More Co-Pilot thoughts.
Well, I just received my first Tom Bihn bag -- the standard-issue Black/Steel Co-Pilot. And, yes, it swallowed just about everything I could cram into it.
But, it didn't take long at all to come up with a few thoughts, so I thought I'd jump in with both feet -- so here goes:
As has been mentioned many times, yes, if you just made the bag one inch wider -- 13 inches instead of 12 -- you would open up an enormous customer base that has 13-inch notebooks, ultrabooks, and so on. I've got a Samsung 13-inch ultrabook, and indeed it'll fit into the Co-Pilot's main compartment with ease -- if I don't put it into any kind of protective sleeve. With a sleeve, it's just absolutely, utterly not possible. Yes, there's the smaller Cadet, but that's not what I'm looking for at all. I want to carry my tablet computer -- a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 -- and quite a bit of other stuff, like a digital camera, a little table-top tripod, extra batteries and such, and on and on. The Co-Pilot has the depth to make that possible, whereas the Cadet is just a typical "notebook bag" without enough room for all of that "other stuff" I want to carry.
Yes, I mentioned just taking the tablet with me, but I do have the ultrabook, and there are certainly going to be times when I wish I could take that along, too. 12 inches wide simply equals "many missed opportunities." 13 inches to me sounds about as close to "a license to print money" as you can get.
I've got a few other wishes about the Co-Pilot, though:
Again, as others have mentioned, the back of the bag can bulge out VERY unattractively. And when that happens, the most unattractive thing of them all is how that back outer pocket opens up like a whale's mouth. If we could get some firmness built into that back panel, that would help immensely. And if we could control that outer pocket somehow, that would be great, too. A little bit of Velcro to get it to stay with the bag would help. And gosh, a zipper would make it about a hundred million times more useful -- I'm just not really going to use an open pocket here in Rainy Oregon.
Finally, I guess the infernal back of the bag is what bugs me. If those pockets were on the FRONT of the main compartment instead of the BACK, I would actually use them. But in the back, they're just useless and in the way -- they'll just make the bag bulge out if I use them, and I would really rather keep my tablet against that back wall, instead of a bunch of odd-shaped stuff. I want the odd-shaped stuff in the middle of the bag.
So, that's my perspective on the bag -- it's that bulging back panel that could use some improvements.
Otherwise, I'm really quite happy with things so far. Like many folks, I want to carry a tablet and/or a notebook, PLUS a bunch of other stuff -- and like many, the other stuff is camera equipment. And let me speak for a bunch of folks who have some pretty serious camera equipment -- but we have learned that you don't need a large backpack-filling insert full of an enormous DSLR system, now that the "mirrorless" cameras have arrived, and would fit very nicely in something like the Co-Pilot or the Synapse, if only we could get a properly-fitting little insert that would fit inside them. In my case, I've gone even smaller than that, replacing my mirrorless systems with the little Sony RX100, which fits very nicely in any of the Co-Pilot's front pockets.
Plus, I was utterly amazed by the phone pocket in the left pocket -- "Oh, gosh, it'll just fit an iPhone, I'm sure, and my super-jumbo-enormous Samsung Galaxy Note phone with its 5.3-inch screen will NEVER fit in there." But lo and behold, it fits just fine. Many kudos for comprehending that phones other than iPhones exist.
So, those are my thoughts so far -- I definitely plan to follow up after I've put a few miles on my new Co-Pilot.
The Co-Pilot has become my everyday bag of choice now that I rarely carry a laptop and carry a Galaxy S3 smartphone.
It also fits perfectly in my Harley Road King Classic saddle bags and it's become my bag of choice for when I ride.
The Co-Pilot also fits in the middle compartment of my TriStar and this combo is ideal for pleasure and business trips.
I also agree about the rear compartment of the Co-Pilot. It should be zippered and not left open the way it is. I hardly ever use that pocket.
Bottom line: this is one great everyday carry bag!
Any chance of a photo of this?
Originally Posted by Climb14er
Regarding the back compartment, I like the unzippered back on the co-pilot and on the cafe bags. I find it's a great place to stash a magazine or other papers.
Don't have a photo. It fits perfectly in the saddlebag of an 2011 RKC 103. With some room to spare.
Originally Posted by snowbot