No announcement yet.

I can't make a decision - Aeronaut size and colour - please help!

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    I can't make a decision - Aeronaut size and colour - please help!

    Guys, I cannot make a decision to save my life - would appreciate any feedback. I want to buy an Aeronaut and I keep vacillating between size and colours and I can't settle on what I really want.

    Ultimately I'm leading up to quitting my job and travelling the world for a year or more and trying to be as minimal as possible in what i bring. I'm thinking that the A30 is really cute, but just for safety I should probably get the A45 and not pack it completely full (I probably have the willpower to do it, I'm used to packing minimally). However, I worry the A45 will be too big on my back (I'm 5'5 and 130 pounds, quite fit) but the pictures and videos make me think that it might be fine? I'm not looking at doing any hiking with it, it will mostly be moving between cities, and I want to spend quite a bit of time in each major city I'm in (2-3 weeks).

    Am I right in thinking the A45 is my best bet? I'm planning on buying 3 end cube which I will fit in the main compartment vertically. I have enough other accessories to fit the other spaces.

    Also, the colour. I'm a basic colour girl and I wear a lot of black and grey and some green. I was 100% going to buy the black ballistic nylon with a NWS interior, but the steel ballistic looks really beautiful, and I like the fact that in some lights it might have a green hue. As I want to keep this bag for 10+ years and I'll be getting a lot of use out of it, I want to make the right decision. Has anyone had steel ballistic for a very long time? Do you ever get "bored" with the colour? I know I'll always be okay with a black exterior, but the steel is quite inviting.

    [Edited to add that I worry also about how much stains/scruffs will be noticed on steel as opposed to the black, which I assume will camouflage most dirt/stains]

    Please help me!!
    Last edited by Katcalls; 07-12-2017, 09:48 PM.


    I travel pretty comfortable in an A30, I would highly suggest the A30 for a couple of reasons. The A30 will be more likely to count as your carry on anywhere you go, the A45 might count as a carry-on in the US, but not always in Europe or Asia.

    I used to travel with checked luggage for weekend trips! I used this site as I learned to cut out all the stuff I didn't really need for travel.

    I typically travel with a Smart Alec or A30 and a pilot. I don't really need the pilot, I just like it as a security blanket in case I am forced to check a bag due to lack of space on the flight, I don't mind losing my clothes as much as I do my ipad or passport, I also keep one change of clothes in my pilot. In the Smart Alec and A30 I use the Packing cube shoulder bags. I went on a road trip recently where I flew to New Orleans and drove to Minneapolis, I was gone 2 weeks and just lived out of the A30, did laundry at a hostel and then on the road as needed.

    If you plan to travel the world I would suggest black or grey, nothing to stand out, also to resist the urge to put any patches or flags or anything, I would suggest something like this so you can find it in a crowd of other black/grey bags. I have actually never had anything in Steel ballistic so I can't really comment on that, I always go black ballistic, Steel might be a nice change while still not being too bright and flash to attract any unwanted attention.

    Depending on how much time you have before you set off, you can order one or the other, and practice packing it to see and make your decision.

    Good luck, have an safe and fun trip!


      Thanks for the reply.
      My other bags for my trip will be a Side Kick and perhaps a DLBP which I plan to keep in the backpack strap area.
      Getting the A30 is daunting to me as if it's too small returning it will be very expensive (I live in the Middle East). But you have given me something to think about = thanks.
      Perhaps I really need to buckle down and do proper packing list to see which would fit best.


        Your welcome,

        The A45 will probably be fine, I would check the airlines you think you will travel with most and see, also make sure to try and book your seat in the first group to board if possible. Since returning might be an issue, the A45 would obviously fit everything I said plus some more room, if you underpack you can always "smooth" the bag into the overhead bin or maybe under the seat.

        I travel with a max of 4 days of clothes (4 socks, 4 underwear, 4 shirts, 2 jeans, maybe a light jacket, an iPad, sometimes a kindle paperwhite, a 24 oz hydroflask, charger for the iPad and my phone, sunglasses with hard case. I add a few things here and there depending on where and when I'm going, but that can get me through almost any trip.

        The black will hide stains better, but my black bags occasionally pick up light color scuffs, no stains yet, but I get some white scuff marks quite a bit actually, not sure where from now that I think about it. I always go black/island, just my preference, I don't worry too much about marks or stains, as longs as they don't produce a smell, they add character to the bag for me.

        Try packing on your bed to get a good feel for what you need, the one bag site has some good advice. I'm 6'3" and my A45 feels pretty big on me in backpack mode, so I was thinking it might be pretty big on someone 5'5" but there are some photos where it doesn't look too big. I genuinely don't think you will regret either bag, in which case you should go with your instinct on the A45.


          I would choose any colour other than black simply because it is more likely to stand out. You will be able to spot it on carousels, trolleys and storage spaces, and you are more likely to spot someone picking up your bag IMO. Attracting attention works both ways.
          A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red and Nebulous Grey, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, Viridian and Grass, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets


            If you are able to under pack it then the A45 is more versatile as you can use it for a greater variety of trips, while also allowing you to pack extra clothes/souvenirs on the way back if you are that way inclined. I bought the A45 and it is almost always under packed when I leave and fairly full when I return. I never find it too large though it can get heavy once full. I also think that you will like the A30 if you went that way is it is the minimalist bag of choice. I went for Aubergine in colour as it is clearly the best colour, if that helps.


