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Pilot Ballistic Black vs. Black Halcyon

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    Pilot Ballistic Black vs. Black Halcyon

    Dear all,

    since Kat most kindly has informed me that some Black Halcyon versions of the Pilot are on their way (already also posted as in production on the product age), my dilemma is bigger than ever. Should I go for Black Ballistic or wait for the Black Halcyon?

    I am planning to use the Pilot as my daily driver for the office (govt) with my files and laptop (XPS13 - planning to get the 2016 MB Pro Retina 13 cache). Moreover, I want to use the Pilot also as my personal item for travelling to conferences and such by plane, either in combination with checked/carry-on luggage on rolls (yes, I know) or my beloved A30.

    I am looking for your experiences of the tradeoffs (stiffness/flexibility/protection in particular) of Ballistic vs. Halcyon with the Pilot, and also specifically how they compare in the looks department (as this is something quite important due to my job). My A30 is in Black Halcyon, and I absolutely love the fabric and everything about it for travelling light and to some extent casual(ly) in the looks department, however I don't really know how the Black Halcyon would look like on a laptop bag while keeping the two key aspects mentioned in mind.

    Thank you!

    #2
    Originally posted by ilprincipe View Post
    Dear all,

    since Kat most kindly has informed me that some Black Halcyon versions of the Pilot are on their way (already also posted as in production on the product age), my dilemma is bigger than ever. Should I go for Black Ballistic or wait for the Black Halcyon?

    I am planning to use the Pilot as my daily driver for the office (govt) with my files and laptop (XPS13 - planning to get the 2016 MB Pro Retina 13 cache). Moreover, I want to use the Pilot also as my personal item for travelling to conferences and such by plane, either in combination with checked/carry-on luggage on rolls (yes, I know) or my beloved A30.

    I am looking for your experiences of the tradeoffs (stiffness/flexibility/protection in particular) of Ballistic vs. Halcyon with the Pilot, and also specifically how they compare in the looks department (as this is something quite important due to my job). My A30 is in Black Halcyon, and I absolutely love the fabric and everything about it for travelling light and to some extent casual(ly) in the looks department, however I don't really know how the Black Halcyon would look like on a laptop bag while keeping the two key aspects mentioned in mind.

    Thank you!
    I use a Halcyon (original halcyon pattern) Pilot and absolutely love it. I carry laptops/ipads and all my work/flight accessories in it. I love how flexible the material is and do not have an issue with the material from a professional perspective. I'm in a sales industry and regularly meet with technical people, management, senior management and CEO's and never once have I felt the bag is not professional looking. If anything, the black halcyon is much more subtle than the original halcyon. I also use a ballistic Ristretto and l find that super durable. One thing to note is the Halcyon Pilot is very thin and the base of the Pilot doesn't have any padding, so I wouldn't be dropping the bag hard on the ground if you have an unprotected laptop in it. I doubt the ballistic one has padding, but certainly would be thicker on the base by virtue of the thickness of the material. I personally like the Pilot matching my A45 original halcyon. If you like black halcyon and have an A30 in the same material, I'd go with that.

    Comment


      #3
      I have the ballistic Pilot in aubergine, and I've used it in my office (computer geeks) and it looks more professional than what everyone else is carrying. I like that the ballistic holds its shape and doesn't sag with a laptop in it. I have a lot of shop bags, and my main worry about the halcyon is it doesn't take more than a slight accidental bump on the ground (cement) and I've worn a spot in the halcyon. I like knowing that the ballistic fabric does not have to be babied like the halcyon version.

      But you already have the halcyon fabric in a larger bag, so if you like it get it. Or order both and send back the one you don't like.

      Comment


        #4
        I have the Black Halcyon Pilot and I always wonder if I'd be happier with a Ballistic Pilot. I love the bag and the organization but if it is overstuffed or underfilled it can look a little disheveled due to the softer fabric.

        Comment


          #5
          IMHO:

          Color and look wise, I believe the Black Halycon and Ballistic Nylon both are very professional (I am in the banking industry). The newer grey grid Halycon really makes it kind of subtle cool looking while the Original one is good to make a statement (I have a Maker's bag in Original H and a DLBC in Grey grid).

          The reason I chose Ballistic Nylon for my Pilot was that I wanted it to keep its shape / stand on its out when not full. I agree with @carrot - the Black Halycon fabric will get more "out of shape" if underfilled or if bulky items that tend to stick out are part of your EDC carry. However, you do have an A30 in the Halcyon material so you would know better about how that material is for your specific use. The converse is you could squeeze more into the Pilot with the halcyon fabric.

          The other reason I chose Ballistic Nylon is that I do not want to have to worry about any damage to my bag. Like @makak, I have a Ballistic Ristretto as well. I use it as my EDC and it is one tough bag - keeps its shape (also due to the built in cache) and takes those scrapes well (in fact, more than the buckle - which is scratched while the rest of the bag is fine). Note that no version of the Pilot has any padding - Halcyon or Ballistic Nylon.

          Another factor might be whether you want to match your luggage / carry. Since your A30 is Halcyon, getting a Pilot in that same colorway would keep that "less busy" professional look even more.

