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  1. #1
    Forum Member CrazyCatTim's Avatar
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    A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread

    I'm going to pop out of lurking mode, as I do occasionally, to ask the forum's advice on Pilot v Co-Pilot. I'm looking for, as I call it, an "extended" everyday bag. Right now I have a Medium Cafe Bag which I use almost every day. It's my "pop out to do some errands and need to carry some stuff" bag or "going to visit friends / going to grab a beer / going to grab a coffee and need to carry some stuff" bag. Works perfectly for that.

    What I need is a bag for when I'm going out for the full day and I need to carry more stuff than the Cafe will fit. Here's my "extended" carry:

    A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-img_20170226_090540-jpg

    Sunglasses case, small q-kit for change, nock.co fountain pen pouch, notepad, book (which can sometimes reach doorstop-fantasy size, as seen in the picture), Vanquest Husky (measures 8 x 6 x 2, and carries all my phone chargers and edc gear). Sometimes I'll want some extra space in the bag as well - to toss in quick purchases, or if I'm carrying a small board game around (which I will often do). This all doesn't fit in my Cafe bag, and I have a Maker's Bag, but I've found that it doesn't really work for my purposes (the front pocket ends up being wasted space, for example). In my pre Tom Bihn days, I used a Vagabond Traveler (measuring 15.4 x 12.6 x 4.4). It was adequate, but the internal organization was not great - one of the many reasons why I switched to TB.

    So, I'd like a bag which I can use for day-trips to carry all my extra stuff with me. I want the profile of the bag to lean towards "messanger" and not "brief case," and I'd want it to both be able to carry all my stuff but be light enough that it isn't going to feel like a burden on an 8 to 12 hour day. I really can't tell if the Pilot or Co-Pilot fits this bill. My worry would be that if I had a Co-Pilot, it would fit everything in the photo, but leave me no room to spare, but, conversely, that a Pilot would have the space, but would be too big / bulky for an EDC day bag. What do you all think?
    Attached Images Attached Images A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-img_20170226_090540-jpg 
    Medium Cafe Bag; Synapse 25; Aeronaut 45; Maker's Bag

  2. #2
    Forum Member threeteez's Avatar
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    To review sizes of a variety of contenders, the MCB is 8L, CP is 10L, LCB is 11L, Maker's is 12.5L, Pilot is 13L, and the PU is also 13L. I have all of those except the PU.

    I'm not sure there'd be room for a small board game in the CP along with your EDC items. The Pilot would handle it all, but to me, both the CP and the Pilot read "briefcase" and not messenger bag. If your Maker's carries your stuff with a bit of wasted space, then the Large Cafe Bag may be a good fit especially since you already enjoy the vertical carry of your MCB. The PU may not be a look you're interested in, but there's to be an slightly updated version that was announced this past week in the General Bag discussion thread.

  3. #3
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    Why don't you order one Co-Pilot and one Pilot and do a test pack?

    Also, stupid question but, why do people carry chargers in the their EDC? They are bulky and add weight, and I would never use it during the day anyway. I go home at the end of the day and charge my phone, tablet, etc. once I get home.

    Obviously, it's different if you are traveling, and need to bring your charger with you to your hotel. But once I'm at "home base" the charger comes out of my bag and stays in my room. Why lug the chargers around in your EDC?

  4. #4
    Forum Member CrazyCatTim's Avatar
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    I carry a charger because I almost always use it every day. Due to the nature of my work, I am not always at home or at the office. I frequently have meetings at other locations through the day, and I also use my phone a great deal for calls, SMS, and email. I carry a charger because my phone will frequently require a top up by mid to late afternoon.

    Buying one of each is not an option that makes a great deal of sense. I live in Canada, so I will pay international shipping for two bags, and there is a very good chance I will have to pay tax on importing two bags, and then I will have to pay to return one of the two bags. This has three choke points where I could potentially have to pay for a bag I ultimately won't end up keeping.

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    Last edited by CrazyCatTim; 02-26-2017 at 09:31 AM.
    Medium Cafe Bag; Synapse 25; Aeronaut 45; Maker's Bag

  5. #5
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    I have a MCB and a Co-Pilot. And I've ordered a Pilot, which is supposed to arrive tomorrow.

