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  1. #1
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    Shore up my doubts/concerns :D

    I am looking at the TB Pilot bag, but I have looked at other bags that offer a clamshell opening and/or book style opening that have striked my fancy because of how easy it is to get at items.

    See, my current issue with my "under the seat in front of me" bag is that it's a bookbag. So 1. it's a little too tall and therefore when you turn it sideways on its back, it's a little too wide for the seat and needs to be jammed in a bit. This also means there's only way way to get at it - the top of the bag, so it's not easy to get at items in general.

    The other problem is it really only has 2 main compartments. The small front compartment (where if anything of weight is put on the outside part, that outside flap flops over and falls down basically.. which isn't ideal for access. It's also a small pocket mostly designed for school supplies, etc. Not the most useful for travel.

    The big compartment does have a laptop sleeve, but beyond that, you're just packing stuff in and on top of one another. This bag also has a much more limited opening then even some other book bags, which makes it extra hard to get at when you're all crammed in coach. But it's a great bag for hiking and for day to day travel with a limited load (I find my travel load much heavier than my day to day! Smilie)

    So, when I saw the Pilot I liked it, but I realized that back pocket.. I may start facing the same issues I had with my bookbag. Then again, the pilot is a shorter and wider bag, while my bookbag is narrow and tall. A shorter and wider set up makes it easier to get at items. So, maybe this isn't an issue. Especially with a cache with rails and a organized or two from TB. I think?

    I also would use those front 3 pockets for more things than I do with my current bookbag. My tablet, keys, etc. can all go in there comfortably. Along with other items that may otherwise go in the main compartment of my bookbag, AKA a black hole of doom and frustration. Another key component of my travel are my Bose Quiet Comfort over the ear headphones, which take up quite a lot of space.

    I'm not sure if these could go in a front pocket on the pilot or if they would have to go in the main large compartment in the back. Anyone ever try putting them in the front?

    For comparison sake, I was looking at this Patagonia bag: Patagonia Transport Shoulder Bag 26L

    Thanks for any assistance, thoughts, etc.!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonstopski View Post
    I am looking at the TB Pilot bag, but I have looked at other bags that offer a clamshell opening and/or book style opening that have striked my fancy because of how easy it is to get at items.

    See, my current issue with my "under the seat in front of me" bag is that it's a bookbag. So 1. it's a little too tall and therefore when you turn it sideways on its back, it's a little too wide for the seat and needs to be jammed in a bit. This also means there's only way way to get at it - the top of the bag, so it's not easy to get at items in general.

    The other problem is it really only has 2 main compartments. The small front compartment (where if anything of weight is put on the outside part, that outside flap flops over and falls down basically.. which isn't ideal for access. It's also a small pocket mostly designed for school supplies, etc. Not the most useful for travel.

    The big compartment does have a laptop sleeve, but beyond that, you're just packing stuff in and on top of one another. This bag also has a much more limited opening then even some other book bags, which makes it extra hard to get at when you're all crammed in coach. But it's a great bag for hiking and for day to day travel with a limited load (I find my travel load much heavier than my day to day! Smilie)

    So, when I saw the Pilot I liked it, but I realized that back pocket.. I may start facing the same issues I had with my bookbag. Then again, the pilot is a shorter and wider bag, while my bookbag is narrow and tall. A shorter and wider set up makes it easier to get at items. So, maybe this isn't an issue. Especially with a cache with rails and a organized or two from TB. I think?

    I also would use those front 3 pockets for more things than I do with my current bookbag. My tablet, keys, etc. can all go in there comfortably. Along with other items that may otherwise go in the main compartment of my bookbag, AKA a black hole of doom and frustration. Another key component of my travel are my Bose Quiet Comfort over the ear headphones, which take up quite a lot of space.

    I'm not sure if these could go in a front pocket on the pilot or if they would have to go in the main large compartment in the back. Anyone ever try putting them in the front?

