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Co-Pilot vs Makers Bag as Everyday Bag/Purse

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    Co-Pilot vs Makers Bag as Everyday Bag/Purse

    Hello everyone, this is my first time posting here. I have lurked around here for a while and am quite the bag addict.

    I recently purchased a Synapse 25 in Nordic/Iberian and am now trying to decide on either a Co-Pilot in Navy/Iberian or a Makers Bag in Nordic/Ultraviolet.

    I am a woman, but have never had an actual purse much more of a backpack/messenger bag type of person. I just don't know if the Co-Pilot will make a good daily-use bag.

    I will mostly carry:
    -iPad Pro 9.7
    -Power Cords and PowerBank
    -Hard cover planner
    -8x11 pad of paper in a folder
    -packing cube of personal items/emergency stash
    -waterbottle (i do like the co-pilots bottle storage area)
    -carry lunch and snacks (if possible, not the deal breaker)

    occasionally I would take bag out to go painting (I am into acrylic and watercolor painting).

    I like the co-pilot just worry that it may look too suitcase-y as a daily driver. I have had alot of bags like the Maker Bag, but there is just something drawing me to the co-pilot.

    A little more information, I am teacher. I do not knit. I do like painting, lego, and my tech items.

    Any advice will help.

    Thank you.

    I don't feel like the CP looks luggagey due to its size. I had one that I loved it just was a tad to small for me. If memory serves me you won't fit the pad of paper comfortably in the CP, this was one of my problems with it. You would fit it in the Pilot comfortably but you may find it a bit more luggagey (I don't feel it is).

    I have both a Pilot and a MB and prefer the MB (currently) as a daily driver because I appreciate the large open compartment. I tend to carry my gear in sub-loads to know where everything is, facilitate changing bags and alter what I carry easily. The MB is great for this and as I dial in my sub-loads I may find the Pilot more appealing. I also like the flap on the MB as it makes for easy access. The zippers aren't hard to access but I found that they sometimes required both hands.

    I don't believe either (or any of the 3) would be poor choices it really becomes a personal choice.


      I'm a female university prof, and it seems that we carry very similar items. The CP has been my go-to bag for about two years. The 8x11 notepad will be a tight squeeze, but it hasn't been a deal-breaker for me. I take most of my notes on my iPad. I toss in a smaller notepad, just in case I want to scrawl a few hand-written notes -- but that rarely happens. My recommendation is to give the CP a whirl with a test-pack. If it doesn't work, TB has a very favorable return policy.

      BTW: I always tell Mr. Gumby that he should be thankful that I don't carry a purse, since it means I don't buy bags to go with all of my shoes. "But what about of those backpacks and other bags," says he. I have no answer for that... 🙂

      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
      Last edited by Gumby; 07-29-2016, 12:18 AM.
      Synapse 19 & 25, Co-Pilot, Pilot, Side Effect, Small Cafe Bag, Medium Cafe Bag, Western Flyer, Tri-Star, A45, A30, Travel Tray, Passport Pouch, Small Organizer Wallet (this is the little guy that started it all...), several Shop Bags and Organizer Pouches. More to come, I'm sure...


        Regarding the Co-Pilot, the size of your headphones and planner will go a good ways toward that loadout being a comfortable fit versus a tight one. If you can get away with a smaller notepad that will help too. Snacks like a granola bar, small piece of fruit, or yogurt cup can often tuck in the bottle pocket provided your bottle is not too big. Lunch is a trickier proposition. A sandwich in a ziplock is fine but may get squished. Larger lunch totes or multiple Gladware containers pose a problem in my experience.


          I love my makers bag & carry a similar load only with a MacBook Air. I find that I can't easily use the water bottle netting pockets when my computer is in the bag, but I much prefer the openness of one big compartment vs someone else's structure.


            Good discussion. My daily packing list is somewhat similar, and I've been having the same debate. I own the MB and just ordered a CP in black/UV yesterday, so I can have more of an update next week. I keep trying to love the MB but mostly just find it functional as opposed to indispensable, which is why I want to try the CP. (I have one in original halcyon that I never use; although I LOVE original halcyon I just don't like it on the CP, for some reason). I really like the open space in the MB, but my must-haves in bags are always:

            1. Top grab handle
            2. Water bottle pocket
            3. Slash pocket in back for files, magazines, etc. (The lack of this in the MB makes it feel naked to me sometimes, if that makes any sense.)

            The CP has all three, so I have to try! A slim letter size folder will just fit in the back CP pocket horizontally, and certainly vertically. I did a test run with my halcyon one and know I can fit my FJN in the larger compartment, and a SE and 3DOC each in the two compartments on the other side, as well as a small q-kit for my meds and a water bottle in the middle and it closes just fine. A bit heavy, but that's because I keep my SE and FJN pretty full themselves.

            Hope this helps. I'd love to hear what you end up with!


              I planned on getting the copilot but decided against it because I never remember to zip things shut. The maker is a perfect counter to that because most of the time I get out what I need without unbuckling the flap, so my bag is always closed.

              I think the maker is bigger than the copilot. It would definitely fit all you list as your carry items. I did discover today that the back zip pocket is a tight squeeze for 8.5x11 paper, though. It fit, I just had to edge it in carefully.


                I've had the Co-Pilot since the beginning when it was released for sale and can honestly say, it's the #1 bag that I take for trips, for flying, for driving, for business (when I don't need a laptop), in my motorcycle bags, to meetings, you name it.

                Black ballistic is holding up very well and it does about EVERYTHING I ask of it.

                I've often thought of buying a Pilot but the latter is too big for my needs. If I need a business briefcase, I have a thirty five year old Schlesinger Belting Leather case or an eight year old Tumi expandable ballistic briefcase. The latter I can pop in some clothes and a laptop and take just one very small bag for an overnight meeting.

                For an every day carry type of bag. the Co-Pilot is a clear winner. Great design and build!


                  Argh. My black ballistic /UV CP showed up today and it looks great. But nothing fits! I realized that while I did a practice run with my halcyon version, the stiffness of the ballistic is making it hard to squeeze my beloved FJN and SE into this new CP. I think it's gonna have to go back, which makes me sad. But this little bag is heavy and if I went up to the Pilot size, my shoulders would never forgive me. Looks like I'm a Maker's Bag user after all.