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Thread: Western Flyer Advantages?

  1. #1
    Registered User Jeff A's Avatar
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    Question Western Flyer Advantages?

    I keep changing my mind on which TB Travel Bag to purchase first. Enter the Western Flyer. I never really considered it before but it looks like a great bag! If I'm traveling for business (which I rarely do) I can probably pack 4 to 5 days of clothes in the Western Flyer (maybe?) and then use my Synapse 25 with Cache to hold my laptop, plus any extra items that don't fit in the WF. If I don't travel with my laptop then my Co-Pilot could be used, as well.

    One thing I didn't notice until today are the extra 2 pockets/compartments in one of the WF's sides. I'm guessing people use these for socks, undergarments, etc. I would think having those pockets would really extend the WF's packing capabilities.

    What other advantages (or disadvantages) does the WF have over other TB Travel Bags? As always, thanks
    Black Cordura-Wasabi Synapse 25 | Black Dyneema-Wasabi Side Effect | Aubergine-Wasabi Co-Pilot | Navy-Iberian Co-Pilot | Iberian Travel Tray | Nordic Large Shop Bag | Ultraviolet Travel Stuff Sack Size #2 | Ultraviolet Small Clear Organizer Pouch | Steel Nano Parapack Pouch | Wasabi 3D Organizer Pouch | Various Key Straps

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    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    Do you mean the two pockets on the front or the fact that one of the compartments of the interior can be divided in 2 using a zipper?

    The pockets on the front are quite flat. The larger one will take my iPad and i usually use the smaller ne for travel docs or a book. The interior comparments...I often use the smaller one for shoes and the larger one for packing cubes containing clothes. The zipper divider also helps combat bulginess. Packing cubes are essential, i think. i use a combo of Tom bihn and eagle creek specter cubes.The wf is my favorite because it prevents overpacking. I often use it for 2wk trips.

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    @ Jeff A- I think the WF you're referring to is the rolling handle style WF, not the WF with backpack straps? The rolling handle style WF has two gusseted pockets on the back wall of the 2nd compartment- sort of like the pockets on the back wall of the Co-Pilot. The backpack strap styled WF does not have these pockets, however.

    Just wanted to clarify that point

    As for your other questions, I'm afraid I can't answer them. While I do have a WF (the rolling handle style), I use mine more as a giant briefcase for navigating hospital stays and days of health testing for one of my kids. It's been fabulous in that role, so I'm guessing you would love it for travel but other business travelers can weigh in on that...

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    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    @Jeff A, I use the WF (rolling handle version) primarily for business travel and can say that it is perfect for my needs. For a short trip (1 or 2 overnights), it is my ONE bag for both clothes and business stuff since I do not have to lug a MacBook around -- just an iPad Air.

    For longer trips, I pair the WF with my S19. That's the main reason I got the WF in rolling handle version -- so that I can wear the S19 on my back. Now that I have the Pilot and it is becoming my go-to EDC on workdays, I'm regretting (a little) not getting the WF with backpack straps.

    I actually have not made use of the 2 pockets on the back of the WF's main compartment because I put all my clothes in packing cubes.
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    @Jeff A There's a really old review (over 5 years old, dating from the first release of the Western Flyer with sling strap design and open water bottle pocket), that was very well done. Pretty amazing how much stuff he managed to fit in -- and this was a tall guy.

    Having said that, I agree with @jannilee that the WF is best packed with packing cubes. And please note that while you can insert your laptop in a cached into the back compartment (maybe even putting it into a large packing cube or WF/Tri-Star Packing Cube Backpack), there's no provision for attaching it in a Cache with rails system, nor are there any immediate plans for doing so. You would definitely have to use your Synapse 25 for carrying that with more protection. The WF does have annex clips for carrying a Brain Cell for laptops, but that takes up more room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taminca View Post
    For longer trips, I pair the WF with my S19. That's the main reason I got the WF in rolling handle version -- so that I can wear the S19 on my back. Now that I have the Pilot and it is becoming my go-to EDC on workdays, I'm regretting (a little) not getting the WF with backpack straps.

    I actually have not made use of the 2 pockets on the back of the WF's main compartment because I put all my clothes in packing cubes.
    @taminca Don't regret your purchase -- you got the bag with the neat "Portable Culture" logo. If you want to get the Aubergine Backpack version of WF instead, I'm sure you could order it and then destash your WF with the rolling luggage handle. The rolling luggage handle version in Aubergine is no longer available for order, while the backpack version still is.

    moriond

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    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    Ahhh! That explains it. I would certainly get the backpack version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jannilee View Post
    Ahhh! That explains it. I would certainly get the backpack version.
    Tom's explanation of why these two back pockets were only included in the rolling luggage handle version was that if you carried the WF in backpack mode, things could fall out of the pockets. (Won't bother to link to the exact forum post, but I can find it if needed.)

