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Thread: Co-Pilot as EDC for lunch/workout/purse?

  1. #1
    Registered User binje's Avatar
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    Co-Pilot as EDC for lunch/workout/purse?

    I've been thinking it's time to one-bag my daily work life. I've usually got a cross-body purse and a lunch tote or a cross-body purse and a tote that I use as a gym bag (lunch goes in that bag on those days). I only carry a laptop once a week and on that day I slip my wallet, lunch and water bottle into a laptop backpack and call it good. I feel remarkably free on those days, but I'm not that into backpacks and wouldn't want to carry one every day. I also don't want to size a bag for my laptop for that one day. I've noticed that my gym tote is always heavy because I can leave things in it and still have space to add more.

    I've been looking at the Co-Pilot and it seems like it could do what I want.

    Here's what I want to carry:

    • Keys
    • Phone
    • iPod Touch
    • Fat tri-fold wallet that I am not interested in trading for something sleek and nylon
    • Small notebook (pocket Moleskine or smaller)
    • Pens/pencils
    • Small e-reader to be upgraded to an iPad mini someday (I forgot the reader today, but it's tiny, maybe 4"x5")
    • Camelbak Eddy .75l bottle
    • Sandwich and orange or banana
    • Minimalist running shoes, Ws size 10.5
    • Socks (no, I'm not a barefoot purist)
    • Sports bra of the bulky, bridge-engineered variety
    • Ordinary cotton t-shirt
    • Shorts/tights
    • In winter a merino Buff (best thing ever for all you light travel demons out there) and a longsleeve top and/or vest, maybe a pair of gloves


    I've seen reviews where people do indeed pack things like shoes and clothes into their Co-Pilots and the back compartment seems like it should hold the clothes and shoes just fine (I can roll all of the clothes including the winter wear into an Eagle Creek half cube with some room to spare and the shoes are very light/compressible). Ideally, everything through "banana" would fit in the front pockets. I'm particularly unsure about the water bottle, so if anyone's gotten an Eddy into the center pocket, I'd love to know for sure. I'd also consider using a bike bottle, though the tall ones are close to the size of the Eddy bottle. I don't really want to compromise down to a .5l bottle if I don't have to.

    I'm also wondering if anyone puts an iPad mini in the front pockets. It seems like people get Minis into parapack Side Effects and Side Effects into Co-Pilot pockets, but is that an option if the water bottle pocket is occupied? I don't even have a Mini but it's on my wishlist.

    I really like the Aubergine ballistic and the idea of a structured bag, but it sounds like Dyneema has more give and might work better for what I want. I'm not particularly enthralled with the check pattern of the Dyneema for the outside material, but I could survive it, I suppose.

    Penultimately, does anyone wear a Co-Pilot cross-body and is it comfortable that way?

    Or should I just upsize to the Pilot? I don't want to get into the larger messenger bags. I've found that I tend to lose things in their depths and then I wonder how it all got so heavy...

  2. #2
    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    My two cents: the pilot/co-pilot is not comfortable to carry with something oddly sized in the back pocket, at least in my experience. It's really for flat things like a magazine, whether you have it over the shoulder or wear it cross-body. Others can weigh in but I've had both bags and I would go with the co-pilot in this case since the load strikes me as minimalist. You could buy two bags and return one (although this brings new problems in giving one back...). Another suggestion would be to get color swatches first before deciding.

    I would use the phrase 'thriving' rather than 'surviving' when it comes to bag choice. Hope you get one that you'll love!
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    My .75L Camelbak Eddy (stainless) fits in the center pocket - I tried it with the regular straw cap and the humangear CapCap and they both fit. I've got the Black Dyneema Co-Pilot.

  4. #4
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    The only thing that might cause you trouble with the Co-Pilot is the shoes. Other than that concern I think the CP would work for you.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  5. #5
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    I own and use both bags. The I pad mini fits in a front pocket as well as in one of the two interior pockets of the CP. The dyneema SE fits in the other front pocket with a little squishing, but I pack my SE to the max. Your other stuff would fit in the CP, except for shoes (I wear the same size shoe).

    I carry these bags cross body only. Your strap choices are standard and Absolute SS. The ASS is visual overkill on the CP IMO, but not overkill AND necessary on the Pilot. The standard strap on the CP I found to be very uncomfortable, so I ordered a mini Absolute SS from OP TECH / USA. It wasn't long enough for me so I added a double carabiner to each end of the strap. Hope this helps


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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    The standard strap on the CP I found to be very uncomfortable, so I ordered a mini Absolute SS from OP TECH / USA. It wasn't long enough for me so I added a double carabiner to each end of the strap.
    What is a mini Absolute SS??? And it isn't sold directly from TB?

  7. #7
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoStanford View Post
    What is a mini Absolute SS??? And it isn't sold directly from TB?
    GoStanford, it's the OPTECH mini SOS strap and it's a smaller version of TB's Absolute Strap for smaller bags. I bought mine on Amazon. The product link is Amazon.com: OP/TECH USA Mini S.O.S. Strap - Black: Camera & Photo
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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    No, it isnot sold by TB. Someone in the forums turned me onto this. I believe this company makes the ASS for TB, but they carry a smaller scaled version thru their store online.


