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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    I'm going to take the plunge: Empire Builder after Pilot after S25

    My current carry is A45 with Pilot and it has served me mostly well over the years. The A45 can be too big many times but that doesn't bother me. The Pilot can be too small which does cause issues. Note that by too small I am meaning that it carries everything I need but there's no room for extra and can sometimes bulge in an unsightly way.

    My other issues is appearance. While I love my matching fabric (sorry, don't know all the jargon, it's the checkered) I'm looking for a bag a bit more conservative.

    Now, to compound the issue is my shoulder has been much happier since moving to a lighter laptop / reduced carry.

    I've determined that I can't have it all and that I shoudl try out the EB.

    My questions are pretty simple:
    • Anyone have experience moving from pilot ot EB
    • Does 2lbs make such ahuge difference (it did when I changed laptops)
    • Is there another briefcase on the horizon?
    • What accessories are mandatory


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    I have a pilot that Iím not happy with for some of the reasons you mentioned. I ordered an EB and 5 minutes after loading it I emptied it and returned it. Huge! Heavy! Im sure it suits someoneís needs as they keep producing it but not close to mine.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
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    Jul 2014
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    Frown Thanks for relaying your experience, dannyre. I've been on the fence more times than I can count with the EB. I know there are other threads lamenting the lack of an in-between Pilot / EB briefcase.

    It would be really weird to go with something other than TB. I'm so used to the thoughtful design and easy access to things.

    I feel like I should give it a shot. I do miss my S25 but then again I wore that on my back with a rollerboard. After years with the A45's mobility I don't think I could go back to a rollerboard...

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    4
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    I found something similar. I tried another larger briefcase style bag like the EB and found that when fully loaded the weight is REALLY noticeable.

    I figured that if I needed to carry something with that much weight a backpack is really the only option that distributes the load in a reasonable way.

    I do have a small Timbuk2 messenger that is just a little bit larger that the Pilot that really hits the sweet spot for reasonable weight but just enough larger than the Pilot to carry that "one more thing" that is occasionally needed.

    But the organization and compactness of the Pilot keeps me coming back. If only it was just a few liters larger and had a quick access pocket!

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Have you looked at the Cadet?

    I got my husband an EB which stays in his car with work documents. It's a BIG bag, but he loves the sections and organization. Don't know if he'd want to carry it around much, even though he's 6'3". Look at the pics of people carrying the EB on the webpage.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
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    Dec 2016
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    Brooklyn, NY
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    I second the recommendation to check out the Cadet - if getting all your stuff in the pilot makes it bulge, then maybe the width is too much for the slimmer Cadet, but man, that briefcase can hold a lot. There are some pics by @tpnl that really show what it can do. When I have too much for a Pilot I reach for the Cadet.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
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    Jul 2014
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    Thanks, everyone. I just looked at the cadet and, while the simple design is appealing, it doesn't really move me.

    The EB arrived the other day. First impressions.

    It is huge, as has been said before. Not sure what the idea was making it so tall...it could easily be an inch shorter. I *almost* feel foolish carrying it. I am a 5'8" female. The two people I have asked said it does not look disproportionately big

    It is heavy, as has been said before. Even empty, it is much heavier than my Pilot, 2lb 3oz to be exact. It is surprising how much 2lb 3oz feels on my shoulder.

    HOWEVER

    It is beautiful. My bf called it "techno" Smilie. I love the flap pocket. I love that it stands up on its own. I love how nicely everything fits inside and remains easily accessible (as opposed to the S25 where everything disappeared into its huge cavernous mouth.

    But man, is it heavy. I feel like if I were to keep it I'd have to go back to a roller board so that I could wheel it as much as possible...but I love the mobility that the A45 gives me.

    Plan:
    A:right now my SE is inside the main compartment but, despite liking to use it clipped to the seat pocket on flights, I am willing to consolidate and get rid of it.

    B:Try carrying it by hand as much as possible

    C:Keep doing pushups!


    The real test will be my first trip.

  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Jul 2004
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    Honolulu, HI
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    Hi @lenalvsTB,

    If you want to lighten your carry, try taking out the plastic dividers.

    The retired Zephyr uses the same design, but it's smaller in size and the weight is much more manageable. Models do occasionally pop up on eBay and elsewhere.

    HTH

    moriond

  9. #9
    Forum Member
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    Jul 2014
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    Update

    I'm on my first significant trip today.

    Normal routine: Pilot with AS, A45 as backpack
    Today's routine: EB in hand, A45 with AS

    First thought: I bought this bag to have something techno and super-pro for my job interview. It served its purpose fantastically. As part of my "wardrobe" today I felt it completed my polished look.

    Second thought: This bag looks much better held in hand than it does with the AS...I just think it's too big and starts to look like luggage with a strap. In hand it looks like a tech briefcase

    Third thought: I'm only as far as the gate but moving through security was sooooo much nicer than with my pilot...where I had to take my TB wallet out and clip it to an o-ring for easy access then put it back in my SE. The open pocket for the boarding pass was nice. My phone did slip out while in the tray...

    Changes I made:
    • I nixed my SE
    • Reduced the personal items I carry (only two lip products, etc)
    • Added back my tea pouch!
    • Brought back my snake charmer
    • Downsized my water bottle to 500mL
    • Added back my sunglasses
    • Removed the dividers


    It was no trouble carrying it in hand with a laptop / ipad in addition to other things like mobile wifi, cables, etc.

    Yes, it is big. Could have been much shorter in height. But it stands, is easy to access everything, looks super pro and the handles are very comfy.

    I'll report more as I have more to report Smilie

  10. #10
    Forum Member
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    Dec 2017
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    Thanks for sharing your experience with the EB, lenalvsTB! I've always loved the organization of the EB, but that 4lb empty starting weight has always kept me from trying it. All those wonderfully helpful, quick-access outer pockets though!

    BTW, this doesn't help your present situation, but since you made mention of unsure lingo, know that that checkered material of your Pilot is called Halcyon (formerly called Dyneema, if you bought it a while ago). By its nature, its floppy and flexible, which is why it doesn't stand up on its own well and the contents inside your bag can create those unsightly bulges you mentioned. A Pilot made in ballistic (same material as the EB) is a bit stiffer, so it does stand on its own (generally) and smooths out those content bulges (and looks more conservative). That doesn't give you any more room inside, of course, so not going to make a difference to your situation here, but FYI in case that info comes in handy in future.

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