Obsessing about the Pilot
I currently have a Tri-Star and love it. I currently use it in two modes. Both modes have my outer clothes in the big packing cube, and the "small clothes" in the medium packing cube. In lighter-travel mode, I put the brain cell in the center pocket, along with electronics and miscellany (in an old small camera bag I don't like very much, plus the mac power cord which just kinda lying out free and tangled in the pocket), and toiletries in the small packing cube. In heavier-travel mode, I put extra shoes in the small packing cube, various things in the center pocket, and my electronics in a separate carry-on (Timbuktu messenger bag).
The problem is in lighter-travel mode, while flying, all my electronics are in the upper compartment and not under the seat in front of me. So, I've been thinking I need a better personal item than the Timbuktu I have now.
The Pilot looks to be it! So many questions, though. Many are probably not answerable yet, although many of you have experience with so many other bags that your guesses might be more educated than mine...
1) Can the Pilot fit in the center compartment of the Tri-Star like the Cadet can? Because then I could carry it all in one bag, but then pull the inner bag out when getting on the plane. If I put my cache 13" retina in the Pilot, along with some electronics and snacks and book, and a not-stuffed packing cube... maybe it'd work...
2) Can the 3-1-1 clear organizer cube fit in the water bottle compartment? Alternatively, I could put it in one of the edge compartments, but it looks like it would leave some space left over...
3) Looks like the side effect would be a GREAT alternative to the small packing cube - only about an inch smaller in each dimension.
4) My electronics tend to be along the lines of a macbook power adaptor (long cord version), a couple of usb cables, a usb power adaptor with four usb ports (lexmark), headphones (urbanears medis plus), and sometimes a normal-size iPad although I might replace it with a mini. What would be the best way to organize these in the Pilot?
I might find myself wishing I had a Western Flyer + Pilot instead of a Tri-Star + Pilot. I've also considered a Cadet but I like the look of the Pilot better. Although it seems strange that the Pilot has less capacity than the Cadet - it looks like it would hold more!
I'm intrigued with what the fit on those exterior smaller pockets will be. I carry a small water bottle, so probably can't put anything else in that center section. But it would be great to put a 3D organizer (for 311) in one side, and a Side Effect in the other. I assume that will completely fill those exterior pockets. A Nexus 7 tablet is waiting for the tablet pocket.
The Side Effect is such a handy thing. I keep a steel Dyneema one stocked for inflight essentials, and I'm toying with getting another Fyneema or Parapack for my main carryon, to corral small things. All those pockets are great for organizing small stuff without adding extra bulk, and the thinner fabric is malleable.
I suspect a Pilot can fit comfortably in that center Tristar section, especially if the Pilot is Dyneema or (wouldn't-it-be-great) Parapack.
Last edited by TavaPeak; 01-15-2014 at 09:16 AM.
I reckon the Cadet would 100% great for what you need. Like you, I also travel 'lite-mode' (short Europe trips) with my Cadet inside the middle of a Tri-Star and 'heavy-mode' (longer trips to USA / Brazil) with them as 2 separate bags. The Pilot is shorter and fatter than the Cadet; this is why (in my opinion) it would not fit inside the Tri-Star as well as the Cadet.
In 'lite-mode' I move my iPad mini and Side-Effect (contains laptop cables, , power, mouse, etc) from inside the Cadet into the front pockets of the Tri-Star. This keeps the Cadet nice and slim so not to bulge out and eat into the outer compartment space of the Tri-Star.
Works well for me !