Tom Bihn Pilot

My Rating

Other Ratings

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Minimalist briefcase or ultralight travel solution? The choice is yours

My Review

The Pilot and Co-Pilot are two interesting bags in Tom Bihn’s lineup. Two reasons: 1. They’re two of the few bags that actually include a zippable sleeve portion (for use with a wheeled piece of luggage) and 2. They’re relatively small. The main difference is the amount of stuff they’ll hold coupled with the devices they can hold. The Co-Pilot holds 10 liters while the Pilot holds 13 liters – but when I hear stuff like that, my first is, what’s the biggest device it’ll hold?! The Pilot advertises it holds up to a 13” MacBook Pro with a Cache – but as I’ve mentioned, I’ve fit my 15” MacBook Pro Retina in the Pilot. (The official advice is not to do that in order to avoid unnecessary stress on the zippers – but if you don’t overfill it, it should be fine.)

I’ve used the Pilot in a minimalist experiment on a trip to Seattle for 8 days (coupled with the Stowaway) and it fit my 15” MacBook Pro (tightly, but it works!) and all of my other necessary accessories. I would have done a video about that trip... but that was before this website existed :)

What I Like 👍
  • Big enough to be functional, small enough to get around tight places.
  • Has a water bottle pocket.
  • My 15" laptop will fit in there (but it's a tight fit!)
What I Don't Like 👎
  • My other Tom Bihn accessories don't quite fit in there nicely - they take up some room, but don't take it up efficiently.
Use This If
  • You travel light and want to carry a laptop.
  • You want to use it with roller luggage.
  • You need a personal item that can pack your essentials.

What others have to say... Add a review!

Great briefcase replacement

As with all TB stuff this bag is very sturdy and good looking. I really wanted this to be my EDC but I discovered that since I end up carrying objects that are round and more bulky they just didn’t fit well. Perhaps a lighter fabric or more time to break in the codura would have resulted in a better fit for me. I’d highly recommend this if you’re primarily carrying things like a laptop or books or notebooks.

Used primarily for: EDC

Yes, I would recommend this product!

Value
Style
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A briefcase for utility

This bag may not work for some, depending on the use case. It is not a large briefcase, but the Pilot is made to maximize organization. I use two Tom Bihn cubelets (connected to o-rings) in the side pockets, which leave room for the built-in organization. The middle pocket is perfect for a water bottle or umbrella, and the main pocket is the perfect size for my Dell XPS 13 with sleeve. My Pilot is in black, which has a professional, yet unique look. Not to mention, it is built like a tank!

Used primarily for: EDC

Yes, I would recommend this product!

Value
Style
Organization
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CO-PILOT review

I use this as EDC in the winter. (Summers, I like a small crossbody.) 5 stars for value, bc design, fabric, and workmanship are stellar! 5 stars for style -- professional, stylish shape, and original halcyon is actually cute! (men may not agree..) 5 stars for organization -- love the water bottle pocket! And the O-rings!

Used primarily for: EDC

Yes, I would recommend this product!

Value
Style
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Pilot - Functional work bag

I use the Pilot as the bag that I carry to the office daily. I have also used this bag on numerous business trips along with my Aeronaut 45. When I am packing light for a short, perhaps one day trip, the Pilot fits inside the main compartment of the Aeronaut 45. When I am on the plane the Pilot easily fits under the seat in front of me and has plenty of room to carry all that I need, and even some things that I don’t need. The ability to carry a water bottle is a huge plus.

Used primarily for: EDC

Yes, I would recommend this product!

Value
Style
Organization
Overall