Thursday, July 11, 2013

Flight Bag Review: Sporty's VFR Flight Gear Bag

     When I began my training, I began to accumulate quite a few books and things I needed to fly. Without a flight bag, I had to heave in all of my books and gear in my hands, and it was a mess. So, it was finally time to invest in a flight bag. A live about 30 minutes from Sporty's which is in Batavia, OH, so I drove there to take a look at what they had. Immediately, the VFR Flight Gear Bag by Sporty's struck my attention. They claimed it was "Ideal for student pilots or weekend fliers" and was only $50. Did I mention there it comes with a 6 year warranty? I couldn't find any other bag with such great value or right amount of storage capacity I needed. As a student pilot, I only needed room for essentials and a few books I need to lug around just in case. 

The bag itself filled with my gear

     This bag makes it very easy to stay organized by having several compartments specially designed for pilots. Starting from the left on the picture above, there is a roomy, padded headset pocket that is big enough for just about any aviation headset. However, my David Clark H10-13.4 is a tight squeeze height wise. In the front there is a divided pocket able to fit long items such as charts, a logbook, E6B, or anything else you desire. On the far right, you can see an area for an ID, pens/pencils, and an over-sized pouch for a cell phone or hand-held radio. In the back(not visible in the picture), there are two, big velcro pockets capable of carrying other items that a pilot may want quick access to(Fuel tester, charts, checklists...). But, I do not use them. Finally, there is the center compartment with optional dividers where student pilots can cram in all of their books, kneeboards, an iPad, and other miscellaneous or large items.

Almost everything I fit in my bag

What's in my bag: 
     Overall, this is the bag that I was looking for. It easily fits everything that I need with room to spare without having to lug around a gigantic bag. It is very durable and Sporty's even stands behind their product by including a 6 year warranty. Also, it is priced at a competitive $50. I have not had any major issues with it. However, The padded headset pocket could be bigger. I often find myself struggling to get the pocket to zip with my David Clark H10-13.4 headset inside. I can only imagine the issues a hefty Sennheiser headset would run into. This product does what it was made to do. It can easily handle all of the gear an average student pilot or weekend flyer would need to carry. This bag is not made for professional pilots wishing to carry something like a change of clothes. If you think you may need more room, upgrade to the Original Flight Gear Bag or even Deluxe Flight Gear Bag.

Rating Overall

     This bag has exceeded my expectations, and I would have no hesitation to recommend this to a friend. Even after flight training, I will continue to use it. I can carry everything I need to with almost no issues. I can only knock off a half star because of the small headset pocket. If the next edition of this bag included a larger and more padded pocket, it would easily earn a solid 5 star rating!

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