    Based on what you're carrying, I think the Co-Pilot would work well for you. I bought mine when they first came out as a travel bag, and it works great as one. I've also used it as an EDC. It is big enough to carry an original sized iPad, along with my phone, pens, a notebook, and cables/chargers. It has great organization, and I use the water bottle slot a lot. I also like that it zips closed completely, so stuff can't fall out when you set it down. (This is the main drawback to the MCB, especially on the NYC subways, which I ride.) I bought a Pilot because it will be big enough for me to carry my MacBook Air, and it can take it to meetings.

    Once I get my Pilot, I'll try to post a picture of it, the Co-Pilot, and the MCB side by side so that you can get a better sense of how they differ.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for your explanations! That all makes perfect sense.

  7. #7
    Forum Member RDR3's Avatar
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    Have you considered the DLBC? IMO, it looks less like a briefcase than the CP and molds to the body like a messenger bag and has a slender profile than the CP. The other option is to get the halycon version of the CP versus the ballistic. This is the steel CP and the white grid Nordic CP. I can stuff more in the halycon CP.
    Attachment 17539
    Attachment 17540
    For reference, this is the CP, DLBC and MB. I'll try to snag DH's Pilot when he's home later today for a picture Smilie
    A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-image-jpeg


    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyCatTim View Post
    I'm going to pop out of lurking mode, as I do occasionally, to ask the forum's advice on Pilot v Co-Pilot. I'm looking for, as I call it, an "extended" everyday bag. Right now I have a Medium Cafe Bag which I use almost every day. It's my "pop out to do some errands and need to carry some stuff" bag or "going to visit friends / going to grab a beer / going to grab a coffee and need to carry some stuff" bag. Works perfectly for that.

    What I need is a bag for when I'm going out for the full day and I need to carry more stuff than the Cafe will fit. Here's my "extended" carry:

    A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-img_20170226_090540-jpg

    Sunglasses case, small q-kit for change, nock.co fountain pen pouch, notepad, book (which can sometimes reach doorstop-fantasy size, as seen in the picture), Vanquest Husky (measures 8 x 6 x 2, and carries all my phone chargers and edc gear). Sometimes I'll want some extra space in the bag as well - to toss in quick purchases, or if I'm carrying a small board game around (which I will often do). This all doesn't fit in my Cafe bag, and I have a Maker's Bag, but I've found that it doesn't really work for my purposes (the front pocket ends up being wasted space, for example). In my pre Tom Bihn days, I used a Vagabond Traveler (measuring 15.4 x 12.6 x 4.4). It was adequate, but the internal organization was not great - one of the many reasons why I switched to TB.

    So, I'd like a bag which I can use for day-trips to carry all my extra stuff with me. I want the profile of the bag to lean towards "messanger" and not "brief case," and I'd want it to both be able to carry all my stuff but be light enough that it isn't going to feel like a burden on an 8 to 12 hour day. I really can't tell if the Pilot or Co-Pilot fits this bill. My worry would be that if I had a Co-Pilot, it would fit everything in the photo, but leave me no room to spare, but, conversely, that a Pilot would have the space, but would be too big / bulky for an EDC day bag. What do you all think?

  8. #8
    Forum Member CrazyCatTim's Avatar
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    Hmm. I hadn't considered the DLBC, but I just did some poking around and video reviews, and it looks like it might be a contender. My main concern is that it is smaller than the MB, and while the MB has some organizational challenges for me, the volume of it is pretty good. I'm not sure if the DLBC would give me the space I'm looking for. Maybe though.
    Medium Cafe Bag; Synapse 25; Aeronaut 45; Maker's Bag

  9. #9
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    I like the structure of the Pilot in ballistic. No sagging. Holds its shape.

    I do not like the floppiness of the DLBC, and I don't like the ribbonlike handles, either. On the other hand, that's the whole point of the DLBC -- that it's nice and floppy and has flat handles.

    Pick what works best for you.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Although the pilot and co-pilot are often called breifcase like, I don't agree with that. And certainly not ones in Halcyon where the floppyness makes them look more casual.

    For me, they have the right amount of pockets v open spaces. It's just the volume question to answer.

