When it comes to certain types of gear, aviation has no shortage of choices. Take flight bags: There are dozens of products, all of which compete against such noble options as the common backpack and bagless-underarm-carry technique. Now we have two more choices with Lift and Thrust, courtesy of new manufacturer Flight Outfitters.
Both bags are really well made, with strong zippers, good straps, and robust fabric. Lift even has a braided steel handle, which is a bit overkill, albeit quite cool. Styling is modern, with a distinctive black “carbon fiber” pattern with orange striping. Pockets are also nicely designed and abundant, as has become the norm for all new flight bags.
Lift, priced at $99.95, is a fairly standard style of upright bag that holds maybe one headset, a few accessories, and an iPad or charts. My favorite pocket is the little opening on the outside that’s wide enough for an iPad but snug enough to keep it secure. Since I’m in the habit of tossing everything from the airplane in the bag after a flight without organizing it, this is my new favorite shortcut pocket.
Thrust’s styling is more unique. It’s half backpack, half messenger bag that fits nicely on one shoulder or across the chest. There’s a really nice flap on the front that hides more pockets. My one frustration is that the shoulder strap is too long, so the bag sits a bit low. Other than that, it’s a great little pack that costs $79.95.