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View Full Version : Help! What am I doing wrong? Aeronaut rolls at the bottom in backpack mode.



jagmuse
06-25-2015, 05:41 PM
Okay, a plea for help from a newbie. I just got my absolutely beautiful Dyneema/Island A45, did a test pack (it's HUGE!!!), but when I put it on my back, and adjust the backpack straps so the top is flat against my back, the whole bottom just rolls up and creates this hard ridge right along my back! Is this what it's supposed to do, or am I doing something wrong? Here are pictures documenting this.

[NOTE: I suck at uploading photos, so if a mod could take pity on me and flip/reduce these that would be awesome....] (Thank you moriond!!)

First, here it is on my back - you can see the light shining through between the roll at the bottom, and the section at the top that is against my back:
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Here it is lying on it's front, so you can see the bottom end rolled up. (And that's my cat, Reni, who I just noticed is lying on his back, belly up! ;) )
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I tried to create a pretty typical load - it's not STUFFED, but each of the three pockets is full - a large cube, a laundry sack, and two smaller cubes in the main compartment along with a fleece, a snake charmer and a small cube in the bottom end, and some small items and my SE in the other end. Each compartment is full, but not overfull.
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Here is the contents of the middle compartment:
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So am I not packing it correctly? Or does the Dyneema A45 just do that? I've searched the forums, and haven't found anyone having this problem, but if this is how it is going to ride on my back, it's going to have to go back, because it is really uncomfortable! I tried loosening the shoulder straps, but that just results in the whole bag hanging away off my back - equally uncomfortable. I'm hoping this is just me being stupid, and there is something I need to do, but if the answer is that the entire bag needs to be stuffed to the gills for it to lie flat, then I'm going to have to send it back.

What say you, wise TB folks?

BradBot
06-25-2015, 06:02 PM
If I understand you correctly, you're referring to the large lump on the bottom back side of the bag (right side of picture 2)?

To me, it seems like you have too much weight at the top of the bag, which is causing it to collapse at the bottom. In the first picture it looks like you could stuff more in the middle compartment based on the fact that looks to be where it's caving in. It also looks like the bag is top heavy in the first picture.

I suggest redistributing the contents. Try filling the middle compartment with as much as you can in a effort to form a solid structure in the middle. Then use the end pockets to hold whatever is left.

jagmuse
06-25-2015, 06:29 PM
Well, so I too thought maybe it was too much weight on top (although I did try and put the heavier items on the bottom. So I took everything out of the top pocket (which obviously for full use of the bag won't be a long-term solution), and packed the middle compartment as full as I could get it, and did the same for the bottom pocket - just stuffed it full with laundry - certainly just setting in packing cubes was not "stuffed" sufficiently to tighten up the back. That helped somewhat, but there is still a bump - where the straps hook into the bag, that whole panel pulls up and out and creates a ridge. But I feel like I shouldn't haven't to have the sections stuffed until I can't put anything else in there - that won't be practical - it requires overpacking!

Maybe this is just the way the bag is? And it just happens to hit me in the wrong place?

Or do you think it's the dyneema and the extra give, and I'd have better luck with the ballistic?

I have been so enamored with the Aeronaut... I'll be sad if it turns out it doesn't work for me!

viewsnortheast
06-25-2015, 06:35 PM
Mine does the same thing. I don't really feel discomfort when wearing it, but I do see the same bulge as in your second photo.

jagmuse
06-25-2015, 06:41 PM
Mine does the same thing. I don't really feel discomfort when wearing it, but I do see the same bulge as in your second photo.

@viewsnortheast - is yours Dyneema or Ballistic?

deemav
06-25-2015, 06:57 PM
This happens to mine too. My A30 is in black dyneema for reference. I pack whatever I can in the middle compartment and then fill out the side pockets with heavier items in the "bottom" pocket. This helps avoid the roll but does tend to make the bag "bulgy" in the middle.

jagmuse
06-25-2015, 06:58 PM
So I think I figured out part of the issue - when the bottom compartment zipper is zipped (making the bottom end bigger), it creates a little void on either side where "stuff" doesn't get packed, and allows the bag to bend. It's less noticable when the bag is very full, more noticable when packed lightly. If I unzip that bottom zipper, and pack clothes (or a cube) down there at the bottom, that helps a lot.

