View Full Version : Help please!

07-25-2015, 03:00 PM
I am thinking of jumping ship from Eagle Creek, I have several of their wheeled bags and I do love them, but with the new airline carry-on dimensions the days of wheeled carry-on luggage seamed doomed.

So if I am to ditch my wheeled bags I am looking to the highly recommended Tom Bihn I am not sure what to go for, I think my current carry-on is a wheeled 35L. I also have a John Chapman bag I use every day, its great but bespoke canvas and very heavy.

I am going to be doing more European short hall flights and am looking to find some lighter bags. Currently I am thinking about a Synapse 25 and either an Aeronaut 45 or Aeronaut 30.

Generally, I pack the following:

Chapman Bag.

13 MacBook Pro
Folio around 1
A4 Hardback Note Book
Beats Studio Headphones
Portable HD & Cables

Eagle Creek Carry-On

4pr boxers
1pr Jeans
1pr Chinos
1pe length shorts
Swim Shorts
4pr Sox
3 T-Shirts
1 Sleep Pants
1 Sweat Top
MacBook Pro UK Charger & Cable
Eagle Creek Washbag

Should I go for the 30 or 45, bearing in mind the new regulations?

I live in the UK, which makes things a lot harder my next trip to Seattle is September next year!



07-25-2015, 04:34 PM
I'll comment on your two different bags separately:

It looks like in your Chapman bag, you carry about the same as I do as my EDC. I switch between a Synapse 19 backpack (S19) and a Daylight Briefcase (DLBC) for most days' EDC needs. I'm not sure about the size of the Beats - I usually have a set of Jabra bluetooth headphones that I keep in a size 1 Travel Stuff Sack (TSS) (a size 2 would probably be a better choice so it isn't as stuffed). Also inside the stuff sack is a small organizer pouch that has the USB and stereo cables for the headphones. If I'm rocking the DLBC, that kit goes inside the main compartment along with my iPad air (inside a cache) and my 13" MacBook Pro (MBP) (in its own cache). A Kindle goes in the front pocket of the DLBC, and I put a couple pens, backup battery, and hard drive in the front horizontal pocket. The MBP power cord goes into the pocket on the backside of the DLBC, inside of a (medium?) Organizer Pouch -- I use the brick in "short mode", i.e. without the longer length of power cable attached to the brick.

However, I think the DLBC will be a little tight with the addition of the notebook and folio (I still like the idea of the DLBC for you, which I'll get into later). The S19 might be for you. Again, I put the iPad and MBP in the main compartment. There should easily be room for the folio and notebook as well. The bottom front pocket gets my HD, battery pack, and power brick for the laptop. I also have a little pouch with extra cables in there, sometimes an extra battery just incase. In one of the side pockets I put the headphones (again, I'm not sure if the Beats will fold up like mine) and a couple pens. The other side will usually get my sunglasses if I'm not wearing them, plus there's some hand sanitizer and a little flashlight. My Kindle goes into the water bottle pocket if I'm not bringing a bottle with me, or into the main compartment with the other tech if I am. I leave the smaller front pocket mostly empty so that it can accept a pocket dump of my wallet, keys, etc (my iPhone 6+ will fit inside vertically, but is big enough that it sticks out the top). My S25 offers even more room (obviously) and is what I use for travel and school EDC needs. I set up the S25 in the same manner as the 19, but everything is just roomier (the 19 tends to be a much tighter pack).

Your Eagle Creek bag should be able to be replaced with either the Aeronaut 30 or 45 (A30 or A45). Of course, that also depends on how tightly you pack the Eagle Creek. If you already pack pretty tightly, the 30 might not cut it on its own. You could always shuttle a couple things into the S25, though! I only have a 45 myself, but I think that might be the best bet. If you are able to get your 35L of stuff from the Eagle Creek into the same volume within the A45, you'll be able to slip the DLBC right on top of the kit and only need to carry 1 item with you through the airport. The S19 probably, and the 25 definitely, wouldn't fit in addition to your other things.

Hope some of this helps!

