Toiletry Bag Ideas for the A45?
So, this past weekend I was able to take my A45 out for the very first time. I really loved how configurable the bag is! Wow! At any rate, I would like to get a few accessories, most especially something for toiletries. I tried the Deluxe Spiff kit, but it didn't work for me because I couldn't fit a couple of my larger medications (inhalers) in it, and I really prefer to keep it all in one location. What do you recommend? I'm kind of thinking the Clear Quarter Packing Cube makes the most sense. I have one that I keep my knitting tools in that I adore, but perhaps there is a better option out there?
Also, I am a packing cube gal. I used eBags packing cubes on this last trip because I don't have cubes specifically for the Aeronaut. I do have the packing cube backpack for the Western Flyer as well as two Packing Cube Shoulder Bags. Do you all prefer the Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack or just the regular packing cubes? Is there something else out there you would recommend I consider?
My next trip is only 10 days away. With shipping from the mothership taking a full week, I would like to make a decision soon.
I use a few different items for toiletries.
If I'm traveling by air and not checking a bag, I use the 3D Clear Org Cube on a simple shoulder strap for my 311 liquids. Any other bath-related items that don't fit in the 3DCOC/aren't liquid go in a size 2 or 3 Stuff Sack (for stuffability). (I may also throw a Travel Tray in my bag to hold the extra toiletries on top of a dresser or vanity, once I'm at my destination, but I don't like to pack things in a TT.)
If I'm doing a road trip, or I'm checking luggage, I use the Clear Quarter Packing Cube as you mentioned. I prefer the CQPC by far, because I can keep everything together in one container. On one side I put bath-related items (soap, shampoo, conditioner - things that may get wet), and on the other side I store "dry" stuff - paper products (e.g. swabs, cotton balls, hygiene products), cosmetics; and also after-bath stuff - face cream, styling products, and so on. Toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste also go in the CQPC. - I do wish my toothbrush was a better fit, sometimes I leave one end sticking out, but I could also remember to look for a shorter toothbrush next time I'm at the drugstore.
The CQPC also makes it easier for me to remember to restock things when I get home - something that would probably skip my mind if I had everything in a Spiff Kit. I also tend to stand the CQPC on the counter, as opposed to unfolding a clamshell-type kit, or hanging a bag from the towel bar. Guess it really depends on what your style is - digging through a bag, or grabbing things from a wall-mounted organizer.
On occasion I've used a (Clear) Org Pouch on one side of the CQPC to further organize items in the compartment. I go back and forth as to whether that's effective. Sometimes it's nice to be able to pull out just that OP for the things I need (for instance if I'm at the airport and just need one thing out of my carry-on), leaving the rest neatly packed. So that could work for your inhalers. (I usually have my medications and first-aid supplies in a separate 3DCOC, since those aren't supposed to count towards the 311 limit - but you said you preferred to keep everything in one spot.)
One thing I loooooove about the Aeronaut design is that my toiletries can go in the end pockets - I never have to dig through my clothes to get to my bathtime gear!
ETA: Re: packing cubes - I have the A30, not the A45, so can't speak to specific sizes that optimize the A45 space, but I actually prefer smaller cubes vs. the backpack-style cubes. In addition to my TB cubes, I have Eagle Creek half- and quarter-cubes, as well as a set of Travelwise cubes (pretty similar to the eBags sets). I got those so that I could color-code by family member, but alternately, if I'm traveling by myself I can color-code by category. ETA: realize that I'm probably preaching to the choir here, I'm sure you already have your preferred way to use your cubes! ) Anyway, leaving my comments below for general reference, but tl;dr summary is that I like having a variety of sizes and colors to choose from - so expanding beyond the TB cube world gives me more options.
(I might put all my swim stuff in a blue cube; dressy outfit in a red cube; tops in a small purple cube; and bottoms in a medium purple cube. I do bring a backpack cube often but pack it empty, and lay it on top of the whole setup before securing it with the lash straps (extra insurance in case the zipper should come open, or I forget to shut it completely).)
Last edited by haraya; 02-03-2016 at 11:38 AM.
If you like the Spiff Kit aside from its inability to hold your inhalers, etc., you may consider getting an end pocket packing cube and considering that your toiletry bag, and then using the SK to organize further. For example, all your shower-related items can go in the SK, and medications can ride along in the packing cube loose or in something like a 3D Organizer Cube or First/Second Aid kit.
I tend to use 3D OCs for toiletries—solid Dyneema if by car and Clear if by air. Like @haraya, I've also found that Stuff Sacks are great for oddly shaped and/or relatively hardy items.
@haraya: I've started using a kid's size Fuchs toothbrush when I travel (I got it at Whole Foods, I think?). It's much better than any travel toothbrush I've used, and it comes in a little case. It fits handily anywhere.
As for packing cubes: I only use fabric/mesh normal cubes in my Aeronauts. I've found that I generally have an EDC-type bag with me already; I also find the shape of the A45 backpack to be kind of odd, and I know that I'm just shallow enough that this would dissuade me from using it. However, I have used the TS/WF backpack in my A45 with good results—I just made sure not to overpack it.
+1 for the Clear Quarter Packing Cube!
I place liquids on one side, and non-liquids on the other - it's a brilliant design!
This generally is not a problem when I go through airport security lines, in the US and abroad. I ask the security officer as I place items on the conveyer belt for the X-Ray machine if I can leave my liquids in the Clear Quarter Packing Cube. They generally say yes. If they say no, I say no problem, and shift the liquids to a ziplock, and then repack them after going through security.
I also travel with an inhaler (only one, a disc inhaler) and I like having it where I can find it quickly. I use the square clear pouch designed for circular needles, and keep that clipped inside a pocket. It's even purple to match my inhaler!
I will add to the CQPC chorus. It works great for me in a dual role. On one side I have my toiletries: Any liquids go into a small Ziploc on that side for easy removal at airport security request. The other side holds my tech gear: USB 4-port charger (lets me leave the factory wall-warts at home), lightning cables, micro USB cable, mophie battery pack.
This may sound like too much for the CQPC, but I travel light in tech gear (iPad mini, kindle pw, iPhone), I use a folding toothbrush, and I'm bald (no shampoo or conditioner)!
Thank you, all, for your direction! I plan on buying another CQPC perhaps later today. I appreciated also the idea to pack a backpack cube flat. I have always used mine in my WF as a full packing cube. By packing it flat, I'll be able to use the smaller cubes that I already own (I prefer smaller, too). Perhaps I'll end up getting more cubes later on as I better figure out my packing style with this bag, but for now it seems best for me to use what I have on hand for the moment.
Now I just need to decide on a color for the CQPC (always such a challenge!). I sure wish they were made in Zest! My knitting notions one is in UV, so perhaps I'll go with Wasabi? Or Steel? Hmmm... more to ponder!
I wanted to thank you all so much for your feedback regarding my A45 toiletries dilemma. I wanted ya'll to know that I ordered a CQPC in Wasabi along with a Plum Snake Charmer and TB ruler. I feel pretty confident that the CQPC will work as I expect. The Snake Charmer was a last minute addition. I saw that it was available again in plentiful colors, so I went for it. My son has one for his BB, but I have never had one before. I expect I'll use it in various ways, either containing cords for my computer and other sundry electronics or as a type of packing cube for the A45. I know it's a decent size, so it may even hold my flat iron.
Since I waited until today, I paid for expedited shipping (the first time ever). I really want to have it in time for my trip this Friday, and it would have been doubtful had I just waited for the standard shipping. I just have been so busy over the past few days that I didn't have time to place the order until today.
I'll try to take a few photos once I figure out how I'm going to pack for the trip.
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