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Sco1t
11-12-2008, 01:19 PM
I have been using the Western Flyer for the last 2 weeks now and thought I would write this review for those considering purchasing this bag.

Forgive the length of the post; I am of the opinion that a bag of this quality and design deserves a thoughtful and thorough contribution.

Background

Historically I have never been quite able to get the right mix of professional appearance, practicality, comfort and organization for my three day business trips.
I have always had to compromise on one or the other and as a result have had to carry multiple bags.
There were no UK options I could find and so after researching the web, the only bag that really addresses all of the above is the Western Flyer. The Air Boss was just too big for 3 days away, my MEI Voyageur (whilst a fabulous bag) was again too big and lacked the professional appearance.
The Western Flyer coupled with a horizontal Freudian Slip (amongst other Tom Bihn accessories) provides a wonderful solution and I am enamoured with my purchases.

Aesthetics

I purchased the bag in black and at a glance it looks like any other business bag / rucksack, which was my intent. Full or near empty it looks great and does not sag. It looks smarter than a rucksack and when the messenger strap is tucked away looks just as professional as a briefcase.
Any dust or marks easily rub off.

On The Road

I travel for three days a week, staying over in hotels for two nights. I walk for a mile to the train station using the messenger sling or Absolute Shoulder Strap and with 10kg it is quite comfortable for me (although you do notice the weight more with the messenger strap). The only (very minor) niggle I have with the bag to date concerns the messenger strap. Although this might solely be due to the fact that I have never had a messenger style bag before and hence do not know how to correctly place the strap (I will leave it for you to educate me in this regard). However, invariably the bottom right hand corner of the bag ends up in the small of my back and can be annoying (see photo below for illustration). I was in too minds as whether to include this “niggle” or not but an honest review requires completeness.



I pack as follows. In the front compartment, I put my clothes and toiletries for a three day business trip.
I bundle wrap 2 shirts, a tie, a t-shirt and one pair of shorts around a core. The core is comprised of the Convertible Packing Cube/Shoulder Bag (containing my small toiletries bag, a scarf, gloves, and hat) together with a pair of lightweight training shoes, 2 pairs of underpants and 2 pairs of socks. I am quite well built (6’6” and weigh 117kg), yet my size 11 (UK) trainers fit perfectly and my extra large clothes emerge with minimal creasing.

In the back compartment (the one without the zipped divider), I put my laptop (Dell D620), power cable, small umbrella and my horizontal Freudian Slip. The Freudian Slip contains my A4 sized hardback notebook, work notes (often 0.5” thick), magazines, pens, flip chart markers, blue tack, paperclips, post-it notes, the list goes on. I basically need, and the Freudian Slip provides, an organized mobile office.

In the upper zipped pocket (the larger of the two) on the outside of the bag I put my 5 metre LAN cable, iPhone docking cradle, and my portable external hard drive.
In the lower one goes a pack of tissues, spare mobile phone, ID pass and any receipts I accumulate as the week progresses.

In the open “scallop” shaped pocket I have a 1 litre Platypus water pouch. When the bag is full I will only half fill this to minimize bulging. If you fold the bottom part over it will not slip out as it sort of “locks” itself in there.

I have also purchased some Strapeez to further reduce packing volume by tightly binding accessories such as my iPhone cradle, computer charger and my LAN cable.

In The Office

I can attend meetings with a fully packed Western Flyer and does not look out of place. Even when I have removed my clothes the Western Flyer still retains it’s shape.
The horizontal Freudian Slip and Mini Clear Organizer Pouch keep me organized, enabling me to immediately locate files, notes, memory sticks, pencils etc. and not have to endlessly root around.

Customer Service

My purchases were shipped without delay and I received them in the UK within 6 days (including the weekends).

All in all, I can not recommend it highly enough.

PS. I have not got a clue as to how to embed photos in the text above so I have included them as attachments.