    I use a co-pilot as an EDC for uses just like you suggest. However my pilot is more flexible overall for additional space as you need it.

    You said your Makers Bag was about the right size so I'd go for the pilot in Halcyon. However I doubt you'd be disappointed with the co-pilot for 90% of your uses. Hope this helps.


    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)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I like the structure of the Pilot in ballistic. No sagging. Holds its shape.

    I do not like the floppiness of the DLBC, and I don't like the ribbonlike handles, either. On the other hand, that's the whole point of the DLBC -- that it's nice and floppy and has flat handles.

    Pick what works best for you.
    This summarizes it for me. I started with a Pilot and having used it on and off for a couple of months, it keeps just feeling not-quite-right for some reason. I can't quite figure it out. (Co-pilot is a non-starter because of laptop size.) I feel like I have to work a little hard to pull back some of the material and get down into the pockets. I am going to try a Cadet and see if that feels better (and the non-flat items are still suitably non-obtrusive in the front pocket) - depending on the pictures, it either looks SUPER BIG or barely there, I need to try it in person.

    On the other hand (and the reason I'm posting here) is that the DLBC, I like more and more as I use it more. It's both somewhat bottomless and also limiting, in the right way - if that makes any sense. And the "ribbon-like" handles are not as comfy as those on the bigger cases, but I actually enjoy the sensation. It's worth a look.

  12. #12
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    Check out the Anker smart charger. The version I have is 2.5" x 2.5" x 1"; has four USB ports. It automatically adjusts voltage depending on what is plugged into each port. It's the only charger you would need to carry. Generally, I carry no charger when running around locally.

    My MacBook 12 fits into my Co-Pilot nicely, with a protective soft sleeve on it. If I'm just running around locally and think I might need email, I can leave the MacBook at home, and take my iPad with a Logitech bluetooth keyboard. I hate typing on iPads or my iPhone; I'm a touch typist. If I'm not anticipating doing much email while out, I'll leave the keyboard at home and just take the iPad.

    One thing that is simpler for me, but maybe not for everyone: I'm pretty much done with physical books; all my reading now is ebooks on the iPad. Most are from Apple's bookstore but there is also a Kindle app for the iPad.

  13. #13
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    << Also, stupid question but, why do people carry chargers in the their EDC? >>

    Not the main topic, but (1) just in case you aren't just going to the office and home, and need it; (2) I have let others borrow it who need a charge; (3) the Anker Astro mini is just so small and lightweight, it's hard to justify not carrying it, just in case (1) or (2) happens.

  14. #14
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    I only have a Co-Pilot right now, but I gave this my best shot. Kit: a packed Side Effect (close in dimensions to Vanquest Husky), a really big copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galxay, a mini q-kit stuffed with a Chico bag, the biggest sunglasses case I own, an Anker PowerCore II 20000 (6.3 x 2.6 x 1in), Large purple Moleskine, and a Tom Bihn Clear Organizer Wallet.

    Main Compartment: Side Effect, Book, Moleskine, Mini Q-Kit, Clear Organizer Wallet
    Front Right Pocket (with the pen slots): Battery
    Front Left Pocket: Sunglasses Case

    There was some room in both of the front pockets and I didn't put anything at all in the front middle pocket (water bottle holder). There was very little room in the main compartment.

    Hope that helps!
    A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-packed-jpgA Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-kit-jpg

  15. #15
    Forum Member RDR3's Avatar
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    Pilot ballistic, pilot halycon, MB, LCB, CP, MCB
    A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-image-jpeg
    MB and LCB
    A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-image-jpg
    MCB and CP
    A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-image-jpg
    Pilot- halycon and ballistic
    A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-image-jpeg
    CP, MB
    MCB, LCB
    A Pilot v Co-Pilot Thread-image-jpg

    Hope this helps with size references. Boy1 and boy2 prefer the MCB, MB and LCB get swapped back and forth as a diaper bag for boy3 and DH prefers the Pilot. I use the CP when it's just me using the bag and I can keep everything organized in their different compartments. Let me know if you want more pics of the inside Smilie Have fun deciding!
    Last edited by RDR3; 03-04-2017 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Order of bags

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