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  1. #1
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    Will the Pilot reach my expectations ?

    Hi, i consider myself as a bag addict but i came to realise that i don't have a small bag for 2 night trips (wich i tend to do a lot these days) so i end up using a 40L mosty empty.

    So i'm on the market for a 15L briefcase/duffel bag (don't like backpack carrying style).
    I'm about to pull the trigger for a TB Pilot. It's just 2L smaller than my 15L search but it could be enough.

    Here's what i will carry :

    Laptop, i'm not decided if will use a cache. First i rarely Travel by air so no TSA inspection. Second i have several laptop to choose from. For sure if i go for a cache i will choose the biggest that fit the TB Pilot. If not i will juste use a random sleeve.
    About cache i see good and bad
    The good : i will order the Pilot un Halcyon, maybe the cache could help to the Pilot to keep his shape.
    The Bad : cache are thick and take space

    Peak Design Tech Pouch : i'm a huge fan of this pouch which i use as my EDC purse and i'd like to put it in the Pilot (ideally in a front pocket). It's 9.5x5.9x3.9in (or 24x15x10cm), will it fit ?

    Cloathes (in compression packing cube) : 2 shirts, 1 trouser, 1 short and a microfiber towel
    My question is to know if there is enough space in the main compartment for a laptop with cache and my cloathes.

    Of course i will pack my toiletry/medication but there's way enought space in a front pocket for that.

    The Pilot seems close to perfect for me (if large enough to fit the stuff listed up above). The only thing missing is a quick access pocket, it will be great to have one hided behind the water bottle pocket with magnetic closure.

    The Pilot will be my first TB item.

    I know the easiest way to see if the Pilot suits my needs should be to order one and sent it hack if it doesn't. Unfortunately i live in France so shipping, taxes and duty cost a lot (and shipping take time). That's why i need your help.

    Thank's
    Please forgive my poor english.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
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    Welcome from another France based Tom Bihn user. I have only just got a Pilot so not yet really used it yet, so not sure to be able to add to all your points.

    Cache are great for their protective purpose. But they do take up space given their protection. My Pilot is in 1050 Ballistic material, so I think I would on occasions consider not using Cache if space were at a premium. I am not sure i would do that with a Halcyon bag?

    Quickly measuring, I don’t see the Tech Pouch you describe fitting a front pocket. The pocket is not 10cm deep (front to back).
    A laptop in Cache plus the limited clothes should fit comfortably in the main compartment.

    Agreed it is difficult to consider products given high costs of shipping/taxes to order and possibly then return. But the forum is sure to help provide useful answers and experience to help your decision. If by chance you happen to be located in the Toulouse area then I would be happy to meet and you can see the Pilot and some other Tom Bihn bags for real.

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
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    May 2017
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    Location: Germany / Hobbies: Photography & Guitars
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    Hi squyzz and welcome to the forum! Just a wave from the eastern neighborhood! Unfortunately, I don‘t have a Pilot but many here in this forum do and I think you well get a lot of good advice. Until soon!
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood
    current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Jan 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by squyzz View Post
    Hi, i consider myself as a bag addict but i came to realise that i don't have a small bag for 2 night trips (wich i tend to do a lot these days) so i end up using a 40L mosty empty.

    So i'm on the market for a 15L briefcase/duffel bag (don't like backpack carrying style).
    I'm about to pull the trigger for a TB Pilot. It's just 2L smaller than my 15L search but it could be enough.

    Here's what i will carry :

    Laptop, i'm not decided if will use a cache. First i rarely Travel by air so no TSA inspection. Second i have several laptop to choose from. For sure if i go for a cache i will choose the biggest that fit the TB Pilot. If not i will juste use a random sleeve.
    About cache i see good and bad
    The good : i will order the Pilot un Halcyon, maybe the cache could help to the Pilot to keep his shape.
    The Bad : cache are thick and take space

    Peak Design Tech Pouch : i'm a huge fan of this pouch which i use as my EDC purse and i'd like to put it in the Pilot (ideally in a front pocket). It's 9.5x5.9x3.9in (or 24x15x10cm), will it fit ?

    Cloathes (in compression packing cube) : 2 shirts, 1 trouser, 1 short and a microfiber towel
    My question is to know if there is enough space in the main compartment for a laptop with cache and my cloathes.

    Of course i will pack my toiletry/medication but there's way enought space in a front pocket for that.

    The Pilot seems close to perfect for me (if large enough to fit the stuff listed up above). The only thing missing is a quick access pocket, it will be great to have one hided behind the water bottle pocket with magnetic closure.

    The Pilot will be my first TB item.

    I know the easiest way to see if the Pilot suits my needs should be to order one and sent it hack if it doesn't. Unfortunately i live in France so shipping, taxes and duty cost a lot (and shipping take time). That's why i need your help.

