There are many different pilot bags available. Pilots use their bags on a daily basis and that is why it’s crucial to buy a good one. I noticed there a few aspects which are important when it comes to choosing a pilot bag that suits your needs. In this article I explain these aspects and give you my recommendations.
Good to know before you start:
First of all, depending on how much space you have in the cockpit, you can determine the size of your pilot bag. I have a pilot trolley which is just a little on the big side. Therefore, I always have trouble getting my bag in and out of the cockpit (Boeing 737-800). Ideally this is not what you want and therefore it is better to not take the biggest size you can find.
Another important aspect is the space inside the bag. Sometimes a bag looks pretty big from the outside but when you look inside there are too many different boxes which reduces the space significantly. At least your headset should fit 😉
And last but not least, take your operation into consideration. If you are proceeding to many different places and you always take a big suitcase with you, then a pilot bag would be much better than an extra pilot trolley. In this case you can carry your pilot bag on top of your big suitcase so you will not need to carry 2 suitcases all the time. This is especially the case for business aviation pilots.
If you fly back to your home base every day (like me), I would advise you to buy a pilot trolley. This will save you a lot of energy since you don’t need to carry it around.
Depending on the budget you can choose bags made of plastic, leather or polyester. I currently have a low budget plastic one and I noticed that this bag does not last too long. I’ve been using it for a couple of months and it’s already full of scratches and holes. There are different brands which are well-known to deliver high quality and comfortable pilot bags. Continue reading to find out which pilot bags I am talking about!
1. Alpine Swiss Rolling 17” Briefcase
This black bag is a typical pilot suitcase, you most likely came across one of these. The bag has wheels and a hard cover. I like the hard cover since it can take a hit. It contains one large compartment inside with a padded laptop or iPad sleeve, very convenient. An organizer inside flap with a zippered pouch and a side pouch are present in the bag which enables you to divide your important documents and shield them from your headset/food. The briefcase is 19” X 14” X 9”. This is exactly what you want when you are looking for a relatively cheap and super durable pilot bag. If you are interested in this pilot bag, take a look here or click on the image.
2. Swissgear Granada Rolling Case
If you want an easily accessible bag with a lot of storage capability then this bag might be perfect. This bag has many pockets and slots for small items like your cellphone and passport. Another advantage is that it is super light since the material is made from nylon instead of heavy hard plastic or leather. This suitcase is smaller than a hard cover bag which makes it a lot easier to maneuver through narrow walkways and tight corners. Last but not least, due to the zippers and hidden compartments, it can expand significantly. Just open it up and all of a sudden there is space for clothing, food and a lot more. Only when you need it of course, because this ‘expanding opportunity’ is what makes this model (and any other similar model of course) very efficient. Here you can take a look at some details and find similar pilot bags.
3. Victorinox Lexicon Professional Lexington 15
In my opinion this expandable bag from Victorinox is the best of all. Why? This pilot bag is a combination of the best suitcases and has a lot of advantages. Where shall I start… Due to the removable and adjustable & removable shoulder strap you can choose if you want to carry this bag on your shoulder or use it as a trolley. You can use the desired number of compartments that suit your specific needs for that moment. You might need less compartments when going on a business trip and more when you have a long haul flight. Therefore you do not need to worry about the size, this bag will always fit wherever you go! This light and high quality suitcase is made from nylon and leather. Hopefully you won’t need it in flight but this bag is fitted with water-resistant expandable zippers on both laptop and all accessories compartments. The compartments are padded and can hold a 16” laptop. Last but not least, the Swiss Tracker will help you reunite you with your luggage should it ever be lost. It will cost you some money, the only disadvantage, but you won’t be disappointed! 😉 Check out this website for mor details and information about this incredible bag!
The Victorinox, nr.3, is definately my favorite since it has everything you need as an (airline) pilot.