Enablement, er, advice required
My family thinks I have too many TB bags and can't understand why I want another. I figured I would turn to a more understanding audience for advice.
Granted all the TB bags I own were acquired in 1 carefully considered purchase 4 months ago and 1 forum fueled frenzy little more than a month ago. Which items are which will be apparent.
EDC- SCB in French blue/olive containing 2 mini and 1 micro OP in Nordic, forest and black. This caries my wallet, sunglasses, cell, Chico bag, and assorted bits and bobs whenever I leave the house. This replaced a black bag I'd carried for 10 years.
Island SSB that has become my outing bag with sweatshirts, water bottles, iPad mini, knitting in med YSS, SCB and whatever else I need for the day, plus kid stuff. This replaced that same black EDC bag listed above.
Island TT that sits on my desk with cords, phone, earbuds, lotion, etc. Previously these were scattered on my desk.
Size 1&4 knitting tool pouches with my Knit Picks needle set and a small double OP with all my other knitting tools all in navy and aubergine. Previously in an old Little Twin Stars box.
A medium island COP holds notebook, pen, knit pattern, my iPad mini and travel documents and receipts as needed.
An island passport pouch and zest #3 SS that have already seen more use than anticipated.
Now, I'm debating between a Swift, a Pilot and a NFTD. Here is how I think I'd use each bag.
Swift- knitting bag, overnight bag, outing bag -again replacing the black 10 year EDC bag.
Pilot- laptop bag, knitting bag, overnight bag, outing bag, business bag when I have to fly in to the office - again replacing the black bag.
NFTD- overnight bag, weekend bag, 1-2 night business trip bag, knitting bag.
I guess having one bag do everything for 10 years makes my recent TB purchases look like I need an intervention.
I'm loving all the bags and having a hard time choosing. While I love organization, I tend to just dump everything in whichever pocket is convenient when I am rushed so a Swift makes sense. But I also prefer bags that close completely so I don't lose things so a Swift doesn't make sense. I have roll aboards and duffles in multiple sizes so a NFTD is not needed. But when the whole family takes a trip we are 1 duffle short so the NFTD does make sense. And as for the Pilot, well, there is always that old black bag.
What would you do?
Do you have any of these bags - swift, pilot, NFTD - and use them or hate them for the purposes listed?
I have all three of the bags you are considering, and this is how I use them, with some comments pertaining to your concerns (and this is all very individual, so only consider what applies in your case):
Swift - everyday carry, essentially a large handbag for me, also holds a scarf, sweater, library book, detritus accumulated through the day. I have the same concern as you about open-top bags, but I attach my keys, put my work ID in a zipped pocket, and my wallet is held down by all the other gear on top. When the fastener is buttoned on top of the Swift, it is very secure. That said, I have never flown with it as I prefer something more structured for that purpose.
Pilot - airplane carry-on bag, holds the purse contents as well as laptop, magazine, book, charger, and doubles as work bag at destination. I highly recommend it in Dyneema as it just keeps expanding to hold more stuff. I don't use the Pilot on a regular basis at home (I use my Daylight Briefcase as a laptop and light file holder).
NFTD - this is to me the most "luxury item" of all the bags you are considering. I have one and I only use it as my 2nd airplane carry-on bag - but what a bag it is! It is perfectly proportioned to slide under the seat in front, and it holds enough snacks for 3 people for a domestic flight, as well as a hard case for noise-cancelling headphones, a spare shirt and socks, small chargers, jewelry, and more. There always seems to be space in the end pockets (which are multi-layered, with an open pocket nestled inside a zippered compartment at either end, plus an extra exterior zippered pocket at each end) for just one more thing. Again, I recommend the Dyneema version, because if you don't need the bag on your return, you can take out the padded reinforcement and collapse the whole thing down into your suitcase.
Since you like a bag in which you can dump stuff as convenient, I would suggest the Swift is worth considering. The NFTD is not big enough (unless you pack very carefully) to replace full-size luggage/duffel bag. It also depends on how much you travel. If I flew more, I would use my Pilot more. It is a bit unwieldy for me for every day, especially since I tend to stuff it with a lot of things when I fly and it gets heavy.
