I’ve now had my Tom Bihn Co-Pilot for a year and I am very pleased with it still. What amazes me is how it does not look to be a day over new. The 1050d U.S. Ballistic nylon is rugged and has worn very well over the past year.
A year ago, I was concerned the bag might be too touristy because it was designed primarily as a carry-on travel bag.
I am often surrounded by gawking tourists as I work in mid-town. By three factors I believe there is no way I could be mistaken as a tourist: first I wear black. This is New York. I’m not morbid as my mother thinks. Black is easy to wear! Secondly, the bag is black. Third, I’m not looking up and stopping in the center of the sidewalk to bring pedestrian traffic to a halt. It looks similar enough to the briefcases many carry on Metro North. It does not readily disclose that it is carrying a computer, most likely due to the piping that helps the bag keep its tidy looks.
It is a bag that has changed my commuting life.
With all the bags I’ve used previous, they either tried too hard to help me organize or provide no assistance what so ever. The Co-Pilot has found the middle ground to help me use it in a manner that makes the most sense for me, and allow for flexibility if I don’t always put everything away properly.
While I still wish that the two front pockets were flipped for what they are designed for, I have found my cell phone lives in the fleece lined pocket with my wallet hanging out in the rest of the main pocket. The zipper won’t go all the way down, so there is protection if someone tries to open it. The right pocket holds pens and random knitting needles or crochet hooks along with keys and other miscellany.
The middle center compartment still holds my knitting, and often contains a yogurt or apple. This has worked brilliantly for me over the past year and last week I improved upon the awesomeness further. Sometimes I’ll shove an umbrella in as well but if you know me at all you know I try to avoid the use of umbrellas by myself. Since I put myself back into contacts I often squeeze my sunglasses in, the knitting provides nice padding.
The main section of the bag is magical. It can easily hold a file folder full of papers, an extra baggu bag, and a larger electronic device with room to spare. I’ve upgraded over the past year and it can easily hold any device I’ve tried to cram into it. This is where the magic comes in. I read a TB review somewhere, or perhaps it was a comment in their Forum that the bags are Mary Poppins bags.
Not only can it carry all of that, but it is often pack mule for a few library books. I sometimes look at the library hold shelf and groan since my requests often come in at once. This bag has gone beyond what I thought it could, carrying them with rarely a remark. The pocket in the back has accepted those larger hard back books I thought I would not be able to easily transport home.
I’m constantly fascinated by all that it holds while behaving like an ebook reader (or tablet) carrying many large books without adding an ounce.
The grip handle is great and makes it much easier to get off the train and run up crowded stairwells.
The absolute strap was definitely worth the money, and I no longer see it as an additional expense. I just don’t understand why they aren’t the default and you would pay less to request a normal strap. I have petite shoulders and this is the first bag and strap which stay put whether I’m dressed for the harsh volitale weather we’ve experienced recently at either extreme of the scale or those few blissful days of spring or autumn. The stretch in the padded portion of the strap helps balance and lighten the load and I admit I have to often open the bag to double check that I have everything inside because it feels too light!
What did I do for the one year anniversary of my TB bag?
I bought another one to use during my non-commuting time.
A Swift has joined my growing TB family. It is olive and linen and it was a difficult decision. I know! I’m slightly surprised it is not black as well but I have been trying to expand my colour palette and this was a good way to start. I was concerned about both of the two colours, but they are perfect. The olive is dark but not too yellowy or anything other than the perfect green. The linen is a light grey that is not brown or purple in base. they look beautiful together. What has me very excited about this bag and why I tried to figure out a way to bring it with me on the day following its arrival are the two interior pockets. They are clear fronted and this is what makes them special to me, they do not extend to the bottom. I will no longer have to dig to the bottom to find something!
Next post I’ll talk about a few TB accessories such as the yarn stuff sacks, my mini pouch, and the key straps.
Please note I am just a very happy customer, there is no official affiliation between myself and TB and I did receive nor do I expect to receive any perks.