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Thread: Downsizing?

  1. #1
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Downsizing?

    I just came back from a weekend trip with my new Western Flyer, and whilst it was awesome to be able to fit everything I needed into a bag that passed EasyJet's draconian carryon rules, it did make me realise that the WF is probably the biggest TB bag I can reasonably expect to use. I'm only 5'2", not exactly in the first flush of youth and not terribly fit either, so schlepping a non-wheeled bag through an airport is hard work for me!

    I'm hoping to return my Tri-Star (or put it on ebay if that's not an option), but now I'm looking to buy a "bare essentials" carryon to accompany my 26" wheeled suitcase for those trips where a WF isn't quite big enough. When I check my suitcase, I always like to carry a change of clothes and essential toiletries in case it goes astray (a friend of mine recently spent half her holiday in Prague with no suitcase and thus no clean clothes). I'll still carry my SE or maybe an SCB as my personal item, as it will be my EDC at my destination.

    I have an S19 which is probably about the right size, but it's my work EDC so I don't really want to use it for leisure. I'm leaning towards a Pilot in dyneema as being the right size and style (smart casual) for the kinds of trips I take, but am willing to be convinced that other TB bags might be even better suited...

    ETA: I have a Swift in my current order - mostly for knitting projects, but maybe it would work well in this context? OTOH I like the idea of a bag that fits over the rollaboard handles. Decisions, decisions!
    Last edited by scribe; 04-21-2014 at 02:51 AM.
    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)
    On their way: DLBP, 3DFOCs, another YSS!
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

  2. #2
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    I would take a look at the Pilot. It will handle a change of clothes like you wish, go over the handles of a roller board, and should be easy for you to manage. If you get it in Dyneema, it will be even lighter. I have one in Nordic/Solar, and I love using it. It functions for me as a carry-on and minimalist brief case quite nicely.

  3. #3
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    Why not buy another S19? You could also look at the ID which may suit your needs as well.

  4. #4
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    I'd agree that a Pilot sounds like it would work quite well for you. Although I don't own a Pilot (yet). I have used the large packing cube and was able to pack quite a few things in it. Quick pic - what I can fit in the large Pilot packing cube

  5. #5
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    @scribe What guidelines do you have for how you envision your carryon will work in your downsized scenario, and particularly how this item will be carried together with your wheeled suitcase? Is this bag solely being used for clothes and toiletries? Do you need it to either ride on the handle of your rolling luggage or be something you can carry cross-body or on your back? You could just use your Swift as your carryon. Take a look at @Kinsale's picture of the interior of the Swift holding the Tri-Star's Medium and Small Packing Cubes in the What can you fit into a Medium Tri Star Packing cube? thread. With a volume of 15.5 liters, the Swift can carry more than a Pilot (13 liters).

    If you want something like the Pilot or Co-Pilot, you can take a look at @bchaplin's pictures in the Pilot and Co-Pilot thread to get an idea of what will fit. However, if you intend to carry the bag using the handle of your rolling luggage suitcase, the back pocket of the Co-Pilot may work better than that of the currently designed Pilot. Read this thread about issues using the back pocket as a rollerboard sleeve in the case of the Pilot. On the other hand, @Yoda Sloth took a picture of her Pilot balanced on top of a rollerboard suitcase. You'll have to check through the forums for more information, since I don't use wheeled luggage.

    One advantage of the Pilot is that it's slightly longer format will let you insert A4-sized paper into the main or back compartment, while the Co-Pilot will not. (I can carry U.S. letter size paper in Levenger folders inside the Co-Pilot, but it's difficult to use in general with file folders, and the Levenger folders I use haven't been sold since 2009.) However, if you are only using this bag for clothes and accessories, you might find the Co-Pilot convenient. Here's an example picture of using the Co-Pilot with a Western Flyer Small Packing cube for clothes. Also take a read through @Tizi's Dyneema Pilot Improvement Suggestion thread. I don't have the crumpling issue (but I use a cache for a 13" MacBook Air with the Pilot). I also don't find a problem with the back pocket staying open too wide, or the back sagging even when the bag is empty, if I insert a plastic A4 file box in the outside back pocket. (Should be easy for you to get, but I'm not sure how widely stationary items for A4 paper are sold elsewhere in the U.S. -- I just bought a few of these from Long's Drug Store around the corner a year or two ago.)

    And as @Leena suggested, you could always just get anothe Synapse 19 (19 liters). I find the ID Bag a bit large to carry cross-body at 20.9 liters, unless you want this as an alternative to the 26 liter Western Flyer that is just slightly smaller for weekend travel with all your clothing and other items.


    HTH. moriond

  6. #6
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comprehensive answer, moriond, and everyone else for their suggestions!

