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Thread: Ballistic Co-Pilot doesn't work for me

  1. #1
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    Ballistic Co-Pilot doesn't work for me

    I got my aubergine/wasabi dyneema co-pilot recently, and was excited to try it out. I quickly realized it's not the right bag for me (I think) because the zippered pockets are fairly rigid and there is limited space to put my hand in and out. I think after years of a top-flap messenger bag, I'm not used to these more streamlined pockets. Great looking bag and very functional in its intent, beautiful fabrics. I'm contemplating exchanging for an all-Dyneema version.

    I went through the Co-Pilot reviews pretty carefully and really hoped this bag would work for me. I'm impressed with how so many people compartmentalize/use smaller storage pouches and make it work. I am not giving up and will keep looking!

  2. #2
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    You will find that the dyneema version is not nearly as rigid with regard to zipping.


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  3. #3
    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    You will find that the dyneema version is not nearly as rigid with regard to zipping.
    I find that I cannot 'zip on the go' with the dyneema, at least in the Pilot. I no longer have the Co-Pilot, having sold it on eBay some time back. I did have a ballistic Co-Pilot and the organization did not work for me. @GoStanford: I prefer the Imago for the organizational reason that you pointed out.
    * Favorite TB: Steel Little Swift * Latest TB: Nordic/Solar Synapse 25 * 2014 Wishlist: New 400d Color

  4. #4
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    I have had a ballistic Co-Pilot for several years now, and now that it's worn in, the fabric is really flexible and much softer. I'd never really thought about it until I noticed the difference when I checked out a ballistic Pilot in the store a few weeks ago. If you're committed to the design and like the aubergine fabric (I have an aubergine Imago and love it), perhaps this will give you hope that it'll start to zip more easily and become more flexible in the future! Doesn't help with the small pockets, but I use organizer pouches in those pockets, so it's really just a matter of grabbing the right pouch.
    eWalker likes this.
    Indigo/Solar Western Flyer, Aubergine/Steel Tri Star, Nordic/Steel Aeronaut, Indigo/Solar Synapse, Cocoa/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Aubergine/Hemp/Steel Imago, Wasabi Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Small Shop Bags, Solar Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Large Shop Bags, Indigo, Wasabi Dyneema, and Plum 3D Organizer Cubes, Wasabi Dyneema Travel Tray, Wasabi Dyneema Large Yarn Stuff Sack, Small, Mini and Pen/Pencil Pouches, an assortment of key straps

  5. #5
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    Thanks all for your input. My current daily bag is a Patagonia Mini Mass (also purple!) that is nicely softened and has a top flap (small messenger bag) so I've gotten used to that extreme ease of accessibility - I can even drop small items into the bag when it is buckled shut by stretching it open where the flap folds over. I *really* want a Tom Bihn bag because I like the material and company and the packing ideas on the forums - wish the Imago was still produced!

    I did order some stuff sacks along with the Co-Pilot and I will be incorporating those into my suitcase and work bag packing.

  6. #6
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    I love my Co-Pilot and Pilot. I had actually found that it was often hard for me to open and close messenger-style bags that have a flap. I guess it is kind of sad that I spend so much of my life on crowded subway trains and squashed into tiny airplane seats where there isn't even room to move an elbow. However, the top-zipping 'Pilots are great for me. Hope you find something that works for you!
    eWalker likes this.
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  7. #7
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    What I do with the Co-Pilot is to put a 3D organizer cube into each of the side pockets, attached by a 16" dyneema key strap. They are very easy to slip in and out, and gives me access to the storage capacity without having everything fall to the bottom. And inside the main compartment I have a small organizer pouch in each of the two pockets there. That just leaves the central pocket "unorganized", but I've found that a stuff sack does the job very nicely there.
    ncb4 and eWalker like this.

  8. #8
    Registered User Rocks's Avatar
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    I love my Copilot. But I had a similar experience when I tried the Smart Alec: I quickly realized it wasn't the right bag for me, despite being awesome. If you like open spaces in a bag, I would recommend the Smart Alec. If you like to compartmentalize, nothing beats the Synapse 19 or 25. You'll find something that works for you!

  9. #9
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    Hi GoStanford,
    Have you considered a large Care Bag? It's biggerby a little, 675/600 cubic inches. It's a messenger and still has organizational pockets. Just a thought.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Hi GoStanford,
    Have you considered a large Care Bag? It's biggerby a little, 675/600 cubic inches. It's a messenger and still has organizational pockets. Just a thought.
    Considered but I have already an 11 inch ristretto, and find the vertical orientation doesn't work for me - I am compact. Oh well more browsing on the website I guess!


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