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Thread: Western Flyer as Briefcase

  1. #1
    Registered User Tizi's Avatar
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    Western Flyer as Briefcase

    I was at the TB store this week and was looking at their line of briefcases. I was thinkinkg the WF might work very well for a briefcase. Has anyone used the WF as an EDC briefcase? If so, how does that work for you?
    Black/Steel TS, Black/Steel Aeronaut, Black/Black/Steel Brain Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Black/Steel Pilot, Black/Steel Synapse 19, Black Dyneema/Wasabi Synapse 19, Black/Steel Cadet 11, Black/Steel Imago, Black Dyneema/Wasabi MCB, Navy/Cayenne and Black/Solar SCB, Black/Wasabi and Navy/Iberian SE and many pouches in various sizes. Tom Bihnaholic.

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    My days of brief cases are over, but I do have a Western Flyer in Nordic Dyneema. I think it seems a bit on the big side for an everyday carry brief case, although I suppose it would work. Mine has the clips where you can clip in the laptop cover. You could use the rest of the space in that side to carry the power brick and cords. The other side could tackle papers and such. The outer pockets could hold an iPad or more papers. Still, if I could use any briefcase made by Bihn, it wouldn't be a contest at all. I'd choose the Founders Briefcase because I love the retro feel and all those organization compartments make me drool! Unfortunately, I just don't have the need at this point in my life. Maybe someday, though...

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    Registered User newuser's Avatar
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    I was also thinking about doing this. I guess if you are a larger person, it wouldn't look out of place, but it's hard to tell without having one in my hands.

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    I use the Tri-star as a briefcase all the time, it and I imagine the western flyer have this amazing ability to accordion so they never look like a giant bag with nothing in it. No one has ever made a comment about it being to big, I have had a few comments about how it is too small for an overnight bag though. If they only knew!!!!

  5. #5
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    I don't think the Western Flyer would be too big. I took a picture of my old Patagonia messenger bag with a 13" Macbook Pro and a picture of my Western Flyer with the same laptop:
    Name:  Patagonia.JPG
Views: 419
Size:  228.3 KB
    Name:  WF.JPG
Views: 387
Size:  219.2 KB

    Not too great a size difference.
    tpnl and newuser like this.

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    Disclaimer - I do not have a Western Flyer - I have a Tri-Star, PC Checkpoint Flyer and Zephyr as "briefcase Style" TB bags

    Interesting question - after doing a little digging ... I think I have unknowingly convinced myself that I want a Western Flyer now as a briefcase!! IMHO, I think it is definitely not too big.
    The dimensions of the Western Flyer (18 x 12 x 7) are slightly smaller than the Empire Builder (18.25 x 12.75 x 7) - so, if the Empire Builder is a great briefcase (and I certainly read a lot to that effect), the Western Flyer should be fine.
    The dimensions of my PC Checkpoint Flyer are in fact significantly larger - 19.5 x 14.5 x 7.5 - and I have no issue using this as my daily briefcase or a travel bag.

    I looked for some pictures of people using it as a shoulder bag and it did not seem big - even for more petite individuals. Here are two examples I like:

    Less is more: the svelte Western Flyer from Tom*Bihn - OBOW Blog - One-bag, carry-on, light travel tips, techniques, and gear

    Originally Posted by Dorayme (excellent pics!): Who says short people can't carry big bags?

    It really just comes down to, IMHO, how much and how big are the things you want to carry. If you have a MacBook Air, you probably want the briefcase that is not that much bigger (e.g. Cadet or Zephyr). If you are like me, I could fill the Western Flyer with just my EDC (my Smart Alec is about 80% full just with my EDC when I am backpacking it to work). Finally, the Empire Builder and Zephyr are excellent briefcases that have enough room and built in protection (which the Western Flyer does not) to double as a travel bag for short trips - just like the Western Flyer. However, I think fashion and organization styles are what comes into play when looking at those briefcases - either you like it or not.

    Hope this helps (I am sorry if it confuses things more)

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 03-20-2014 at 11:38 AM.
    Zephyr/SA/BB (Black/Black/Steel), S25/TS/WF/A45 (Black/Iberian), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), CP (Black/Steel), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

  7. #7
    Registered User Tizi's Avatar
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    Then the question is: with or without backpack straps?
    Black/Steel TS, Black/Steel Aeronaut, Black/Black/Steel Brain Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Black/Steel Pilot, Black/Steel Synapse 19, Black Dyneema/Wasabi Synapse 19, Black/Steel Cadet 11, Black/Steel Imago, Black Dyneema/Wasabi MCB, Navy/Cayenne and Black/Solar SCB, Black/Wasabi and Navy/Iberian SE and many pouches in various sizes. Tom Bihnaholic.

