I find the absolute strap on my Aeronaut to be a bit uncomfortable after a while but in backpack mode it's great. I think the weight is too much for my shoulders no matter the strap. Plus with the extra weight you get more "swing" going which I don't like. Only problem is I normally have a backup as my second carry on bag and that has to be hand held, which works but isn't optimal.
I find the Aeronaut in backpack mode to be very comfortable.
I can again attest to the great flexibility of the Aeronaut suspension. Did a short biztrip to Manhattan. Quickly getting through the airport & navigating to the Taxi stand was done really well with my Absolute strap. But yesterday we decided to do a walk from our hotel on W 46th to Penn Station, then navigate to JFK via the Air Train. About 1.5 miles in 90F temps. I had one colleague rolling his bag along and another with a heavy shoulder duffel. Took me 30 seconds to get out my backpack straps and I was OFF! VERY comfortable (if a bit warm), then put them away in another 30 secs to have a streamlined profile through Security.
How comfortable is this pack when using it as a backpack? Would it be good enough for day hiking with the optional waist strap?
Which pack are you talking about? For any of these bags (Aeronaut/Tri-Star/Western Flyer) the backpack mode is relatively comfortable, but not designed for long term carrying. For example, if I wanted to travel with a bag that I could take along for hiking, I'd use a Synapse 25, or a Smart Alec instead, and pack these for travel. The Synapse is a more comfortable design for me (and for my size, I could probably even do travel packing in a Synapse 19 for short trips). But if I wanted a large, single compartment that could take bulky contents, I'd use the Smart Alec as a travel bag. Alternatively, many people like to use the Brain Bag, which approaches the capacity of the Aeronaut. It depends on how much you want to carry along for day hiking. For example, if you want to carry along a lot of camera gear, the Brain Bag is the only one of these bags big enough to fit the Camera I/O inside it. But you'd be better off using a backpack than luggage with backpack carry options if you want to do this for any length of time.
Originally Posted by mtpr