Darcy
11-12-2008, 01:29 PM
These are great photos - I've resized them. You can remove the attached photos from your original post, if you'd like.

http://tombihn.com/blogimages/IMG_0764.jpg

http://tombihn.com/blogimages/IMG_0765.jpg

http://tombihn.com/blogimages/IMG_0766.jpg

http://tombihn.com/blogimages/IMG_0767.jpg

http://tombihn.com/blogimages/IMG_0768.jpg

http://tombihn.com/blogimages/IMG_0770.jpg

http://tombihn.com/blogimages/IMG_0771.jpg

http://tombihn.com/blogimages/IMG_0775.jpg

http://tombihn.com/blogimages/IMG_0776.jpg

rabergnc
11-12-2008, 05:39 PM
To piggyback on this review - I have had the Western Flyer for about 4-5 months and had used it only for car trips. Today was the first time I have flown with the bag. I continue to be impressed with the bag. I packed 4 days worth of stuff in it - 4 long sleeve shirts, 1 pair of pants, 4 sets of underwear and socks, 1 set workout gear (shirt, shorts, socks, shoes) and toilet kit. All this fit well and the bag didn't bulge a bit. What impressed me most was the ease with which the bag slipped into the overhead bins on small regional jets (CRJ-200). While others on the plane were struggling to cram their bags into those compartments, I sat back and enjoyed the show. I do love this bag.

Thanks for a great bag TB folks.

pretzelb
11-14-2008, 06:44 AM
I pack as follows. In the front compartment, I put my clothes and toiletries for a three day business trip.
I bundle wrap 2 shirts, a tie, a t-shirt and one pair of shorts around a core. The core is comprised of the Convertible Packing Cube/Shoulder Bag (containing my small toiletries bag, a scarf, gloves, and hat) together with a pair of lightweight training shoes, 2 pairs of underpants and 2 pairs of socks. I am quite well built (6’6” and weigh 117kg), yet my size 11 (UK) trainers fit perfectly and my extra large clothes emerge with minimal creasing.

In the back compartment (the one without the zipped divider), I put my laptop (Dell D620), power cable, small umbrella and my horizontal Freudian Slip. The Freudian Slip contains my A4 sized hardback notebook, work notes (often 0.5” thick), magazines, pens, flip chart markers, blue tack, paperclips, post-it notes, the list goes on. I basically need, and the Freudian Slip provides, an organized mobile office.

In the upper zipped pocket (the larger of the two) on the outside of the bag I put my 5 metre LAN cable, iPhone docking cradle, and my portable external hard drive.
In the lower one goes a pack of tissues, spare mobile phone, ID pass and any receipts I accumulate as the week progresses.

In the open “scallop” shaped pocket I have a 1 litre Platypus water pouch. When the bag is full I will only half fill this to minimize bulging. If you fold the bottom part over it will not slip out as it sort of “locks” itself in there.


Fantastic review. I'm really not in the market for this bag but I had no idea it would hold this much until you listed the contents and provided those images.

Dang. I really don't need another bag. :p

Just
11-14-2008, 08:27 PM
That sling strap is the only thing that bugs me about the Western Flyer - I can never really get it to work comfortably, or simply... therefore I am saving up for another, this time in the backpack straps version (and if I wait long enough, it'll be lined with Solar/White Dyneema!)

But really, being limited to the (Absolute) shoulder strap carry is not such a horrible thing =D

Jenne
11-17-2008, 07:23 PM
Thank you so much for this review! Your three-day packing list describes what I would take on a business trip, so it's really useful to know it all fits! Does your Dell have the extended battery? Does the bag protect it really well?

Sco1t
11-18-2008, 03:32 AM
Does your Dell have the extended battery?

No, it is the standard battery.


Does the bag protect it really well?

Yes it does. I do not throw the bag around mind you.
I have a horizontal Freudian Slip and put the computer between it and the inside wall of the bag. The padding of the Freudian Slip and that provided by my clothes on the other side, allow for good cushioning and protection.

Regards,
Scott

Jenne
11-18-2008, 03:06 PM
Thanks! I have the extended battery, but I think I might get this bag.

