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  1. #1
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    P.I.K.A as boarding bag

    Here's the P.I.K.A. in Seapine Green 630d 50% recycled nylon, configured as I imagine I would use it as a airplane boarding bag, especially for international flights or similar.


    Front of bag... two sheets of trifolded 8 1/2 x 11" paper are tucked in the back mesh pocket, visible a bit from the front, to simulate boarding docs
    P.I.K.A  as boarding bag-img_20191127_151703-1-jpg


    Notebook on left was to simulate phone in center pocket, since I used my phone to take the pic
    Vials of meds for headache & motion sickness, tin of mints, earplugs in small plastic case - all were in front zip pocket
    P.I.K.A  as boarding bag-img_20191127_151749-1-jpg

    Back of bag
    those sheets of paper standing in for boarding docs were in the mesh back open top pocket
    Nik's wallet & US sized passport in the secret zip pocket that's at the back of the mesh
    P.I.K.A  as boarding bag-img_20191127_153723-1-jpg

    This is a very flat profile bag and isn't going to hold the kitchen sink, which to me makes it ideal for when you really just do need the bare essentials. I would go so far as to take out the 8" keystrap in the front pocket when flying. If I'm flying, my keys usually clip into a normal carryon - I don't need them attached to me.
    If I were out and had no pockets or similar, then I would keep the keystrap in and reduce the clunky amount of keys I usually carry, to help keep the bag flat and unobtrusive.

    ETA: I would carry this crossbody, with it in front of me - to feel very secure. I wouldn't put it under a T-shirt, but under a sweater, sweatshirt, fleece, jacket, etc., riding down by your hip, it wouldn't be terribly obtrusive, YMMV.
    To me, this is basically the Passport Pouch all grown up.

    ETA: Be sure to check out the product pages that show the clips for the strap...these look like brand new parts for TB and they are very small and very flat profile... I think that works for this bag, but it may impact some random hacks - I couldn't really get a second clip in there whilst it was attached to the shoulder strap.
    Last edited by G42; 11-27-2019 at 05:04 PM.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  2. #2
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    Thank you for the photos and great review. I am so glad to hear the secret zip pocket will hold a passport. I do have a couple of questions, is the mesh “stretchy” at all? And how many passports will fit in the secret pocket? My 16 year old is going to Scandinavia in April and I’m debating getting this, or one of those standard white money belt things you wear under your clothing.

  3. #3
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    I keep my passport in a small double organizer pouch, would that fit in the back mesh pocket? Is there an o ring back there?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sstj315 View Post
    Thank you for the photos and great review. I am so glad to hear the secret zip pocket will hold a passport. I do have a couple of questions, is the mesh “stretchy” at all? And how many passports will fit in the secret pocket? My 16 year old is going to Scandinavia in April and I’m debating getting this, or one of those standard white money belt things you wear under your clothing.
    The mesh is a bit stretchy - definitely has some give.
    I'm no Jason Bourne, so I only have one passport to try, but I could put a small phrase book in there along with my passport, so I'd estimate two passports as fairly easy with 3 or 4 starting to push it, depending on size.

    Since the whole bag is designed to be very flat, if you start putting more 3D things in, you'll steal space from other areas... and the way it's designed, it's more rigid than I thought it would be, as there's a lot of layers of material there.

    If it were me, I'd use this for the phone, small wallet, passport, etc. to wear crossbody while in the act of traveling through the airport. That way, everything is together and can go through the x-ray or whatever as an intact bag or inside a bigger bag and you can still get at it when needed.
    For extra cash, copies of itinerary & passport, put that in the money belt thing (they're not very expensive)... you don't want to be messing with that all the time anyway. Your child can use the money belt for the passport at their destination, if they can't safely leave it in their room.

    Oh, and make sure they bring a pen for when you have to fill out the declaration/customs paperwork on the plane...not all the airlines offer pens.

    ETA: I may have misread you - if it's you and your child going, you can easily fit your two passports in the back. I'd still bring an underbelt money thing for the other things I mentioned above.
    Last edited by G42; 11-27-2019 at 05:31 PM.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titus View Post
    I keep my passport in a small double organizer pouch, would that fit in the back mesh pocket? Is there an o ring back there?
    I use a small OP (same size though) and it will fit in the mesh pocket, but not the zip pocket. There's only one o-ring - in the front zip pocket, but the mesh is stretchy/grippy enough to hold the OP pretty well though.

    P.I.K.A  as boarding bag-img_20191127_162044-1-jpg
    Last edited by G42; 11-27-2019 at 05:27 PM. Reason: sorry, small OP, not medium
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  6. #6
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    @G42, thank you for the detailed review and pictures; they're great.