    For comparison sake, I was looking at this Patagonia bag: Patagonia Transport Shoulder Bag 26L

    Thanks for any assistance, thoughts, etc.!
    Hey nonstop, I don't own a Pilot but from what I've seen it looks like the perfect under the seat bag. Especially for storing a tablet, headphones, keys etc. Comparing a Pilot to the Patagonia 26L doesn't make sense, the Pilot is a 13L bag. The Western Flyer at 26L would make more sense. Also, the Patagonia bag isn't really in the same league as TB bags in terms of price, materials used, construction, etc. If the Western Flyer or Pilot is anything like my trusty Tristar it will pretty much last forever. Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    I will say -- after my DC > Amsterdam > London > Lagos > Amsterdam > Boston saga in the last few weeks, all squashed into tiny coach seats; yes, the Pilot is a good bag for coach!

    Pros:

    * Definitely fit under the seat in front of me, including MANY that were 1/2 to 2/3 blocked with bulky AV boxes. Grrr. I also had my Daylight Briefcase, and the two together never failed to fit under the seat, slotted next to one another. If I had a larger bag that was not rectangular in shape it may have been a problem.
    * With the aid of interior organizers, like the Side Effect or 3D cube, even in very limited space it is easy to reach down and extract a cube of what you need. The horizontal layout and separate compartments are helpful in that respect too.

    Cons:

    * I don't know about the earphones fitting, since I have the in-ear kind. My best guess is that they should go into one of the front side pockets, but obviously you need someone to try this for you before buying, if that's important.
    * The main compartment, particularly if it has a laptop inside, will not be as generous space-wise as a larger bag. It really depends how much you need to carry; if you need lots of snacks, extra clothes, etc.. That's why I ended up putting my laptop in the accompanying Daylight Briefcase at times, even though carrying two shoulder bags was kind of ridiculous.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 02-25-2015 at 06:32 AM.
    ----
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ykang2375 View Post
    Hey nonstop, I don't own a Pilot but from what I've seen it looks like the perfect under the seat bag. Especially for storing a tablet, headphones, keys etc. Comparing a Pilot to the Patagonia 26L doesn't make sense, the Pilot is a 13L bag. The Western Flyer at 26L would make more sense. Also, the Patagonia bag isn't really in the same league as TB bags in terms of price, materials used, construction, etc. If the Western Flyer or Pilot is anything like my trusty Tristar it will pretty much last forever. Hope this helps!
    Looking at the average dimensions of the seat in front of me, it seems to be about 20" wide, 17" deep, 11/10.5" Tall. That obviously means the Pilot would fit. The Western Flyer also seems to fit based on its dimensions, but people's personal experiences may be better (I found an thread from 2008 with this exact question and many said it was fine, especially if you board early like I do, although flying has changed a bit in the last 7 years Big Grin).

    My only concern is that it seems the Western Flyer doesn't have any pass through or way to attach the bag to a roller bag? Or maybe it does and they don't mention it in the description?
    Last edited by nonstopski; 02-25-2015 at 07:59 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonstopski View Post
    Looking at the average dimensions of the seat in front of me, it seems to be about 20" wide, 17" deep, 11/10.5" Tall. That obviously means the Pilot would fit. The Western Flyer also seems to fit based on its dimensions, but people's personal experiences may be better (I found an thread from 2008 with this exact question and many said it was fine, especially if you board early like I do, although flying has changed a bit in the last 7 years Big Grin).

    My only concern is that it seems the Western Flyer doesn't have any pass through or way to attach the bag to a roller bag? Or maybe it does and they don't mention it in the description?
    Hey nonstop, I believe the Western Flyer used to have a version without backpack straps that included a pass through for roller bags. Unfortunately, that version of the Western Flyer has been discontinued.

  6. #6
    Forum Member daisy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ykang2375 View Post
    Hey nonstop, I believe the Western Flyer used to have a version without backpack straps that included a pass through for roller bags. Unfortunately, that version of the Western Flyer has been discontinued.
    That does appear to be the case - makes me a bit sad as I had hoped to replace my boring brown and maddeningly robust carry on bag with one down the track - the pass through is important to me though.
    List under construction ....

