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Thread: Medium Cafe Bag or CoPilot

  1. #1
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Medium Cafe Bag or CoPilot

    I use the SE as my everyday carry (this is what retirement looks like.) If I need to carry a larger bag because I will be carrying additional items, I would like to simply slip my SE into that larger bag as opposed to emptying the contents and repacking. I am looking at the Medium Cafe Bag or the CoPilot as possibilities. What I am likely to be adding into my carry are either my binoculars (in case 6.25x 5.5 x 2 inches in size) or my camera `(2.5 x 4.5 x 3.5 inches out of case), but not both. I see that the Med. Cafe Bag is 2.9"" deep and placing the camera inside would likely make it quite bulgey. On the other hand, the dimensions of the Co-Pilot are such that if the side front pockets are not filled, there will be less pooching with the camera inside. Packing the camera or binoculars and the SE together would only be for short trips made on impulse with my little grandsons who love to birdwatch on Lake WA here in Puget Sound area or for making garden visits (with grown-ups) for part of a day. I am leaning toward the idea of a Co-Pilot, as it looks like it might better accommodate what I am wanting to do.

    Any thoughts about this anyone?
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  2. #2
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    Dear M/L,
    I bounce between using my CoPilot and my mcb alternately as my edc.
    I use the SE's as well, keep in mind that the SE fits perfectly into the two main pockets within the larger section off the CoPilot.
    (I had the CoPilot for a couple of months before having a conversation with Kyle at TB where he uses two SE's to hold tools within his CoPilot's two pockets in the main section) Before that conversation I was using two pencil cases in one of those pockets and a 3d cube in the other. The point of using the the SE in each of those pockets is that of ultimate organization and maximizing the space from the top of where the 3d cube use to be to zipper close of the main section. So point in fact after that realization I lost my two SE's to my CoPilot and had to order two more! The dyneema material tends to slide in and out a bit easier than the ballistic nylon. In any event with my two SE's in each of the pockets of the larger section my ipad in cache still fits wonderfully together with room to spare.

    Hmmm, :-/
    This conversation will need to be continued tomorrow as I need to get to sleep right now, cheers.

  3. #3
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Well, this is helpful to hear that the front pockets of the CoPilot accommodate the SE. So my binoculars would fit easily in the main. Compartment, plus I have room for a water bottle! Likely the camera would fit but be a tad bulgey?...unless I pack it on the side in the interior opposite my SE....hmmmm. Maybe I should travel into the TB store with my stuff and try it out. I have to say that I am more inclined to go with CoPilot as it has no flap and seems to be more horizontally oriented and has a number of organized spaces. But.....on the other hand....there is something to be said for the overall versatility of a bag that just offers a big space, less complicated by built-in pockets. As I am no longer in the aquisition phase of my life, I strive to make the most minimal purchases with the greatest versatility. So I'm pondering this decision carefully.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  4. #4
    Registered User roarmouse's Avatar
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    @Trailhiker: Oooh,that's awesome that a SE fits in the CP..I'm already planning on getting one.Now to wait for the Pilot plus goodies to accompany it. Hooray!

    Peace!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    Well, this is helpful to hear that the front pockets of the CoPilot accommodate the SE. So my binoculars would fit easily in the main. Compartment, plus I have room for a water bottle! Likely the camera would fit but be a tad bulgey?...unless I pack it on the side in the interior opposite my SE....hmmmm. Maybe I should travel into the TB store with my stuff and try it out. I have to say that I am more inclined to go with CoPilot as it has no flap and seems to be more horizontally oriented and has a number of organized spaces. But.....on the other hand....there is something to be said for the overall versatility of a bag that just offers a big space, less complicated by built-in pockets. As I am no longer in the aquisition phase of my life, I strive to make the most minimal purchases with the greatest versatility. So I'm pondering this decision carefully.
    M/L

    Regarding the SE in the CoPilot pockets, just to be clear,,,,,,,,,I was referring to the two internal pockets in the larger "back" section.
    The two front pockets on either side with the phone and pen pockets take the 3d cube comfortably. I'll comment more on this a little later.