So maybe this is just how it is, and I need to learn to pack it! I am curious though if it's the Dyneema. It also is much bigger than I anticipated, so I'm thinking I may try a ballistic A30 and decide which one works best.

Sorry to be panicking all over the board.... :P

deemav
06-25-2015, 07:43 PM
So I think I figured out part of the issue - when the bottom compartment zipper is zipped (making the bottom end bigger), it creates a little void on either side where "stuff" doesn't get packed, and allows the bag to bend.

I'm having a hard time visualizing this. Are you talking about the internal zipper which allows the middle compartment to expand?

marytattoo
06-25-2015, 07:43 PM
Ok, I don't have an iron in this fire; I don't own an aeronaut. So, since I don't know how it should look - or even fit a person - I'm wondering if the straps are adjusted properly. It looks like it HAS to bulge/curve based on the waist strap. There's no other way for it to fit. So unless there's another way to adjust the backtrack straps, visually it looks like the bottom can't do anything except curve. Can it be adjusted higher up your back?

BradBot
06-25-2015, 08:23 PM
Ok, I don't have an iron in this fire; I don't own an aeronaut. So, since I don't know how it should look - or even fit a person - I'm wondering if the straps are adjusted properly. It looks like it HAS to bulge/curve based on the waist strap. There's no other way for it to fit. So unless there's another way to adjust the backtrack straps, visually it looks like the bottom can't do anything except curve. Can it be adjusted higher up your back?

Mary raises a good point. Are you able to tighten the shoulder straps anymore? Raising the bag higher up your back may help.

Dandelion
06-25-2015, 08:32 PM
The bag may be too long for your back. Also you have the waist belt up high pulling the bottom of the bag upwards. Can you try wearing the belt lower on your hips?

jagmuse
06-25-2015, 08:45 PM
Thanks for all the thoughts guys.

So the zipper I opened was the internal one, yes. That eliminated that little void that seems to cause the bend.

As for the shoulder straps, when I tighten them, the roll becomes more pronounced - it's like that part of the bag pulls in and up, instead of the whole thing just lifting straight up when you tighten. As for the waist strap, it's sitting where it ends up when the bag rolls - undoing the waist does nothing. To get it lower I would need to loosen the shoulder straps, which then causes the whole bag to ride off my back.

I'm going to play around with different loads, and see how it goes. I'm also going to try a 30. Maybe it's my torso.

BradBot
06-25-2015, 09:12 PM
I'll be curious to see how the 30 works out. I think the 45 might be too much bag for the amount you're carrying, resulting in leftover space that isn't helping the problem. Good luck!

Simone
06-25-2015, 10:11 PM
@jagmuse, I think the dyneema is your problem. This is a fully loaded A30 (modeled by my mother) with no bulging in the back area at all. Hope this helps give you a visual of the dyneema vs ballistic
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Pokilani
06-26-2015, 05:36 AM
I hope it's more about the size and the Dyneema rather than just the Dyneema since I just got my Dyneema A30 yesterday. Can anyone with a Dyneema A30 chime in? I've never seen this mentioned before.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

jagmuse
06-26-2015, 06:07 AM
I hope you don't have this problem, @Pokilani, I know how excited you were to get your black/island A30!! It is SUCH a gorgeous combination.

It may very well be that I just am not a great packer yet - but you know, on the videos, you just plunk in the packing cubes and go! And I was hoping to have a bag that I could fill to the max if needed, but carry less full (so I can bring back souvenirs, for example) as well - and maybe that's not possible with an A45 in Dyneema.