    I was thinking about the best way to attach a passport pouch so it rides securely in the stretchy pocket, and your picture with a small OP is very helpful. I do wish there was an O-ring on one of the sides of that stretchy pocket for easier attachment. Maybe PIKA version 2 will have one or I might try to sew one on myself, although my sewing skills are lacking.
    Seeking Solar shop bags and Solar packing cube shoulder bag Spring Also coveting an Iberian Synapse or Copilot

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pammy View Post
    I was thinking about the best way to attach a passport pouch so it rides securely in the stretchy pocket, and your picture with a small OP is very helpful. I do wish there was an O-ring on one of the sides of that stretchy pocket for easier attachment. Maybe PIKA version 2 will have one or I might try to sew one on myself, although my sewing skills are lacking.
    I did shake it upside down a bit and the OP didn't fall out, so I think it's reasonably secure but I understand wanting a more positive security with a passport.

    I tried clipping the OP clip to the strap clip (the fixture on the bag itself is too small to accept a second clip) and it's a bit kludgy, but it works. It pulls the OP a bit more out of the back pocket, so about twice as much is showing above the mesh than if you could push it all the way down.

    Realistically, I would use the built in secret zip pocket on the back mesh for my passport and Nik's wallet. Adding the OP would just add more thickness/stuff and I'm not sure what I'd gain.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  8. #8
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    P.I.K.A as boarding bag

    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    Realistically, I would use the built in secret zip pocket on the back mesh for my passport and Nik's wallet. Adding the OP would just add more thickness/stuff and I'm not sure what I'd gain.
    Thatís what I did, too ó I can fit my iPhone S.E. in the mesh zippered back pocket, along with my passport and Global Entry card. Then, I can put my Kindle Paperwhite ó which is bigger than my phone ó into the main pouch of the PIKA.

    Iím guessing she might want the additional radio blocking capabilities of the Passport Pouch.

    moriond

    ETA My current Passport is the size with extra pages, Iím sure that I can fit my old passport (no extra pages) together with it in the back zippered pocket with the stretchy mesh (where I had also placed my iPhone S.E.; that phone would also fit in the smaller front zippered pocket BTW, but the top sits close to the zipper.). I can borrow some more passports to check how many would fit, but my guess is that if you are one of the people who moved to the larger Passport Pouches because you are carrying them for a family of five, you wonít be able to put all of them into the back stretchy elastic pocket of the PIKA. I did also get the new larger size Passport Pouch (which can fit a Kindle Paperwhite snugly), but I generally use the original Passport Pouch. I also though of the PIKA as a good boarding bag.

    If any forum members remember the older Kindle Pouches (that I believe were originally designed to fit the 3rd generation Kindle ó the Kindle Keyboard) the outer shape of the PIKA matches that pouch, but does not have the additional size constraint imposed by the piping around the edges. My post that shows the pouches available for the Kindle Voyage shows how this compares with other items like the Medium Organizer Pouch (slightly shorter ó the PIKA will just fit into an A5 Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch), and comparisons with other objects like the Kindle Paperwhite (and the iPad Mini which as you can see from those photos, donít quite fit into the pouch ó for the PIKA without the extra piping itís possible to take a naked iPad Mini and force it into the central pocket of the PIKA, but it really does feel like forcing it into place)
    https://forums.tombihn.com/questions...html#post80020

    This also means that you can store the PIKA into anywhere that the old Kindle Pouch would go ó convenient locations are the main compartment of a Daylight Briefcase, or even the diagonal zippered pocket at the front of that bag (if you want extra zippered security). Interestingly, one location that I used to use for Synapses before the redesign of the water bottle pocket at the beginning of the year, and which is used for the Syniks, is the water bottle pocket. That works for my older Synapses of both sizes, but with the new design, that lets you put more into the side pockets, inserting the PIKA (or the old Kindle Pouch) doesnít work well.
    Last edited by moriond; 11-27-2019 at 07:28 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    I’m guessing she might want the additional radio blocking capabilities of the Passport Pouch.
    Yes, that could be it... but if it's just RFID blocking, then I would go for the inexpensive metalized sleeves that they sell and use that inside the zip pocket - it is much lower profile.


    I forgot to mention, in case anyone is curious:

    I did also try putting the passport into the front zip pocket... if you really work at it, you can do the two point twist/turn thing to get it in there landscape, but I do NOT recommend it. I think you have to bend the passport a too much (there's chips in there now) and push at the zippers, so I don't think it's good for either of them.
    And of course, it will fit in the center phone pocket, but that doesn't seem the best use of the space.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    I forgot to mention, in case anyone is curious:

    I did also try putting the passport into the front zip pocket... if you really work at it, you can do the two point twist/turn thing to get it in there landscape, but I do NOT recommend it. I think you have to bend the passport a too much (there's chips in there now) and push at the zippers, so I don't think it's good for either of them.
    And of course, it will fit in the center phone pocket, but that doesn't seem the best use of the space.
    It fits a little better there in the Halcyon version of the PIKA, especially if you clear the bottom stitched ledge, but it is tighter. (But remember when I said I could put my iPhone S.E. into just about any of the PIKA pouch locations? That was another one that I tried.)

