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Fallon Pilot Shop Blog

Pilot Checklist: Flight Bag Buyers Guide

One of the most important tools for any pilot is their flight bag. It has the very important job of holding and protecting all your flight gear, including your headset, flashlight, charts, checklists, and maybe even your lunch. But, with so many flight bags on the market, you may feel overwhelmed with deciding which bag is the right fit for you. We’ve compiled a checklist of features you may want to consider along with examples.


The perfect flight bag gives you enough room to pack everything you need, but not so much room that you’re carrying around the flight bag equivalent of a bag of chips – 90% air, 10% gear. An aviator's preferred flight bag size varies based what they carry and what aircraft they're flying.

Some private pilots prefer to travel light. Small flight bags are great for minimalist pilots storing few items like a headset, charts, and small items like a fuel tester. These are generally light weight and fit well in smaller aircraft for easy access to your gear.

Flight Outfitters Lift Bag - Fallon Pilot Shop

For student pilots, a large and sturdy bag is recommended. As a student, you will likely be carrying around books and reference material like the FAR/AIM, the aircraft pilot operating handbook (POH), and other pilot training manuals. Student pilots in training may also be required to carry a kneeboard, headset, flashlight, charts, etc. The list of essential items is long, and this can cause your bag to grow rather heavy. You may want to consider a longer bag with a shoulder strap or a backpack that would allow for better distribution of weight.

Gleim Padded Flight Bag - Fallon Pilot Shop

Professional pilots are more difficult to narrow down as there are many different jobs with varying requirements and space restrictions. You may not need access to as much flight gear in the cockpit, but you may still want to consider something durable and spacious. Depending on the duration of your trip, you might need to pack a change of clothes or even a meal.

Aerocoast PRO EFB & Cooler - Fallon Pilot Shop


There are multiple styles of flight bags available, and they all serve a functional purpose.

Some bags can be carried by hand with short, reinforced straps. This would be the best option for a pilot needing a bag big enough to hold a few essential items but compact enough to carry and store easily.

ASA AirClassics Pilot Bag - Fallon Pilot Shop

Most flight bags include an over-the-shoulder strap that can be useful if your bag is heavy. It also helps to keep both hands free while keeping your bag off the ground.

Jeppesen Student Pilot Flight Bag - Fallon Pilot Shop

The classic backpack style is also a great solution for a loaded flight bag. Backpacks help free both of your hands for pre and post flight duties.

Flight Outfitters Centerline Backpack - Fallon Pilot Shop

A roller style bag has wheels on the base, so you don’t have to carry anything. These are generally preferred by professional pilots, who walk through the concourse between flights with all their gear.

Barracuda Ballistic Rolling Carry-On - Fallon Pilot Shop


The compartments in a flight bag are very useful for keeping your flight gear organized. While flying, it is imperative to know where each item is at any point in time. So, having the ideal size and proper number of compartments is something you should consider.

Some flight bags feature compartments or accessories that serve a specific or unique purpose such as:

a separate, detachable headset carrying case or insert

cooler compartments to carry food and drink

detachable water bottle holders

small, easy access pockets for back-up batteries or pens

Brightline Bags B7 Flight ECHO - Fallon Pilot Shop


What your flight bag is made of will influence its durability and longevity. Most flight bags are made from polyester, while more durable flight bags are constructed from Ballistic Nylon or Leather.

Lightspeed Markham Leather Flight Bag - Fallon Pilot Shop

When choosing your flight bag, you might want to consider one that has reinforced material on the bottom side of the bag. The bottom of your bag will normally wear out faster than other parts because setting it down consistently on the hot tarmac can take its toll.

Flight bags are one of the most functional, hard working tools for any pilot. They provide storage, organization, and protection for all your flight gear. Whichever flight bag you choose, make sure to remember functionality in the cockpit is the most important thing to consider.

Fallon Pilot Shop offers a large variety of flight-tested, high-quality flight bags from leading manufacturers such as Aerocoast, ASA, Brightline Bags, Flight Outfitters, Lightspeed, MyGoFlight, and more! If you’ve completed our checklist but still have questions, give us a call at (321) 345- 9464 or email us at Allow us to help you choose the flight bag that fits you best!

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