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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Aeronaut vs Voyageur when partially full

    Which bag holds its form better or is carried as a backpack easier when partially full?

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Northern Virginia
    hi jimmyjeff,

    welcome to the forum!

    i don't have any experience with the voyageur, but i have at times packed the aeronaut lightly.

    i generally place my toiletries in the side compartment that ends up at the bottom when the aeronaut is carried as a backpack, and delicate items (i.e. camera) as well as other stuff i want quick access to in the side compartment that ends up on top. clothes end up in the middle compartment, generally in packing cubes, as do books.

    this approach works well even when the aeronaut is lightly packed.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Fat Crip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    I live a little South of Edinburgh in Scotland's border hills
    As for sometime all my travel was done with an Aeronaut (before I had Tri-Star and Western Flyer), I used it from almost empty to packed to the gills and it worked well in every way. Balancing between the three main sections seems to me to be the key.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    I am not sure what bag you mean by the Voyageur. You'd have to include a link.

    I really like my Aeronaut but I can't say that I have used it much partially full. But I would have to know what you mean by that too. Just guessing but I think the Aeronaut would be fine since you can move the load. If you don't have much you could load the 2 side pockets. If you had a bit more then maybe just the main compartment. With three areas to pack you should be able to come up with something.
    Owner of : Imago, Aeronaut, Brain Bag, Smart Alec, Synapse, Co-Pilot

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Badger State
    I took a look at the MEI Voyageur review over at OBOW, and, from what I can tell, there are a few major differences between it and the Aeronaut. Namely, the Voyageur has an internal frame and a padded hip belt and, as such, seems to be designed with the "carry as a backpack" traveler in mind. Frankly, it looks a bit unwieldy to pack, and I think it could be an exercise in frustration if you were trying to pack a light load if the bag was in suitcase mode. While the compression straps on the Voyageur look like they might help cinch down a partial load, I still don't know what it would do to mitigate the contents shifting. I think using packing cubes or perhaps rolling items and stacking them vertically could help.

    I have an Aeronaut and I've used it both lightly packed and packed to the gills. The Aeronaut has internal tie-down straps in the main compartment, and the side compartments work well to distribute weight evenly and keep items in the main compartment relatively stable.

    It probably comes down to how you plan to use the bag. If you're backpacking and want the stabilization provided by a hip belt and a frame, and if you don't mind the lack of internal organization, I imagine the Voyageur would be a good choice (it's pretty affordable as well). If you're doing more business travel and need the bag's contents to stay put, I think the Aeronaut would likely be better since it looks more business-appropriate and it has more organization.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I have used both. The voyager is an excellent bag, but it does tend toward a backpack best mode. It is of a different material than the aeronaut which doesn't hold it's shape at all. What that means is for lighter loads, is you can evenly pack a 'thinner layer' and the cinch it all down. You end up with a bag that is maybe 4 inches thick instead of 6 or whatever. As has been mentioned, there is no organization, which may or may not appeal to you.
    For me the waist belt was a bit overkill and addenda significant bulk. However if you pack heavy or need to carry a significant load, it is super comfortable.
    Ultimately I opted for the aeronaut cause I like keeping my shoes in an end pocket segregated from everything else. I put toiletries in the other end pocket and prefer that layout. I am also packing light(er) and do not find the waist strap essential.
    If you are maxing out on weight with a bag of this size (30-40 lbs)and intend on carrying it backpack style then the voyager really shines.

    Eta: the voyager has compression straps on both the inside and outside of the pack that give you an ability to really cinch down loads- big or small.
    The aeronaut only has straps on the inside and the outside remains the same even when partially full. But the different material holds the general shape of the bag..
    Last edited by roadrunner; 04-10-2013 at 09:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Thanks to all for the very helpful responses. Perhaps I should just start a separate thread on this, but how would you compare the TriStar to the Aeronaut in this regard?

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