I really appreciate everyone's feedback!! I would love to hear from anyone else that has an A45 in Dyneema, to see if they have this issue?

ceb
06-26-2015, 06:50 AM
I clearly see the problem. In one of your pictures you are using non-TB packing cubes. Once inside the bag, the bag tries to reject them and that causes that void.

On a more serious note, I think it is a combination of things, all of which you've identified individually but they all work together to conspire against you.

The bag seems too long for you. Because of that, the void created by the zippered divider makes the bag create even a bigger void.

There is one thing you might want to try. Test fit the empty back on you and adjust the bag for maximum comfort. Then pack it and try again. Good luck

Bijouxandbeads
06-26-2015, 06:52 AM
I have both in dyneema and will do a test pack this weekend (unless this gets satisfactorily answered before then). I'm tall, so it will at least help with the question of whether it's a torso length issue.

jagmuse
06-26-2015, 07:20 AM
I clearly see the problem. In one of your pictures you are using non-TB packing cubes. Once inside the bag, the bag tries to reject them and that causes that void.

Bwahahaha.... that thought did occur to me.... ;)

Good suggestion on the empty fit - I'll try that and see what happens. Thanks!

Poker Face
06-26-2015, 07:45 AM
Hi there!
I have both dyneema and ballistic A45's. Unfortunately, the dyneema version is less rigid than the ballistic one, so you get that "bump".
Changing your packing strategy may improve a little bit the situation. Or if you stuff your A45 completely, so it becomes almost rigid...
That's one of the drawbacks of dyneema A45 IMO.
Poker Face

habanero
06-26-2015, 07:58 AM
I've only used my dyneema A30 once so far but did not notice a bump - I'll try a test pack tonight (which gives me a good reason to try out my new large and end pocket cubes.)

tpnl
06-26-2015, 09:18 AM
Interesting Issue.

I do not have Dyneema bags so I cannot say for sure but perhaps the combination of fully packed bottom pocket and relatively under packed / under supported mid section is causing this "Roll"

Some suggestions I would try are:

1) put something flat and hard (e.g. piece of cardboard) in the main section that spans the sides (which is top to bottom when in backpack mode) to create a support for the middle section so it stays straight. Maybe use a packing cube with supporting jeans in it that is oriented side to side (which is top to bottom when in backpack mode).
2) unzip the divider between the bottom and middle compartment to let the contents of both sections to adjust dynamically to reduce stress.
3) pack things that are oriented to be flat with the backpack panel instead of perpendicular.

Good Luck - Hope this helps!
Cheers!

Dandelion
06-26-2015, 05:40 PM
Measure your back length (http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacks-torso-hip-size.html) and compare to the length of the A45. The bag looks too long for your torso.

Kippiann
06-26-2015, 07:17 PM
@Pokilani, I have a Dyneema A30 and do not have this issue. Please post photos of your A30 when you get it! That color combination is amazing.

@Jagmuse, I think the A45 is too big for you to fit comfortably in backpack mode. Sorry to say this because it is such a gorgeous bag! FWIW, I'm 5'7" and find my partner's A45 is too big for me.

@Dandelion, thank you for this link! That link is very helpful and interesting.

eta: as a test I measured my torso as per the article linked. This data, along with using the bags, explains why I love my Smart Alec so much. It fits me perfectly. I am going to start thinking about my bags more for how they fit than how much they fit, because I've learned I can always pack less. Thanks for letting me think aloud. :-)

automaticsoap
06-26-2015, 09:17 PM
I am 4'11" (not sure of my back measurement), and I don't have this issue with my new dyneema A30.

Kiko
06-27-2015, 05:34 PM
I did a test pack of both my Dyneema A30 and my newly-acquired Dyneema A45, using the same contents. I did set out to fail in that I didn't strap in my contents, and I didn't evenly distribute the weight. I noticed a pronounced roll/gap with my A45, and the tiniest of rolls with my A30-- the A30 was mostly flush with my back.

I then cinched my packing folders in to the base of my A30 and found the gap to be MORE pronounced, which I didn't expect. With that being said, I have to tell you guys that until this thread, I didn't even notice the gap. (A30 has traveled with me on a weekend trip, and I LOVE it!)

