Initial Impressions of my Co-Pilot in Black/Steel
I just received my first Tom Bihn order today. It included the Co-Pilot bag in Black/Steel, the Absolute shoulder strap, a 16 inch key strap, three organizer pouches in steel dyneema in each of the following sizes, mini, small, and medium. I bought the bag with the intention of using it as my day bag as I tend to carry lots of items with me (Kindle, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Rhodia notebook, Rhodia pad, pen case, wallet, etc.) and I like to keep things relatively organized in compartments. I previously had used a Timbuk2 XS messenger bag which was great except it lacked compartments to keep my Kindle and Rhodia notebook from shuffling around as the main cavity of the bag was just one large undivided compartment.
Initial impressions of the Co-Pilot are extremely positive. I love the quality of the bag, the feel of the exterior, the sheen of the material, and especially the coverings on the zippers. I initially thought my bag came damaged as I found a TINY little hole on the backside just where the two seams run up the middle just below the magazine pocket but upon consulting with the Tom Bihn people, it appears this is a normal sewing indicator. Fine by me.
I spent roughly 10 minutes neatly transferring my belongings from bag to bag and it amazed me how each and every item I carried over had a home in my new bag. The Rhodia notebook, the Rhodia pad, the Kindle, and my iPod (in the small pouch) all fit nicely in the two large size pockets in the main compartment. My iPad, in Apple case, fit nicely in the main cavity as well still leaving me an ample amount of space should I need to add files, paper, or other miscellaneous items. In the two front side pockets I stored a few of my preferred pens (I'm a collector) along with my subway card (attached in the mini pouch to the o-ring). I utilized the included 8inch key strap to attach the pouch thus allowing me to be able to swipe it while still attached to the bag. On the opposite side, I put my iPhone, a small first aid kit, and my home keys (attached to the 16in key strap). I have left the center pocket vacant for the moment as I have a 16oz insulated black Klean Kanteen on order from Amazon. It should come in within the next few days, thus completing my bag.
I will also emphasize that I am a big fan of the Absolute shoulder strap. It makes carrying the bag effortless. It feels comfortable and fits the shoulder just right with minimal adjustment.
Overall I am very impressed with this bag and I am already looking at purchasing other Tom Bihn bags to complement this one. The one that would make most sense I think is the Synapse as I would probably be able to get the most use of it for a weekend pack / gym bag / whatever bag.
I wonder how the Cordura material compares to the ballistic nylon of the Co-Pilot which I love very much.