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Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere


Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere Review

by , September 21, 2021
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If you’ve spent time around the carry community or have been following our site for any length of time, Tom Bihn is likely a household name for you. If you’re new, Tom Bihn is a Seattle, WA-based manufacturer who has been producing bags and products focused on both daily carry and travel applications since 1972. One of their more recent offerings is technically a re-introduction to one of their designs from the mid-1990s and it’s called the Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere (LGD for short). It’s a medium-large capacity hip pack (or sling/shoulder bag) that aims to be a daily carry bag or supplemental travel companion to some of their larger offerings. I have spent the past several months using the LGD, discovering its charms and its quirks. And I think it’s a great time to finally talk about it. 

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere


  • Name: Le Grand Derriere
  • Brand: Tom Bihn
  • Format: Hip Pack / Shoulder Bag
  • Measurement: 12.6″ (w) x 8.2″ (h) x 6.2″ (d) / 320mm (w) x 210mm (h) x 160mm (d)
  • Capacity: 8L (490 cu. in.)
  • Weight: 15.2 oz / 430 grams
  • Zippers: YKK #8 RC
  • Material: Ballistic Nylon / Cordura / Halcyon / Recycled Nylon
  • PriceUS$130


Who It Suits

The Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere is for those who like the idea of a small(ish) bag that keeps your essentials close at hand with convenient access. It shines if you’re already utilizing Tom Bihn organizational accessories but doesn’t require them. The wide variety of materials, color choices and overall aesthetic make it gender-neutral; meaning you should be able to find an option that suits your personal taste. 

Who It Doesn’t 

As the LGD is on the larger side for a sling, this may be too spacious if you’re a minimalist. Separately, if you’re looking for a bag with lots of built-in pockets and slots for your items, this isn’t it. If you’re a hip-pack hater, nothing to see here. 

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere


As I write this in 2021, it should be abundantly clear that the ’90s is currently the “in” retro decade. From web design to fashion and everything in between, you’ll see that nostalgic sheen that may or may not evoke strong memories for you. As someone who was born in the ’80s but grew up in the ’90s, I find myself enjoying this resurgence of my youth. Tom Bihn set out to capture a piece of that decade by digging into their archive and revisiting their past.

Though retro is decidedly cool (depending on who you ask), it should be no surprise that slings, hip packs and shoulder bags are currently a desirable form of carry. Our need to bring “just a little more” is owed in part to the global pandemic that we’re enduring. Masks, sanitizer, vaccination cards…all things we need to keep on our person. And these types of bags make it that much easier. 

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere


The Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere is available in a variety of colors and materials to suit multiple tastes which make it neither overtly feminine nor masculine. In sling terms, it’s on the larger side at 8L capacity. But given the multiple ways to carry, the size ultimately suits the flexibility. Aesthetically speaking, the LGD is distinctly a Tom Bihn product. Meaning you’ll see design touches that echo throughout their product lines. The asymmetrical flap pocket on the exterior is a good example that echoes the primary flap of their line of Cafe Bags. 

The silhouette of the bag is clean and I appreciate the external compression straps to slim the bag down when you’re carrying less. Depending on your material choice the LGD can take on a more technical appearance in their Halcyon options, a neutral or even playful appearance in the Ballistic Nylon or Cordura choices and if you’re looking for something with more of an outdoors look, well there’s even an option for M81 Woodland Camo. Bases covered.

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere

I would like to call out one design choice as a slight negative, which you may or may not feel the same about, and that is the rain flap. Material choice notwithstanding, the flap has a tendency to make it difficult to operate the zippers to the main compartment. This can be mitigated to a degree by installing the zipper pulls that are included with the bag. But without, I found the main compartment difficult to open quickly. Due to their length they also somewhat limit visibility into the main compartment as well.

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere


As with the vast majority of Tom Bihn’s product library (and archive) construction is high quality without a stitch out of place; their entire catalog is produced locally in Seattle, Washington and carries with it a lifetime warranty. In my months of use, the LGD has held up with no signs of wear and tear. But I appreciate knowing they’ll stand by their product should something arise in the future. Though the bag isn’t overly complex, every element felt intentional and well-constructed.

Materials & Hardware

The LGD is currently available in four different material choices (as of September 2021). Depending on which material you choose, it will have varying weights and levels of rigidity. 

  • 630D Recycled Ballistic Nylon
  • 1000D Cordura Nylon
  • 525D HT Ballistic Nylon
  • 400D Halcyon / 420D UHMWPE Ripstop

Despite these differences, know that all of your options are high quality, and there isn’t a “wrong” choice among them.


In using the LGD over the past few months I found that keeping it simple was the best practice to play to its strengths. If you’re invested in organizational accessories from Tom Bihn, there are 6 O-ring attachment points throughout the pack which you can attach things to, but they can be ignored if you prefer.  