  8. #8
    Registered User Tizi's Avatar
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    Does the WF have the rail system for a cache?
    Black/Steel TS, Black/Steel Aeronaut, Black/Black/Steel Brain Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Black/Steel Pilot, Black/Steel Synapse 19, Black Dyneema/Wasabi Synapse 19, Black/Steel Cadet 11, Black/Steel Imago, Black Dyneema/Wasabi MCB, Navy/Cayenne and Black/Solar SCB, Black/Wasabi and Navy/Iberian SE and many pouches in various sizes. Tom Bihnaholic.

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    Tizi

    If it were me, I would go for the backpack straps. If you need a passthrough, just put the roller handle through the two backpack straps and tighten them. For me, I really like the whole "Convertible" briefcase / backpack idea and is the best of both worlds.

    As for the rail system, moriond actually asked on your behalf in another one of your posts about the ID:

    ID Cache with Rails System

    You can actually add the rail loops to any bag that does not have it. I did this to my older tri-star. It is easy to do - for the horizontal configuration, the loops consist of 1" webbing that is centred in the bag and 7" apart centre to centre. I got a tailor to do this for me but it is easly enough to do it yourself.

    See my post (it was for backpacks but it is the same for the horizontal config except for the width between rails):

    tpnl's idea - Brain Cell with rails

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 03-20-2014 at 11:52 AM.
    Zephyr/SA/BB (Black/Black/Steel), S25/TS/WF/A45 (Black/Iberian), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), CP (Black/Steel), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

  10. #10
    Registered User Tizi's Avatar
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    Thanks, I just saw that. The WF does not accomodate cache with rails. I was debating between the ID and WF for larger mobile office. I really wanted the rails system. I ordered the ID, but will look at the WF while I am at the store and decide then.

    I was thinking the backpack straps would add weight and bulk to the WF therefore was going to go without them. I have a Tri-Star for backpack mode if needed.
    Black/Steel TS, Black/Steel Aeronaut, Black/Black/Steel Brain Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Black/Steel Pilot, Black/Steel Synapse 19, Black Dyneema/Wasabi Synapse 19, Black/Steel Cadet 11, Black/Steel Imago, Black Dyneema/Wasabi MCB, Navy/Cayenne and Black/Solar SCB, Black/Wasabi and Navy/Iberian SE and many pouches in various sizes. Tom Bihnaholic.

  11. #11
    Registered User newuser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjmotal View Post
    I don't think the Western Flyer would be too big. I took a picture of my old Patagonia messenger bag with a 13" Macbook Pro and a picture of my Western Flyer with the same laptop:
    Name:  Patagonia.JPG
Views: 419
Size:  228.3 KB
    Name:  WF.JPG
Views: 387
Size:  219.2 KB

    Not too great a size difference.
    Thanks for posting these pictures. That seals the deal for me! I'm getting a Western Flyer as my new briefcase for work.

  12. #12
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    I adore my rolling handle WF as a briefcase. My briefcase use of it is a bit unstandard in that I don't carry it everyday to work. One of my kids has had some health issues necessitating frequent visits to St. Louis Children's Hospital, a good 3 hour drive one way- 6 hours roundtrip. My lovely rolling handle WF in aubergine has been my constant companion, my supersized "co-pilot" if you will In it I generally pack: snacks, water bottles (several as I'm a water junkie), paperwork, books, games (electronic and otherwise), changes of clothes, diapers, wipes, baby toys, chargers, phone, wallet, etc. It sits on the seat next to me as I drive and thanks to the lovely organization, I can easily find things in the dark as I drive (we've had many "leave at 3 am to be there by 6:30 am" type trips). I carry it crossbody or strap it to the back of the stroller and everything is easily accessible, no digging required.

    I often prefer a more vertical approach: the LCB, my Synapse....but the horizontal nature of the WF, combined with the many compartments-- though not too many , and even how the zippers unzip into a clamshell style so I can easily unzip and access things in a hurry-- it's been perfect. It's made these difficult visits much easier and more organized.

    I had been on the fence about the WF- cost! do I really "need" it, etc. Then Tamnica posted lovely pics of her new Aubergine WF and I knew I had to do it. So very glad I did. I'm not a business person, briefcase type, but I think the WF would likely make a wonderful briefcase in many situations.

    HTH!


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