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    Quote Originally Posted by taminca View Post
    GoStanford, it's the OPTECH mini SOS strap and it's a smaller version of TB's Absolute Strap for smaller bags. I bought mine on Amazon. The product link is Amazon.com: OP/TECH USA Mini S.O.S. Strap - Black: Camera & Photo
    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    No, it isnot sold by TB. Someone in the forums turned me onto this. I believe this company makes the ASS for TB, but they carry a smaller scaled version thru their store online.
    Thanks for the info! I would love to know the manufacturing info/site of origin but it is not listed on the Amazon site. Regardless, the idea of a slightly smaller Absolute is nice. Reviewers sound happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoStanford View Post
    Thanks for the info! I would love to know the manufacturing info/site of origin but it is not listed on the Amazon site. Regardless, the idea of a slightly smaller Absolute is nice. Reviewers sound happy.
    Op-tech (http://optechusa.com/) makes nice stuff, and it's made in the USA. If you look at an Absolute strap under the TB tag, their tag should be there.

  11. #11
    Registered User binje's Avatar
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    Oooh, thank you for all of the good information. It sounds like I might need to scale up because of the shoes which I'm guessing will be a tight fit lengthwise (11" long, curses on my big feet). I am indeed afraid to order multiples because that way lies temptation to, er, forget to return one. The point is to have fewer, yet more useful bags in my life since we currently have a full closet of bags of varying degrees of specialty (duffles, suitcases, messengers, dry bags, boot bags, bike cube, camelbak packs, camera bags, etcetera). I am very pleased that a decent-sized bottle will fit the CP since I don't go anywhere without one - I really like the central placement since it's the heaviest thing I carry on a daily basis and I can feel the pull of a full bottle in end pockets.

  12. #12
    Registered User Mausermama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by binje View Post
    Oooh, thank you for all of the good information. It sounds like I might need to scale up because of the shoes which I'm guessing will be a tight fit lengthwise (11" long, curses on my big feet). I am indeed afraid to order multiples because that way lies temptation to, er, forget to return one. The point is to have fewer, yet more useful bags in my life since we currently have a full closet of bags of varying degrees of specialty (duffles, suitcases, messengers, dry bags, boot bags, bike cube, camelbak packs, camera bags, etcetera). I am very pleased that a decent-sized bottle will fit the CP since I don't go anywhere without one - I really like the central placement since it's the heaviest thing I carry on a daily basis and I can feel the pull of a full bottle in end pockets.
    You will definitely need to scale up. I had a Co-Pilot in my hot little hands for a couple of weeks and ultimately returned it in favor of the Pilot. I am also in the 10+ shoe size, and there is no earthly way my shoes would have fit in that bag. Even with my Pilot, a bag I love, by the way, I don't think I'd attempt it. It's too bad the Imago isn't available anymore. That is my go-to daily bag, and with its one, non-divided opening, it would have worked well, I think.

  13. #13
    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    I have size 11 womens shoes. I will try some options in the pilot vs. imago later tonight and post photos. There is an imago on eBay now and others sold recently, so that could be an option.


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  14. #14
    Registered User binje's Avatar
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    I just compressed my shoes into a compact 11" x 2.5" package using velcro straps because I so don't want a big bag, then realized that I probably don't want to do that to my expensive running shoes on a thrice-weekly basis. Sigh.

    Even the Imago seems big to me, but I suppose it can't be helped. I really do need to accept the things I cannot change. Like my shoe size. I've looked at bags, including a lovely Imago, on eBay, but I'm not willing to order something I can't return without touching it first.
    Last edited by binje; 03-07-2014 at 01:51 PM.

  15. #15
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    I wear size 12 women's shoes - I feel your pain. I don't have a Pilot in front of me (saw one a couple weeks ago), but my guess is that Imago won't be a whole lot wider than the open section of the Pilot. Imago has a wide-open format, and I'd estimate the total size of each bag to be similar. I love my navy/cork/wasabi Imago, but I wish the main section zipped shut.

    Looking over your list, I think the Pilot, especially in Dyneema, might be a good option. (Or a Synapse 19, if you're just not sure.) The organizational features on the Pilot are terrific. I could see your e-reader, notebook and sundries going on the left front pocket (love the sueded pocket for tablet), water bottle in the center, and then snacks on the right pocket (yes, banana might fit - these are roomy pockets).

    In the main pocket of the bag: shoes (bagged) in the bottom, with "bridge" & other clothing on top (maybe a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag would be great for keeping clothes). You could probably put a laptop in there too, but "YMMV". I agree the Pilot's back pocket is floppy. It's not secure enough to hold anything valuable, IMHO. But the front pockets on the Pilot are terrific.
    Last edited by TavaPeak; 03-07-2014 at 02:56 PM.

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