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Thread: How floppy is the Dyneema version of the Pilot?

  1. #1
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    How floppy is the Dyneema version of the Pilot?

    After hesitating for months, I'm about to order a Pilot as a companion for my beloved Indigo Co-Pilot. Since there is no Aubergine Ballistic version of the Pilot available [big sigh], my next favorite is Nordic/Solar Dyneema. I have three bags in that beautiful combination already: a Side Effect, Small Cafe Bag, and Swift. I'm about to press the "send" button on my order, but I'm a bit concerned about how floppy the Dyneema version of the Pilot might be. Can any proud owners of a Dyneema Pilot chime in here?

    Note that I do like the additional give of Dyneema; at one point I had an Aubergine Co-Pilot that I returned because it was just too tight for me to get things in and out of it easily. [Though I've never had that problem with my Indigo CP.] On the other hand, a Ballistic Pilot might offer a teensy bit more structure and protection to my gear. But there aren't any colors right now in Ballistic Pilots that excite me. Decisions, decisions.

    So what's the verdict on floppiness?

    Thanks so much,

    Nancy

  2. #2
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    I think the piping help gives it some structure. Obviously it won't be as stiff as ballistic. I like the Dyneema though.
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  3. #3
    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    In my experience, the back pocket flaps open and the bag sags in on itself towards the middle when it's not full. However, the flexibility and lighter weight may be enough to trump these factors for some people, especially when you factor in how you would be using it. I would say that if you had any inclination towards Nordic, then you should order it. In the worst case you can send it back using TB's $10 flat rate return.
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  4. #4
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    Nancy, I find that keeping an A4 file box in the back pocket of the Pilot keeps both the bag from sagging even when it is otherwise completely empty. I'm using this with a 13" MacBook Air in a cache with rails, which also prevents sag, but I usually have the file box in the back pocket for carrying papers, because it keeps them from curling or getting wet if it should start raining.

    On the other hand, if you're going to use the Pilot for your camera gear (similar to your use of the Co-Pilot), you may find the 400d Dyneema version too floppy. I'm primarily using this as a personal item bag that can easily fit into luggage like the Tri-Star. Most of the time, I prefer to use my Synapse 19 to carry more items.

    They have not yet ever offered the Pilot in Aubergine. I do expect that they will eventually make this option available, and I will probably order one then. By the way, your post on finding the Aubergine Co-Pilot a bit tight was useful to me. Since I never used the Co-Pilot as much as some forum members, mainly because of the suspicion that a slightly larger version would be much more usable for me, I decided to stick with the Steel Co-Pilot I already had, and wait for the Pilot.

    moriond
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  5. #5
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    I'm sending this from Tapatalk on my iPad, and I apologize because I can't see a way to like individual posts. But first of all, thanks to both Leena and kkintea for your advice. It does help me.

    And as always, moriond, you are a marvel! I can't believe you remembered my posts of a few years ago about how I use my Co-Pilot as a camera bag. I'm still doing that, with my Indigo Co-Pilot and two Fuji xe bodies with lenses. Amazingly, the little Co-Pilot can fit both cameras with plenty of room for other gear as well. I just organized that this week, but perhaps over the weekend I can get some photos to share on the forum, to show how well the CP works for mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses.

    But when I repurposed my Indigo CP as a camera bag, suddenly I needed another bag to carry around my MacBook Air 11 in a felt sleeve I sewed myself, along with my iPad Air, my Kindle Paperwhite, my iPhone, my 16 ounce thermal mug, and all my usual purse stuff. Believe it or not, I've been able to squeeze all that into my Indigo CP, but it's a tight fit. Which is why my eyes turned towards the Pilot.

    In other words, my plan is to use the Pilot as a bag for those days when I'm going to be away from home for several hours, and want to carry either my MacBook Air 11 or my iPad Air with a bluetooth keyboard [in an Origami case], all my girly purse stuff, my thermal mug, and one of my Fuji cameras. I have padded cases for both the MBA and the iPad, and I've got a padded camera wrap for the Fuji. [I've also got a two-compartment camera insert, but that's living in the Co-Pilot.] I can lay down some foam on the bottom of the Pilot, too, if need be: that's what I do sometimes in both the CP and my Swift when I'm carrying electronics. [I've got everything in my Nordic Swift today.] So I think I can add some extra protection if I get the Nordic Pilot—which would likely help hold it up as well.

