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- The best customizable flight bag for commercial pilots is the Brightline Flex B7 Flight.
- The best compact flight bag for commercial pilots, flight instructors, students, and crew members is the Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag.
- The best value and budget-friendly flight bag for commercial pilots and crew members is the Flyboys Large Crew Bag.
Having the right flight bag makes a huge difference in how comfortable and convenient it is to fly, but which ones are the best for pilots?
The best flight bags for pilots are:
- Brightline Flex B7 Flight
- Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag
- Lightspeed Aviation Markham Flight Bag
- Flyboys Large Crew Bag
- Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag
- Travelpro Maxlite 5
After extensively researching aviation accessories, I’ve gathered enough information to determine which flight bags are the best for pilots. My research has indicated that you need to carefully consider the specs of each pilot bag based on your in-flight and traveling needs, as each product is designed for a specific kind of aviator.
Brightline Flex B7 Flight ($287)
The Brightline Flex B7 Flight is the ultimate pilot’s bag for serious aviators that spend more time in the sky than they do on the ground. This is not a flight bag for fashionable pilots, but it is hands down the most versatile and adaptable product on our list due to its expansive customization options.
At first glance the Brightline Flex B7 Flight looks like a typical flight bag that you see many commercial pilots using - it’s bulky, square-shaped, and comes with a lot of different pockets and compartments. However, what sets the Brightline Flex B7 Flight apart from the competition is the fact that you can easily turn it into 4 different bags based on how you want to fly.
This award-winning flight bag allows you to create an organized system for all of your in-flight necessities thanks to its modular design. The challenge for a lot of pilots is choosing just one flight bag for all of their needs, which results in many people having to buy multiple options for different kinds of flights.
With the Brightline Flex B7 Flight, you can carry all of your items with you whenever - wherever! Simply add and remove the compartments that you need for your flight and stay packed without ever hauling around too much gear or dealing with the stress of having a bag that lacks adequate space.
Size & Specs
- Dimensions (full size): 14” x 13” x 10.5” inches
- Weight: 6.5 lbs
- Material: Nylon
Pros: Brightline Flex B7 Flight
- Customizable Design
- Expansive Pocket Options
Cons: Brightline Flex B7 Flight
- Bulky (in full size)
Who Should Buy the Brightline Flex B7 Flight?
If you are a commercial pilot, this flight bag is really a one-stop shop for all of your needs. No matter where you are flying, the Brightline Flex B7 Flight can be customized for your trip.
Instead of buying multiple bags that you have to constantly decide between for each flight, simply organize your Brightline Flex B7 Flight the way you want and add or remove compartments - it’s that easy.
With that said, this is a flight bag that was really designed for full-time commercial pilots. If you are a casual aviator or a private pilot, you may not need a bag with this much flexibility.
Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag ($100)
Flight Outfitter is a reputable brand known for designing high-quality flight accessories that are intended specifically for pilots. The Lift Flight Bag is one of their latest products and it is great for professional, as well as casual pilots.
What I really like about the Lift Flight Bag is that Flight Outfitters designed it in 3 different sizes so that you can choose an option based on your needs. Most people choose the smaller version of this bag, as you can fit all of your essential day-trip items without any issues. Given that most pilots these days usually just bring handheld electronics when they fly, you can comfortably fit a tablet, travel documents, and other flying essentials.
However, if you require additional space, opting for one of their larger sizes is going to be the way to go. To ensure that you stay organized, Flight Outfitters designed the Life Flight Bag with well-placed compartments and a padded pocket for your fragile electronic devices.
Flight Outfitters constructed this product with two convenient pockets - one for a flashlight and another for a fuel tester. If you decide to buy a larger size, dividers are included so that you can create an organized system for all of your belongings. While you can certainly get away without bringing a change of clothes on casual day flights, any pilot that is planning on doing an overnight will definitely want to opt for the larger size so that there is adequate space.
Size and Specs
- Dimensions (compact): 12” x 10.5” x 9” inches
- Weight: 2lbs
- Material: Nylon
Pros: Lift Flight Bag
- Minimalistic Design
- Size Variety
Cos: Lift Flight Bag
- Too Small (for some commercial pilots)
- D-Ring (malfunctions occasionally)
Who Should Buy the Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag?
