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  1. #1
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    Trying to decide for work carry

    Nothing like the process of organizing a new bag! But first...to get the bag.

    Some feedback on a new work bag please. I'm currently using a Pacsafe Venturesafe 325 GII cross body pack for work. I'm a professional in post-secondary academia and this bag is sufficient for my light loadouts since it's summer.

    But I now am looking at a few options for when more work comes home with me. I know there is no perfect bag. I haven't used a backpack since 10th grade in high school. Matter of fact, I tried going back to a backpack earlier this year, and it just didn't work out. Sold it. Since I love my A45, I want/need another TB carry solution. Below are the most common things that I would be carrying on the daily:

    13" MacBook Alum in neoprene sleeve
    File folder with stack of papers (about 1-1.5" think)
    iPad Mini in Devicewear Ridge case
    Stuffed MAXPED Mini Pocket Org
    0.75L water vessel and/or 16 fl. oz. coffee tumbler
    iPhone 6 (usually is carried on person)
    MacBook charging brick
    iPad charging brick
    2-3 pens
    EDC flashlight
    Anker Astro E1 power bank
    Some toiletries (small zippered pouch w/ toothbrush 'n paste, hand sanitizer, chapstick, stick deodorant)
    granola bars
    Moleskine large notebook hard cover

    I would also like to be able to convert the bag into a DSLR camera back with a third-party insert for weekend outings. Ideally I would bring my D90 with 1-2 lenses and flash.

    Here are the 3 bags that I've looked into thus far:

    Pilot - leaning towards this the most so far
    ID - I love the features and philosophy of this bag, but it's being retired
    DLBC - I love the minimalism, but I think I need more organization compartments :P

    Sorry for the novel. Feedback appreciated!

  2. #2
    Forum Member nukediver's Avatar
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    My recommendation is for the Pilot. It should easily do what you have listed. And definitely spend the $$ for the Absolute Strap!
    Eat well, travel often.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    I use a pilot for work every day with absolute strap. I did have a dyneema one which I liked for its softness. But I've swapped now to ballistic which although rigid at times is more fitting in a work environment. It's perfect.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  4. #4
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    Dear PandaOps,

    I feel like what you have described should go nicely into the Pilot. Although it may be rather full at that point -- that isn't a bad thing, but if you wanted to throw the extra odd thing in there, keep in mind that you may find yourself a little constrained.

    The ID is another great bag -- it has a different approach to organization than the Pilot. Both are great, it's a question of how you prefer to organize. Don't dismiss it because it's being retired.

    I don't look at a TOM BIHN bag ever retiring. Rather, a bag sometimes takes a vacation! It may return at sometime in the future, perhaps with new design elements or fabrics. Or aspects of its design may find their way into bags that come down the road.

    Loved the novel, read it twice! Wink
    -m

  5. #5
    Forum Member monisbrett's Avatar
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    PandaOps,

    Like you, I've never been a backpack person and I find my Dyneema Pilot most comfortable. I use it for work and travel and carry about as much as you list in your "novel". It is so wonderfully designed that I can find what I want easily and it comfortably holds a lot. As the others recommended I would suggest that you get the the absolute strap.

    I do also have a DLBC which I often use when when I'm parked at a theatre for several weeks. I keep my Pilot loaded to take to rehearsals and back and use the DLBC to travel to and from home as usually I'm only carrying a Score, Hobonichi and my tablet or MBP and I don't need the organisation of the Pilot.

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    If this helps, I posted in an earlier thread with what I usually put in my Pilot for work:



    The contents are:

    Main pocket (room for more stuff)
    Dell E7440 14" notebook in a Thule Sleeve
    Small black plastic file folder with files (~0.5" thick)
    Small pocket book
    Small First Aid kit

    Left Side pocket:
    Bose Soundlink mini speaker in TB Medium Yarn Stuff Sack (YSS)
    Power Bricks in TB 3D Fabric Organizer Cube (the 3DFOC has about the same dimensions as your Maxped)
    Smaller long case for small accessories and adapters (wires, network cables, phone plugs, etc)
    Solar Charger

    Middle pocket:
    16 oz Contigo Mug

    Right Side Pocket:
    Lunch (I think 1 L size) in GlassLock container
    2 Pens
    Fisherman's Friend
    Bluetook earpiece in TB Mini Organizer Pouch
    Sony Compact Zoom Camera in Lowepro hard shell case

    See link below for more detail and other great posts:
    http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...html#post84370

    For reference, here is what I could carry in my Daylight Briefcase (DLBC) - I do not think it would fit all that you want and still look nice (may be quite uneven):



    See link below for more detail and other great posts:
    http://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vid...html#post82687

    Also, I found that I loved to carry my Pilot cross-body using a Q-AM Shoulder Strap:



    Note that to get the Q-AM Shoulder Strap to work, I needed to purchase a set of 1.5" Metal SnapHooks from the parts page as well as 2 1.5" tri-glides and threaded them all together so I had a snap-on attachment for the shoulder strap.

