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Thread: To DC and back with a Pilot and a Synapse 25

  1. #1
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    To DC and back with a Pilot and a Synapse 25

    Sorry, guys. No photos this time. It was a short trip but I like this bag combination, so I'm going to post a wee travel description just in case someone else is searching/ciphering/obsessing about the Pilot and/or S25.

    I just got back from a 2-day conference. I left Wednesday night and came home late on Friday evening. I took the Pilot and S25. The Pilot was packed with clothing and the S25 had my electronics and gadgetry and ephemera.

    I used the Pilot's packing cubes, because they are AWESOME. Here's what I brought:

    Large Pilot Cube:
    1 pair of jeans
    2 t-shirts
    PJs

    Small Pilot Cube:
    2 pairs of undies
    1 bra
    2 pairs of socks

    These were carried in the Pilot. The other front compartment of the pilot had my 3DCO with toiletries. The water bottle pocket held a full-size hairbrush.

    In the S25:

    Main compartment - MBA13 in a cache, LOP with paperwork, a B5 spiral notebook, SE with wallet and stuff, a handknit shawl (my one extraneous luxury and I never even used it!).

    Front bottom pocket - the other small Pilot cube with my MBA power cord and phone charger.

    Side Pocket - Jackery and 3DOP with additional personal care items (nail clippers, dental floss, qtips).

    Other side pocket - Snacks! TSS size 1 with granola bars inside.

    Water bottle pocket - Dopper bottle (I LOVE THIS THING!).

    Other small front pocket - empty.

    And that was that. I carried the S25 on my back and my Pilot crossbody. I didn't have to remove my bags to use the airport restroom (but I did if there happened to be a hook) and everything was in easy reach.

    On the plane, I stowed the Pilot above and the S25 under the seat in front of me.

    This was my ultralight travel A-Ha trip. I walked through the terminal and noticed that my travel items were so light and comfortably carried that I didn't notice them, and I became Enlightened.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  2. #2
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    The Pilot and S25 are my current travel combo also, even for 2 week trips. The S25 holds my clothes and the Pilot holds all the electronica, etc.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    I became Enlightened.
    I see what you did there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    This was my ultralight travel A-Ha trip. I walked through the terminal and noticed that my travel items were so light and comfortably carried that I didn't notice them, and I became Enlightened.
    Was just thinking how nice this combination is with (my) all 400d Dyneema versions of each bag. (I know your S25 is the also light 420d HT Parapack Navy/UV and your Pilot is Ballistic Nylon in Black/Steel).

    moriond

  5. #5
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    You've inspired me, Janine. Will try this Pilot/S25 combo on my 2-day trip next week!
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
    -- David Whyte

  6. #6
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    It's great to travel light while those around you are hauling massive quantities of stuff. Like you said, it's "enlightening."

    It almost seems like everything you carried (with the possible exception of the shawl) would fit in the Synapse... Was that an option for you? I really like the freedom of one bag if I can make it work

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by taminca View Post
    You've inspired me, Janine. Will try this Pilot/S25 combo on my 2-day trip next week!
    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    <snip>
    I used the Pilot's packing cubes, because they are AWESOME. Here's what I brought:

    Large Pilot Cube:
    1 pair of jeans
    2 t-shirts
    PJs

    Small Pilot Cube:
    2 pairs of undies
    1 bra
    2 pairs of socks

    These were carried in the Pilot. The other front compartment of the pilot had my 3DCO with toiletries. The water bottle pocket held a full-size hairbrush.

    In the S25:



    Front bottom pocket - the other small Pilot cube with my MBA power cord and phone charger.
    Just a quick comment: I like the Pilot Packing Cubes, but for those of you who have the Eagle Creek Pack-It Sacs set the large Sac is a good fit to the back compartment for use as an alternative to the Large Pilot Packing Cube, and the small Sac is a good fit to the Pilot front compartments where the Small Pilot Packing Cube is used. I have the Specter 2 versions in light-weight Silnylon and with the triangular clip on a swivel hook. I understand that the original version of the large Eagle Creek Pack-It Sac or the spill-proof version of this size Pack-It Sac can also work for these purposes.

