Hello! I've been eyeing TB bags for years and want to take the plunge with an everyday bag. The Pilot looks almost perfect for my needs except that it might be a bit too small. Having spent several evenings now reading through these forums and ogling photos (what crack for a bag addict!), I'm somewhat convinced that the Tardis effect might kick in and make up the difference, but I think I best just ask to be sure. Thank you in advance for any comments or help!
Currently I carry this as my everyday bag/purse/life-over-my-shoulder piece:
eBags Kalya Town Square Bag - eBags.com
I like a lot about it--the organization, the wide and padded strap, the lightness--but it's starting to look worn around the edges and the messenger flap never bowled me over. As a short (5'2) female, the sizing is good, as I can get nearly 1200 cubic inches over my shoulder without the bag dwarfing me. I carry it 99.9% of the time; the only times I carry a purse instead are for special occasions out. For daily use, general casual meals out or meeting up with friends, or running errands around town, this is what I use. The Pilot appeals to me since it seems like it could similarly straddle the half-briefcase-half-messenger-bag line.
I'm a grad student just finishing up my PhD and have a regular teaching position as a part-time adjunct. I carry a fair number of books and binders, which is where I worry that the Pilot won't fit my needs. Using the Kayla bag listed above:
*The front flap catches all my junk: pens, pencils, white board markers, keys, little packets of almonds or other snacks, coin purse, sunglasses, phone… I shove a lot in there, and it isn’t really well designed for most of it. I’ve tried corralling much of this stuff in another organizer pouch, but the majority of it I like to have immediately at hand.
*One side pocket perfectly fits the small travel umbrella I always carry, and the other side has a packet with an epi pen, inhaler, small bottle of liquid Benadryl and some antihistamines.
*The main compartment has two big pockets sewed to the inside; I keep my Filofax planner/wallet (~8”x5”1.5”) in one and a similarly sized organizer pouch in the other that holds things I like to have with me but don’t need at hand quickly.
All of the above stay in the bag all the time.
*That leaves the open section of the main compartment for stuff that I pack based on the particular day. A typical load would be my Macbook Air, a binder or two (usually 1” or 1.5”), maybe a large-sized textbook, one or two smaller trade paperback sized books, a bottle of water, and sometimes a small lunchbox. The current bag swallows all that and still zippers, but I’ll also sometimes stuff in a sweater, or a fat file folder, extra books, or something else that takes up enough room so I can’t shut the main compartment.
I'm thinking that the Pilot, at 800 cubic inches, will be fine until that last bullet point. The Synapse 19 looks like it might be better sized for my needs, but as a 32-year-old on the young-looking side, I'm already occasionally mistaken for one of my students. Plenty of tenured folks carry backpacks, but I think I better stick to a shoulder bag until I grow out of the comments about how I don't look old enough to be a professor yet (meant kindly... but still!).
Should I got with the Pilot and carry a reusable grocery-style bag for overflow days? Consider the Synapse more seriously? Something else entirely?
Thank you for reading!