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!

    Edit:
    An additional thing I now carry in my Pilot is a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag (PCSB) with some attachment parts in case I need to carry more. It can fit piggyback style on the Pilot using some of the attachment parts on the TB website parts section - 2 Double Carabiners or 2 1.5" Triangle Hook or Gatekeeper Rail Clips. I use these attachments to hook the PCSB to the Pilot (usually in the loop that attaches the bag to the main Shoulder strap) - see below for an early example of what I did:



    Also, as for the ID - though I do not have one, I agree with @Maverick. Do not worry about retirement. If it works size wise and you like the style (messenger), try it. Also, it is designed to be used cross-body easily with the proper attachment points for cross stabilization (do not forget to get the Stabilizer Strap attachment or ask if it is included).
    Last edited by tpnl; 09-26-2015 at 01:26 PM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  7. #7
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    @tpnl This. Is. Amazing. Wow, such functionality. Thank you so much! Big Grin

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    Dear PandaOps,

    I feel like what you have described should go nicely into the Pilot. Although it may be rather full at that point -- that isn't a bad thing, but if you wanted to throw the extra odd thing in there, keep in mind that you may find yourself a little constrained.

    The ID is another great bag -- it has a different approach to organization than the Pilot. Both are great, it's a question of how you prefer to organize. Don't dismiss it because it's being retired.

    I don't look at a TOM BIHN bag ever retiring. Rather, a bag sometimes takes a vacation! It may return at sometime in the future, perhaps with new design elements or fabrics. Or aspects of its design may find their way into bags that come down the road.

    Loved the novel, read it twice! Wink
    I've used flap messengers in the past. I like the security and weather protection of the flap. But I think I want something more sophisticated and professional looking which I think the Pilot displays. It also looks different. My fiancée is always telling me that I tend to get the same thing, but just newer or from another manuf.

    But every time I look back at the ID, I get indecisive. Perhaps, when it's retired it'll force my hand to go with the Pilot. Then again, in Bihn's blog post "Ah, the ID! A favorite of ours. But, there’s so many exciting new designs in the works and we won’t be able to debut them unless we retire some existing designs." If a new iteration of a messenger is on the horizon...I want to at least see it!

    ...decisions decisions...

  9. #9
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    Dear PandaOps,

    Despite the absence of a flap, the combination of the splash proof zippers and the clear urethane on the inside of the fabric should ensure that the contents of your Pilot remain dry.

    This is true for not just the Pilot, but any TOM BIHN bag with the aforementioned properties.

    If you're uncertain, order both the Pilot and the ID, and see which you prefer. Fair warning -- you may end up keeping both. Smilie

    Good luck! Smilie

    Quote Originally Posted by PandaOps View Post
    I've used flap messengers in the past. I like the security and weather protection of the flap. But I think I want something more sophisticated and professional looking which I think the Pilot displays. It also looks different. My fiancée is always telling me that I tend to get the same thing, but just newer or from another manuf.

    But every time I look back at the ID, I get indecisive. Perhaps, when it's retired it'll force my hand to go with the Pilot. Then again, in Bihn's blog post "Ah, the ID! A favorite of ours. But, there’s so many exciting new designs in the works and we won’t be able to debut them unless we retire some existing designs." If a new iteration of a messenger is on the horizon...I want to at least see it!

    ...decisions decisions...
    -m

  10. #10
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    The ballistic Pilots and Co-Pilots are my winter bags (unless it is a day when I have some reason to wear a backpack). They stood up to Boston's freezing rain and nonstop snow storms last season better than I did!

    If it is actively precipitating, I pack so that things that have to be pulled out when I am outdoors, such as my train pass, are in a different pocket than delicate electronics.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    The ballistic Pilots and Co-Pilots are my winter bags...
    Good to know, thanks for the feedback!
    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  12. #12
    Forum Member weirdguy's Avatar
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    @PandaOps, just like to share my another perspective. Hopefully, you will find them helpful.

    I used my Daylight Briefcase Grey as my EDC Work. I love it very much especially its minimalist dimension as a 13" Laptop Bag & Document Holders.

    My Likes:
    1. The bag is built light, even more lighter with Absolute Shoulder Strap
    2. Eventhough it is built light, it can stand on its own - even empty.
    3. The Zip is flawlessly smooth unlike Pilot (Old Zipper Style), Co-Pilot (New Zipper Style) and even, Aeronaut (Both & New Zipper Style). I think Parental Unit's Zipper is quite smooth as well. At least my Parental Unit.
    4. Another big LIKES from me, the Dimension (Length 13.4" x Height 9.8") are just the right spot for a 13" Laptop Briefcase and Document/File Folders.