I hope this helps- let us all know what you decide, jagmuse!

kajikaiko
06-27-2015, 06:36 PM
In backpacks the waist strap should fall around the hips to carry the weight there. In Simone's picture her mom isn't using a waist strap and it falls flat against her back. In jagmuse's picture it looks like it is pulled up to her waist so she has the problem with a "ripple". She needs to adjust it.

jagmuse
06-27-2015, 06:54 PM
In backpacks the waist strap should fall around the hips to carry the weight there. In Simone's picture her mom isn't using a waist strap and it falls flat against her back. In jagmuse's picture it looks like it is pulled up to her waist so she has the problem with a "ripple". She needs to adjust it.

Actually, that's not the case - the waist strap is attached right where it falls and is not adjusted very tightly at all. Undoing the waist strap doesn't eliminate the roll. And in fact, because the waist strap is connected above the bottom compartment, the only way I could get it to ride at my hips is to loosen the straps to the point that it is too loose up top and hangs back off my shoulders. What I wish it had was an additional adjustment over the top of the shoulders like some backpacks have, to pull in the top. I know it's not meant to be a hard-core backpack, but unfortunately, that's how I would like to be able to carry it.

I think the bottom line is that the 45 is too long for my torso - or at least the straps are, and the Dyneema aggravates the situation. With some playing around, I can "rig" it so that it will lie flat, by stuffing the bottom of the middle section quite full. I did try what @ceb suggested, and adjusted it while empty, and then filled it, and it ended up pulling away off my back too much. It may be that I can use a ballistic A45, just not a Dyneema. I have a friend who has one, so I may ask her (when she returns from Spain) if I can borrow it to play. But I'm very much hoping that the ballistic A30 that is en route to me (Navy/NWS) will be a better fit, and that I am able to pack lightly enough to make the smaller size work. I'd actually like to be able to make that work, now that I've felt what a loaded A45 feels like - it has the potential to be quite heavy!

But it's been a learning experience - I never knew I had a short torso!

Ilkyway
06-30-2015, 03:14 PM
I did a test pack of both my Dyneema A30 and my newly-acquired Dyneema A45, using the same contents. I did set out to fail in that I didn't strap in my contents, and I didn't evenly distribute the weight. I noticed a pronounced roll/gap with my A45, and the tiniest of rolls with my A30-- the A30 was mostly flush with my back.

I then cinched my packing folders in to the base of my A30 and found the gap to be MORE pronounced, which I didn't expect. With that being said, I have to tell you guys that until this thread, I didn't even notice the gap. (A30 has traveled with me on a weekend trip, and I LOVE it!)

I hope this helps- let us all know what you decide, jagmuse!

Hey Kiko and welcome!
Missed your post befor and wanted to shout out a thank you for testpacking and reporting. I have no Dyneema travel but I start to think about changing that :-)

Ilkyway

jagmuse
06-30-2015, 05:12 PM
I did a test pack of both my Dyneema A30 and my newly-acquired Dyneema A45, using the same contents. I did set out to fail in that I didn't strap in my contents, and I didn't evenly distribute the weight. I noticed a pronounced roll/gap with my A45, and the tiniest of rolls with my A30-- the A30 was mostly flush with my back.

I then cinched my packing folders in to the base of my A30 and found the gap to be MORE pronounced, which I didn't expect. With that being said, I have to tell you guys that until this thread, I didn't even notice the gap. (A30 has traveled with me on a weekend trip, and I LOVE it!)

I hope this helps- let us all know what you decide, jagmuse!

Thank you so much for sharing, Kiko! I can't wait to experiment with the A30.

