Aeronaut vs Tri Star vs Western Flyer
My new Aeronaut (Cardinal/Steel) arrived yesterday, so I have had a little time to play with it. I won't repeat details about the bag that others have posted about before, but I thought I would offer some thoughts on how the three bags compare for my style of travel (ie - light, mostly urban, not a backpacker, like creature comforts and eating out!;)).
The Aeronaut does not really look that much bigger than my Tri Star but it will hold MUCH more. Even with two large filled packing cubes in the main compartment there is room to fit other items around the sides. The end compartments are much bigger than I expected - I can fit up to three light pairs of shoes (eg Merrells, barefoot runners, ballet flats, flat sandals) in a packing cube in one end compartment and still have quite a bit of room for socks or odds and ends in there. The big risk of this bag is that I will pack it too heavily, so discipline will be required when I use it. This bag could be used for very lengthy periods of travel. And the single compartment format definitely has advantages for longer leisure trips. I will probably use it when I go to Bhutan next year. An empty Synapse will pack fairly flat on the bottom of the main compartment - I foresee a dyneema Synapse purchase before too long!
I think now that I have the Aeronaut, I would probably limit my use of the Tri Star to trips when I want to use the centre compartment just for technology (ie the purpose for which it was designed). On previous leisure trips I have used all three compartments for clothes and personal items; I think I will generally find myself choosing either WF or the Aeronaut for this sort of trip in future (depending on how much I want to carry). I try to avoid over-packing the TS to avoid creating a fat cube of a bag (not as comfortable to carry) When I have that much to pack, I will go for the Aeronaut and when I have less, I'll bet I can fit it all in the WF anyway. So for lighter trips I expect to pick up the WF more often than the TS.
So, does this mean that what was formerly my favorite bag might be all but retired?.....