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Travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

Pilot - Tom Bihn 15

The Pilot is a personal item carry-on sized travel bag designed to fit the items you want close at hand and easily accessible during your flight or at the airport. It's a natural complement to our larger Aeronaut, Tri-Star, and Western Flyer carry-on travel bags. Ultralight travelers may choose to use the Pilot as their "one bag" travel bag, utilizing the Pilot's packing cubes for organizing clothing and a 3D Clear Organizer Cube for toiletries. Some may not even use the Pilot primarily for travel: it also serves well as an organized every day carry briefcase.

We listen, and the Pilot is proof of that: several years ago, we introduced the Co-Pilot, our original personal item travel bag. For many, the Co-Pilot was an ideal size, but some of you asked for a slightly larger version that would accommodate a 13" laptop. We heard you, and that larger Co-Pilot is here, with a few updates. Not simply content to upsize an existing design, we took a look at the extra space the Pilot offered and considered how we could best maximize its utility while retaining a proportioned look and feel.

The Pilot has three front zippered compartment, a main compartment, seven interior organizational pockets, and an open-top back pocket with a zipper that stops just short of the bottom, designed to allow you to slip the Pilot over the handle of rolling luggage.

The front right zippered compartment has an Ultrasuede®-lined pocket sized to fit most phones and three pen pockets (wide enough to fit Sharpies and highlighters). It has one O-ring to which is affixed the included 8" Key Strap — a handy strap that keeps your keys securely tethered to the Pilot. (There are four total O-rings in the Pilot.) Included with the bag are five Cord Zipper Pulls, allowing you to add them to the metal zipper pulls or replace the metal zipper pulls entirely.

The front left compartment of the Pilot has an Ultrasuede®-lined pocket sized to fit an iPad mini (with or without its SmartCase) or similarly sized tablet. Use the remaining open space of this pocket for more stuff or fit one of the Pilot Packing Cubes in here (a good size for socks, underwear, or rolled t-shirts/workout wear). Or, pack your toiletry kit (such as our 3D Clear Organizer Cube, designed to serve as a 3-1-1 bag) in this compartment. If you're choosing to use the 3D Clear Organizer Cube, here's something we think is pretty cool: clip it, via a long Key Strap to an o-ring in the Pilot — at the security checkpoint, you can unzip the front pocket of your Pilot and remove the 3D Clear Organizer Cube but leave it tethered to the Pilot, ensuring that you know exactly where it is.

The middle front compartment of the Pilot is designed to fit a small water bottle or compact folding umbrella. The bottom of this compartment has a grommet so any condensation, spills, or leaks won't puddle in the bag. A Size 2 Travel Stuff Sack also fits nicely in this compartment.

The main compartment serves at the ready to accept larger items; two open-top pouches of equal size inside this main compartment aid organization. Add a Cache laptop sleeve for your 13" MacBook Pro or MacBook Pro Retina, 13" Macbook, 11" MacBook Air, or other similarly sized laptop, and you'll turn the Pilot into a checkpoint friendly laptop briefcase. (The Cache secures to the interior of the Pilot in such a way that you can slide it out at the security checkpoint without removing your laptop from the Cache. Here's a video demonstrating how that works.) And/or, add Pilot Packing Cubes (one Large or two Small) to organize and keep neat your clothes.

The back of the Pilot has a wide, open-top pocket for a magazine or newspaper. The bottom of this pocket zips open so you can slide the Pilot over the handle of rolling luggage.

The handle of the Pilot is padded with high quality PORON® foam, directly above the center of gravity of the bag. Shoulder strap attachment points can be found on the left and right sides of the Pilot; our Standard Shoulder Strap is included with the Pilot. You have the option of upgrading to our Absolute Shoulder Strap for an extra $20.

The Pilot is made with an exterior of our U.S. made, 1050 denier, high tenacity ballistic nylon — which has twice the abrasion resistance of 1680 denier fabric — and an interior of our ultra-lightweight 200 denier Dyneema®/nylon ripstop fabric, custom produced for us in Japan. A version of the Pilot with an exterior of our heavier weight 400d Dyneema®/nylon fabric (weighing in at 35% less than the ballistic nylon version) is also available. The front of the Pilot has piping to help it keep its shape and smart looks — no matter how full or empty it is. The Pilot features #8 and #10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers, sewn right-side-up.

Optional Packing Cubes sized for the main and front left and right compartments of the Pilot are available. From this page, you can order a kit of one Large and two small or a kit of two Small or one Large or one Small. Visit the Packing Cubes page to order different quantities separately.

The Small Pilot Packing Cube is sized to fit the front left or right compartment of the Pilot; it'll fit a few pairs of socks and underwear or a few rolled t-shirts. The Large Pilot Packing Cube is sized to fit the main compartment of the Pilot; it'll fit a pair of pants and one or two shirts.


Exterior of U.S. high tenacity 1050 denier ballistic nylon — or — ultralight 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop
Lined with 200 denier Japanese Dyneema®/nylon ultralight ripstop fabric
#8 and #10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent coil zippers
PORON® foam padded handle


Made in USA
100% finished seams


Dimensions: 15.4" x 11.4" x 5.1" / 390 x 290 x 130 mm
1050d high tenacity ballistic nylon: 1 lbs 8 oz / 680 grams
400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop: 1 lbs 1 oz / 475 grams
Volume: 800 cubic inches / 13 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
Shoulder Strap included
Large Packing Cube:
Dimensions: 14.8" x 11" x 2.5" / 375 x 280 x 65 mm
Weight: 4 oz / 110g
Volume: 425 cubic inches / 7 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
Small Packing Cube:
Dimensions: 10.8" x 6.3" x 2.4" / 275 x 160 x 60 mm
Weight: 2 oz / 65g
Volume: 125 cubic inches / 2 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
Meets domestic and international airlines' personal carry-on item size standard; easily fits in overhead compartment of CRJ commuter planes


Select a color

Select a Shoulder Strap:

Add a set of Packing Cubes:

Add a Cache:


Always Made in U.S.A.

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