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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Jacksonville, FL
    0 Thread(s)

    Re-review of the Western Flyer

    After 4 years of “western flying”, I’ve gotten the inkling to do an update to the review I did on my first trip with the bag. I had scheduled a conference with similar duration to the original, with some lessons learned to reflect on…so here goes another review!

    Instead of DC in the winter, this is off to San Diego in the winter, with business casual working sessions and dinners, some day-off tours and activities, possibly some pool or beach time, and some nightlife. On the way I’ll be using 8 hours of flying and layover time to get some work done and movies watched.

    Starting with the front pocket, I have a medium mesh cube with:
    • Size 12 flip-flops (in case of pool or beach)
    • Spare Uniqlo undershirt
    • 2 Uniqlo underwear
    • Running shorts that can double as swimsuit
    • Fast-dry running shirt
    • 2 pair wool ankle socks

      I’m forcing myself to do some laundry, and all undergarments and exercise clothes are fast drying or can handle multiple wars between washings.
    • Stretchy band for resistance workouts in room
    • Fountain sketching pen (sketchbook in jacket pocket)
    • Mini ball-head tripod.
    • Small pouch containing camera accessories, including:
      • Smartphone tripod mount
      • Lanyard for Moment iPhone case
      • Tripod connector for monopod
    • Second wristwatch in a padded pouch

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_e8974-jpg

    Medium pouch containing “emergency” kit:
    • Pain and allergy meds
    • Coughdrops and Ny/DayQuil
    • Sewing kit and thread
    • Bandaids
    • Passport copy
    • Spare contact lenses

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_e8975-jpg

    In the other half of the front pocket I have a Medium Packing Cube with size 11.5 running shoes, two nested 3D cubes, one pouch, and an AC adapter:

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_e8970-jpg

    All the toiletries go in the 3D Clear Cube, including electric razor. I try to not bring more than I would need of anything, so use contact lens cases that can accommodate 5-7 days of things like aftershave and toothpaste. It can get modular expansion for longer trips, I will ditch things like cologne or lotions and add more of the things I need, or just make time to go shopping. In the case of a short 4d3n trip like this, I can fit 20 separate items in one cube (Listerine pocket paks not pictured):

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_9116-jpg

    The 3D Mesh cube has:
    • Glasses and matching clip-on
    • Inflatable hangar for suit jackets
    • Braided latex laundry line
    • HDMI cable and adapters

    The Medium Pouch contains:
    • TSA Multitool
    • Spare batteries for carried devices
    • Spare nibs for Surface pen

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_e8971-jpg

    In the rear pocket are a PCBP, and a Surface Pro in a Cache, and a monopod. The monopod has been modified to use the mini-tripod as a chicken foot shown at right:

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_e8979-jpg Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_8988-jpg

    This was the only type of monopod that I could find that was small enough when collapsed to fit in the WF.

    In the PCBP I have a spacebag containing the rest of my clothes:
    • Second suitcoat
    • 1 button down
    • 2 t-shirts
    • 1 Polo shirt
    • 1 pair cotton khaki shorts
    • 2 pair Uniqlo lightweight slacks
    • 2 pair wool socks
    • 2 handkerchiefs

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_e8976-jpg

    I traveled in dress loafers, jeans, button down, and sportcoat. Since I had the space, I brought along another coat to accessorize. Most of the remaining clothes were very lightweight and were easily tightly packed.

    The front large pocket accommodated a Ravpower power bank and cables. Though heavy, it is important to keep me productive on the road, and enables me to travel without any other chargers or converters. Most of my work involves design and processing software that saps the 8hr battery of the Surface in a paltry 3.5 hours, so the additional 4-5 I get out of the powerbank is important.

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_e8980-jpg

    The small front pocket had my wired headphones and mouse:

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_e8981-jpg

    And all together:

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_e8983-jpg

    And after a full work day on the plane, I had enough time for some architectural touring and enough battery left for some intensive phone photography with the new Moment wide angle:

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_9092-jpg

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_9069-jpg

    Carrying in shoulder mode at the offset, check out the strain those seams can handle! I didn’t weigh the bag, but I suspect it is pushing the 10kg limit of some airlines:

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_e8965-jpg Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_8967-jpg

    By the time I got to the hotel, I had switched to backpack mode to ease distance walking. Just wrap the Absolute Strap around the bag backwards, and voila, no need to take up valuable real estate inside.

    Re-review of the Western Flyer-img_8969-jpg

    All in all, not too much has changed since my first review; things have gotten somewhat smaller, and I learned some new ways of packing for just the trip, but this bag still makes one-bag travel enjoyable, and hopefully the re-review is helpful to some of you weighing your bag/packing options!

  2. #2
    Forum Member sose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    0 Thread(s)
    Excellent review!

    My only question is - how do you keep that second suit jacket from losing its shape and/or getting wrinkled?

    I traveled once with my A45 and my suit jacket didn’t look sharp upon arrival.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Virtus junxit, mors non separabit.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Jacksonville, FL
    0 Thread(s)
    Definitely didn't look sharp on arrival; nothing ever really does in my experience. I didn't need one on arrival in this case (the one I wore was in excellent shape), and some puffs of steam from the iron was enough to prepare for the next day.

    I did a partial roll with the socks and handkerchiefs stuffed in the shoulders, and rolled until the jacket was short enough to fit in the packing cube, then folded the rest of the clothes to fit below the rolled portion.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by imperator View Post
    I’m forcing myself to do some laundry, and all undergarments and exercise clothes are fast drying or can handle multiple wars between washings.
    Impressive. I've heard good things about uniqlo but that's a first. People don't know how tough business travelers have it.

    Last edited by hachkc; 02-03-2018 at 12:38 PM.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Jacksonville, FL
    0 Thread(s)
    I wish I'd had these back in 'Nam...

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