We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

TOM BIHN Forums Statistics


Topics: 14,623   Posts: 188,925   Members: 6,609   Active Members: 294
Forum Member
Welcome to our newest member, lammy.


No announcement yet.

Western Flyer for 1-2 Night Business Trips

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Western Flyer for 1-2 Night Business Trips

    I'm trying to determine if the Western Flyer will work for 1-2 nights business travel with laptop and accessories. Here are the basics of what I would need to pack.

    2 Pairs of Slacks
    2 Dress Shirts
    2 x T Shirts, Socks, Underwear
    Folded Sports coat
    Work out shorts + shirt (aka pjs)
    Toiletries bag (7.5 x 7.5 x 1.5)
    Laptop (14.75 x 10.75 x 1.4)
    Powerbrick (7 x 3 x 1.5 which is about the size of a real brick)
    Assorted Accessories (mouse, phone charger, ext battery, pens, bus cards, flash drive, ext drive)

    I'm thinking this would be a tight fit in the western flyer. The tristar would be better fit but its bit bigger than I'm interested in. I have a EC Adventurer Weekender (20x13x8) which is a little big bigger than I like which is similar in size to the TS. Also thinking of the EC Convertabrief which is similar in dimensions to the WF but I believe the design eats up a lot of the potential space (WF 26L vs EC-C 22L).

    I would expect my laptop and accessories to go in the front pockets and the clothing in the rear pocket. The goal is one bag that I can always carry on including regional jets like a CRJ. For longer trips, I have this bag + a roller.


    Shoes could be an issue. Do you plan on packing a pair? Also, the sports coat MAY be an issue. It might be easier if you wear the sports coat on the flight rather than packing it. It may be a snug fit depending on the size of your clothing. You could always pick up a co-pilot to us as a personal item...?

    As far as selecting a bag for carry on with CRJ, my Aeronaut 45 even fit under the seat in front of me on a CRJ if I didn't overpack. I shouldn't think Tri-Star would be an issue.
    Forum Member
    Last edited by Melissa; 09-22-2014, 10:09 PM.


      I agree with @Melissa about the TriStar - my medium loaded (4 day trip) TriStar fit in a CRJ-100 (smallest CRJ if I am not mistaken) overhead compartment
      I also agree that shoes take up a lot of space but the Western Flyer is better for larger shoes than the TriStar (each compartment is 3" deep while the outer TriStar compartments are 2.5" deep).

      I think you would be ok with the Western Flyer- maybe shrink down your toiletry bag if you can. Also, if you were ok to use the WF as a briefcase (the WF is about the same size as an Empire Builder), you can gain more space as you will only need a sleeve for your laptop and not another bulkier case. If not - are you thinking of getting a Brain Cell? It is a good minimalist case.
      Also, the idea of getting a second personal bag (though the WF does a great job passing as a personal item!) is good. In addition to a Co-Pilot, a backpack like the Synapse might be good. On a recent 4 day trip, I actually packed the 2 laptops I needed to carry in the S25 and my clothes in the TriStar - all were considered as carry-on so no checked luggage or gate-checking for me!

      I found the following reviews good for the Western Flyer:
      First Take: Tom Bihn Western Flyer bag

      Hope this helps

      Volunteer *********
      Last edited by tpnl; 09-23-2014, 10:46 AM.
      TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!


        I agree that adding a small personal item, such as a Co-Pilot, for accessories will make the space in your WF go a lot further - I've done almost a week with only a WF and a Pilot, and although I had no laptop, I pack a lot more toiletries than you
        Work EDC: SE + S19
        Leisure: SCBs, FJN, Swift, lots of YSSs
        Travel: WF + Pilot or SA, with SE/SCB
        General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
        Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
        Hoping for: A new dyneema colour for YSSs; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!


          Thanks for the replies so far. I should have added that my goal is to only have one bag for these short trips. I think the Western Flyer would look better as travel case + briefcase vs the Tristar as I'll be carrying this into business meetings and such. As for shoes, I generally just have the pair I'm wearing. I figured the Sports coat is really what would be problematic. I usually like to pack it if I'm traveling the evening before but I'm flexible.
          Do you see any problems with putting my powerbrick (7x3x1.5) in the front water bottle pocket?


            I just completed a three day business trip doing what you are asking about - traveling with the Western Flyer as my only bag. Here's what I traveled with in the bag:

            In back portion of bag
            2 dress shirts (Large WF packing cube)
            1 pair of pants (Large WF packing cube)
            1 MacBook Pro with Retina Display (15-inch) in Incase sleeve

            One side of front in Small WF packing cube
            3 t-shirts
            1 pair exofficio boxers
            3 pair socks

            Other side of WF front compartment
            MacBook Pro power brick and cords and iPhone power cord in size 2 stuff sack
            Electric toothbrush, electric travel razor, hair brush, deodorant, small toothpaste tube in size 3 stuff sack

            I relied on hotel for soap and shampoo.

            For the trip, I flew in late evening on a Wednesday. Wore the same pants and boxers on Thursday. New pants and boxers on Friday. Left early Saturday morning (wearing set 2 of pants and boxers). Clean socks, t-shirts and dress shirts every day. I didn't have a sport jacket need.

            I could definitely fit another shirt or two and perhaps another pair of pants in the large packing cube and still have laptop room. The small packing cube was pretty full, but maybe another pair of socks and/or boxers could have fit. Definitely some extra space in the side with the two stuff sacks.

            I did not take the WF to my meetings as a laptop bag. I simply carried the MacBook in the Incase sleeve and the cable stuff sack to my meeting room each day.

            Looking at your list, I would try to pair your toiletries as much as possible but I think it's doable with the sport coat being the biggest question. The suggestion of wearing the coat on the plane is the easiest solution. Not sure you could get the coat into the bag, and if you can it might not come out looking like something you would want to wear.
            Forum Member
            Last edited by WisBags; 09-23-2014, 10:13 AM.


              Go with the TriStar instead. Its really not as big as it seems. I got the 1Z Cache installed in the middle pocket for my laptop. You can easily carry it as a brief case if you need to run to a meeting.


                Thanks for the info everyone. Now just need to wait for some non-backpack versions of the WF to show up.


                  Now for the backpack versus non-backpack version discussion. On my first week trip with my WF, I started with just using it with my Absolute strap. But soon went to backpack mode and did not go back. However, on this trip I had a lot of airport walking, public transit riding and then more walking to my hotel. Now, I always use it in backpack mode except for when I board the plane.
                  Synapse 19, Travel Tray, PCSB, Daylight Briefcase, all in Dyneema, Side Effect and pouchmania


                    For me, my Western Flyer serves for trips of up to 5 days. I do bring along another bag, typically a Swift, Little Swift, or Pilot, depending upon my travel purposes. I also have the Tri-Star, and it is just big enough that I prefer to carry the Western Flyer. My husband uses the Tri-Star. As long as I am judicious about my packing, I can do just fine. I don't typically bring a laptop, though, as my iPad works just fine for a short period away.

                    Most of my travel is of the recreational variety when I'm flying. My "business" travel is mostly done by car.