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  1. #1
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    Wester Flyer as a 'Suitcase'??

    I know the Western Flyer is described as travel briefcase but I am curious as to how it is as a more general carry-on bag - for clothing and the like. I read the One Bag One World Review. I am curious if anyone has been using the bag regularly for travel and how it works as a bag for a 2-3 night trip. I am looking for a good bag for shorter trips (up to 2-4 days).

    Thanks.
    Last edited by rabergnc; 07-06-2008 at 01:24 PM. Reason: clarifying reason for question

  2. #2
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    I've used the Western Flyer several times as a carry-on bag for clothing, toiletries, and shoes. The layout of the bag and its pockets is, IMO, perfect for this: the two main compartments, the zipper divider in the front-most main compartment, the organizing pockets on the front. I'm trying to do a mental list of what I carried in it (next time I'll make a real list!) but it did easily fit what I needed for 2-4 days. (I carried one pair of shoes in the bag.)
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  3. #3
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    I appreciate that information. I have a tendency to put too much stuff in maximum sized carry on bags - I expand the amount I carry to fit the space I have available! .... and then the bag becomes too heavy to comfortably carry. With a bag the size of the Western Flyer it sound like I can use it for my clothing, toiletries, etc., and carry my laptop and associated materials in my Buzz or Ristretto.

  4. #4
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    I regularly use my Western Flyer for 2-4 day business trips. For 2-day trips I regularly carry my laptop in a Brain Cell clipped inside the back compartment, along with a couple of file folders and my cell phone adapter. For longer trips I carry my laptop separately and use the second compartment for additional clothing and a pair of shoes.

    The larger front pocket is perfect for your 1-quart TSA approved zip lock bag and the smaller pocket is great for keys, wallet and cell phone.

    Even fully loaded it is very easy to manage (and I'm only 5 feet tall) and store in overhead compartments on airplanes.

  5. #5
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    Thanks again for the information. I have decided to go ahead a check out the Western Flyer in person and ordered one to add to my ever rowing collection of TB paraphenalia. I like the idea of a bag large enough to carry 2-4 days worth of clothing and small enough to easily get on/off a small plane. My wife now simply shakes her head in wonderment -- much like Lurch in the original Adams Family TV show (now I really am dating myself...)

  6. #6
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    Western Flyer as a suitcase?? Really???

    Just received my Western Flyer this morning in my office. As always the quality of the bag is top notch and it's a great looking bag. But..... It seems so small!! I know a number of folks have indicated that they carry up to 4 days worth of clothing and stuff in their bags. Just looking at the bag, I have to say I am skeptical. Having said that I am eager to bring it home and test it out by packing what would be stuff for a 3-4 day trip. I really, really hope it will fit as I really like this bag at first blush.

  7. #7
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    I can confirm that the bag can indeed hold 4 days worth of clothing, shoes, toiletries, etc! I am truly impressed (and surprised!!)! I was easily able to pack 4 shirts, 4 sets of underwear and socks, 1 set of workout clothing, 1 pair slacks, 1 pair shorts, 1 pair of workout shoes (they take up more room than my dress/casual shoes), and my toilet kit. There was still a bit of room left - enough for a light windbreaker-type jacket. Not at all bulgy and easily handled. I look forward to using the back for a real trip.

  8. #8
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabergnc View Post
    I can confirm that the bag can indeed hold 4 days worth of clothing, shoes, toiletries, etc! I am truly impressed (and surprised!!)! I was easily able to pack 4 shirts, 4 sets of underwear and socks, 1 set of workout clothing, 1 pair slacks, 1 pair shorts, 1 pair of workout shoes (they take up more room than my dress/casual shoes), and my toilet kit. There was still a bit of room left - enough for a light windbreaker-type jacket. Not at all bulgy and easily handled. I look forward to using the back for a real trip.
    Yay! I hope you'll post a report -- complete with pictures -- on using the Western Flyer on its first real trip.
    U.S. / Canada 1-800-729-9607 / Other countries: +1-206-652-4123
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  9. #9
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    I'll do it. Thanks!

  10. #10
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    I have been using my WF regularly since I bought it back in January. It was well worth taking the time and finding the Tom Bihn store in Seattle!!
    The WF is great for anything up to about 4/5 days. Like someone suggested above if there is more than two days clothes (which usually means running shoes for me) then I have to take a case (my Crumpler - www.crumpler.com.au or my old STM www.stmbags.com.au) for files and laptop.
    I get no grief from the airlines here in Australia at all, even the new low cost Tiger from Singapore which seems to have lots of control freaks looking out for oversize hand luggage.
    My work mates are amazed that I can get away with it, but it has been so liberating.
    The only downside is that my Aeronaut now has dust on it!

    The other great thing I got at the shop was the Freudian slip. Who would have thought such a simple thing would revolutionise my travelling with files.

    Thanks TB!

    PS Sorry I haven't posted photos and review yet. I'll get on to it.

  11. #11
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    I've traveled now with the Western Flyer as my sole "suitcase" on two 10 day international trips. In fact, I'm typing this from my hotel room right now, with the Western Flyer tucked beside the bed.

    I picked the Western Flyer because I realized that I needed a smaller carry-on than my ancient Rick Steves backpack. I'm just under 5 foot 1 and am pushing 60 (good thing that this forum is anonymous!), so the Aeronaut is just too big for me and I am most comfortable staying at or under 15 pounds. I got the packing cubes that are made of the WF, which really let you pack it efficiently.

    Both times, the WF weighed in at about 15 pounds (a hair under this time, a bit over last time). This time I packed 4 travel-fabric short sleeve tops, a Modal fabric long sleeved cardigan, a pair of Modal pants, five pairs of undies, one extra bra, four pair of socks, a pair of Orthaheel flip flops, the TomBihn small zippered case (sorry--forgot the name) containing cell phone charger, computer charger, Ipod cord, and 2 European plug adapters), a small purse filled with a few non-liquid makeup items, three makeup brushes, and a hair brush, and a folder containing about 40 pages of papers. (My 'personal item' is a tote style purse containing my 2.5 pound Fujitsu computer in a neoprene sleeve, my liquid and gel baggie, my Ipod, small noise-cancelling headphones, a paperback book, and a few miscellaneous sundries like a comb, small mirror, pens, and the like.) I plan on washing socks and undies in the hotel sink once, and will swish out a couple of the tops once as well.

    So...no question if you pack efficiently you can live for a long time out of the bag, assuming you don't mind washing a bit. (My last trip, in July, was to New Zealand in winter. The packing list was much the same, only I added two pairs of silk longjohn tops and deleted the flipflops.

    On the whole, I love the bag--it's obviously well-constructed (though if you're on this forum, you probably know that) and, with the packing cubes, is easy to organize. With the size and shape and weight of it, I had no problems getting it by myself into overhead bins on planes and trains. (Not a factor for the young and fit, but becoming more of an issue for me.) I had no trouble on Air New Zealand--notorious for stingy weight limits--or on Austrian Air, which stations employees in Vienna halfway down the jetway to intercept bags that look too big or heavy to them.

    The only downside on the bag is the slingstrap. It is awkward if you have a curvy form, which I do. I'd much rather have had a backpack option, but c'est la vie. Instead I use the separate strap diagonally across my chest.In my opinion, the shoulder strap is handsdown the very best attachable shoulder strap I've ever seen. I also found myself using the handles a lot to carry the WF more as a suitcase--especially dashing through airport concourses.

    So, don't sell the WF short as a carry-on!


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