Our Story


The Need For A Better Bag

BrightLine Bags, Inc. was founded in 2008 as a result of the surprising need to create a better Pilot Flight Bag.

As any student pilot or flight instructor or general aviation pilot can tell you, there are LOTS of items that have to be carried out to the aircraft for every flight. You know: headset, fuel tester, navigation charts and/​or iPad, kneeboard, flashlights, checklists, sunglasses, logbook, pens, extra batteries. And then there are many important items like all the cords, cables, adapters, chargers, and batteries for the mobile electronics, as well as extra charts, hand-held radio, Leatherman-type multi-tool, extra pens & markers, reading glasses, and a place for really small stuff like coins, business cards (and your chapstick and ibuprofen), and other miscellaneous stuff. Not to mention the need to store your cell phone, wallet, car keys, and pocket stuff during the flight.

Clearly, every pilot needs to own a bag. Ideally, any pilot would want the smallest bag possible that would carry all this stuff, and they would want there to be a lot of different pockets that could organize everything. The bag should be compact, organized, and efficient.

Before BrightLine Bags, when pilots would go looking for a bag, it would seem like a simple thing to find a suitable bag because there are a hundred different pilot flight bags available everywhere. Every airport pilot shop, pilot magazine and pilot supply catalog/​website is full of them.

But the reality was that in very short order, the surprise and disappointment would begin to set in. Pilots quickly discovered that all the bags that were available were either [1] too small (the charts wouldn’t fit) and there were only one or two pockets, or [2] if the bag was a good size, there still weren’t enough pockets, or [3] the bag was just plain too big (and STILL didn’t have enough pockets).

Not only were pilots unable to find the bag they were hoping for, but often they couldn’t even finding anything CLOSE. Almost without exception, every bag available was going to cause the pilot to dump their stuff into one or two main compartments and then go rooting through all that stuff every time they needed to find something. (These pilots often not-so-affectionately referred to these bags as their black hole” because things just seem to disappear into it.)

And no matter how far and wide one might search for a suitable bag, alas, those searches were always fruitless. Pilots everywhere ended up having to make do with some random bag that sort-of worked. There was no choice but to endure the annoying battle with their semi-functional bag every time they flew.

The Founding

Having experienced all of this personally during his progression to becoming a Certified Flight Instructor for Rotorcraft, the founder, Ross Bishop, used his engineering experience, partly out of frustration and partly for fun, to design his own flight bag. He showed the resulting 3D CAD model to several of his pilot friends and instructors and they all said they thought it was great. He quickly discovered the universal dissatisfaction everyone had with their current flight bag. And almost without exception, people who saw his new design always asked how they could get one.

And so BrightLine Bags was born.

The Original Bag

Fast forward five years. The original BrightLine Bag experienced huge world-wide success, largely because it was the first bag that gave pilots efficient storage and transport of their gear (it was a small bag that could carry more stuff then most bigger bags), but especially because it gave them effective use of that gear in the field while doing their job (because of the excessive number of well-thought-out pockets and compartments).

Pilots also loved the original BrightLine Bag because of its split-apart-into-two-smaller-bags feature which allowed them to change the nature of their bag according to the gear-carrying needs of each particular mission”. We quickly started getting feedback from our customers that made it clear that not only were they constantly serving different roles in the execution of their job, but they were also serving different roles in their overall daily and weekly lives, both professionally and personally, which was constantly impacting their gear and equipment. And while they were pleased with the versatility of their BrightLine Bag that could split in half, it was natural and obvious for them to want this same efficient organization, but with even more options for more versatility so they could use this great bag in ALL different areas of their lives.

And so The FLEX System was born.

The FLEX System

The FLEX System was created as an extension of the original BrightLine Bag in response to two years of accumulated feedback and requests from thousands of customers all over the globe. And while The FLEX System was originally created for recreational and professional pilots, it was clear that lots of other field professionals (Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical, Military, Transportation, Marine, Service Technicians, Musicians, etc.) have the same need to be organized and be able to effectively make use of their gear. The collection of interchangeable modules and pockets allows these field professionals to configure different bags according to the gear-carrying needs of the different missions” that they face from day to day.

And then, in 2014, BrightLine Bags made an important and fundamental change to the nature of how their configurations are built. The original FRONT BAG and REAR BAG components (which were the basic parts of the B10 CLASSIC) got replaced with CENTER SECTIONS and END CAPS. From that point on, every BrightLine Bags configuration offered the highest level of versatility that was the natural intent of The FLEX System from the very beginning. Like never before, anyone can organized their gear in logical groupings to manage the fact that on different days they need different gear. The ability to build different bags for the gear needs of different days is a unique and powerful feature of the BrightLine Bags. It’s truly a case of, Pick your Parts. Build your Bag.”

Now that you know the story…

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