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Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    564

    Empire Builder and Wester Flyer nearly same size?

    I just noticed that the EB and WF have very similar dimensions. I found this surprising since looking at the pictures you would think the WF is quite a bit larger and thicker. Anyone have both and care to comment?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    34
    I have both and they are similar in size.

    The major difference between the two is the structure added to the Empire Builder.
    This helps the EB stand up as the WF will "deflate" without anything inside and won't stand up very well.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    564
    Really? I would have thought the opposite. The WF appears to be pretty rigid from the pictures. Interesting.

  4. #4
    keb
    keb is offline
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Philly suburbs
    Posts
    226
    The Empire Builder is slightly taller and much stiffer. It is also heavier. The Western Flyer is more flexible with give but with enough strength that it isn't flopping over all the time when you are trying to grab it. It is slightly longer and the volume is more flexible obviously because of how it is designed. There is some bulge to the walls but not a huge amount, and the back wall is a bit stiffer with the backpack straps in their compartment and some rigidity in the corners where the clips are recessed, so it doesn't really stretch. There isn't really any padding to the WF other than the backpack straps, so when I carry electronics they are always in padded pouches, whereas the EB has some pretty hefty shell protection for the inner compartment and because of the double layer of the organizer pocket wall and the overlying flap the anterior compartment is pretty well protected too. Since it is March I will give a basketball analogy, as hurtful as that is to Seattle folks these days. If both of them were 6'8" ballplayers, the Empire Builder would be the prototypical power forward, built tough for that purpose; the Western Flyer would be the small forward, long and lean, able to do some low post dirty work but not necessarily all game long. They are both very cool.
    Western Flyer (Crimson); 4Z Brain Cell; Swift (wife); Empire Builder (Black/Steel/Wasabi); Aeronaut (Black/Steel); Side Effect (Black), 3D Cube (Olive); lots of cubes/pouches/kit; Synapse (Navy/Solar); Smart Alec (Cardinal/Steel)


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