The smallest of our main carry-on travel bag options for short trips or uber-minimalist packers.
The Western Flyer might just be the ultimate overnight bag: classic lines, well-thought-out features, three comfortable carrying methods to choose among, zip-away backpack straps, and, of course, the materials and construction you've come to expect from TOM BIHN.
It's also the smallest of our four main carry-on travel bags. The Tri-Star is larger than the Western Flyer or the Aeronaut 30, and the Aeronaut 45 is largest of them all. You might also check out our personal carry-on size bags -- Co-Pilot, Pilot, and Stowaway -- as they pair well with the Western Flyer. Or, if you're a truly minimalist traveler, you could even use the Co-Pilot, Pilot, or Stowaway as your one travel bag; all three meet U.S. and international carry-on sizing requirements and fit in the overhead compartment of CRJ commuter planes. But we digress...
The Western Flyer has two main compartments of equal size. The front compartment has a vertical divider that zips out of the way if it's not wanted. Available for purchase separately are three sizes of Packing Cubes designed especially for the main compartments of the Western Flyer. Also available are the Packing Cube Backpack (Tri-Star/Western Flyer) and Packing Cube Shoulder Bag. Either half of the divided front compartment can fit a pair of shoes — Tom's (he wears size 12) personal Holy Grail in any travel bag. (You may want to first put your shoes in an All Fabric Packing Cube or a plastic bag.) The back compartment is large and undivided, and it's an ideal place to secure our Cache laptop sleeve. The Cache is available in sizes specifically for every Apple laptop and iPad; PC users, click here for our Laptop Bag Fit Guide.
For access to all things small-and-easily-lost, the front of the Western Flyer features three zippered pockets, all with #8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers (cord pulls are included at no charge). On the right is a subtle-but-clever curved zipper pocket: unzip it partially and it's a useful pocket for a boarding pass. Unzipped entirely, it's an expandable water bottle pocket. The bellows that make the pocket expandable can be snapped up so your water bottle doesn't fall out; unsnap them for greater access to the pocket.
On the left side are two horizontal zippered pockets. The top zippered pocket spans the full height of the bag; the second goes about halfway. Both horizontal zippered pockets have O-rings inside. To one of these O-rings, an included 8" Key Strap is attached, useful for tethering and keeping track of your keys, pocket watch, Swiss Army knife, or other small item.
A comfortable, padded handle sits directly above the center of gravity for a more balanced, comfortable carry. Two padded grab handles on the short ends facilitate pulling the bag out from the overhead compartment or a locker, or from under a seat.
The Western Flyer features comfortable hide-away backpack straps. For longer sprints through the airport or across town, the backpack straps (same as those on our Aeronaut and Tri-Star convertible carry-on travel bags) are comfortable and help one carry a heavy load more easily. The padded, contoured shoulder straps feature a removable/adjustable sternum strap and can be tucked away in their own compartment when not in use. (The sternum strap is included. Add a waist strap for $10.) Or, you can opt to carry the bag on your shoulder: two D rings accept our Absolute Shoulder Strap (almost anyone else's shoulder strap will work too).
The Western Flyer is made with an exterior of our U.S. made, 1050 denier, high tenacity ballistic nylon: twice the abrasion resistance of 1680 denier fabric. It's lined with our ultralight, super-tough, 200 denier Japanese Halcyon/nylon ripstop fabric; a #10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zipper with lockable sliders closes the main compartment.
Take a trip: buy this bag and get out of here!