Muldoni
12-12-2008, 11:14 AM
I have to agree about the sling strap. Although I love travelling with my Western Flyer, the sling strap never worked for me.

It is uncomfortable, the bag never sits straight on my back (just like on the original poster's rear view photo). If I try to straighten the fit of the bag by pulling it tight, the only effect is the strap cutting in my neck.

For the future, I will only rely on the absolute shoulder strap, and right now I am trying to overcome my fear to just grab some scissors and cut the sling strap out. I will do it, though.

This will rid the bag of unused material, lighten the bag and provide me with a nice, large additional pocket ideal to be used for large flat items - magazines, books etc. I guess then the Western Flyer will finally become my best travel companion :)

Cheers
Muldoni

backpack
12-12-2008, 12:59 PM
I have to agree about the sling strap. Although I love travelling with my Western Flyer, the sling strap never worked for me.

It is uncomfortable, the bag never sits straight on my back (just like on the original poster's rear view photo). If I try to straighten the fit of the bag by pulling it tight, the only effect is the strap cutting in my neck.

For the future, I will only rely on the absolute shoulder strap, and right now I am trying to overcome my fear to just grab some scissors and cut the sling strap out. I will do it, though.

This will rid the bag of unused material, lighten the bag and provide me with a nice, large additional pocket ideal to be used for large flat items - magazines, books etc. I guess then the Western Flyer will finally become my best travel companion :)

Cheers
Muldoni

Before cutting anything, ask if the bag can be refitted.

It has happened with the waist strap of the Brain Bag, it was permanent and some people complained that the sides were dangling when not in use.

Tom made a nice refit that make the two strap part removable, yet, as sturdy when put on.

Maybe there is something like that for the sling strap Western Flyer

Muldoni
12-12-2008, 05:29 PM
Before cutting anything, ask if the bag can be refitted.

I would have considered this, if I wouldn't live some 5000 miles away from the factory :) Even mailing the bag halfway around the globe and back costs somewhere near the equivalent of a new bag, so I guess I don't have too many options.

I have to say though that I am still very happy with the bag and will continue to use it frequently on short trips. I only have a hard time imagining that anyone would consider this sling strap a useful feature. Too bad it isn't removable from the start.

Anyway, although it will break my heart to mutilate my Western Flyer with a sharp pointy object, I will continue to be a loyal customer - I have just ordered my third Tom Bihn bag: a black/black/cayenne Super Ego! Can't wait to hold it in my hands as my very own personal Christmas present :)

Cheers
Muldoni

Sco1t
01-06-2009, 03:07 AM
I have been using my Western Flyer for a few months now as a work bag and I have nothing further to add to the review above except that one of the zip cord pulls has gone missing (it probably did not like my company and decided to head off to pastures new). Darcy is on the case though and I should have a replacement very soon.

The bag performs superbly, does not have a mark on it and has kept the contents dry in the rain.

I thought I would put the Western Flyer through it’s paces though and so decided to use it on my 10 day holiday to Sweden this Christmas.

Normally I would use my MEI Voyager and have plenty of room to spare, however my curiosity was peaked regarding the Western Flyer and how much I could pack in it.

The photos below show the bag fully packed and then everything that it contained. It weighed 9.4kgs and was fairly comfortable on the shoulder (using the Absolute Shoulder Strap) walking through Heathrow, the London Underground and the way back home.

Sorry for the grainy photos but I only had my iPhone to hand:
251

252

253

254

255


The full list of contents:
1 Spare woolly hat
1 Short sleeved shirt
1 Pair shorts
1 Long sleeved shirt
2 Long sleeved t-shirts
2 Jumpers
1 Wind stopper fleece
1 Convertible Packing Cube containing 6 pairs of pants, 6 pairs of socks, 1 pair of thermal long johns and 2 thermal tops.
1 National Geographic magazine
1 Economist magazine
1 Book about skating on lake ice
1 Small plastic box containing plasters
1 Small plastic box containing first aid kit
1 Sewing kit
1 Pack of tissues
1 See through plastic bag containing: 1 travel-sized Listerine, 1 travel razor, 1 travel toothbrush, 1 shaving oil, 1 travel-sized moisturiser, 1 lip balm and 1 pill box for headache tablets.
1 mini-USB to USB cable
1 Power charger for digital camera
1 Power charger for HP laptop
1 HP TX2530 Laptop with extended battery fitted.
1 HP laptop case
1 iPhone connection cable
1 UK Plug adapter (not shown)
1 Absolute Shoulder Strap (not shown)

