Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A30 + S19 - or - A45 for a long trip?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    A30 + S19 - or - A45 for a long trip?

    Hi everyone.

    I'm trying to decide between the A30 or A45 for a 3-4 week trip to south east Asia. I currently own the Synapse 19.

    Option A: A30 + S19.
    S19 as personal item which will function as my day bag upon arrival to the destination.

    Option B: A45.
    In this scenario I'll use my small Patagonia 8L sling as my day bag. (A45 + S19 would be overkill)

    Initially I was set on option A as the A30 seemed like the perfect companion to the S19. Also I thought the A45 is too big and bulky, and probably uncomfortable in backpack mode once fully packed.

    Anothing advantage to option A is the peace of mind of not being asked to check the bag in on domestic flights in SE Asia.
    Indeed, the A45 is carry-on approved but weight-wise I'll be over the 7KG for sure. With that said, it's not something I'm too concerned about as I can always split the weight with my personal item (the sling).

    The disadvantage.... I'll be carrying and managing 2 bags.

    I'm not going to get into the various ways to carry them both. I'll just say that in my opinion all of them are far from ideal for a long trip.
    Sure the bags aren't too big but it's still 2 bags. It's still a shoulder bag that keeps applying pressure on a single shoulder (in addition to the backpack) and a strap that needs to be readjusted from time to time. Again, for a short trip I think it's fine but for month long, not ideal.
    Of course it's still 10 times better than traveling with a rolling suitcase but that's a different story.

    I'm especially curious to hear from people that have travelled with A30 and S19 for longer that a week. How was it? Would you do it again?

    On a personal note, am I the only wishing for a 37-38L version of the Aeronaut? I know it's mostly criticized for lacking a laptop compartment but personally I couldn't care less about that.

    #2
    Full disclosure, I haven't taken that long of a trip myself, but I've read a lot about that kind of thing and I think your best bet would be large (or large-ish) backpack and then small crossbody/shoulder bag. Or, one large backpack and a packable day bag like the DLBP. In other words, option B more than Option A.

    With option A, depending on how you carry the A30 you're going to be dealing with two medium to large backpacks OR one medium backpack and one large crossbody, which to me just seems awkward if not outright uncomfortable. You're better off with the large bag on your back and a smaller bag crossbody.

    Personally I'd go with Option C: A30 and a packable day bag (or better yet, a waist pack). See if you can trim down your packing list to where you can get it all in the A30--there's tons of tips online for that kind of thing. And don't be afraid to try it out in advance! Pack your bag and then live out of it at your house for a week or two as though you were traveling. You'll likely be able to get a much better picture of what you need, and what you don't.
    Last edited by Surrealle; 05-22-2021, 09:14 AM.

    Comment


      #3
      Unfortunately my trip to Japan was long before I discovered Tom Bihn, but I can tell you my experience if it helps. We were there for two weeks, and I traveled with an eBags Mother Lode Jr Travel Backpack. In the front compartment I had tucked a tiny Meyfancy mini-backpack with my 9.7" iPad and other stuff I needed for the flight … It was fully enclosed in the larger bag but I could extract it to have easy access to stuff during the long flights, plus it served as a small daypack when we were wandering around various cities in Japan. I'd packed about 5-6 days worth of clothes and had planned stops with access to laundry facilities mid-trip and near-end-trip to make sure I'd have clean stuff to wear.

      The eBags clocks in at 19.5 x 14 x 9", so it's somewhat between the A30 and A45 in size, although some of its space is eaten up by a massive laptop sleeve in the back and various organizational pouches in front. The Meyfancy was pretty tiny, about 12" tall, 7" wide and 4" deep.

      I will say that running through the airport, and going from city to city on trains and subways over the course of the trip, and walking several blocks between train stations and hotels, it was REALLY nice having just one backpack I could wear while walking, and stuff into an overhead compartment or in the seat or on the floor next to me while on a train. My boyfriend was carrying two rollerbags and his CPAP bag (I could NOT convince him to try either a backpack or minimalist packing!) and he had a much bigger hassle with travel.

      If I were to make the trip again, I'd probably see if I could minimize just a bit more and travel with the A30. Once I can get my hands on a Side Kick I'd probably bring that for my iPad Mini and Kindle and junk, stuff it somewhere in the A30 for travel, pull it out during the flight, carry it as a shoulder sling when I need my stuff with me, and maybe pack a micro-foldable shopping bag or backpack in case I need a larger daypack while walking around town.