I will call out here though that even though it’s not a required purchase, I greatly enjoyed using Tom Bihn’s Handy Little Thing 1 with the LGD. It provided additional internal organization that was not cumbersome to utilize, while still leaving enough internal space in the main compartment for other items. The size of the LGD is flexible enough that it can carry smaller items, such as your daily carry essentials, or even larger items like water bottles, a light jacket or even your camera.

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere

The flap pocket on the front exterior is where I liked to keep quick-access items like house keys, my wallet or even sunglasses. But I do suggest keeping things on the slimmer side for this particular area. The exterior zipper pocket is another good place for small quick-access items (like hand sanitizer). Though when using the LGD as a camera bag this is where I liked to keep my light meter and a couple of extra rolls of film. 

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere

The main compartment itself is a large open area, accessed via the main zipper. This is not a clamshell-style bag, which means you’ll need to reach into the main compartment to grab your items. I don’t find this to be a negative experience at all, but your mileage may vary here. There is one divider panel to separate items inside the compartment and it will fit an 11″ iPad Pro (or similarly sized tablet device). Though I do want to mention here that there isn’t any padding, which means you’ll need to bring a slim padded sleeve to protect your device. I was able to fit a 12.9″ iPad Pro inside the main compartment, but it was a stretch and there was no room left for a protective case. It’s not meant for carrying such a large device, I merely wanted to see if it was capable.

I was pleasantly surprised however that I was able to comfortably carry camera gear in this bag; I wrongly assumed on first impressions that it would not be able to fit my larger cameras. Yet it gobbled them up with no complaints. 

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere

By design, the LGD is considered a waist or hip pack. It features a lightly padded waist belt (maximum circumference is 48″, an optional belt extender is available to accommodate nearly any body) which can be worn either around your waist or across your chest. This is going to be a personal preference for each user, but this was not my favorite method of carry. I attribute it to my specific body shape, in which case it may be just fine for you. 

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere

Tom Bihn saw fit to include sturdy anchor points for attaching a shoulder strap which, for me, radically improved the usability and comfort of the bag. Nearly any type of shoulder strap will work; you aren’t required to use one of the ones that Tom Bihn offers. Though I will say that for me, the 1.5″ Standard Strap they offer suits this bag perfectly. 

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere


I’ve mentioned earlier that I have been using the LGD for a few months, in which time I have formed multiple opinions about how it carries that have ranged from “I’m not sure if I like this” to “I love this thing”. This to me says it’s less of a slam dunk and more of a slow burn when it comes to getting to know a new bag. There are some bags you click with immediately, and others that grow on you over time and become indispensable. The Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere is the latter. 

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere

Space & Access

The LGD is not overly complex, which is a good thing here. Space is excellent for a small bag at 8L which allows one to carry a surprising amount of things. Accessibility is very good overall with the caveat that I mentioned earlier in the review about the rain flap. It does slightly impede access to the main compartment. But for me personally, adding zipper pulls markedly improved the usability for me. 


I touched on this earlier in discussing the multiple carry options for the LGD, but my preferred way of using the bag is with a shoulder strap. I found this to be by far the most practical and comfortable way to use the bag that allowed me to access the contents within. It stays in place while on the move and hugs against my back better than when using the waist belt. That being said, you may find that the belt is perfect for you; I am merely sharing my experience. I do however wish that the waist belt was fully removable.


The LGD is not an explicitly weatherproof bag. But it is at least designed to try to keep the elements out as best as possible. The aforementioned rain flap does a good job of protecting the zippered main compartment (at the slight expense of accessibility). And the exterior pocketing is at least mostly protected from the elements.

The Good

  • Spacious capacity with enough organization to be useful for small and large items
  • Flexible carry options depending on preferences
  • Well-made bag with a lifetime warranty
  • Wide array of material and color options to choose from

Not So Good

  • Hip belt carry option wasn’t as comfortable to use, would prefer it to be completely removable 
  • Rain flap can get in the way of accessing the main compartment
  • Exterior pockets, while useful, run out of space quickly
  • At $130 (+additional cost if you need a shoulder strap) it comes in at the higher end of the price bracket for medium-large slings


The Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere is an interesting bag. It’s something that grows on you the more you use it. I found myself always reaching for it when I was heading out the door and didn’t require a backpack. Getting to that point was not immediate, however. I mentioned that this development was a “slow burn”, meaning it took me a little time to find my stride with using the bag. Now that I have had time to reflect on how I’ve used it these past few months, I can appreciate how useful it has been to me and see how it will continue to be useful in a medium-sized daily carry role. It’s slightly imperfect, yet lovable, just like me.

Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere

Photos by Brandon Vulaj

The Breakdown

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Geek (Performance)

Space & Access

Style (Design)

Look & Feel
Build, Materials & Hardware

Stoke (Experience)

Warranty & Support
Brand experience
X Factor

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