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  1. #1
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    Pilot or Western Flyer for one-bag biz travel

    This year, I have to make several business trips on Southwest. They're the only ones that meet my company's scheduling and pricing needs.

    I'm trying to reduce my need to be one of the first to board in order to snag overhead space-- especially during summer travel with planes full of amateurs and bin hogs. My goal: Become a one-bag guy and fit that one bag under the seat in front of me.

    My typical 1 night trip involves carrying:

    Bose headphones
    iPad Air w/ bluetooth keyboard
    1 dress shirt or biz casual shirt
    1 pair underwear and socks
    Small toiletries kit
    1 backup pair of pants (in case)
    Ultralight rain jacket or portable umbrella (depending on time of year
    Sometimes, a pair of shoes (Olukai Moalas), but avoid if possible

    The Pilot looks more likely to fit under a seat (standing up). But the Western Flyer clearly has more volume. Could the WF fit under a seat without forcing me to crouch? Opinions on both would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Coincidentally, I also asked recently about these two bags. (https://forums.tombihn.com/questions...lp-decide.html) My situation was intended to be a little different than yours, as I was looking at 3 nights out not just 1 and, as such, was looking to skip the bulky items like extra shoes or large headphones. Still, might be some info in there you find useful.

    As far as your question about the WF fitting. I don't have one, so I can't speak from experience, but while I was doing my research, I came across several posts showing the WF under a seat, so it seems like it does in most cases. At almost 6', I prefer my leg room so was looking for as small a bag as possible that would still let me carry my minimum needs.

  3. #3
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    I bet the Western Flyer would fit under most seats, unless there is some obstruction like an A/V box. And the nice thing about putting it in the overhead, if that becomes necessary, is that it is so well-shaped and thin that it can slot right next to a suitcase, where another roller would not.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  4. #4
    Forum Member LordBute's Avatar
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    I have both bags and Ishould know this but I don't...
    First of all. I think your things will fit in the Pilot. I carry shoes in it sometimes. I'm a women size 10-10,5 in US sizes. The Pilot fits well standing under the seat in front of you.

    The reason I can't answer the question about the Western Flyer is that I allways put it in the overhead. I fly mostly short haul in Scandinavia and if I see the flight is full I board early. Otherwise I prefer to board as late as possible and still find space.

    I have seen pictures of the Western Flyer under the seat but never had to try it myself. I'm not sure how much space you will have for your feet.

    The next flights I'm taking the WF on is not until 30th of Januari. Then I can try it out under the seat of Boeing 737-700, CRJ 900 and Airbus 320-200. (Unless there are changes of aircraft.)
    Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ."-C.S. Lewis

  5. #5
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    I agree. WF generally fits under the seat, but I don't think I've ever put it there because even a "full" overhead bin has room for a WF to slip in.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Whenever I travel with the WF, I always put it under the seat. As bchaplain states, the only concern I would have is if there is an A/V box. I'm short so I like to use it as a footrest.


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  7. #7
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    If this isn't hijacking the thread too much, I also like using the WF as a footrest when put under the seat in front of me. I actually have a nice blowup footrest, but it tends to move out from under me when I shift around, whereas the WF will stay put. I intentionally pack it to make the business end fully packed with non-delicate or lumpy items so that it works well for footrest purposes. Of course, I've discovered that my blowup foot rest turns out to be dandy as a pillow (when lightly inflated) for those times when I'm by a window and need a generous pillow against the window side, or when I am unfortunate enough to get stranded at an airport and need to doss down.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  8. #8
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    The WF fits under the seat in front of me, unless there's an electronic box under there. It does stick out a bit, but I fly first class, so I've got the extra space for the legroom. I don't know how I'd feel about putting it under the seat in front of me if I was in a more cramped seating.

  9. #9
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    I love my Pilot but would never try to fly with it as my only bag.
    I would rather have extra room and not need it than need the room and not have it without exception.

    I also need all the space under the seat in front of me that I can get.

    I like the Synapse for this use more than the 2 mentioned,if I don't pack it more than a Pilt load it will easily crunch into many small spaces maybe better than the WF too I imagine.

  10. #10
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    I own both bags. I've flown with the Pilot as my only bag, but Frankly, I don't think you'd be able to get all that into a Pilot with the shoes. Without them, yes. And yes, it stands up under the seat. It's great for that.

    Somewhere in this forum, there's a post for the trip where I one-bagged it with my Pilot (and by that I really mean Pilot + Small Cafe Bag, which is my regular handbag.) It was wonderful having all that freedom and looking totally native even when carrying all my luggage around, but that bag was packed to the gills.

    After that I bought a Western Flyer. Two words: backpack straps.

  11. #11
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    If the WF is not packed to the the gills/overpacked and you don't have an obstructed foot area (AV box, some window seats have narrower foot space)

    I'v put it under the seat before though as folks mentioned overheads work better. Your packing list all sounds reasonable, shoes a maybe depending on the size. Standing it up may be question depending on the type as halcyon is more flexible than the ballistic nylon.

  12. #12
    Forum Member polarium's Avatar
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    For this issue I would definitely recommend the WF. I travel often by plane, and use the WF almost every time. Shoes fit wonderfully there, and so do headphones (it's like a perfect fit) in the front pocket.
    Black/Northwest Sky Western Flyer

  13. #13
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    Throwing a wrench into the decision and I don't own any of these to opine but....

    The Founders Briefcase seems like it would be pretty interesting for this use.

    For what you list I'd be able to fit into a lot of different backpacks that are pretty small but sounds like you want more briefcase style

  14. #14
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    I do not have a Founder's Briefcase but I think @tebnewyork has good idea as it is just a bit smaller than a Western Flyer and thinner. There is a packing cube specifically for it (@wierdguy and @icebeng did an extensive review of it) :

    Founder's Briefcase Packing Wedge

    Another thought is the Maker's Bag. It has a lot of depth and can probably hold your shoes better. Add a Freudian Slip and you have uber organization too + room for a shirt.

    But, getting back to your original options - I think the Pilot could fit all your items. There are even packing cubes for it as well (small and large) so I would guess that it was designed for your use scenario in mind. You might have to play a bit with the shoes (do not know what size you have) but the ones I saw are soft and probably can be "squished" if you are ok with that. The Western Flyer would work no matter what. Alternately, you can piggy back a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag to the back of the Pilot for your shoes as you do not carry them every time.

    Hope this help
    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 01-16-2017 at 10:58 AM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  15. #15
    Forum Member LordBute's Avatar
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    This time I checked if the Western Flyer fit comfortable under the seat in front of me. And it does! I'm never boarding early again on short haul. First plane SAS B737-700. I put my winter coat in the Western Flyer so it was fatter than I like it to be.

    I put the Side Effect, Kindle and phone in a zest small shop bag.



    Usually I only put the shop bag under the seat. Like this.



    But trying the Western Flyer.



    Plenty of room. I'm in a window seat.

    Western Flyer and small shop bag.



    The angle is a bit weird. It's not sticking out too much.

    On the SAS CRJ 900 the gate agent gave me a tag for the WF.



    It was a nice color on the tag and everything but the WF didn't want to fly in the hold. I saw the tag as volentary and the WF fit nicely in the overhead.



    The weather in Hamburg was very cold and wet. I was the last person off the bus and on the plane.

    Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ."-C.S. Lewis

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