  11. #11
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    G42, thank you again for your advice! My daughter is traveling with a school group and she will be responsible for her own documents. Honestly I’m a little worried as she tends to lose/misplace things. So I will definitely get the PIKA for her, and one for me too :), as well as the money belt thing.

  12. #12
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    I don't know about using the PIKA as a boarding bag. If I'm only allowed one purse like object plus a carry on bag, I want the purse like object to be bigger and hold more.

    I think of the PIKA more of a substitute for pockets that women's clothing lacks for day to day activities, on days when I'm not wearing a Macabi skirt.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I don't know about using the PIKA as a boarding bag. If I'm only allowed one purse like object plus a carry on bag, I want the purse like object to be bigger and hold more.

    I think of the PIKA more of a substitute for pockets that women's clothing lacks for day to day activities, on days when I'm not wearing a Macabi skirt.
    I definitely think it's a great use for 'no pocket' clothing days. I don't own clothing without pockets and I generally carry my phone, wallet, & cash attached to me with no other bag or PLO, so the 'boarding bag' is the most compelling use case for me. YMMV

    Yes, it could be an issue for some airports/airlines, but only if someone is unwilling to stow it on occasion. During security for US airspace, someone would have to place it the belt regardless. The 'two bags' rule is usually only strictly enforced at the moment you board the aircraft and even then, plenty of folks go on with a small extra item attached to themselves. If the airline is enforcing and/or its not hidden under a coat, etc., then you take it off and stow in another bag just to walk down the jetway. The rest of the time in the airport(s) or on the plane(s) (and I was particularly intrigued by using it for international connections) or generally in transit, you have everything right there, attached.
    Last edited by G42; 11-30-2019 at 07:38 AM.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  14. #14
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    I've been debating Travel Cubelet vs Passport Pouch for airport navigation for quite some time now. I'm glad to see Tom Bihn making my choice harder by adding the PIKA! I usually have a small backpack (usually my Synik 22) and a small rollaboard (which I want to replace with an Aeronaut 30 or 45), and depending on the weather I may or may not have pockets suitable for holding my phone, passport and frequent flyer card (needed for lounge access). I think I see a PIKA in my future.

    Thanks for the mock up G42!
    Proud owner of a Synik 22 (Aubergine/Northwest Sky), a Medium Cafť Bag (Alphaviolet), and a whole host of accessories.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I don't know about using the PIKA as a boarding bag. If I'm only allowed one purse like object plus a carry on bag, I want the purse like object to be bigger and hold more.

    I think of the PIKA more of a substitute for pockets that women's clothing lacks for day to day activities, on days when I'm not wearing a Macabi skirt.
    But @BWeaves, if you were using a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag as a seat pocket bag, the PIKA would easily be stowable there — it would even fit into the front diagonally zippered pocket and act as a stiffener — well, it works for me.

    It seems to me that one of the potential big deals of going through TSA screening at the airport, even though I have Global Entry, is losing track of the documents you’re juggling and/or your phone. Maybe you have your electronic boarding pass info on your phone to scan in, but you also need your passport if this is foreign travel and/or physical boarding passes because you have multiple segments and also want to keep track of your luggage tags and itinerary. With the PIKA you could have all those documents in one place, along with a Nik’s wallet (I don’t buy drinks on board, but remember that a lot of airlines now only take credit or debit card purchases for snack boxes, etc.)

    I carry a small phone (that I could even zip into the front pocket, but more likely would store, together with my passport and Global Entry card, in the zippered pocket built into the back of the mesh pocket at the back side of the PIKA. But I told @G42 that I would totally use the main pouch to hold my Kindle Paperwhite.

    The other thing that makes this convenient is when you have to use the restroom when you’re going though the processing areas (before/after) customs, and want all your documents and ID together, along with the (now huge sizes of) phones.

    Just my thoughts here.

    moriond

    ETA: I don’t want to be paranoid here, but another thought is that when you get up to use the airplane bathroom on long flights, you don’t have room to easily bring along your bigger purse, and you may not have someone you’re traveling with to “guard it” — those rest rooms are pretty cramped and small. I like the notion that I could separate out my essentials and carry it around my neck while I wash my hands etc.
    Last edited by moriond; 11-30-2019 at 11:27 AM.

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