competently put together, doesn’t really excel at comfort or packability. To our surprise, the Rogue Sacoche’s Cerylon fabric felt much more robust and resilient, enough to maintain the bag’s flat shape, at the very least.
If you look at the Rogue Sacoche thinking that it’s been cobbled together from TOM BIHN’s leftover parts bin, stick around and read our review. Trust us, it’s more viable as an everyday carry than you might think.
We have to admit, the Rogue Sacoche doesn’t really have a ton of external features. At most, you can probably point to the logo tab at the side, stimulating your brain for a few good moments before you’ve exhausted the printed text. It’s not a bad-looking logo, mind you. In fact, we’re digging the Rogue Sacoche’s no-nonsense styling. They made sure it looked distinctly TOM BIHN without having to do the equivalent of a flashing neon sign at night. It’s just a slightly arched zipper track and a ripstop-patterned fabric, and that’s it.
Some may look at the fabric and think it’s TOM BIHN’s typical Halcyon liner. However, true Bihnions (TOM BIHN fans) will recognize it as Halcyon’s close relative: Cerylon. It’s a 210-denier fabric that feels very similar to Halcyon but has key differences. The first is its slightly less pronounced ripstop pattern. While we like the idea of ripstop’s grid pattern serving as reinforcement instead of a uniformly thick—thus, heavier—fabric, making it look more subtle gives it an air of classiness—or perhaps that’s more to do with the Dusk colorway we’re sampling. Either way, we dig how the Rogue Sacoche looks.
On a more objective level, the Cerylon fabric feels surprisingly thick. It’s nowhere near ballistic nylon levels of rigidity, but it’s also not as baggy as it looks. This will play an important role in comfort and ease of packing, as we’ll get to in the later sections. Our key takeaway for now is its good durability, which extends to Rogue Sacoche’s other materials. Its YKK zippers have been zipping along reliably, and its plastic hardware, a mix of Duraflex and Woojin-branded parts, hasn’t failed.
On the other hand, despite the relative thickness of Cerylon, it’s also very easy to flatten and compress. While not strictly marketed as a packable bag, we’ve no problem using it as one. We can empty this, roll it up, and stick it between packing cubes within a crowded travel backpack’s interior without any issues.
It’s worth noting that the Rogue Sacoche base features a gusseted design. Like the fabric itself, this also plays an important role in how it packs. Namely, it provides a significant amount of expansion and a flat base on which it can stand, provided the gear inside can also flatten it out.
The lone strap is as straightforward as it gets. There’s only one point of length adjustment, and each end clips to triangular plastic anchors on the pouch itself. We were initially doubtful that a simple strap with a relatively narrow width could handle the Rogue Sacoche’s potential load. Take note, pictures may not do it justice, but the Rogue Sacoche is fairly large, so we were hoping for something just a tiny bit beefier than this strap.
Fortunately, the included strap feels more than adequate to handle the Rogue Sacoche’s weight. The most ideal carrying style we’ve found is crossbody with the bag hanging behind us or on the side. The bag lays comfortably flat against the body because of the Cerylon fabric’s relative structure and the Rogue Sacoche’s overall slim design. Adjustments are also fairly easy even while wearing the bag, so you shouldn’t have issues getting comfortable and tweaking on the go.
Issues? Well, if we really want to nitpick, it’s the usual TOM BIHN jangly zippers. The brand is aware of this minor issue and typically provides cord pulls, which you can attach to dampen the noise. Still, this is only a minor issue—and one we can live with; it’s just hard to ignore once you notice it.
Inside The Sling
The Rogue Sacoche has one—and only one—compartment. This can be a bit of an issue if, like us, you’ve grown accustomed to having a smaller pocket somewhere to store quick-grab items. For example, items like wireless earphones and coins would be much easier to access in a spot like that. Unfortunately, there is none, so let’s just dive into the main compartment and see what the Rogue Sacoche has to offer in its place.
To be fair, the Rogue Sacoche’s main compartment is easy to access. The opening is on the front side of the bag, but it’s very near the top, so we have no problem reaching for its dual zippers. There is some overhead space, but it doesn’t go to waste since it houses two of TOM BIHN’s signature O-rings. There are two more across the way on the front side of the interior. You can use any of these four O-rings to relocate the included key strap, but we’ve elected to keep it on the right one on the back side so the keys can stay in one of the liner pockets.
On that note, there are two liner pockets on the back side, flanking one pen pocket. Those are the only means of organizing gear inside the Rogue Sacoche. The right liner pocket has a tiny bit more volume than the one on the left, but otherwise, they’re the same. We use these pockets to store smaller items, like the aforementioned wireless earbuds, lip balm, a minimalist wallet, and a set of keys. The best part is that you won’t feel any of that bulk bumping up against you as you wear it.
The rest of the main compartment’s space is free for you to dump gear in. Thanks to that gusseted base, there’s even enough room for something as bulky as an 18-ounce insulated travel water bottle, although it sits diagonally, which obstructs the rest of the gear that’s settled along the bottom. With that in mind, we recommend using the liner pockets as much as you can for your small gear, leaving the rest of the main compartment space for bulkier items.
Even fully packed with a large bottle inside, the Rogue Sacoche keeps its flat shape relatively intact. We’re really pleased with how this turned out because it preserves a comfortable carrying experience with the bag. That said, even the Cerylon fabric has limits, and irregularly shaped items can still poke and misshapen the bag’s form. In other words, you’ll still have to pack strategically and avoid truly large and oddly shaped gear.
- Feels super roomy even with its low-profile design
- Wondering if it’ll get too heavy for the thinner strap design to handle
- Digging the minimal (but significant) organization
- Material is still in great shape, and we like that it’s crushable because it makes it easier to pack
- Impressed with how it still feels low profile even when full
- Expands super easily to accommodate bulky gear—handy for those who like carrying water bottles or big books