    I had read some comments here on the forum about the back pocket of the Pilot gapping. Is that the pocket where you are putting the A4 folder carrier, moriond?

    Part of me is wondering whether I should order the Nordic versions of both the Pilot and the Co-Pilot to see which I prefer; and then I could return one.

    I'm glad my comment about the Aubergine CP helped you make your decision, moriond. I love that color so much that I wanted to make the CP work, but it was markedly tighter than my Indigo CP. I tried to transfer everything in the Indigo CP to the Aubergine, and it wouldn't fit!

    Again, thanks to everyone! You've really helped.

    ~Nancy

  6. #6
    Registered User Mausermama's Avatar
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    I also returned a Ballistic CoPilot (in Steel/UV). As much as I loved the look, it was just a little to stiff for me to manage easily. I now have a Nordic Dyneema Pilot, and I find it to be a fabulous bag! I usually only carry it if I'm carrying something flat towards the back, like a clipboard or my iPad, because it does tend to sag a bit. Of course you only notice that if you set the bag down. When you carry it, that part of the bag is against your side, and it's not an issue.

    Despite the aesthetics being perhaps less gorgeous because of its flexibility, it is precisely because of its flexibility and its weight that I purchased the bag. I am the the point where fractions of ounces matter, and the weight of Dyneema is a huge positive. I have no regrets purchasing the bag at all! Now that I've had the bag for awhile, I have also noticed that the zippers have loosened up so I am able to access the contents almost always with only one hand. I love that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncb4 View Post
    I had read some comments here on the forum about the back pocket of the Pilot gapping. Is that the pocket where you are putting the A4 folder carrier, moriond?
    Yes, that's the pocket I'm using. Look at the pictures in the Dyneema Pilot Improvement Suggestionthread then scroll to my pictures near the end of the Books/Binders in Pilot? thread..

    However, note that the first thread shows the issue of sagging with an 11" MacBook Air in a Cache. I hope this way of linking to the thread will give you access to my post. Newer versions of Tapatalk will support linking to individual posts.

    moriond
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    Nancy, can I ask what kind of camera insert you have and where you got it? I am thinking I could use a CP when I only want to take some of the gear with me on a flight. It would be more versatile than the bag I carry now (which I do love, by the way, it's an Epiphanie), as well as smaller and lighter.

  9. #9
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mausermama View Post
    I also returned a Ballistic CoPilot (in Steel/UV). As much as I loved the look, it was just a little to stiff for me to manage easily. I now have a Nordic Dyneema Pilot, and I find it to be a fabulous bag! I usually only carry it if I'm carrying something flat towards the back, like a clipboard or my iPad, because it does tend to sag a bit. Of course you only notice that if you set the bag down. When you carry it, that part of the bag is against your side, and it's not an issue.

    Despite the aesthetics being perhaps less gorgeous because of its flexibility, it is precisely because of its flexibility and its weight that I purchased the bag. I am the the point where fractions of ounces matter, and the weight of Dyneema is a huge positive. I have no regrets purchasing the bag at all! Now that I've had the bag for awhile, I have also noticed that the zippers have loosened up so I am able to access the contents almost always with only one hand. I love that!
    I think you and I have the same standards for a bag, Mausermama: flexibility and lighter weight. I've had fusion surgery in my neck, so like you I'm also at the point where very ounce counts. That and the fact that Dyneema seems to be a more forgiving fabric are the two reasons it appeals to me—and I am also sort of in love with Nordic as well. You may have just tipped me off the fence towards making an order of the Pilot. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    Yes, that's the pocket I'm using. Look at the pictures in the Dyneema Pilot Improvement Suggestionthread then scroll to my pictures near the end of the Books/Binders in Pilot? thread..

    However, note that the first thread shows the issue of sagging with an 11" MacBook Air in a Cache. I hope this way of linking to the thread will give you access to my post. Newer versions of Tapatalk will support linking to individual posts.

    moriond
    You are the best! These links have been so helpful. I haven't used it much lately, but I do have a laptop carrier by Higher Ground called a Flak Jacket.