  6. #6
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    Continuing,

    One upside about having (in my case) a steel dyneema Side Effect in one of the pockets of the larger back section and a black ballistic Side Effect in the other is that in effect during travels I always have a choice of "shuttle crafts" at the ready to leave the "mother ship" (CoPilot)
    Besides a list of essentials in each I also carry within a "pocket pouch" in one, the waist strap and within the other the thin shoulder strap.
    If I'm out and about, or just going to the rest room on a plane one of my SE's are always at the ready.
    Later on I'll get into a detailed photographic journey, but in the meantime within one I keep a pencil case / hygene kit (with toothbrush-paste in handle, floss, mini deodorant, mini mouthwash bottle.) I also have a small pouch with eyeglass cleaner & eyeglass tissues. Cough drops and mini first aid kit within another pouch. So if I need to dump the contents into my C/P in order to use that SE, the three internal pouches just slide into the CP pocket and off I go.

  7. #7
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    I agree that the CoPilot is the better choice for this. I can put a Side Effect into either of the front side pockets, but it's a closer fit thanusing the pockets inside the main compartment, where you just pull straight up. However, you'll want more of the space in the main compartment for your binoculars. it's a bit easier using the front side pockets if you have one of the Dyneema Side Effects, but this also works with the Ballistics Nylon SEs. Also, consider using a wrist strap with the SE, which can make it easier to pull out. If you have one of the original Side EFfects with the attached waist strap, that's a tighter fit to use in the front side pockets. I'd use the main compartment pockets.

    As Trailhiker mentions, using either of the Dyneema pockets in the main compartment of the bag for your Side Effect is very easy, because it slips out easily against the Dyneema of the pockets, and the fit is not as tight. Also, you're pulling the SE directly up. In the front side pocket the SE is both taller and wider than the 3D Organizer cubes. So it's harder to make use of the compartment for other items (like accessing the pen slots), and the flexible mesh separating the compartment from the water bottle pocket will bulge in slightly. Following suggestions in these forums, I've been using the Side Effect to carry my Kindle Paperwhite (among other items). And, similar to another poster, I've found that I'm most likely to use a Dyneema version (Black 420d Dyneema/Wasabi) for this, rather than Ballistic nylon. I'll be interested in hearing comments from people who get SEs in the new 420d HT Parapack nylon.

    HTH

  8. #8
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    Other Copilot thoughts,

    Depending on my mood or aesthetic choice I flip between my steel or black ballistic CoPilot,
    And having my "nesting eggs" within my two side effects makes it easier to swap out bags.
    Alternatively, my steel dyneema CoPilot is used more as an internal organization "packing cube" within the base of the forward section of my brain bag for my daily 5 - 10 mile hikes in the early mornings.

    The two internal pockets of the larger section house two 3d cubes, one is a first aid kit the other a mini trauma kit. In one of the forward pockets is kept another 3d cube with hygiene related stuff. (Tissues, clean wipes, eyeglass cleaner and eyeglass tissues, mini mouthwash bottle etc) Between the other front pocket and larger main pocket I keep my drawing supplies. In the middle front pocket resides a back up water bottle.

    The CP itself slides easily out of the Brain bag. That arrangement may change when I receive my guides pack in the next day or so. (I ordered 3 leads pockets to go with the guides pack)

    ......and yes I will be ready to push the button for when the CoPilot comes out in the new 420 parapack material.
    :-)

  9. #9
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Thank you much for your helpful responses. The CoPilot it is. Now the agony of color choice.....
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  10. #10
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    It's a done deal. I ordered the black dyneema/ wasabi CP. It will likely be here tomorrow!
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  11. #11
    Registered User bunchgrass's Avatar
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    You will love your CoPilot. I got one a couple months ago (steel dyneema/solar) and I don't leave town without it. Love it!!

  12. #12
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    Agreed, you'll love this CoPilot. Mine is Steel Ballistic/Solar from the early batches, but I really, really like the Black 420d Dyneema/Wasabi fabric combination. (This is despite being a Nordic enthusiast).


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