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Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    7

    Western Flyer - Business Travel Review

    Greetings!

    Long time lurker first time poster. My experience with Tom Bihn started a couple of years ago when I ordered a Cadet. Sadly, the Cadet didn't work for me so it got returned. I then went down the Tumi route and purchased a laptop bag as well as a convertible backpack/roller. Like many of you I found out that I simply hate rollers. They get caught, they tip over, they run into people, and they generally stink.

    The Tumi equipment is long gone and now I have a combination of Filson and Tom Bihn! I was looking for the perfect 1-2 night business travel case. After researching countless hours on the Tristar and WF I was getting frustrated that most WF reviews were from females. Nothing wrong with all of you ladies but a packing list that includes dresses doesn't really help me determine what I can or can't fit! While I think the Tristar would work perfectly fine I am happy I bought the WF in Steel/Iberian. The WF easily swallows all clothes, toiletries, shoes, etc. I am a 5'10" male that weighs around 170lbs. My pant size is 32/30 and my shirt size is 15.5/35. I was able to fit the following in the WF

    Large Packing Cube in Back (Folded Packing)
    • (2) BB non iron dress shirt
    • (2) JAB Traveler dress pants
    • (1) Pair of Jeans
    • (2) Casual T Shirts


    Small Packing Cube in Front (Rolled Packing)
    • (2) Pairs of dress socks
    • (2) Pairs of workout socks
    • (2) Pairs of underwear
    • (2) White undershirts
    • (1) Workout shorts
    • (2) Workout shirts


    Small Packing Cube in Front
    • Running shoes with shoe trees for my dress shoes
    • Clear 3-1-1


    The bag was full with this load but there are many items in this list that don't need to be packed. For instance, I could easily work out in my undershirts and not bring the extra pair of pants. As long as I wear items that can be consistent with a black or brown shoes I could stretch this list to 4 days in a pinch. I am very impressed with this bag and highly recommend it to any male or female traveler who travels with their laptop in a separate EDC. I also have an Aeronaut and if I can pack this much in the WF I am sure I could pack my whole wardrobe and a small child in the Aeronaut 45!

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    175
    Welcome (and glad you are enjoying your Western Flyer)!

    I am a 6'1" tall male, and I too love the WF. It is wonderfully compact, yet I feel like I could live out of it indefinitely.

    If traveling without a second bag like the Co-Pilot or Pilot, I will pack a PCSB (rather than a small packing cube) in the front for use as a day pack.

    Steel Ballistic/Iberian is a great color combo for the WF... one of my favorites!

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    7

    New Trip!

    Rather than post another thread I decided to do a follow up review of the Western Flyer. This past week I had a 4 day 3 night trip to San Francisco for work. I decided to one bag the trip with the Western Flyer. This was a business trip so wearing the same shirt each day was not possible. Below is my packing list and some pictures!

    Large Packing Cube
    • (4) Dress Shirts
    • (2) Dress Pants
    • Long Sleeve T-Shirt


    Small Packing Cube
    • Mesh Organizer Cube - Chargers, Cables, etc
    • Sunglasses
    • Notebook
    • Medium Clear Organizer Pouch - Receipts


    Small Packing Cube
    • (3) Socks
    • (3) Under Shirts
    • (3) Underwear
    • Rolled up Daylight Backpack


    Front Pockets
    • iPad Mini
    • Earbuds
    • Keys
    • Clear 3-1-1


    *My 13" MBPr was placed with the large packing cube. Since I wasn't using a sleeve it provided the most efficient way of packing the laptop. It was still safe since it was surrounded by very dense clothing.




    And here is the mandatory airport picture. In this picture I was even able to fit my sport coat in the back compartment with the large packing cube and the laptop. How cool is that? The bag is clearly full but it doesn't look ridiculous. I was able to fit the WF in the overhead bin even when others were having to gate check.

    Last edited by biaxid3nt; 02-27-2015 at 03:03 PM.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Mausermama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    604
    My husband has the TriStar. I have the Western Flyer (backpack version). I just got back from a 6 day trip with using just my WF for everything. It is an extremely capable bag. The only reason I would use the TriStar would be if I needed to carry my laptop for a trip of that length. That middle compartment is perfect for it. Thankfully these days, I can almost always get by with my iPad and keyboard.

    Welcome to the group!

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mausermama View Post
    My husband has the TriStar. I have the Western Flyer (backpack version). I just got back from a 6 day trip with using just my WF for everything. It is an extremely capable bag. The only reason I would use the TriStar would be if I needed to carry my laptop for a trip of that length. That middle compartment is perfect for it. Thankfully these days, I can almost always get by with my iPad and keyboard.

    Welcome to the group!
    Thanks for the post! I also thought that the TriStar would be nice but honestly I think the WF is doing the job just fine. If I was going to carry even more clothes I would probably just take my A45. The WF has pockets that are half an inch wider than the TriStar which provides me more flexibility than another slot in my opinion. If I had to put my laptop in some sort of sleeve or brain cell then the TriStar would be the way to go. With the WF and the way I pack I think 2+ inches of clothes on all sides of a laptop is more than sufficient for protection.

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