    The advantage of the TB Pilot Packing Cubes is that they're better at providing some structure and the rectangular shape regardless of how full you fill them, while remaining light weight, and I think that works better when you use them in the pockets of other bags, as Janine does in her S25. Also, if you're carrying a lot of clothes, the cube corners allow you to pack flatter. On the other hand, the Silnylon of the Eagle Creek Specter 2 line is super light weight. But it means that the Specter 2 sacs and cubes take their shapes from the contents. One nice feature of the Specter 2 versions of the Pack-It Sacs is the triangular clip. That design and the swivel base make it more flexible to position well when it clips onto O-Rings in the Pilot and other bags.

    Final comment is that the height of the Large Eagle Creek Pack-It Sacs of any variety are good fits to the back compartment if the Pilot -- somewhat better than the TB Large Organizer Pouch which, at 14.5" vs. the 14" of the Pack-It Sacs, sits a little high in the compartment, with the snaphook sticking up a bit at the corner. It can be used, especially if the contents you insert to fill the pouch cause the top edge to drop lower into the compartment, and further from the top zipper, but it's not quite as graceful a fit. Since the snaphook at the top corner doesn't have the rotating swivel base of the Large Specter 2 Pack-It Sac's triangular clip, it sits a bit high when clipped to the O-Ring, and you may need to push it down to fit it in when you zip up and close the back compartment of the Pilot.

    HTH. moriond
    Janine and taminca like this.

  8. #8
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    Hi everyone,

    Long time lurker, first time post. This thread caught my eye because I've had a Synapse 25 since last summer, which I completely love--but on a couple of trips, it didn't hold everything I needed.

    For daily use, I carry my Macbook Air and/or DSLR in a Mountainsmith insert. For the office, I don't quite need that much space, and something a little more businesslike would be better. When I travel, I could easily live out of the S25 for a week or two--except that with the DSLR and the Macbook Air, there isn't a lot of room left for clothes. So I've been mulling the idea of getting a Pilot for two purposes: as a work bag, and as a second travel bag, to handle the overflow from the Synapse. I probably would have just bought the bag by now, except that my wife and I are going to Seattle and Vancouver in June on vacation, and I'm planning to stop by the factory.

    Anyway, it's great to see that others have had the same idea, and that it's worked for you!

  9. #9
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    Hi jimc, Welcome to the forums (in unlurked form). You might be interested in Nancy's (@ncb4's) posts, including the recent How floppy is the Dyneema version of the Pilot? thread that she started. Nancy authored a number of posts about using various bags, including the Synapse (19) and Co-Pilot as camera bags, however has recently had to constrain the weight of what she carries. She has just ordered a Pilot to use for Camera and MacBook Air (as described in the linked first thread.)

    HTH. moriond
    jimc likes this.

  10. #10
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Thanks for the helpful tips on Eagle Creek cubes and sacs, @moriond!

    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    Just a quick comment: I like the Pilot Packing Cubes, but for those of you who have the Eagle Creek Pack-It Sacs set the large Sac is a good fit to the back compartment for use as an alternative to the Large Pilot Packing Cube, and the small Sac is a good fit to the Pilot front compartments where the Small Pilot Packing Cube is used. I have the Specter 2 versions in light-weight Silnylon and with the triangular clip on a swivel hook. I understand that the original version of the large Eagle Creek Pack-It Sac or the spill-proof version of this size Pack-It Sac can also work for these purposes.

    The advantage of the TB Pilot Packing Cubes is that they're better at providing some structure and the rectangular shape regardless of how full you fill them, while remaining light weight, and I think that works better when you use them in the pockets of other bags, as Janine does in her S25. Also, if you're carrying a lot of clothes, the cube corners allow you to pack flatter. On the other hand, the Silnylon of the Eagle Creek Specter 2 line is super light weight. But it means that the Specter 2 sacs and cubes take their shapes from the contents. One nice feature of the Specter 2 versions of the Pack-It Sacs is the triangular clip. That design and the swivel base make it more flexible to position well when it clips onto O-Rings in the Pilot and other bags.