One of the Lift Flight Bag’s best qualities is that it can be used by a wide variety of different kinds of pilots. Whether you are a student, flight instructor, or a private pilot, the Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag is a great product to consider.
The minimal design makes it easy to pack all of your essentials before you go flying and the quality material ensures that it can last you for a lifetime if you treat it well. If you need a small flight bag that can neatly fit all of your standard items, this is a great option.
With that said, a lot of commercial pilots may find that the Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag lacks space and versatility. Although the smallest option may not have enough room for long-distance and overnight flights, you can always buy one of the larger sizes for bigger trips.
Lightspeed Aviation Markham Flight Bag ($250)
The Markham Flight Bag has a classic and vintage design that is simply too eye-catching to resist. Made out of premium quality, handmade leather, the Markham Flight Bag from Lightspeed Aviation is a solid option for a lot of pilots who specialize in different kinds of flying.
The focus of this flight bag was to keep the design compact - while at the same time, ensuring that there is enough room to carry every essential that a pilot could need. This product has a primary large pocket, multiple small to medium-sized side pockets, a designated pocket for a radio, and another pocket for a water bottle.
Unlike many of the products on our list, the Markham Flight Bag from Lightspeed Aviation is not made out of nylon. The handmade leather gives the bag a completely classic look that separates it from a lot of modern flight bags. However, I particularly like the material that Lightspeed Aviation used for this product because it is designed for longevity. If you want a flight bag that can last you a lifetime, this is it!
With that said, quality is something that you have to pay for, and the Markham Flight Bag is not cheap, as it is currently available for $250. While this may be more than what a lot of pilots would like to pay, the mere fact that it has the potential to be a lifetime purchase ends up convincing a lot of aviators who are on the fence.
Size and Specs
- Dimensions: 12” x 9.5” x 5.5” inches
- Weight: 3.3lbs
- Material: Leather (handmade)
Pros: Lightspeed Aviation Markham Flight Bag
- Premium Quality Design/Material
Cons: Lightspeed Aviation Markham Flight Bag
- Too Small (for commercial pilots)
Who Should Buy the Lightspeed Aviation Markham Flight Bag?
The Lightspeed Aviation Markham Flight Bag is not going to be for every pilot. This bag’s classic style and compact design are going to make it an ideal product for flight instructors, in particular.
You cannot fit that many items into the primary compartment of the bag - just your main essentials that you would bring with you on casual and short day flights, which is why this is not going to be a good product for commercial pilots.
However, private pilots and students can greatly benefit from buying the Lightspeed Aviation Markham Flight Bag. In addition, the stylish design is eye-catching, to say the least, which is why any pilot with a fashion sense may be inclined to get this flight bag.
Flyboys Large Crew Bag ($50)
This flight bag is a great product for any aviator that needs a classic-style duffle that was intended specifically for pilots and crew members. Instead of creating a product that looks like it was intended solely for flying, the Flyboys Large Crew Bag can easily be mistaken for any other duffle.
I particularly like that this bag has plenty of space. A lot of brands are focusing on keeping designs as compact as possible with an excessive amount of pockets and compartments, which is great for some, but not for all pilots. The primary compartment of the Flyboys Large Crew Bag has got enough room to fit all of your in-flight essentials - with extra space still leftover for anything else that you may want to bring.
To help you stay organized, this product comes with dividers so that you can neatly pack away all of your belongings into the main compartment without creating clutter. The Flyboys Large Crew Bag also features multiple side pockets that are perfect for electronics and other handheld items. With that said, keeping belongings safe and secure is a priority for a lot of pilots, which is why the Flyboys Large Crew Bag is designed with a PVC armor base and thick padding around all 5 external compartments, as well as the primary internal section.
This flight bag strikes the perfect balance between bulky, often oversized pilot’s bags and the compact products that you find on the market. The Flyboys Large Crew Bag is a great option if you want to fit your essential electronics, a change of clothes, and other personal items - making it one of the best carry-on bags that an aviator can buy.
