Ego & Co-pilot First Thoughts
Just received my Black/Steel Ego and Black/ Solar Co-pilot after a looong wait...well it was 5 days but it felt long enough!
1. The Ego is fantastic! The organisation possibilities are endless! Was worried that the Ego would be too small, but it is big enough to be a gym bag. It can absolutely fit a pair of running shoes and change of clothes, on top of my everyday carry. Makes me wonder, if the Ego is big, the Super Ego must be humongous!
2. The Absolute Strap is an absolute delight! The stretchy load-bearing part of the strap is less elastic than I thought which is a good thing! It means it definitely can handle heavy loads without being too bouncy and without losing any elasticity over the years. It feels like it's built to last.
3. Love the side water bottle pockets. Love the fact that there are straps on each side to cinch the pockets down when not in use. And 2 straps for that matter, so that it cinches down completely flat. Plus the pockets are a little stretchy so even if you forget to tighten the straps, your bottle won't fall out that easily.
4. Love the fact that the waist straps are removable. I don't cycle so I don't need an extra strap dangling around.
5. Love the pockets with the vertical zip. Great place to put my cellphone and be able to take it back out without opening the flap.
1. The co-pilot is smaller than I imagined. But don't let the dimunitive size fool you. It will fit all your EDC just fine.
2. You definitely need to get organiser pouches and extra keystraps with the Co-Pilot. Why didn't I get them with this order...sigh...Especially if you carry many small items in your EDC. I have eye drops, extra pair of daily contact lens, a lighter, candy, portable charger, and many other small items. All of these could have easily gone into a neat organiser pouch...if I had gotten them...
3. The 1050d ballistic nylon is built to last.
4. The zippers feel sturdy. It doesn't have a soft pull but not so hard that you have to yank on it. This is a plus point for me because it will mean it's harder for pickpockets. And the zippers for the front pocket start from the middle of the bag, meaning it has to make a 90 degree turn before you open the pocket fully. If it started at the other end, a pickpocket could just zip it upward and take something out. It will be harder to make the 90 degree turn without me feeling it. If this was an intended design feature to deter pickpockets, GENIUS!
5. The simple strap is no Absolute strap, but it is still very high quality. The padded part of the strap is nothing I've ever seen before. It's thick, with a good grippy side, and is perfect for the co-pilot. Sometimes on a crowded bus, I will slide my bag to the front of my body to let people pass behind me. The simple strap is grippy enough that the padded part stays on my shoulder while the rest of the bag moves forward. No need to readjust. Brilliant!
I am sure I have much more to add after using it for a couple of weeks. Much much more. My first thoughts were written when I haven't even taken the bag out the house, and I already know they are going to serve me well.
Last edited by aquaris85; 07-08-2014 at 06:49 AM.
Curious, were you planning on using them both as EDC, or did you plan different purposes?
I visit the gym about twice or thrice weekly after work and I like the messenger style. So I intend to use th Ego on gym days when I need to bring my shoes and change of clothes. Will use the co-pilot on every other day to work. So basically CP on light days, Ego for heavy load days. My non-gym EDC is not much so I figured I needed a smaller bag for it. No overlap, no overkill!
Gotcha. Makes sense. I looked at the Ego a while ago, almost bought one, but decided (after 10+ years of everyday-carrying a messenger bag, Timbuk2), to go with a backpack instead....
Well backpack's not for me. I commute on public transport so I want to be able to access stuff like my water bottle, ipad mini or a story book on the fly. And on a really crowded bus, which is always the case, a messenger is best.
Congrats on your new bags!! I've looked at the Ego a few times, but I can't justify it when I have a similarly indestructible Timbuk2 messenger that has served me pretty well. It's organized ok, looks just ok, but I honestly just can't kill it. Maybe I'll have to drag it behind my car for a few hundred miles... I do have the Co-Pilot though, and can echo several of your observations.
Originally Posted by aquaris85
Completely agree on #1 and #2. The CP really is deceptively spacious, even if it doesn't look that big. It has that same space bending property that many other TB bags seem to have in that I can fit more in it that I think it should actually hold (I am always wondering though if I should sell my CP to fund moving up to a Pilot). That surprising spaciousness does come at the price of sometimes losing things into the depths of the CP's pockets. Keystraps. Get lots of keystraps and a few pouches. The two pockets in the main compartment are deceptively big; I can easily fit an 8" tablet in a case straight down into one with room to spare.
The zippers meeting in the middle is also interesting in that if you wanted to, you could lock all five of them together. Of course, if you are travelling in a pick pocket prone area, you should walk with your bag more on your front. You could always turn the bag around so that it's back panel faces out and the pockets are all against your body. No one will easily get into it in that orientation.