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    Concerning using the Western Flyer backpack version with roller luggage, I took a few picks of some options:

    First off, my only roller luggage is an International sized hard-sided one that I had hoped would allow me to avoid gate-checking on the small CRJ-100 planes - but nooooo ... gate-check purgatory every time ... and that is why, after tons of research, I found Tom Bihn bags and I have not had one gate-checked since (though I do not fly too frequently). The telescopic handle is 6" wide for reference.

    Option 1 - use the WF top Poron Handle (max width of roller handle is 6" for this option, single handles are fine as long you can work it over the handle):

    Shore up my doubts/concerns :D-wf_roller_tophandle-jpg


    Option 2 - use the WF side handle and a 8" key strap to hook it to the Roller handle (or use something similar that you have around - even the waist strap):

    Shore up my doubts/concerns :D-wf_roller_sidehandle-jpg


    Option 3 - use the WF handle that is inside the backpack strap compartment and a 8" keystrap or carabiner to hook it to the Roller handle

    Shore up my doubts/concerns :D-wf-roller_insidehandle-jpg


    As for fit under a seat, I have there links that show it fitting under various seats:

    http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...n-flyer-2.html
    http://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vid...onference.html
    http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...html#post83921

    If you pack things right, you probably can get to allot of items in the to main compartment with the bag under the seat and perhaps what is in the bottle pocket. One thing to note is that with the WF under the seat, there may not be much room for you feet - so if you are tall, this may be an issue. As always, YMMV with these options - and if a Pilot at half the volume fits you stuff, I would go with that. But, the Western Flyer also does a good job as a business briefcase.

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!

    Edit - forgot to add to the first option - putting the WF Poron Handle through the telescopic roller handle makes the setup a bit tippy if the Roller only has light items the WF has heavy items.
    Last edited by tpnl; 02-26-2015 at 07:49 AM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpnl View Post
    Concerning using the Western Flyer backpack version with roller luggage, I took a few picks of some options:

    First off, my only roller luggage is an International sized hard-sided one that I had hoped would allow me to avoid gate-checking on the small CRJ-100 planes - but nooooo ... gate-check purgatory every time ... and that is why, after tons of research, I found Tom Bihn bags and I have not had one gate-checked since (though I do not fly too frequently). The telescopic handle is 6" wide for reference.

    Option 1 - use the WF top Poron Handle (max width of roller handle is 6" for this option, single handles are fine as long you can work it over the handle):

    Shore up my doubts/concerns :D-wf_roller_tophandle-jpg


    Option 2 - use the WF side handle and a 8" key strap to hook it to the Roller handle (or use something similar that you have around - even the waist strap):

    Shore up my doubts/concerns :D-wf_roller_sidehandle-jpg


    Option 3 - use the WF handle that is inside the backpack strap compartment and a 8" keystrap or carabiner to hook it to the Roller handle

    Shore up my doubts/concerns :D-wf-roller_insidehandle-jpg


    As for fit under a seat, I have there links that show it fitting under various seats:

    http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...n-flyer-2.html
    http://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vid...onference.html
    http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...html#post83921

    If you pack things right, you probably can get to allot of items in the to main compartment with the bag under the seat and perhaps what is in the bottle pocket. One thing to note is that with the WF under the seat, there may not be much room for you feet - so if you are tall, this may be an issue. As always, YMMV with these options - and if a Pilot at half the volume fits you stuff, I would go with that. But, the Western Flyer also does a good job as a business briefcase.

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!

    Edit - forgot to add to the first option - putting the WF Poron Handle through the telescopic roller handle makes the setup a bit tippy if the Roller only has light items the WF has heavy items.
    Thanks, very helpful. I've thought about these solutions as well, and may look into using one of them or a Nite Ize Gear Tie solution.

    I will say given those pictures the WF looks much bigger than my 25L backpack. But I guess if it's on your backpack, with a roller in the other hand, I'd get away with it?

