The next big thing from Tom Bihn is…quite small. The Co-Pilot shoulder bag is Tom’s attempt at creating the ultimate personal-item/seat-side bag for the iPad/netbook era. The 12” x 10” x 5”, 600-cubic inch bag is available in 1050 ballistic nylon or ultra-light Dyneema ripstop nylon, weighing in at 17 and 11 ounces, respectively. Like all TB products, it’s just a little bit different and truly multi-purpose.
The bag’s front panel is divided into three vertical compartments. The left compartment has a nifty ultrasuede-lined pocket for iPhone or other mobile device. The center compartment is made for a water bottle (up to 20-ounces, at least) and even has a grommet at the bottom to allow for spills to drain. The right compartment has pen slots.
The unpadded rear compartment is large enough for an iPad, netbook, printed material, or folded clothing. This compartment includes two large pouch pockets. On the bag of the bag is a flat magazine compartment.
This back should work well as a personal item for many and may serve as an everyday bag for netbook or iPad users, provided they have a low-profile sleeve.
The bag’s Seattle pedigree is evident in its gasketed, splash-proof zippers.
Price is $110. Details from TB website.
I don’t have an iPad so the TB crew sent this picture:
- After heading to the coffee shop I’m thinking the Co-Pilot is not as “pursey” as I first thought. The Tom Bihn standard strap has been improved, but a more macho strap like the TB Terra Grip or Red Oxx Claw might “man” it up a bit. The Absolute strap would be overkill for a bag of this weight.
- My wife likes it and she’s a hard sell.
- This bag will be easily scalable if conditions (like today’s carry-on charge news) necessitate. (Alan and I must think alike - scary).
- Does anyone want to try 10 days in Europe - with just the Co-Pilot? I think I could pull if off since I have the Touch.
- I packed: netbook & charger, Touch, phone, wallet, camera & cards, raincoat, ExO undies, s/s undershirt, magazine, and a 20 oz. bottle — room to spare, especially in the front “gadget” pockets
- 3-1-1 bag could fit in any of the front three pockets if not stuffed.
- The Dyneema nylon is really not much more liable to bulging than Cordura, if at all.
- The TB backpack cubes (and here) are made of Dyneema as well. Paired with this bag you’d have a really nice, ultralight, minimalist outfit with more clothing capacity. I’ve done some short trips with the cube pack but haven’t written about them.
- The Dyneema version of the Co-Pilot would be great to stuff in a main carry-on as a day bag.
- Why the Co-Pilot instead of vertical messenger like the Cafe bags? The horizontal design, being less deep, is easier to get into quickly. The lack of a flap top also speeds entry. The vertical bags are better for carrying lots of printed material (magazines, notebooks, newspapers). The Co-Pilot accommodates 8.5” x 11” with little room to spare.
TB says the center front pocket will fit a 1-liter Sigg bottle. I tested it with a 20 oz. plastic bottle.
The Co-Pilot’s rear pocket is now zippered at the bottom to make it possible to slide over the handle of a rolling bag.