    Final comment is that the height of the Large Eagle Creek Pack-It Sacs of any variety are good fits to the back compartment if the Pilot -- somewhat better than the TB Large Organizer Pouch which, at 14.5" vs. the 14" of the Pack-It Sacs, sits a little high in the compartment, with the snaphook sticking up a bit at the corner. It can be used, especially if the contents you insert to fill the pouch cause the top edge to drop lower into the compartment, and further from the top zipper, but it's not quite as graceful a fit. Since the snaphook at the top corner doesn't have the rotating swivel base of the Large Specter 2 Pack-It Sac's triangular clip, it sits a bit high when clipped to the O-Ring, and you may need to push it down to fit it in when you zip up and close the back compartment of the Pilot.

    HTH. moriond
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
    -- David Whyte

  11. #11
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    To follow up, what kind of cubes fit a CoPilot? Are they needed?

  12. #12
    Registered User Aeon's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for this post! The Pilot + S25 combo looks to be the perfect travel setup for a 3 day trip to DC I'll take in July for a wedding. I normally travel with a Brain Bag sized backpack from LL Bean that is just overkill. While I can one bag in it easily, it's also too bulky and unwieldy for me for travel. I realize I'd be more comfortable with a crossbody personal item that my purse can fit into + a smaller backpack.

    Earlier this morning (and after returning 4 different tote-style bags since the beginning of the year), I pulled the trigger on my first TB purchase: a Pilot and SE. I can compartmentalize all I want, but no matter how carefully I placed everything I need in-flight in a tote bag, all my stuff was jumbled at the bottom of the tote and that drove me insane. I simply need the organization features of TB bags and I think the Pilot with the SE in one of the front pockets will work out best for me.

    I'm either going to purchase the smaller Aeronaut or the S25 to use for clothing and shoes. I'm leaning toward the S25 because I typically take 2-4 day trips, and I can use the S25 as an EDC bag, a gym bag, school bag, etc. More bang for my buck, so to speak. But ... I have been waiting years for the smaller Aeronaut so who knows what I'll ultimately purchase.
    currently:
    • Burnt Orange: Synapse 19 (steel), Synapse 25 (steel), Organizer Wallet, 3D COC, small and medium DOP
    • Black: Side Effect (steel), small padded OP
    • Steel: small clear OP
    want: Aeronaut 30 (black/steel), DLBP (black or steel), Synapse 25 (grey/steel), more BURNT ORANGE: OPs, keystraps, Side Effect, Ballistic Nylon, 200d Dyneema

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoStanford View Post
    To follow up, what kind of cubes fit a CoPilot? Are they needed?
    If you wanted to pack clothes into the back compartment of a Co-Pilot I would use the Small Western Flyer Packing Cube (all-fabric version) shown in this post from the end of the Packing Cubes for Co-Pilot thread. Most people organize the Co-Pilot with 3D organizer cubes and Side Effects. The only comment is that, just as with the Pilot, it's easier to pull out Side Effects in Dyneema or Parapack than the ones in Ballistic Nylon if you insert them into pockets, and that the larger pocket in the back compartment can be easier to use for this than the front left or right compartment pockets. (This is both because the pockets there are larger and because you can pull the Side Effects directly up, instead of at an angle, to get them out of the compartment. Also, 3D Clear Cubes, especially when new, can be a bit sticky inside the pockets.

    I'd guess you'd only need packing cubes in the Co-Pilot if you wanted to organize your clothing in one easy packet. (That's why I would use the all fabric rather than the mesh version of the Small Western Flyer packing cube -- both easier to pull out because of the Dyneema fabric, and because I probably don't need/want to view the packed clothes through the mesh. I think I was able to pack quite a lot in the Western Flyer Cube in terms of jacket, skirt, tops, and dress, but that was a test pack. I don't really use the Co-Pilot as much as some forum users, who may have other tips. @bchaplin did a nice post about what can be carried in Co-Pilot and Pilot

    moriond

  14. #14
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    Well this is an inspiring thread. I bought a pilot in steel dyneema for myself but wasn't sure if I was going to keep it. With steel going bye bye, I probably will. I don't know if I could ever just travel with a synapse 25 and a pilot but I may be willing to try one day.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leena View Post
    With steel going bye bye, I probably will.
    Hmmm, I thought they were just temporarily out of steel dynema. Where/when did they post it was being discontinued?

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