          Note that none of these pros / cons are so polarizing that you cannot compensate for it (e.g. just fill your Halycon bag so it does not bulge, be a little more careful with your bag and rough surfaces such concrete floors as @BWeaves mentions)

          However, for me, durability and keeping shape/stand on it own are key factors in bags for me - so Ballistic Nylon is my usual choice. If your key factors are, say ... carrying light, carrying cross-body (conform to your body better), matching to other TB bags, perhaps Halycon is better - cannot go wrong with either IMHO!

          Hope this Helps

          Cheers!
          Last edited by tpnl; 05-09-2017, 01:12 PM.
          TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

          Comment


            #6
            Dear all,

            thank you so much for the responses, very helpful, almost to the extent that my dilemma is getting bigger rather than smaller All great points from experience, thanks especially for the important note about the no padding bottom in the Pilot, I was not fully aware of this. For those of you with a Pilot Halcyon plus laptop in Cache, any experience in accidental drops/rough handling in a trunk or overhead bin with regard to the protective qualities of the Cache within the Halcyon?

            In the end I might as well get both (due to me being in Europe the sending back is always a hassle (customs!) though...)

            Comment


              #7
              I have had some drops over the years -- both with the Cache and Soft Cell, as well as with the Brain Cell. Thankfully, my laptops have stayed protected inside. I appreciate the absence of padding at the bottom of bags like the Pilot for times that I am electronics-free.

              I don't know if it will help or hinder your decision making process, but I just ordered a ballistic Pilot (Black/Island). I love the pairing -- I think it looks incredibly sharp. I do believe that the Black Halcyon / Island pairing also looks amazing (with all the great designs and color combinations, TOM BIHN does NOT make the selection process easy!), but, like @tpnl, I enjoy the structure afforded by ballistic nylon.

              Good luck with your selection process -- whether you select ballistic or halcyon, or both, I promise you won't be disappointed!
              -m

              Comment


                #8
                I can only provide opinions about the Ballistic, since that's what my Pilot is. But I do find it to be very durable. I've been back on the road for the last couple of weeks using my Pilot as my only bag, and I've been thankful that I can overstuff it like crazy and it still maintains it's shape. I don't know if you can overstuff the Halcyon the same way.

                But with my Pilot, I can now breeze through Porter's little turbo-prop planes, without worrying about waiting for gate checked baggage. I can easily hop on subways, trams, airport shuttles, etc... It's very freeing to be travelling so ... small. (I can't say 'light' as the bag weighs a ton while packed.) As an added bonus, I keep amazing my co-workers with my 'superior packing skills' as one of them put it.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Kaadk View Post
                  I can only provide opinions about the Ballistic, since that's what my Pilot is. But I do find it to be very durable. I've been back on the road for the last couple of weeks using my Pilot as my only bag, and I've been thankful that I can overstuff it like crazy and it still maintains it's shape. I don't know if you can overstuff the Halcyon the same way.

                  But with my Pilot, I can now breeze through Porter's little turbo-prop planes, without worrying about waiting for gate checked baggage. I can easily hop on subways, trams, airport shuttles, etc... It's very freeing to be travelling so ... small. (I can't say 'light' as the bag weighs a ton while packed.) As an added bonus, I keep amazing my co-workers with my 'superior packing skills' as one of them put it.
                  Uhm yah we're going to need to see a list and pictures of your load out.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Pilot Ballistic Black vs. Black Halcyon

                    Originally posted by steeps View Post
                    Uhm yah we're going to need to see a list and pictures of your load out.
                    https://forums.tombihn.com/questions...lp-decide.html

                    Though I've streamlined a little more since then. Picked up thinner wallet and passport wallet, as well as switching to the amazon basics sleeve to thin the cache slightly.

                    Edit: almost forgot, I also switched from using the O-ring strap to a cheap carabiner I had laying around:



                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                    Last edited by tpnl; 05-13-2017, 07:28 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Kaadk View Post
                      https://forums.tombihn.com/questions...lp-decide.html

                      Though I've streamlined a little more since then. Picked up thinner wallet and passport wallet, as well as switching to the amazon basics sleeve to thin the cache slightly.
                      As was mentioned on the other thread - it is hard to believe that all can fit in the Pilot. The Pilot feels to me so much like a briefcase/EDC bag -- and a small to mid-size one, at that -- that it's almost hard to imagine it as an overnighter, let alone a full "consulting week" (i.e., leave Monday AM, 3 overnights, back Thursday). I'm not ready to try it for multi-day because I am not in the league of most folks here for streamlined packing. But the idea of an overnighter, with the DLBC as a packing cube for travel and then for the laptop at the destination... intriguing. Thanks for showing it's possible!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yeah, I still tend to surprise myself each time I pack. The one major downside I've found is that I don't have pre-check with Porter. So the laptop rides vertically (and precariously) in the outside open topped pocket as I go through security. Then, post security, I have to unpack the packing cube to place the laptop in the bag and then re-squish the packing cube in beside it.


                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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