followup review: Tom Bihn Little Swift

This is a follow up review of a product I love and use every day, my Tom Bihn Little Swift. The first review was written after being with the bag for only a few weeks. I thought it would be nice to update how it is faring and what my thoughts are after two years together.

However, there’s a sad catch, it was discontinued. This happens for many reasons and I respect and support the company in making the decision. They sometimes pop up for sale on Ravelry and eBay, but they don’t seem to come up as often as the Swift. The regular sized Swift is a very nice bag and I do love mine, but the Little Swift has my heart.

So why am I writing about it if you can’t purchase one? Because when they show up, there are questions. How well does it wear? What can you fit in it? What do you wish was changed?

Well, first off, I love my Little Swift. I love it so much I don’t think about it. I just grab it and go about my life.

I believe that’s the highest compliment I can give a tool I use. It works so well that I trust it completely and don’t worry about it at all.

Yes, I still love both my Co-Pilot and Swift, but I definitely love this bag much more for where my life is right now. I will be the first to admit it’s likely not the right bag for everyone, though I love it. It’s the right size for me and for 97% of my schlepping needs. In those rare occurrences when I can fit in everything I need, mostly because I need to transport unfolded papers neatly, I pull out my Co-Pilot or my Swift.

A question I’ve heard recently is: can it be used only a knitting bag? Well, mine stores a knitting and crochet project most of the time, but really it’s my EDC. Here’s what was in mine today. The only thing missing from the photo is my tablet which I used to take the photo!

contents of my Tom Bihn Little Swift

During the week I just carry a small pouch with supplies for my crochet cat toys. On weekends and longer errands, a yarn stuff sack is attached to a long keystrap. I use a random plastic ring from my supplies to connect the two.

I think it’s a great size and shape for just about anything. When I brought my newest foster kitten, Max, home (you’ll meet him officially tomorrow) the bag held several cans and jars of food for him and two toys.

Tom Bihn Little Swift with cat food & kitten toys

I love that the fabric is robust and I have no problem with kittens playing near or on it.

Tom Bihn Little Swift with kittens

Tom Bihn Little Swift with kittens

And I love that it still looks good enough to go out for coffee.


Ok, I’ve spoken about the outside but what about inside? Well, honestly I don’t look closely! It’s rare when it’s completely empty. So this is what it looked like tonight when I emptied it to take the photo of everything that was in it.

Tom Bihn Little Swift inside

Tom Bihn Little Swift inside

Oops. I forget when I left a ballpoint pen uncapped and it’s marked up the pocket, but honestly I don’t really think about it when I’m using the bag at all. I haven’t tried cleaning it (though I know what to use).

Yes fuzz and stuff gets caught in the bottom of the bag. I vacuum it every so often.

Is there anything I wish was different? Yes. I wish these o-rings were on the opposite side or the zipper was reverse. I like my keys here, but I do wish I could put them in the pouch and zip it (mostly) closed.

How I was keeping my keys in my Swift and Little Swift for the past several years

How I was keeping my keys in my Swift and Little Swift for the past several years.

UPDATE (the morning after I published this post): As I was moving the bag this morning, guess what I finally felt and found inside the pouch? o-rings!!! YAY! This isn’t the first time I’ve used a TB bag for years and missed out on the o-rings I felt would make the bag just right.

Yay! There are o-rings inside the pouches! (This isn't the first time I missed o-rings.)

Yay! There are o-rings inside the pouches! (This isn’t the first time I missed o-rings.)

Do you want a Little Swift of your own? Please don’t email me and offer gobs of money or contact Tom Bihn and beg. They’re aware of interest and in the future it may come back, though it may be a while. Keep an eye out on Ravelry and eBay.

I know this format doesn’t work for everyone. There’s now a Maker’s Bag that is very lovely and if my daily needs were different I could see myself loving it. For now the Little Swift has my love.

What has happened to my big Swift? I’ve still not gotten the courage to sell it. I have a bunch of totes I use around the house, but for some reason not this one. Yet. I think in the very near future it might get a few accessories and find it has become my “I don’t want to work at my desk today” bag.

I wish I could say I loved my wallet (not TB) as completely but that’s a post for another day. And I may have a workaround with a few Tom Bihn accessories. I need to take some measurements first.