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  1. #1
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    Best Personal Item for United? (Other than a TB bag)

    The cheapest fares on United allow you to bring only a personal item, and United's size limits for personal items are more strict than any other U.S. carrier -- 17 inches by 10 by 9.

    The late, great Night Flight Travel Duffle was sized perfectly for this use, but TB has told me they have no plans to bring it back, nor can they say whether any planned designs would be a good fit. And there's nothing in the current TB lineup that wouldn't be a serious compromise.

    The Stowaway supposedly was designed with this use in mind, but it's substantially smaller than United's limits (12 liters vs. roughly 22 or a bit more), and it has too much organization to suit many people. The mini size of the Yeoman duffle is closer to United's limits (it's 17 liters), but it has no organization at all, not even an external pocket for cell phone, wallet, and keys. The combination of a mini Yeoman with a side effect might be workable, but it would be an awkward compromise.

    Yes, I could troll ebay, the FB "for sale or trade" group and other places for a Night Flight, but the demand for them is high, and owners rarely part with them.

    Among companies that make good quality bags, the smaller size of the Tripper duffle from Timbuk2 seems like the best possibility I've seen thus far. It has enough organization, and though it's a bit oversized one could probably get away with it:
    https://www.timbuk2.com/collections/...per-duffel-bag

    Any other suggestions for a bag that's both useful and takes full advantage of United's limits?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Buffalonian; 10-02-2018 at 08:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    Pop tote or synapse 19?

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  3. #3
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    This is a TB blog post from when the new size went into effect... note that was several years ago, so the list isn't up to date, but gives you an idea
    https://blog.tombihn.com/united-airl...-bihn-bags-fit


    And since you said non-TB, this is current list of bags that fit the United personal size from the FlyerTalk Forum (note, it's the second list in the sticky post)

    https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...forcement.html
    Last edited by G42; 10-02-2018 at 07:47 PM.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the TB blog post, G42 ... I'm struck by the fact that all of the "personal item safe" bags are far under the limit, while two thirds of the things listed as "upper limit personal items" (i.e., slightly oversized) have been RETIRED.

    TB seems to have a hole in it's lineup ... there's little between the 12-13 liter bags on one hand (Cadet, Pilot, Maker's Bag, Stowaway) and the bags of 25 liters or more on the other. If someone doesn't want a backpack like the S19, the Yeoman mini and Empire Builder are the only things in between -- and both go to opposite extremes.

    The S19 is an interesting option that I hadn't considered (thank you, melminimalist) -- it's only slightly over the limit. But since I'm 6-4, I do wonder whether it would feel small on me. (I'd prefer something with a shoulder strap or backpack straps, so the pop tote is out.)

    One other bag I somehow missed that exactly fits the limits: the Outbreaker Packable Duffle from Tortuga:
    https://www.tortugabackpacks.com/col...ackable-duffle
    Last edited by Buffalonian; 10-02-2018 at 08:57 PM.

  5. #5
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    You might also look at the Bad Bags duffel No.1.5. It’s pretty close and has a bit of organization.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabergnc View Post
    You might also look at the Bad Bags duffel No.1.5. It’s pretty close and has a bit of organization.
    Thanks! That's definitely a good option -- though I wish their branding was a little less in-your-face.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalonian View Post
    If someone doesn't want a backpack like the S19, the Yeoman mini and Empire Builder are the only things in between -- and both go to opposite extremes.
    If I had to fly on that type of ticket/baggage restriction, I would probably go the mini Yeoman route or an under packed small Yeoman.
    I use packaging cubes normally - I err towards wanting LESS built in organization so that I can customizer per trip...so I don't find that a problem in the Yeoman. Probably I would include a halcyon SideKick inside, with the double carabiners to hang on the seat back pocket, once the flight was in the air for the convenience of having my Kindle & water bottle easily accessible.

    Let us know what you end up trying out!
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  8. #8
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    I will! I'll be in Seattle in early December, so I may wait until I can drop by the TB store in person.

    Your suggested solution makes sense -- my only serious gripe with the Yeoman is that I'd like to have an external pocket that I can empty my pants pockets into before I go through security.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalonian View Post

    Your suggested solution makes sense -- my only serious gripe with the Yeoman is that I'd like to have an external pocket that I can empty my pants pockets into before I go through security.
    If you don't have Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check, look into it as it greatly reduces the hassle of going through airport security.

    I'm female and do not own/carry a purse. My small card wallet, cash, and phone are in my pockets/attached to me.
    I put my car keys into my bag once I leave my car and only take them out once I finish my trip and am about to get my car again (at the airport or train or home). Money & wallet stay in my pockets..only the cellphone has to go through the scanner and they have small bins for that.

    Seriously, I've been Global Entry (the extra $15 is worth it if you plan even one int'l trip in the 5 year span) with the automatic TSA Pre-check for several years. It's totally worth it for the speed AND for how much less you have to remove/take off.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalonian View Post
    The S19 is an interesting option that I hadn't considered (thank you, melminimalist) -- it's only slightly over the limit. But since I'm 6-4, I do wonder whether it would feel small on me. (I'd prefer something with a shoulder strap or backpack straps, so the pop tote is out.)
    I expect the S19 might feel small - if not outright miniature - on you. It's a great bag and I do use it, but I'm 5'11" and it feels a bit small on me. That said, particularly if you can try it within another order, may be worth trying.

  11. #11
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    I travel with a brain bag a lot, and 95% of the time I put it under the seat instead of in the overhead, and I've never had anyone try to stop me, question me, or measure it, and it always fits under the seat even when I have it pretty stuffed.

  12. #12
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    I had that one and returned it because it didn't feel very durable. I tend to pack kinda heavy, so I also found the shoulder strap to be subpar. It's a nice looking minimalist bag though.
    S19, Pilot, S25, SE, NFTD, SCB, LCB, LS- in that order, all in Halcyon. Newest: Brain Bag. Oh, and some Shop Bags and Travel Cubelets. And some pouches. And a couple of Organizer Wallets. And a SSK. And some stuff sacks. And a laundry sack. But I'm not hooked on TB.

  13. #13
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    osprey’s trillium 30 duffle fits these dims aaaaaalmost exactly. it’s durable but very squishable, and can be had fairly reasonably (under $50 if you hunt even the tiniest bit). it has a zippered mesh pocket in the flap and one external zip pocket on an end, plus lockable zippers on the main compartment. if you didn’t jam it completely and utterly rock-solid full, you’d be golden. I use one of these for similar trips (and day-to-day as my gym bag). the strap is a little different, made to be shoulder-carried or crossbody across the back like a bandolier, but I really love and use the snot out of it.

  14. #14
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    Pop Tote is a great in-flight bag.

  15. #15
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Hmmm, they stopped making the Night Flight? I thought it was a clever little bag!

    Man, those are *not* generous dimensions. Hmmm. You could look at Topop Designs Trip Pack, which is from a company in Colorado that also makes good stuff. My only objection to Topo designs is that their zippers are not usually YKK water-resistant like TB's are.


    The small-size Filson Field Duffel is, apparently, 18x11x10, but maybe if it isn't fully packed you could pull it off. Filson are always really well made, though since they mostly use canvas and leather, it's going to be much heavier than a comparable Tom Bihn bag.

    Overall, I'd probably go to REI and just see what they have. Or, try eBay for the Night Flight!

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