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised that I had everything I needed for the 10 day trip. I was staying around family and so, after 6 days, I was able to easily wash clothes for the rest of my stay.

My packing list on the way there was slightly different as instead of the Windstopper fleece, I packed a pair of old cargo pants which I left behind and also I had some travel-sized shower gel and toothpaste which I used up.

The Western Flyer certainly was fully packed, it bulged a bit but was not uncomfortable to carry or hideous to look at.

All in all I am still very happy with my purchase and would thoroughly recommend a Western Flyer to anyone.

All the best to you for 2009.

Regards,
Scott

Sco1t
01-06-2009, 03:09 AM
I could only get 5 photos into the previous post; here are the rest:

256

257

258

Climb14er
01-07-2009, 07:27 AM
Scott,

That was an excellent review, especially the pictures and detail you presented.

I've been thinking about a Western Flyer for some time now, mainly for two to three day business trips where I'd have to bring along some 'dress casual' pants like Dockers and button-down pinpoints (cotton), along with a set of workout/running gear (shorts, shoes and shirt), you know...the usuals for a two to three day stay, laptop/charger, personal items such as a small dop kit, underwear/socks and business essentials.

I tend to pack fairly lightly and even with good packing skills, I'm somewhat 'concerned' that my bag will be a bulging one... and this goes contrary to being comfortable, as the whole point of traveling is trying to stay as comfortable as possible.

If I did not have to take the laptop/charger, I could easily use the Western Flyer as a carry-on bag with clothes... and I'd carry my current Tumi expandable ballistic briefcase for the business and other essentials.

Can you please comment on what I'm saying with relation to the Western Flyer being a 'one bag only' business/clothes/essentials alternative to my now carrying an Air Boss, with my laptop tucked inside the middle compartment.

If the Western Flyer is too little bag for business and clothes for three days, an alternative would be ordering a Brain Cell for my laptop and placing this, again, within the inside third compartment of my Air Boss... but this gets a little on the heavy side.

Everything has its pros and cons and I'm more than willing to compromise accordingly. ;)

Thanks for your posting!

Sco1t
01-07-2009, 11:05 AM
Thanks Climb14er.

It is difficult to answer you. I am quite large and so my clothes and training shoes take up a lot more room than they would for a smaller person. I would say that you would probably be able to get all you describe in the Western Flyer but it would come out creased if you did not bundle wrap correctly. My gut feeling is that the volume of your intended packing list would push the capacity of the Western Flyer to its limits.

I do not pack casual 'going out' clothes as I go to most events directly from work and in that case dressing down just involves removing my tie. Not packing casual clothes also gives my shirts more 'room to breathe'.

As you can see from the photos above, when fully packed the Western Flyer does bulge, but not too much. This means it retains its style and comfort. The back of the bag is padded and if you are using a shoulder strap and not the messenger sling, the sling provides more padding.

As you can probably tell I am really pleased with this bag. However, each person has their own ideas when it comes to what suits them. I prefer to go very much on the light, minimalistic side and this bag is absolutely perfect in this regard.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Scott

Jenne
01-07-2009, 02:40 PM
I took the plunge and ordered the WF today for a business trip later this month. I needed something that I could also use as a professional-looking briefcase once I put away my clothes. I can't wait to get it!

Of course I will take pictures.

Russell
01-07-2009, 03:02 PM
I've done the same.

