Are you tired of digging through a worn-out bag for your flight gear? It may be time to upgrade your flight bag. A quality bag offers compartments for organizing your essentials but which should you choose? To help with your search, we rounded up the best flight bags for airline pilots, private pilots and student pilots.
Flight Bags Reviews
Best Flight Bags for Airline Pilots and Private Pilots
1. Mygoflight PLC Pro Flight Bag
- IPAD/LAPTOP COMPATIBLE - It has a...
- DURABLE FABRIC - Exterior of the cockpit...
- COMPACT & FUNCTIONAL - This flight cabin...
The Mygoflight PLC Pro Flight Bag is another great choice for those who need a slim bag. It measures only three inches deep but can hold an iPad, tablet, or laptop measuring up to 16 inches. The padded electronic pocket keeps these items secure while the interior mesh material makes it easy to find your gear. It is a convenient bag with lots of pockets and organizational sleeves.
The interior compartment has enough space and the padding needed to safely hold two aviation headsets or store a change of clothes. This bag also includes sailcloth material for a scratch- and water-resistant exterior and comes with a three-year warranty. Other highlights include an ergonomic handle and individual pockets for fuel testers, sunglasses, headphones, chargers, and other gear.View on Amazon
2. Flight Gear HP iPad Bag
With the Flight Gear HP iPad Bag, you have sturdy pockets for safely carrying an iPad, headset, and other items. For added convenience, the padded iPad pocket features a pass-through slot for the charger. It also has a headset hanger to keep the headset suspended, decreasing the risk of impact damage. The compact size should easily fit in the cockpit but does not include a lot of extra space.
The entire bag measures 12 x 7.5 x 13 inches. While the interior compartment is not very large, the bag has several exterior pockets. It can store a water bottle, fuel tester, and a flashlight. It also has an organizer pocket with keyring for securing keys and organizing smaller items. Other benefits include a bright blue interior for greater visibility and durable nylon material with padding.View on Amazon
3. Brightline Bags B4 Swift VFR Flight Bag
- The B4 SWIFT is the perfect VFR flight...
- Best of all, it's TWO bags for the price...
- Includes the removable and...
The sleek, slim Brightline Bags B4 SWIFT VFR Flight Bag measures just five inches deep yet has more than enough pockets and organizers for all your items. You get three zippered pouches on one side of the bag and three large pockets on the other. Each pouch also has its own zippered pocket. Both sides of the bag unzip completely, revealing the entire interior compartment.
The side pockets are just the right size for water bottles, fuel testers, or small handheld radios. It also features two carrying handles and padded material for added protection. Easily store headsets, sunglasses, charts, kneeboards, and more without risk of damage. Keep in mind that the interior does not offer lots of extra space but it should hold the essentials. The bag measures just 14 x 12 x 5 inches.View on Amazon
4. Mygoflight PLC Sport Flight Bag
- IPAD AND LAPTOP STORAGE COMPARTMENT is a...
- EXTERIOR of this cockpit travel bag is...
- INTERIOR is made from strong Rip-Stop...
The Mygoflight PLC Sport Flight Bag measures 13 x 8.75 x 3 inches. It is tall enough to hold a 13-inch laptop and is made with lightweight water-resistant sailcloth material. It comes with padded storage for a headset or other electronic components and interior pockets made from mesh to make it easier to find items. The exterior pockets can easily hold a water bottle, radio, or fuel tester.
The bag has a shoulder strap and a single carrying handle. It is comfortable to carry through the airport even when fully loaded. The front pocket of the bag is perfect for organizing smaller items. It includes a built-in organizer with several small pockets and pen holders. The manufacturer also offers a three-year warranty, ensuring that you do not need to worry about defects.View on Amazon
Best Flight Bags for Student Pilots
5. Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag
- Water bottle/back-up radio pocket, Fuel...
- Fleece-lined electronic accessory...
- Fleece-lined headset pocket with elastic...
Thanks to fleece-lined pockets and thick material, the Flight Outfitters Lift Flight bag offers extra protection for electronic gear. Keep your flight computer, GPS, or headset shielded from impact. The interior pockets include multiple organizer sections and plenty of space for your accessories. It also features an orange interior, making it easier to find pens or small items in the dark.
The exterior includes two chart pockets, a fuel tester pocket, and pockets for water bottles or backup radios. Metal hardware, a wire-reinforced carry handle, and an adjustable shoulder strap round out the highlights of this bag. Despite the thick padding and reinforced components, it measures just 12 x 10.5 x 9 inches, making it one of the more compact flight bags for students.View on Amazon
6. Flight Gear HP Crosswind Bag
The Flight Gear HP Crosswind Bag is a compact duffel bag with room for kneeboards, books, and electronic gear. It even has padded pockets designed specifically for headsets and iPads. With the high-visibility interior, you can find items in a dimly lit cockpit. The exterior features pockets for storing water bottles or fuel testers along with a side pocket for keys, a phone, or a small notepad.
With the padded shoulder strap, you can comfortably carry your bag across the airport. You can also remove the strap and carry it with the handles. The side pockets and main compartment feature double zipper openings. It measures 16 x 8.5 x 10 inches with an interior pocket measuring 12 x 7 x 9 inches.View on Amazon
7. Jeppesen Student Pilot Flight Bag
- 7 Exterior pockets
- 3 Small exterior pockets for pens or...
- Interior key clip
The Jeppesen Student Pilot Flight Bag includes enough space for storing all your flight gear. Organize pens, flashlights, logbooks, and equipment using the seven exterior pockets. The interior compartment includes a double zipper opening and a reinforced base. The entire bag measures just 11 x 5.5 x 16 inches when fully loaded.
