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  1. #1
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    Issues with Co-Pilot

    Hi,
    I just started carrying my new ballistic Co-Pilot as a test run for my trip. My intention is to use it as my under-the-seat bag on the plane and also my EDC bag. Even though it is nowhere near full I am finding it to be uncomfortable-heavy and boxy. I have 2 Ghost Whales in the front right pocket with lip balm/eye drops/meds, a Cubelet with charger/battery pack in the left front pocket, glasses, hand lotion, double organizer pouch with money, and keys in the main compartment. For the plane I was going to add a side effect and a book.I am using the Absolute Shoulder Strap. Any advice would be appreciated. I am wondering if it might be too big for an EDC, but I think the size is good for the plane, and I'm not sure I could fit another day bag in my A45. I have tried the PCSB and did not like the lack of organization. I have looked at the Cafe bags but would prefer the zip compartment to the open one, so I am not considering those. I have a Sidekick but it looks too small for an EDC. Maybe halcyon would be better for the Co-Pilot?
    Thanks!
    Last edited by emg823; 08-20-2019 at 02:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    I haven't tried a Co-pilot but I do own a black halcyon Pilot. It's actually my second Pilot; I first tried it out in 1050 ballistic and thought that it was too boxy and heavy. Halcyon is both lighter weight and conforms to my hip when I carry it than the 1050 material. I also own a Sidekick and it's perfect as an EDC if you don't need to carry a lot of large items. I think of the Sidekick as a purse-like object (with excellent organization, unlike most purses) so I use it as a purse.

    There is a smaller version of the Absolute Shoulder Strap available through Amazon. I own it and use it for smaller bags; just like the ABS it magically makes any load feel much lighter. Maybe using this strap will help you with your Co-Pilot?

  3. #3
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    I don't find the weight different between ballistic and halcyon to be a big deal on the co-pilot but I do prefer the halcyon for the smaller bags because they are flexible right out of the box.

    Previously I've had a 1050d ballistic that was old enough (Steel/Solar) to have softened up so it was completely comfy and flexible... I've since moved it along, since the halcyon one (original Nordic) was my preferred colour and I don't use this enough to justify owning two.

    If you have a 525d ballistic, that is more flexible that the previous versions made in 1050d. I don't know how long it takes to relax and loosen up though.

    I also prefer to carry this bag cross body at my back, since it is fairly boxy. It does make a good under-the-seat bag.

    ETA - as @shortie does, I use the smaller OpTech strap for the Pilot/Co-Pilot and save the bigger/bulkier Absolute strap for the A30 and A45.
    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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    I am really surprised you find it hard to carry. That is not a lot of weight. I usually have a laptop, kindle, and other items in there. The Co-Pilot is tiny, and it is really good as an underseat bag.

    1. Maybe you could try moving the cubelet to the main compartment--perhaps the weight is asymmetrical? and that is causing issues in how the bag hangs.

    2. I don't think the basic bag materials would make an enormous difference in all honesty, given the size of this bag.

    I often find that it is good to distribute and balance the weights. Let us know!

  5. #5
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    Have you weighed it to get a goal for what feels comfortable? When what I need to carry feels too heavy in a one-shoulder bag, I switch to a backpack.

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone. I would love to carry a backpack as a day bag, but am going to be in Europe (for the first time) and I've read that it is better to carry a crossbody because with a backpack you can't see if someone is getting into it. Thoughts? Also I'll be carrying my A45 during transfers so I thought a crossbody bag would be easier to carry.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Rei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emg823 View Post
    Thanks everyone. I would love to carry a backpack as a day bag, but am going to be in Europe (for the first time) and I've read that it is better to carry a crossbody because with a backpack you can't see if someone is getting into it. Thoughts? Also I'll be carrying my A45 during transfers so I thought a crossbody bag would be easier to carry.
    Just close/zip the bag, I am always worried when I see people (and often tourist ones) with wide open pockets... (it does happen often!)
    if you worried add a carabiner/elactic band/lockpad to lock the main pocket(s) and don't put sensible stuff in non-securit pockets

    You definitly can travel in Europe and big cities with backpack (on your back and not your front, because then you will really look like a tourist...), but please just close them proprely
    just a Bihnion here

  8. #8
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    I 100% agree that a crossbody bag is better for Europe- not just for safety, but especially because a lot of places are no longer allowing backpacks in. A Co-Pilot is too big for an EDC IMO though, as I learned after my last trip. I think it will get in your way, which is not what you want on a long day of sight-seeing. I've been pleased with using my SK for an EDC, and it doesn't sound like you're carrying too much, so maybe pack it out and see how you feel about it? It certainly feels a lot more comfortable for me than a CP.

  9. #9
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    How about a cafe bag? I know many folks are concerned about it not having a zip on the main enclosure, but there is a nice big zip pocket on the front for valuables and there’s o-rings that you can tether pouches to with different length key straps. You could save the main open part of the bag for things that are not valuable.
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color 好的朋友

  10. #10
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    CP is my current EDC. I'm still trying to get used to it. My previous EDC was the SE, it was very convenient to access everything I need, but I had to carry a separate bag for the stuff I needed to carry so I upgraded to CP for a one-bag.

    You'll be surprised how much you can put in it despite its size, and so it can get heavy. I'm using the mini optech strap, and it's very comfortable compared with the strap that came with CP. I like to under-load, so I have space to reach for things I want without needing to take stuff out. As long as I'm not carrying a filled water bottle, the weight is great on the shoulders.

