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  1. #1
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    Western Flyer for work and occasional travel?

    I've finally committed to finding my next bag for work, which is turning into a confusing search. I'm in technical sales and many of my customer visits turn into service calls, so my EDC consists of assorted cables and adapters, USB sticks, pens, business cards, a multimeter, a folder of brochures, a notebook, my HP Elitebook 850 (15.6" laptop) + charger, and sometimes some demo equipment (usually in a hard case about the size of a small dopp kit). I'll have an overnight trip every so often (5-10 / year), and when that happens it's nice to have some extra space for an iPad, over-the-ear headphones, and sometimes a mirrorless camera.

    My current bag is an expandable Victorinox briefcase and can handle the EDC load just fine but struggles when I travel. It's almost always in its expanded state and flops over on its front whenever my laptop is in there. Fully filled and expanded it's about 16x10x9. It's also getting too heavy (or I'm too weak) to comfortably shoulder carry for more than a few minutes.

    All this has me looking at something with backpack straps. I like having the option of shoulder carrying the bag, which is why the WF is appealing to me, though I'm still toying with the idea of just going with a backpack-only (was looking at the Synapse 25). I also sometimes strip out a lot of my equipment for a short trip and try to stuff everything into one bag (laptop and a couple shirts, underwear, and socks) which I think could be a great use of the WF.

    Also had a question about laptop storage on the WF: this bag is already stretching my budget thin and the BC is a) pricey and more protection than I need and b) seems to take up some extra space in the bag that would be nice to not give up. Does the cache work well in this bag without any hacks/mods, or does anyone have other suggestions? I like just being able to slide my laptop straight in-and-out of my current bag. I have pre-check so don't really care about it being TSA friendly.

    So to WF and other bag users, does this make sense or does it sound like I'm better off with a S25 or something else? I love the idea of all the space in the TS, but it seems like it'd be awkward looking to carry such a large bag into 5 minute customer visits/to work every day, and I'll be in for >$400 (!) after adding a FS and a couple accessories, so that's tough to justify. Maybe I just need to buy a few different ones and see how everything fits and keep the one I like best.

  2. #2
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    I use the WF as 1-2 night one bag solution in a similar role (software, not HW though). I don't use a cache but bought a $30 sleeve to accomplish the same thing basically. Here are some pics:

    Packed
    Western Flyer for work and occasional travel?-2016-05-09-22-08-19-jpg
    Western Flyer for work and occasional travel?-2016-05-09-22-08-55-jpg

    Contents
    Sport coat (WF lg packing cube), 1 change of clothing (EC med folder), Lenovo W530 laptop (targus sleeve), etc
    Western Flyer for work and occasional travel?-2016-05-09-22-10-18-jpg

  3. #3
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    I don't use a BC with my WF but instead have a Cache-type sleeve (either a real Cache for my 15" MBP or a cheaper sleeve for a 13" MBA). If you pack the WF well and don't intentionally use your bag as a weapon I think a sleeve is good enough.

  4. #4
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    I use the WF for short travel hops (up to a week if leisure, 1-3 days business) and it's been great. I don't have a Brain cell or a cache - like Killeri I just have a sleeve that my HP Elitebook sits in and I've had no problems with it so far.

    here's a typical business loadout:
    Western Flyer for work and occasional travel?-dsc_0065a-jpg

    Wasabi 3DOC is first aid kit, steel 3DOC is the cables and powerpack for the laptop. PCSB is change of clothes/nightwear, Clear OC for toiletries, travel tray for inhalers etc, plus travel slippers
    Western Flyer for work and occasional travel?-dsc_0066a-jpg

    Wallet, brolly, glasses in case, pouch with business cards etc, keys, pouch with USB drives and handsfree kit, Laptop (on sleeve), A4 folder with papers and A5 notebook plus pens etc, sunglasses, hairbrush
    Western Flyer for work and occasional travel?-dsc_0067a-jpg
    Last edited by Vertandor; 09-23-2016 at 10:42 AM.
    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP - Leonard Nimoy

  5. #5
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    Have you looked at the Brain Bag? Also two separate sections, but in backpack only mode. A bit less cash, and lots of built-in storage that could mean fewer accessories needed?