    Trying to decide for work carry-dlbc-load-1-jpg

    My Dislikes:
    • Only one, unfortunately. the Main Compartment is only 3" Depth. With my Cache (13" Macbook Pro Retina for my Dell 13" E7240) taking 1", I only have 2" left. Also, the Front Pockets may impact the Main Compartment Space as well, or vice versa. Sometimes, I may have issue sliding in my phone into the first two pockets. It can be quite tight sometimes.


    Trying to decide for work carry-dlbc-load-2-jpg
    I used a Smart Alec's Upper Modular Pocket (UMP) at Back/Rear spacious pocket as I find the Back Pocket a small black hole and I have difficulty finding things or making sure it won't wonder around. So my Dyneema UMP able to act as Bigger Pouch, with wide almost-180-degree Opening. It even has a few internal Pockets to slot in Pen and Tools. I like this configuration.

    My thoughts for DLBC: I don't think the DLBC could hold all your listed stuff especially you have to put in Stacks of Paper/Folders (1 inch +)
    It is a limited depth Bag. I hope one day Tom Bihn could allow "expandable zip" Main Compartment.


    Actually, I was about to submit this post before I went to sleep as I thought to myself that Pilot most probably wouldn't able to hold that much either. My assumption, though I don't own a Pilot now. Then I thought to myself that I should have double-check my assumption first, at least with my current Co-Pilot (New Style Zipper, almost same Depth 5", while Pilot is 5.1") before making that statement. I was surprised that the Main Compartment was able to swallow (with a bit of force than usual) multiple books, total Depth of 4.5". I then realized that I had forgotten about the Co-Pilot's Main Compartment space can be expanded by taking space from Front Pockets. In my Co-Pilot testing case, it is taking space from the Front and Back as well. There was a slight budge. I don't think it is that obvious especially in Black exterior color.

    Trying to decide for work carry-co-pilot-depth-jpg

    Note: I couldn't manage to insert my Papers with A4 Plastic Folders into my Co-Pilot so I couldn't really feel or replicate my routine Work habit in my short Co-Pilot testing. I'm not sure either how the Co-Pilot/Pilot's Ballistic (More Harder) fabric could affect my routine Fingers going through my Folders and grab it. Is it an easy quick and grab process? I don't know.

    For an easy quick reference:
    Daylight Briefcase: 13.4" x 9.8" x 6.5"
    Co-Pilot: 12" x 10" x 5"
    Pilot: 15.4" x 11.4" x 5.1"

    Hah. Thanks for the tips, guys! Now, I am considering to get a Pilot too. How I hope, Black/Solar is available.
    Solar/Yellow: A45 Navy, CP Black, SA Black, SCB
    Steel/Grey: UMP Steel 400d, PU Coyote, DLBC, PCSB, TC
    Olive/Green: A30NWS, SCBCanyon, SKIsland
    Mars Red/Red: SENordic, SKCanyon, DLBCCanyon, SCBDawn


    BrainCell Size1 M4800, Cache 13"MBPR E7240

    ~Live Long & Prosper by Vulcan

  13. #13
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    @weirdguy -- What pouches have worked for some pens and tools in the Daylight Briefcase? I am adopting now, and I need somewhere to put pens, maybe some train tickets, etc.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Badger's Avatar
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    You can fit a lot of pens in a Small Organizer Pouch; there is also a dedicated pen/pencil pouch available. In my DLBC I tend to use one Small OP for pens and another for small items: hand sanitizer, lip balm, some ibuprofen, and mints. I carry a multitool and a ultrasuede cloth in a Mini OP. I can fit a pocket knife in as well but in general I just clip it to the interior pocket.

    For train tickets, I would suggest the Medium OP. It's also a really handy size for receipts and other small pieces of paper you might collect throughout the day. It also accepts 8.5"x11" sheets of paper, albeit folded in half. The Medium fits well into the back pocket of the DLBC.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Forum Member weirdguy's Avatar
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    @Fulton, I don't usually carry Pens in my Bag but I wouldn't mind to slot in a few Pens for your view and understanding.
    While for the Train Tickets, I am not sure the Dimension of your Tickets. Perhaps, you could use one of the few Pouches (Mini, Small, Medium) and attached a Keystrap to one of the O-Ring in the DLBC for a safe keeping.

    More photos of Upper Modular Pockets in DLBC's Rear Pocket.
    Trying to decide for work carry-ump-dlbc-jpg

    NOTE: I just remember that I had store my Logitech M545 Mouse and my Dell Laptop Adapter on the UMP. Hence, the bulge.
    Last edited by weirdguy; 09-27-2015 at 07:45 PM. Reason: added Note about the Rear Bulge
    Solar/Yellow: A45 Navy, CP Black, SA Black, SCB
    Steel/Grey: UMP Steel 400d, PU Coyote, DLBC, PCSB, TC
    Olive/Green: A30NWS, SCBCanyon, SKIsland
    Mars Red/Red: SENordic, SKCanyon, DLBCCanyon, SCBDawn


    BrainCell Size1 M4800, Cache 13"MBPR E7240

    ~Live Long & Prosper by Vulcan

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