I extensively tested the Brightline Bags second-generation FLEX System for a couple months. Bottom line: I bought one. So did my wife.
Most standard bags start with a few specific compartments for a headset, GPS or such, and have a large center section for everything else. And, thats the problem; everything else gets dumped in that main compartment. Finding what you need can be a challenge.
The FLEX system allows you to choose the compartments you need for the stuff you carry. Then, all the compartments, pouches, pockets and such zip, clip and Velcro together to make what could be the perfect bag just for you. They dont offer purpose-built components, like just for a headset; instead you buy the compartments that will fit. That way, youve got a place for everything. It also allows you to configure the bag for todays VMC lunch run and quickly reconfigure for tomorrows long IMC cross country.
Some discipline is required. With all those pockets, pouches and compartments, consistency of where you put stuff is required, lest you be fumbling through literally dozens of zippered pockets for replacement flashlight batteries in the dark.
Everything about this system is thoughtfully designed for maximum utility and versatility. All the intelligent design features, high-quality construction and the flexibility make this a good value. What would you pay for your perfect flight bag designed by you? I paid $200.
Frank Bowlin is the editor of our companion magazine, IFR.