    It's a little (just a tad) big for EDC, but I don't mind it, I use it as a pillow when I need to rest my head against a cold wall. It might be the strap, CP actually feels better on the shoulders than my SE. Best of all, it stands on its own. Not sure if the Halcyon can do that, mine is the 525D Ballistic. I really like that about CP.

    When I unzip the main compartment, the bag just "opens" up by itself, and makes it easier to see what I got inside. It's what I wanted, and it was a pleasant surprise, because if you notice, the zip doesn't go down much on the sides. I initially thought I may have to live with a "tight" opening, scratching the zip teeth when putting in/taking out stuff. But I didn't!

    Just sharing some of my new thoughts on CP. Hope it helps!

  11. #11
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runningtravels View Post
    I 100% agree that a crossbody bag is better for Europe- not just for safety, but especially because a lot of places are no longer allowing backpacks in. A Co-Pilot is too big for an EDC IMO though, as I learned after my last trip. I think it will get in your way, which is not what you want on a long day of sight-seeing. I've been pleased with using my SK for an EDC, and it doesn't sound like you're carrying too much, so maybe pack it out and see how you feel about it? It certainly feels a lot more comfortable for me than a CP.
    I agree about the Co-Pilot being too large as an EDC, though it is a great flight bag. It was not allowed into one museum I tried to visit during a layover (maybe Switzerland...?), and it is bulky. (And backpacks are rarely allowed.) The Small Cafe Bag seems to be the one size that's accepted virtually anywhere. It can be made very secure with the addition of the Freudian Slip, which adds a second zippered pocket to the one under the front flap. I just keep my wallet and any valuables in the zippered pockets.

    Another option: Keep the Co-Pilot as your flight bag, but put a Side Kick in the back compartment, and use that once your arrive, if you decide that you can deal with its limitations. IMO, the Small Cafe Bag is a little more generous in terms of what it fits though. And it could pack flat in the bottom of your A45.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  12. #12
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    How about a Daylight Briefcase? I think the depth of the co-pilot may make it feel boxy and large. DLBC is a bit wider, but thinner than the co-pilot. I think it should fit the stuffs you carry. I have a halcyon DLBC, and it can be definitely an EDC bag. Although 8 liters, it can hold a lot, and make a reasonable organization.

  13. #13
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
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    I think there may be a bit of lost-in-translation in using the term "EDC".

    In terms of "every day carry" -- if we're talking about the "day" being a weekday workaday, replete with every variety of daily errand -- then the Co-Pilot (at least for me) performs beautifully, holding just about everything I could possibly need (especially an umbrella in that center pocket!). Plus, it's *just* big enough to hold 8x11 files and magazines.

    An added bonus: it's perfect for those of us who like our stuff zipped up tightly, as opposed to having the main compartment covered only by a flap (which also makes it better for rainy days).

    BUT.

    Fully loaded -- yes -- it's a box.

    Which means if your idea of "EDC" is casual rather than workaday (particularly in terms of being out-and-about on the weekends), I have found the Co-Pilot to feel like a bit of overkill.

    In fact, I've found that for particularly casual weekend outings that stretch into the evenings, my new favorite carry is my Side Kick (in nebulous grey). When I'm out and about in the Manhattan night scene, even my Small Cafe Bag feels too big.

  14. #14
    Forum Member sturbridge's Avatar
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    Which means if your idea of "EDC" is casual rather than workaday (particularly in terms of being out-and-about on the weekends), I have found the Co-Pilot to feel like a bit of overkill.
    In my opinion, there's a bit of a hole in the Tom Bihn product line for casual workaday EDC. I don't need to carry a laptop, and like NYC Writer, I prefer my carry with a zipped up option and not just a flap. On the small end there is the travel cubelet, side effect and side kick, all small and zipped up. But then there is nothing until you get to the size of the zip tote small shop bag. I'm using the ZTSSB now, but I'd really prefer something that was smaller/not as deep. If I wanted a flap, I'd have the cafe or makers bags but there is no zip option in that size/form factor.
    Proud owner of: Pop Tote in cloud, Aeronaut 30 in steel/iberian, Travel Cubelet in Dawn, Travel Cubelet in Nebulous Grey , SE in steel parapack, SSB in black halcyon, Pilot in steel dyneema/steel, , Truck in Nebulous Gray, Small Zipped shop bag in black, Small Zipped shop bag in Dawn numerous pouches, 3D cubes, Q kits and straps, Cubelets and Ghost Whales!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturbridge View Post
    In my opinion, there's a bit of a hole in the Tom Bihn product line for casual workaday EDC. I don't need to carry a laptop, and like NYC Writer, I prefer my carry with a zipped up option and not just a flap. On the small end there is the travel cubelet, side effect and side kick, all small and zipped up. But then there is nothing until you get to the size of the zip tote small shop bag. I'm using the ZTSSB now, but I'd really prefer something that was smaller/not as deep. If I wanted a flap, I'd have the cafe or makers bags but there is no zip option in that size/form factor.
    As @gadgets mentioned, there is the Daylight Briefcase. I use that as a minimalist briefcase when traveling (packed into an A30 in transit usually). It's a briefcase during the work day and a walk-around-town bag the rest of the time. Holds a 16oz Nalgene bottle upright inside, a Kindle, tissues, snacks, maps, random stuff. I find it particularly effective in halcyon though I just acquired a Plum Cordura one that is also flexible and quite nice. I usually carry it cross body at my back - works a treat.
    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...

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