I ordered a Western Flyer in Steel.
I thought the Black color looked real sharp but the ship date for the bag and date for my trip are too close for comfort as I really want to use the WF for this upcoming trip.

I almost went with Crimson as my other TB bags are or contain Crimson in their color schemes, why not keep the color matching?

However, I want the WF to be usable for business trips as my suitcase and briefcase, but I wanted to balance that with not looking like every other business bag so I thought Steel would be a good compromise. I'm sure you wanted to know all that... :)

Ordered the WF along with two small WF cubes, one large WF cube, and a Horizontal Freudian Slip. I'm really looking forward to using this bag.

My plan is to use the WF as my ONLY bag on a 5-day trip (2 travel days, 3 business days). This will be a record for me to hold everything in one bag like this, my way before was an Aeronaut (for clothes and what not) and Empire Builder (for computer, business docs and such) for my luggage needs.

I'm anxious to attempt going light as I can and being able to move faster through the airport and not schlepping two bags for this short of a trip.

timothy
01-07-2009, 03:44 PM
"My plan is to use the WF as my ONLY bag on a 5-day trip (2 travel days, 3 business days). This will be a record for me to hold everything in one bag like this, my way before was an Aeronaut (for clothes and what not) and Empire Builder (for computer, business docs and such) for my luggage needs."

Any problem using the Empire Builder as your "personal item"? Flying international or domestic?

In a few weeks, I'm heading for Israel for a few weeks. As I read the regulations, I'll be able to carry both a backpack (I have not yet sprung for an Aeronaut, and now have a gleaming for the upcoming slimmer variant / offspring / offshoot instead, so for this trip it's an eBags weekender, about which I am cautiously optimistic) and a personal item, for which I will take a Checkpoint Flyer (of which a review will be forthcoming shortly after that trip).

If I weren't working in the course of this trip, one bag would be even better :)

But that's how it goes sometimes, and the Checkpoint Flyer is (as bags go) a sensual delight, a symphony of shape and purpose, a garden among ruins. Fully loaded, it strikes me (not a scientific, volumentric analysis) as seeming roughly the same size as the Zephyr -- which is not in front of me right now, while I'm on the trip-before-the-trip, but visually perhaps a bit bigger, because of the three-compartment stack-of-presents construction. I intend to check beforehand, in person, with the check-in folks at my departure airport (Seattle) as a smoke-test. I want to be told "Sure, you're within our posted limits and all will be well, on each leg of your trip," and ideally I'd like *that* in writing, too.

timothy

Russell
01-08-2009, 12:23 PM
I haven't had any problem with the Empire Builder as my "personal item" on flights. However, I haven't traveled internationally with the EB only domestic flights.

Comparing the Empire Builder and Western Flyer the dimensions are very close with the EB slightly larger overall:
WF: 18" x 12" x 7"
EB: 18.25" x 12.75" x 7"

But the volume differs a considerable bit in favor of the WF:
WF: 1600 cubic inches
EB: 1375 cubic inches
I assume this difference is due to more rigidity and padding in the EB as the weight shows that the EB is almost a pound heavier.
WF: 2.53 lbs.
EB: 3.30 lbs.


My Aeronaut has worked as a great companion to my Empire Builder for trips.
I use the backpack straps on the Aeronaut to carry it in backpack mode and keep my EB at my side and am able to hustle through an airport if need be. I need to state that I'm a 5' 10" tall male in my mid-20s so the weight of the bags and other considerations haven't hindered me as much as it might someone else... In other words I'm using more brawn than brains in deciding how much to pack for trips.

My thinking of late has been simpler is better and the purchase of the WF is a move in this direction. I have been a packrat since I was a child and my strive for simplicity has pushed me to pack smarter for trips over the past 3 years. I'm using my next trip as my first step into one-bag travel for a flight. I can credit the Tom Bihn bags and community here for inspiring me to work towards this goal.


My UPS tracking status says that my WF is out for delivery today. Can't wait to check it out and see the Western Flyer up close and in person!