    Thank's
    Please forgive my poor english.
    Welcome! I do not have a Pilot but you might find these other threads helpful. Please note that some people here do use it as their only travel bag on short trips! I hope one of them will chime in soon about the laptop question.

    https://forums.tombihn.com/general-b...ust-pilot.html

    https://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vi...rn-europe.html

    I agree that your pouch is a bit big for the front pockets. A Tom Bihn Side Effect or Travel Cubelet is a good size for the front pockets.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    May 2019
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    Thank's for tour answers.
    I've pulled the trigger
    Will the Pilot reach my expectations ?-screenshot-2019-05-09-15-07-50-jpg
    I hope i'll like it

  6. #6
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    Jun 2018
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    Hi Squyzz,

    I'm sure you will like the Pilot. My own Pilot had only made one trip so far, holding overnight and inflight items for a night at an airport hotel and an early flight from Luton to Lyon. It easily held:

    - 10" tablet
    - folding keyboard
    - headphones
    - small Spiff Kit
    - Osprey clear bag for liquids and gels
    - 3DOC with charger and cables
    - Anker portable charger
    - Large travel tray containing several items including travel clock, shoe horn and glasses pouch - and a small travel tray

    And maybe some other stuff.

    There was still room in the water bottle pocket for a water bottle.

    The most important item on your order is the travel tray. Since getting one, I've decided that travel is impossible without it.

    Sent from my moto g(6) plus using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    So, my order will be delivered on wednesday.

    It's time to count numbers :
    299 USD - Tom Bihn order
    45 USD - Shipping
    63 USD - Import fees

    But my order was shipped friday from Seattle and will be in my hands in France (in the Alps) on wednesday, that's worth the extra cost..

  8. #8
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    I did calculate too the cost of shipping to France (see here and here) but up to now that worths it :]
    just a Bihnion here

  9. #9
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    Rei and Squyzz, I am next door to you, in the UK. I know what you mean about shipping and import costs. The products are worth it but I always resent the handling fees charged by UPS or Royal Mail.

    When I choose USPS delivery, the package is handled by Royal Mail in the UK. Usually, I see that it arrives at Heathrow, then it disappears for several days - presumably in Customs - before re-appearing in Cambridge. If USPS passes the package to La Poste in France, do you have the same problem?

    Sent from my moto g(6) plus using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    @dmac442,
    La poste (at least for my two orders) did not handle UPS deliveries, UPS handled everything so I could keep the track of the deliveries,
    Besides, I did encountered Royal Mail-La Poste issues for a delivery from UK x,D (the package had to be sent thrice!)
    just a Bihnion here

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rei View Post
    @dmac442,
    La poste (at least for my two orders) did not handle UPS deliveries, UPS handled everything so I could keep the track of the deliveries,
    Besides, I did encountered Royal Mail-La Poste issues for a delivery from UK x,D (the package had to be sent thrice!)
    Don't you love the postal service!? By the way, I meant USPS (the US Postal Service), not UPS, which works well but costs more.

    I'm waiting for a TB package to arrive today by post. It took a week to travel from Seattle to Heathrow (over 7000 km). Then another week for the 95 km from Heathrow to Cambridge. By this time I was in France. So it's taken yet another week (assuming it arrives today) to reach me!

    Sent from my moto g(6) plus using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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    ahah my bad I didn't get it, so I can't tell (since mines were delivered by UPS not USPS)
    yeah I love the postal service...

    hope you will receive your package today.
    just a Bihnion here

  13. #13
    Forum Member
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    I missed this thread earlier, so I couldn't provide my input, before your purchase, but I regularly travel for 3 nights (standard consulting week of monday morning - thursday evening) with just my Pilot. If you want to see my initial load out, you can check this thread:

    https://forums.tombihn.com/questions...tml?highlight=

    Since then, I've quit using the cache, and I've streamlined a few other items. (Actually, that reminds me that I really should do a followup in that thread one day showing the current load-out.) But back to the topic of the cache, I generally accept that my packing cube provides enough protection for the laptop when fully packed. And at the client site, I just watch how I use it and don't throw it around like I could if I had the cache in place. While not exactly padded, any impact to the bag that's strong enough to damage the laptop is going to damage me far worse while I'm wearing the bag on my shoulder, and that's going to be my primary concern then, not the laptop.

    In the above thread, I originally used the Pilot packing cube, but now, first off, it's no longer available, and secondly, as I discuss in this below thread, it lacks any compression to keep the cube slim.

    https://forums.tombihn.com/general-b...tml?highlight=

    So, I've since replaced the cube with the larger of these compression cubes:

    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The larger one is almost identical in length/width as the Pilot cube, but compressed, it got the thickness of my pants/shirts down to 2-3cm (about an inch, maybe less).

    Either which way though, you're going to love your Pilot. It's such a great, versatile bag that if I could only have one TB bag, I would have to choose the Pilot.

    Happy Travels!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rei View Post
    ahah my bad I didn't get it, so I can't tell (since mines were delivered by UPS not USPS)
    yeah I love the postal service...

    hope you will receive your package today.
    Thanks, Rei. It arrived half an hour ago, so I can safely leave the house at last.

    Sent from my moto g(6) plus using Tapatalk

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