My Pilot is currently acting as a knitting bag. It's fabulous, but perhaps a bit large for the pair of socks on the needles right now.
I am eagerly awaiting the new cross body knitting bag from Tom Bihn. A Swift is on my wish list, both as a knitting bag and a catch all tote. Hmm, might need to get two of them.
The Night Flight is a great little duffle, but it is small. I've not fallen in love with it like my other TB bags. To be fair, I've not had the opportunity to use it much yet.
Good luck no matter what you decide! elisa
I think the question to ask yourself is:
Do I want a travel bag or another multi-use/EDC?
It seems like your every day system is working pretty nicely right now, so my initial thought was "go for the NFTD." Keep in mind, though, that the NFTD is quite small (only a couple liters larger than a DLBP), so if you want a travel bag my honest suggestion would be to look at dropping a little more money and taking a peek at the Aeronauts.
Now, if you want another EDC option, I'd consider the Pilot over the Swift since it sounds like your SSB is serving you well for what you'd be using the Swift for and the Pilot has more versatility as a travel option.
(These opinions are only my own and from a non-knitter... I can't even do cat's cradle )
A45: Burnt Orange/Steel; LCB: Black Dyneema/Wasabi Dyneema; DLBP: Coyote; 3DCOC: Iberian; SSK: Iberian; TSS: Solar & Island (4), Wasabi & Zest (3), Ultraviolet & Northwest Sky (2), Iberian (1); Travel Tray: Steel; Q-kit; Various Dyneema organizer pouches,
Still refining my system
I have two of the bags you are debating — the Pilot and the NFTD.
My Ballistic Pilot is used as my EDC for work, with a cache for 13” Retina Macbook Pro, external hard drives, etc. Rather than a water bottle, I typically stash an umbrella, Patagonia Houdini windbreaker (in a size 1 stuff sack), and a Bluetooth mouse in the water bottle pocket, and fill the small front pockets with various pouches for accessories.
Love the Pilot for this purpose: the Ballistic is structured enough to feel pretty protective and allow me to unzip compartments with one hand (as opposed to the Dyneema version, which typically requires a two-handed unzip).
Yeah, I also have a Dyneema Pilot. I use it for casual EDC and for travel. I will echo GoStanford’s comment about its ability to flex and expand more to hold more stuff: this makes it a lot easier to pack with clothes and just stuff things in for travel. It tends to sag a bit and wrap around one’s hip if only partially-loaded, so it looks a lot more casual and low-profile, IMHO. It also packs a lot flatter if you want to stash it empty in the bottom of an Aeronaut or in the center compartment of a Tri-Star for use at your destination.
Can’t say that I prefer one to the other — they feel like entirely-different bags! — and both are great.
The NFTD is an awesome personal item for travel. I wasn’t drawn to the NFTD when it was released but it really grew on me, and I am so glad I wound up getting it. As GoStanford says, it is perfectly-proportioned to slide under a seat. And, due to its low center of gravity, it always stands up on its own (as opposed to a taller bag that might need to be leaned against something to stand upright). I probably wouldn’t use it as for EDC (except as a gym bag), but it excels as a personal item travel bag.
I got my NFTD in Steel Ballistic and love the structure the Ballistic nylon imparts — it feels like a bombproof little brickhouse. That structure makes it a little more challenging to store at home, though: I can see how great it would be to be able to fold it flat for storage, like the Dyneema version.
While it is a tiny bag, you can get a lot more than 1-2 nights’ worth of stuff in the NFTD, if you are creative with your packing. I have used it successfully as my only bag for a 4-day and a 5-day trip, but that was in warm weather, so no coats or sweaters were needed. I know some folks see the Tri-Star as a 2-day kind of bag, while others could live out of it for weeks… so YMMV with something as tiny as the NFTD, of course. :-)
When I head to Canada soon, I will use the NFTD as my main bag for clothing and toiletries (4 days again), but this time I think I’ll bring my Dyneema Pilot, too, as a day bag (and in case I want to purchase anything to bring back home with me).
Since you asked for enabling, why not order one of each and see which you like best? :-)
Be forewarned, that’s how I wound up with two Pilots in different materials: I liked them both too much to send one back.
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