      So for your two options … I'd probably go with Option B, although I'd be really tempted to see if I could pack that down to an A30 instead of an A45. Of course that depends on your preferences, and 3-4 weeks is more that 2 weeks, and I don't actually have an A45 so I don't have firsthand experience with how it's different than the A30. Good luck and have a good trip!
      ---
      My Bags: Burnt Orange Medium Cafe BagSide Kick Aeronaut 30
      Canary Large Shop Bag Aubergine Everyday Cubelet
      With: Island Packing CubesTravel Tray Cubelet Dawn Wallet

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you both! It's always interesting to read other people's experiences.

        I have considered the A30 with a small sling/fanny pack, but that's definitely something I'd need to 'practice' first at home as I've never travelled with a sub 35L bag before -- yikes! I think it could be done though... In theory, 4 weeks is not that different from 1-2 weeks, you just do more laundry.

        Comment


          #5
          I went through the same decision making process when I traveled to Japan for 3 weeks in October of 2019. I traveled using an A30 and a S19 and a Side Effect. For my travels, I used the S19 exclusively as a backpack and the A30 as a duffel bag carried by the handle. The Side Effect was sometimes used as a very light daypack. Because I visited a bunch of cities over three weeks, some stops were only 1 or 2 nights so I took advantage of Takkyūbin and forwarded my A30 to the next city on my itinerary and traveled for the 1 to 2 nights with my S19 and Side effect.

          I would definitely go with a two bag option, a larger main bag plus a smaller daypack. My trip was in early October so the weather was perfect; The A30 fit my clothing for the trip because I did not need to pack heavier clothing options for various ranges of temperatures. I am also not any kind of digital nomad so I did not bring any kind of portable device with the exception of my phone. It is definitely YMMV on if you can fit everything you need in an A30. I'm also only 5'6" so the A45 is huge on me.

          Comment


            #6
            I travelled for 6 weeks in Europe on the size restrictive flights with a bag around the size of an A45 and never got stopped to check for size or weight, and I saw people with fully packed Osprey 45s and they looked huge...also never stopped. The people that always got stopped were using wheeled cases from what I could see.

            So if you are willing to chance it and really need the space then I think you'd get away with an A45. It's more designed to be boxy than a hump so looks much smaller profile, depending on your body size as a comparison that is. This is how I would fly myself probably, I like to one bag (I have an A30 too for quicker trips). I bought an A30 and A45 packing cube backpack recently for the day bag for its double use. I just use a plastic bag onboard usually and pop my headphones and HLT in before the flight.

            But with that said I think if you want to go the double bag route and/or don't want to gamble on checking the A45 then an A30 and S19 could be great too. It would certainly be nicer having the S19 as a day bag with its more comfortable straps and dedicated water bottle pocket.


            Although as Surrealle mentioned for an option C, I'd be inclined to pack less and take the A30 and Patagonia 8 and go more minimalist. In my trip I think I took too much and that weight definitely was not fun to lug around from place to place, and two bags would probably have been even worse to deal with. Option C might make you focus a bit more on what is really needed and not over pack.

            Comment


              #7
              I consider any trip over a week to basically be the same week on repeat, so I pack lightweight multifunctional clothes. I do laundry at a hotel or in the sink or sometimes even at a laundromat.
              Usually I carry my A30 + S19 or BB for work trips (laptops & work gear) and A30 + Zip Top Shop Bag for personal trips.
              The A30 I hand carry if I'm bringing one of the backpacks and backpack carry if I'm bringing the ZTSB. A Packing Cube Shoulder Bag or Side Kick or Daylight Briefcase is in the smaller bag so it becomes my seat pocket bag once the plane takes off. All of those make good walking around bags at my destination.
              I have an LLBEAN small packable pack I often bring on personal trips too... Though now that I have a halcyon Paragon I want to try that as a packable pack since it's fairly flat. (I don't like how the Daylight Backpack fits me, though it's popular with a lot of folks.)
              I agree with the several suggestions above that it's worth practicing at home to see what you really will use.