    I'm definitely leaning towards the Swift now, as I only have one more flight this year - the rest of my trips will be within the UK and by train, where the issue of checked bags doesn't apply. A suitcase could admittedly get stolen from the luggage rack at the end of the carriage, but I'm not sure the effort of carrying an extra change of clothes would be worth it.

    Perhaps something to revisit when I next have an overseas trip lined up. Who knows, there might be new TB bags to choose from by then!
    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)
    On their way: DLBP, 3DFOCs, another YSS!
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

  7. #7
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    I'm glad to hear that the WF flyer worked well for you, scribe. I just bought a WF and will try it out on a 5-day trip in a couple of weeks. I got the black/wasabi version since all Dyneema wasn't an option.

  8. #8
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    Mine is black/wasabi - very smart! I think it would be fine for 4-5 days if I had the option of a personal item as well - unfortunately EasyJet are draconian in this respect, and I even had to squeeze my tiny leather shoulder-bag into the WF before boarding the plane. Hence one half of the zip-divided front compartment was entirely taken up with my iPad mini, knitting project and said shoulder-bag.

    I think next time I go to Scotland I'll take the train - it's just less hassle than trying to get everything I need into a bag I can carry more than 100 yards!
    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)
    On their way: DLBP, 3DFOCs, another YSS!
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

  9. #9
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Downsizing?

    So, I just pulled the trigger on an order of a Pilot + packing cubes. I decided that I prefer a closed bag for travel, and even if the piggyback option isn't perfect, it is at least possible.

    I chose the ballistic version (steel/UV) since I thought it would be stiffer, and therefore stabler, than dyneema in piggyback mode - and anyway I'm not mad about dyneema as an external fabric. Plus I like the steel/UV combo (sad I had to return my TriStar in those colours) - it's cheerful enough for leisure use but serious enough to double as a briefcase/overnight bag for work.

    Alas the ballistic ones are on back order until late June, so I might have to fall back to the Swift (due to arrive next week - squeeee!) if the Pilot ships too late.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by scribe; 05-08-2014 at 04:20 AM.
    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)
    On their way: DLBP, 3DFOCs, another YSS!
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

  10. #10
    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scribe View Post
    Alas the ballistic ones are on back order until late June, so I might have to fall back to the Swift (due to arrive next week - squeeee!) if the Pilot ships too late.
    Maybe I missed this, but what color Swift did you decide on?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Aubergine/wasabi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    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)
    On their way: DLBP, 3DFOCs, another YSS!
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

  12. #12
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    Scribe - let me know what you think of the Pilot. I'm trying to wait to see what the Aeronaut 30 looks like. I know there's a big difference in the capacity between the two bags, but I'm trying to limit myself to 1 bag for the present time.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecturist View Post
    Scribe - let me know what you think of the Pilot. I'm trying to wait to see what the Aeronaut 30 looks like. I know there's a big difference in the capacity between the two bags, but I'm trying to limit myself to 1 bag for the present time.
    Dear Vecturist,

    If I had to have just one bag, I think it would be the Brain Bag.

    It has a generous capacity of 36 liters. It has two generous main compartments, providing organization (e.g. laptop and other electronics/accessories in one, and clothes in a packing cube in the other). It has front organization pockets. It has side compression straps, allowing you to minimize its profile when it isn't completely full. It allows you quick access to your hydration bottle. It has a dri-lex aero-spacer mesh back, which helps to keep you cool in the heat.

    Actually, for the Aeronaut 30, Tri-Star and Western Flyer, I would love to see a dri-lex aero-spacer mesh back! These are bags that I don't think I would ever check in - I would always carry them onboard (although, we know that someone was sadly forced to check in their Tri-Star). I wouldn't put one on the Aeronaut because it's on the larger side, and can potentially get checked in.

  14. #14
    Registered User Aeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    Actually, for the Aeronaut 30, Tri-Star and Western Flyer, I would love to see a dri-lex aero-spacer mesh back!
    This. I would pay a premium for this as well. Fingers crossed it is one of the "small" changes Darcy has spoken of about the Aeronaut 30.
    so far: small clear OP (steel), small padded OP, small and medium DOP (burnt orange), Side Effect (black/steel), Synapse 19 (burnt orange/steel), Synapse 25 (burnt orange/steel)

    want: Aeronaut 30 (black/steel), more BURNT ORANGE: OPs, keystraps, Side Effect, Ballistic Nylon, 200d Dyneema

  15. #15
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecturist View Post
    Scribe - let me know what you think of the Pilot. I'm trying to wait to see what the Aeronaut 30 looks like. I know there's a big difference in the capacity between the two bags, but I'm trying to limit myself to 1 bag for the present time.
    Will do - though I don't expect to see it for at least a month, probably longer
    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)
    On their way: DLBP, 3DFOCs, another YSS!
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!


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