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Thread: Can a Co-Pilot carry a sub-notebook computer? an SLR?

  1. #1
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    Can a Co-Pilot carry a sub-notebook computer? an SLR?

    I'm curious about the capacity of the Co-Pilot luggage item from Tom Bihn.

    Does the Co-Pilot have the capacity to carry a MacBook Air (MBA)? If so, what protective cases for an MBA will fit in a Co-Pilot? Which size(s) of MBA will fit?

    If you carry a computer of some type in a Co-Pilot other than an MBA, which kind do you carry? What other items do you carry with it? How padded is the Co-Pilot? Assuming the Co-Pilot itself isn't padded enough for your electronics needs, what could you do to reinforce the Co-Pilot's padding?

    What about using the Co-Pilot as an SLR camera bag? Have you ever carried a digital SLR or other interchangeable lens camera in a Co-Pilot? Where you concerned about the Co-Pilot's padding? If so, what did you do to bolster the Co-Pilot, padding-wise?
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

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    Hi there:

    the Co-pilot can hold a MacBook Air 11inch in a compact case. I have a fairly tight fitting case for it and it fits fine inside; and it has space for a kindle in addition; and other paraphernalia. I own the WF, Smart Alec, and Synapse 19. Of all of them, this is the one that has taken me a long time to get used to; and learn how to pack and make it usable. It has been a great carry on purse for my flights; and last time, I managed to take the Synpase 19, the Co-Pilot, and a 16inch roll aboard without a question on a domestic flight!

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    The Mac Air 13inch does NOT fit in the co-pilot (even with no cache/case). The co-pilot is just a a bit small for my laptop. iPad fits no problem.

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    So an MBA-11inch could fit, but a 13inch would definitely not fit. Thanks for the feedback. What about using the Co-Pilot as a camera bag? How is it padded? How do you pad it? Will an SLR with lens fit?
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

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    Any idea on whether the 11" MBA will fit in the CP while in a Cache? I feel like I saw this somewhere before, but I can't find it now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoz View Post
    Any idea on whether the 11" MBA will fit in the CP while in a Cache? I feel like I saw this somewhere before, but I can't find it now.
    I'd say the 11" MBA will only fit inside a Co-Pilot within a cache if you angle it slightly in the compartment so that it's not square with the sides, The fit is really rather tight, and the sides of the Co-Pilot are not padded or reinforced. Now, I've only tried this with the previous generation cache, which has a denser weave on the outside foam, and which I prefer. But while the current caches do seem to have a slightly tighter fit to laptops, based on a check of the Cache with Rails for the 13" MacBook Air that came with my Synapse 25, I don't think it makes much difference. Perhaps someone who has the current generation cache can comment on this. You do have room to use a minimalist case or sleeve on the 11" MacBook Air and fit it into the Co-Pilot, and there's certainly no problems carrying an iPad in a cache inside this bag.

    Here's one of the discussion threads that has posts about this: First trip with TS, input welcome, accessory suggestions. read down to the posts from me and from nukediver.

    It's possible this is a case of bag tolerances, because see Nancy's thread, Questions about Aubergine Co-Pilot, in which her new Co-Pilot appeared to be smaller than her older Co-Pilot purchases. (My Co-Pilot is from the same generation as her older bags.)

    It's clear that the tolerances are tight. The outer dimensions of the Co-Pilot are 12" x 10" x 5" / 300 x 255 x 125 mm (from the Product page). The 11" MacBook Air dimensions are: Height: 0.11-0.68 inch (0.3-1.7 cm) Width: 11.8 inches (30 cm) Depth: 7.56 inches (19.2 cm) copied from Apple's product pages. So in the most optimistic estimate where you assume the inner width is exactly the same as the outer dimension of the Co-Pilot (no reduction at all due to the thickness of the Ballistic Nylon or seams), you have 0.2" of allowance for a surrounding cache or case.

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    This is a MBA11 in a Cache inside of a Cordura Co-Pilot. Pretty reasonable fit.

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    This is a fairly new cache (designed to go into the cadet) ....happy to play with this is if you need something else checked.

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    I'm really thrilled with all the notebook computer answers. Thanks, everyone. Really appreciate it!
    Now, I'd like to ask if anyone has used the Co-Pilot as a camera bag. What kind of padding schemes do you use?
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

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    Just for the record,there is a pic of the CoPilot with Canon DSLR on the Bihn Product Page.

    The implication is certainly that this gear can go in there.

    There is no padding other than the fabric that makes the bag as I understand it but this does not rule it out as a decent protector either as I have found with the Synapse which also has non padded pockets.

    The layers of fabric do provide some protection but you would need to test with your own lenses and decide if it feels like enough for you?

    I use the Domke squares sometimes and the Think Tank Lens Bags when I feel I need extra protection but do not want to use an obvious Photo carry bag. The enclosed lenses then go right into a large enough pocket with the extra padding.

    I have never seen a CoPilot but I get the impression it might be tight for bigger lenses?
    Again on the other hand I am still amazed every time I slide a huge lens into a tiny looking pocket in the Synapse!

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    That's one thing on my mind: what kind of padded inserts can be found that would fit into a smaller Bihn bag (like a Co-Pilot, or a Smart Alec, or a Guide's Pack, or a Cafe Bag) so it could be used as an improvised camera bag... (None of those bags will accept Bihn's Camera I/O)
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    That's one thing on my mind: what kind of padded inserts can be found that would fit into a smaller Bihn bag (like a Co-Pilot, or a Smart Alec, or a Guide's Pack, or a Cafe Bag) so it could be used as an improvised camera bag... (None of those bags will accept Bihn's Camera I/O)
    I'm out of the country on my iPad, so I'm limited a bit! but I've posted some pictures and discussion in the past about my current solution for my Olympus EM5 for carrying in a copilot, synapse or Smart Alec. Searching the forum should pull them up.


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