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  1. #1
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    Returned from Europe, need another personal item bag

    I joined the forums a few days ago and today I ordered the black Ballistic/Island Pilot. (I had been checking frequently and it was only available for 5 minutes before they were gone!).

    I just returned from Paris and London on American Airlines. Despite paying a little more for economy plus seats, the under the seat floor space was too small for my Victorinox backpack, which measures 18 X 13 X 8. It was fully packed with my Ipad, toiletery bag, sling purse, book, etc.

    On the flight to Paris, we were in a row of four seats but all four seats had to share just three floor spaces. I got to my seat first and did feel bad that my backpack took too much space. Furthermore, it was too heavy and cumbersome on my rolling 20" bag.

    So since I have been back, I have been searching for a smaller, lighter personal item bag that is roomy. I have bought and returned numerous bags, including a Tumi slim briefcase and a REI Sherpani tote backpack because they were too small. However I am keeping a Vera Bradley iconic compact weekender bag because it holds alot but I am concerned about the microfiber material.

    I ordered the Pilot in ballistic because I thought the material is better suited for traveling to cities and tropical areas such as Costa Rica. I plan to carry it on top of my rolling bag. ( I am a 57 year old female with back issues).

    I hope my new Pilot works. I will try to hide this Pilot from my partner since she was the one who had to return the other bags for me.

    Wish me luck and thank you for all your insights.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Returned from Europe, need another personal item bag

    Quote Originally Posted by deerblue View Post
    I joined the forums a few days ago and today I ordered the black Ballistic/Island Pilot. (I had been checking frequently and it was only available for 5 minutes before they were gone!).

    I just returned from Paris and London on American Airlines. Despite paying a little more for economy plus seats, the under the seat floor space was too small for my Victorinox backpack, which measures 18 X 13 X 8. It was fully packed with my Ipad, toiletery bag, sling purse, book, etc.

    On the flight to Paris, we were in a row of four seats but all four seats had to share just three floor spaces. I got to my seat first and did feel bad that my backpack took too much space. Furthermore, it was too heavy and cumbersome on my rolling 20" bag.

    So since I have been back, I have been searching for a smaller, lighter personal item bag that is roomy. I have bought and returned numerous bags, including a Tumi slim briefcase and a REI Sherpani tote backpack because they were too small. However I am keeping a Vera Bradley iconic compact weekender bag because it holds alot but I am concerned about the microfiber material.

    I ordered the Pilot in ballistic because I thought the material is better suited for traveling to cities and tropical areas such as Costa Rica. I plan to carry it on top of my rolling bag. ( I am a 57 year old female with back issues).

    I hope my new Pilot works. I will try to hide this Pilot from my partner since she was the one who had to return the other bags for me.

    Wish me luck and thank you for all your insights.
    I hope you like your Pilot! Please let us know if it works for you. I think a lot of us have hidden TB purchases from our partners... Returned from Europe, need another personal item bag

    Edited to add: TB will build your shipping box inside out if you ask them to in the notes field, with the logo on the inside! Returned from Europe, need another personal item bag
    Last edited by Cristina; 05-31-2018 at 01:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    Indiana
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    This last time I got around the need to hide my order. My son knows there are 3 Mini Q-Kits in there, and he gets to choose one! He's excited for it to arrive. Tomorrow, yay!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by deerblue View Post
    I joined the forums a few days ago and today I ordered the black Ballistic/Island Pilot. (I had been checking frequently and it was only available for 5 minutes before they were gone!).

    I just returned from Paris and London on American Airlines. Despite paying a little more for economy plus seats, the under the seat floor space was too small for my Victorinox backpack, which measures 18 X 13 X 8. It was fully packed with my Ipad, toiletery bag, sling purse, book, etc.

    On the flight to Paris, we were in a row of four seats but all four seats had to share just three floor spaces. I got to my seat first and did feel bad that my backpack took too much space. Furthermore, it was too heavy and cumbersome on my rolling 20" bag.

    So since I have been back, I have been searching for a smaller, lighter personal item bag that is roomy. I have bought and returned numerous bags, including a Tumi slim briefcase and a REI Sherpani tote backpack because they were too small. However I am keeping a Vera Bradley iconic compact weekender bag because it holds alot but I am concerned about the microfiber material.

    I ordered the Pilot in ballistic because I thought the material is better suited for traveling to cities and tropical areas such as Costa Rica. I plan to carry it on top of my rolling bag. ( I am a 57 year old female with back issues).

    I hope my new Pilot works. I will try to hide this Pilot from my partner since she was the one who had to return the other bags for me.

    Wish me luck and thank you for all your insights.
    My Pilot is my favorite TB bag; I use it for my work laptop and overnight trips. Like you I looked at the the Vera iconic compact weekender but didn't like the material. However, if you like duffels the Vera bag is about the same size as the L. L. Bean small adventure duffel and the mini Yeoman. I have the L. L. Bean duffel and it works o.k. as a gym bag for me but the lack of organization I find annoying. I just got a small Yeoman and it's much better; it has the structure and organization that the L. L. Bean duffels lack so a mini is probably in my future.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deerblue View Post
    On the flight to Paris, we were in a row of four seats but all four seats had to share just three floor spaces.
    Yes! This happened on our United flight returning from Boston to San Francisco this past April. I couldn't BELIEVE they had a setup like this; essentially, the fourth person is SOL. How utterly rude. Whoever designed the aircraft interior was a true sadist. Talk about asking to start the flight in a foul mood.

    One thing I've discovered is that the underseat space is often narrower for aisle seats. Bags that might otherwise fit underneath, have trouble when I'm sitting in an aisle seat.

    When I can't stuff my main carryon underneath the seat, I put it in the overhead... usually very easy since I never use a rolling upright. Soft-sided means I can usually manage to squeeze it in there. I typically have all my need-to-get-to-during-the-flight items packed in my Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, which I literally HANG off the seatback pocket using S hangers (essentially carabiners).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post

    Edited to add: TB will build your shipping box inside out if you ask them to in the notes field, with the logo on the inside! Returned from Europe, need another personal item bag
    I really did not need to know that! Every time a Tom Bihn box arrives my husband says "What did you order now?!"

  7. #7
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    If I'm traveling with only one bag - one of the bigger TB bags - I've been using a Small Shop Bag for under the seat. I pull it out of the main bag right before boarding... it's big enough to hold a lumbar pillow, bottle of water, snacks, kindle, etc. I usu use a SE or SK with the S-biners as folks have mentioned, to clip to the seat pocket to hold little things. The SSB folds up very small and I don't generally have it stuffed enough to loose anything out of the open top.

    For traveling with two bags, I might bring the S19 or the Pop Tote to go under the seat...

  8. #8
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    It's not just husbands, my wife is not amused

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    Yes! This happened on our United flight returning from Boston to San Francisco this past April. I couldn't BELIEVE they had a setup like this; essentially, the fourth person is SOL. How utterly rude. Whoever designed the aircraft interior was a true sadist. Talk about asking to start the flight in a foul mood.
    Wow, note to self: don't fly American or United if they are doing this now. (Either that, or I need to figure out what class or what planes they do this on and avoid those.) If I'm the unlucky 4th person, it would destroy my one-bag travel strategy, as I keep my electronics in my one Tri-Star and would not want to have to keep going to the overhead bin to get or return gadgets, especially if they require the bins to be shut due to turbulence.

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