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  1. #1
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    Pilot or Empire Builder

    I am trying to decide between a Pilot and an Empire Builder. I want to use the bag for EDC but also when I travel. I'm concerned that the Pilot may not be quite as big as I would like. I'm also concerned that the Empire Builder would not fit under a seat on a regular plane. (I'm not concerned as much about the regional jets because I can gate check my roller bag and I think I can get the Empire Builder into an overhead compartment if needed.)

    Any input and advice you can give regarding the Pilot and/or the Empire Builder would be helpful; especially input on traveling with an Empire Builder.

    Thanks,
    Ron

  2. #2
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    All depends what you're looking to bring with you. I traveled all summer doing a 'Consulting week' (Mon-Thu, so 3 nights on the road) with just a Pilot. I've got various posts on here showing my setup, but I'm pretty minimal in my needs:

    1) Work laptop (T450s) + power brick
    2) 3 shirts, 3 socks, 3 roos, 1 pair pants
    3) Toilitires (in a 3DOC)
    4) Ipad mini, portable mouse, earbuds and a couple of lightning cables.

    I absolutely love being able to travel with everything so small and compact like this, but that's just my tastes, yours might differ. For instance, you mention gate checking a roller bag, so I'm guessing you're travelling with more than I bring with me. A breakdown of what you are bringing (at least in the Pilot/EB) would help us determine how well things fit.

  3. #3
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    Orlando, FL
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    I've used the Pilot as my entire luggage for a 3 day conference. Granted, I traveled very light with no laptop, but there was actually room to spare.

    Front pocket, Clear 3-D cube for toiletries. Room to spare.
    Other front pocket, SE used as my purse later. Room to spare.
    Center pocket. Undies in a stuff sack.
    Back pocket, Eagle Creek small packing folder with all my clothes, and a large clear organizer pouch for papers. Lots of room to spare.

    I did not bring extra shoes or hairdryers or electronics or stuff like that, because the hotel had whatever I needed.

    For EDC I use my cache and a cubelet, and there's still lots of room to spare after packing my computer stuff.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the responses. I am taking it that I can get more in a Pilot than I would expect. I guess my primary question could have been more focused. I am leaning to going with the bigger Empire Builder but want to make sure I can take it with me on a plane and get it under a seat. Does anyone have any experience of traveling with an Empire Builder?

    Thanks everyone!

  5. #5
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    I ordered an Empire Builder, and returned it. It's huge and was way too big for my needs- and I had the same concern about it fitting under an airplane seat. I am not sure it would fit under the aisle seat on Alaska Airlines, it might fit under the middle or the window seat.

    For me a Pilot is a little small due to my work laptop size, but the Empire Builder is too big and unwieldy. I wish for the Zephyr to make a re-appearance.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by featherwitch View Post
    I ordered an Empire Builder, and returned it. It's huge and was way too big for my needs- and I had the same concern about it fitting under an airplane seat. I am not sure it would fit under the aisle seat on Alaska Airlines, it might fit under the middle or the window seat.

    For me a Pilot is a little small due to my work laptop size, but the Empire Builder is too big and unwieldy. I wish for the Zephyr to make a re-appearance.
    I'm in the same boat. I have a Pilot and love it, but recently got a larger laptop that just won't fit. I'd love a briefcase which could fit a ~15" inch laptop and still make it under the seat of a 737 vertically. A slightly larger Pilot would be ideal, though a Zephyr 2.0 would be awesome too if it would fit under the seat.

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