              I have a steel A30 and it's perfect for me. Sometimes I have to choose to pack less (2 pair
              of shoes and not 3) but I can always easily carry it. I like the steel as it is easy for this short girl to see in the plane overhead bins but nothing that screams flashy. Not seeing any wear on this yet. (Had 2 years) but I'm also not a constant traveler.
              Getting to the point with too many bags to list them all. Current daily carry is a PickUp Truck and Everyday Cubelet. Love all my shop bags, ghost whales, cubelets. Hoping to travel again soon to use my A30 and co-pilot.


                Thanks sturbridge.
                I think I am leaning towards steel. Someone recently mentioned that they didn't have the personality for the bags made with bright colours. I feel the same way, but I think I could definitely live with steel.


                  I don’t think you can go wrong with either one, but my suggestion would be the A30.

                  I traveled with my Dyneema A30 for a couple weeks in Spain and Portugal last year and definitely wouldn’t have wanted anything larger. Yes, there wasn’t a lot of extra room to load up with bulky souvenirs etc to bring back, but I came to see that as a plus: it removed the stress of having to do too much shopping for friends and co-workers. :-)

                  It fit everywhere with ease, and I never felt overloaded whether navigating a crowded metro or walking a half hour from a train station to a hotel.

                  I ordered the A45 once to try it out and found it great but ginormous for the way I like to travel… and that’s coming from a 6’1” guy. I wound up returning it because I just don’t want to deal with that much weight and bulk on my back.

                  Take what I’m saying with a grain of salt, though: I just finished up a 10-day trip with the S19 as my only bag and felt like I had overpacked a bit. (I figure that if you have three outfits — what you are wearing plus two changes — you are good to go indefinitely, whether it be for a week, a month, or a year.)

                  IMHO the A30 really hits the sweet spot size-wise for extended travel of the kind you are planning (depending on your packing style).

                  That's awesome you'll be able to travel for so long. Best of luck and safe/happy travels!!
                  Last edited by bb93fo57; 07-13-2017, 07:07 AM.


                    I've done traveling with an A45, thinking that a maximum sized carry on would alleviate any need for extra bags, and I was successful in this venture. I've gotten my wife, somehow, to let us pack for a smaller 4 day trip using only that bag. With that said, it gets pretty heavy when stuffed completely full. Recently, I convinced her, , to let us order an A30 so that we have an A45 for her and an A30 for me since I tend to pack light. When traveling we could then bring both but I'd wear the heavy A45 and she would wear my lighter A30 and we wouldn't have to worry about any rollers.

                    With all of this said, based off the sized comparison of the A30 and A45 I'd definitely recommend an A30 if you tend to pack light - it meets personal item requirements on Spirit and other American Airlines when it isn't fully packed and easily meets all carry on guidelines while offering plenty of room. is a great resources and I also like the SnarkyNomad's Minimalist packing list for suggestions. Good luck on your travels!

                    Also, I snagged the A30 in Burnt Orange and it looks beautiful.


                      Thanks bb93fo57 and jhnmason.

                      I'm surprised! Most of you are leaning towards the A30 when I assumed that people would suggest the A45.
                      You've all given me very good food for thought, it's appreciated.

                      As for burnt orange, I'm sure it's a beautiful colour but I certainly don't have the chutzpah to carry it. I envy those who do!!


                        The A45 is the size of rolling suitcase, only without the wheels, so it's actually bigger, because there's more interior space. It's not something I want on my back or carrying by hand.

                        I have an A30, and it's the weight limit I can carry on my back, cross body, or by hand.

                        My favorite is the D36 (Doggienaut 36 / Medium Road Duffle). It's not a backpack, but it's just that little bit bigger than the A30 (and lighter because it doesn't have the backpack bits).

                        As for color, I love Aubergine. It reads as a very dark color, almost black, without looking like everyone else's bags. And it really goes with everything.
                        Last edited by BWeaves; 07-13-2017, 06:38 AM.


                          How exciting! I hope you'll have wonderful travels.

                          If you decide to get an A45, I'd consider black or nordic (blue) halcyon fabric so it's a bit lighter. When it is packed full, the A45 is pretty heavy and awkward for me to carry at 5'2" 130. But I am still going to bring it on a trip next month because I need to pack a lot for an event.

                          The A30 is a lot more comfortable to me because it's shorter. You can always use a tote bag or daylight backpack for overflow items, if you really can't cram everything in at some point?

                          For color, you can always get a pack of colored zipper pulls so you can easily identify your bag.


                            @Katcalls, another vote for the A30. It's a very nice bag, as others have pointed out in recent threads, because you can carry it a few different ways, and it's also easy to "live out of" once you are in a place, as it lays flat and opens up completely.

                            Another idea for colors is to get a black exterior and dress it up with some colored paracord. I recently ordered paracord in grey and teal (from a third party, not Tom Bihn) for a different black bag I own. I think it will be a subtle way to differentiate it from all the other black bags in an overhead, or identify it on a security belt. And the pulls make it easier to open the zippers. Tom Bihn also sells colored zipper pulls, many of which match the existing Halcyon interiors.
                            All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
                            Edmund Burke


                              I have an A30 and for me it would be too small for what you are planning. But I'm a compulsive overpacker. So considering you are used to packing minimally, you would probably be fine with an A30. On the other hand, you said this is just for traveling between cities so having a bit larger sized bag probably wouldn't be much of a problem for you either. Personally, I could never manage with an A30 for long trips because of my packing issues.

                              I would like to throw a vote out there for verde if it coordinates with the type of greens you normally wear. I think it is a beautiful muted tone that would stand out from a sea of black, yet not be conspicuous. My personal favorite color is aubergine though.