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    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @taminca Don't regret your purchase -- you got the bag with the neat "Portable Culture" logo.
    Thanks for the reminder, @moriond. Being a recent (6 months?) TB fan, it's the ONLY bag I have with the "Portable Culture" logo!
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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    Registered User Jeff A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tlacltme View Post
    @ Jeff A- I think the WF you're referring to is the rolling handle style WF, not the WF with backpack straps? The rolling handle style WF has two gusseted pockets on the back wall of the 2nd compartment- sort of like the pockets on the back wall of the Co-Pilot. The backpack strap styled WF does not have these pockets, however.

    Just wanted to clarify that point
    That definitely makes sense. I would go for the backpack version. No more rollers for me, haha!
    Black Cordura-Wasabi Synapse 25 | Black Dyneema-Wasabi Side Effect | Aubergine-Wasabi Co-Pilot | Navy-Iberian Co-Pilot | Iberian Travel Tray | Nordic Large Shop Bag | Ultraviolet Travel Stuff Sack Size #2 | Ultraviolet Small Clear Organizer Pouch | Steel Nano Parapack Pouch | Wasabi 3D Organizer Pouch | Various Key Straps

  11. #11
    Registered User Jeff A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @Jeff A There's a really old review (over 5 years old, dating from the first release of the Western Flyer with sling strap design and open water bottle pocket), that was very well done. Pretty amazing how much stuff he managed to fit in -- and this was a tall guy.

    Having said that, I agree with @jannilee that the WF is best packed with packing cubes. And please note that while you can insert your laptop in a cached into the back compartment (maybe even putting it into a large packing cube or WF/Tri-Star Packing Cube Backpack), there's no provision for attaching it in a Cache with rails system, nor are there any immediate plans for doing so. You would definitely have to use your Synapse 25 for carrying that with more protection. The WF does have annex clips for carrying a Brain Cell for laptops, but that takes up more room.
    Thanks for the link to that great review! Is my thinking on track when considering the Western Flyer over the Tri-Star, especially because I probably won't need the middle compartment for a laptop? Unfortunately, the color options available are pretty limited compared to the Tri-Star.
    Black Cordura-Wasabi Synapse 25 | Black Dyneema-Wasabi Side Effect | Aubergine-Wasabi Co-Pilot | Navy-Iberian Co-Pilot | Iberian Travel Tray | Nordic Large Shop Bag | Ultraviolet Travel Stuff Sack Size #2 | Ultraviolet Small Clear Organizer Pouch | Steel Nano Parapack Pouch | Wasabi 3D Organizer Pouch | Various Key Straps

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    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taminca View Post
    Thanks for the reminder, @moriond. Being a recent (6 months?) TB fan, it's the ONLY bag I have with the "Portable Culture" logo!
    I'm a little sad that I don't have any "Portable Culture" items yet - I went for the Tri-Star as being a bit more versatile than the WF (plus all of the - rather limited - WF colour options were on backorder at the time), but if the TS turns out to be too heavy for me when fully packed, I might replace it with a WF in due course and stick with my wheeled suitcase for big trips.
    Collections:
    black/aubergine + wasabi (WF, SA + UMP, CP, TT, TSSs, SE, Swift, QK, YSSs & KTPs)
    forest/cork/linen + steel/olive (Imago, Pilot, SCB, COW, QK, OPs)
    olive/plum + steel/UV/wasabi (S19, SE, MCB, TSSs, SSBs, YSSs, LSS, OPs)
    black/steel + iberian (SE, SCB, FJN, TSSs, YSSs)
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

  13. #13
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scribe View Post
    I'm a little sad that I don't have any "Portable Culture" items yet - I went for the Tri-Star as being a bit more versatile than the WF (plus all of the - rather limited - WF colour options were on backorder at the time), but if the TS turns out to be too heavy for me when fully packed, I might replace it with a WF in due course and stick with my wheeled suitcase for big trips.
    I'm proud that such great bags are made in the USA but sorry that TB replaced the "Portable Culture" logo -- it's so unique to them. I share your concern about the weight of a fully loaded TS, @scribe, and would appreciate hearing about your experience. Thanks.
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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  14. #14
    Registered User Jeff A's Avatar
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    Are there a lot of Western Flyer fans out there? The lack of color choices is somewhat disappointing, where the Tri-Star color choices are quite varied.
    Black Cordura-Wasabi Synapse 25 | Black Dyneema-Wasabi Side Effect | Aubergine-Wasabi Co-Pilot | Navy-Iberian Co-Pilot | Iberian Travel Tray | Nordic Large Shop Bag | Ultraviolet Travel Stuff Sack Size #2 | Ultraviolet Small Clear Organizer Pouch | Steel Nano Parapack Pouch | Wasabi 3D Organizer Pouch | Various Key Straps

  15. #15
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    The color choices for the WF are a bit limited, but only at the moment. At times, there are lots if WF choices and not as many TS choices. It's just the ebb and flow of supply and demand. If you're hoping for a specific color, the way to find out if it's going to be offered is to email TB customer service. If you want a WF right now, it wouldn't hurt to start an "in search of" thread with your preferred colors, keeping in mind that you may have to accept your second choice or configuration.


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