If you are still not sold on the Flyboys Large Crew Bag, this is one of the best value products on our list, as you can pick up this flight bag for a mere $50. Whether you are a seasoned pilot looking for a quality duffle - or an intro student pilot who is shopping on a budget, the Flyboys Large Crew Bag is a fantastic flight bag to consider.
Size and Specs
- Dimensions: 22" x 15" x 12" inches
- Weight: 2.9lbs
- Material: Ballistic Nylon
Pros: Flyboys Large Crew Bag
- Dynamic Size
Cons: Flyboys Large Crew Bag
- Too Big (for private pilots)
- Not Stylish
Who Should Buy the Flyboys Large Crew Bag?
Although a lot of pilots can benefit from having a duffle-style flight bag, the Flyboys Large Crew Bag is mainly intended for commercial pilots and crew members. The large size of this product makes it a more ideal option for anyone that values having space for all of their belongings.
In addition, the affordable price of this pilot's bag also makes it a solid choice for intro-level pilots who want to buy a budget-friendly product without breaking the bank.
Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag ($191)
If you are looking for a casual flight bag that is designed solely for pilots, the Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag is a great option to consider. Commercial pilots that want an all-in-one product may not benefit from having such a simple flight bag, but that is actually what makes it so great.
A minimal design that is practical, efficient, and comfortable is what makes the Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag stand out amongst the competition. You can pack all of your essential items with you on casual day flights - without having to carry unnecessary gear.
The Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag features a spacious primary compartment and two, surprisingly large, side pockets that are perfect for carrying books, electronics, and travel documents. I like that they used durable ripstop nylon, which is also water resistant - to ensure that your fragile belongings are safe.
In addition to the main pockets, the Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag is loaded with smaller additional compartments that are perfect for storing anything and everything that you may want to bring with you on a casual flight. All in all, this is a reliable and practical pilot’s bag that is affordable and built with quality materials - you really can’t go wrong with the Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag.
Size and Specs
- Dimensions: 18” x 10” x 13”
- Weight: 3.5lbs
- Material Ripston Nylon
Pros: Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag
- Water Resistant
- Quality Material
Cons: Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag
- Compact (for its size)
Who Should Buy the Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag?
This is a great flight bag for the casual pilot. Although a commercial pilot could use the Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag, the main aviators who will benefit from buying this product are student pilots.
If you are looking for a bag that can fit all of your essential gear for day trips and lessons, the Flight Gear HP Captain's Bag is the way to go.
Travelpro Maxlite 5 ($100)
The Travelpro Maxlite 5 is a go-to product among a lot of aviators, particularly those who fly on short trips. This is a straightforward bag that is designed to fit all of your basic essentials and that’s pretty much it, which is exactly what a lot of flight and crew members are looking for.
Travelpro makes accessories specifically for aviators, as they are a company founded by pilots. That is why they are one of the most trusted brands in the industry - supplying numerous airlines with accessories and products.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for a large bag, this is not it, as you have just 28 liters of space to play around with. However, it’s just enough room to fit all of your standard electronics, travel documents, and other in-flight essentials. The bag itself is stylish and has a minimalist design, but with enough side pockets to make it versatile to conveniently pack away extra items.
What I really like about the Travelpro Maxlite 5 is that it was designed with a rear strap so that you can easily attach it to your larger carry-on or luggage (if necessary) - making it a versatile product that you can bring with you on a variety of different flights.
Size and Specs
- Dimensions: 18” x 11” x 8” inches
- Weight: 1.6lbs
- Material: Polyester
Pros: Travelpro Maxlite 5
Cons: Travelpro Maxlite 5
Who Should Buy the Travelpro Maxlite 5?
Although flight instructors and student pilots could use the Travelpro Maxlite 5, this bag is really intended for crew members. The simple carry-on duffle style makes it perfect for day flights and over-nights, which is why it is particularly popular with flight attendants.
In addition, the stylish design makes it a great bag to use in-between work-related flights, as it blends in with just about any other standard carry-on.