Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere Review

Overall Score:8.5

The Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere is an 8L lumbar pack with a retro look and a premium build. Whether you’re exploring bustling city streets or mountains trails, this bag is capable of transitioning seamlessly between the two. Overall, it’s an expertly crafted crossover bag for minimal daily carry. 

Durability: 9.5
Functionality: 8.0
Performance: 9.0
Aesthetics: 8.5
Value: 7.5

Capacity: 8L

Weight: 434 g

Main Material: 525D Ballistic Nylon

Hardware: YKK, Duraflex

Weather Resistance: DWR (exterior), polyurethane (interior)

Dimensions: 32 x 21 x 16 cm

Manufacturing Country: USA

Warranty: Lifetime

Length of Test: 8 weeks

Acquisition: in exchange for our honest feedback, Tom Bihn sent us the LGD with zero expectations. As always, the content of this review wasn’t shared with the company prior to publishing. Just know, our job isn’t to tickle the ego of a gear brand… its to provide you with the insights you need to make a sound buying decision – nothing more, nothing less. 

Countries: Thailand

Climate(s): Tropical Savanna

Weather: Hot and Humid (highest temp 32 C), Light and Heavy Rain

The Le Grand Derriere is designed for:

  • EDC, travel, and hiking.

It’s not designed for:

  • Technical adventures.
Durablity

Build Quality

Construction: if there’s anything that Tom Bihn bags are know for, it’s impeccable craftsmanship with highly durable materials and the Le Grand Derriere is no exception.  

Handcrafted in the USA, the bag is available in multiple fabric options: (1) a burly 525D ballistic nylon, (2) a military-grade 1000D Cordura, or (3) a lighter weight 400D Halcyon ripstop nylon. For purely aesthetic reasons, we went with Tom Bihn’s tried-and-true ballistic nylon. Quite frankly, the fabric has a smooth hand-feel and is tightly woven, but is overkill for our needs.  

As for the bag’s hardware, each fabric option comes with buttery smooth YKK Zippers and beefy Duraflex buckles, accompanied by flawless stitching. 

Functionality

Main Feature Set

Storage: deceptively cavernous, the main compartment is a rather generous 7.5L of space. And due to the lack of built-in organization (minus a fabric partition and four O-ring attachment points), the minimalism allows for unobstructed packing real estate.

During most day trips, we’ve actually had trouble filling this bag to the brim. No matter how much we stuff it with typical daypack items, its still hungry for more. It’s sort of like the clown car of lumbar bags – it holds a lot more than you’d expect.

Thoughtfully, Tom Bihn made sure to include side compression straps to bring the contents of the main compartment closer to your body, when the bag isn’t full.

External Pockets: on the front of the Le Grand Derriere, there’s two cargo-style pockets for quick-access storage.

On the right, there’s a zippered drop-in pocket that lacks any dimension and is best utilized by storing relatively flat objects like a minimalist wallet and a folding knife.

On the left, there’s a slightly gusseted pocket that’s the perfect size for storing a phone and some keys (the keyring hook is included). 

Both pockets are easy to access while in carry mode, although we do have reservations about storing valuables in these pockets when in busy areas. Since they’re easy to access, they can also be an easy target for pickpockets – just be mindful.

Modularity: last but certainly not least, the most boring but the most functional feature… a tuckable hip belt.

When not in use or when packing into another bag, you can completely tuck away the hip belt – straps and all. This is an incredibly useful feature for travel, as it’ll let you use the Le Grand Derriere as a packing cube when in transit and then as a daypack when at your destination.

Side note: as an add-on option, you can purchase a shoulder strap that converts the Le Grande Derriere into a shoulder bag.

Performance

Practical Utility

Carry Comfort: when worn as a lumbar bag, the Le Grand Derriere is a pure joy to use. It rides well thanks it shape and amply padded back panel. No complaints here.

As a fanny pack, it works for short duration use but it is too large for long duration use cases. For crossbody carry, its boxy shape isn’t the most comfortable and not recommended unless you’re on a motorcycle or riding a bike. 

Where the Le Grand Derriere truly shines, is what is was intended for: lumbar carry.

When worn as a lumbar bag, comfort is aided by the adequately padded yet minimalistic hip belt.

And what we really love about the Le Grand Derriere’s hip belt is how cleverly it’s patterned. Unlike traditional wrap-around styles that limit hip mobility, the belt’s lower catenary curve allows for full freedom of movement while still providing a fair amount of stability when walking. 

In all honesty, we wish more manufacturers learned from this design. 

Aesthetics

Design Elements

While Tom Bihn is known for function over fashion, the Le Grand Derriere has a retro vibe that we dig. 

Aesthetically speaking, the bag looks great whether you’re crushing miles on a mountain trail or just casually walking over to your favorite coffee shop on a busy road. It’s a crossover design in every sense of the word and looks great in a variety of environments.

As for colorways, the Le Grand Derriere comes in a wide variety of options to choose from – essentially, there’s something for everybody. 

Value

Primary Alternatives

The Tom Bihn Le Grande Derriere is a premium offering compared to most lumbar bags. Relative to its nearest competition, the bag has a pretty lofty valuation. However… when considering the made in USA build quality, lifetime warranty, and ingenious design, the Le Grande Derriere seems to be fairly priced.

The primary competition (read: alternatives to consider) for the Le Grand Derriere are:

Pack Main Fabric Gender Vol. Weight Adjustable Length? Padded?
LGD 525D Ballistic Nylon Unisex 8L 434 g Yes Yes
Ulvo 400D Nylon Unisex 4L 200 g Yes No
Tour 420D Nylon Unisex 9L 794 g Yes Yes
Hip Monkey 500D Cordura Unisex 8L 408 g Yes Yes
Heritage 500D Recycled Nylon Unisex 8L 400 g Yes Yes
8.5/10 Rating

Overall Verdict

The Tom Bihn Le Grand Derriere is a well-thought-out lumbar bag that serves multiple use cases; EDC, hiking, and travel. So far, May absolutely loves it and it’s likely that it’ll become a staple piece of kit for her. 

Overall, we consider the Le Grande Derriere to be one of the best crossover bags available. It fills the gap that was missing in the lumbar carry niche for many, many years. And if it’s within your budget, this lumbar bag should definitely be on your radar.

What We Liked

  • Comfortable for all day use with a UL setup.
  • Lumbar carry keeps your back dry during hot weather.
  • Overbuilt design, but still relatively lightweight.

What Could Use Improvements

  • Offering more color options for the 400D Halycon fabric.
  • Adding paracord pulls to the zippers.
  • Adding strap keepers to the side compression straps.
Longevity

Usage Timeline

Excellent

Initial Usage

As expected from Tom Bihn, fit and finish is excellent – overall quality is top-notch. Although the bag seems to be a bit too large.

Excellent

Excellent

8 Weeks of Usage

The bag slowly grew on May and it’s becoming one her favorites. Durability wise, there are zero signs of wear.

Excellent

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