  6. #6
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    Thanks all for the helpful replies. Based on your pics I think the WF with a sleeve may work well for me. I've placed an order for one (halcyon) along with some assorted packing accessoreis (probably should have put more effort into my selections there but want this stuff for a trip soon). I also ordered a TS mostly just to check it out... I'm thinking the TS will be too big for EDC use and will probably get returned but I'd like to see it at least.

    The Brain Bag was definitely under consideration but I figured most of the time it would be very lightly loaded (the S25 would probably be enough space) and it seems to be a bit more outdoorsy-styled than I was looking for in work bag. Plus I'll be happy to have the option of backpack and shoulder straps if I find the WF actually meets my needs. Will see how it goes when it arrives next week!

  7. #7
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    I think the WF's strength is that it's not too big as an every day bag but it can easily handle travel also.

    You're right to concerned that the TS would look just too big.

    I think you'd be very happy with the WF and as others have said, use your own laptop sleeve.


    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)

  8. #8
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    Welcome to the forums, @olesam,

    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    There is a super easy hack to mod the existing Western Flyer to hold a cache with rails instead of a Brain Cell. See @Perseffect's post in the Cache with Rails in a Western Flyer? thread. If you're in the U.S., try the Tech Zone - Chunky Large Hook and Loop Fastener Cable Ties and get a pair of Single Gatekeeper Clips from Parts
    You can probably get faster information on some points if you give details of your laptop dimensions. (Since there my web search turned up 3 generations of the HP EliteBook 850, I had to guess that your laptop dimensions were those of the G3: 10.1" x 15.1" x 0.8"). If this is the case, then I'd recommend the new PC1 size cache that was introduced just this June. Its internal cache dimensions are given as 10.35" x 15.1" x 1.1"/ 263 x 384 x 28mm, which would exactly match the long dimension of your laptop (assuming I have the correct identification), and should fit better than the Size 1 Cache (that is wider), so that the laptop will not shift from side to side inside the cache. Again, you could always check with Customer Service for their recommendation.

    By the way, the reason for suggesting that you get a pair of Single Gatekeeper Clips from Parts (for $1), is that the webbing loops for suspending the cache with rails are normally sewn at the top of the bag and the Gatekeeper Rail Clips that now come with each Cache, have an additional "drop" to account for having the webbing loop placement that high. If you don't substitute the single gatekeeper clips hooked into the Velcro loops for the Gatekeeper Rail Clips, the bottom of your suspended cache drops 3" lower -- so your laptop in the cache hits the bottom of the Western Flyer compartment instead of being suspended.

    Quote Originally Posted by Perseffect View Post
    Well firstly, my Navy/UV Western Flyer arrived today and the colour combo is amazing. I have the navy/solar which I thought was cool but this beats it. Guess these are just my colours.

    Anyway, back to the point. Got straight to trying some ideas on securing the horizontal cache (in this case the 15 inch macbook retina size). I removed the brain cell annex clips and then used two single gatekeeper clips and two velcro cable ties that I had lying around. Simple and effective. See the photos below. Glad this works well and hope others try it also.

    Thank to everyone who provided some great ideas.







    (Normally the webbing loops for suspending a cache for a bag designed for the cache with rails would be at the top seam, just below the top zipper. So by not getting single gatekeeper clips to use instead of the Gatekeeper Rail Clips that come with your cache, your cache would hang 3" lower in that last picture. However, you'll be able to use those Gatekeeper Rail Clips with your horizontal caches in other bags (Cadet, Pilot, Tri-Star, Daylight Briefcase, etc.)

    HTH

    moriond

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