Please sign in to post.

Tom Bihn Travel Tray Shortage

Hey,
Travel trays were discussed earlier last month. I wanted to buy one for family for Christmas. Looks like I will be giving belated gifts this year. Shortage theories: Bihn didn’t produce enough; shipping issues; followers of this forum snatched them up a few weeks ago for holiday gifts.
Other trays are available. I just committed to the Bihn brand trays.

Posted by
10998 posts

Tom Bihn is a small company. They can only produce so much. This means that entire lines do sell out.

If you go to their forum, you can find out when the next batch is planned.

Posted by
796 posts

You will be glad in the end. Tom Bihn committed his resources early in The Madness to providing PPE items to health care providers and first responders to help fill the demand and to keep his people employed. That meant shutting down most production and telling everyone it would be a year or more before they’d be back to normal. Meantime, the designers have come up with new products and revamped some existing lines. Also, they’ve experienced the same supply issues everyone else has.

As Frank II says, the story is available on their blog and forums. It is a heartwarming tale of how a small group of committed craftspeople made a tangible impact during the worst phase of the early pandemic.

Don’t limit yourself to travel trays (I’ve got eight and given another dozen as gifts). Buy lots of Tom Bihn’s cool stuff!

Posted by
10998 posts

To give you an idea of what the company is like.....as the pandemic started, Tom Bihn switched to making masks. If you wanted to buy one of their first versions, you had to buy 2--one for you, and the other to give to charity. (They would do this.)

I offered to buy 100 masks to give out to charities near me. Because I have had a relationship with the company, they refused to sell the masks to me, but sent them for free. I gave them out to numerous charitable organizations and reported back where each one went. They were thrilled.

I have many Tom Bihn products and they are excellent. But they do have limited runs and sell out often. Remember, these are not mass produced in China. Everything is made in Seattle.

Posted by
10998 posts

I just checked on the Tom Bihn website and travel trays will be available at their next restock, tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 13 at 7 AM Pacific Time.

Go to their website for details. But early as they will probably sell out.

Posted by
3639 posts

I had never heard of a "travel tray" before. Out of curiosity, what am I missing out on? I had a look at the website but the purpose still isn't fully clear to me :-) ... yet I love gadgets.

Posted by
27510 posts

I had a look too. I guess it is so your mucky stuff won't mess up the bedside table, or so your keys and coins won't be out?

Posted by
1532 posts

Thanks for the great responses! I will definitely buy Some Tom Bihn items!
To answer the above post, a travel tray (valet) is a nice “extra.” It holds your nick-knacks on a counter. Things like keys, watch, jewelry, coins, etc.. Sure, you can just use a plastic zip-lock bag, etc.. Mountainsmith.com makes a packable dog food bowl. It’s just an extra travel organizer that I like. I gave my husband a RedOxx tray (U.S.A. made - RedOxx helps a Guatemalan village). But, he uses it at home.

Side note: Hane’s underwear made cloth face masks and distributed them through Florida health dept.s.
Only problem was people put them in the dryer after washing and they shrunk terribly. Fine as long as they were not machine dried.

Posted by
395 posts

If you're looking for something to hold all the travel bits together, especially on the plane, try to Flight 001 seat pak. I love mine. It would not be big enough for a family, but holds enough for 2 travellers.

Posted by
2891 posts

If there is a shortage, you can easily make/sew the tray or bedside bag.

Posted by
4372 posts

I guess I really am an experienced traveler…..because my first thought was “How much does it weigh?” LOL!

Nice gift, Sun-baked in Florida!

Posted by
9579 posts

@Jean....SIL and I went to the very pathetic Hayden "European Christmas Market" a few weeks ago and one of the vendors was selling the flat kind of valet trays made of stiffened fabric with snaps in the corners. Don't know if they were lighter than the Tom Bihn ones, though,lol!

Posted by
1532 posts

Jean - you must be a backpacker or fly airlines with strict weight limits!
Wray, I will hire you to make valet trays for my family. When I think of my (lack of) sewing skills, time, materials, etc. - my money is better spent on paying someone to make a tray for me. I believe in supporting the economy.

Posted by
5697 posts

Based on advice from this forum I bought a travel tray for DH when I saw one at a local charity shop -- now he won't travel without it!

Posted by
4372 posts

“Jean - you must be a backpacker or fly airlines with strict weight limits!”. Nope, neither. But I travel a lot by train during European trips, moving frequently, so weight of items is a factor. The reason I laughed is because even with something this small, it still is on my mind!

Posted by
13432 posts

I can buy two of those bags or 2 Walmart bags and a ticket to Europe. Let me think about that. When people budget their trips do they prorate the luggage cost into the trip cost?

Posted by
1532 posts

JasoninDenver,
Thanks for the heads-up. I wish to purchase two Tbihn accessories for my husband as a belated Christmas gift. Actually, there is only one item I really want. Somehow, with shipping costs, I feel more justified buying more rather than one item. Silly, I know. But, my purchase will help someone have a job. Moneywise, not a big cost purchase - I can do it.

Posted by
891 posts

I just bought a small Travel Tray and the Handy Little Thing, because when i saw it, I decided I could not live without it. I have so many plans for it on the flight to Germany in May!

By the way, there is a Facebook Tom Bihn BST group (Tom Bihn BST & Discussion) - mostly Tom Bihn buyers who want to sell older stuff to buy new stuff. But it's a good place to find things that have been discontinued or are out of production at that time. I've sold (and bought) a few things there.

Posted by
7459 posts

offered to buy 100 masks to give out to charities near me. Because I have had a relationship with the company, they refused to sell the masks to me, but sent them for free. I gave them out to numerous charitable organizations and reported back where each one went. They were thrilled.

This is VERY cool, Frank !! Good for you, and good for Tom Bihn!