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Western Flyer in 525d or 1050d? Or…? Looking to complete my two-bag travel setup.

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    Western Flyer in 525d or 1050d? Or…? Looking to complete my two-bag travel setup.

    I'm looking to buy a Western Flyer, but I'm torn between choosing 525d or 1050d for the fabric. I currently own or have owned bags in both 525d (DLBP, S25) and 1050d (Yeoman small and medium, A30). I even owned the WF in 1050 for about two months or so before selling it on, so I have a pretty good sense of the "feel" of both fabrics.

    Only problem ATM is that my preferred color of choice, black 1050 + 200 Halcyon NWS, is currently not in stock. I did see that the 525d version of black & NWS is in stock, so that's what I'm currently considering.

    Does anyone have any hands-on experience with the Western Flyer in 525d? What do you think? Would you recommend it over the 1050d offerings?
    Synapse 25 (Black 525d Ballistic/Northwest Sky), Daylight Backpack (Black 525d Ballistic/Cloud), Truck (1x Nebulous Grey, 1x Black), Monster Truck (Ursa), Large Zip-Top Shopping Bag (1x Northwest Sky Halcyon, 1x Island 210d ballistic, 1x Dawn 210d ballistic), various Yeoman Duffels (small Burnt Orange, small Verde, small Steel, medium Coyote), Side Effect (Black Halcyon/UV).

    #2
    I don't have any experience with the Western Flyer, but I have to say I'm glad all my bigger travel bags are 1050d. The 525d has held up perfectly in EDC, but the 1050d feels bombproof to me. I wouldn't hesitate to check my 1050d bags, not sure about the 525d. What color would you pick for the 1050d?

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      #3
      A Western Flyer in 525d was my first Tom Bihn purchase. I had never heard of the brand but saw a recommendation on Reddit, and the bag was exactly what I was looking for (i.e. large work EDC, to double as a small carry-on or barely qualifying personal item). I've since added an Aeronaut 45 in 1050d, and I think I made the right fabric choice for both bags. I like the weight savings and pliability of the 525 for the WF, but the 1050 gives extra peace of mind in the event I have to gate-check.

      Hope that helps. Unfortunately I can't speak to the durability of the 525 as I haven't been traveling as much as usual... hopefully someone else can chime in on that.

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        #4
        I have a Western Flyer in 1050 and I am glad that I do. Part of why I purchase TB bags is peace of mind, and I feel the increased material strength provides that.
        Today is a good day for a good day!

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          #5
          I don’t have a Western Flyer, but do have Aeronauts. I am fully confident that TB design and quality would never use an inadequate material for any bag. But actual choice will always be down to users preferences and intended usage. For big TB bags that may risk at times to be loaded in planes or other transport, not always able to be carried as personal items, then I do also prefer 1050d for its extra durability and peace of mind. For such larger bags, the small weight increase of heavier duty fabric is not so significant. But I am fully content with 525d for TB daysacks and backpacks, where there is still good durability but some practical weight reduction and material flexibility.
          Last edited by BigBadD; 02-06-2021, 02:45 AM.

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            #6
            Hi yvandermeer, if you're interested in a comprehensive discussion on the pros and cons of both materials you might want to take a look at this thread. Darcy also chimed in somewhere along the way. What I took home from the discussion is this: It seems counterintuitive that a lighter material can be as resistant as a heavier one. But as others have commented it is not just the weight but also how it is spun and woven (the materials glossary is also very interesting in this regard). My larger bags are all in 1050 Ballistic nylon but that is because I ordered them before 525 was an option. Today I wouldn't hesitate to order one in 525 if the available colors would be more appealing to me. Overall, it seems that it is more a matter of taste and preference than a difference in functionality and durability.
            Last edited by bartleby; 04-05-2021, 07:29 AM. Reason: repaired broken link
            ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
            current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by bartleby View Post
              Overall, it seems that it is more a matter of taste and preference than a difference in functionality and durability.
              Yes, that’s a fair summary.
              Last edited by BigBadD; 02-06-2021, 04:32 AM.

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                #8
                I also prefer 1050d
                BUT 1050 as a fabric is more or less retired, what is available for sale now is all there is going to be available for colours other than black.
                I seem to remember that black 1050 was being kept on, but I would not assume that just because it says a particular colourway is in production, that it means that bag is coming any time soon, if at all.
                I have noticed that where a bag only has one in production colour listed, and that is black, that seems to mean the bag is not retired (yet) but that a new production run may be some way off.
                The western flyer does not seem to have sold well in the last year, presumably because of the pandemic. I would not assume " in production " is any sort of guarantee and with the trinity coming I wonder whether the western flyer may be discontinued.
                I would encourage you to choose from the currently available colours rather than wait for a bag that may never be made.

                Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by b1gsky View Post
                  I don't have any experience with the Western Flyer, but I have to say I'm glad all my bigger travel bags are 1050d. The 525d has held up perfectly in EDC, but the 1050d feels bombproof to me. I wouldn't hesitate to check my 1050d bags, not sure about the 525d. What color would you pick for the 1050d?
                  I've previously owned the WF for a brief period, as well as an A30, both in steel 1050d, so I have a good sense of what that material feels like. I definitely agree with the bullet proofness of the 1050d based on those experiences.