Pokilani
07-01-2015, 12:12 PM
I'll be packing for a trip to Maui tonight (leave Friday). Hoping and praying my A30 does not have a rolling issue (also hoping everything fits, along with my DLBC). Because I think that would really bug me. I have owned a more than a few gorgeous bags in my life and my new Dyneema/Island is the most beautiful of them all.

jagmuse
07-01-2015, 02:41 PM
Fingers crossed Pokilani!! Let us know how you make out (and have a wonderful trip!!). My A30 arrived today (EARLY!!, thanks TB crew!), so tomorrow I'll be doing my test packing, and will report back. I also want to spend some more time fiddling with the A45, because as Pokilani says, the black dyneema/island is gorgeous, plus I think there will be times I want a bigger bag!! So we'll see where I end up. I'll report back as well. :)

Toblerhaus
07-01-2015, 10:48 PM
I'm about 5'6" and don't have this issue. I never use the waist strap, though. I can't quite find the perfect pic to demonstrate how it lays flat on my back, but I'll share a couple of shots that indicate that it's flush to my back.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3827/11596327333_5244bcfd36_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/iEJd7a)IMG_8879 (https://flic.kr/p/iEJd7a) by Toblerhaus (https://www.flickr.com/photos/toblerhaus/), on Flickr

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3951/15527857227_b1f5ed0dfb_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/pE9jYk)2014-08-11 10.42.32 (https://flic.kr/p/pE9jYk) by Toblerhaus (https://www.flickr.com/photos/toblerhaus/), on Flickr

Pokilani
07-01-2015, 11:22 PM
Good news- no roll with my new A30! Whew! Everything fit (no room to spare) in the Dyneema A30, but not the ballistic. I have about a 16-17 hour travel day with three flights and as much as I want to bring the A30,I'm considering my roller bag. I'm going to see if I can get rid of some things tomorrow. I was surprised my two swimsuits (darn tankinis), board shorts, rash guard, and one beach cover up took up a whole end pocket!

kgm
07-02-2015, 08:49 PM
Have a great time on Maui! I packed for a full week on Kauai (2 dresses, 1 pair of pants and 1 pair of shorts, 2 swimsuits, one cover-up, undergarments, 3 t-shirts, a lightweight silk cardigan and a light jacket, flip flops and trail runners, toiletries and cosmetics), in my ballistic A30 and carried a non-TB tote as my personal item (knitting projects and my small purse were inside).

Also, to the OP, I have had issues with the bulge at the bottom of the A30 while I'm test packing. Once, I've fully packed, and wearing my A30, it doesn't seem to be an issue. If I had the option to pack less and have a little bit of a bulge, I'd go that route vs packing more to reduce the bulge. I often find the A30 to be a little uncomfortable when I'm at home, but once I'm traveling, I always think it's just fine.

Ilkyway
07-02-2015, 11:38 PM
Toblerhous somehow can't "like" at the moment, but I do like your pictures a lot.
May I ask how tall your children are? Thouse Synapses are looking great on them.

Ilkyway

jagmuse
07-03-2015, 09:00 AM
@Toblerhaus, great photos, thanks for sharing!! @kgm, thanks for your insight, that's very reassuring. And @Pokilani, have a wonderful time!!

So what I have learned this week is that HOW you pack is as important as WHAT you pack. I spent yesterday afternoon experimenting with the A30 and A45. And I am happy to report that both work! I was able to resolve the rolling issue by ensuring that I have a good tight bottom layer in the main compartment (and unzipping the inner zipper on the lower end) of the A45. The A30 had no roll. With that issue resolved, I set about figuring out which one was the best choice for me.

I started with a generic packing list, week or so in a warmish area with cool nights and possible rain. This is not as minimal as it could be – a few extras, enough underwear for a week, that kind of thing.

Here is what I packed:
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2 tanks
3 t-shirts
1 ¾ sleeve shirt
1 long sleeve shirt
1 light sweater
1 cardigan
2 skorts
2 pair pants
1 pair cropped pants
1 pair running shorts (double as pjs, with a tank)
1 pair workout pants
1 skirt
1 dress
1 rain jacket
1 light down vest
7 pair undies
3 bras
3 pair socks
1 infinity scarf
1 pair sneakers
1 pair tevas
1 pair flip flops
A 3DCOC with toiletries
1 micro-towel

This is assuming that all my other bits and bobs will go in a personal item carry-on. I also didn’t set aside anything to wear on the plane, so that could also come out of this or be in addition to this list.

