Flight Bag Buying Guide
As a pilot, your flight bag is often one of your first and one of your most important selections.
It takes care to select the right bag for you - one that holds your gear in a way that works for you, is easy to access, and is durable.
First, let’s face a simple fact about human nature. We tend to fill the space available to us. What does this mean for a flight bag? If you buy a large flight bag, you will fill it, and odds are you will be carrying a lot of items you don’t need on most flights.
How large of a flight bag to buy is the first decision you need to make. To begin, take an inventory of the items you currently carry with you. Next, select the items you use on most flights. Items like a kneeboard are straightforward, but most pilots don’t need a POH for each one of the planes they fly on the same day. Choose a bag that will hold these daily use items and little more. Once you have an idea of size, you can look into other details.
Headset Pocket vs. Headset Bag
Many pilots like to carry their Headsets in their Bags. But, a full-size headset doesn’t always fit nicely into flight bags – even in one of the outside pockets. To fit your headset in a Flight Bag, you will need to buy one of the larger bags. Many pilots are now starting to carry their Headsets in a separate Headset Bag. These usually come with convenient handles, and allow you to protect your Headset without adding weight and bulk to your Flight Bag. Marvgolden.com has an easy way to search for Headset Bags.
There are different styles of Flight Bags, but Marv Golden has categorized them into general sizes (above) and into Attache-Style and Duffel-Style Bags.
The Attache-Style flight bags are similar to Briefcase or Laptop Case type bags, but are geared especially toward flying. Most are handle/shoulder bags, but some have rollers.
Duffel-Style flight bags are larger and are just what they sound like: Duffel Bags, but again, geared toward flying.
Flight bags usually made of nylon ranging from, ranging from standard nylong to thick-woven Ballistic nylon. Ballistic Nylon material is thicker and with a durable weave. This gives it greater durability, but also a bit more weight. In addition, bags with metal hardware and heavy stitching are preferable. Look for bags that will stand up to lots of abuse. You can search for Nylon Flight Bags and Ballistic Flight Bags on Marvgolden.com.
Flight bags are about organization. Common features are special padded compartments to hold a headset, and special pockets to hold charts, pens, pencils, batteries, and such. The idea is not to have a jumble of items floating about one big compartment. Look for a bag that has adequate division of space for the items you will carry. If you carry a transceiver for back-up, make sure the bag has an exterior pocket for it, this will make it easy to access when you need it most.
Most of the information on pockets and compartments can be found in the detailed description of each of the bags. Some of them include pictures with items inside the bag so you can get an idea of the bag’s organizational abilities.
Have fun shopping, and if you have any questions that our website doesn’t answer – feel free to call us at 1-800-348-0014 to speak to one of our pilots. Believe us – we’ve collectively been through a LOT of Flight Bags!