Jenne
01-14-2009, 04:18 PM
My thinking of late has been simpler is better and the purchase of the WF is a move in this direction. I have been a packrat since I was a child and my strive for simplicity has pushed me to pack smarter for trips over the past 3 years. I'm using my next trip as my first step into one-bag travel for a flight. I can credit the Tom Bihn bags and community here for inspiring me to work towards this goal.


My UPS tracking status says that my WF is out for delivery today. Can't wait to check it out and see the Western Flyer up close and in person!

I got my WF today! She is beautiful! I also got my other TB stuff today as well. I'm doing a test run this week for my trip next week.

I also tend to be a packrat and I'm also trying to simplify, so I hope this will help me, too.

I'm bringing:

toiletries
2 suits
2 white blouses
1 twinset
2 scarves
swimsuit
towel
travel jammies
travel hat
Converse high-tops
horizontal Freudian slip

So far it seems pretty tight, even though I've seen other people with longer lists.

If it works out, I'm also bringing my computer in a brain cell (separate) and my medium cafe bag. After I unpack, I'm going to use the WF/brain cell combo as a briefcase during the days.

moriond
01-15-2009, 06:07 PM
Hi Jenne,

Have you thought of using packing cubes (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/500/TB091) to organize the contents of your Western Flyer (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/500/TB0950)? They work pretty well to help pack down clothing items.


I'm bringing:

toiletries
2 suits
2 white blouses
1 twinset
2 scarves
swimsuit
towel
travel jammies
travel hat
Converse high-tops
horizontal Freudian slip

So far it seems pretty tight, even though I've seen other people with longer lists.

Here are links to some posts in other threads that discuss using packing cubes (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/500/TB091) with the Western Flyer:

Western Flyer on Amtrak and Airplanes (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?p=7877&highlight=packing+cube%2A#post7877)
Western Flyer as Sole Suitcase on International trips (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?p=8613&highlight=packing+cube%2A#post8613)
A Week with the Western Flyer (laptop and accessories) (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?p=7705&highlight=packing+cube%2A#post7705)
A few questions about Packing Cubes (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?p=7547&highlight=packing+cube%2A#post7547)
Western Flyer Review at One Bag, One World (http://onebagger.squarespace.com/blog/2008/2/8/tom-bihn-western-flyer-full-user-review.html)


Hope this helps.

moriond

Jenne
01-15-2009, 06:43 PM
I have the full-size WF packing cube and a half-size Eagle Creek cube. Since this trip is by van, I have the option to use the WF as a computer bag and another bag for clothes. I'm checking out those links, though. Thanks!

Sco1t
05-13-2011, 04:48 AM
Well it's been over 2 years since my original review, how time flies!

I thought I would add my observations over that time period to fully complete my review.

My Western Flyer has been well used. For the first year I was away on business for 3 days / 2 nights and it contained everything I needed. It was not used as extensively during the second year (once a month) but the trips taken were longer (5 days / 4 nights) and international in nature. I travelled very light and managed to get everything I needed into the bag. It was a tight squeeze though. I was never challenged by airport personnel to weigh my "carry-on"; even the hawk eyed people at Ryanair let it pass without comment.
The bag itself has withstood the daily grind remarkably well and there are no real signs of obvious wear and tear. I can't see any scuff marks on the exterior which I think is remarkable considering the amount of times it has been thrown in a taxi boot or shoved in an overhead compartment. There are no tears in the material, either internally or externally. All the stitching is still as tight as it was on day 1. This fact alone is worthy of high praise as I have had a tendency to really stuff the bag full to have everything I needed for a work week away. The zips are still very solid. The rain covering on the front top external pocket has deteriorated over time though, with a 1mm by 1cm strip missing. Even so it is still small enough to prevent water entering and the quality of the material used seems to prevent the gap from getting bigger.

The bag still retains its shape very well. The only area where it not as delivered is the outside pocket. Admittedly this was designed for boarding passes etc. but I used it for a flexible Platypus water bottle and the result of this constant pressure on the fabric can be seen (but only when the bag is completely empty).