    Your WF also might be fully packed in those pictures, so, hard for me to tell Smilie

  9. #9
    Forum Member Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonstopski View Post
    Thanks, very helpful. I've thought about these solutions as well, and may look into using one of them or a Nite Ize Gear Tie solution.

    I will say given those pictures the WF looks much bigger than my 25L backpack. But I guess if it's on your backpack, with a roller in the other hand, I'd get away with it?

    Your WF also might be fully packed in those pictures, so, hard for me to tell Smilie
    My fully - packed but not overstuffed WF fits perfectly in the United Airlines personal bag sizer... if that helps you visualize its size. It also fits underneath the A seat on an ERJ-145. Gate agents never look twice at my WF no matter the size of the plane. Smilie

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandelion View Post
    My fully - packed but not overstuffed WF fits perfectly in the United Airlines personal bag sizer
    Personal bag like personal item? Wow, that is compact - I am contemplating getting a dyneema WF because I think it would look more compact than my dyneema A30, but I am hoping a wasabi lining option will be available down the road.

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonstopski View Post

    I will say given those pictures the WF looks much bigger than my 25L backpack. But I guess if it's on your backpack, with a roller in the other hand, I'd get away with it?

    Your WF also might be fully packed in those pictures, so, hard for me to tell Smilie
    The WF actually is quite small looking - that is the first thing I thought where I initially saw it in person. It really is very close in size to your regular sized briefcase. Think of it as a convertible briefcase.
    I think it looks bigger in the pictures than an S25 (which is actually longer and wider) because of its rectangular nature vs teardrop for the S25.
    Also, it is on top of the smallest type of roller - international size which itself is only slightly bigger than the WF.
    Lastly, I did pack my WF to be fairly full. YMMV depending on how much you pack. It can be very thin. I like this comparison picture of the WF (original version, same size), TS and A45 max carry on.



    Here a picture of a WF on someone to show how it looks when not fully packed:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/22691278@N06/3996259955/

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 02-26-2015 at 11:04 AM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  12. #12
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandelion View Post
    Gate agents never look twice at my WF no matter the size of the plane. Smilie
    Just as a data point -- since this was recently discussed -- what is the exterior fabric & color of your WF?
    ----
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  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    Here are some more links about the Western Flyer in reference to Carry-on sizers:

    http://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vid...tem-sizer.html
    mrbrown.com: Germany, here we come: Pack light, go fast

    I have not used a WF as a personal item yet (but the person in the first link has) but I will on my next trip as it can double as my briefcase.

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    Just as a data point -- since this was recently discussed -- what is the exterior fabric & color of your WF?
    @bchaplin, I believe that @Dandelion's Western Flyer is Navy Ballistic Nylon. See the comment in the Western Flyer is Baaaack! thread from last July. (BTW, that thread seems appropriate since the Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet option for the Western Flyer just appeared two days ago, and the first time that color combination was offered was when that thread started -- and the combination sold out within hours! Of course, at that point the WF had been out of stock for a long time, so both the Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet and Navy Ballistic Nylon/Solar models disappeared almost instantly -- especially since that was the last time Solar interiors for the WF were available before Solar was retired for the second time.)

    HTH. Great pictures and links, @tpnl.

    moriond

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoStanford View Post
    Personal bag like personal item? Wow, that is compact - I am contemplating getting a dyneema WF because I think it would look more compact than my dyneema A30, but I am hoping a wasabi lining option will be available down the road.
    I too have been awaiting for a black Dyneema western flyer. When I saw the black/uv version was available I emailed customer service to see if they had plans to also do an Iberian or Wasabi option like on the Tri star line. Here was their response:

    "As of right now we don't have any plans to make Black Dyneema with another interior color, but that doesn't mean we won't! We're very spontaneous. So no plans or timetable right now, but you never know. Keep an eye on our forums and our blog for more updates. And let me know if you have any other questions, I'm glad to help."

    After seeing that I went ahead and pounced on the ultraviolet version even though it's not my first choice. I am more interested in the weight savings then I am the interior color.

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