    Amazon.com: Higher Ground Flak Jacket FJ013RB Carrying Case (Sleeve) for 13" Notebook - Royal Blue (FJ013RB): Electronics

    It's about an inch thick, but it's got all sorts of padding and plastic shielding inside, kind of like the Brain Cells [which I also have in Cayenne], so it would certainly protect my little MBA. It would also fit inside the main compartment of the Pilot and give it some rigidity and structure. I'd be losing some space in the compartment if I use the Flak Jacket, but the tradeoff would be more structure and support and protection for my 11-inch MBA. And after all, the Pilot was designed for 13-inch laptops, not the more diminutive 11-inch models.

    I'm not sure whether putting the Flak Jacket inside the Pilot would help at all with the sagging of the back slip sleeve, but that's of secondary importance to me. And if it becomes a nuisance, maybe I could get someone local to add a snap for me.

    Thanks again!

    Nancy

  11. #11
    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    @ncb4: what insert are you using for your MFT camera?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Favorite: Steel/Steel LS * Latest: Grey DLBC * Wishlist: New 400d Color

  12. #12
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auntie Em View Post
    Nancy, can I ask what kind of camera insert you have and where you got it? I am thinking I could use a CP when I only want to take some of the gear with me on a flight. It would be more versatile than the bag I carry now (which I do love, by the way, it's an Epiphanie), as well as smaller and lighter.
    Of course, Auntie Em. Here's the link:

    Amazon.com: Ape Case Cubeze Interior Case for Cameras - Black/Yellow (ACQB39): Camera & Photo

    The insert just barely fits inside the Co-Pilot, but once inside it's durable and offers good protection to your camera and lenses. Plus I am still able to use the two slip pockets inside the main compartment, as well as attach an Organizer Pouch to the O-ring. The bright yellow color is a great match for Solar Dyneema, too: it makes everything easy to see. I recommend it highly, and I think the CP makes a great camera bag, especially if you've got one of the smaller mirrorless cameras.

    Here's a quick photo of the Ape insert inside my CP. Sorry for the photo quality, but I had to use my iPhone so you could see both cameras inside the insert. That's a Fuji xe-2 with a 35mm lens attached [silver]; and a Fuji xe-1 with a 14mm wide angle lens attached [black, on its side].

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    ~Nancy

  13. #13
    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    How ironic: I have this cube but was using it with my larger dSLR. Will have to try with my MFT.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Favorite: Steel/Steel LS * Latest: Grey DLBC * Wishlist: New 400d Color

  14. #14
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Well, I just ordered a Nordic/Solar Pilot! Of course now I wish someone could beam it to me via transporter, but I guess I'll have to wait a week for UPS to get it cross-country. I'm so excited—and I want to thank everyone for their input and advice. It was so valuable in helping me sort out what I wanted, what the real-life usage of the Pilot was like, and if the twain doth meet. I think they will.

    ~Nancy
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkintea View Post
    In my experience, the back pocket flaps open and the bag sags in on itself towards the middle when it's not full. However, the flexibility and lighter weight may be enough to trump these factors for some people, especially when you factor in how you would be using it.
    My experience with the Pilot has been the same.

    While initially concerned about the floppiness (and the back pocket's tendency to droop) when only partially packed, I decided that the lighter weight of the Dyneema version made up for it.

    As I have used the bag more, I have found that packing it more fully does alleviate the floppiness quite a bit.

    I like the form factor of the Pilot enough that I actually got a second one in Ballistic for the sake of comparison, thinking I would return whichever one I liked less.

    Of course, I can't bring myself to return either: I found that I love both, for different reasons and different applications. The Dyneema version's flexibility it great for slipping into the center compartment of the Tri-Star. I also use it for more casual EDC. I use the Ballistic version for carrying a laptop and for more professional settings.

    @ ncb4, I hope you enjoy your new Pilot!
    Last edited by bb93fo57; 04-26-2014 at 06:12 AM.
    Steel Ballistic: WF (w/Iberian), Pilot (w/UV)
    Black Dyneema: TS (w/Iberian), S25 (w/Wasabi), DLBC

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