Here it is in the packing cubes – most of the bottoms and dress are in the EC large cube; the shirts are in the PCSB, shoes in the gray pouch, underwear, bras and socks are in the quarter packing cube, the cardigan, vest and jacket are in the laundry sack.
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Here it is in the A30 – the PCSB was one end pocket, the shoes the other, everything else in the middle compartment – the towel and scarf are in the flap pocket. I didn’t have anything in the zip end pockets, but could have slid a few small items in there.
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It was full, but I could have probably squeezed in one or two other small things. And I was SO impressed with myself, that I got it all in. Granted, not much room for bringing back souvenirs, etc., but as I said, I could tighten up that list to make a little wiggle room. So that’s very exciting.

So then I decided to see how it would all fit in the A45 – now that I’ve figured out how to make it not roll, I can definitely see situations where I would want more space.

I had free space in both end pockets, and lots of room in the main compartment as well. So then I decided to add a few more things. I put a beach kit into a #3TSS – swimsuit, coverup and sun hat.
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I also added a knitting project in a TT, and another in a small YSS. I also added a book and a rolled up REI Flash 18 pack for a day pack (a place holder until I get a DLBP!!).
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It all fit like a charm. (I somehow didn't get a photo with everything in). The A45 is definitely a heavier load, but the Dyneema helps. I would just need to be careful not to take advantage of the stretch and really overload it.
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So what’s the bottom line? Well, I am glad everyone shared their great advice and talked me down on the A45 panic – it really does matter how you pack it! I am also kind of glad that I panicked and as a result ordered an A30 – I thought for sure it would be too small for me, but am THRILLED that I can fit everything in it relatively easily – it is so small on my back!! So I think for now, even though it is a huge splurge, I’m going to keep both, because I think wherever I can, I’ll use the A30, but there will just be some trips where I will want/need a little bit more space. And dyneema/island – just so pretty!!!

Thanks again for all the words of wisdom. I am really learning to be a packing ninja!

kkintea
07-03-2015, 09:11 AM
I don't know, it looks like Cat is indifferent to the A30, but rolling around in glee for the A45.... I'm pretty sure s/he is voting to keep island around!!

jagmuse
07-03-2015, 09:26 AM
Hahahaha... this is true - but Reni had to be escorted from the room when I was packing the A30 because he kept tearing into my packing cubes, so he didn't have an opportunity to share his full opinion on the matter. ;)

Pokilani
07-03-2015, 09:50 AM
Hangs head. I caved and packed my Tumi roller bag. But I have my Dyneema DLBP, Island LSB, NWS SSB and several more TB goodies with me.

Toblerhaus
07-03-2015, 03:27 PM
Toblerhous somehow can't "like" at the moment, but I do like your pictures a lot.
May I ask how tall your children are? Thouse Synapses are looking great on them.

Ilkyway

I don't know their height! Somewhere between 4 1/2 and 5 feet. They are 9 and 11 in that photo, and are about 50% percentile height for their age group.

moriond
07-03-2015, 04:09 PM
I don't know their height! Somewhere between 4 1/2 and 5 feet. They are 9 and 11 in that photo, and are about 50% percentile height for their age group.

@Ilkyway, You can estimate their heights from the picture, since they are all standing in a line, and you know @Toblerhaus' height is 5'6" (1676 mm). Draw a line (or put a piece of clear tape, or overlay the edge of a clear transparent sheet) diagonally along where their feet are placed. Then measure the heights up from the center of where they are standing, and scale from @Tobkerhaus' height. I did this on my iPad screen, and I estimate her son at 4'4" (1311 mm) and her daughter at 4'8" (1426 mm). There's a likely "slop" in this process, so I could easily be 2-3" (50-75 mm) off.

HTH

moriond