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  1. #1
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    Co-Pilot Question, Cafe Bag Trade, & Tom Bihn Lurve

    Hello Tom Bihn forum!

    The only Tom Bihn bag I have is a Medium Cafe Bag I bought about three years ago. I love it. But at the time I needed a bag that could serve several purposes decently rather than getting two or three bags tailored for specific uses. In other words, I love my Medium Cafe Bag, but it's a jack-of-all-trades and I find myself wanting bags for more specific purposes.

    I have a Thinkpad X230 which is about 12" x 8" x 1". When I get a new laptop it will likely be the newest one in that line at the time, which will still be around the same approximate size (give or take half an inch).

    Can you fit that size laptop in the Co-Pilot? What's the largest laptop you have managed to fit into a co-pilot? ((And yes, I know the Pilot exists - it is too large of a bag to satisfy me))

    I know that technically the dimensions say you can't really fit it, and it's far below the suggested laptop size - but will it physically fit? Because I've fit things into my Medium Cafe Bag that don't technically fit in it according to the specs.

    Also what size water bottle will fit into that middle slot on the co-pilot in terms of dimensions? I've got a ton of water bottles from hydroflask, Camelbak, etc. and I'm curious if one of them will fit or it's oddly sized because of space requirements.

    I know there are also a few other awesome briefcase type bags by Tom Bihn that might be just a hair larger (but still smaller than the Pilot!) to fit my laptop, but I didn't see any with the ability for a water bottle and other large pouch organization.

    Thanks all!

    EDIT: On another note... if I purchase the Co-Pilot I'll be trying to trade my Medium Cafe Bag for a Small Cafe Bag. Mine is Linen/Steel and in decent shape. I won't say I'd be up for any color of small, but most should be good. Posting in the Official Bag Swap Thread as well.
    Last edited by BowTrek; 01-12-2018 at 09:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    I am able to put my MacBook 12, with a thin sleeve on it, into my CoPilot. It is a close fit but ok. I can also put my iPad in there at the same time. I use the CoPilot on commercial air travel, carryon. I also stuff a Bose noise cancelling headset in there, which, with the two Apple products, pretty much jams up the main compartment. At times I think I should have bought the Pilot instead, in terms of dimensions only.

    Apart from travel, the CoPilot is ample for every day carry, although I'm retired and don't commute to work with a heavy, non-Apple laptop/boat anchor.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! I travel with a Redwing 40 as my only real luggage (I know, it's not a Tom Bihn, sorry!). It counts as a carry-on for flights. I'd hoped the Co-Pilot would work for the personal item (like a purse or laptop case).

    Right now I use the MCB for that but I think I'd like the Co-Pilot better with an SCB tucked into my Redwing for when I got to my destination.

    But thanks for the Macbook 12 info!

    Not really looking for an EDC at the moment - I'm a Professor so it would need to be something that could deal with textbooks, papers, etc. I usually just carry from my car to my office to my classroom and back without bothering with a bag... but I should look into that.

  4. #4
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    I can get a Dell XPS 13 with a cache in there, but it is a tight fit. You would have a hard time carrying additional notebooks or papers there.

  5. #5
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    Your comment about carrying papers prompts me to mention something else: I've found that a conventional 8.5 x 11 type file folder will not fit in the CoPilot.

    That said, I think the CoPilot would qualify as a personal item.

  6. #6
    TB Ravelry Moderator Mausermama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BowTrek View Post
    I'm a Professor so it would need to be something that could deal with textbooks, papers, etc.
    As much as I love my CoPilot, I find it is not the best bag for carrying papers. I use my Pilot for that purpose, and it works great. I know you said you didn't want to consider a Pilot; I just wanted to share what works for me.

    Would a Maker's Bag be a potential for you? It has a relaxed feel similar to the Cafe Bags, yet it has more room to handle a laptop, papers, books, and other gear. The nice thing about it is that it tends to mold itself to fit you, so if you're not maximizing the carry capacity, it doesn't feel bulky, especially if you get the bag in Halcyon fabric.

  7. #7
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    The comment regarding textbooks and papers was only if I was looking for an EDC (I'm not). Sorry if that wasn't clear!

    Thanks for the comments so far folks.

  8. #8
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    For the water bottle question, I could get this 24-oz Thermos into a ballistic Co-Pilot water bottle pocket. Getting the zipper up past the lid is tight, so you're not getting that bottle in and out swiftly, but it can be done and does zip closed. Probably easier with a halcyon Co-Pilot.

  9. #9
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    I can manage to fit an x230 inside my Co-Pilot - please see pictures.

    I don't have a cache or protective sleeve so I can't say, using one, if it would still fit. As it is, it requires a little bit of fussing to get the computer to pass the zipper. Once in the bag, it's roomy enough though.

    Hope that helps!

    Co-Pilot Questions (& Tom Bihn Love)-co-pilot-1-jpg
    Co-Pilot Questions (& Tom Bihn Love)-co-pilot-2-jpg

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmw View Post
    For the water bottle question, I could get this 24-oz Thermos into a ballistic Co-Pilot water bottle pocket. Getting the zipper up past the lid is tight, so you're not getting that bottle in and out swiftly, but it can be done and does zip closed. Probably easier with a halcyon Co-Pilot.
    Thank you! That's exactly what I wanted to know as it gives me an idea on the maximum height of a bottle (so my Camelbak Chute won't fit but I can find something that will and it won't have to be tiny).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fauvette View Post
    I can manage to fit an x230 inside my Co-Pilot - please see pictures.

    I don't have a cache or protective sleeve so I can't say, using one, if it would still fit. As it is, it requires a little bit of fussing to get the computer to pass the zipper. Once in the bag, it's roomy enough though.

    Hope that helps!
    It helps a ton! Thank you so much! I'd probably forgo a protective sleeve in this case too, as it wouldn't be my primary computer case. I'm just so relieved to know that it would fit if I needed to carry it around in a pinch.

    Your pictures with the x230 cinch my purchase - now to pick a color :3

    Owe ya one.

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