              ETA, several years ago I carried the A30+S19 for a 2 1/2 week trip to Ecuador.... Worked ok, but if I had to do again, given the walking/planes/buses/boats/etc, I'd backpack carry the A30 and do a fanny pack (like the new LGD) or cross body bag.
              Last edited by G42; 05-22-2021, 05:47 PM.
              I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

              Comment


                #8
                Surealle's Option C is the best suggestion. I've travelled for 3 weeks in Japan and in Europe with an A30 and a SideKick, plus an A30 packing cube backpack to use as a day pack. It works really well, only one piece of luggage that is a manageable weight and size, and the SideKick for travel documents, electronics and in-flight needs.
                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

                Comment


                  #9
                  you may want to consider the 45 packing cube backpack. but its unclear if and when those will be made. https://www.tombihn.com/products/pac...nt=18124789575

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by G42 View Post
                    ETA, several years ago I carried the A30+S19 for a 2 1/2 week trip to Ecuador.... Worked ok, but if I had to do again, given the walking/planes/buses/boats/etc, I'd backpack carry the A30 and do a fanny pack (like the new LGD) or cross body bag.
                    This is exactly what I wanted to find out. Thailand is very similar to Ecuador in this regard. Lots of walking/boats/planes.

                    I guess I should have put more emphasis on how different it is traveling south east Asia in comparison to Europe. Might be obvious for some but not for others.
                    I wouldn't hesitate at all taking the A30 (duffle mode) with S19 on my back to Europe.

                    So I've decided not to take the S19. Now it just boils down to which Aeronaut I can grab on eBay first, with my preference being the A30.

                    Appreciate the help
                    🙏
                    Last edited by leopard; 05-23-2021, 12:48 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by leopard View Post

                      This is exactly what I wanted to find out. Thailand is very similar to Ecuador in this regard. Lots of walking/boats/planes.

                      I guess I should have put more emphasis on how different it is traveling south east Asia in comparison to Europe. Might be obvious for some but not for others.
                      I wouldn't hesitate at all taking the A30 (duffle mode) with S19 on my back to Europe.

                      So I've decided not to take the S19. Now it just boils down to which Aeronaut I can grab on eBay first, with my preference being the A30.

                      Appreciate the help
                      🙏
                      Hope you find the bag you need!

                      I didn't have the Brain Bag in my collection when I went to Ecuador...even though it's not quite as nice to 'live out of' as the A30 and the space is apportioned differently, I'd seriously consider using it for that type of application, couple with a small cross body or fanny pack.
                      I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by G42 View Post

                        Hope you find the bag you need!

                        I didn't have the Brain Bag in my collection when I went to Ecuador...even though it's not quite as nice to 'live out of' as the A30 and the space is apportioned differently, I'd seriously consider using it for that type of application, couple with a small cross body or fanny pack.
                        Agreed, the BB is one of my favorites. I especially love that I can attach a water bottle to the outside so it doesn't eat up precious space, and the external pockets are a great size for all kinds of things.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The BB does seem to have some nice features-
                          The front pocket can fit the Bose QC headphones bulky case, which usually doesn't fit in front / quick access pockets of most bags.
                          It is 35L, which is what I wish the Aeronaut was.
                          And it's probably more comfortable than the Aeronaut in backpack mode.

                          But the main compartment opening is a deal breaker for me. If it was a clamshell opening I'd then definitely consider it.

                          I'm actually quite surprised that Tom Bihn has so few options to choose from within the so common 35-40L capacity.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yeah, the lack of a clamshell is one of the bigger drawbacks for me as well, and I really wish the divider between the two main compartments was removable. But, I still like it enough to have two of them, heh. (And if I used it more, I'd probably have a third). Unfortunately it doesn't see much use anymore now that I'm out of the military, but it used to be my daily carry.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              My go-to travel setup is an A30 + S19. I've never done four weeks, but I've done two. I love the setup — everything feels sleek and convenient, and both bags fit nicely on planes as carry-ons. I'm not a super-minimalist packer, but I do wear mostly merino wool when I travel, and I do laundry for longer trips, so it's workable (although a lot harder for winter travel). The primary reason for the S19 is carrying my laptop for work. I also often carry my mirrorless camera and one or two lenses. Without those items, I can get away with an A30 plus a MCB, which I pack empty in the Aeronaut and use as my day back.

                              I occasionally overstuff my A30 (often, the camera equipment is the culprit), and it's definitely a strain on my shoulder when I do. I'm 5'10", and I can't imagine lugging the A45 around on my shoulder.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X