The shoulder strap is indeed very handy and well made, but I only find it comfortable up to a certain point of weight. If I'm using my CP as a walkaround camera bag on vacation, I need to change out to the Absolute Strap and sacrifice the convenience of sliding it back and forth for the comfort of the elasticized shoulder pad. I think I walked around Amman (Jordan) all day on vacation last year, walking maybe 7-8 miles total, with a mirrorless Micro 4/3 camera body, three lenses (one on the camera; a small 12mm prime, a 7-14mm ultra-wide zoom, and I think a 25mm prime; I might have also had a longer zoom), water, some snacks, guide book, sunblock, hat, sunglasses, etc., and after a few hours I could feel the shoulder discomfort, and my back was starting to hurt. On other days in that trip, I remembered that and switched to a backpack despite the bulk. Since then I've tried using the Absolute Strap off of my Aeronaut, and it's more comfortable when dealing with weight.
Own: Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Iberian), Aeronaut 30 (Steel/Ultraviolet), Pilot (Steel 400d/Steel), Co-Pilot (Black/Iberian), Side Effect (Black/Ultraviolet), Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack (Wasabi), Travel Tray (Iberian), organizer wallet (Wasabi), passport pouch (Iberian), various cubes, pouches, sacks, and straps
I'm in full agreement. The fact that I'm no longer in the city, not riding a bike everyday, not getting on subways, etc., definitely drove me to change my setup.
@itsablur to be honest, I was looking at the new Timbuk2 Especial Messenger when i was in the market for a new bag. And my current bag is a Crumpler Barney Rustle Blanket. Those kind of messengers definitely are the best bet if you cycle. I have looked at the Especial up close and it's also made of very high quality materials. However it seems too specialised as a bike messenger bag. There are many features on those bags which are perfect for a bike messenger/ bike commuter, e.g. The wider cross-body straps, the quick release buckle for quickly adjusting the strap length, the flap for quick access, etc. But I work in an office setting and the Timbuk2's and Crumplers look too informal with a shirt and tie. Thus I opted for the Ego and CP instead.
You are right though on the indestructability of those brands. My Crumpler has served me for more than 10 years and everything still works. I believe TB is going to serve me for the next decade at least.
What attracted me to the Ego was the 2 big sections of the bag. The main for gym stuff and the front compartment for my EDC. The Crumpler is basically akin to a giant stuff sack - great for throwing everything in, but bad for organisation.
When I opened the package, first thing that struck my mind was "oh crap, should I have waited for the Pilot instead?" But I figured I didn't need the extra volume as I don't carry a laptop. And on days that I need to, I can always fall back on the Ego.
Great tip on the locking zippers though! May just try that on my next trip!
P.S. Now that I am so impressed with my 2 new bags, I have caught the TB bug full on, and may just get the Aeronaut. Maybe when I get my year-end bonus...
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Oh and did I mention, the new bag smell is sooo good...
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<< P.S. Now that I am so impressed with my 2 new bags, I have caught the TB bug full on, and may just get the Aeronaut. Maybe when I get my year-end bonus... >>
I was going to originally say but forgot, don't worry about not ordering more organizing pouches...you'll be ordering more stuff soon enough. :-)
As much as I want to go straight to checkout with a bunch of organiser pouches, the shipping fee is a flat USD45 to my country regardless of size. So it'll only make sense if I get them along with another bag order.
Originally Posted by carl0
Me too. I commute in Minneapolis (the best bike city in the country!) and these days half the messengers have switched to backpacks and I'd say more than half of commuters. My right shoulder is still crunched down from too many years of messenger bag use. As for public transport, I like to think of a backpack as a built in bumper between me and everyone else.
Originally Posted by carl0
It's great to have options, isn't it?
ETA: I also love the Copilot!
<< My right shoulder is still crunched down from too many years of messenger bag use. >>
Yep. Until my S25 comes (TOMORROW IS THE DAY!!!!!), I have been using a Patagonia briefcase bag. I'm carrying it "cross shoulder" and it's not too bad, but a backpack is going to be way more comfortable. Didn't matter as much before I started carrying a laptop daily, but now...those things are heavy!
*checks the date*
*taps foot impatiently while waiting to hear about carl0's new S25!
Mine is coming on the 15th, and I need to live vicariously through someone!
Haha just saw this. I haven't posted anything about it because.....don't like saying this, but I'm not sure it's going to work. But I'm still playing tetris with all my stuff to see if I can get things to fit better.
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