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The Tom Bihn Pilot Carry On Bag

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First Look: Tom Bihn Pilot Carry-On Bag
tom bihn pilot

Tom Bihn Pilot Carry-On Bag With Contents

James Martin, Europe Travel

We've just tested the larger version of a bag we've already reviewed, the Tom Bihn Co-Pilot, a bag that's great for carrying on the plane with your books, e-reader, small tablet, and other things you might like to have under the seat in front of you. The Co-Pilot did its intended job very well, without taking away too much foot space.

The big brother, the Pilot, which looks exactly like a larger version of the Co-Pilot, holds 800 cubic inches, about twice the displacement of those humongous V8 engines Detroit used to bang out. The Co-Pilot held 600 square inches, so the size gained isn't enormous.

But, as you can see in the picture, you can fit a decent sized laptop in there, along with your other important stuff. If you wanted to make the Pilot your only carry-on, you will also want to cram some underwear, a toothbrush and a spare shirt in there, just in case they lose your real suitcase for a few days. There's plenty of room, even with all your technology stuff nestled in their little pouches (your phone or mini-tablet gets a plush Ultrasuede® lining).

The Pilot features a zipper that stops just short of the bottom, designed to allow you to slip the Pilot over the handle of rolling luggage.

So let's review what you see in the picture, our "exploded view" of what we took inside the Pilot on a recent trip.

From top to bottom, there is:

  • An 11 inch tablet
  • A small laptop (that fits inside a sleeve--shown below the laptop--that attaches to the Pilot interior). The Pilot will accommodate a 13" laptop.
  • A Nexus 4 Cell Phone (that goes inside an Ultrasuede pocket, which is large enough to hold an iPad mini or equivalent).
  • A portable hard drive
  • A pocket digital camera
  • A kindle
  • A packet of "No Jet Lag"
  • Spare glasses in a hard case
  • Resting on top of the Pilot is the power brick for the laptop, which went in the center section, the zipper for which is below the power brick. It's made to hold a water bottle, but makes a fine container for this sort of thing.
  • And, shown below the Pilot itself, a Tom Bihn packing cube with miscellaneous connectors, cords and chargers (Note: This could be full of clothing if you didn't have all the redundant travel technology we carry. It won't be a lot of clothing, but it will be enough to get you through for a night or two if they lose your luggage.)

Check out the Tom Bihn Pilot.

Or, for a further discussion of size and weight, click on to the next page.

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