With the removable shoulder strap, you can easily choose whether to carry the bag by hand or over your shoulder. It also features an interior key clip for securing keys. The bag features abrasion-resistant nylon, helping to protect against scratches and snags. It is not the most durable bag but it is lightweight, water-resistant, and full of pockets.View on Amazon
8. Gleim Padded Flight Bag
- Attractive design
- Durable construction
- Front, side, and rear pockets to hold a...
If you need to bring a lot of items on your flight, you may prefer the spacious Gleim Padded Flight Bag. It measures 7 x 18 x 12 inches with plenty of space in the interior compartments. You should have more than enough room for all your flight training materials. It also has front, rear, and side pockets for storing smaller items.
The bag does not have padding but the heavy-duty material should withstand wear and tear. The shoulder straps secure to the bag with durable latches. It also comes with two carrying handles. Overall, this affordable bag is best suited for those who need extra space for a laptop, spare clothes, or other large items.View on Amazon
9. ASAs Pilot Bag
- Water-repellent 600D polyester for...
- Wrap-around carry straps for strength
- Non-slip detachable shoulder strap
Instead of a duffel-style design, the ASAs Pilot Bag has a compact shape, measuring just 12 x 12 x 3.2 inches when empty. While it does not offer a lot of space for your flight gear, it provides a few advantages. Made from 600-denier polyester, the durable bag should hold up to repeated use and help repel water.
The bag includes one main compartment, a large front pocket, and two exterior side pockets. The side pockets can only hold a few pens or a small flashlight while the front pocket is the right size for notepads or charts. It also includes wrap-around carry straps and a non-slip detachable shoulder strap, allowing you to sling it over your shoulder or carry it by hand.View on Amazon
Best Leather Flight Bags
10. Lightspeed Aviation The Gann Leather Flight Bag
- A large zippered carpenter-style opening...
- A large transceiver pocket with cut-out...
- The front organizer pocket is...
The stylish Lightspeed Aviation “The Gann” Leather Flight Bag has a carpenter-style opening, allowing you to easily reach inside and find items. It also has a lining and an internal zippered iPad pocket. You have the protection and space to store electronic gear such as a flight computer or GPS. It even has a large transceiver pocket with a cut-out flap for the antenna.
The front pocket features an organizer, providing convenient storage for pens, keys, and other small items. It has a fold-over flap while the rear pocket has a zipper. The front pocket is great for smaller items while the rear pocket holds flat items such as a compact kneeboard or clipboard. It also features real leather and quality stitching for increased durability and a luxurious appearance.View on Amazon
11. Lightspeed Aviation The Markham Leather Flight Bag
- A center top zipper opens into a large,...
- A transceiver pocket with leather...
- The divided front organizer pocket...
The compact Lightspeed Aviation “The Markham” Leather Flight Bag measures just 15 x 12 x 5 inches. Despite the small size, it has lots of storage space. It includes pockets designed for specific items such as headsets, transceivers, and iPads. The top zipper opens to reveal a lined interior with padding and organizational pockets.
The main advantage of the bag is the leather material. Each hide has distinct marking and grain, ensuring that your bag is one of a kind. It is also highly functional, thanks to the various pockets and compartments. The exterior includes two side pockets for radios or water bottles and a small front pocket with a fold-over flap.View on Amazon
Flight Bag Buying Guide
What Constitutes a Flight Bag?
A flight bag, or pilot bag, is simply a piece of luggage for pilots to store their extra gear. As with standard luggage, flight bags often have organizers and exterior pockets for storing smaller items.
While a pilot can use a standard carry-on bag, flight bags tend to include pockets designed for storing specific flight-related gear. You can find flight bags with compartments intended for headsets, radios, fuel testers, and other common items. They also tend to include padding to protect these items from damage.
The bags are typically small, designed to rest next to the pilot’s seat without getting in the way. Many of these bags measure just a few inches deep while others are closer in size to a compact duffel bag. Many flight bags also include bright interior linings, making it easier to find items in dimly lit cockpits.
What to Look for When Buying a Flight Bag
Before choosing a flight bag, ensure that it meets your needs. Some of the main details to consider include:
You should first consider the type of material. Nylon bags without padding are lightweight but tend to offer less protection and durability compared to polyester or leather bags. The extra padding also helps shield fragile items such as electronics.
The bag should also provide enough space for your gear and not exceed the size restrictions. Check the dimensions to ensure that it can fit your headset, kneeboard, or any other items that you plan to bring.
Name-brand bags tend to cost more but also often last longer, thanks to superior craftsmanship and materials.
You should also inspect the compartments. Examine the interior and exterior pockets and organizers while envisioning it holding your gear.
What Do Pilots Pack in Their Bags?
People assume that the cockpit includes everything the pilot needs for the flight. The truth is that pilots often need to pack a few extra items, depending on the duration of the flight and type of plane.
If you search through a pilot’s flight bag, you will likely find a few of the following items:
- Aviation Headsets
- E6B flight computer
- Aviator Sunglasses and sunscreen
Some of these items are backups for when onboard components fail. A pilot may never need a flight computer or plotter but they are useful when the GPS stops working.
Sunglasses and sunscreen shield against bright UV rays. Student pilots may need to pack books or manuals for easy reference. Snacks are useful when the plane ends up spending hours on the tarmac.
If the flight includes an overnight stay in another city or country, a pilot may also need to pack spare clothing and bathroom items.
Baggage Size Restrictions for Flight Crews
Flight crews have their own baggage size restrictions. As with the restrictions for passengers, the size limits depend on the airline. However, many airlines do not strictly enforce the policy.
Typically, pilots and flight crew stick to smaller bags. The average size of a flight bag is about 15 x 12 x 5 inches but you may need a slightly larger bag if you plan to bring spare clothing and overnight items.