07-25-2015, 09:51 PM
Greetings Fraser,
Considering the smaller size allowances on European airlines, I'd get the Aeronaut 30 (A30) to replace your wheeled bag. Your items might be a tight fit in the A30, especially if you don't use packing cubes. However, in my opinion, the Aeronaut 45 (A45) would be too large. If you plan to one-bag, the A45 would most likely hold everything but it might be larger than allowed some on European airlines.

I find that packing cubes and stuff sacks really help to compress clothing. Since I already have Eagle Creek (EC) half cubes, Specter cubes, and Specter Compression cubes, I have not tried the Tom Bihn (TB) packing cubes. As my EC items wear out, I plan to replace them with TB.

If you plan to travel with both the Synapse25 (S25) and an Aeronaut, I think the Aeronaut45 would be larger than you need. Anything that didn't fit into the Aeronaut 30 will most likely fit into the Synapse. I can always fit more into my S25, it's very versatile and Tardis-like.

What ever you decide, I am sure you will love your TB bags! elisa

07-25-2015, 11:36 PM
I recently was looking into a similar set up and decided to go with the Aeronaut 45 and Pilot. The reason was that with the Synapse you have to either use the Aeronaut as a shoulder bag or duffle. The pilot fits quite a bit as well, although I doubt the headphones will fit, I think the rest of the Chapman bag would.

I put my Aeronaut 30 up for trade actually, but if I do not find a trade for it I will definitely keep it for when I travel on airlines with tighter carry on size restrictions, most of my trips are on Domestic USA flights so I decided to get the Aeronaut 45 as well. I think all of your 35L carry-on items would fit the Aeronaut 30.

If you do go with the Synapse 25, the Aeronaut 30 will easily be enough. The Synapse 25 holds a lot.

Good luck and have fun in Seattle!

07-26-2015, 03:35 AM
We've just used our A30 and A45 on Monarch and Easy Jet with no problem at all. The great thing about both size Aeronauts is that they fit in the overhead compartment upright (i.e. standing up on the narrow side if that makes sense) so it was really easy to secure overhead space. If you're looking for that extra bit of space, I'd go with the A45. I love my A30 but at times, envied the extra room my husband had in his 45.

07-26-2015, 10:34 AM
Hi, great to hear of another UK based member. I had the same dilemma as I previously used a eagle creek Tarmac 22 wheeled bag as a one bag only on easy jet.

I moved across to a Tri-star and found that to be the perfect alternative. I did have an A45 for a bit also which was also fine on easy jet but it was just too big for general use. I would think the A30 is a 'safer' alternative size wise. I'm a nervous traveller and I just want to travel knowing my bag is not going to get any size 'hassles' on route.

I also have a western flyer which is superb for lightweight travel. I'll use this for short trips where I don't need all the space of the Tri-star although the Tri-star is the more frequently used item.

If it's of interest, I'm expecting a Tri-star to arrive this week in a new colour combo. I'll have two then so will likely sell/trade the colour scheme I like least.

If you are local you are welcome to come take a look at the various bags to gauge sizes that might suit you.

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07-27-2015, 02:20 AM
Thanks for all the replies, If I only had the spare cash I think I would get one of each and possibly a Tri-Star - I am off to visit friends in the US in October so will try and make up my mind by then.

Persettect - Do you have any issues with import duty - I have with other things in the past - got a Jot stylus for my iPad and got hit with 30.00 import duty & handling fees so am sceptical about getting things sent from the US.

Thanks again for your help.


07-27-2015, 02:55 AM
I pay import on everything that comes in. Average import bill is 40. However I did have one that was 110 when I ordered a synapse 25, Tri-star and ristretto all in one order. I have just learned to factor that in to my decision as I'm not in the US enough to buy in country.

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07-28-2015, 02:51 PM
Re import duty/taxes..I recently got a S19 and paid approx 40 on top for charges.
Which I guessed if I really wanted the bag, then I would have to pay it.
With the exchange rate, it does help.
It just means I will just have to make sure I use my bag more..as opposed
to it being under used...