                  I'm looking to get a black exterior with northwest sky interior, which is sold out in 1050d at the moment. And like gqb says, I realize that might just mean it will never be made again. That means I'd either choose a different 1050d colorway (black with wasabi interior most likely) or go for the 525d in my preferred colorway.

                  My current S25 (and S19 before that) as well as my DLBP all feel great in the 525d. I guess my real question therefore is about the "suitability" of 525d for the Western Flyer.

                  Originally posted by Kevo View Post
                  A Western Flyer in 525d was my first Tom Bihn purchase. […] I think I made the right fabric choice for both bags. I like the weight savings and pliability of the 525 for the WF […]
                  A lot of the opinions I've read previously (indeed in the very informative thread linked by bartleby – thanks!) seem to favor 1050d over 525d for the larger travel bags, in general. The Western Flyer is on the smaller side amongst the TB travel bag offerings, which is precisely why I was hoping the 525d wouldn't be too much of a structural sacrifice compared to 1050d. So, it's good to hear your positive experience with it Kevo!

                  Regarding durability: my primary use wouldn't even be air travel, but rather car and train travel with the family. I love my S25 and wouldn't want to be without it on any trip, so I'm considering the WF mostly for it's shoulder and hand carrying options, as complement to my S25 (a combo I think I read about first in posts by NYCWriter – thanks!).

                  In summary: I have no doubts regarding durability of the 525d for my intended use of the WF, so I guess my main concern is regarding the structural difference between 1050d and 525d for the WF design specifically.

                  I realize this comes down to personal preferences (some people seem to love their WF in 400d halcyon even!). I'll likely go for the 525d so I can have my preferred colorway. Any weight savings is just a bonus. [emoji56]

                  Thanks everyone!
                  Synapse 25 (Black 525d Ballistic/Northwest Sky), Daylight Backpack (Black 525d Ballistic/Cloud), Truck (1x Nebulous Grey, 1x Black), Monster Truck (Ursa), Large Zip-Top Shopping Bag (1x Northwest Sky Halcyon, 1x Island 210d ballistic, 1x Dawn 210d ballistic), various Yeoman Duffels (small Burnt Orange, small Verde, small Steel, medium Coyote), Side Effect (Black Halcyon/UV).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have a Road Buddy & A45 in 1050 ballistic and A30 and WF in 400d halcyon. I agree with several of the folks above that it's more a preference vs performance thing, especially in regards to look and tactile feel.

                    As for 'structure' - the halcyon in my experience will always be more supple/flexible than either of the ballistics, but remember that the ballistics noticeably relax and do become more flexible over time. I have since rehomed some older ballistic Pilot / Copilot bags (in favor of original Nordic ones) but they had gotten to that significantly less stiff/buttery stage - similar to how good leather changes over time. I now have another new-to-me 1050 CoPilot that is old enough to have a lot of that feel....to me they're just different, not better or worse.

                    TB will not make some bags in certain fabrics because of the impacts of the material... for instance (can't find the exact quote) but the Luminary will not be made in halcyon because of how they use the structure of the material and piping for some of the shape. And you won't find the 200d halcyon or 210 ballistic in large bags.
                    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I’d definitely go for the 1050. Bags I’ve purchased in 525 have been very easy to mark.

                      525 may not tear but cosmetically I don’t thing it’s durable enough. I have the WF/Tristar and 2 Aeronauts in 1050 and despite lots of use, they look fantastic.


                      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                      Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I've got a Tristar in Steel, GF has one in Aubergine and I've got a first release CoPilot... ALL in 1050 Ballistic. With all due respect, I am disappointed that 1050 Ballistic is being discontinued. It's not that 525 or Halcyon/Dynemma won't work or hold up well... it's that, for me, the 1050 Ballistic holds its shape well and has held up, especially the CoPilot, to really tough traveling and handling abuse and wear. Enjoy your gear and choice of fabric.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Climb14er View Post

                          I am disappointed that 1050 Ballistic is being discontinued.
                          Me too - It's the perceived durability but TBH 70% of it is the look: 1050d, especially in colors, just looks swanky and badass ... especially Verde, Coyote, Burnt Orange. 525 looks rather plain in comparison and not much different than any discount store bag fabric. Obviously still has the Bihn design, but ... 1050d just looks so much better IMHO.

                          TBH, I'm not sure I'll buy a larger bag in 525 (400h yes) - call me vain, but if I'm spending >$200 on a bag it should look like it at first glance and ... 525 just doesn't to me.

                          YMMV though!
                          Last edited by GrussGott; 05-23-2021, 02:12 PM.
                          Seeking Verde Aeronauts and Ursa or Coyote Synik 30 GE

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The last I recall, it sounded like the 1050 in Black might stick around, depending on a myriad of factors

                            Given all the supply chain disruptions of late, it's worth asking Darcy what the latest status is on the 1050 materials - both what's potentially left and what might continue into the future...
                            I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yeah, I am also interested in 1050 ballistic options. I have several bags in it (Pilot, Aeronaut, WF, Tristar) that have been on many international trips. Not a single spot on any of the bags!

                              My S25 and Co-Pilot though, which both are 525 Nebulous Grey, are a totally different animal. They seem to show everything! Not exactly happy about it.
                              Today is a good day for a good day!

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