My one big issue has been with the mesenger strap. It handles the weight in the bag (often around 10kgs) as there are no signs of fatigue but the unequal force it applies on my shoulders makes carrying it for any extended period a pain. A one mile walk with 10kgs is the limit. Tom has already rectified this by discontinuing this option but I wish the backpack straps had been available when I ordered mine.

The fabric is still as black as when I first received it. It seems to be able to repel food and drink spilt on it extremely well. It has been out in wet weather and the contents remained as dry as a bone.

The only area I can think of improving the bag is to give the option of removing the centre divider, it just adds a bit more flexbility for packing larger items or being able to bundle roll a larger amount of clothes. Much the same as there is a divider in the front half, could the centre section be zipped out?

All in all a fantastic bag, I am truly glad to have purchased it - well worth the money.

All the best,
Scott

SteveG
06-01-2011, 12:06 PM
Scott wrote a great review and the pictures are dead on. A few things. I always tend to have a bigger bag than I want...and this time almost purchased the Tri-Star (also looked at the Patagonia version and a few others I forget). After talking with a salesperson here at length (she gave me all the time I needed and I never felt rushed) and describing my packing habits she recommended the Western Flyer. It works perfectly. BUT you have to know how to pack and be a bit of a minimalist. I get everything I need (I'm 205 lbs, 6') for a week away in it (I roll stuff up and actually don't use any of the packing aids sold here). Granted, it's summer stuff, but sleepwear, Keen sandals, pair of nylon pants, swim suit, 1 Hawaiian shirt, 6 T's Miscellaneous stuff. Electronics, sunglasses and whatever I have a Scottevest for and that works well. After a trip, I purchased the great shoulder strap since having either shoes or sandals in the bag makes it a bit heavy for a long haul.

Probably the deal breaker for me was when I had the option of not getting the shoulder straps. That adds an extra slip for magazines on the back and I never liked those straps on anything, but of course that's purely personal.

For comparison I used to be able to go to Mexico for 3-4 days with one of those canvas attache bags...but stuff got rumpled, etc. (I'll see if I can put up a pic for comparison sake.) The Bihn is like a Rolls Royce compared to those and I only wish I had it when I traveled more than I do now. So. Small bag, good for a week in summer and 3-4 days in winter IF you know how to pack, that looks good and holds up. One of the best purchases I've made in a while and though money is always an object for me, this time I certainly got a deal for what I paid.

dorayme
06-26-2011, 02:39 PM
This weekend has been my maiden voyage of my Western Flyer. I picked the right bag! It holds a lot more than it looks like it can, yet it never feels bulky or cumbersome. I know I will get years of use in many situations out if this bag!

Maria
06-26-2011, 03:57 PM
I want a Western Flyer! (Actually, one shall be included when I place my next order.)

When I pack, I still like to have room left over - for purchases or what not. Plus I have this aversion to an over-stuffed bag when even if organized - you have to take everything out to get that one item from the bottom. So for these reasons, I'm also thinking I need a Tri-Star too! ;)

dorayme
06-26-2011, 08:54 PM
Both are nice, which colors are you choosing? I will say that my Western Flyer didn't feel stuffed or hard to get into/out of when packed for 5 days of travel and I over packed by bringing along both tops and bottoms and shoes that I am not going to end up using. I only packed clothes shoes and toiletries though so if I were trying to truly one bag travel and also include my knitting, iPad and other entertainments I would have found it stuffed. Were I in that situaltion however, I would have also paired down what I brought.

Maria
06-27-2011, 07:15 AM
Hello Dorayme;

I was thinking of Steel for the Western Flyer....but would love to know if Tom and crew are planning on the new navy or Forest for this bag. As I plan to get a Tri-Star (would love to be able to order both at the same time!) and will get that bag in one of the new shades.

I like the idea of packing as small as possible, but like to leave room for the inevitable extras to bring home....or books or crafts for the journey too! Hence, I wouldn't mind having the choice of the two bags handy!